We found out after Digital Ocean forwarded us an email from HBO (who presumably tracked Digital Ocean down via the IP) that we were engaging in piracy. We sent an email to everyone with access, saying whoever was doing it to stop. Then we got a second email (a final warning).
Everyone denied doing it, so I had to find the offender via checking the bash history of the box for all users.
Sure enough a couple of mkv files had been downloaded and deleted by an intern :( Making the mistake of downloading it was forgiveable once, since we lived in a culture where piracy was rampant / normal (this was before Netflix et al were available in my country). But repeating the offense, failing to come clean and making us waste our time to locate who did it was not. (This was a small 7 person startup so trust was super important).
As for why the intern needed to ssh into a digital ocean box to run a torrent? The college internet (where he was working from) blocked torrent connections and he wanted to be the first one to download and release the episodes on the college intranet. Smh.
A senior customer service rep realized he had VPN access to a customer's, like.. T1 line. He started torrenting movies on it. On the CUSTOMERS network. Our entire company was nearly taken offline and the customer threatened cancelling the entire contract and suing us.
Dude got walked out the next day. A MEDIA company customer.
> a senior customer service rep
If an intern or new hire was guilty, it'd be more understadable. Perhaps, being senior, they got too comfortable with the power they wielded - but without the tech savvy to understand the consequences.
There were sites that tracked ratio which required maintaining a certain ratio to continue to be a member. Some members, however, took pride in having a ratio that skewed uploads over downloads.
I personally know people who paid for T1s just to maintain their "rep" of having the highest upload ratio. Not saying this is the case, but having access to a T1 back in the day was almost a way to "boost" their rep on these sites.
It’s their own network, it’s the LAST place they’d look!!
That company no longer exists except as a line item in some other company's deprecating assets
E.g. Bob's super smart and gets 10 times the work done as anyone else but he also sexually harasses the secretary and dips into the petty cash drawer at least once a week.
It should be clear we don't want to have Bob as our employee. See Susan Fowler's experience with her boss at Uber who sexually propositioned her repeatedly but HR said they would not remove because he was a high performer...
Wasn't suggesting anything related to firing or not.
@ooobit2 I was asking, only to hopefully learn a bit about how people who do such weird things, can be like, otherwise at the workplace.
> I've fired people for having less wherewithal than to ask a question like this
Makes me wonder if you've fired people in the past, because of misunderstandings
It is precisely because of the magnitude of his error that it would have been nicer to fire him before he made it.
That's right -- I'm interested in hopefully recognizing such signs myself, sooner rather than later
Can you explain what this sentence means?
His resume says he was an engineer at LowerMyBills between November, 2003 to June, 2004.
Sigh, people probably trust things like this today because FB(whatsapp)/Google/slack/discord forces you to sign up with valid phone numbers and probably expose that as your ID.
...check out his resume.
He got walked out. I don't know what other consequences he suffered. Being smart doesn't mean you can't do something really stupid.
They ended up having to come back the next day with a new warrant because he was at a branch office but their internet was from a point to point connected to the main office.
They took his pc and I provided them with a months worth of squid logs. We had just spent like $4500 on a new CAD workstation for him.
He’s still in prison.
> He ended up serving no prison time, in exchange for working for the FBI for free for a year.
He ended up serving no prison time, in exchange for working for the FBI for free for a year.
I, along with a whole lot of others, were absolutely dumbstruck by his profound fall from grace.
I had a malware once that distributed (legal) porn. Since then I have had that in the back of my head when reading about child porn. I mean, what more effective way to ruin someones life by framing without having to involve yourself physically by planting drugs etc. It doesn't even have to be a specific target that is framed, but a target.
I really hope that the police have the technical knowledge to judge the evidence in these cases. Even if a framed person is cleared his reputation might be ruined anyway.
If hackers can encrypt your entire hard drive holding it ransom without you knowing, this attack seems even easier.
But there's usually a lot more evidence then one hacked machine, if someone is mentally ill enough to think downloading child porn is a good idea.
Hopefully the police is aware of the risk for hacking and are looking for other clues too.
There’s a subplot where this happens in the comic 100 Bullets.
Rootkits are a thing. It would be perfectly reasonable for a criminal to intentionally use one to hide a process doing illicit things on their own computer from prying eyes.
I really wanna see how they made those estimations.
How many percent of Woman's are pedophiles then?
The ones that don't get caught are typically full on psychopaths, because they are random and don't have an MO that identifies them.
"Hey, don't do that, we do business with many of those companies, and we don't want them to associate us with the shoddy work on the later seasons of the series, certainly not that ridiculous ham-fisted finale".
Aren't streaming licenses normally region exclusive?
Thankfully I shared a cube wall with someone smart enough to realize the confusion, and explain me out of being walked out.
They were monitoring for torrent traffic, but weren't paying attention to what was being torrented. Apparently a company-wide warning had gone out the week before I started.
One of the helpdesk staff told me that it had been noticed, since the bandwidth to that machine was very high, but he unofficially liked the idea of the university being top of the seeding table, so I should leave it running :-D
 http://torrent.unix-ag.uni-kl.de/stats.html?info_hash=8dcb18... (but mine would have been in 2007 or so).
I remember downloading some content over IRC to share on the campus network because I knew how to use it and it was slow, but not blocked.
I had as much backed-up space as I could justify (some gigabytes by default), plenty of space for laptops where there were power sockets as well as 1Gb/s wired and fast wifi connections, personal webspace/server, a PostgreSQL database, a Tomcat server, remote SSH access to all computers and a distributed computing system (Condor).
Looking at the current guide for students, they also get access to a local Gitlab instance, a private IaaS cloud and a GPU cluster.
