Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

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Elvish Pillager
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby Elvish Pillager » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:28 am UTC

You said "You can't sell it", not "It hasn't been proven that you can sell as much of it as you would have if it hadn't been copied".
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:28 am UTC

Elvish Pillager wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:patent law

Holy crap, what's this? A metaphor that was designed to make a point about copyright law doesn't work the same way with patent law? STOP THE PRESSES!


Then don't use a metaphor that is better described by patent law. The shape and functionality of a desk is covered by US Patent law. Copyright law is over books, words, poetry, etc. etc.
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby Elvish Pillager » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:30 am UTC

You know what else the metaphor is described by, even better than patent law? Itself! But we're not talking about that. It's a METAPHOR.
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:31 am UTC

Elvish Pillager wrote:You know what else the metaphor is described by, even better than patent law? Itself! But we're not talking about that. It's a METAPHOR.

And he was continuing to speak in terms of your metaphor. If you think the metaphor is poor, that's not reason to be an ass to KnightExemplar.
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby yoni45 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:31 am UTC

Elvish Pillager wrote:Holy crap, what's this? A metaphor that was designed to make a point about copyright law doesn't work the same way with patent law? STOP THE PRESSES!


Not only does it work, but your metaphor was more applicable to patent law than to copyright law. The oxygen up on that high horse of yours must be getting thin.

edit: bah; double ninja'd.
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:35 am UTC

Elvish Pillager wrote:You know what else the metaphor is described by, even better than patent law? Itself! But we're not talking about that. It's a METAPHOR.


Then I fail to see the point of your post. What exactly are you arguing for?
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:38 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Ghostbear, you still have not adequately explained why removing the original copy matters. If my actions deprive a vendor the means of selling his product, how is that practically different from theft?

The original copy matters because it is indicative of whether you have had something taken from you. Being denied something is not theft. Being deprived of something is not theft. Not getting something you potentially could have is not theft. Having something taken from you, that you already have, is theft.

If I go into your home, and physically take something you've been working on- maybe you build clocks- so I go in and take a clock, it's been stolen from you. If I burn your house down, with the clock in it, you've still been deprived of that clock, and you've been deprived of your ability to sell it for a profit. We call that crime arson, however, and not theft. Even if two things has the same practical outcome does not mean it's the same thing. Do you see that?

My sole argument here is that copyright infringement != theft. I'm not arguing the morality of it, I'm not saying it's right. I'm not saying it's wrong. All I've been trying to accomplish here is to get it through to you that they are not the exact same thing. I'll happily agree to disagree on the morality of it. I will fight to the death the fact that it is not theft.

sourmìlk wrote:I didn't say copying was inherently theft, I didn't say that denial was inherently theft, I didn't say that only death stands between copying and theft. Read my posts, respond to what I've actually said, and then come back. I don't want to continuously reiterate my arguments because you constantly use strawmen.

I disagree:
Spoiler:
sourmìlk wrote:Okay, but it shouldn't be up to providers to make their goods difficult to steal so that other people don't steal them

sourmìlk wrote:It's not up to the customers to then steal the software to try it out.

sourmìlk wrote:It is essentially theft,

sourmìlk wrote:It's not okay because customers think they can steal it.

sourmìlk wrote:That is theft.

sourmìlk wrote:[...] piracy is theft.

sourmìlk wrote:That's theft.

sourmìlk wrote:If your duplicate prevents the vendor from selling his product, you have committed theft.

Emphasis mine. You have been claiming, since your very first post in this thread, that piracy is stealing. What else am I supposed to be reading in your posts?

As I said above, I don't care about determining the morality of piracy- I have my own opinion on how it works out morally, and I've even stated it, but I feel it's completely irrelevant to the discussion. Piracy happens. It has happened as long as copyright has existed. It will continue to happen until copyright no longer exists. Convincing someone that piracy is wrong or is not wrong is a futile task, akin to convincing them to change their religious beliefs (or lack thereof).

sourmìlk wrote:
yurell wrote:May I then ask how you feel about garage sales, second hand books etc.?

We're back in the realm of physical copies here. If a person wishes to sell his singular copy, that is his right to do so. As no duplicates are made, the number of people able and potentially willing to buy the product remains constant. It's just that who that person is has changed.

People are using it as an example because you have been defining piracy as theft because it "deprives the producer of their right to compensation for their work"- all of yurell's examples have the exact same outcome. They clearly aren't theft, so being denied compensation for your work is not the same as being robbed. So you need a further justification- beyond not being compensated- for copyright infringement being stealing.

