1. The person can’t legally access the content at all, due to age, country of residence, or other imposed barrier
2. The person can’t afford the entire price of the content
3. The content has no form of sample/trial/demo, which imposes a fear of buying without fully understanding whether or not the purchase provides value
4. The person actually has or was planning to buy the content legally, but diverted due to DRM which is only present in the legal copies.
All of these reasons indicate that the issue lies outside of the piracy, at least in my eyes. So I’m happy at least one nation has adopted some modern legislation about this topic.
I was happy to and still do pay for Netflix. But occasionally something comes along and I’m sure as hell not subscribing to 5 extra streaming services. One or two? Maybe even three? But now you have Amazon, YouTube, Netflix, Apple TV along with the other regional streaming services if you want to get content legally. And there’s more services to come.
Which means what they should be doing is reserving the latest season to themselves but making it so that everything else is available everywhere (assuming reciprocity). Then when season one drops on Netflix and Netflix subscribers like it, well, season two is out but only on Disney for the next year. And the customer might actually be willing to drop Netflix for Disney this year if they both have the same back catalog, when it wouldn't be worth it if you have to subscribe to both at once for that.
The result would be that a customer could get all content by subscribing to only one service and no piracy, but only if they're willing to be a year out of date for most of it, which still allows them to get multiple subscriptions from the subset of people with more disposable income. And it's not as if they don't make any money from licensing the old seasons to the other providers -- or make any money when the other providers license their old seasons to them and allow them to get more subscribers.
Their problem is they're overvaluing exclusivity for old content.
Those probably drive new users and retain current ones.
It would be nice if media companies could stop trying to own the World and instead be content offering a good service for good compensation. When they get to that point they seem to go "well if we can force people to consume something else that they don't like as much then we can get even more customers". Bleurgh.
NBC already owns the production rights to the Office. Under agreements with the various Hollywood talent guilds, they are required to pay market value for distribution rights such as exclusive online streaming, because that money gets paid to profit participants like producers, actors, writers, etc.
However, NBC is considering rebooting or spinning off the Office with some of the original cast.
I couldn't give two hoots about most of their original stuff which has been laughably mediocre and designed by committee at best, and I have no problem watching it in 5 years time off it's any good.
I just want a media delivery service where I look for something and then it plays, and so far that doesn't exist...
If you offer a show for X per view then you have to offer it to all aggregators for that cost.
Tell me the massive holes in that?
As I see it that satisfies the copyright deal, rewards creators and makes works available. Add a 20 year copyright term and I might even be happy!
EA (Origin) and Activision/Blizzard (Battle.net) have their own launchers and don't publish on Steam. But while those are some of the biggest brands it's a tiny portion of the overall industry: maybe 4-10 dozen exclusive games in Origin + Battle.net + Uplay + Epic Store, but a few thousand on gog and a few tens of thousand on Steam
Discord is/was a games launcher too and they just shuttered their subscription service as nearly no-one was playing the games that came with it.
Huh? I thought saying you can't sell on Steam is kind of what an exclusivity contract with Epic does.
- If you put up a Steam Store page, you can’t release the game earlier on another platform.
- Any patches/updates must be released for Steam at the same time as they are on other platforms.
- Games can be released on other platforms, but you can’t put up a Steam store page until 30 days before the Steam release or the game’s original release, depending on which of the two is earlier.
If you (think you) know what people want to watch it becomes easy to cheaply produce new content guaranteed to sell.
This is almost certainly the nexus for much of the original content coming out of Netflix.
> tragedy of the commons is a situation in a shared-resource system where individual users, acting independently according to their own self-interest, behave contrary to the common good of all users, by depleting or spoiling that resource through their collective action
The shared resource is the amount of money spent by consumers to watch content.
The individual users are content producers and aggregators.
It is in their self interest to own the last mile of content distribution, as they get more money this way than by licensing to others.
This action, collectively, spoils the shared resource by reducing the amount of money that consumers are willing to spend on watching content. They don't want to maintain multiple subscriptions to watch just one or two shows, or different series of the same show, and so maintain less subscriptions than if there was just one or two services with all the content.
The classic case illustrated in Garret Hardin's 1968 essay is a common field, with a fixed carrying capacity, at that carrying capacity, in which one herdsman chooses to run yet more cattle. The total yield goes down, but the defector's yield increases. Since the gain is private and the loss is shared, the net incentive is to overgraze.
Calling the subscription spending market a commons seems a stretch. That's never a shared resource, it's always one which accrues to specific provider(s). Though the tendency is for it to accrue to a winner-takes-all provider.
And more crucially, there's no socialised loss here that I can see. There is a race-to-the-bottom dynamic possible with excessive competition, so long as offerings of one providers catalogue cannot be shared with others.
The problem instead seems to be simply one of falling marginal costs, such that the largest provider has the greatest efficiencies, and that with a sufficiently subdivided market (multiple subscription services), no one provider has a sufficient catalogue to sufficiently interest any one viewer, but the monetary and other costs (choice, selection, management) of multiple services is too high for any one subscriber to choose more than a small subset of services.
That's not a tragedy of the commons, it's a natural (network effects) monopoly situation.
(I'm aware you're not the original poster. I'd hoped they might respond.)
If your favorite show goes from service A to service B, you might switch, you might maintain both subscriptions, or you might decide neither is individually worth it, and either stop watching or start pirating.