I got two urgent panicked phone calls from the same person within five minutes of each other for bulk-downloading satellite images from, if memory serves, NASA.
You find a website that creates a link between 2 clients, and the file is shared via https (maybe the file is decrypted at the server and encrypted again using your public key). Sounds easy if both clients don’t have a public IP (to get SCP to work, at least one client needs a public IP) and every browser now has WebRTC.
BitTorrent is a fantastic way to transfer files, except for this one hitch I keep hitting.
I wanted to about 2tb of data, mostly torrents, over a wlan from my NAS, and kept getting dropped packets. Eventually I gave up on smb and ftp, and set up opentracker (a simple download and build, with iirc two config options) on my windows desktop under WSL, and swapped the tracker to a local address; after this, it worked perfectly.
I remember one customer (a state department of education) in particular had a server at each school with reasonable private bandwidth but unreliable routing and dismal internet connectivity, so we used the BitTorrent protocol for eventually-consistent asset distribution between their sites.
See also: using NNTP as your pub/sub message bus.
...which is unfortunate because even something like the anonymous DH that is specified, or more standard, TLS with random/self-signed certificates, would force monitors to need to MITM all connections in order to find out what they contain.
If you're monitoring and logging the traffic then it's trivial to not only determine the filename of a bittorrent download, but also everything you need to connect to the torrent yourself and download it to verify that it's what the filename says, if that's what you wish to do.
And, personally, I'd expect someone to at least check the filename before accusing me of committing a crime. :(
I pretty much just torrent much of the content I could find on these services. It's so much easier to just have it appear in the list instead of switching devices, sometimes remotes. Just so tired of boxes and remotes and accounts and having to "type" with a stupid remote control.
Most of this could be solved if I could reliably queue something from my laptop to be played on my tv. Like how YouTube lets you queue videos.
The trouble is of course I'm paying for something that isn't as versatile (shows/movies come and go, I can't watch without a connection) but I think its easier and the tradeoff is worth it. I don't tend to watch shows over and over so that helps.
Although I agree typing with the onscreen keyboard and remote just sucks...
Of course I am old and remember the hassle of video rentals which involved physical media (where what you wanted often wasn't available), so my threshold for retrieving content might be higher.
For example, creating a digital copy of some content is typically so easy that creating an entirely new duplicate copy is actually how works are transfered. Compared to physical media where creating a copy can be so difficult that copies are shared by physically moving individual copies rather than re-duplicating them.
While many libraries do have significant and valuable collections of digital works, they also tend to have somewhat overrought (or overly trusting) systems for preventing illicit copying.
So why use torrents instead of the library?
You know full well the difference.
So recording it requires something that implements that HDMI DRM scheme, but still allows you to record.
Are you suggesting a library is only moral because of the difficulty in using it? If so, what if someone were to suggest that current libraries have become easy enough to use that they have already crossed that line?
I don't know what analogy to make since all the physical ones fail. Maybe it's like hiring someone for a service and not paying. You get a haircut and don't pay. You hire a lawyer and don't pay. You have an accountant and don't pay. In all of those cases the only thing lost is the time the hair stylist, lawyer, accountant, movie maker spent. Yet we generally consider the first 3 morally wrong. Why not the 4th. That you can copy without getting caught doesn't mean there are zero moral implications.
That’s called the “Sweat of the brow” argument, but it isn’t valid in the US:
Data yearns to be free -- sharing it and copying it cost nothing. Shows are just video data. Forcing real-world, scarcity economics, in a realm where the only currency of the land is plentiful, seems strange to me.
There are so many other ways to monetize media content, and yet we keep going back to DRM and publisher-controlled walled-gardens. It's a complete and total shame.
> Data yearns to be free -- sharing it and copying it costs nothing.
The latter part of that is true (setting aside quibbles about bandwidth and storage not being absolutely 100% free), but here's the thing: back in the days of physical media, of books and DVDs and CDs and what have you, the bulk of the price was never the physical media itself. The paper and plastic was never the valuable part.
> There are so many other ways to monetize media content...
Maybe, but just about all the ones that I've seen boil down to one of three methods:
- charge people directly for the content
- give the content away for free and sell ads against the content
- give the content away for free and make ancillary sales (e.g., merchandise)
Charging people for content doesn't require DRM: essentially all digital music sales are now DRM-free, for instance, and many ebooks are, depending on the publisher.
Also, two other observations.
First, while music publishers were always unduly whiny about the ability to record music at all, burning CDs and making mix tapes did cost money; it may have "felt" just like putting your entire music library up on Napster, but unless you had enough money to just hand out thousands of CDs of other people's music on street corners, it wasn't. It's not really super surprising that digital music piracy made those music publishers a lot soggier and hard to light.
Second, "data yearns to be free" sounds like a rephrasing of "information wants to be free," and I think it's worth remembering that the full quote from Stewart Brand went on to say "Information also wants to be expensive. This tension will not go away." Technology may let us reduce the marginal cost of reproducing anything that can be expressed as data to zero, but that doesn't make everything that ben expressed as data valueless.
We may have DRM and walled gardens, but media distribution is much more consumer friendly than it used to be.
There are many services that offer streaming at a flat rate, where you can watch or listen what you please and when you please without being subjected to third-party advertising. You can also subscribe and unsubscribe with ease, without paying additional fees. Contrast that to prior decades where none of that was true.
There are other services that offer perpetual licenses (I am hesitant to call them purchases) of books, music, videos, and software. You can access that content across multiple devices. In some cases you can even legally acquire it without DRM. Contrast that to early digital media. I remember floppy based software that would disable the installation media once it was installed to a hard drive. You could not re-download your music in the early days of iTunes, and they were considered consumer friendly.
