Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

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bombast
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby bombast » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:51 pm UTC

The whole idea of stealing that pirates base their defense off of is older then electronics. The method of reproducing a product that isn't 'real' dosn't fit this definition, I agree, but you have to update your understanding.

Your basically stealing someones 'idea,' and saying because you can't touch it in real life, and it reproducable, it isn't something that can be stolen. If I did this to something that was real, but is reproducable (say apples), I'd be in prison for theft.

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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Malice » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:03 pm UTC

bombast wrote:Your basically stealing someones 'idea,' and saying because you can't touch it in real life, and it reproducable, it isn't something that can be stolen. If I did this to something that was real, but is reproducable (say apples), I'd be in prison for theft.


The issue is one of scarcity, not "realism". It's not that taking someone's intellectual property isn't stealing because "woo, ideas only exist in fairy land!", it's because you can make a perfect copy of that property without hurting anybody*.

Similarly, nobody's going to put you in prison for theft if you use a magic wand to summon an apple out of thin air, even if it's identical to the apple that dude is selling over there.

*Not necessarily true. But at most, these two scenarios are equal:

1. "Hmmm... I might like [band]. I could buy their album... but instead I will download it."
2. "Hmmm... I might like [band]. I could buy their album... but I think instead I will spend my money on ice cream. Mmm, ice cream."

In both cases the most you can say is "you have denied that person a sale" but as the second example indicates the creator is by no means entitled to your money.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby The Reaper » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:05 pm UTC

bombast wrote:The whole idea of stealing that pirates base their defense off of is older then electronics. The method of reproducing a product that isn't 'real' dosn't fit this definition, I agree, but you have to update your understanding.

Your basically stealing someones 'idea,' and saying because you can't touch it in real life, and it reproducable, it isn't something that can be stolen. If I did this to something that was real, but is reproducable (say apples), I'd be in prison for theft.

You'd be stealing an actual object. It's understandable. If i was selling the songs I downloaded to other people for money, then I'd be stealing profits. However, I don't even burn these songs to CD. I make absolutely not money off of them, no profit, no gain, no value, and so it shouldn't be thought of as stealing. If someone has an idea about taking the dog out for a walk, and I hear them, and then think about taking the dog out for a walk, that doesn't make me stealing.

I love ice cream. Most of my income that doesn't go towards paying apartment and electricity, goes towards food. <3 food.

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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Telchar » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:25 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:You'd be stealing an actual object. It's understandable. If i was selling the songs I downloaded to other people for money, then I'd be stealing profits. However, I don't even burn these songs to CD. I make absolutely not money off of them, no profit, no gain, no value, and so it shouldn't be thought of as stealing. If someone has an idea about taking the dog out for a walk, and I hear them, and then think about taking the dog out for a walk, that doesn't make me stealing.

I love ice cream. Most of my income that doesn't go towards paying apartment and electricity, goes towards food. <3 food.


No, stealing is not limited to real property.

I make a store and call it McDonalds. I have a golden M as my logo, and I make terrible shitty food. I also get people sick. Does the real McDonalds we all know have the right to sue me for ruining their name? Of course. I stole it and tarnished it. They have the ability to decide how their name is used.

It's the same thing with music. A musician/record label/producer has/have rights. They get to decide how that music is used, regardless of whether or not you think it's logical. They have the right to decide that they don't want to allow people to pirate music even though it may increase sales. It's not logical, but it is still their right. It would be similar to the situation above excpet if I was able to sell 5 star cuisine at a drive-through for 3 dollars. McDonalds still owns their name. Musicians still own their songs.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby bombast » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:35 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:
bombast wrote:The whole idea of stealing that pirates base their defense off of is older then electronics. The method of reproducing a product that isn't 'real' dosn't fit this definition, I agree, but you have to update your understanding.

Your basically stealing someones 'idea,' and saying because you can't touch it in real life, and it reproducable, it isn't something that can be stolen. If I did this to something that was real, but is reproducable (say apples), I'd be in prison for theft.