Even if service A does not lose shows, its no longer getting shows at the same rate, so the quality of that service goes down, with nothing of similar quality to replace it. So again some customers will stop paying and the commons shrinks.
Yes, there's a shared, limited, resource pool. But that's true of any constrained economic resource.
The element of privatised gain / socialised loss is what's missing. Any given entrant has an all-or-nothing proposition. But gains precisely match others losses, assuming a fixed pie.
The marginal/average cost dynamic is a red herring here, so far as ToTC goes.
The socialised loss is that fragmentation of distribution makes people less likely to pay for any service. By trying to take a bigger slice of the pie, they make the pie smaller.
For music it is one of my expectations. I have strange and sometimes old devices for playback. Not really interested in locked down content here.
Don't forget Usenet automation like CouchPotato, now that is convenient ...or so I've heard. You can set it all up to automatically fetch files, and organize them in such a way for Kodi to consume them, and then Kodi gets art for all your shows and movies. There's articles online about it. Downside is Usenet costs a certain amount, course when you start piling on $14.99 for 4k from half a dozen online streaming services, $14.99 once and for all doesn't sound so bad. I don't condone piracy, but I may or may not have done that in my younger years. It was glorious.
It'll also do cool stuff like keep track of which episodes it has seen (so it won't re-downloaded old eps) and watch for propers. From there (in your torrent client) you can post-download hook to auto-extract your new show and put it in the right folder so Kodi can see it. Kodi does all the Kodi things like keep track of watched episodes, get your artwork/subs/ratings/whatever, keep your library sorted.
It's a bit of a Rube Goldberg machine but: End result is I get home and the GoT episode that dropped an hour ago is sitting there on Kodi, ready to be played. It's so convenient it's ridiculous.
Or, so I've heard.
The other thing is you can define the quality you want to download, it will find the best thing closest to that quality and download it, say it's 480p but you want 1080p, but only 480 is available at the time. An hour later 1080p is published, but you already have 480 and maybe you're watching it, no way for it to know, so what the software does is, download the 1080p version, and don't delete it till it's done downloading. You'll know it's downloading cause you can setup all sorts of alerts and notifications. Then you have Kodi setup to auto parse those directories and fetch previews and descriptions.
At one point I had a plugin for Kodi that takes all the content you have and makes "Channels" from the content, so you can feel like you're watching regular TV and browsing through channels.
People love Kodi for the streaming plugins, but Kodi + Usenet was amazing. Nowadays I just pay for Netflix and Hulu, but like I said, at this rate it's tempting to think about Usenet again.
I can't say I know a ton about the subject, as it's very intentionally not a hobby for me. One might find it important to simply get everything set up and then go on with their lives. About an hour or so googling around and checking the usenet subreddit(s) and the favorite tools and services tend to bubble to the top. Then it's a matter of signing up for a couple indexers and usenet services and blocks, installing the tools, and let it run. The ones I mentioned above are quite stable and self-updating.
Torrents seem to be easier to get started and along with a VPN are probably the way to go if you download something once a month, but annoying in the long term. On the other hand, usenet can be annoying to learn about and get set up at first and then simply stable and easy otherwise.
One could easily get used to the client interfaces and Plex (or Kodi if preferred) and simply forget that they have a system in place to automatically download these series and movies as they're released and as better quality versions are made available.
I'm told these are better than torrent primarily for speed and accessibility. Accessibility is key for older content as these massive data centers that belong to the usenet provider will typically hold all data for at least 7-8 years. So if you are within the 7-8 window you won't have any speed or "seed" issues. The issue now for Usenet seems to be DMCA takedowns which applies to new, popular content. Although, if one were to use software like SickBeard or SABnzbd, I've heard they automate the locating and downloading of recurring/episodic television and would replace NZBGet. You set your preferences for a show (quality, language, etc.) and it does the rest because it knows when the show airs so you literally just find new commercial and add free TV downloaded and ready to go.
Combine this with Plex and you're golden. And that's a $30 one time fee and $15 monthly recurring in total, as the rest is all free software. Unless you want the premium Plex which you would only need if you want to stream from your home to your mobile device or something else while in transit. But if you just want to use this to watch at home, then Plex is also free, fantastic software...or so I've been told.
One additional note on legal protection - using Usenet is preferred as you are communicating directly with your service provider (i.e. newshosting.com) for them serving you files. This means there's no one monitoring the swarm and trying to see if you are seeding or serving/distributing the data. So there isn't going to be anyone serving you violation notices or suing you for illegal distribution. Another benefit is those Usenet providers are typically on major internet backbones and typically max your line speed even for extended usage. You can easily pull down several hundred mbps constant for most Usenet providers.
To provide a culture access to everyone and not only those with enough money, to bypass censorship and virtual frontiers.
But also to avoid financing distribution companies, that P2P made obsolete.
Companies that finance themselves before the tiny subset of compliant artists working for them.
The very same companies that make you thing that "sharing is wrong"... Seriously, put this out of context and feel the absurdity of it.
Still though, financing culture still an open problem. For now the only ethical way seems to be the donate buttons and bitcoins.
Right but then you don't fall within the 90% that OP estimates would have bought the product. In OP's points, you either would buy it if you could (1, 2), or are planning to buy after limited evaluation (3). Item 4 is a bit of an odd one (though it applies to me: I only pay for Audible $10/month because you can still do .aa exports and turn them into mp3s and play anywhere, any time; otherwise I'd pirate the books or find a competitor), but your 5th is squarely a lost sale.
