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The Pirate Bay up again - bandwidth provided by Swedish Pirate Party (thepiratebay.org)
135 points by micaelwidell on May 18, 2010 | hide | past | favorite | 128 comments



This is of course a political move. The Swedish general election is in four months and the Pirate Party's greatest threat is not getting enough attention. As the other political parties in Sweden doesn't really understand technology and won't actively engage in these issues. In the EP election last year, two unpopular laws had gone into effect the same year and also the Pirate Bay trial had just been held months before the election.

This time around technology related legislature seem to have been postponed and the continuation of the Pirate Bay trial has conveniently been placed just weeks after the election. If the Pirate Party's ISP now decides or get forced to cut off the Pirate Bay from the Internet, they will also censor the Pirate Party, which (of course) is a political party. Sparking a lot of outrage and controversy, which previously has shown very effective for the party.


I'm fine with that. If the other side can play politics then so can the pirate party.


Notice the easter egg in bold letters, when put together it says "assclowns ov teh riaa."


nothing better than publicly poking fun at the RIAA/MPAA's continuous failure =)


I was searching for some legitimate software the other day and a link to the pirate bay came up on google. I was shocked.

As a producer of software and content including movies and pics, I am also shocked that websites like this find so much support from this community. I believe producers of content should be able to reap rewards for that production.

It takes time, energy, passion, dedication, and practice to create something of value. These products are of value if someone is downloading them and filling up hard drives.

The people supporting the copyright violations the pirate bay support, don't also support piracy off the coast of Somalia or theft of hard drives to store those songs. The argument is that bits aren't property.

But those bits are the mechanism that supports the creators of the content that has improved their lives throughout the years. If you don't believe that -- take all your lines of code, databases and photos and delete them. How much will it cost you to replace them?

I know I am in the minority around here, but I am not a supporter of the pirate bay. I acquire the content I consume legally and legitimately and in a manner consistent with how the producers have agreed that content should be consumed. Anything less would violate the golden rule. I don't want people using the software I create without helping me pay the bills.


There's plenty of academic studies now that show that pirating and digital distribution don not hurt economically the developer but only the "middle men". See Boldrin and Levine's "Against Intellectual Monopoly" to have some numbers:

http://www.amazon.com/Against-Intellectual-Monopoly-Michele-... Free to download here: http://www.micheleboldrin.com/research/aim.html

It's time we move away from the stereotype "if people download my stuff, I lose money". Greatest majority of those who download would not be your customers.


"It's time we move away from the stereotype "if people download my stuff, I lose money". Greatest majority of those who download would not be your customers."

It's much more complicated than this.


Not really. You'd be amazed how easy it is actually. Read the book I linked, starting from the chapter on porn and haute-couture. There is very little overlap between those who'd spend $2000 for a PRADA handbag and those who buy the chinese version at $5. Analogously, there's little overlap between those who'd buy full price photoshop from adobe and the kid who will download it from rapidshare.


> There is very little overlap between those who'd spend $2000 for a PRADA handbag and those who buy the chinese version at $5.

If anyone could buy the Chinese knock-off for $5 (in a legal fashion), then the people with $2k to spend on the 'official' version would probably be less likely to do so because it would seem less 'exclusive.'

> Analogously, there's little overlap between those who'd buy full price photoshop from adobe and the kid who will download it from rapidshare.

The difference here is that the full version Photoshop is not a status symbol. People don't flaunt the fact that they paid 'good money' for the latest version of Photoshop.

It also increases Adobe's bottom-line because poor university students learn to use the tool by downloading the pirated version while they are in school (the 'edu' version of Photoshop was still $300 last I checked), then they pay for the full version once they are actually using it for business.

If those same students could not pirate the latest version of Photoshop, they may well learn Gimp or PaintShopPro or something else, and use that once they get into the industry. This would affect Adobe's bottom line in reduced sales.

It's the same argument for Microsoft and Windows. Pirated version of Windows increase the install-base for Windows. If those same people said "fuck it" and used Linux (or something else) instead of pirated Windows, then Microsoft would have less marketshare (and mindshare).


You're inverting a business positive into a consumer negative. Of course businesses want loyal repeat buyers. Of course businesses will all use similar tactics to win loyalty. But "evil and monopolistic" could only be the case when you're talking about an application or platform like Photoshop or Windows that influences an entire ecosystem of other work. Businesses based around content like music or games stand to benefit from piracy equally well; it's an opportunity for the best creators to rise in popularity and build their brand outside of traditional publishing mechanisms. As pointed out earlier in this discussion, content pirates aren't content buyers and their demographics are wildly different. If they become part of the pool of buyers at a later time(e.g. when they have disposable income), they're going to seek out familiar brands and buy from them. But this doesn't impact any other content business, since it's based almost entirely on the strengths of the work and not lock-in.


> But "evil and monopolistic" could only be the case when you're talking about an application or platform like Photoshop or Windows that influences an entire ecosystem of other work.

Are you sure that you're responding to the right comment? I said nothing about 'evil' or 'monopolistic.'


It also increases Adobe's bottom-line because poor university students learn to use the tool by downloading the pirated version while they are in school (the 'edu' version of Photoshop was still $300 last I checked), then they pay for the full version once they are actually using it for business.

Actually, Adobe's edu prices are actually very reasonable. Looking at my colleges sales site (well, SUNY system's), the minimum edu discount given is upwards of $1000, and usually closer to $1300. CS5 {Design, Production, Web} Premium are all $385, Design Standard is $220.

I could definitely afford $225, let alone $385, if needed. As could most others that I know (even if they would complain about the price).

The software company that I havent found this to be the case for is Quark, with XPress. And thats when selling to colleges directly, not to students. Its still $600-$700 off for students to purchase on their own (totaling ~$200). And SUNY has an even better discount, bringing the cost down to $100.