You'd be stealing an actual object. It's understandable. If i was selling the songs I downloaded to other people for money, then I'd be stealing profits. However, I don't even burn these songs to CD. I make absolutely not money off of them, no profit, no gain, no value, and so it shouldn't be thought of as stealing. If someone has an idea about taking the dog out for a walk, and I hear them, and then think about taking the dog out for a walk, that doesn't make me stealing.

I love ice cream. Most of my income that doesn't go towards paying apartment and electricity, goes towards food. <3 food.


So its all good as long as I don't profit? This is ridiculous. Making profit off someone elses work and DENYING someone profit from their work boils down to about the same. One way or another, the original artist suffers.

When someone illegal downloads the song, they are denying the artist his profit. This is stealing in my book. I try not to judge people by this (unless its just ridiculous, like owning the entire Xbox 360 library and never visiting Gamestop), but still, it is stealing.

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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby zug » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:08 pm UTC

bombast wrote:
The Reaper wrote:
bombast wrote:The whole idea of stealing that pirates base their defense off of is older then electronics. The method of reproducing a product that isn't 'real' dosn't fit this definition, I agree, but you have to update your understanding.

Your basically stealing someones 'idea,' and saying because you can't touch it in real life, and it reproducable, it isn't something that can be stolen. If I did this to something that was real, but is reproducable (say apples), I'd be in prison for theft.

You'd be stealing an actual object. It's understandable. If i was selling the songs I downloaded to other people for money, then I'd be stealing profits. However, I don't even burn these songs to CD. I make absolutely not money off of them, no profit, no gain, no value, and so it shouldn't be thought of as stealing. If someone has an idea about taking the dog out for a walk, and I hear them, and then think about taking the dog out for a walk, that doesn't make me stealing.

I love ice cream. Most of my income that doesn't go towards paying apartment and electricity, goes towards food. <3 food.


So its all good as long as I don't profit? This is ridiculous. Making profit off someone elses work and DENYING someone profit from their work boils down to about the same. One way or another, the original artist suffers.

When someone illegal downloads the song, they are denying the artist his profit. This is stealing in my book. I try not to judge people by this (unless its just ridiculous, like owning the entire Xbox 360 library and never visiting Gamestop), but still, it is stealing.

This doesn't address the reality that some people download music in order to see whether they will like the band. If they like the band, they may go out and purchase multiple albums, or to see a concert. Without the ability to download and test the music ahead of time, these revenue streams would be 0.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby bombast » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:23 pm UTC

Sorry, but that's a cop out. A small fraction may do that, but many people now a days pull whole gigs of albums off the internet in a day.

I think it obvious who downloads to test drive, and that's not a issue. Its the people with multiple tb harddrives packed with illegally downloaded videos and music that present a problem.

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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby MartianInvader » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:25 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:
MartianInvader wrote:The analogy I like:

Imagine Homer Simpson sitting on top of a huge mountain of sugar. He guards the sugar zealously, as he sells it for his sugarman business, but sometimes, when he lets his guard down for that split-second, an uppity tea-drinker comes by and steals a pinch. Now each person that does this is not committing a terrible crime, but as this begins happening more and more the mountain of sugar starts shrinking, and Homer's business is in danger of failing.

So Homer starts guarding his mountain of sugar with a shotgun. He still can't catch most of the thieves, but when he catches one, he shoots him. This is certainly disproportionate, but its the only thing Homer can think of to protect his business. After all, the strong must protect the sweet.

Is there some way for Homer to protect his sugar without shooting mostly-innocent people? I don't know.

In this case, homer is actually losing sugar.

If someone came along and copied his pile of sugar using excess matter from a white hole, this is more what its like.


The sugar doesn't represent songs, it represents profits. After all, producing songs costs money. And a few people downloading music (or stealing sugar) doesn't have a noticeable effect at all; indeed, some people may steal a "free sample" and then decide they want to buy more sugar, increasing profits. But if everyone can take as much as they want for free then Homer's pretty clearly going to go out of business.