The text below your point doesn't really match your point, that sounds more like can't afford or just doesn't want to pay. Leaving in the middle whether it's reasonable to have to go to five "stores" to get everything you want, you either can afford it and are the (proposed) 10% or it falls under item 2.
Example: lots of people I know torrented Game of Thrones because paid services were actually worse. Things like HBO Go stuttered depending on internet connection -- and in one of the season premieres, the service was unavailable -- while torrents offered Full HD quality with no surprises.
Another consideration is when you're paying for Netflix but it doesn't have all the seasons of a series yet. So people torrent the episodes even when they are already paying for a streaming service: torrents are more convenient. They get all the content when they want it, and with high quality too.
Their app is worse than a folder where files show up and disappear when watched. That’s their competition and they failed.
But for whatever reason, the release schedule for new episodes on season 2 is all messed up in my Amazon region. Sometimes there will be 6 days between them, then 9 days, right now the last episode it offers is the fifth one, released there on September the 9th, that was 10 days ago.
It ended with a massive cliffhanger, and I'm sitting over here looking for something to watch, but Amazon Germany simply doesn't want to deliver. So earlier I looked up the scene release, which was back on the 15th, and pirated that episode.
The pirated version also has the added benefit of not throwing double the amount of subtitles (German and English) at me for any foreign language scene. One would think such localization subtitles should be easily disabled, yet Amazon Germany doesn't offer an option for it and still displays them even when English dub and subs are selected.
Some people enjoy "crazy good" less than 1Mb/s internet conexion: no way you're streaming anything. So yeah, torrent it is.
Every time it did it, I was like, man I should have just pre-downloaded this, and then it would be issue-free.
I think only YouTube works properly on Linux without the DRM EME botnet plugins.
There's a problem here, though. If there was only a single distribution channel, that would be a monopoly with corresponding prices.
So this means that there will never be a distribution channel which is satisfactory. Unless perhaps a non-profit organization runs it.
If each service had access to the same content as every other service then market forces would not only satisfy the price argument but also the quality of the services itself (lets be honest, some of the pirating services run circles around the legitimate ones).
Unfortunately though, the movie, TV and music industry have been allowed to operate monopolies - even push for extensions to copyright law and against reforms - for so long that I can't see it ever changing.
Whatever license they want to give, they should be required to offer the same terms to whoever comes along, if they want public assistance in protecting their work. If they think they can keep it locked down on their own then they are free to offer discriminatory license arrangements. If they want help from society protecting their works, whatever is offered to Amazon ought to be available to Netflix, or anybody else, including you and me when we start our own alternative.
Edit: to deal with rights holders that don't want anyone else to offer their content, they are free to make non-discriminatory royalty arrangements with extremely high royalties. However, they must pay those royalties to the government as a tax (again for access to the courts).
Part of copyright is maintaining a degree of artistic control - for instance a band not allowing a certain political party to use their song at rallies.
This is a bad deal for society. Renegotiating it won't stop artists from producing art. If you don't want that political party playing your song, make sure they never hear it: play it only for people you trust.
I miss watching videos outside the service-branded players. I get that the floor is lower, but the ceiling is at the floor. None of them are special beyond making the DRM work, their UIs are at best rebranding of the good ideas they steal from the youtube player.
Sometimes I just want the flexibility to watch their video with a feature I know a different player has. Or without uninterrupted access to high-throughput internet connectivity. Like, in the car, the wilderness, or anywhere that the home network is administrated by a normie.
The Pirate Bay is still up, even if they do have to keep changing URLs; one can Google on "pirate bay proxy" to get a list of whatever the latest hostnames are, then go to those sites.
This is a slight hassle, and the time it takes is not really significant compared to watching a 2-hour movie. I suspect it is less hassle than trying to buy a DRM-crippled movie and playing it on my Linux box.
You can intersect here "trackers" that are "public":
I love Star Trek, haven't seen any of the new series. I'm not singing up for a new streaming service for one thing, and there's so much media available I can always find something else... so I just don't watch.
There was a post yesterday that mentioned setting up a Plex Media Server and something like Sonarr to download television shows and the consensus was that this setup is way too complicated for most people. Given that, how big an issue is piracy, really?
There was an article on Vice recently that indicated BitTorrent traffic was on the rise (too many streaming services, too much exclusive content). But my knee-jerk reaction is that if it was really costing these media companies significant dollars they'd be investing in one streaming service rather than splitting off into more and more.
As a loose rule of thumb, that seems to be roughly my experience when you take into account everyone that's accessing stuff (ie, kids, people earning money, parents, etc. etc.).
I'm also reminded of the late 90s Gate's quote: "Although about 3 million computers get sold every year in China, people don't pay for the software. Someday they will, though. And as long as they're going to steal it, we want them to steal ours." -- It's exactly as you said. Make it easier and more convenient for people to get it legally than for them to get it illegally. When they have the cash they'll value the convenience. My subscriptions to Spotify, Netflix, Prime, Creative Cloud and so forth are a testament to this.
If films were like $1-$3 for a high resolution download I think they'd sell like wildfire. I'd definitely pay for the convenience.
I really doubt that would be the case. It would be way more likely that movies would be stuffed with ads and we'd be crying about the death of "real cinema", like we do today with journalism.
$1-$3 doesn't even seem sustainable.
DVDs and Blu Rays are already packed with ads (Trailers etc) at full price.
