I used to steal games all the time. New game came out? Steal it. Open up BitTorrent or an FTP client and start downloading, immediately. But then Steam came along. Now I buy all my games. I don't just buy games I want, I buy games I have stolen in the past. I buy new games. I buy games on sale. But the most important part? A new game comes out, and I think about buying it on Steam before I think about stealing it. Stealing doesn't cross my mind, because being a legitimate customer (which is what I want to be...) is just so easy.
Music is getting easier with products like Spotify, but what about quality freaks? Lots of people want FLAC, but don't buy CDs. When a real solution for this problem comes out, I'm sure people will flock too it.
TV? How does someone in Lithuania legitimately pay for HD American TV shows? He or she can't, but they can certainly steal it without any problems. It's not even hard. My grandma could do it. It's a similar problem with movies. Ridiculous release times (US only for two months, etc), difficult to get a 1080p mkv legitimately - but that's what people want.
Netflicks is certainly helping to solve this problem, but their catalogue is not extensive. It is not always up to date.
The only way to compete with piracy is to offer a better alternative.
You steal when the owner lose the original. What happens in BitTorrent/FTP is copy.
More about in copy is not theft video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeTybKL1pM4
Downloading content which you would otherwise pay for is destructive. It is like what the OP describes above. He was downloading things he would otherwise have paid for. Money wasn't going to game makers. He was effectively stealing and its damaging to people making the games.
Film / Music industry people think the majority of piracy is destructive. I think they are wrong. I have spent thousands of pounds on things I discovered through piracy. However, if you are downloading things you know you would otherwise buy then really it is difficult to deny you are not stealing or at least conning content owners out of money they are owed.
I think this is the crux of the entire argument that is completely ignored by nearly every content producer. People value things differently for a huge number of reasons. With things with a personal appeal like music, or maybe TV/Film but I imagine less so, some people will pay more for their favourite band, others won't. That means the band is undervaluing their product to their greatest fans (good for the fans) and over valuing for their lesser fans.
Normally, when I download things, it's because I don't value the product at the price it's being sold, but I do still value it!
Film is a great example of this. I'll happily pay $5 to rent a great film like Django unchained, or Avatar, etc. But am I going to pay the same amount for the (boringly bad) Bourne Legacy? No. But I would still pay something to see it.. perhaps $1, maybe $2. But I can't because there is no option to do this. So instead, I would consider downloading it.
So what have the film company lost when I chose to pirate instead of purchase? Not $5 because I wouldn't have paid this in the first place. So they've lost $2. And what have I lost? I've had to spend some of my time hunting down and waiting for the film to download (A minor inconvenience) but that's it. So seems like the only loser is the film company.
For evidence, look at the most highly downloaded film of 2012 'Project X'. IMDB gives it a 6.6 rating and it sounds a bit lame but fun. Exactly the sort of film that isn't worth full price rental.
Or perhaps that's just how I see things..
I'll do my best... :)
Distribution used to be very valuable. So much so that we see CDs as products.
Before CDs, street performers were happy and paid if street patrons were happy and entertained. Simply put: creative businesses are charities; they always have been and they always will be because 1) their fruits are not material and can be "held"/understood by more than one person at a time, with impunity, and 2) they are non-essential, compared to food and water and shelter and clothes (and if they were essential, due to their non-exclusivity, it would be immoral to restrict them).
Somewhere along the line distribution got all wrapped up in cellophane and people working in publishing formats (cds, books, video game cartridges, etc, etc) started feeling entitled to creative monopolies. And authors', reasonably, wanted more of the distributor's pie. We went from truly prohibitive distribution (manual transcription), to commercial/industrial distribution, to today: instant and autonomous distribution -- if it is worth seeing, hearing, or knowing, the copying is implied. So, if you are charging for distribution today (including "selling copies"), you are in the wrong business.
But that hasn't destroyed/stolen anyone's value either, as you have proposed. We have simply come full circle.
The value of design is in its applications. The most useful ideas are the most valuable, as it should be. It's (obviously) not enough to simply produce a movie and sell the pattern for $5... One pattern is enough for the whole world. You can't recoup the production costs by pretending distribution is hard. It has to actually be worth $5. The reality of this return to the original model is that you will be rewarded according to your contribution, but you're not the one to set the price either because creativity isn't a product. We were just confused for about 100 years. Patronage is different (and scary to Western concepts of "mine"), but it's time-tested and perfectly sustainable (and being seen more and more, for example via Kickstarter). R&D, for example, is sponsored and would be worthwhile even (especially) without patents...
The requirement that creativity, design, and research, be worthwhile, is not a burden on society. Monopolies are. People can only reward you after they have benefited from an idea, namely from "the progress of Science and the useful arts."
I'm not saying the current media cartels are right. Not at all. But people taking this approach only hurts more reasonable arguments that might actually be constructive.