You could argue otherwise, I guess. You could propose a whole new model for how the music industry should work (make money from donations, concerts, or whatever). Heck, fifty years from now musicians probably will be making money in completely different ways, and acquiring recordings will basically be free. But the law is currently on the side of the industry, and they're not ready to put their profits and jobs on the line to test some experimental new business model that may or may not work, at least not for as long as they can manage.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Princess Marzipan » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:29 pm UTC

bombast wrote:Sorry, but that's a cop out. A small fraction may do that, but many people now a days pull whole gigs of albums off the internet in a day.

I think it obvious who downloads to test drive, and that's not a issue. Its the people with multiple tb harddrives packed with illegally downloaded videos and music that present a problem.

That's also a cop out. Because those people with multiple TB HDDs filled with pirated content are also a small minority of the set of people who pirate.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby The Reaper » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:47 pm UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:
bombast wrote:Sorry, but that's a cop out. A small fraction may do that, but many people now a days pull whole gigs of albums off the internet in a day.

I think it obvious who downloads to test drive, and that's not a issue. Its the people with multiple tb harddrives packed with illegally downloaded videos and music that present a problem.

That's also a cop out. Because those people with multiple TB HDDs filled with pirated content are also a small minority of the set of people who pirate.
I have multiple TB HDDs filled with stuff, and I just recently bought 3 video games and 2 movies because I liked them. When I get the spare cash, I'll go out and buy more movies and such. I've also gotten rid of a couple video games I had downloaded because after trying them I decided they weren't worth paying money for. (demigod would be much better for a console than it is for a PC)

There are plenty of people like me, who, while they download songs and movies and games and whatever all else, actually go out and support the ones that are worthwhile in the vague hopes that capitalism actually works. (notably Fallout 3, Left4Dead, and Sins of a Solar Empire)

Also, poor people gotta have entertainment too.

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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Malice » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:58 pm UTC

bombast wrote:So its all good as long as I don't profit? This is ridiculous. Making profit off someone elses work and DENYING someone profit from their work boils down to about the same. One way or another, the original artist suffers.


According to this logic, every moment I'm NOT buying copy after copy of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" I'm denying Rowling profit from her work. Except, oh shit This applies to every artist and art simultaneously! I could vomit forth cash from every orifice and still be "stealing"!

A lost sale isn't stealing any more than safe sex is abortion.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby clintonius » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:03 pm UTC

Now, to clarify: the RIAA can suck my nuts raw, and I don't have much problem at all with downloading, but can we please stop with the "every moment I'm not making a purchase I'm committing the same purported crime" nonsense? It's not about failing to make the purchase. It's about obtaining the material without making a purchase. You know that.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby bombast » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:24 pm UTC

clintonius wrote:Now, to clarify: the RIAA can suck my nuts raw, and I don't have much problem at all with downloading, but can we please stop with the "every moment I'm not making a purchase I'm committing the same purported crime" nonsense? It's not about failing to make the purchase. It's about obtaining the material without making a purchase. You know that.


This.

All I can say is that from personal experience, most people I know pirate huge sums of data and media under the philosophy of 'I can steal, therefor I shall.' Your experience may vary of course, but this is what I'M seeing.

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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Will » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:30 pm UTC

Or maybe they're coming from the philosophy of "copyright infringement is not stealing." Because that's a valid interpretation of copyright law. Which, by the way, is how the SCOTUS interpreted it in Downling v. United States
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Shpow » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:41 pm UTC

To be fairly honest guys, if I were an artist (which, part times, I am) I'd be fairly pissed if people all over the world are getting something I made with my sweat and blood. Especially when you can buy the music for about a dollar.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Telchar » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:50 pm UTC

Will wrote:Or maybe they're coming from the philosophy of "copyright infringement is not stealing." Because that's a valid interpretation of copyright law. Which, by the way, is how the SCOTUS interpreted it in Downling v. United States