The amount of people paying for them compared to getting them from other means would be higher too.
But if you're buying the disc it's not just $20 for 2 hours of entertainment. I bought Spiderverse on 4k and have watched it at least 5 times since buying, sometimes solo, sometimes with friends.
While I sometimes enjoy watching trailers for other films in the "bonuses/special features", when I buy a film (whatever the price), what I want is to watch the film:
I put the disc in the player, I press play a couple of times after I chose the spoken language/subtitles, and then, I watch the film.
Even if you can skip them, I really dislike the sequence of trailers, ads, "FBI WARNINGs", more ads, "enjoy the full experience of ULTRA HD", THX deep note, yet more ads.
The commercial success of movies is measured at the cinema screenings. This is implicitly accepted even by studios. When a film is labeled as a failure, it is because it didn't break even at the cinema. Given that, I'm all in for heavy-handed crackdown on pirating content still screening at cinemas.
Whatever comes after cinema screenings, is just milking the cow for as long as the current laws permit it. The problem in the case of USA, is that the law permits this virtually forever. So this is a case where the law is being antisocial, enforcing copyright protection of works that should have been in the public domain long time ago. Good for Swiss people that they're not living in a USA protectorate and they can have their own laws.
Certainly this isn't always true: The Room has been running for a long time, and is now presumably much more valuable than its initial box office would suggest. But I don't think that most movies become cult hits, and their revenue is probably closely related to initial box office.
I don't have a source for this beyond reddit comments though.
Also keep in mind that Hollywood typically inflates costs to avoid taxes and royalties .
And since we're here, from where did you draw the impression that it was otherwise?
If Star Trek style replicators were invented today, there'd be people trying to ban them.
This is probably me being stupid but I have a little trouble understanding exactly how to apply this principle in practice.
Example: assume for the sake of argument that living in a suburb requires enough additional resources (land, energy, whatever) that if "everyone did it" in your state/country then it would become infeasible and there would be no suburbs as we know them today. But luckily enough people naturally prefer to live in a city that things just work out. Does that mean the people living in the suburb are nonetheless "anti-social"?
I suspect not but I'm having trouble identifying a clear reason why the moral principle does not apply to that situation but it does apply to the situation where some people abuse the HOV lane and some people don't.
Is it the existence of a rule forbidding it? In that case the principle seems more to be about the rule than about "what if everyone did it?".
Is it restricted to the situation where "free riding" is universally preferable on an individual basis, and only self-restraint prevents people from being free riders? If so then piracy advocates can save their argument by arguing (truthfully) that some people simply prefer to support the creators and they don't.
What am I missing?
The vast majority of the US lives outside what we’d consider “the city” so that’s a bad example. But anyway the difference is that the act in question involves payment for a scarce resource. If everyone paid for a house in the suburbs (assuming that the prices factored in externalities) then it would be fine because prices would regulate land use. And if the price doesn’t include externalities then it is antisocial to live in the suburbs, as folks here in HN point out regularly.
Which is a fine moral principle, and does easily distinguish between all your "antisocial" examples and my "housing choice" example (assuming correct prices).
But it doesn't seem to require the "what if everyone did it?" principle. So I'm wondering if that principle brings any additional value, or indeed if it is a real moral principle at all. Hence my question.
Of course many people can't afford to buy a house in the suburbs. Thank goodness.
They would be forced to adapt, just like other industries adapt to changing social behaviour or technology. Maybe more movies would be crowdfunded (Kickstarter-style or Patreon-style). Maybe they would have product placements. Maybe something else entirely.
Things change -- you either adapt or you go out of business.
(For the record, I personally do not pirate. I rarely watch movies or shows anymore, listen to all my music on a premium spotify account and buy all the games I play and non-open-source software that I use.)
The reason a lot of people, perhaps most, don't follow that idea is because it's a lot like the slippery slope fallacy. Hypothetically, if everyone pirated all their content, perhaps there'd be serious problems as a result. In reality, that's never actually going to happen.
The USA and other modern countries found that too many people not paying creators for their work caused problems and passed laws against doing it.
This is all working exactly how it is supposed to, so yeah, the "If everyone did that" is exactly compelling.
The opposite is true, you know. If people paid for more of what is good, pick up litter, and be nice to people, then the world would get better. If everyone reduced their carbon foot print, imagine how many more species would still exist today!
> If people paid for more of what is good, pick up litter, and be nice to people, then the world would get better. If everyone reduced their carbon foot print, imagine how many more species would still exist today!
And yet they don't all do that. If everyone on earth just held hands and sang Kum Ba Ya, there could be world peace, but nobody's going to believe that's the way to end wars because not enough people are practically going to do that.
This is why "if everyone did that" can be used in a way that's fallacious, and it's insidious because it's true given that one accept the premise of universal participation. But even during the heyday of digital piracy, most people weren't pirating, or even pirating all of their consumed content. Hollywood and the like didn't ever come close to collapsing due to piracy.
All you need to do is to challenge piracy on a moral level. It's universally agreed upon that taking something without paying for it is a bad thing. Just because there is a minority of piracy advocates doesn't mean that those advocates don't recognize that they are doing something wrong. Saying "if everyone did that" just dilutes the impact of a single immoral act. Sure, I can imagine an off-the-wall situation were everyone pirated content. That image just isn't very realistic or useful in judging whether something is right or wrong. Fires might have been a bad example because, as you pointed out, we did ban burning in many places.