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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby Elvish Pillager » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:40 am UTC

Okay, let me give you the most charitable explanation I can think of:

You see my metaphor and the argument behind it, and you construct the following counterargument: "That argument functions equally well as an argument against patent law, and I think we have evidence that patent law is a good thing; therefore, there must be something wrong with the argument"

And that would be true if my argument was "Copyright law should never exist in the slightest". On the contrary, my argument is that the specific sets of restrictions the "anti-piracy" people want are way beyond the reasonable level of copyright law called for by the Constitution. Thus, the way it applies to patent law, if any, is to argue that patent restrictions shouldn't be taken to ridiculous levels (so I guess I'd be against things like patenting simple software algorithms, preexisting genomes, etc).
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:42 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote: Even if two things has the same practical outcome does not mean it's the same thing. Do you see that?

Well if we're just arguing that they should have different names, sure, whatever. I'm arguing for a moral equivalence.

Emphasis mine. You have been claiming, since your very first post in this thread, that piracy is stealing. What else am I supposed to be reading in your posts?

Not a single one of those quotes equate to "copying something is inherently theft."

People are using it as an example because you have been defining piracy as theft because it "deprives the producer of their right to compensation for their work"- all of yurell's examples have the exact same outcome. They clearly aren't theft, so being denied compensation for your work is not the same as being robbed. So you need a further justification- beyond not being compensated- for copyright infringement being stealing.

Again, if this is just an argument about what it should be called, I don't care too much.

Elvish Pillager wrote: On the contrary, my argument is that the specific sets of restrictions the "anti-piracy" people want are way beyond the reasonable level of copyright law called for by the Constitution.

Your argument in no way made that point. It stated that it was okay to duplicate a design. That asks for the abolishment of patent law, not a restriction on some of its more unreasonable intricacies.
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby Elvish Pillager » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:43 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Elvish Pillager wrote: On the contrary, my argument is that the specific sets of restrictions the "anti-piracy" people want are way beyond the reasonable level of copyright law called for by the Constitution.

Your argument in no way made that point. It stated that it was okay to duplicate a design. That asks for the abolishment of patent law, not a restriction on some of its more unreasonable intricacies.

The desk in my example is a metaphor for a piece of software. The specific piece of software is governed by copyright law and is not governed by patent law. I apologize if I didn't make this clear enough.

All told, I'm more interested in how sourmilk will convince me that I want to place additional restrictions on my products' use in the absence of any evidence that it will increase sales.
Last edited by Elvish Pillager on Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:44 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby yoni45 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:45 am UTC

Elvish Pillager wrote:The desk in my example is a desk metaphor for...


If your metaphor can't stand on its own merits, it sure as hell doesn't do much for your argument.
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:46 am UTC

Elvish Pillager wrote:The desk in my example is a metaphor for a piece of software. The specific piece of software is governed by copyright law and is not governed by patent law. I apologize if I didn't make this clear enough.

Again, I was speaking in terms of the metaphor. If you can't follow your own analogies, don't use them.

All told, I'm more interested in how sourmilk will convince me that I want to place additional restrictions on my products' use in the absence of any evidence that it will increase sales.

I never said you should do this.
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby Qaanol » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:48 am UTC

Sourmilk, copyright infringement is not theft. I am not going to explain why, you’ll either understand when you’re older or you never will.

Intellectual property exists as a vehicle for restricting the rights of others, and is justified by its long-term benefits to society as a whole. Copyright laws attempt a compromise between allowing creators to recoup the costs of creating, and ensuring that new creations become publicly available as soon as possible to maximize the benefit those creations provide. To do so, they prevent individuals from using their knowledge and physical possessions in certain ways.

Violating copyright does not harm the right-holder. It harms the social contract in which we agree to subsidize creativity in order that we all benefit from new creations.

Everyone else: this thread began with a Swiss governmental report upholding the existing Swiss law. The report was an attempt to see what, if any, changes to Swiss copyright laws should be made. I propose we take this idea further, and starting from a blank slate decide what copyright laws would be optimal for modern nations.

A proposed solution needs to address three primary issues:
1. Will creative works of value and benefit be produced in significant quantity and quality?
2. Will people have access to those works?
3. How well will this solution work in practice?

Similar questions are applicable to patent law, but I propose we stick to copyright law first.
Last edited by Qaanol on Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:50 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby Elvish Pillager » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:49 am UTC

Well, I thought that people would understand the analogy as I intended it; the fact that I had to explain what I meant doesn't mean that my argument was wrong, it means that I failed to communicate it effectively enough. Now that I've explained what I was talking about, can we proceed to discuss the actual issue instead of just snarking about a specific detail of how our communication temporarily failed?

sourmìlk wrote:
All told, I'm more interested in how sourmilk will convince me that I want to place additional restrictions on my products' use in the absence of any evidence that it will increase sales.

