Is file sharing wrong?

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Is file sharing films, music and games wrong?

Yes
27
24%
No
87
76%
 
Total votes: 114

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Peter_G
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Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Peter_G » Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:46 am UTC

I'm currently downloading(and sharing) my last torrent, all the Simpsons episodes. The reason it is my last is because my ISP is cracking down on P2P, they are being pressured by record labels, and I don't want to risk it any longer. But my question is, do you think it's wrong? I don't, my reason: I wouldn't (edit: couldn't have) have brought the stuff any way and nobody is loosing any money.

Edit: Also my dad is getting annoyed at how much bandwidth I'm using
Last edited by Peter_G on Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:14 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby steelmole » Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:11 am UTC

It's quite unlikely you'll be targeted personally. The ISPs just put this whole crackdown about to A Look like they're doing something and B scare a few people. It looks like it has worked.

On the whole right vs wrong front, yes I think copying things that you would normally have to buy is wrong because you probably are hurting someone somewhere. Of course it's not depriving them of a lot but there is definitely some truth in the argument that I would have bought some of these things had I not downloaded them.

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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Quadropus » Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:55 am UTC

I voted no as most of the things I download, I wouldn't have gone and bought and I am only downloading them because I can for free i.e. I still have a folder with about 35 films that I haven't watched yet. Some of those have been sitting there for a few months.

Though, the things that I would have bought, then maybe it is wrong that I "stole" them (from a metaphorical no one). But, as steal is defined as follows:
1 [ trans. ] take (another person's property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it

Because of this, I do not believe I am stealing. Mainly because the word "take" implies that someone else will no longer have the said item (be it a song, film, whatever).
Instead, I believe I am only copying, defined as:
1 a thing made to be similar or identical to another

This of course leaves the original intact.
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Amnesiasoft » Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:13 am UTC

The flaw with the "I wouldn't have bought it anyway" argument is that you can't prove the same would be true if you didn't have the option to copy it.

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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby mrbaggins » Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:15 am UTC

I dont think it is in a lot of cases. I have a few Multi-thousand dollar pieces of software I'd never consider buying, but I like to play with.

I think piracy is truly only wrong when you make money from it. That said, it's probably a good thing that it is illegal, as that stops the majority from getting it for free, which if everyone did it, obviously it would suffer.

I click No, but only in the sharing sense, not the reselling of burnt DVD's for a dollar sense.
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Toeofdoom » Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:35 pm UTC

I don't think it's a simple case of right or wrong, but the current system is not right.

When you start saying "Because you only earn X amount, we won't let you have most of what can be infinitely copied freely", you are putting barriers in place that make sense only within the system. The only argument I have heard against this is "The people who made it need to be paid" and that is clearly a symptom of the system itself.

Of course, that means that these things are to some extent wrong:
Sharing files without paying the creators,
Supporting the system (As creators or customers),
stopping people from sharing files,
or punishing them for doing so.

You may think that it's therefore okay to leave it all alone and not become involved, but that isn't true either, as you should be trying to progress the system. Of course, what the system progresses to is confusing too, given that the various solutions I can think of either rely on uninvented technology or amount to communism and I'm not sure that would work too well this time either. The strategy for having additional costs to all internet connections that go towards reimbursing the creators would work but at the cost of cheap internet and would ultimately be a temporary measure.
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby tryptanymph » Sat Aug 09, 2008 3:52 pm UTC

With music, I prefer a sane approach. I download the album, and listen to it. If I'm going to keep listening to it, and enjoying it, I will normally buy the CD. I like owning CDs.

But, if I'm feeling particularly cool, and I have the right information, I will mail, like, a tenner to the artist, and tell them it's for their album. They get more money that way.