These media companies are increasing the inconvenience (moving the product from service to service, requiring cancelling one and signing up with another) and increasing the cost (the alternative is to subscribe to more services). A rise in piracy seems the reasonable outcome anyone would expect.
The alternative for an ethical person is not taking something you shouldn't.
Since when did stealing = unethical become an opinion?
I do think that painting everyone who commits a crime of any magnitude with the same broad brush is unhelpful if you are, say, a large media company trying to make the big money.
Paying full price for a movie just isn't worth it to me, even if I can afford it. I just dont value them highly.
If the inly legal avenue for getting my hands on something I want to watch is priced way out of how I see the value proposition, I'll just pirate it.
I favour a "pay what you want" model for a lot of these goods.
I would pay 5e, but it's only available for 10e a month plus the work of cancelling subscriptions and so on, so instead I pay 0e.
I could afford every content I consume, yet I make sure my content cost is 0 dollars and 0 cents.
No, you are not taking food out of the animators at Disney's mouth by not paying whatever obscene price they want for that Blu-Ray. Those workers got paid a salary to make the content and that has already been said and done. Across all industries the amount of royalties going to creators, especially when it takes hundreds of them to make a product (CGI movies, animations, etc) is within a margin of error of 0.
Your money goes to investors and corporate coffers when you are buying popular mainstream media. If piracy in aggregate causes lower profits than anticipated that results in business as usual - reevaluate your product development and / or change strategy and / or complain on mainstream media that you need to use force of law to make people buy your stuff because that obviously makes sense. The creators behind whatever the thing is already got paid all they are going to get in the average case.
A very small percentile of the revenue in the creative industry is actual content creators themselves trying to sell copyrighted works they made to make a living off of them. Most professional media is made by salaried or contract artists that are making the thing on behalf of some corporation whom has the intent to try to profit off selling the copies of the finished work.
Paying for a Disney movie is (in at least some small way) a vote for the policies of the PR and corporate lobbying that Disney performs. If you support shorter copyright terms, it's understandable to not give money to someone who you reasonably expect to use that to extend copyright terms.
Nobody brought up DRM in this chain of comments until you. I'm not sure why you're defending it.
It's probably cheaper for production companies to ignore piracy to a certain extent than to fix the distribution/rights issues, but that's definitely not good service.
It's an interesting thought experiment: if I buy a DVD and physically keep it, am I more entitled to watch a movie in perpetuity than if I buy it and burn it in a fire. What if i keep the ashes? Where's the digital equivalent of a perpetual ownership structure?
(For me, this all comes back to the problem that intellectual property laws/ concepts are, as a general rule, farcical/nonsensical)
5. The culture generally has no concept of placing monetary value upon intellectual property.
I'm from a "third world" country, and throughout my life, I have almost never known or seen anyone pay for original software, movies or music. Originals were never easy to get here (few companies have official distribution here) to begin with, but even after widespread internet access (since the mid 2000s) and millions of smartphone (mostly Android) users, there's still virtually nobody who spends a dime on software or media.
I sometimes see companies offer "Lite" versions of their software for a reduced price but often stripping out desirable features making pirating the normal version even more appealing.
Where I come from, you can buy a bootleg dvd/bd from a store for a buck and nobody bats an eye.
I buy stuff on iTunes then pirate it in my preferred format. Same for ebooks, audiobooks, etc. Not going to risk it disappearing.
Archiving media by torrenting or ripping a stream is the closest we can get to owning media in this subscription based world we live in. Of course there's physical media, with the associated drawbacks others have mentioned (availability, ads, FBI warnings, etc).
I commute from a train station that has reserved parking spots. Quite a few are unused—if I park there, I’m not costing the garage any money. Is it okay if I park at one of those spots for free, so long as nobody was going to park there anyway? I’m not costing the garage anything right? Or displacing anyone else from getting a spot?
The digital versus physical distinction is in my opinion meaningless. We’re not talking about an abstract bit pattern. We are talking about the product of peoples’ labor. (Indeed, movies are more uniquely the product of human labor than almost anything else. It’s not like a factory-produced widget.) People make these things and ask you to set the terms for your benefitting from the fruits of their labor. Whether the product takes the form of a physical thing or a bit pattern is irrelevant to the human dimension of the transaction.
Maybe it does. If all the spots are interchangeable and have no other uses besides parking vehicles, and there was never a time that all the spots were full while your vehicle was present, I think a very good argument could be made that there was no damage to the property owner as a result of you parking there. Regardless of who technically owns the spot, the absence of damage implies that there would be no just basis for seeking restitution.
Of course, in the real world parking spots are not interchangeable (e.g., some are more conveniently located than others) and have potential uses other than parking which the presence of your vehicle would conflict with. But those concerns only apply because the parking spot is a specific physical space which can only be put to a single use at any given time.
External benefits others might derive from our actions are not something we have any inherent right to control, even if they are the result of our own labor. We only have the right to veto actions which would interfere with our own use of our property.
When it comes to physical property most of the obvious ways in which others might benefit from the property would interfere with our own use, so we get to decide whether those uses are allowed or not and seek restitution in proportion to the damage caused when our wishes are not respected. There are exceptions where others' benefit does not interfere with the owners' use or result in damages. Maybe I derive enjoyment from the mere fact that the object exists; you don't get to veto that passive enjoyment regardless of whether I pay you for it.