Again, it's not a criminal case. Downing deals with interstate commerce and transporting stolen property across state lines. It's rationale being that because you don't deprive people wholly of the copyright, infringment on it isn't theft. The case doesn't deal with theft, however. This is a civil suit.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Will » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:56 pm UTC

I wasn't responding to the specifics of this case, I was responding to people in this thread explicitly saying that pirating music is theft in general.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby The Reaper » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:03 pm UTC

Shpow wrote:To be fairly honest guys, if I were an artist (which, part times, I am) I'd be fairly pissed if people all over the world are getting something I made with my sweat and blood. Especially when you can buy the music for about a dollar.

The various techno artists and DJs I know are quite happy their work gets shared, because it increases the amount of people that listen to it, thus increasing their revenue at events, and their listener base overall. Getting paid money for their work to get shared is all well and good and all, but most of their revenue comes from setting up and running raves/concerts.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Indon » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:05 pm UTC

bombast wrote:So its all good as long as I don't profit? This is ridiculous. Making profit off someone elses work and DENYING someone profit from their work boils down to about the same. One way or another, the original artist suffers.

When someone illegal downloads the song, they are denying the artist his profit. This is stealing in my book. I try not to judge people by this (unless its just ridiculous, like owning the entire Xbox 360 library and never visiting Gamestop), but still, it is stealing.


If I tell someone that an artist sucks and that they shouldn't buy their albums, and they don't, then I'm denying the artist his profit. Should that be illegal?
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby clintonius » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:06 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:
Shpow wrote:To be fairly honest guys, if I were an artist (which, part times, I am) I'd be fairly pissed if people all over the world are getting something I made with my sweat and blood. Especially when you can buy the music for about a dollar.
The various techno artists and DJs I know are quite happy their work gets shared, because it increases the amount of people that listen to it, thus increasing their revenue at events, and their listener base overall. Getting paid money for their work to get shared is all well and good and all, but most of their revenue comes from setting up and running raves/concerts.
Yes, that, unless you're enormously popular. And even then, you(r band) sees only a fraction of the profit you bring the recording company.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby The Reaper » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:06 pm UTC

Indon wrote:
bombast wrote:So its all good as long as I don't profit? This is ridiculous. Making profit off someone elses work and DENYING someone profit from their work boils down to about the same. One way or another, the original artist suffers.

When someone illegal downloads the song, they are denying the artist his profit. This is stealing in my book. I try not to judge people by this (unless its just ridiculous, like owning the entire Xbox 360 library and never visiting Gamestop), but still, it is stealing.


If I tell someone that an artist sucks and that they shouldn't buy their albums, and they don't, then I'm denying the artist his profit. Should that be illegal?
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Indon » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:07 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:Slander. :3


Next thread on N&A: "Alabama man to pay trillion dollars for saying RIAA sucks".

>.>
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby The Reaper » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:08 pm UTC

Indon wrote:
The Reaper wrote:Slander. :3


Next thread on N&A: "Alabama man to pay trillion dollars for saying RIAA sucks".

>.>

It wouldn't surprise me, really.

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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Telchar » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:56 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:The various techno artists and DJs I know are quite happy their work gets shared, because it increases the amount of people that listen to it, thus increasing their revenue at events, and their listener base overall. Getting paid money for their work to get shared is all well and good and all, but most of their revenue comes from setting up and running raves/concerts.


And that's probably a very good business model. It's a good choice for them, but it's theirs to make because it is their music. If an artist doesn't want to buy into that, even if we think it will make them more money, then that is their choice and should remain their choice.

Honestly though, if the majority of the music industry makes money from giving away songs, the problem should solve itself because that's all record labels want to do is make money.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Malice » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:05 pm UTC

clintonius wrote:Now, to clarify: the RIAA can suck my nuts raw, and I don't have much problem at all with downloading, but can we please stop with the "every moment I'm not making a purchase I'm committing the same purported crime" nonsense? It's not about failing to make the purchase. It's about obtaining the material without making a purchase. You know that.