I doubt that many people actually expected information to be free. What they wanted was for information to be convenient and cheap. As for those who actually did want information to be free, there are options out there that respect the creator's wishes (creative commons licensing, open source, etc.).
Free is nice, yes. But money isn't the only reason for piracy. Downloading is easier and frequently faster than ripping the DRM off myself.
Media companies have abused laws and rights that are supposed to encourage and enrich society not diminish and stifle it.
They're beyond redemption at this point. The whole industry can burn at the stake for all I care. Netflix included. (Why does it matter what country I live in again? Why do you remove access to certain shows st random?)
The only media I pay for willingly is books and that is purely because amazon did such a great job of rejecting the authors guild and creating an atleast seemingly competitive market.
If media companies want my money they need to stop suing their largest customers.
They need to stop lobbying my government to enforce their governments rules.
They need to respect fair use.
They need to understand that it no longer costs anything to produce a copy and they are more than capable of finding a business model that works through the use of product placement. Hell they could run ads on their self listed torrents and I wouldnt bother reripping or looking for one without the ads.
Theyre way too focused on producing profits and protectionism than where they should be focused. Creating great entertainment and enriching society.
I pay because I don't want video blogspam and advertorials. There's lots on QVC that you can watch if you want to support that style of content.
Media companies are aggressively litigious bullies and the way they conduct their business is at odds with the interests of the public at large. Not speaking for the others but I have no tears for cry for losses incurred by actors like that, especially not "losses" of digital media licensing opportunities.
The real solution isnt ignoring copyright like i do. That is just all i have available.
The real solution is to reign in the timeframes copyright and patent law lasts for.
Have it only long enough to recoup costs of development and provide some level of capital for the next innovation. Not an indefinite stranglehold on information for the benefit of only a few.
The thing people seem to argue is that these businesses have a free right to profit off of society. They dont, society should demand something in return.
The effect is so intangible for the large media funded projects as well, pirating your local struggling musicians might be another story, but is that really much worse than the current streaming model what you get paid a few thousand dollars for millions on streams?
Remember, there's a big selection bias on that impression.
After all, the people who think it's none of their business if X at work is sleeping on the job don't post about it on social media.
That's basically what I did with a certain popular TV series. I'd torrent the individual episodes, then buy the DVD box sets at the end of the season to pay for it. When it became clear that the writers didn't actually have any idea what they were doing (which was a topic of no small debate at the time), I stopped buying the box sets.
Whether I stopped torrenting it is neither here nor there, but let's just say that the peer comment ("The last season wasn't something I enjoyed, it was something that happened to me") really rung a bell with me. Later, the same story repeated itself with another popular show on a different network, at which point I just disengaged with TV for good.
You could argue that season 8 was rushed, that some battles made no sense, that they botched the Night's King, or that Daenerys' character development was ruined by the abruptness -- though I think this too will play out similarly in the books -- but Jon Snow's resurrection was neither pandering nor the fault of HBO.
Promoting and distributing game of thrones is a crime against art, beauty and taste. Pirating it only makes things worse as it exacerbates the network effect.
Personally, I dont feel like Foxtel is a problem so much as the business model of locking up a show within a paid streaming service. There are so many of them. If a show or movie isnt on the streaming services I already have access to I immediately just discard the idea of ever watching it. Its unlikely to even be worth the bother to find a way to watch it.
Well, it turns out you can run bittorrent over Tor. Got dozens of DMCA emails, host took the server down within 24 hours. Taught me a lesson on being nice.
Had a moment of being a bit frozen and scared.
Decided to email the IT head and explain the situation. I got a “thanks for letting me know” and that was it. Not as big a deal as my head conjured up.
I could have done the wrong thing though and made it a big deal.
- your company's IT guy
I never do personal stuff on company time/equipment, just seems stupid. I'm not sure I think it should matter though...
At present the holder of copyright has the public feeling on his side. Those who invade copyright are regarded as knaves who take the bread out of the mouths of deserving men. Everybody is well pleased to see them restrained by the law, and compelled to refund their ill-gotten gains. No tradesman of good repute will have anything to do with such disgraceful transactions. Pass this law: and that feeling is at an end. Men very different from the present race of piratical booksellers will soon infringe this intolerable monopoly. Great masses of capital will be constantly employed in the violation of the law. Every art will be employed to evade legal pursuit; and the whole nation will be in the plot… Remember too that, when once it ceases to be considered as wrong and discreditable to invade literary property, no person can say where the invasion will stop. The public seldom makes nice distinctions. The wholesome copyright which now exists will share in the disgrace and danger of the new copyright which you are about to create.
if i'm downloading something i'm 100% sure the media company that owns the rights is getting my money somehow.
If someone stole my IP from me or my company, it would be harder to pay the bills for either me, or my company.
Got an impression that code is not that useful to an outsider. It can help answering extremely specific questions how a particular small isolated function is implemented. Even ignoring legal issues, it won't significantly help building competing products, let alone building a successful business around such product.
When we hire people, they gain access to complete source code, documentation, continuous integration environment, bug tracker, and most importantly to the current developers. It usually takes them months to become productive. With just the source code, would probably take a year even for very smart person.
Have you ever seen any numbers on HN users jobs? I’m continually surprised by the diverse roles of domain experts that appear in threads. I guess I’m hoping you’re wrong.
Doesn't make copying someone else's work without payment right.
I believe it is right in a moral sense. The illusion that any art is always to be treated as having a value commensurate with the effort involved (or the transient demand), is a fantasy that has been commoditized. Thats the current worldthink.
Many of us create over years and see our programs go to waste without a second thought in the same way. It has been a brutal set of lessons over the years. Media creators are no different than me and both arts are better serving humanity in the digital age where the information can flow freely in society. Software licensing is bad and media copying is goid. I believe this now (20 years later), as I always have.