For comparison as an engineering student I spent 100 dollars for matlab, something I end up using all the time for class, for a convenience factor as I don't really pirate anything but if I were a design student I really wouldn't want to fork over 300 dollars for a program I can't use commercially (and as a student 300 dollars really isn't something easily within my budget).

Other examples from engineering/architecture/math: Pro/ENGINEER and Mathcad are only ~100 dollars for students, mathematica comes close to 100 and Autodesk gives software to students for free.


Whats your point? Or rather: How does your point differ from my point?

You're not getting one program for $385; you're getting multiple programs in one suite. 5-6 programs at $385 or 3-4 programs at $220. For example, Adobe CS Design Standard suite ($220) comes with 3-4 fairly big programs; Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Acrobat. Four big programs - two of which (Photoshop, Illustrator) you're near guaranteed to use at some point if you're doing digital art. Comes out to less than $100/program.

I only focused on Adobe and other creative programs because that is what the OP I was responding to mentioned. My point would still stand if I used engineering/math programs instead of art/design programs.


My only real point was that 300 dollars wasn't ever really in my budget but I go to college on scholarships and other such things so I'm probably different than many.

The engineering tools, especially what you get with many of the student editions are equivalent to programs sold for well over 3x and more than the price of commercial design suites but something that many of the engineering businesses have come to understand is that having students use their products gives them an advantage for when companies choose products. As well as the price difference between engineering software and design software many of the student editions come with large amounts of expensive add-ons for free and this is more than equivalent to a design suite.

The thing about photoshop and the other design items is that they are the de facto standard so instead of treating students as students they instead choose to lower to a still high price and expect students to buy rather than pirate.


"If those same students could not pirate the latest version of Photoshop, they may well learn Gimp or PaintShopPro or something else, and use that once they get into the industry. This would affect Adobe's bottom line in reduced sales."

Since the industry doesn't use Gimp, those students would be putting themselves out of the market.

"It's the same argument for Microsoft and Windows. Pirated version of Windows increase the install-base for Windows. If those same people said "fuck it" and used Linux (or something else) instead of pirated Windows, then Microsoft would have less marketshare (and mindshare)."

This idea may work with a handful of apps. It doesn't work with the mid-sized software company trying to make a profit.


    "Since the industry doesn't use Gimp, those students would be putting themselves out of the market."
Your making a chicken and egg argument. The reason the industry doesn't use Gimp is because no one in the industry uses Gimp. If a whole graduating class of students skipped Photoshop and used Gimp for price reasons then the picture could and likely would change.


"Your making a chicken and egg argument. The reason the industry doesn't use Gimp is because no one in the industry uses Gimp. If a whole graduating class of students skipped Photoshop and used Gimp for price reasons then the picture could and likely would change."

no. I'm saying since the industry doesn't use gimp, it's not in the best interest for the students to use it either.

How Photoshop actually became the industry standard is another topic.

If a whole graduating class used Gimp, the whole graduating class would be disappointed when they went to find a job and couldn't find one due to lack of experience.

Students don't set the industry standard. They follow it.


> Students don't set the industry standard. They follow it.

I don't think this is entirely true, which is one reason companies have student-discount programs, often pretty aggressive ones, sometimes going all the way to basically giving the software away for free to students (Microsoft does the latter fairly often).

If nothing else, what students are familiar with affects the cost/benefit analyses of companies making decisions. If a lot more graduating students are familiar with technology X than Y, then a company will find it harder to hire for Y, and will pay more for the employees when they do, which pushes some companies to choose X. Obviously how much effect this has depends on a lot of factors, like how big and how persistent the imbalance is, how entrenched the industry standard is, etc.


The reason no one uses Gimp is because the user interface is terrible. Photoshop kills gimp.


I can't use Photoshop because it lacks Gimp's right-click-to-do-anything menu. Less mouse movement = faster work. If Gimp just sorted the tool palette into categories, it would quickly become ten times easier for novices, but once you learn the keyboard shortcuts (or reconfigure Gimp with Photoshop shortcuts), Gimp is as easy as Photoshop.

Usability is a separate issue from deep color support, Pantone, etc. Any traditionally "religious" discussion (Gimp vs Photoshop, Vim vs Emacs, Win vs Lin, etc.) tends to be unproductive because both sides will make broad, sweeping, inaccurate, or unprovable statements, and when one side wins a point, the other side changes the subject, instead of people honestly comparing and contrasting.

...and to avoid further derailing the conversation, I'll stop here.


> Students don't set the industry standard. They follow it.

There are exceptions to most rules, including this one. Consider for example what has taken place with Blender. I know a lot of people who would have been learning 3DS Max (or Maya, etc.), but now know and use Blender instead because that's what they can afford.

And these students don't have to venture forth into The Industry. They can create their own that will topple the existing one. There are plenty of growing startups who would be more than happy to hire someone with "3D Skillz", and many of them don't care what tools they use, so long as the work gets done.


I would love to see either side of the debate pull this argument away from the hypothetical realm.

At least we know fairly objectively claims of economic harm caused by piracy are hyperbolic:

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/04/us-governmen...


"I would love to see either side of the debate pull this argument away from the hypothetical realm.

At least we know fairly objectively claims of economic harm caused by piracy are hyperbolic:"

The same could be said about DRM.


I agree, and DRM isn't always a bad thing. The GPL qualifies as rights management in my opinion.

As a Steam user I admit that convenience and reduced price can be make the negatives of DRM negligible.

This doesn't change the fact that DRM has little effect on piracy.(currently, at least)


Aren't most of those studies looking at piracy as it now exists? Do any of them analyze the case where internet file sharing is completely decriminalized, so that every song and movie anyone tries to sell quickly becomes freely and legally available at no cost?