Theft is a crime. Copyright infringement is [usually] a tort.
Theft deprives an owner of their right to use their work. Copyright infringement is no detriment to an owner's ability to enjoy their work.
Theft forms part of what most people would consider to be an obvious moral obligation not to deprive others of their property. Copyright is a right that extends unnaturally from ownership, being a democratically granted monopoly, and I warrant is by no means central to the majority of the people's understanding of common law.
It is a very important distinction.
To equate theft and tortuous infringement is quite insidious, copyright infringement is by no means similar to common thievery.
The big players in media production have attempted to screw the populus out of their side of the copyright deal - the falling in to public ownership of works in good time. All legal changes in the last decade or two appear to have been to the benefit of the rich lobbyists representing media organisation and to the detriment of the public.
In view of this failure to keep with the spirit of the contract that copyright establishes it's not surprising that the public should act as if big media had nullified the contract.
Yes, it's pretty slow change, but given the size of the companies involved, and the risks of moving to a new business model, I think we have to give them some credit for coming as far as they have, and they show no signs of stopping.
Of course, they only cover niche music.
itunes does lossess doesn't it? Is it not convenient enough for you? I've never used it, but I was under the impression it was a very smooth experience.
One thing I have been trying to do recently is sending messages to bands I like asking to buy a CD from them that is signed. I get to show my support for a band I really like, and I also get something more than just the CD.
As for TV, I have a TV license in England which allows me to stream TV and 4OD is pretty good. I tried NetFlicks but I was unimpressed by the selection available. The problem is that streaming real HD movies/TV is not particularly easy, and no service I have come across lets me download them. I could rent BluRay's from a place like LoveFilm, but I don't have a BluRay player...
I would willingly pay £30-40 a month for a legitimate service that lets me download full movies/tv shows in 1080p .mkv format and keep them to watch again at another time.
edit: I'd like to point out I want REAL HD. iTunes/Android/YouTube/etc offer horribly compressed 720p videos with lossy audio. <--- Quality freak here.
1) Rock music is much more controlled by the big four labels. I checked the latest album from Lamb of God, the most fucked up metal band I could remember off the top of my head: they're on sony. On the other hand, Sunn O))) are on an independent label and they're pretty well known. Maybe lamb of god are more mainstream than I remember.
2) Rock music lacks electronic music's mainly nerd-based audience. While there are undoubtedly a lot of nerds in the metal scene, they lack the raver's inherent kinship with machines. Also, there isn't the same DJ culture, which is perhaps the most common reason why buyers of electronic music demand quality.
Regarding #1, that's definitely an issue but there are still some pretty large subsections of metal on "non-mainstream" labels, esp. folk metal, black metal, etc. The sort of bands you'll see at Wacken Open Air.
Metal used to be a much bigger thing, it's died down in recent years, but still has devout fanbase. I'm sure there is a market, but I'm not quite sure how big it is...
And Lamb of God are awesome too! \m/ Saw them live in London. :D
The licence lets you watch tv as it's broadcast. You don't need a licence for catch-up style services.
edit: > http://iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk/help/playing_tv_progs/...
I stand corrected! :)
Someone who hasn't had a TV licence for years
Why they don't have an "enter your license number" facility that then drops all programmes that you're not allowed to see, or indeed a paywall, I don't know.
As always such domain bans are ridiculous and do not solve the issue of why people choose to pirate stuff. I now use Spotify. I used to pirate music, downloading thousands of albums. Most were deleted after one play. I brought albums, merchandise and saw live bands that I liked. Bands I would never have discovered without "pirating" the music to begin with.
The article talk's about how piracy is dropping and Spotify use is raising. This isn't to do with TPB being blocked. This is to do with people realizing that music discovery is easier with Spotify than it is via piracy. This is the way it should be.
I am sure less TV shows are being pirated due to the rise of catch up and streaming services. I only download TV shows and the only reason for this is the delay in availability in my country. I don't download movies any more because there is already an abundance of stuff to watch - be it new or old - on streaming services like Netflix. I recently discovered the TV show Jericho. Check it out. It was brilliant.
If anything these ban's are endangering users making them more vulnerable to viruses, keyloggers and becoming a part of a bot net. If someone wants something THEY WILL DOWNLOAD IT. Sites like TPB have great community moderation. Dodgy downloads are flagged. Good ones are up voted. I don't remember the last time I got a bad download.
Compare this to the less known sites which people are being pushed towards. More bad links, less community moderation, bad site owners pushing dodgy downloads. A lot of people who are not expert computer users are becoming more vulnerable.
All this is because the music / film lobbies have convinced the UK Government that Piracy is destroying their revenues. Its not. The Internet combined with the glacial speed in which these industries are moving is. Better content, easier access and fair pricing will crush piracy. Blocking domains moves piracy to another source.
