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alexqgb 453 days ago | link | parent

What do I want? For him to be thrown in jail. I honestly don't care about people swapping media between themselves. But setting up an exchange to do that, and paying for it by selling space to advertisers? That's not "sharing". That's business. And that business would collapse if he had to pay the copyright holders he depends on.

In general, audiences have NO idea how much time, effort, etc. it takes to produce decent work. Partly, that's by design, since good work should look effortless. But when you count the time getting good, a decent album may represent a decade of someone's life (10,000 hours, etc.) And the thousands of names in the credits of major films represent actual work, by real people. There's no reason these people should be expected to "find a business model" that doesn't rely on some form of legal protection when protection is the backstop of every viable business model in existence (not always legal, in the case of drug cartels; and where there's no protection at all, what you're really talking about is good luck and charity).

That said, I think enforcing copyright at the individual level is a fool's errand. No one writing the law - which evolved over centuries - ever imagined that it would be applicable on such a global scale, in such a granular way. Barring radical change in the law, I think individuals should be exempt from prosecution under something that is so spectacularly unsuited to free individuals and the democracy that depends on their liberty.

But corporations are another story. They're tools, not people, and tools have no rights. Shareholders have rights, employees have rights, citizens whose governments issue corporate charters have rights. But corporations themselves? No rights whatsoever. There's no threat to democracy in making them secure permission - by paying for it on fairly negotiated terms - or getting sued into oblivion. Indeed, that's the exact expectation around which the law and industries that pay for copyrights both developed. The Internet's appearance doesn't change the premise that anyone building a business around material they didn't produce, should include the properly negotiated price of their inputs in the prices they charge to others. Obviously, that's my own standard. It's not reflected in law. But I think it's a fair break. If it were reflected in law, I think we could put the copyright wars behind us for the foreseeable future.

As far as Kim Dotcom goes, it's clear he made his money on the wrong side of this line. That's why I'd like to see him jailed under law which should make jailing him a no brainer. I have no idea how he's going to pay for his current venture, but I'm pretty sure he says "safer" not "safe" for good reason. You'd have to be an idiot to give Mega the same level of trust that Dropbox enjoys.



georgeorwell 453 days ago | link

For what it's worth, I also have a much bigger problem with commercial copyright infringement than non-commercial copyright infringement.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5084439

I can see how the Daft Punk thing would get on your nerves. It seems like all this man does is use people.

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zxcdw 453 days ago | link

"Uses" people by creating products other people are willing to pay for. Just like your local pig farm "uses" the animals to provide you food you are willing to pay for.

Mega is just being a midleman here. What's so wrong about it, really? If an industry goes down because it can't compete with "free", then maybe it should go down because technology makes the business model unprofitable? Big players go down and small ones come to rule the game, it's not like people stop caring about entertainment. But of course this all whining about piracy is exactly about securing people's own position and ability to survive in the competitive market. After all, an industry-wide collapse could very well mean loss of a job(not for a single person, but also for co-workers etc) or at least huge cut in income.

In the end it's just everyone playing for themselves. Hopefully in a few decades we have machines creating superior content for us(at least to some degree), so we can finally start getting rid of the publishing/content providing industries which hinder technological progress and start to focus on consuming whatever we find most suitable for us, without legal or ethical barriers. Everyone wins if we don't let bullshit legislation hinder the progress.

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alexqgb 453 days ago | link

No, it's not "just like" at all. And that's for the not-difficult-to-discern reason that people and pigs are not interchangeable, which why you can have bacon for breakfast without being charged as an accessory to murder. And I'm sorry that think that getting the artists out of art and just handing the satisfaction of the human intellect to machines is a situation where "everyone wins."

A liberal education may not get you a job, but it'll save you from embarrassing yourself with stuff like this.

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zxcdw 453 days ago | link

> No, it's not "just like" at all. And that's for the not-difficult-to-discern reason that people and pigs are not interchangeable

You're arguing against something I never even claimed. However, what you said still doesn't change the fact that pigs are being used. Problem?

> And I'm sorry that think that getting the artists out of art and just handing the satisfaction of the human intellect to machines is a situation where "everyone wins." I mean, that's just embarrassing.