When the subject is unauthorized copying of patterns of bits, however, that act can never interfere with the makers' use of those same patterns of bits. The maker derives the full benefit their labor (the enjoyment of the work itself), and others can also derive that same benefit at no expense to the maker.
The equivalent to piracy is that you park in a spot that's equivalent to a reserved spot but doesn't take up physical space inside the train station's land. And, well, that sounds fine.
Basically anything you're willing to DIY rather than paying for convenience.
Many of the others make sense, but age seems like a hard one to work around. Generally these restrictions only apply to children, and legally (and to some extent socially) we treat even near adult children with the same attitude we treat toddlers. Yes, kids will pirate, but in this case giving them legal access may be a far worse choice as long as our society continues to view a child who is willing to pirate as being just a kid.
For example, you can't get a digital copy of the original Star Wars theatrical release, but there are fan conversions of old VHS or film reels and additional reconstructions that aren't legally available, but are certainly out there. I know that when I was doing pop-culture research for a thesis on pre-WWII American Cartoons I ran into a lot of works that were only digitized by amateurs and hobbyists, and therefore not legally available anywhere.
But now that I've thought upon it, I do wonder how people feel about the age of viewer issue, especially since people can easily lie about their age or otherwise pirate the content.
Those who just want something for free. They easily step over/don't care about any of those barriers you've mentioned.
I've said this before as well, but listing all those problems make it sound like someone, at any cost, simply must consume some pirated content, otherwise some terrible thing would befall them.
If you can't afford it or access it or demo it or feel comfortable with your purchase then do without.
You aren't entitled to someone else's property.
Maybe you want that to be an argument or you just came up with it and are seeing if it sticks to the wall, but it don't. It's absurd.
I do find it weird to use the term "property" for things that can be copied infinitely. Right now a lot of laws are created to sustain this economy. I'm not convinced it's worth it. So please don't act like these laws are something natural! We're creating them and we have to discuss which parts are sensible.
Of course if they so choose they should be free to keep themselves to a premium boutique industry, and should still receive legal protections for doing so.
On one end, pretty much all members of our society agree to and hone people's titles to movable objects like, say, a car. If the car is parked in place A, the owner is in place B and a random third party is in place A, then we believe that the owner has a moral right to demand that the random party not take the car, even though in some real sense the third party currently "has" the car, or at least has access to it. A hypothetical society in which people only believe in a very narrow set of property rights along the lines of "you have the right to not have your things ripped out of your hands" might write something like: "If you can't protect it or hold on to it or make sure that nobody else lays their hands on it then do without."
If you consider, say, building squatters and their supporters, or public-right-of-way advocates, this intuition that government-granted title counts is already not nearly as universal for certain pairs of property and owners; a nontrivial number of living humans appears to believe that an individual living in a building or plot of land has more of a title to it than a faceless landlord nominally owning it without putting it to use out of some abstract economic consideration. In the eyes of those who tend to side with the squatters, it is the landlords who are acting entitled to somebody else's home, just because they paid money to get an official-looking piece of paper from another unrelated entity. (This becomes more apparent in cases where there isn't a single continuous government in control of an area. If governments A and B claim a territory, person X buys a title to a plot of land from government A and person Y buys a title to the same plot of land from goverment B and then they squabble over who gets to move in, which one is "acting entitled"?)
There generally seems to be far less consensus once we talk about titles to "property" that is not even physical, and/or can be cloned rather than moved at zero cost. Is someone who designs and places a building in a public space entitled to restrict reproduction of its appearance in photos? (France says yes, most everyone else finds this ridiculous.) If we forget about reproduction, am I entitled to freely sell or give my unique copy of a book or game to somebody else, or is Valve or the author entitled to stop me from doing so? (Many Americans seem to lean towards siding with the publisher, a parallel thread mentions that the EU just reaffirmed that the publisher's rights are exhausted with the first sale.)
Other cases where people disagree about whose title is valid : taxes, patents, copyright duration...
You need to recognise that many anti-copyright campaigners come from a moral framework where the creator of a book or movie has no meaningful title to what someone does with data that they have stored; in this framework, it is the copyright owner who is by default assumed to be acting entitled to someone's manifest property (a sequence of bits on their harddrive, which they are not withholding from anyone else). Often, this goes hand in hand with a basic moral intuition that ownership := you are entitled to not lose use of the thing := you are entitled to not have others gain use of the thing. (That's why "you wouldn't download a car" is so universally made fun of in anti-copyright circles. It makes sense if you think of the point of owning a car being that others don't get to use it.) You might persuasively argue that this notion of property/pattern of recognised titles is inferior to yours - and this is the type of argument that is being made whenever people debate whether patents encourage or stifle innovation, rather than making the debate about whether the inventor or the commons is acting entitled - but to simply assert that the studios' title is valid and the copy-holder's title is not is as useful as shouting "no, MY moral principles are right".
It's called property rights and it's the bedrock of almost all modern cultures.
Are you trying to argue that Switzerland and most of the EU, which don't quite seem to believe in what you call property rights, are not "modern cultures"?
And in doing so I didn't deprive anyone else of their TV? I would have a TV in every room of my house.
If we lived in a post-scarcity world we would be living in the Star Trek utopia. Tea, Earl Gray, Hot.
> basic human right
IP protections are also not basic human rights. When Ug invented fire, he didn't get an exclusive right to license it out to other Neanderthals for 20 years.