Music streaming services have done more to stop piracy than anything else. If music / film industry spent less on lobbyists and court actions and more on innovating access to their products they would see a far bigger turnaround in profits.
When TPB was banned I said it would kick a ball rolling that wouldn't stop. Here we go. I wonder what is next.
I think we're reaching the point where ordinary people are starting to understand how the internet works, and how to make it work for them. That's a good thing.
Local volunteers offer free subtitles, done in their own time, but they're only synced to "pirated" copies.
And hence reluctant to pirate if a legitimate option is available.
Take Game of Thrones. You cannot afford or justify the cost of the TV package. You enjoy the show. Your friends always talk about it the day after it is aired in your country... There is a pressure to watch it and no easy way to do so. Hence piracy.
My cousin was desperate to watch a football match. She went into the darkest parts of the Internet and the end result was taking her computer to a repair shop because the things she had installed basically rendered her computer inoperable. Will she stop pirating? Probably not. She can probably better identify files likely to damage her computer.
The worrying thing is a lot of spyware and keyloggers etc are transparent. Even malware. You notice a toolbar appears but a lot of people do not care and continue to use their computer..
Someone may become reluctant if they become aware that their computer has been successfully infected by a virus. A lot of things now are far more sinister though. They do not want to be noticed or discovered so there is no lesson to learn until someone empties your bank account. Even when this happens it isn't obvious your computer was the source of the breach. It could have been phishing etc.
Piracy is widespread and the police do not even treat it as a misdemeanor. Socially, piracy is completely acceptable. Smoking has become more socially unacceptable... and yet these court judgements make the public more at risk from identity theft, fraud etc etc.. without making piracy any less rife.
Yes. If your time has little value, i.e. you live with your parents and are unemployed, then sure it makes sense to monkey around. The rest of your argument makes me not want to deal with piracy.
I have seen non-technical users, who for one reason or other do not have access to Bittorrent, install streaming software or pass between them TV streaming sites for the latest episodes so stuffed full of heavy scripting, including XSS, that any hacker would be petrified of touching them even with a condom-clad bargepole!
When informed of their vulnerability, they often find reasons to dismiss the risk such as stating they have never had any problems or it is not their PC (family or school computer)...
This is why it's so important to fight with everything you have over the tiny scraps of civil liberties you enjoy. Once a bite is taken, the whole cake inevitably follows.
Since then they added "violent [adult] porn," "illegal 'terrorist' sites," and now they've started doing pirate-related content.
So the slippery slope started a long time ago. We are half way down it and it is only getting steeper.
Child porn and morally offensive websites. Just those two. We swear.
This was a private case between industry and a few ISPs. The IWF blocklist is strictly about images of child sexual abuse (hosted world-wide), images of criminally obscene content (hosted in UK) and non-photographic images of child sexual abuse. The block is a temporary block until illegal content is removed.
http://youtu.be/vt0Y39eMvpI?t=47s (Monty Python)
But as we all know, the purpose of these laws isn't to stop piracy.
Assuming you mean the purpose is not to stop copyright infringement, then what do you consider the purpose to be?
The implication that this block is what is resulting in an uptake in services like spotify is so disingenuous it's not even funny.
They have an explicit no censorship policy:
Not only that, they offer IPv6 and their connection isn't a total piece of shit! Rather glad I moved from O2 (Telefonica) who apply the censorship and horrible traffic shaping even though they say they didn't on my contract.
An ISP that doesn't obey High Court orders isn't going to be an ISP for very long, so while switching like this might seem attractive, it's probably more about staying with the little guy under the radar than any real guarantee of anything.
This is basically the legal system sucking off a corporation and shutting down a common body of offenders.
The only way to deal with piracy is enable users to have access to they content they want in any possible way at affordable prices!
I used to download a lot of music, but since spotify offered Premium service for just 4 pounds a month in Poland I bought it instantly (I have Polish CC).
If Netflix had good XBMC app I would gladly pay for that as well.
The six ISPs that are currently forced to block these sites are BT, Sky, Virgin Media, O2, EE and TalkTalk.
Contrast this with private trackers, which often offer:
1) Extremely high quality files.
2) Extremely well curated.
Can it be so hard?
1) Low cost. Low middleman fees.
2) High quality product.
3) Absolute ownership of what I buy.
4) Good UX.
Some ideas: work on retroshare, or cjdns, or yacy, or a bittorrent-like rootfs for linux to pivot to after pxe-booting like a network virus, or anything else that will help seal the doors of history and shut out this dark age of artificial-scarcity digital-protectionism and the information-luddites bent on making copying harder (zomfg!).
A small number of file-sharing users can take a lot of bandwidth which wouldn't be a problem if the plans were priced realistically, but plans are priced for lowest-common-denominator use while being described and sold as premium product.