I never said you should do this.

Excuse me;
sourmìlk wrote:
Elvish Pillager wrote:Suppose I was, if it works for your metaphor. Then what?

Then you should be pissed, because now the design you worked hard on is free and you can't sell it.

In this post, you're saying that I should be pissed about someone copying my stuff. If I should be pissed about them doing it, doesn't that imply that I should want to stop them?
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby yurell » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:50 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
yurell wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:Yes, but then another customer that might. The net loss is 0.


What? How is it different then?

Person A sells his CD to Person B, because he no longer wants it. Artist can no longer sell to Person A or Person B.
Person A copies his CD to Person B. Artist can no longer sell to Person A or Person B.

Both situations look identical to the artist (i.e. the only person in this scenario who doesn't benefit), so what's the moral difference?


In the first situation, the artist can sell to person A.


Why would Person A sell it if he still wants it?
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:53 am UTC

Qaanol wrote:Sourmilk, copyright infringement is not theft. I am not going to explain why, you’ll either understand when you’re older or you never will.

Then you shouldn't have stated your opinion. Telling me that I'm wrong without telling me why is trolling. Either retract your opinion, explain yourself, or I will gladly report you. I'm sick of people doing this shit.

Intellectual property exists as a vehicle for restricting the rights of others

Nobody has a right to copy and distribute things they didn't make

Violating copyright does not harm the right-holder.

If people violate copyright, the right holder can't make money. thus it harms the right holder.

Elvish Pillager wrote:If I should be pissed about them doing it, doesn't that imply that I should want to stop them?

It implies that you should want them stopped. It's not your job to prevent a violation of your rights, it's the government's.

yurell wrote:Why would Person A sell it if he still wants it?

He might want it again in the future. He is still a potential customer.
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby Xerillum » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:54 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Xerillum wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:Your one-off painting example, none of them are theft. The vendor has sold his product as much as he could already. In the computer stealing example, I am depriving the people who made the computer originally compensation for their work, despite using their work. I am making them unable to sell what they own.


First off, piracy in no way makes companies unable to sell what they own. If you look at some of the top-selling, highest-grossing music today, you'll probably see that it's also some of the most pirated music. The same thing applies to video games, movies, etc.

It doesn't make them completely unable to sell it, but it makes them unable to sell it to a large population of customers. If I were to, say, just damage a person's product so he couldn't sell it to most other people, would that be okay?

Secondly, deprivation of money to a company isn't theft at all. For example, If I go into a bookstore, grab a book for an essay reference, read parts of it, and replace it, I'm not stealing the book.

There's no deprivation of money in that situation.


Making companies unable to sell to a large portion of consumers would be akin to sabotaging a semi full of music discs or DDOSing iTunes. File sharing only creates a free, higher-risk, parallel method of getting content, it does not block access to that content for anyone else. The price difference is not the only factor in deciding whether to buy or pirate for most people.

Also, there is as much deprivation of money in the bookstore situation as there is in file sharing. If I did that, I would be using an author's product without compensating that author, even though I had no intention of ever buying the book. Compare to file sharing, where I would listen to an artist's music without compensating that artist, and I would have no intention of ever buying the song.

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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:54 am UTC

Elvish Pillager wrote:Okay, let me give you the most charitable explanation I can think of:

You see my metaphor and the argument behind it, and you construct the following counterargument: "That argument functions equally well as an argument against patent law, and I think we have evidence that patent law is a good thing; therefore, there must be something wrong with the argument"

And that would be true if my argument was "Copyright law should never exist in the slightest". On the contrary, my argument is that the specific sets of restrictions the "anti-piracy" people want are way beyond the reasonable level of copyright law called for by the Constitution. Thus, the way it applies to patent law, if any, is to argue that patent restrictions shouldn't be taken to ridiculous levels (so I guess I'd be against things like patenting simple software algorithms, preexisting genomes, etc).


I'll take this as your argument from now on. The desk metaphor is distracting, and I think you're trying to make a separate point. It would be best IMO if we all just forgot about the desk and focused on the issue instead.