> I believe producers of content should be able to reap rewards for that production.

True, although the "elephant in the room" is that piracy actually drive sales (except in some markets, like computer games, which are thrown-away after you're getting tired, so there's no incentive to purchase it after you've finished it).

Movies are best watched in a cinema room, I pay lots of money for that privilege ... but I only go to those movies that deserve my attention, and the music labels should promote real talent instead of superficial trends (teens, boobs, bliz-bliz) that DO NOT attract a sustainable fanbase. I only buy albums and go to the concerts of my favorite bands. Other than that they should fight for my attention (and be grateful for piracy for that matter).

>> am also shocked that websites like this find so much support from this community

As much as I disprove of piracy, I care more about the rights Internet service providers should have. For me, IMHO, the PirateBay is on the same level as Wikipedia, i.e. a resource I can use to find stuff.

They shouldn't be guilty about what their users upload. You want to sue somebody, go after the ones who upload ... if that's not acceptable because those people don't know what copyright is and you'll end-up suing a grandma ... then there's something wrong with your business model.


I think we've all heard the arguments against piracy, and we've all heard the arguments for torrenting over and over.

The main reason people download/torrent copyrighted material is because that's the simplest way to get it, and there's literally no risk to get caught.

In order to avoid downloading and torrenting, find a simpler way than downloading and torrenting, use a monthly subscription, or a mix of both. This works perfectly fine for World of Warcraft and Spotify, and they've taken people by storm. I dare say Spotify has made music torrenting unneeded and a thing of the past, because it's so great.


Spotify puzzles me. How can it be sustainable? For my listening purposes, the free version is more than adequate. I don't mind listening to a new album with two or three interruptions for adverts (just turn the volume down), and I don't mind needing to be near a computer to hear the music (I have good comp speakers). I subscribed to the service for a while but didn't renew it because I'm happy with the free service.

Post-Spotify, the only reason for me to spend money on the music industry is to 'support' their efforts. Previously I would happily pay for an album if that was the only legal option. And even if you do subscribe - £10 per month? I think anyone who loves music enough to really take advantage of the service could justify spending £40-£100 per month.

I don't get it. I'd like to see their revenues. And the opportunity costs. I have three theories

1)They plan to wean the public off any/all illegal filesharing by offering a far superior service for next to nothing. Then, when the public has sufficiently 'de-skilled' from piracy, they will start raising prices without losing customers.

2) They've decided the battle against piracy is futile and they're settling for a tragically reduced ROI over potentially nothing at all.

3) It's a massive blunder.


I've been an early beta tester and became premium member when they launched their mobile version (which you must pay to use). Now whenever I hear someone with the ad supporter version I don't understand how they can stand all the commercials. I think they have about 5% paying customers which is pretty high. Considering they have a few million users it adds up to quite some revenue.


I read somewhere that Spotify is saving money by paying virtually no royalties.


I heard a thousand listens is enough to buy the author/artist a cup of tea. Today I discovered another service We7.com, which allegedly offers the same range of music as Spotify but with less adverts and without the need for software client (works through browser). And supposedly pays full royalties AND turns a profit.

A fourth theory could be that Apple have been planning such a service for years and labels want to beat them to the punch by backing Spotify et al


...and there's literally no risk to get caught.

I know someone who got sued, so I wouldn't say there's no risk.


Was this Kazaa-style sharing or Bittorrent sharing? The distinction is important when it comes to risk.


Good point -- it was on that i2hub program that used to be popular in college back in 2004-ish, so not torrents.


Not if the distinction is between "literally no" and "effectively no"


I don't think "that's the simplest way to get it" is a valid argument. The simplest way to get flowers is to pick them out of someone's flower bed, but we don't advocate that.

For me, it's more philosophical. Consumers need to some self control. We are consuming everything without conscience -- because that's the easiest way. It's easy to eat fish, so the oceans are going to run out. It's easy to consume oil, so the gulf is polluted. It's easy to bit torrent content so people do. But it does cause problems. Some people don't want their content consumed in that way.

To respond to some other commenters below, it doesn't matter if studies show only the middle men are hurt, middlemen are important for the distribution of content and much content wouldn't be known if it wasn't for the middlemen -- they need jobs too.

As for the argument that "people pay after they download it" -- that's simply not true. I know tons of people who download thousands of movies and redistribute them on limewire and never pay for a single one.

If you want to watch a movie and the only way to get it is to use netflix or blockbuster (both middle men) then go there and get it. If you can't get it there or you're too lazy to drive there or you don't subscribe to netflix, then don't watch the movie! Do something productive with your time. Control your desires to consume stuff you haven't supported.


I think people of our technological knowledge get sick and tired of screaming from the rooftops that we will watch streaming tv with commercials or listen to unlimited music for $10 a month and being shot down with a limit of the 5 newest episodes or limitations to spotify.

Unfortunately, bit torrent is the easiest way and if I am walking to my mother's and the florist only allows five flowers and I want the whole dozen, the neighbor's flower bed is a nice option.


If you are of that philosophical mindset, there is no rational argument that will change it. The florist may offer only 5 flowers so she can give more to more people and still charge a reasonable rate. Or maybe she only has 5 left.

If you think it's acceptable to go into someone's yard and pick the flowers they have spent money on for seeds, time designing the flower bed, water, fertilizer, weeding -- and then robbing them of the opportunity to benefit from the hard work they've put into it by seeing their flowers when they come home.

Well... what can I say to someone who thinks that is okay? It's not okay. If someone wants two cars and they can only afford one, is it okay for them to take your car out of your driveway?

Are you serious?