I have done this several times. >.>
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby pkuky » Sat Aug 09, 2008 4:19 pm UTC

I say no, but that's just part of my general mysanthropy. It's like, who cares, yeah, someone's getting hurt but they're probably aweful people who deserve it anyways.
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Allium Cepa » Sat Aug 09, 2008 6:20 pm UTC

The only people file sharing really hurts are the record labels and movie industries. Most low-key bands get such a small percentage of their record sales, they probably don't care if you steal their album. In fact, they're most likely grateful that their name is being put out there, so that more people can come to their shows, where most of their income comes from.

sleepygamer wrote:With music, I prefer a sane approach. I download the album, and listen to it. If I'm going to keep listening to it, and enjoying it, I will normally buy the CD. I like owning CDs.


Yeah, I do that too. I like to have the liner notes and lyrics.
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby 3fj » Sat Aug 09, 2008 6:25 pm UTC

I vote no. I subscribe to the "Fuck the middle-man, i go to shows" theory of sharing music and "Make companies pay for it, not personal users" theory of sharing software.
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:04 pm UTC

I torrent TV shows if I can't find them streamed legitimately. For ongoing TV shows, it's probably better, since before I started torrenting, if I had missed the first few episodes, I wouldn't watch a series, now I can catch up to a series and watch new episodes legitimately (I much prefer watching TV while sitting in my lazyboy to watching it while sitting hunched over in my desk chair)

I also torrent Top Gear and Doctor Who because they aren't available uncut on U.S. telly and BBC only streams to British IPs (and in the case of Top gear, they've openly acknowledged and accepted their American 'torrentist' viewers)

Other than that, I'll torrent a game if I lose the disk or am otherwise inconvenienced by DRM, but I won't torrent a game that I don't already own.
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Awia » Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:18 pm UTC

sleepygamer wrote:But, if I'm feeling particularly cool, and I have the right information, I will mail, like, a tenner to the artist, and tell them it's for their album. They get more money that way.


This is a rather cool way of going about it, if more people did this, record companies may start being more lenient...or crack down on downloads more.
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby SlyReaper » Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:37 pm UTC

Awia wrote:
sleepygamer wrote:But, if I'm feeling particularly cool, and I have the right information, I will mail, like, a tenner to the artist, and tell them it's for their album. They get more money that way.


This is a rather cool way of going about it, if more people did this, record companies may start being more lenient...or crack down on downloads more.


Yeah the record companies wouldn't like that one bit. The artist gets money and they don't.
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Day Tripper » Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:19 pm UTC

Besides the comments that other people have already made about funneling money to the artist rather than the record companies, I'll explain why I do not pay for music (the only thing I torrent).

The iTunes price for a song right now is around 99 cents, or ~$13 for an album, which is the same as the store price. Logically, it should be less, because the record companies do not have the costs of shipping and manufacturing compact disks. They're still using the business model from 1970, and throwing lawsuits left and right when it doesn't work. If the iTunes price was something more reasonable, maybe 50 cents per song, I would be a little more open to buying music, but there are other things that would need to happen to make me completely comfortable. For example, the ability to use the song files on multiple mp3 players, or burn them to disk. Right now, iTunes does not provide that option (because it enables illegal filesharing), but come on - At least when I buy a CD, the files on it are mine to use where I please.

tl,dr: I'll start paying when record companies come up with a fair 21st century business model. Filesharing until then. And I show love through tickets and merch.
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:33 pm UTC

Day Tripper wrote: For example, the ability to use the song files on multiple mp3 players, or burn them to disk. Right now, iTunes does not provide that option (because it enables illegal filesharing), but come on - At least when I buy a CD, the files on it are mine to use where I please.

what iTunes are you using? I burn my iTunes music to CDs for friends on a weekly basis, and have found iTunes native burning sofware much easier to use than any other I've tried for burning music. And I've loaded songs from my Account onto my brothers iPod (And loaded songs fro my cousin's account to my iPod an several other variations) without any trouble.

iTunes is a lot better than some CD' I've tried to rip that installed proprietary media players and shit (okay, a tiny minority of music CD's do this, but that doesn't make me like it any more)
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Day Tripper » Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:50 am UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:what iTunes are you using? I burn my iTunes music to CDs for friends on a weekly basis, and have found iTunes native burning sofware much easier to use than any other I've tried for burning music. And I've loaded songs from my Account onto my brothers iPod (And loaded songs fro my cousin's account to my iPod an several other variations) without any trouble.