From a moral point of view, perhaps. What I was directly refuting was the idea that even though both downloading and not-buying have the same affect of artist "suffering", we should use the law to discourage the former but not the latter.

Perhaps from a moral view, because my morality has to do with harm, not imaginary concepts of ownership. If I'm not hurting anybody, it's not immoral, and it certainly shouldn't be illegal.

In other words, there is an argument against piracy based on an artist's presumed natural right to control of their work; there is not an argument against piracy based on an artist's lost sale.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Indon » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:46 pm UTC

Telchar wrote:Honestly though, if the majority of the music industry makes money from giving away songs, the problem should solve itself because that's all record labels want to do is make money.


The problem is that it doesn't, because the majority of the music industry consists of people who don't actually make any music, but who function as middlemen for those that do.

And current technology is rendering those middlemen obsolete, which is making the middleman-dominated industry go absolutely berserk.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Poochy » Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:10 am UTC

When the RIAA started suing consumers for disproportionate sums, I stopped buying CDs from any label I could link to the RIAA.
When they sued an MIT college student who was already in debt, then suggested she drop out of college to pay for the settlement, I stopped buying any and all American-made music that I couldn't verify to have no association with the RIAA.
I would've started teaching people to use BitTorrent purely out of spite, except I couldn't find anybody who wants music from RIAA-associated labels and didn't already know how to use BT.

And now I need a way to further show my disapproval. The RIAA has gone past unethical, immoral, and even downright evil. They're a frakkin' black hole of morality. (My sincere apologies to black holes all over the universe. I realize that was extremely degrading to black holes, but I couldn't find a metaphor that wasn't a huge understatement, so I went with the closest one I could think of.)

I vote we dig through the RIAA's legal records to get them and their Chewbacca Defense Force (a.k.a. hordes of lawyers) charged with as many cases of perjury, contempt of the court, obstruction of justice, and such charges as we can possibly find. I would absolutely LOVE to see these people get so many fines slapped all over them that they go bankrupt and live in a cardboard box for the rest of their lives, after they've tried to screw so many other people out of house and home.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Indon » Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:24 am UTC

Poochy wrote:I vote we dig through the RIAA's legal records to get them and their Chewbacca Defense Force (a.k.a. hordes of lawyers) charged with as many cases of perjury, contempt of the court, obstruction of justice, and such charges as we can possibly find.


I prefer bringing up the subject in meatspace and encouraging a widespread stop-purchasing (no, not a boycott, a boycott ends eventually) of factory-farmed music.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Poochy » Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:00 am UTC

Indon wrote:
Poochy wrote:I vote we dig through the RIAA's legal records to get them and their Chewbacca Defense Force (a.k.a. hordes of lawyers) charged with as many cases of perjury, contempt of the court, obstruction of justice, and such charges as we can possibly find.


I prefer bringing up the subject in meatspace and encouraging a widespread stop-purchasing (no, not a boycott, a boycott ends eventually) of factory-farmed music.

I've been doing that for years. The RIAA is still telling people to cough up ridiculous amounts of money or they'll break their knees. Clearly, even though telling people to stop buying works, we need more drastic measures.

(Plus I really like imagining the RIAA idiots getting that kind of a sudden slap in the face. Those people make me laugh at the "every human life is valuable" crap - their lives clearly have a negative value to the world.)
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Feddlefew » Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:03 pm UTC

This is madness! How could anyone justify fining a privet, non filthy-rich person that much.

Oh. wait. It's the RIAA we're talking about. Never mind.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby dosboot » Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:17 pm UTC

Indon wrote:If I tell someone that an artist sucks and that they shouldn't buy their albums, and they don't, then I'm denying the artist his profit. Should that be illegal?


No, and thankfully it isn't illegal. Copyright is about copying creative works. Our freedom to talk about albums and boycott albums escapes untouched.