What's the problem with this? People who are creative can stil create things as much as they like, while people who prefer consuming things can get the said things for cheaper and for less effort. Of course this sounds like a dystopian future for an artsy person who would love to get paid for their hobby. But just as radio amateurs with their love for analog electronics have gone underground, so will happen for those who can't adapt to the ever-accelerating technological progress we're going through. And the fact that we can now share information so effortlessly is a great sign of that.

Of course it would be ideal that I could create X, set it a price Y and then people would pay for it if they consider my product worth it's price. However, because of the way the world changes, it isn't possible in a strict sense. It will never be possible during this digital era, at least not without sacrificing liberties and creating some godlike authority over information sharing. Now how would that not be a dystopian future!?

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seertaak 452 days ago | link

Comments such as these never cease to astonish me; I'm not sure what musicians/artists have done to warrant your unremitting contempt, but it is that which oozes out of every statement you make.

- "People who are creative can stil create things as much as they like": no, they are constrained by their budget and time. Piracy destroys the potential for remuneration on the back of e.g. recorded music, thus restricting the ability of the artist to create. Stop pretending like all worthwhile (by which I mean to say in-demand, whether legally or not) art can be made on a Sunday afternoon by a single person.

- "Artsy person...": I resent your suggestion that art is axiomatically a hobby, and those that create it -- "artsy persons", really? -- are all mere hobbyists. You seem to value music/film/etc. enough to unilaterally grant yourself unlimited rights to it, yet you use belittling terms, the better to convey your perceived superiority (presumably because you think programming requires more intelligence?) when discussing it. Not cool.

- "who can't adapt to the ever-accelerating technological progress we're going through": Yes, we musicians are all such idiots, we simply don't get revolutionary rockstar technologies like node.js and mongodb.

- "we can now share information": Please stop invoking lofty principles like liberty and the right to information to justify your consumption of the latest hollywood-made blockbuster movie or pop single without compensation the artists who created it.

- "Of course it would be ideal that I could create X, set it a price Y and then people would pay for it if they consider my product worth it's price. However, because of the way the world changes, it isn't possible in a strict sense."

"Of course it would be ideal for me not to whack you on the head with a club and take your possessions, but it's just not realistic in a strict sense; at least not without sacrificing vital liberties and the creation of a police force with godlike authority."

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zxcdw 452 days ago | link

> ""People who are creative can stil create things as much as they like": no, they are constrained by their budget and time. Piracy destroys the potential for remuneration on the back of e.g. recorded music, thus restricting the ability of the artist to create. Stop pretending like all worthwhile (by which I mean to say in-demand, whether legally or not) art can be made on a Sunday afternoon by a single person."

I never said anything about piracy in my reply nor I implied it. I guess I can assume machine learning and AI advancements pose a similar threat? So it would be wrong if there was something which would make creating art less profitable, such as for example computer aided creation of things? I mean of course that would put a few useless people out of their jobs when machines can increase the productivity enough. Horrible? Not really, cheaper art for people and increased amount of "indie" art in circulation. I'm all for it.

> "- "Artsy person...": I resent your suggestion that art is axiomatically a hobby, and those that create it -- "artsy persons", really? -- are all mere hobbyists. You seem to value music/film/etc. enough to unilaterally grant yourself unlimited rights to it, yet you use belittling terms, the better to convey your perceived superiority (presumably because you think programming requires more intelligence?) when discussing it. Not cool."

I guess the word artsy carries a negative tone, it wasn't my intention to imply that. Bear with me for not being a native English speaker. However, my whole point has been that the whole discussion about piracy revolves around people who are not doing art as a hobby but who are reliant on being paid for what they are doing.

> "- "who can't adapt to the ever-accelerating technological progress we're going through": Yes, we musicians are all such idiots, we simply don't get revolutionary rockstar technologies like node.js and mongodb."

Interesting, "we musicians". Spot on. However, again it seems that you are purposefully(?) missing the point. If we can recreate art with ease and as such we need less producers and distributors, what's the big deal? They go out of job because technology makes their work obsolete? It's a shame, but if there's something we can learn from the past, it's that you can't stop technology from advancing. My friend as a cab driver will lose his job once self-diriving cars become mainstream. My friend as a cashier already lost her job because of automation. Millions are going out of work at Foxconn during the next few years because of advanced robots. It's everywhere, technology reigns supreme and people go out of jobs at exponential rate from now on. Things change.