The blunt fact of the matter is - A majority of the movies would gain more by giving it away to the public domain because most movies fail. Radio did not kill Art. Internet is the new radio.
The same is true even for software. 80% of business fail. It would not matter if they gave their code away. GPL based business have made billions, i'n not even talking about open source and have more users than some of the biggest "startups".
Among the minority that made it "big" copyright contributed maybe 5% to the success. IP allows big companies to bully creators, lie to consumers and bully independent companies that they perceive as threats.
In Music, Code, Science ... openness has lead to more innovation. Movies and Games present an interesting case. They have plenty of upfront costs. Games have already embraced some notions of the freemium mode. It would be really interesting if 100 million dollar movie is entirely funded by the people. There is nothing stopping that from happening. Copyright, Patents should last at-most 1 year.
To your point, the vast majority of media and software is proprietary, though much of it is supporting in nature and not directly for sale. Nevertheless, shouldn’t publishers be free to choose how they fund their creations?
If we take away the option of artificial scarcity then an entire highly trained professional class will be out of work. While I don’t think Jonny Depp, for example, is worth $650M , I don’t personally think that’s a great option for the editors, writers, extras, gaffers, and many other professionals that work together to make great media.
Companies are motivated to maximise the revenue from making this stuff. If they could make more money without copyright, they would have done this already. (And radio is a terrible example: commercial radio simply plays advertising for artists, called “songs”, 24x7)
Of course. The problem is when they demand that goverments take away their ciziten's natural rights to copy and share information in order to support their chosen business model. If publishers want society to make their business model possible by being given special "rights" and having public institudions enforce those "rights" then it is very much up to all of society to choose if that is acceptable.
Remember copyright is an entirely artificial construct meant to benefit society by encouraging creators to produce content. It is my and many others opinion that the current state of copyright is a very one sided affair that benefits mainly big corporations while having numerous negative effects on society.
> If we take away the option of artificial scarcity then an entire highly trained professional class will be out of work.
Unlikely. There will always be a demand for entertainment and people interested in filling that demand will find a way to make it worthwile.
But even if the entire entertainment industry would instantly disappear then that would still not be an argument to uphold unjust laws. Professions becoming obsolete with progress is entirely natural. People can adapt.
> copyright is an entirely artificial construct meant to benefit society by encouraging creators to produce content
The problem with this line of reasoning is that all property is an artificial construct. Just because it’s an artificial concept doesn’t, on its own, make it wrong.
> It is my and many others opinion that the current state of copyright is a very one sided affair that benefits mainly big corporations while having numerous negative effects on society.
That may be true, but last I looked we live in a democracy, which means that we have a process for changing the law, which does not include doing whatever you want.
And honestly, while there is plenty about modern copyright that I find repulsive, especially the constant extension, nevertheless the wholesale removal of copyright would have many consequences that you probably don’t want. For starters, the GPL, CC, Apache and many other free licenses rely on copyright to work.
> There will always be a demand for entertainment and people interested in filling that demand will find a way to make it worthwile
Copyright supports far more than just entertainment. The wholesale destruction of journalism, for example, has clearly damaged society. Part of the damage has been caused because Google and Facebook have subverted copyright to their own causes.
It really is not black and white.
The law can change tomorrow with the stroke of a pen and society won't owe them anything for these past "investments" no matter what their expectations were. Which, of course, is why they invest so much in politics and astroturf campaigns to head off any attempt to actually change the law to something more in line with what most people actually think is right. (If you applied the principle of estoppel and required anyone who had ever violated copyright law to suit words to actions and vote against it then you probably couldn't even get a quorum in favor, much less a majority.)
> The problem with this line of reasoning is that all property is an artificial construct.
Property rights arise naturally as a result of scarcity. Someone has to have the right to decide how the scarce resource will be used or it might as well not exist.
"Property" rights in things that are not scarce are a purely artificial construct.
> For starters, the GPL, CC, Apache and many other free licenses rely on copyright to work.
Copyleft licenses were created as a reaction against copyright. Sometimes they overstep their bounds, true—especially the less permissive variants. However, in general, if copyright and software patents did not exist then there would be no need for any of these licenses.
> The wholesale destruction of journalism, for example, has clearly damaged society. Part of the damage has been caused because Google and Facebook have subverted copyright to their own causes.
Taking it at face value, this appears to be an argument against copyright? Not that I really agree that Google and Facebook are primarily to blame. The public simply prefers to be entertained and reaffirmed rather than informed. If anything, copyright reinforces this outcome since you can't copyright facts (and rightly so); as such, actual journalism, uncovering the facts of the situation, has become a cost center to be minimized, whereas the "expression" is heavily subsidized via copyright monopoly.
What you say is literally true, but because most investment ends up as wages, such an act would literally destroy tens of billions of dollars of working capital, and put a hundred thousand people out of work overnight.
I assume that's not an outcome you actually advocate.
> Property rights arise naturally as a result of scarcity
Rubbish. The whole concept of rights is almost entirely artificial . For most of history, property and other rights were determined by whoever had the biggest army. Jesus, many people still don't have the right to their own bodies in some places in the world.
The idea that rights of any kind are somehow anything other than a set of cherished beliefs codified in law, is nonsense.
> Copyleft licenses were created as a reaction against copyright.
I think the situation is much, much more complicated than that, but it is a side issue of this conversation at best.
> this appears to be an argument against copyright... The public simply prefers to be entertained
You surely can't blame people for wanting to be entertained? Are you saying you never watch something fun?