Extrapolate your philosophy to everyone in the world and tell me if you think it's a good one to live in. Do you think that would be a good world to live in? A world where people can just take whatever they want, simply because they want it? Without working for it? Without paying for it? Because that's the easiest way?


> The florist may offer only 5 flowers so she can give more to more people and still charge a reasonable rate. Or maybe she only has 5 left.

That argument holds true for a literal florist but as an analogy to filesharing it really breaks down pretty quickly, after all the garden would never empty of flowers 'taken' if they were copied. Your argument below that they are not 'free' because they take up server space and electricity and so on are also not valid because the storage, electricity and server space is not exactly provided by the original authors in the case of a pirated copy.

The whole piracy thing is a backlash against people that have been stealing from artists and consumers both.

Go read Janis Ians writing on this, or Courtney Love, or countless of other artists that have spoken up about this.

Times are changing, we'll find a new equilibrium and those that had a free ride for a long time will have to find a different racket at some point. Technically speaking they're already dead.

It will just take a while longer before we get there.

Artists that make music for the love of their work will continue to do so, and will find a way to make money. Artists that are creations of the media machine will have a problem, but then again, most of them weren't in it for the art to begin with so there is probably not much lost there.

I can't even name one band launched in the last 5 years that stood out for me that was not an indie band.


The record labels never stole anything. They entered into agreements with the artists. They put cds in stores that consumers agreed to pay for.

How can people on your side, in one argument say it isn't stealing to copy music, but it is stealing to enter into an agreement whereby one party exchanges something (music) for something else (money) and all parties freely choose to do so?


> They entered into agreements with the artists.

Please, those 'agreements' were put together by the best shyster lawyers to put artists in debt even if they were successful.

> How can people on your side, in one argument say it isn't stealing to copy music, but it is stealing to enter into an agreement whereby one party exchanges something (music) for something else (money) and all parties freely choose to do so?

Because 'just because it is written on a piece of paper and has a signature under it' doesn't make it right.

The music industry had turned fraud in to an art form.

Arists that don't get paid royalties, artists that are signed to a label only to find out there is no intention to produce, artists that are screwed in to being in major debt just because of some fine print clause that you'd have to be another shyster lawyer to spot and so on. The list is endless.

And then we're not yet talking about price fixing, the war on fair use (especially sampling) and so on.

And don't get me started on stupidity like the 'happy birthday' thing and Mickey Mouse and copyright.

Really. If you want to be the champion of something find a group or a cause that is worthy of it, the major labels are not, and plenty of the smaller ones are not much better.

If A list artists have a problem you can bet your life that it is worse at the lower rungs of the ladder.

At a friends (who is an artist, and a fairly famous one here in NL, several major hits and an enormous repertoire of songs for third parties) invitation I went to a local BUMA/STEMRA meeting a year ago, it was unbelievable how strong the disconnect is between the rights organizations, the labels and the artists.

This world needs shaking up, badly.


Two wrongs don't make a right. Everyone knows when you enter into a legal contract you should understand what the legal words mean or don't sign it.

I don't care about the major labels, what I care about is maintaining a social structure where creativity can be rewarded and the investment and time put into great quality intellectual products isn't wasted.


You really have no idea what you're talking about here. An industry that has had almost a century to prepare has a considerable legal advantage over rookie musicians, who can usually barely afford their instruments, let alone proper representation.

> I don't care about the major labels, what I care about is maintaining a social structure where creativity can be rewarded and the investment and time put into great quality intellectual products isn't wasted.

Such a structure will eventually unfold, we're looking at a lively market here.

Just like open source didn't kill software development wholesale copying won't kill the music market. But it will kill the current business model.


You have no idea of what I have an idea. Why do conversations here seem to degrade into "You don't know what you're talking about?" Or as camperbob puts it, "Clearly you've thought a lot about this?"

bit sharing and open source are two topics that are so religious around here. This community has a huge axe to grind against powerful organizations who have profited off intellectual property. Why?

What exactly is so wrong about profiting off intellectual property? Software, music, movies?


> What exactly is so wrong about profiting off intellectual property? Software, music, movies?

Because the current system works by an artificial monopoly. Monopolies harm the public. The compensation that copyright is supposed to provide -- incentivising production -- is not clearly supported by evidence. And the restriction inherent in monopolised distribution is fundamentally opposed to the new benefits that the internet offers -- if we want one, the other must be reduced -- and we want the internet.

The problem is not people profiting from creating, it is that the system has been rigged by current encumbents to rip-off and obstruct the public.


"That argument holds true for a literal florist but as an analogy to filesharing it really breaks down pretty quickly, after all the garden would never empty of flowers 'taken' if they were copied."

Since copying is okay, is it okay to copy currency? After all, it's just a bunch of paper and ink and only a perceived value. If you look at the damage this causes the economy, you can directly see the damage it causes a content creator.

"Go read Janis Ians writing on this, or Courtney Love, or countless of other artists that have spoken up about this."

Boo Hoo. They signed a contract that gives the record companies their souls and are now complaining about it. This argument is bullshit. The creators of the Pirate bay don't really give a shit about the rights of anyone. They freely admit that they believe in sharing of everything, just like when they were children.

I find it a little ironic that many of the same people that are pro-piracy get all in a tizzy when companies decide to sell their information, which is just a copy (you don't actually lose anything. It's not like stealing a physical copy of something).

"Times are changing, we'll find a new equilibrium and those that had a free ride for a long time will have to find a different racket at some point. Technically speaking they're already dead."

Really? Create a full Metallica album from your house. How about Photoshop? If you can't, it means there is still a value for content creators. Copying us much different than creating. You seem to be equating them, which is just ridiculous.

Piracy pushes artists toward big corporations because they have no other way to make a living.