Malice wrote:But at most, these two scenarios are equal:

1. "Hmmm... I might like [band]. I could buy their album... but instead I will download it."
2. "Hmmm... I might like [band]. I could buy their album... but I think instead I will spend my money on ice cream. Mmm, ice cream."

In both cases the most you can say is "you have denied that person a sale" but as the second example indicates the creator is by no means entitled to your money.


No, thankfully there is a distinction between the two. This is a good thing because it means we can simultaneously enjoy a notion of copyright law without saying that copyright owners are entitled to money from everyone.

"So wait, why did society draw a distinction about copying creative works versus everything else?" Copying is the least common denominator for protecting commercialization for a creative work, or at least it was the best they could think of at the time. It probably still is the best solution. Sure, music artists could make money from concerts without copyright (in other words: personal identity cannot easily be copied and we wouldn't accept such a substitute anyway). A book author faces a different matter, because a cover to cover copy does manage to capture the entire usefulness of a book. This book, keep in mind, wouldn't exist to be copied if it weren't thanks to the author for materializing the original copy. Also keep in mind that it doesn't become any easier or less costly to create books even if copying books is easy and cost free. Same goes for a movie maker or software writer.

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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Indon » Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:35 pm UTC

dosboot wrote:No, and thankfully it isn't illegal. Copyright is about copying creative works. Our freedom to talk about albums and boycott albums escapes untouched.


For now, anyway.

But to the point, I said that to drive the final nail into the coffin of the idea that copyright infringement is theft. It is absolutely not theft. It is a crime, because we as a culture decreed it was a crime in order to promote the market for artistic works - and that's not necessarily a bad idea.

But nowadays, it's clearly coming back to bite us all in the ass (because that's where most of us keep our wallets). We need to take a close hard look and ask ourselves not, "Is copyright necessary?" because it's not necessary at all, we have it to benefit the common good, but instead we must ask, "Is copyright worth the price we are paying for it?"

Because it's quite clear we're paying a price, and it's not a small one.

Poochy wrote:I've been doing that for years. The RIAA is still telling people to cough up ridiculous amounts of money or they'll break their knees. Clearly, even though telling people to stop buying works, we need more drastic measures.

Well, the thing is, it takes decades for a failed business model to actually collapse an industry like the RIAA. They've been losing sales and revenue for many years, and this lawsuit stuff probably isn't even profitable, but they have what would be valued at billions of dollars worth of intellectual property (valued based on their ability to milk that value in the past using their failing business model) which they can use as collateral to borrow against in order to extend their existence far, far longer than they reasonably should.

But short doing illegal things (and I would not advocate doing illegal things), it's the best we can do.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Clumpy » Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:38 pm UTC

Without being as militant as I've been in the past (I'm for decriminalizing all noncommercial use of any kind), I think that the root of the problem is the following:


1) We view copyright in a very one-sided way. Copyright was always intended to guarantee rights both to artists and consumers, however both in discussing copyright and analyzing its effects we only ever discuss the artist's advantage and welfare (leaving aside the question of whether the current climate is the best one for artists). After all, we do everything we can to stop the growth of the dreaded pool of the "public domain," originally an integral part of copyright law.

I like to put it this way:

Spoiler:
Though I believe that opening up your work to a wider audience always results in higher profits, I'd like to pose the following decision for artists, struggling or otherwise:

If, by releasing your work with a copyright license that allowed copying, sharing and the adaptation of your work into other mediums, your profit levels remained the same but some form of your work reached twice as many people, would you make that choice?

For the purpose of this exercise, we'll assume that the choice is in your hands rather than the hands of a label or syndicate which controls distribution rights. Even in our modern artist-side, independent climate such groups have a role, though they control much of the debate regarding intellectual property and tend to neglect both artist and consumer rights. So we'll ignore them for now.

I guess the question is: Are you an artist or a "jailer" for your work? If you do nothing, your work will spread to new consumers naturally, many of whom will later increase your revenue stream and base. The question isn't even "artist or businessman," as independent artists are rapidly proving that it's possible to make a profit without controlling access to your work. The model is changing and many of us are changing with it.