In any case, weak and misapplied copyright laws have enabled Google and Facebook, in particular, to concentrate the important elements of journalism and present it to their users in a way which reduces the diversity of all journalism. They show just enough to get away with "fair use" while ensuring that the likelihood of people clicking outside the walled garden is minimised.
Imagine what these companies would do to us if basic copyright was even weaker. Do you think Facebook would link to an article it can just copy? 2 billion+ people on the earth would have just one web browser and it would never - not be allowed - to leave fb.com.
That is not a future I want.
I don't wish misfortune on anyone, and I expect there would be a transitional period in any real-world implementation, but just the same I cannot possibly justify continuing this parasitic situation any longer than absolutely necessary. If I were presented with a button that would eliminate copyright law instantly, globally, and permanently, I would press it without hesitation—and then get to work dealing with the inevitable fallout.
> For most of history, property and other rights were determined by whoever had the biggest army. Jesus, many people still don't have the right to their own bodies in some places in the world.
You are obviously referring to legal recognition of rights, not the rights themselves. The law is artificial, founded for the most part on non-defensive application of force to achieve a desired outcome, and doesn't correlate very well with the rights that people naturally possess. Some legal systems are better than other in this regard. No law which comes from a government will ever fully recognize natural human rights because, quite simply, that would put them out of business. However, here in the U.S. we at least explicitly recognize that there are rights which humans naturally possess ("endowed by their Creator"—whatever that happens to mean to you) which do not derive from the law, but rather have priority over it. There is a difference between what the law says you may do without penalty and what you may rightfully do, and when the two are in conflict it is the law which is wrong, no matter how popular the law might be or how much force can be brought to bear to back it up.
> You surely can't blame people for wanting to be entertained? Are you saying you never watch something fun?
I'm not blaming them. I'm just saying that there isn't a strong market right now for actual journalism. It's thankless work, for the most part, with or without copyright.
> In any case, weak and misapplied copyright laws have enabled Google and Facebook, in particular, to concentrate the important elements of journalism and present it to their users in a way which reduces the diversity of all journalism. They show just enough to get away with "fair use" while ensuring that the likelihood of people clicking outside the walled garden is minimised.
Are you trying to say that copyright should be expanded to cover facts and not just expression? That it should be illegal to quote or paraphrase a small portion of a copyrighted work? I believe the majority would side with me in vehemently disagreeing. Keep in mind that (in the U.S.) the exceptions for fair use are the only reason why copyright law was not declared wholly unconstitutional on 1st Amendment grounds. Freedom of speech is far more important than this runaway social engineering experiment known as copyright. (IMHO they gave in too easily. Copyright law violates the 1st Amendment and freedom of speech even with fair use.)
I can’t reconcile these two statements. People would definitely die if you pushed that button; I don’t think you want that.
> here in the U.S. we at least explicitly recognize that there are rights which humans naturally possess
Perhaps true, but only for certain values of ‘human’.
> Are you trying to say that copyright should be expanded to cover facts and not just expression? That it should be illegal to quote or paraphrase a small portion of a copyrighted work?
I think it’s pretty clear that I’m saying that fair use has been subverted by companies for profit, and that eliminating copyright will make things far worse.
> Freedom of speech is far more important than this runaway social engineering experiment known as copyright
Given the rate at which people are getting sick and dying in the US right now, I’m not certain that the “runaway social experiment of free speech” - as moderated and directed by the copyright infringing trolls at big social media - is working out too well for you guys either.
> Copyright law violates the 1st Amendment and freedom of speech even with fair use.
Didn’t you just essentially argue that the law is not morally authoritative?
You clearly believe that there exist natural rights. I happen to believe that the right to control the things I create is natural. Just because something can be copied easily doesn’t abrogate my natural rights, any more than the fact that your genome can be copied abrogates yours.
Despite what you think, its entirely possible and natural for me to suffer a loss if you copy something that I created, particularly if creating it was expensive for me, and your copying it prevents me from making good my loss.
While there is much I find dismaying about copyright law, there is nothing unnatural about it.
80% movies don't need the 100 million dollar budget and I'm pretty sure Johnny Deepp would be happy to release Edward Scissorhands to the public domain.
Most big movies make their money by single day screenings and releasing movies at different dates in different regions with market buzz.
Interestingly your argument fails for porn. Its about 1/4th the size of hollywood.
How about publishers own the copyright and creators own the copyright instead of commoditising a copyright artefact ?
I assure you musicians can survive and Depp can do some theatre. Most EDM is essentially copyright free, especially techno. 1 year of exclusivity is fine. Fuck NDAs.
These days the cost of production has gone down so I think you will see more indie media taking advantage of that. The average budget for a reasonable movie is less than 5 million, heck even 500k dollars going by kickstarter funded movies.
In terms of $100M movies, I think they almost all suck, but that was the value you suggested. I’d say that no movie needs to cost $100M!
But plenty of movies cost $10M. If it takes 100 people a year to make a movie then you can easily spend $10M on salaries and overheads alone.
> Interestingly your argument fails for porn
Does it? I’d guess that the average porno costs a few hundred bucks to shoot, and takes a couple of hours. There is easily 100x more hours of porn produced per day than narrative fiction, and yet it only makes 25% of Hollywood, and notoriously, the actors are frequently exploited. I’d say that porn is a warning of danger rather than a proof of success!
> Depp can do some theatre
When was the last time you paid to go to the theatre?
> Most EDM is essentially copyright free, especially techno. 1 year of exclusivity is fine. Fuck NDAs.
My raver days are (sadly) behind me, but sure, OK, like porn, EDM can be produced with little investment. So what? No everything that is good is also cheap or easy to build.
> These days the cost of production has gone down so I think you will see more indie media taking advantage of that.