Now, I'm not saying that infringing on copyright is right or moral, or that IP protections are wrong, but that it's a valid debate to what extent these things should apply, and what morality is attached. Our laws as they are today are not necessarily an embodiment of what is true morality. Just dismissing it as "stealing is wrong!" is not a strong argument. Most of us agree with taxation, but in a way that's stealing as well.
Media companies steal from me all the time through breach of contract and anti-competitive behaviors. I'll pay for the service, and then the minute they break their end of the contract and don't care about it, it's on. I'm not going to spend money suing them or calling for charge-backs every time - someone has been offering me better service for less money this whole time.
But I think the prevalence of piracy is a "smell" about the business model. If people could materialize food in front of them for free without taking that food from someone else that would be amazing. That's literally a Star-Trek-level fantasy about ideal society. As long as the food companies stay in business. In this case, the "companies" are having no problem staying in business.
Most money paid for music goes to record companies. The most successful artists make the overwhelming majority of their money from live performance and physical merchandise. So what value are the record companies providing. Distribution? No, independent artists can do that online through SoundCloud or even Spotify. Spotting talent? I think their taste sucks more often than not. I don't get it. I think really the value they provide is with connections to help an artist make it big - so in the big picture I'd say the record companies' customer is actually the artist.
• Someone says they do not like cats and have no interest in having one as a pet. A cute stray kitten shows up on their doorstep, they take pity and feed it. They fall in love with it and keep it. They might say that the kitten "stole" their heart.
• An actor playing a minor role in a play gives a performance that outshines the performance of the stars. Many would say that the actor "stole" the show.
• An employee of a rival company poses as a janitor to gain access to your lab and takes a photo of a whiteboard containing the formula for a chemical that is a trade secret in your manufacturing process. It would be common to say that the rival company "stole" your secret formula.
• When crackers gain access to a company's list of customer email addresses, passwords, or credit card numbers, it is commonly said that the data was "stolen".
• Alice is Bob's fiancé. Mallory woos Alice without Bob's knowledge. Alice elopes with Mallory. Most would find it acceptable if Bob said that Mallory "stole" his fiancé.
• A team that has been behind since the start of the game but wins on a last second improbable play is often said to have "stolen" the game.
Outside of court documents, statutes, law review articles, and your final exam in an IP law class, using the word "steal" for willful copyright infringement is common and correct usage.
The problem here is that we're talking about legal usage at the end of the day. "Copyright infringement" is a legal term, as is "theft", and on this matter, the supreme court already ruled.
The short version is that someone made a business pressing and selling Elvis records without the rights to do so, and the license holder tried to get him for theft. SCOTUS basically said no, copyright infringement and theft are not the same thing.
As copyright infringement is a matter of law, the literal legal context is the only one that matters.
I have seen a lot of people desperately trying to make a moral equivalence between theft and copyright infringement on the basis of dictionaries and thesauruses, and it just doesn't fly as an argument.
When you copy something, you are not dispossessing the current owner. The only reasonable way to translate theft into the world of intangible goods is as "plagiarism" or "counterfeiting".
Nowadays I buy all the media I can (the restriction always being availability, usually region locking but occasionally something being too old), and then I immediately pirate a copy and usually consume the pirated copy since there's no DRM nonsense and I can actually get to my damned content.
- Depending on your jurisdiction, you may break the law anyway and risk trouble.
- By buying something that you don't actually use, you effectively donate to a for-profit entity. To me at least, that feels very wrong. Donating directly to the creator would be different but since DRM is involved, you probably pay a middleman.
- Even worse: by paying for DRM-infested media, you encourage the use of DRM.
I have disposable income. I haven't pirated in a good while ( gog and steam making it mostly pointless -- though I did uninstall steam recently for other reasons ).
One of the game I was considering ( borderlands 3 ) is coming out on epic store with restrictive drm Denuvo. Now I can afford it, but ever since certain company that shall remain nameless decided to rootkit my PC, I became less than forgiving about drm. Hell, torrent may be the only way to have drm free experience on some games.
I am not asking for free. I am not making gaming a right, but I expect that as a customer I am treated seriously. I am not. Torrents even out the playing field, cuz clearly no one cares what me as a customer thinks. Torrents put the fear of god back in the executive types.
Everything available everywhere for $12.99/month isn't feasible so folks are going back to piracy, even though signing up for a handful of streaming services one time is easy. Folks just don't want to spend the money per month it would take to watch everything they like.
This was always the inevitable outcome of trying to do a la carte TV and approach the original cost of a monthly Comcast bill.
That is, even if you get the Disney premium package, you still need to rent netflix, Amazon prime, Hulu’s ad-free experience, CBS, NBC, HBO, and ever other nickel and dime streaming service out there.
- Maintaining 7-8 active subscriptions
- Finding the right service that's streaming a particular show
- Hope they haven't implemented some sort of time limitation so you can never watch episode 1 of a show again
- Paying more than cable for that privilege
If on the other hand one service paid the authors for licenses, curated the content, offered consistently good availability, performance, and convenience, and was without malware, I guess a fair share of people would pay. In fact a lot of people do pay for exactly these reasons.
I honestly can't remember the last time I pirated a PC game. Steam is just more convenient than pirating a game. And okay, when I was a kid i pirated games because I simply couldn't afford to buy them.
I had a spotify subscription for quite a while, but they seem incapable of making a working music player. So now I'm buying albums on bandcamp and 'find' the missing ones online.