2) In our current climate, artists can sell their rights to reproduction and distribution. Leaving aside the question of whether these rights should exist in the first place (can an artist control how their work is distributed and consumed?), it's pretty clear that this arrangement only benefits the powerful. Labels and some musicians view the right to intellectual property as inviolable rights, but I don't think any of us would argue that we should be able to sell our rights to free speech or due process to other people!

Furthermore the prevention of copying requires the unintuitive process of adding extra layers of technology to a product which, at its core, is designed to be reproduced endlessly without losing access to the original. We end up with large labels and celebrities in possession of the works of dead artists (or even living ones), which should be public domain, and so-called "piracy" is almost inarguably accepted in modern society because arguing for the current model and view of copyright requires convoluted, unintuitive logic. As said above, the current model finds less and less of a role for copyright gatekeepers, which is causing these gatekeepers to absolutely lose their shit rather than work out a way to remain relevant and keep their jobs in some form or another. Technology's going to fix this problem anyway, and discussing the new dynamic is in part quite merciful to these desperate trade groups, though it's unlikely they'll listen.

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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Sat Jun 20, 2009 6:10 pm UTC

Telchar wrote:Also, I think the "I own the CD but wan't to DL the song from another person rather than ripping it off the CD" arguement is really bizzare. While it may statistically true in some cases, I think it would represent a vast minority of cases.
Considering DRM, how difficult some ripping programs can be, and how easy P2P apps are, I wouldn't be surprised if a fair number of people opt to just download a copy rather than trying to figure out how to rip their own. Especially with DVDs; I've actually downloaded a couple movies only after discovering that the DRM on the DVD prevented it from playing. Also, there are the people who download a copy because their original was destroyed.

The part I can't understand is how $80,000 per song is considered at all reasonable, unless 80,000 people downloaded them AND would have bought them if they couldn't find a copy online AND she was hosting the only copies. (Even if she was at first - unlikely as that already is - it's P2P, so that wouldn't last long.) Or hell, even 8,000 people. Unless they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this person cost them $80,000 for each song she shared, I just don't see how anyone in their right mind would agree.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Sat Jun 20, 2009 9:15 pm UTC

Indon wrote:
Telchar wrote:Honestly though, if the majority of the music industry makes money from giving away songs, the problem should solve itself because that's all record labels want to do is make money.


The problem is that it doesn't, because the majority of the music industry consists of people who don't actually make any music, but who function as middlemen for those that do.

And current technology is rendering those middlemen obsolete, which is making the middleman-dominated industry go absolutely berserk.

I'm reluctant to say that current technology is making the middlemen obsolete. It certainly has the potential to, but so far it has only managed to make older distribution and profit models obsolete. In order for them to be truly useless, they'd need to be fully replaced on all levels - artist discovery, promotion, production, and distribution. Discovery and promotion could be done with the internet thanks to matching algorithms and production can be handled by relatively small studios, but so far the vast majority of music (as measured by popularity) contintues to come forth from conventional studios. With the current piracy dynamic, studios are still largely responsible for the cost of finding and promoting an artist, but are incapable of maintaining a profiting from their expense due to piracy.

'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:Considering DRM, how difficult some ripping programs can be, and how easy P2P apps are, I wouldn't be surprised if a fair number of people opt to just download a copy rather than trying to figure out how to rip their own. Especially with DVDs; I've actually downloaded a couple movies only after discovering that the DRM on the DVD prevented it from playing. Also, there are the people who download a copy because their original was destroyed.

The part I can't understand is how $80,000 per song is considered at all reasonable, unless 80,000 people downloaded them AND would have bought them if they couldn't find a copy online AND she was hosting the only copies. (Even if she was at first - unlikely as that already is - it's P2P, so that wouldn't last long.) Or hell, even 8,000 people. Unless they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this person cost them $80,000 for each song she shared, I just don't see how anyone in their right mind would agree.