I’m a huge fan of indy media but, because of that, I pay for it, and I don’t like it when people freeload.
> The average budget for a reasonable movie is less than 5 million
I think you’re just making things up now, but even so, 5 million is a buttload of money that you need to get back. Few people are gonna spend that sort of money with no expectation of recouping it.
I too can ignore every big budget predictable cliche and say so what. Lets ignore the successes of alternatives.
Is Kanye West and Britney Spears the best you can do with millions of dollars ? I'll stick to punk and EDM ... no thanks.
> I’m a huge fan of indy media but, because of that, I pay for it, and I don’t like it when people freeload.
Is copyright / patents the only way to finance and get money back ?
Absolutely not. Thats the argument I am making.
The problem is that some productions are simply expensive. Think about sending an imax camera to the space station. There is literally no way to make that cheap. And why concentrate only on music and movies, what about games? What about journalism? There are a huge number of industries that depend on at least some form of copyright, even if not specifically the bastard form that exists at this moment.
> Is copyright / patents the only way to finance and get money back ? Absolutely not. Thats the argument I am making.
But as far as I can tell, you’re only arguing against copyright, you’re not actually making an argument for a viable alternative, and that is my problem.
Just because you dig EDM and punk, and these specific types of music can be made on the cheap, doesn’t mean all good media can be made cheaply. Just because most $100M movies suck doesn’t mean that $10 million movies shouldn’t be made.
Accept that, and then explain to me how to repeatedly raise the $10 million investment needed to create high quality, high cost products that will be given away for free, no strings attached. I think you’ll find that the problem is that doing so is incredibly hard and extremely risky, which is why nobody is doing it.
Also, I believe nobody should go to jail or be bankrupted for copying digital works.
And what do you know? Two randos came to an amicable position on an Internet forum :) next stop, world peace!!
What exactly about being in the public domain would help a movie "gain more" if it hadn't had a successful box office run previously? "GPL-based businesses making billions" does not strike me as a meaningful comparison here. ("Well, 'Cats' is a fiasco, but if we give it away for free we can make a killing selling enterprise service contracts for it!")
It's most pirated because it was great quality product with low quality service and delivery.
While I have technically participated in copyright infringement (I haven't raided any ships, I promise, arrgh), I do not feel I have done anything morally wrong.
I'm not sure there's any caselaw on downloading content you've paid for? Seems very close to format/time shifting to me.
Possibly depends if you leeched or not.
I once torrented an episode of the show The Americans, my last option as my usual sources were weirdly all offline and it was the middle of a season, the show wasn't even legally distributed in Germany at the time.
Turned out some German publisher picked up the distribution rights to the show and their first action wasn't to make it legally available in Germany, but trying to profit from Germans who followed the show trough piracy by sending out serial c&d letters demanding 800€ payments and stipulating damages in the range of 10k€
It's a pretty wide-spread and annoying situation to such a degree that using public torrent is a very quick way to get expensive mail as there's a whole lot of anti-piracy outfits in Germany that monitor public torrent trackers for German IPs downloading files named after copyrighted works to send out those c&d letters.
Afaik the worst they could do is cancel your service/subscription because the c&d letter is addressed to the owner of the connection, which in your case would be the VPN company.
Somehow 1-2 months later I got a request from my college's computer center to make some changes in the college intranet landing page.
Then I became good friends with them. and later I got an account from them, where everything was open.
I was a good time ;)
Hmm but doing that in a 7 person startup, and then repeating the offense, and then failing to come clean !! seriously man..
When I was young and stupid (at least more than now) I did some pranks using dormitory server, and knew that I should clean bash history (actually using a single space before command did that).
But what I didn't know was that vim also has a history of commands :) server admin wasn't happy.
Then everybody would be as wrong as you. You can repeat this as much as you like, but it is simply false.
Legally speaking: copyright infringement is an offense distinct from theft.
Speaking from reality: copyright infringement does not deprive the holder of the right of their property.
Speaking ethically: Copyright infringement is a violation of a particular commercial mode of exchange. "Unauthorized Looking" would be a better term for what retail bittorrent users are up to.
In that sense, copyright infringement _indirectly_ deprives the holder of the property through the capital that they invested in order to create the property in the first place.
I mean, if I spend $100 to make a movie with the hope that 100 people will each spend $2 to watch it, and then you make a copy and distribute it for free to my audience, then you’ve deprived me of my $100 in capital, and the $100 in profit. The profit itself is a loss because it is an opportunity cost: if I hadn’t made the movie then I might have spent my time making money some other way.
The distance between your position and mine is, I think, one of scale. Individual infringement of a property with millions of views is a tiny fraction of the cost of creating that property. But as the number of infringers increases relative to the audience, it really does deprive people of property.
Even if it was possible, surely the people who have invested real money should be the ones to make this decision? Indeed, lots of IP becomes free (even freedom-free) after it’s made money, eg the Quake engine.
Why? They have no inherent right to limit the distribution of their content, only the special rights society has decided to give them in order to encourage the creation in the first place.
And in the case of copyright society has decided that media is something that is worth investing in and we have created laws that encourage that.
Some of those laws suck and are stupid and overreaching, but that’s not the argument here.
I don't know what the legal term is for hiring someone for a service and then not paying them for that service.
My first search came up with "theft of services"
If you want the your tax forms filled out you pay the tax accountant. If you want the movie you pay the creators of the movie.
I know there is a difference in the the movie already exits but is that an important difference? When I arrive at the tax accountant's office to collect my tax forms they already exist. Maybe I should just make a copy for free and leave and say "copies are free so it's not theft"?
It's not the document that was stolen, it was the value of their time.