Netflix here is so garbage, it just flat out made me stop watching movies and TV shows, I just watch youtube/twitch instead these days.
As soon as your service is better than piracy, people will pay for it.
That's not the question at all, no. I said you need better service than pirates. And that's absolutely possible, as steam shows.
Meanwhile spotify is busy losing my offline songs for no reason when i'm abroad and can't really stream because of roaming and netflix refuses to give me the original english audio.
I never had a problem with downloaded songs just disappearing when i bought an album from bandcamp or a youtube video refusing to play in english.
Using netflix and spotify is way easier than some kind of setup with Kodi or whatever people use, but they need to stop crippling their services. Some people pirate stuff instead, I mostly just stop consuming content where i'm treated like shit even after paying.
I'm glad that a country reminded their local USTR that they're not a colony and he's not the viceroy. It's so easy to get confused on matters like this.
Of course mindlessly abiding rarely enriches a small country.
What happens when relatively robust economies start to reject IP conceptually, altogether?
It seems unambiguous that they'll be at an advantage, not the other way around.
The real motivation is probably simply the fact that radical politicians rarely get to the point where they can decide about US trade agreements and so on. And even if they do, realpolitik usually gets in the way of saying fuck you to forever-copyrights.
> It seems unambiguous that they'll be at an advantage, not the other way around.
Sure, they might gain some export advantage, but then countries can simply refuse/tax/toll their products.
Some degree of protection is warranted. Trademarks, results of R&D, songs/tracks. The problem is that the patent process is largely useless, because where it matters it's not used (eg. for the pharma sector the FDA can and does grant exclusivity regardless of patents), and where it doesn't matter it's misused (fast moving tech, it's just used for fucking with the other market participants); the creative arts IP regulation is completely captured by the rent-seeking incumbents (Disney, the big 4 music "labels" and so on).
The whole IP protection should be reformed, and it should be decided based on how hard it was to innovate versus how hard it is to copy the result of that innovation. (This means coming up with a new iOS/Android programming thing in a year, gets you at best 6-12 months of protection, whereas if you spend 10 years researching a new steelmaking technique, maybe you should do get 5-10 years of protection, because it's trivial to copy the process and it takes a long time to get the fruits of your innovation in that sector compared to the mobile app dev sector.) And for creative stuff holding the IP should be taxed, and the longer you hold it the more you should pay for it based on how much you made from it in the previous years. Of course FRAND should be mandatory (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing) so anyone can use and build on top of IP, be it green steelmaking or new medicine, or just a fucking one-click pay-and-order solution for your webshop.
That's a charming idea, but not really a very accurate one. Switzerland is under perpetual pressure to harmonize legislation with partners both close by (EU) and distant (US).
Sure, we are free to make our own legislation, but at some point, those partners would also exercise their freedom not to deal with us under favored terms anymore, and, particularly with the EU, Switzerland tends to eventually adopt a large part of EU legislation.
You're free to give passports to war criminals to flee to Argentina, we're free to require Credit Suisse to give us their list of european clients if they want to operate in european markets.
Everyone is free in the best of worlds, long live free Switzerland.
This does not really apply here; the meaning here applies to freedom as a right from an authority (being this a state or an abstract morality). The freedom Switzerland has is not constrained from that but it is constrained by the responsibility they have towards their own population.
 Ok, above the state of Switzerland there is the Swiss population. But that does not really have an impact here.
That's related to the fact that the markets believe that the UK boarded a train loaded with nitroglicerine, going downhill with failing brakes.
Brexit is the UK imposing sanctions on itself. You can watch the GBP tick up or down according to how likely it looks to actually happen on any given day based on stupid statements by the PM.
Without outside money Switzerland would be in a much worse situation.
What? That is exactly the opposite of reality.
Its the UK that want hard Brexit.
Even though I can hear the wails and hollers it seems to me like a rather fair compromise and it's not incredibly high to begin with.
edit : typo
Though I will agree it is highly pragmatic, and not a noticeably large amount in Australia. Otherwise, people would perhaps have noticed.
Its especially fucked up since its explicitly to allow for private copies. Instead it is illegal to circumvent copy protection. Those tax schemes are a major rip off and nothing but pandering to powerful lobbies. Its protection money.
Looking into it, it seems to not be considered a tax as it's not collected by the government, it also states that if you are importing a drive from a country that also collects such a "tax" you should seek to be reimbursed from the exporting country and pay the "tax" to the importing country.
Their FAQ: https://www.copiefrance.fr/fr/ressources/questions-reponses
I know it's illegal to upload which includes sharing a torrent. But it has been legal to download movies and games. For instance from Internet Archive, which has lots of music and games.
Thats like putting a tax on cars because they might be used in a heist. Or a tax on weapons because there might be murder...
That being said, the question really is: is the tax fair (mostly affects the causers of the negative externality) and effective (does it actually reduce or fix the negative externality)? I haven't read the research to know the latter, but it seems the former isn't satisfied since there are legitimate uses for high capacity blank media. That being said, I'm not against it in principle.
My personal view is that IP protection is too generous, which results in larger IP owners having an unfair advantage. IP laws were intended to help protect smaller creators and encourage contributing to the public domain, but these days it seems to only help those who can afford to litigate. I think that by reducing IP protection terms, we can make progress on both fronts (ideally have extendable IP protections if the owner can prove they need more time to recoup their investment).