1. As far as I know, copyright law is not governed by the Constitution, nor should it be. The constitution are for far more important matters.
2. Every law has outragous corner cases. But... since Copyright Law is composed of some 1332 different paragraphs (each of which can change at any time... if Congress wanted it to change). I think anyone familiar with copyright law understands that entire sections of it are completely ridiculous. It is unfair to simply take the worst of all of Copyright law and presume the opponent supports all 1332 sections of the law.
3. Patent law states that Inventions must be non-trivial and can't be preexisting. So both your examples are already illegal under US Patent law. Extremely simple things can't be patented. Preexisting things also can't be patented.
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:56 am UTC

Xerillum wrote:Making companies unable to sell to a large portion of consumers would be akin to sabotaging a semi full of music discs or DDOSing iTunes. File sharing only creates a free, higher-risk, parallel method of getting content, it does not block access to that content for anyone else. The price difference is not the only factor in deciding whether to buy or pirate for most people.

I don't get your point.

Also, there is as much deprivation of money in the bookstore situation as there is in file sharing. If I did that, I would be using an author's product without compensating that author, even though I had no intention of ever buying the book. Compare to file sharing, where I would listen to an artist's music without compensating that artist, and I would have no intention of ever buying the song.

If you have no intention of purchase, and you pirate, then in that theoretical situation, as I've already said, no theft is taking place. What I have said is that I have trouble believing every instance of piracy is this.
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby Elvish Pillager » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:01 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Elvish Pillager wrote:If I should be pissed about them doing it, doesn't that imply that I should want to stop them?

It implies that you should want them stopped. It's not your job to prevent a violation of your rights, it's the government's.

Then allow me to amend my previous statement:

All told, I'm more interested in how sourmilk will convince me that I want to place additional restrictive rules (assuming the government will enforce them) on my products' use in the absence of any evidence that it will increase sales.


KnightExemplar wrote:1. As far as I know, copyright law is not governed by the Constitution, nor should it be. The constitution are for far more important matters.

Federal copyright law is only allowed to exist by a clause in the Constitution.
KnightExamplar wrote:3. Patent law states that Inventions must be non-trivial and can't be preexisting. So both your examples are already illegal under US Patent law. Extremely simple things can't be patented. Preexisting things also can't be patented.

Doesn't stop patent law from being misapplied. I'm against patent law being misapplied, and I'm against copyright law being applied in a way that I consider misapplication. Does this make sense to you?
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:04 am UTC

Elvish Pillager wrote:All told, I'm more interested in how sourmilk will convince me that I want to place additional restrictive rules (assuming the government will enforce them) on my products' use in the absence of any evidence that it will increase sales.

Because there's a pretty high probability that it will increase sales. At least, unless you think that none of the people that the pseudo-thief will distribute your product to would ever have bought the product.

And everybody's against the misapplication of concepts, Elvish Pillager. The question is the definition of "misapplication."
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby Xerillum » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:07 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Xerillum wrote:Making companies unable to sell to a large portion of consumers would be akin to sabotaging a semi full of music discs or DDOSing iTunes. File sharing only creates a free, higher-risk, parallel method of getting content, it does not block access to that content for anyone else. The price difference is not the only factor in deciding whether to buy or pirate for most people.

I don't get your point.


My point is that you stated that piracy makes companies "unable to sell what they own", when in reality, they would still have the same ability to sell their product even if there was no piracy at all. The ability of a company to sell a product is more of a maximum potential for sales, and file sharing cannot decrease that potential. Saying that piracy "makes them unable to sell it to a large portion of customers" implies that customers have no access to be able to buy the product at all.

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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:08 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Ghostbear wrote: Even if two things has the same practical outcome does not mean it's the same thing. Do you see that?

Well if we're just arguing that they should have different names, sure, whatever. I'm arguing for a moral equivalence.

sourmìlk wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:People are using it as an example because you have been defining piracy as theft because it "deprives the producer of their right to compensation for their work"- all of yurell's examples have the exact same outcome. They clearly aren't theft, so being denied compensation for your work is not the same as being robbed. So you need a further justification- beyond not being compensated- for copyright infringement being stealing.

Again, if this is just an argument about what it should be called, I don't care too much.


It's more than just that though- they literally aren't the same thing, so they can't be morally equivalent. You can feel they're morally similar, fine. Even then, calling piracy theft is as equally disingenuous as calling arson (as per my example) theft- they have the effective outcome (with respect to the clock), they are even both generally accepted as morally wrong. Despite that, people would think you insane for calling the arsonist a thief. It's entirely possible for someone to be logically consistent and find theft morally wrong, while not feeling the same for copyright infringement (or feeling it is wrong, but to a lesser extent)- you can disagree with their logic, definitely. Maybe they're right. Maybe they aren't- but it's possible, because they aren't the same. It goes beyond just needing a different name.