CD's have no protection, but torrenting DVD's you own would certainly be understandable.

While I'm not too familiar with the nuances of civil suits, the jury did cite her senseless appeal and her repeated perjuring of herself before the court as factors in their decision. I'm not sure if it's common to simply up the settlement instead of creating a criminal case in the event of such perjury, but without answering that question it's hard to judge the amount in context.

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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby bombast » Sat Jun 20, 2009 9:29 pm UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:While I'm not too familiar with the nuances of civil suits, the jury did cite her senseless appeal and her repeated perjuring of herself before the court as factors in their decision. I'm not sure if it's common to simply up the settlement instead of creating a criminal case in the event of such perjury, but without answering that question it's hard to judge the amount in context.


I'm not sure, but I don't think perjury in civil cases carry the same punishment as in criminal cases. I imagine its just taken into account by the jury, and if the party perjuring was not the one getting sued, they could soon be.

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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Clumpy » Sat Jun 20, 2009 9:46 pm UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:With the current piracy dynamic, studios are still largely responsible for the cost of finding and promoting an artist, but are incapable of maintaining a profiting from their expense due to piracy.


This would be very sad if the second half were true. Studios and trade groups spend millions every year combating piracy without any evidence that piracy results in lost aggregate profits.

Bubbles McCoy wrote:CD's have no protection, but torrenting DVD's you own would certainly be understandable.


I have a half-dozen albums with copy-protection that forces you to play the album in a (crappy) proprietary player included on the disc and doesn't allow ripping. (EMI in particular did it a few years back before stopping after a backlash.) Blocking consumers from ripping their own albums should be considered a violation of copyright law as users already have the right to make personal use copies.

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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Princess Marzipan » Sat Jun 20, 2009 9:47 pm UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:With the current piracy dynamic, studios are still largely responsible for the cost of finding and promoting an artist, but are incapable of maintaining a profiting from their expense due to piracy. a largely inferior product and archaic distribution methods.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby yoni45 » Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:17 pm UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:
Bubbles McCoy wrote:With the current piracy dynamic, studios are still largely responsible for the cost of finding and promoting an artist, but are incapable of maintaining a profiting from their expense due to piracy. a largely inferior product and archaic distribution methods.


Inferior products and archaic distribution methods would are phenomena that are exemplified by symptoms of poor competitive standing, not by criminal access to restricted material.

You can complain and whine all you want, but if you think the products or the service is inferior, then you're free to shop elsewhere. Yet, curiously enough, pirates choose to download those 'inferior products' instead of purchasing superior ones.

Just because BMW refuses to let you test-drive their car for as long as you feel like it gives you no right to access their private assets without their authorization. Buy from the company that does let you indefinitely test drive their car.
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Re: Minnesota Mom to Pay $80,000 Per Pirated Song

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:26 am UTC

Clumpy wrote:
Bubbles McCoy wrote:With the current piracy dynamic, studios are still largely responsible for the cost of finding and promoting an artist, but are incapable of maintaining a profiting from their expense due to piracy.


This would be very sad if the second half were true. Studios and trade groups spend millions every year combating piracy without any evidence that piracy results in lost aggregate profits.

This has come up in a prior thread1, and I remain convinced that there is enough evidence to strongly implicate piracy as the source of the music industry's sales decline beginning around 2000, which has continued to the point of none of the big studios that release their books are making a profit.

Clumpy wrote:I have a half-dozen albums with copy-protection that forces you to play the album in a (crappy) proprietary player included on the disc and doesn't allow ripping. (EMI in particular did it a few years back before stopping after a backlash.) Blocking consumers from ripping their own albums should be considered a violation of copyright law as users already have the right to make personal use copies.

Fair enough, I've burned a fair number CD's through the years and I guess I was lucky enough to never encounter a protected one. Seems kinda strange though, wouldn't the different formatting prevent you from using it in a normal CD player? Oh well, I guess these guys aren't exactly known for their technical savvy...


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