Dinosaur iTunes, apparently. I retract my statement, but the stuff about pricing still stands.
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Marbas » Sun Aug 10, 2008 3:50 am UTC

Depends on what you're sharing really. Small independently owned game companies still get hurt pretty badly by filesharing. It's pretty depressing.

"Some of them cloak it all with this thin veneer of 'sticking it to the man' and being 'anti-DRM' and 'anti-big corporations.' Despite me giving a free demo, no DRM, innovative games, at reasonable prices with great tech support from a one-man company, the bastards still rip me off and take my stuff anyway."
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Xeio » Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:46 am UTC

I'm going to go with a general yes, but there are situations in which it isn't. Primarily on the fact that I like to support the small game companies, even if it means I have to support the company that supports them in order to do so, this benefits everyone no matter how you look at it (game sells well, devs get more money for next project, better games, better sales, rinse, repeat). I also prefer to 'own' my software I use, though with the way DRM is going, I'm tempted to buy a copy of games (like spore, but I haven't heard much about the DRM on that lately and if EA changed their minds...) and torrent a DRM free version. I don't really download music (I prefer radio streams), but again with the DRM thing, if you buy a copy (ANYWHERE) I see no moral problem with downloading a DRM free copy (to use anywhere).

There's also a limited factor of availability. In the case of foreign (anime?) or outdated (3rd edition books maybe? probably something better I can't think of) software/media, which may have no legitimate way to acquire these, or that it would no longer benifit the original creators of said works.

I think the limited income, or 'I wouldn't have bought it anyway' arguments are generally bullshit, and often just people who want to rationalize their actions as 'sticking it to the man' or whatever.

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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Sun Aug 10, 2008 7:13 pm UTC

I would say no in general, but it really depends what you're sharing. Personally for music and movies, I much prefer to buy the disc (unless they employ DRM, aside from the standard DVD encryption stuff that's pretty well forced upon you and doesn't do anything anyway), but I'll settle for a medium-quality download until I can get the real deal. Buy now, pay later, in a sense. For games, I have enough laying around I haven't even got around to playing yet, no need to be downloading or buying any new ones. :P Software, I just find a free alternative, or make my own.

I do occasionally download things and not buy them, because they're just not worth the price. Songs I might listen to on occasion, software I only use once or twice to do a specific job, etc. If I didn't have the option to download them then I would just live without them. But usually either I like it enough to buy it, or not enough to download in the first place.

Downloading is also a great way to sample the product when no demo (or just a really shitty one) is available. Every CD I've bought except one, I downloaded one of the songs, loved it, and bought the album. (The other one was pretty much the same, my mom listened to it all the time, so I knew what it was before I bought it.) With music there's not much other way to know what you're buying before you buy it. Some stores will let you listen to a copy, but for every disc you want to try out you have to take it to the counter and have them dig out a copy and load it up; it gets tedious quickly, and many places don't do this. As a bonus, when you buy the album, it often has many other songs you end up liking that you'd never heard before.
Awia wrote:
sleepygamer wrote:But, if I'm feeling particularly cool, and I have the right information, I will mail, like, a tenner to the artist, and tell them it's for their album. They get more money that way.


This is a rather cool way of going about it, if more people did this, record companies may start being more lenient...or crack down on downloads more.
I want to do this, but how do you get their address? Especially when they're Japanese. :-/

Worth noting too that some artists actually encourage downloading their music, even put it up for free on their website (or with a "pay whatever you want" system), and make money from shows. The profit margin from discs is so thin they don't even bother.
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Awia » Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:20 pm UTC

'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:
Awia wrote:
sleepygamer wrote:But, if I'm feeling particularly cool, and I have the right information, I will mail, like, a tenner to the artist, and tell them it's for their album. They get more money that way.