"Artists that make music for the love of their work will continue to do so, and will find a way to make money. Artists that are creations of the media machine will have a problem, but then again, most of them weren't in it for the art to begin with so there is probably not much lost there."

Right, because people that love art don't need to actually make a living.

It is my belief that piracy has made many markets stagnant. When you blur the line between losing sales due to piracy and losing sales due to a shitty product, content holders just increase copy protection rather than trying to innovate (because there is really no way to see the difference).

A real revolution would be creating a way for Indy artists to make a living and sell their music without a label.


There is a way, it's called the internet. They can put their music on their website and let paypal handle the transactions -- except people don't pay for it that way either and no one hears of the artist when they do...


"There is a way, it's called the internet. They can put their music on their website and let paypal handle the transactions -- except people don't pay for it that way either and no one hears of the artist when they do..."

Artists can still have clips of their own music on their site to give people a taste. They could even give out some songs for free (not all). There are multiple ways to get yourself out there without a label. The difference is that it's the artists' choice.

Without a major label, the Artist not only needs to make the music, but manage everything (including marketing). This is not an easy task and takes time away from what they really do best. Most people don't have the ability to run a successful business (which is what it is). This is why labels will always be around in some form.


You're making the point that paying for content is good because it enables the artist to eat while concentrating on creating the content -- rather than some other task to earn money.

And no, record labels may not always be around in some form if they can't make money doing what they do.


I think you're over-analyzing. For me, the best summary of the debate comes from a ridiculous anti-piracy ad that used to play before movies in theaters here in Canada.

The ad said "You wouldn't download a car, would you?"

To which my reaction, and probably that of most people in the audience, is "Are you kidding me??? Of course I would if I could!"

Most people have an aversion to physical stealing, but most people are also happy to get a COPY of something for free, even if it's illegal. That's what reality boils down to, and I can't see anything changing it.

I understand your moral argument, and I don't disagree - there's nothing ambiguous about it. But if you could "download a car", for free, with no fear of repercussions - are your convictions strong enough that you would still choose to go out and spend tens of thousands of dollars on a "real" car?


I'd just do without. Just like I do without the latest version of photoshop or microsoft office. Instead, I use open office in a manner which its creators want me to use it.


> I use X in a manner which its creators want me to use it.

I still did not understand this kind of often repeated argument, after years and years of reading it. Why _exactly_ should I freely, without any legal and consensual contract, limit my usage of any particular product X (be it a hammer, a car, a song, or a office spreadsheet) in any kind of way its manufacturer wishes after the point of sale?

This must be some kind of moral argument, please explain.


I'm saying that open office creators want you to use it for free. Creators of music do not want you to use it for free. They want to make some money that they can use to pay for rent and time to invest in more music. If you download a song, you are not entering into any product/consumer agreement.


Did you ever make someone a mix tape off the radio?

And why were record labels so anxious to stream for free over the airwaves they got themselves in trouble?


No I didn't.


I find that hard to believe.

I don't know anyone within a degree or two of separation of myself who did not do that.

Including the previous generation (I was born in the early 80s, my parents in the 50s).

You've swallowed the *AA talking points, hook, line, sinker.


No I didn't.

Well, unfortunately, your level of morality doesn't scale.


I'm tired of reading the same thing over and over. Before you decide to enter a public forum and argue, at least you should research the oppositions argument. I'm not going to rehash it here. It's already taking up to much space on the internet. Please read "Free Software, Free Society" and then make your argument. You sound silly comparing stealing to copyright infringement.


I don't believe that two products are different simply because one is represented in bronze and the other in bits. No one would suggest it is okay to steal a bronze sculpture.

I've heard the arguments and when you take something without compensating the creator -- or otherwise rightful owner -- it's stealing. If you don't believe it is stealing because of some semantic argument, then it the effect is the same -- you're taking something of value without paying for it and harm is caused to the market in which that product exists because value is lost.


I've heard the arguments and when you take something without compensating the creator -- or otherwise rightful owner -- it's stealing.

What, in your opinion, happens when I check a book out of the library and read it?


It's called "checking out a book" or you could use the term "borrowing."

Look, this "it's not stealing" argument is a bunch of hog wash. If you think it isn't stealing because the "stolen" goods are simply a copy, why do you use the term "piracy"? Did pirates make a copy of the loot?

When you say someone is stealing music -- everyone knows what is happening. People use the same term with cable television -- they're stealing cable. It means they are enjoying the benefits of cable -- without paying the cable company.

You can use whatever term you want for the behavior -- we all know what it is and why it isn't right and it is just as wrong as stealing IMO.


You can use whatever term you want for the behavior -- we all know what it is and why it isn't right and it is just as wrong as stealing IMO.

But when does the theft actually take place? When I download the content? That's obviously a victimless crime, up until the point I derive value from what I 'stole' by watching it. At that point, what have I done that's any different from checking a book out of a library, where a vast number of readers can derive value from a limited number of purchased copies?

Words, like laws, sometimes outlive their relevance.


Yes, when you download it. Specifically, when you acquire possession of the material. If you steal someone's money, but don't spend it, you still stole it.

It's not a victimless crime. The victim is the artist who should have received compensation for your acquisition of the material.

Some laws do outlive their relevance, but these laws are just as relevant today as they were when the printing press was invented or audio recording devices.

Guns made murder easier, but not more legal -- or more moral.


If you steal someone's money, but don't spend it, you still stole it.

Don't be ridiculous.

The victim is the artist who should have received compensation for your acquisition of the material.

How is someone victimized by the presence of a particular arrangement of magnetic dipoles on my hard-disk platter? The only way an artist can lose anything they're rightfully entitled to is if someone experiences what they've created without paying for it.

Guns made murder easier, but not more legal -- or more moral.

You've clearly thought this issue through, I can tell.