It goes beyond just the name- referring to piracy and copyright infringement as theft implies that they are identical. If you instead referred to it as "IP-burgling", you've given it a new name but are still implying that it is equivalent, and effectively identical, to stealing. Basically, if your stance after reading that is: "Hmm, ok- I shouldn't refer to people who download stuff illegally as thieves, or state that they stole something (or imply something similar), but I still feel it's morally wrong because of because of X Y Z (none of which refer to or imply stealing)" then I'm fine with that- I'd disagree with you, but it's something I don't think you (or I, or most people in general) can be convinced to change their stance on.

I just really, really, really hate it when people claim it is theft, because it's an argument inherently meant to appeal to emotions- being robbed is a frequent fear of many people, and is known to cause a strong feeling of powerlessness- instead of appealing to logic or being based on a strong intellectual basis. People get away with the argument because they do have some similarities (notably: something has been acquired for free that would nominally cost money or goods) but they are still very different.

sourmìlk wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:Emphasis mine. You have been claiming, since your very first post in this thread, that piracy is stealing. What else am I supposed to be reading in your posts?

Not a single one of those quotes equate to "copying something is inherently theft."

They don't state it outright, but it's a very strongly implied consequence of what is stated in those posts, especially "[...] piracy is theft."- piracy (in the sense that we are discussing- obviously not high seas piracy) is entirely reliant on copying. If you say piracy is always theft, and then we note that by its nature, piracy is the act of copying something without permission- then it very clearly indicates that you believe copying without permission is always theft.

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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby Elvish Pillager » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:09 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Elvish Pillager wrote:All told, I'm more interested in how sourmilk will convince me that I want to place additional restrictive rules (assuming the government will enforce them) on my products' use in the absence of any evidence that it will increase sales.

Because there's a pretty high probability that it will increase sales. At least, unless you think that none of the people that the pseudo-thief will distribute your product to would ever have bought the product.

I'm talking about a net increase, not a single isolated increase of one purchase. Placing restrictive rules on my product would probably convince at least one person to buy it when they wouldn't have before, but it would also decrease people's available knowledge about my product, which would make them less likely to buy it. So I'd almost certainly lose a few sales in one way, and I'd almost certainly gain a few sales in another.

I don't think you'll convince me that I should add the restrictive rules without citing clear evidence that the loss would be greater than the gain, and I don't believe that such evidence exists.
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:11 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Intellectual property exists as a vehicle for restricting the rights of others


Nobody has a right to copy and distribute things they didn't make


Except for the literally hundreds of reasons why it is perfectly acceptable to do so. If anything, I would suggest that the opposite is true: society freely gives up the right to copy intellectual works under certain, specific circumstances in order to artificially increase their value.

sourmìlk wrote:It implies that you should want them stopped. It's not your job to prevent a violation of your rights, it's the government's.


Uh, copyright is a civil right. You don't get arrested for copyright infringement. The copyright owner sues you. It is absolutely their responsibility to enforce their copyright.

sourmilk wrote:Because there's a pretty high probability that it will increase sales.


Contrary to popular belief, profitability does not imply moral rightness.

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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:13 am UTC

Elvish Pillager wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:1. As far as I know, copyright law is not governed by the Constitution, nor should it be. The constitution are for far more important matters.

Federal copyright law is only allowed to exist by a clause in the Constitution.


Point taken.

KnightExamplar wrote:3. Patent law states that Inventions must be non-trivial and can't be preexisting. So both your examples are already illegal under US Patent law. Extremely simple things can't be patented. Preexisting things also can't be patented.

Doesn't stop patent law from being misapplied. I'm against patent law being misapplied, and I'm against copyright law being applied in a way that I consider misapplication. Does this make sense to you?


Seems a bit of a tautology however. I mean, things will always get misapplied, but thats why we have judges. I guess it would be important to note misapplications of the law if a specific law is very easily misapplied. (Ex. the RIAA and MPAA using tort cases to enforce their copyrights... the law probably should be rewritten to prevent that kind of abuse in the future). However, I don't think that is in the spirit of the thread.

If you're just saying that fair use law should be extended to include filesharing, I'd have to say I'm in disagreement with you. But I don't want to make up your argument...

[quote=Xerillum]My point is that you stated that piracy makes companies "unable to sell what they own", when in reality, they would still have the same ability to sell their product even if there was no piracy at all. The ability of a company to sell a product is more of a maximum potential for sales, and file sharing cannot decrease that potential. Saying that piracy "makes them unable to sell it to a large portion of customers" implies that customers have no access to be able to buy the product at all.
[/quote]

Are there any studies you know of that supports this assertion?