I understand it might not seem right to you, but in all the social groups I am a part of piracy and sharing accounts is normative. The only fault I see is mixing personal and work resources, which naturally have separate concerns.
Back in the dvd days, I would frequently never get discs back. The few times I’ve loaned a file from a digital file I’ve bought on Amazon, I’ve never watched the movie again. So for all I care, they could keep it forever.
In terms of digital goods writ large, there is no good way for me to lend access in a provable manner -- so of course piracy is the natural evolution because that's the only way to lend things.
Also, we used to copy Blockbuster tapes too, which is illegal, but there was never enforcement because we never re-sold these copies. Maybe I'm just a miscreant through and through. Irrespective, this is another clear example of where the transition to digital caused a dissonance between the physical and digital worlds that led users to believe behavior called "illegal" was actually just a subtraction of their ownership rights.
I just don't understand this argument, physical copies of virtually any type of media absolutely still exist. If you want to own even Netflix shows on disc, you can do that pretty cheaply. I'd you want to get Blu Ray discs delivered to you by mail for a subscription fee, you can probably do that (although this is slightly more geographically restricted).
This argument is simply invalid.
Also, I'm sure there are other Hulu, Netflix, Prime excluses that won't make it to the physical market.
This still avoids the main issue here: It's the right of ownership of the copy. Having a digital copy, in it's current state, prevents you from transferring it to others. Amazon's ebooks have the option for lending, but you're still reliant upon Amazon's "holy permission" to do that. (They can reascend it at any time). With physical mediums the original creators cannot prevent you from reselling what you own. (They can try.. but often times they've failed)
I don’t think it’s reasonable to say that if I watch a movie that I like, I should purchase it again on physical media just to loan it. And that my friend should buy a DVD player just to watch a borrowed movie.
If I’ve bought it once digitally, I will make copies and lend them to friends. Or more specifically, I’ll give them a login to my private Plex server.
The issue we saw is that there is no way to legally lend a digital resource to someone else, which is a constructed limitation. Lending here involves two things, one is that the resource is exclusive and the other that it has the same traits as the original good. In crux, why do an illegal, but "not as bad" thing when there is no legal difference -- just do the illegal thing at that point.
This is how torrenting, piracy, and account sharing became normative. Access to digital goods was restricted further than physical goods, meaning that as content moved to digital first, there was a dissonance between worlds (This is where all the "First Sales Doctrine" litigation tens of years ago comes from). When that dissonance was resolved in favor of businesses, we adjusted via legal brinksmanship -- wherein we said "This is normal behavior, but if you're calling it abnormal and illegal I'll just do the actually illegal thing because it doesn't matter anymore".
I have a library card, where I borrow exclusive, digital copies of a resource for a reasonable price (If we snake a path between my taxes and the library service). I think this system is great, even though it has just the same properties as physical lending has. It is when properties are lost inexplicably that you see new, emergent behavior.
Once again, I understand that this isn't widely accepted view point in some circles and that you may just fundamentally dislike it. I know that behavior might be illegal by US code, but the nature of something being illegal is that it is illegal because it is an accessible possibility. We create laws to inhibit possible behavior, and, in this case, many of us have just said "I don't care" to these laws in a similar way to jaywalking or speeding.
You only have two choices as a rights holder when it comes to digital works; much less sharing or much more. There's no workable digital equivalent of the kind of sharing limits imposed by having to move a physical thing from one place to another. In order for sharing to be viable with digital versions the DRM would need to be much more sophisticated, or the prices would need to be much higher.
Edit: if you want a concrete example of the harm caused by this attitude, go look into why there's no HD remaster of DS9 or Babylon 5. The studio broke down sales figures for previous SciFi remakes and then the degree to which those shows are torrented. If even an appreciable fraction of the freeloaders ever actually bought the discs, then it would be worth it to make one. You don't, so they don't.
Are you sure digital piracy is theft?
Wikipedia defines theft as:
"The taking of another person's property or services without that person's permission or consent with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it."
Copies are made, sales (possibly) lost, but no property is being taken such that the owner cannot continue to sell/rent/etc it.
My take: I'll pay for whatever streaming service that has the content I want (except Hulu), but if it is not available to stream then Internet Copies are an option for me. I don't have a DVD/Bluray/etc player to go the physical copy route and would simply go without if not for streaming first then Internet Copies.
physical copy theft: the physical medium is being stolen, the works are still available, but it is theft because packaging is an industry unto itself, costing money. Making an internet copy costs (basicallly) nothing.
In all: I will pay for what is available, I will even wait if they announce something I want is coming to x-platform at y-date. Because of Netflix alone, I basically don't download movies now. Disney+ is an interesting option now, too. If the market provides, it can have my money!
Not really, I pay for Amazon prime, tho in Germany, as such the content is very limited and often only exists dubbed, granted: They've been getting better with this.
But delivery of certain shows sometimes is days and weeks late compared to US release, streaming quality has also been spotty for me with no real way to fix anything.
I also have shared access to Netflix, but once again: It's German Netflix, as such it does not have the same offerings as what's current in the US, for example no second season of Twilight Zone.
With Netflix I could use a VPN to get access to the US version, but finding a free VPN with enough bandwidth to stream Full HD content is easier said than done and finding a good paid one seems like quite a bothersome task.
Meanwhile, none of that matters with the warez scene, which also covers everything, not just specific IP. Meaning that I don't run the risk missing out on something interesting or a new season due to not having properly kept up with the news or checked dozens of different services.
No weird issues with streaming, just a handy *.mkv file, add whatever language subtitles I want/need because unlike the entertainment industry, the warez scene actually has been extremely good and consistent about setting and keeping standards 
My understanding is that you'd still be breaking copyright laws, so you might as well download from torrents...