> it's more philosophical ... We are consuming everything without conscience

The crucial difference is that, unlike most physical things, informational copies are an infinite resource. The only essential moral action is to share them freely. Whether that causes problems is entirely conditional on particular economic systems.

It is indeed also true that supporting production is moral. But producing and sharing are not negatively dependent. If you don't do one, it doesn't do any good to then not do the other. They are mutually supportive: you should do both, and doing either you indirectly support the other.


1) Informational copies aren't infinite, they take server space, electricity, and maintenance.

2) and more importantly, how do you overcome the hurdle that production itself requires resource consumption? Stuff at the lower level of Maslow's hierarchy: Food, Shelter?

Producing quality content requires investment. How is a producer of that content to get a return on that investment if people don't pay for the product after it is produced?

I agree that we should all produce and share, but not all sharers produce. Just because you have the bits on your hard drive does not mean the product those bits define are yours to share. Those bits are not simply bits, they are the definition of something that creates value. It takes risk to create the order of ones and zeros and if that risk is not rewarded, then the risk/reward ratio becomes too high and there is no incentive to take the risk to create the product.

I know that many people create for the love of the game, but those creators have to make money somehow. They have to have day jobs or something that distracts them from the many hours it takes to create quality content. If they could get paid for the content after it is produced, then they could spend more time creating more quality content for us to consume.

There was a quote from Ayn Rand about money where she describes money as a battery that stores labor so we can benefit from that labor over a longer time than it takes to perform the labor. Well, those bits are just like that. Bits are a battery that stores the labor required to create the order of bits. Content production is the opposite of entropy and to defeat entropy, we must take energy from outside the system. The artist in this metaphor is the closed system -- the artist's brain is the system that creates the content. The consumer is outside that system and must put energy into it in the form of food so that artist can use that energy to create order from a disordered set of random bits.

Money is that energy required to oppose entropy. Without a transfer of energy, there is no way to create order. Without order, there is no content. It's just white noise and consumers don't want that...

If consumers don't pay for the content, where will the energy to produce it come from?


> How is a producer of that content to get a return on that investment if people don't pay for the product after it is produced?

That is the question! Now copyright is looking very inappropriate we need some good answers. I expect it is a matter for evolution: try lots of things and see which work best. There are already some incipient examples out there.

> yours

(With information, it can only mean acknowledgement -- 'ownership' doesn't make sense.)

> those creators have to make money somehow.

Broadly, yes, just not by old copyright-oriented ways.

The point is seeing the two things separately. We need only pay for production, not for copies. That is economically optimal, and more practically fitted to current technological circumstances.


If you aren't paying for the music, you aren't paying for the production. If you were paying for the production, you'd pay what the artists' time was worth to create it, the studio time to record it, the post production editing...

But you'd never pay that much. That's why the artists/record labels/whoever spreads out that cost over all the copies of the of the recording. Then they account for risk, some cash to reinvest, and profit.

When you buy a book, you aren't paying for production either. Nor when you buy a piece of art. Or watch a movie.

All this arguing on behalf of the people who think stealing music is okay is really immature. Everyone knows it is wrong and no one would want someone taking their livelihood away from them -- yet plenty of consumers argue, "oh, it's fine to 'pirate' music... because of yada yada"

Everyone knows it's not okay. It's not okay.

Look at the arguments you make:

  A) It's not stealing -- it's a copy
  B) Record labels deserve it
  C) Piracy is actually *good*!
  D) Everyone else is doing it!
  E) It's so easy!
Seriously! These are piracy proponents arguments! It's a pity really. Pathetic that people of rational minds would stoop to such irrationality when it suits their wants.


You sound like a corporate astro-turfer: you don't appear to have understood anything I have said, and counter with non-arguments such as "is really immature" and "everyone knows it is wrong. It is wrong".

Neither what I have said, nor the rather odd and hardly even oblique caricature you offer of me, are irrational.

I suggest you actually learn something about copyright.


I think that's a valid point. For long years mostly the live performance of media was paid for. Then with the manifestation of media as data, the guys who had the machines to record and create copies claimed the stakes and the exclusive rights as a form to create economic value. Time has passed and now we have found out that every data are equal and data can hardly be bounded and the exclusivity of copying has gone away. Perhaps it's time to rethink the claims.


OK, you hold a legitimate view, one I mostly share.

However, please stop equating 'loss of potential sale' with simple theft. Clearly, if I take one of your DVDs, it is lost to you. If I copy a digital file of the same movie, you still have the use of your own copy.

Now from a publisher's point of view, what TPB is doing is not so much depriving them of movies or other content, but interfering with their right to bring it to market at a price of their choosing - if the same software is easily available for $0, there is little incentive to purchase it. (We can argue about whether the purchase would ever have taken place; eg if a student downloads some high-end 3d modelling software to learn how to use it, but that's been addressed elsewhere.)

This is an extreme case of the ongoing economic struggle between publishers and distributors in general.


If we have to stop calling equating it with stealing, then we also have to stop equating it with piracy, because pirates didn't make copies of the goods they stole either.


Somehow "piracy" bugs me less, I think because in this context the usages are different enough that there isn't as much likely confusion. When someone calls copyright infringement "stealing", they often seem to mean it pretty literally: they really do believe that it is, or should be, morally and legally identical to stealing. But when they call it "piracy", I don't usually take it as an actual assertion that copying a DVD is morally identical to armed raids on shipping. It's just become sort of a jargon term disconnected from the original usage.


If as you say "consumers really need more self control", then why does the content itself encourage the sort of apathy that you appear to be so opposed to? Look at most any torrent (latest Hollywood garbage, warez TPB top 100) and they are all encouraging apathy.