------------

Also, sourmilk. People take the word "theft" in a way different than you do. It would certainly further this conversation if you just distinguished between the concepts of copyright infringement and theft. Defining copyright infringement as theft doesn't further the debate anyway. A debate requires more effort than "X is Y. Y is bad. Therefore, X is bad". Not everything is transitive, especially when you use English statements.

Elvish Pillager wrote:I'm talking about a net increase, not a single isolated increase of one purchase. Placing restrictive rules on my product would probably convince at least one person to buy it when they wouldn't have before, but it would also decrease people's available knowledge about my product, which would make them less likely to buy it. So I'd almost certainly lose a few sales in one way, and I'd almost certainly gain a few sales in another.

I don't think you'll convince me that I should add the restrictive rules without citing clear evidence that the loss would be greater than the gain, and I don't believe that such evidence exists.


Ah, but there's one part where I disagree with you.

When the rights of consumers and the rights of producers are in balance... the government should favor the producers over the consumers. Especially when content can be easily shared. Content creators are of a rarer breed than content consumers. Therefore, in this case, where evidence doesn't exist for either side... I'd prefer to favor the producers.
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:18 am UTC

Xerillum wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:
Xerillum wrote:Making companies unable to sell to a large portion of consumers would be akin to sabotaging a semi full of music discs or DDOSing iTunes. File sharing only creates a free, higher-risk, parallel method of getting content, it does not block access to that content for anyone else. The price difference is not the only factor in deciding whether to buy or pirate for most people.

I don't get your point.


My point is that you stated that piracy makes companies "unable to sell what they own", when in reality, they would still have the same ability to sell their product even if there was no piracy at all. The ability of a company to sell a product is more of a maximum potential for sales, and file sharing cannot decrease that potential. Saying that piracy "makes them unable to sell it to a large portion of customers" implies that customers have no access to be able to buy the product at all.


It makes no such implication. The vendors are unable to sell their product because there is no market for it. You have eliminated the market by distributing pirated copies.

ghostbear wrote: It's entirely possible for someone to be logically consistent and find theft morally wrong, while not feeling the same for copyright infringement

This seems to be the core of our disagreement. No, it is not. Not from a moral standpoint.

I just really, really, really hate it when people claim it is theft, because it's an argument inherently meant to appeal to emotions

I think it helps people understand. It's only a problematic appeal to emotions if it's inaccurate, and it really isn't: piracy has the same moral effect as theft. Arson doesn't, because there are a shitload of other problems with arson (e.g. that a lot of other things burn down). If you want different names, sure, but piracy is morally wrong for the same reasons theft is. That's my whole point.


If you say piracy is always theft, and then we note that by its nature, piracy is the act of copying something without permission- then it very clearly indicates that you believe copying without permission is always theft.

Piracy is not the act of copying something without permission. It's the act of using or distributing that copy without having purchased the product. There is no implicit or explicit content in my statements that copying something is theft.

Elvish Pillager wrote:I don't think you'll convince me that I should add the restrictive rules without citing clear evidence that the loss would be greater than the gain, and I don't believe that such evidence exists.

Why would your default assumption be in favour of people doing things without your permission? I would want the rules unless there was evidence to show they weren't necessary or were detrimental. And, by the way, if you're okay with people pirating you things, they aren't actually pirating them, because it has your permission.

LaserGuy: wrote:Except for the literally hundreds of reasons why it is perfectly acceptable to do so.

Disregarding the many reasons its not? "Acceptable" != "right."

Uh, copyright is a civil right. You don't get arrested for copyright infringement. The copyright owner sues you. It is absolutely their responsibility to enforce their copyright.

He didn't say anything about enforcing copyright. He talked about putting mechanisms in place to prevent piracy. That's not his job. It's the government's job to punish piracy.
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby Elvish Pillager » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:22 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Ah, but there's one part where I disagree with you.

When the rights of consumers and the rights of producers are in balance... the government should favor the producers over the consumers. Especially when content can be easily shared. Content creators are of a rarer breed than content consumers. Therefore, in this case, where evidence doesn't exist for either side... I'd prefer to favor the producers.

My first principle regarding laws is that a law should only exist if it helps something - mere neutrality isn't sufficient to justify keeping a law on the books. Under that principle, a copyright law that doesn't increase sales isn't helping and therefore shouldn't exist.

sourmilk wrote:Why would your default assumption be in favour of people doing things without your permission? I would want the rules unless there was evidence to show they weren't necessary or were detrimental. And, by the way, if you're okay with people pirating you things, they aren't actually pirating them, because it has your permission.