A pirate however, does not deplete any of the provider's resources. They don't use computational or transactional resources.
In practice they’ll just bar you from the premises.
So I’d say that piracy is potential copyright infringement and leave it at that. It’s curious to see moral judgement on this. I assume that the judgers work in media or something.
But I also come from a generation that thought DLC was unjust.
Back in the Napster days I bought so much more music based on stuff I downloaded. Not everyone was like me, buty piracy made money for the record industry.
I also think copyright infringement has allowed lots of knowledge and entertainment to be available to low resource markets that would never attract releases. How many young people in Lagos got software and media only through piracy?
I challenge you to demonstrate that copyright infringement per se is bad for society. This would mean copyright is good for society which is still to be proven at least in it's current acception.
Some people we're never and are never going to pay for some of the they consume, they'll either pirate it or just not consume it.
I'm presently watching Avatar: The Last Airbender. Which I just pirated earlier today. I'm never going to our-right buy, nor rent, it.
One season is presently on Netflix here in Australia, so I'll watch that there, and the publisher will get their three cents out of me via Netflix, or whatever Netflix pays.
That's three cents they were otherwise never going to get out of me.
If the content was available at a reasonable price, say some portion of what I pay my ISP and the AU$8 I pay the VPN service to hide my traffic from my surveillance-state ISP, I'd pay it.
But it isn't, and I can't afford to pay for all the content I consume on my trifling skilled-tradesperson wage.
You realise when people like me see job ads for doctors getting paid in a day what I earn in a fortnight, and revenue figures like:
The Last Airbender had grossed $131,772,187 in the United States, and $187,941,694 in other countries, making for a total of $319,713,881 worldwide.
... there's no way you're going to convince me this side of the heat death of the universe that copyright infringement in universally bad.
I’ve heard every argument in the book; but even the old ads said ‘you wouldn’t steal ____’.
The fundamental principle is so similar to the point that discussing it quickly devolves into pedantry.
I am one that has had this discussion probably a dozen times; half of those on this forum, and I’ve just decided to stand by my educated opinion that it’s absolutely a type of theft.
Or maybe not, I can just about imagine a bunch of suits suing Jesus for multiplying bread to feed the poor because it deprived them of their baked good sales revenue.
There would be infringement.
If it was a clear choice between buying something or pirating it, equating piracy with theft would be more reasonable (though the owner still has their good so not entirely identical) but that doesn't seem to be the typical scenario. The ads only make that equivalence because it's better for the companies if they convince people it's theft.
From a moral perspective I think whether it is theft really depends on your motivation/what you would do in the absence of piracy.
You should have just stopped there. That "or takes the place of a sale" rider is a very recent invention. You know what else takes the place of a sale? Spending your time doing anything else and ignoring the fact that the work even exists. If I could have paid to listen to a song from artist A and instead I listen to a song from artist B (free or paid, but we'll assume it was with permission either way) then that "takes the place of a sale" for artist A, but there's absolutely nothing immoral about choosing to listen to artist B's song instead. Or reading a book, or sleeping, or whatever. You could even write your own songs and give them away for free, directly competing with artist A and taking the place of many sales, and there still wouldn't be anything immoral about that. Artist A was never guaranteed sales, so they haven't lost anything simply by not making a sale. They still have their copy of the work, so they have not in fact been deprived of anything.
Complaints about piracy always read to me as: "You aren't complying with this monopoly which was promised to us in a rather one-sided deal with a third party (government) which (unilaterally) claims to represent you. If you don't shape up—or even if you do—we intend to sue you for everything you own in courts run by our beneficiaries and otherwise do whatever we can to ruin your life, just on general principles and not because we suffered any actual damages." And yet they have the audacity to pretend to claim the moral high ground…
Copyright infringement, by contrast, arguably creates value - instead of one person being able to see the movie, two can see it.
If I don't watch your movie or watch it for free, it doesn't change anything for you (I'd even argue that the later might actually be better for you, but that's another topic)
On the other hand, whether I eat your apple or not make a big difference to you, since you might not be able to eat it in one scenario.
They have clunky interfaces, making users miss mpv. They don't have chapters, making it annoying to seek to a specific part of a film or episode. They don't allow users to download content beforehand, locking them out whenever there's no internet connection. They have annoying DRM, preventing content playback on perfectly good computers and TVs for no good reason. They aren't available in most countries, locking out entire regions of the globe. When it is available, users get only a subset of the content and feel like second rate consumers. Whatever ends up being available is frequently modified, censored or cut. Users straight up lose access to content with no warning when licensing agreements expire. Every copyright holder launches its own little streaming service with its own annoying quirks. They compress the video so much even pure black frames have massive artifacts and have the audacity to charge for this garbage. They don't have enough subtitles. There's usually zero extra content such as commentary tracks. They track everything users do and watch.
There is exactly one area where streaming offers a superior experience compared to copyright infringement: multiple audio tracks. This is because of a technical limitation: video players can load subtitles that are external to the video file but not audio tracks.
Something as good as "piracy" shouldn't have to stop existing for the benefit of aging industries. It's the 21st century, copyright doesn't make sense anymore. Society must rethink its laws. The copyright industry must adopt new business models or disappear.
> Because everybody does it, that makes it okie dokie?
The fact everybody is infringing copyright is evidence that the law is wrong. Laws are supposed to codify the customs of a people. If everyone is violating a law then that law obviously does not represent the customs of that people. Society must recognize this and adapt so that the behavior can be allowed.
Not true for MPV:
Play audio from an external file while viewing a video.
This is a path list option. See List Options for details.
CLI/config file only alias for --audio-files-append. Each use of this option
will add a new audio track. The details are similar to how --sub-file works.