However, how a bout this -- what if torrents are encouraging efficiency. Think about this, the top (could have changed since I have been typing this) torrent on TPB is the 1080p version of avatar. Never mind all of the gag tv torrents That is 10900mbyte/(20mbit/sec/8(to mbyte))=4954.5sec (assuming.05mbit overhead 4954.5sec/60 = 82.6 min. So a bit more than an hour. What about going to purchase avatar 1080p on blu-ray? Thats waiting for the bus/paying for gas or buying it on amazon for $20 (with insane DRM restrictions)

so: waiting 80min to get a file that will play as many times as I want on whatever I want vs. waiting 48 hours for amazon to ship it out on a good day...


If you really want to know peoples motivation for downloading copyrighted material, or wanting copyright reform, there are countless of resources on the Internet and elsewhere. This isn't the '80s. Piracy has been common place for at least a decade now. There just isn't any reason nowadays not to know about piracy, even if you don't support it, other than ignorance.


This isn't the '80s...

Well, I think piracy was common in the 1980s too. I was given a box full of floppy clones of Atari cartridges when I was in elementary school. Not to mention people swapping mix tapes, making wax records, ...


I know the motivation. They want it and they don't want to pay for it.


> Anything less would violate the golden rule.

But that doesn't address whether we would all benefit from changing the system.

Piracy is good because it prompts industries to develop non-copyright-dependent means of funding production. Non-copyright means are good because the mechanism of copyright is essentially opposed to the benefit the internet offers.

If we want an increased flow of information: wider distribution, lowering of cost -- what the internet brings -- we can't have copyright blocking each copy, restricting distribution, and raising costs -- treating information as if it is still tied to physical objects. If every digital copy is charged the same as the old physical ones, the economic benefit of the internet's innovation is effectively obliterated. No-one (sensible, in general) would want that, so it follows that no-one can want copyright to remain in anything like its current form.


If every digital copy is charged the same as the old physical ones, the economic benefit of the internet's innovation is effectively obliterated.

No way! There is still a huge benefit to the internet. There's no plastic to pollute the environment. You don't have to leave home to get the movie. You can stream it from netflix or watch it on Hulu.

Available on the internet, doesn't mean it should be available for free. There are still costs for bandwidth, servers, and all the middlemen who put the pieces together so you can access it that way.


> There is still a huge benefit to the internet. ...

Well, OK, those are the parts that copyright doesn't interfere with.

> Available on the internet, doesn't mean it should be available for free. There are still costs for ...

Yes, indeed, and these are rather different, individually, systematically, commercially, from what the old laws are fitted for. What transactions there are, the sources of money, and where payment is attached, has to shift around. A copy in itself is now practically free for the individual, and that seems near optimal. Companies have to sell services that are a good deal for people -- that they cannot easily get for themselves.


Here's my legal threat to The Pirate Bay: http://i.imgur.com/0359H.png

(Anyway, TPB has nothing to do with the content. They are a search engine)


Hilarious.

Props to you for that one, and for still seeing things in perspective.


Piracy just tells us that there's a market inefficiency. In other words: Movies, music, software, books a.s.o are too expensive for some market actors. The same with black markets and shadow economies. It just means there's something wrong with the current distribution or pricing system. Piracy isn't nice, but that's because markets aren't nice but true: They reflect both sides, the producer and the consumer.


Not true. A pirate may well be a someone who would have bought the product retail if piracy wasn't available, but chose to pirate it instead because it's cheaper.

Even for those who would not have bought the product retail, but would have bought it at a lower price, that may be a market inefficiency, but it's also unavoidable. It's not currently possible to tell how much each customer would pay for a product and price it accordingly for each of them.


I sortof disagree, or at least look from a slightly different perspective. Stealing is always an option for any good. The only reason it's not efficient is A) people's morality and B) consequences. No matter the price, if the price is high enough and the good desirable enough to overcome B and fear of A, it will happen.

So I guess where I differ from you, is that the situation we find ourselves in could have come from media going from being inexpensive to becoming expensive as you suggest, but it also could have come from the increased ease of doing and getting away with piracy, and the general sense of entitlement that people have about it which overcomes the morality hurdle.

And if you don't think piracy is stealing, then piracy is just a very efficient action in the information economy, so there's nothing really to call wrong here.


I am a supporter of the Piratebay because the entertainment industry has had far too much control over the way we consume music and movies and I do not want to get back to that.

In the meantime we'll inconvenience the artists while we're slowly converging on a better way to pay them. So be it. As a software producer I'm in the same boat.


I think the general consensus is that if you find something useful, after pirating it, you will pay for it. Pirating removes the need to buy first to see if you really like it or is it something you really want.

I can only speak for myself. I have pirated many softwares and books to see if I find value in it. If I do, I pay for it later. For instance, I recently pirated a book (A Short History of Nearly Everything) and I loved it so much, I bought two copies the same week and gave them out as gifts to people who I am sure never heard of that book or the author and who doesn't like reading books on their computer. I will admit that I pirated "Things" for mac and now that I find myself using it everyday, I paid for a legal key (after using it for few months).

Obviously not everyone does it, but this is how I justify my pirating habit (I am not proud of the fact that I do it).

I think some people don't like pirate bay because they glorify doing what they do instead of trying to spread the ideology or message of pirating.


You should download the demo version, go to the library, turn on the radio, etc.


Why, he seems to be a responsible downloader.


> I believe producers of content should be able to reap rewards for that production.

Never before in history has as much "content" been sold to as many people for as much money as today.

What exactly is the problem?


Capitalism's raison d'etre is to control scarce resources, nothing more. Bytes are hardly scarce.

On the other hand, I agree that it's a problem if the creators of those bytes are not compensated well enough. Just a tiny problem: what's 'well enough'?


I believe producers of content should be able to reap rewards for that production.