Your last sentence there is precisely my point: I don't think there's a rational justification to try to withhold permission for people to copy data that you've sold them, and so I don't do that. Therefore, I'm not in favor of people "doing things without my permission" because I never tried to put myself in a position where I would require them to seek my permission.
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby Lucrece » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:23 am UTC

Belial wrote:That's charming, Nancy, but all I hear when you talk is a bunch of yippy dog sounds.

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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:30 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
LaserGuy: wrote:Except for the literally hundreds of reasons why it is perfectly acceptable to do so.


Disregarding the many reasons its not? "Acceptable" != "right."


Sorry, maybe I wasn't making myself clear. I mean to say that the statement "Nobody has a right to copy and distribute things they didn't make" requires literally hundreds of exceptions (eg. various fair use provisions, public domain as two broad categorical examples) that it is difficult to assert that statement to be true under any circumstances. For the record though, all of my posts on this forum are copyrighted by me, and if you, sourmilk, quote any words that I write without paying me $10, I will sue you.

sourmìlk wrote:
Uh, copyright is a civil right. You don't get arrested for copyright infringement. The copyright owner sues you. It is absolutely their responsibility to enforce their copyright.


He didn't say anything about enforcing copyright. He talked about putting mechanisms in place to prevent piracy. That's not his job. It's the government's job to punish piracy.


Preventing/punishing piracy = enforcing copyright. I don't understand what you think the distinction is.

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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:32 am UTC

Elvish Pillager wrote:Your last sentence there is precisely my point: I don't think there's a rational justification to try to withhold permission for people to copy data that you've sold them, and so I don't do that. Therefore, I'm not in favor of people "doing things without my permission" because I never tried to put myself in a position where I would require them to seek my permission.

Great. And apparently you think no producer should be allowed to exercise a contrary opinion?

LaserGuy, I don't think you have the right to copyright these posts. Anyways, just because copying things is allowed in many cases doesn't mean it's a right.

Punishment for copyright violation is really the only method of enforcement. If a policeman has to arrest you after you commit a crime, would you say a policeman is not enforcing the law?
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby Griffin » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:39 am UTC

Sourmilk, words have meanings. Copyright infringement is not theft, by definition.

There have been dozens of examples in this thread that you've ignored demonstrating why, similar to how you never actually responded to my argument about "lost sales" actually require sales to be lost.

This stubborn insistence on denying the facts does irreparable damage to the very fabric of communication that ties us all together.

Essentially, you are committing word murder. Every time you insist that copyright infringement is theft, you are robbing someone of their ability to communicate clearly. Essentially, you are committing murder.

You are a murderer now, and it is your own fault. I hope you are happy.
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby Elvish Pillager » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:40 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Elvish Pillager wrote:Your last sentence there is precisely my point: I don't think there's a rational justification to try to withhold permission for people to copy data that you've sold them, and so I don't do that. Therefore, I'm not in favor of people "doing things without my permission" because I never tried to put myself in a position where I would require them to seek my permission.

Great. And apparently you think no producer should be allowed to exercise a contrary opinion?

Technically, if you want to go back to where I brought up this line of discussion, I'm saying that it's utterly ridiculous to claim that "piracy" is equivalent to theft, because, unlike with "piracy", there's significant evidence that theft tangibly reduces the resources of the supposed victim. If you follow the line of discussion back, that's the position I'm trying to support currently.

But yes, I am also saying that. I don't think government should be in the business of affording people this "right", because there's no clear evidence that it has a practical purpose. (And, for completeness, because I think it's absurd to consider it a basic principle; e.g. I don't think we need scientific evidence that it's a good idea to guarantee people's right to the pursuit of happiness, because that's a basic principle. On the other hand, copyright clearly isn't.)
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:46 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Anyways, just because copying things is allowed in many cases doesn't mean it's a right.


Just because copying this is disallowed in many cases doesn't mean that it is a right either.

sourmìlk wrote:Punishment for copyright violation is really the only method of enforcement.


At this point in time, however, the government is not responsible for enforcing it; the copyright owner is. If I make a copy of some piece of IP, it is the responsibility of the copyright owner to demonstrate that my usage of their IP infringes on their copyright.

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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:05 am UTC

Griffin wrote:Sourmilk, words have meanings. Copyright infringement is not theft, by definition.

There have been dozens of examples in this thread that you've ignored demonstrating why, similar to how you never actually responded to my argument about "lost sales" actually require sales to be lost.