> "- "we can now share information": Please stop invoking lofty principles like liberty and the right to information to justify your consumption of the latest hollywood-made blockbuster movie or pop single without compensation the artists who created it."

Justify my what? Your assumption is completely false. Even if it were true and I actually did consume mainstream entertainment and especially without compensating the artists the fact that we can now share information easier than ever before holds true, and will (hopefully) hold true in the future too. After all services like youtube, dropbox, Mega etc. are here to stay and for obvious reasons. Oh and there's an increasing number of truly anonymous content sharing sites in Tor network. It's pretty fascinating where we're going IMO.

> "Of course it would be ideal for me not to whack you on the head with a club and take your possessions, but it's just not realistic in a strict sense; at least not without sacrificing vital liberties and the creation of a police force with godlike authority."

Your comparison is completely flawed and you know it. Do you understand the implications of total surveillance of the Internet in regards of freedom of speech for example? Or do you not care, as long as you get paid for your job?

Anyway, in case you haven't noticed it yet, we're moving towards a world where the copyright laws have less and less implications in our actions. Not only will the laws be reformed to make more sense, content sharing and distribution will increase just as it has to this day. Some people will lose their jobs, some artists will get less compensation for their work(for other reasons than piracy though) and so on. It's only natural. If this scares you, then just maybe it would be better for you to work in a different field? Because as I've said, you can't stop technology from advancing, and it advances at an accelerating rate. Exponential growth is a bitch.

> "Comments such as these never cease to astonish me"

Oh the irony. :)

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miracle2k 451 days ago | link

You're arguing the wrong point completely. No one here objects to breaking down barriers, and giving more creators access to a market. Commercial piracy like Megaupload is a hindrance to that.

It's clear that you have great admiration for artists, but really, they're only slightly more magnanimous than the rest of us. Not making any money incentivizes no one. If you think Western culture would be as rich and diverse as it is without copyright and capitalism, check again.

What certainly should be avoided is admiring a convicted repeat-criminal who's business it is to exploit people at every opportunity. People who support Kim are like people who vote for Berlusconi. They are literally the problem in this world. Have some fucking values.

Hatred for the "content mafia" is not a value.

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georgeorwell 453 days ago | link

He doesn't create the products he is selling access to and he doesn't have a license to be a middleman. I agree that the creators have a broken business model, but his business model of exploiting that brokenness is not a replacement for it. In fact, it depends on it.

I don't believe that machines will replace artists either, because I believe art is the expression of personal human experience.

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miracle2k 451 days ago | link

I'm waiting for machines to build the next Mega and put Mr. Dotkom out of a job. Afterwards, machines can replace all the layers and sue us for pirating the content they create.

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peawormsworth 452 days ago | link

> In general, audiences have NO idea how much time, effort, etc. it takes to produce decent work. I stopped listening to commercial music and watching commercial movies when industries started suing private individuals. I was surprised how easy it was. The only time I hear or see commercial content is when it is pushed on me through advertising and other expensive marketing techniques. I wish hollywood and big distribution would vanish tomorrow. Do you really think that talented artists would simply disappear and stop producing quality work if they're wasnt the possiblity of becoming a star behind it? Nonsense. Art is from the heart. I hear quality all the time from local street buskers and playing in bars in my city. Everywhere in the world there is great quality work that is having money taking out of there mouths by big industry who would rather have a huge fan base for a minimal set of artists. The reason it costs so much to produce what you consider 'decent work' is because that is what you have been convinced to believe. Quality is not expensive, and yet its rarely paid because most of the money is being funnelled through distribution companies who simply cannot possibly handle the many millions of people around the world who deserve a piece of the entertainment revenue pie. I listen to Jamendo, Soundcloud and CCmixter. I watch videos on youtube and vimeo. I am entertained. So when megaupload was taken down... for me it had nothing to do with losing the ability to break someone's copyright, but rather it was simply another example of big distribution shutting down an alternate channel of distribution. For me, the sooner distribution companies die, the better. They have no purpose anymore because distribution costs are $0. We all pay for distribution ourselves when we pay our ISP for bandwidth. The only remaining purpose for distribution companies is to sue for their lives in order to limit the number of artists who receive income for their work.

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