Can't speak for most 'pirates,' but I only engage in piracy when rightsholders refuse to license their content to me on a timely basis and in an unencumbered format.

As the success of iTunes has demonstrated, most people will pay reasonable amounts for licensed content as long as rightsholders make it available conveniently.


When I was younger I was a pirate for one reason and one reason alone. Lack of funds. Now that I am older I take pride in supporting the developers and content creators. However, without the internet and pirate downloads I never would have gotten interested in graphic/website design or discovered so many great genres of music and film - which then translated into sales later in my life. I guess art and education tools should only be for the rich?


Where does it say that the Swedish Pirate Party are providing the bandwidth? I can't find anything about that, maybe my Lolcat isn't what it should be.



I didn't want to link to that one, as it is in swedish.


From google translate.

We got tired of Hollywood's cat and mouse game with the Pirate Bay and ordered us to offer the bandwidth side, says Rick Falk Vinge, leader of the Pirate Party. It is time to take the bull by the horns and stand up for what we believe is a legitimate activity.


Here's an English translation on MEP Christian Engström's blog: http://christianengstrom.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/the-swedis...


Hmm. What does "assclowns ov teh riaa" mean? Is "ov" Swedish for "of"? I know "teh" is just leetspeak for "the".


I MAED U A TRNSLATION, AN I DINT EATED IT!

As you might have read or noticed, people are once again trying to shut us down. This will not succeed. Our really nice web host was threatened with a really huge fine, so we decided to move the site so that they wouldn't get into trouble. The decision to move was made by us, The Pirate Bay.

TPB, only in it for the laughs since 2003.


It's not Swedish. I think it's just lolcat speak for "of".


Thanks. Wasn't sure. I don't know why I was downvoted for asking a simple question concerning the linked article.


I wonder the same thing. If I didn't know better, I would find myself in your exact situation more often than not.


Because just say it out loud. "Ov" is pronounced "Of."


Or is "Of" pronounced "Ov"?


The first time I went to Denmark, I kept noticing the word "og" everywhere and I thought what funny little caveman words these people use. Then I found out its usage and pronunciation is almost identical as our "of". I felt "pwnd".


I say it says... "Ass clown so over the RIAA" x^D

@grillonic


When a country has enough people that think getting music and movies without paying for them is the most important political issue (ahead of foreign policy, the environment, poverty, world hunger, and so on), that's a country that needs a war to knock some sense of perspective into people's heads.


Has it ever gone down? I remember people talking it was closed and stuff, but I'd go there to test and it'd always be online. Did that just apply to some servers or what?


It was nonresponsive for me for a while yesterday (checking in response to the other post).


As someone whose content is on The Pirate Bay, I must protest these unneeded downtimes preventing people from downloading my movie (The BBS Documentary).


When will the suits get it? Even China can't censor the 'net. If people want it, they will get it. Simple.


Actually, China seems to be pretty good at censoring right now. They block default Tor and some VPNs... There was a post about this a couple of days ago on HN -- about blocking many tools useful for IT companies based in China. They definitely annoy people who use foreign services -- which is what the blocking seems to be about right now, since they cut many websites not connected in any way to politics.

When you can get sentenced to jail just because you blog on the net, it also gives you a good reason not to try bypassing the firewall.


It's not a question of censoring the internet. It's a question of whether piracy (copyright infringement) is illegal and unethical. The fact that we can't stop murder except by draconian measures (outlawing picking up a rock even...) doesn't somehow mean we shouldn't be opposed to murder.


" The fact that we can't stop murder except by draconian measures (outlawing picking up a rock even...) doesn't somehow mean we shouldn't be opposed to murder."

Murder is in no way comparable to copyright infringement, which is a civil offense.


No, it's not. But the measures that would be necessary to actually stop it are identical, as they are for just about anything: completely draconian laws.


"It's a question of whether piracy (copyright infringement) is illegal and unethical."

Those are two completely different questions, and have a wide variety of answers depending on local laws. What's illegal for you might not be illegal for me. What's not ethical for you might be perfectly ethical for me. You suggest that murder is something we shouldn't oppose, but murder, or the killing of someone, is validated every day, whether it be through execution or self-defense.

I love paying for software I use. I love supporting the artists and people behind the artists for the music they create. I buy movies, and enjoy them. That doesn't mean I don't use TPB to obtain material. It's much easier for me to watch a movie on my Netbook by downloading the movie via TPB rather than rip it from my DVD, move it onto my Netbook, and watch it there.


I'm not a moral relativist, but yes laws are different by locale.

> but murder, or the killing of someone, is validated every day, whether it be through execution or self-defense.

Killing does not murder make. Murder is specifically used to indicate moral fault in killing.


"Killing does not murder make."

I realize this. Hence the clarification. However, you tried to link copyright infringement together as both illegal and unethical, which you can't do. Downloading copyrighted material isn't always illegal, and even if it is, isn't always unethical. There are perfectly valid and ethical reasons to download copyrighted material, even if it might be illegal.

Indeed, I could go so far as to suggest that in some cases, it's the only way to exercise ones rights with respect to the copyrighted material.


Why can't the TPB folks actually write in proper English ? It might make other folks take them seriously.


because they're pirates ... why is it so necessary to be taken seriously all the time?


There is a song in there, somewhere.


writing a comprehensible sentence would be considered a good thing i would have thought , pirate or no pirate.


Check their other blog posts. They are perfectly readable. Its a joke, lighten up Francis.


I must admit i have never read their other blog posts , lulz speak is a pet peeve of mine that's all. Takes all kinds.


It seems hollywood is taking them very seriously. I guess you should look at what they do, not how the write it.


Of course they can. They just choose not to in order to, obviously, ridicule the suits' attempts at trying to hinder their freedom. What a silly question.




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