I did respond to your arguments. I probably missed some people because I'm having to argue with about 4 different people at once. So if something needs to be addressed that I haven't, bring it up again.

This stubborn insistence on denying the facts does irreparable damage to the very fabric of communication that ties us all together.

Essentially, you are committing word murder. Every time you insist that copyright infringement is theft, you are robbing someone of their ability to communicate clearly. Essentially, you are committing murder.

You are a murderer now, and it is your own fault. I hope you are happy.

Yes, you're very funny. But, as I explained, piracy is immoral for the exact same reason that theft is. Thus any distinction is contrived, artificial, and meaningless.

LaserGuy wrote: If I make a copy of some piece of IP, it is the responsibility of the copyright owner to demonstrate that my usage of their IP infringes on their copyright.

I'm not sure I get your point. Same with your first paragraph./
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby Griffin » Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:17 am UTC

Sure, I'll give you "immoral for exactly the same reason theft is" as valid. (I disagree with the assessment, but I'll give this to you)

This does not, in fact, mean it is theft. Your conclusion, quite simply, does not follow.

Arson is immoral for the same reasons theft is. Arson is not theft. Vandalism is immoral for the same reason theft is. Vandalism is not theft.

Calling it theft despite that fact is, at best, dishonest.
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:19 am UTC

If it's immoral for the same reason that theft is, it's perfectly reasonable to call it theft. It's just a specific kind of theft. If it's immoral for the same reason theft is, why should we make a distinction?
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby Griffin » Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:21 am UTC

That does not make any sense at all. Could you like, try to justify that? Somehow? At all?

Simply stating it over and over doesn't make it true.

I should also add that the reason YOU find theft immoral is not the reason OTHER people find theft immoral, and yet there are things we can both agree are definitely theft, so there is clearly utility to differentiating the actions covered by the word. And since we already have words for copyright infringement (those words are "copyright infringement"), the fact that you continue to use inappropriate words (communication-wise, not in regards to your own little inner world of the way things are) is just plain stubbornness on your part.
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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:24 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
LaserGuy wrote: If I make a copy of some piece of IP, it is the responsibility of the copyright owner to demonstrate that my usage of their IP infringes on their copyright.


I'm not sure I get your point. Same with your first paragraph./


The government isn't responsible for enforcing copyright. The copyright owner is. The copyright owner has to take the infringer to court, and demonstrate that an infringement occurred. On the other hand, the government is responsible for enforcing laws like the prohibition against theft. In this instance, the police arrest you, and you are charged in criminal court by the State. The person who was stolen from is not required to participate in the trial at all (and will not necessarily receive any form of compensation from the defendant for the theft, regardless of the outcome).

For the other, let me put it this way: I do not believe that the act of having a particular idea necessarily implies an exclusive right for you to control whether or not others can also have that idea. I use idea in the broadest sense here, meaning anything from an individual thought to a complex piece of intellectual property like a song or piece of software. As I alluded to earlier, I generally take the position that such a right does not exist inherently, but that it is useful to create vehicles like copyrights and patents to allow temporary exclusive monopolies over specific ideas, so long as those monopolies have the net effect of maximizing the number of ideas that are created.

sourmilk wrote:If it's immoral for the same reason that theft is, it's perfectly reasonable to call it theft. It's just a specific kind of theft. If it's immoral for the same reason theft is, why should we make a distinction?


Because it's a different thing... If I destroy your car, that is not the same thing as if I steal your car, even though the two concepts produce similar effects. Moral equivalence does not imply literal equivalence. It's like saying "Well, a loaf of bread and a bottle of coke both cost $2, so a loaf of bread and a bottle of coke are the same thing". Even though the two have the same value, that does not imply that they are the same.

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Re: Filesharing legal for personal use, guess the country

Postby somebody already took it » Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:33 am UTC

sourmilk, you seem to be saying that you think depriving someone of that which they currently possess is morally equivalent to preventing them from possessing in the future.
I think this is an absurd position.
But, I think the idea that it is unethical to prevent someone from possessing in the future has some interesting implications that you might not have considered.
Is destroying our possessions unethical? We only possess for finite spans of time (unless we happen to be a MegaCorperation), so that which we possess will be possessed by others only if we preserve it. For example, is burning gasoline morally equivalent to theft? Not only does that action deprive future generations of the resource, but it deprives them of other environmental resources as well.
In the case of the copyable, to be logically consistent, you might have to invert your position. By preventing people from copying you are preventing them from possessing more. With copying it is possible to increase the amount that is possessed for free. Making people pay to copy reduces the amount of copying, reducing the amount that is possessed.


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