This is a rather cool way of going about it, if more people did this, record companies may start being more lenient...or crack down on downloads more.
I want to do this, but how do you get their address? Especially when they're Japanese. :-/

Worth noting too that some artists actually encourage downloading their music, even put it up for free on their website (or with a "pay whatever you want" system), and make money from shows. The profit margin from discs is so thin they don't even bother.

If you found out what record company released their music, you could send it to their head quarters addressed to them, might work.
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Cheese » Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:07 pm UTC

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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Dingbats » Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:19 pm UTC

The way I see it: People can ramble on and on about how it's a moral issue and file sharing is terrible and whatever. It's just a logical consequence of the technological evolution. As long as there are computers, people will be sharing files with each other, one way or another. How to solve the money making part is up to the people who want to make money, not me.

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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Sasha » Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:33 pm UTC

No.

Poser for 200+ bucks? No. I think not.
As for the music I torrent, It stays on my computer. I do not make CDs of it.
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby roc314 » Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:57 am UTC

No. I subscribe to the idea that if you own something, you have the right to use that as you like, including sharing with others. I don't think that it is quite right for the record companies to tell you that you cannot use the CDs you bought with your own money and the hard drive you bought and all your other belongings to do something, such as making copies of a CD.

That being said, illegally selling stuff is wrong. If people are going to give something away for free, then I see no concern. But to try to make a profit off of someone else's work is wrong.

I also like to buy music, videos, etc. Besides the CD/DVD making a nice backup, I like to support people who entertain me through their music, videos, and computer games. But my friend burns me a copy of a CD, I have no qualms about using it.

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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Pandercolour » Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:22 am UTC

Dingbats wrote:The way I see it: People can ramble on and on about how it's a moral issue and file sharing is terrible and whatever. It's just a logical consequence of the technological evolution. As long as there are computers, people will be sharing files with each other, one way or another. How to solve the money making part is up to the people who want to make money, not me.

And you can try and justify it all you want with bullshit and technicalities, but it's still theft.

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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby rutebega » Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:29 am UTC

I don't have a lot of money, so I'd rather download music to enrich my life then to go to the record store and maybe get something good. If I like something enough I will buy it and I will treasure, but I probably wouldn't buy anything without having had that "preview." If I download something, don't like it, and subsequently don't buy it, that's the musicians' fault for sucking.

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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Pandercolour » Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:39 am UTC

rutebega wrote:I don't have a lot of money, so I'd rather download music to enrich my life then to go to the record store and maybe get something good. If I like something enough I will buy it and I will treasure, but I probably wouldn't buy anything without having had that "preview." If I download something, don't like it, and subsequently don't buy it, that's the musicians' fault for sucking.

I especially don't get this line of thought. If you can't afford something, then you don't get to have it. I mean, that's that pretty much common sense at this point.

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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:45 am UTC

Pandercolour wrote:
Dingbats wrote:The way I see it: People can ramble on and on about how it's a moral issue and file sharing is terrible and whatever. It's just a logical consequence of the technological evolution. As long as there are computers, people will be sharing files with each other, one way or another. How to solve the money making part is up to the people who want to make money, not me.

And you can try and justify it all you want with bullshit and technicalities, but it's still theft.


No it's not. See how we used the same amount of justification there?

Pandercolour wrote:
rutebega wrote:I don't have a lot of money, so I'd rather download music to enrich my life then to go to the record store and maybe get something good. If I like something enough I will buy it and I will treasure, but I probably wouldn't buy anything without having had that "preview." If I download something, don't like it, and subsequently don't buy it, that's the musicians' fault for sucking.

I especially don't get this line of thought. If you can't afford something, then you don't get to have it. I mean, that's that pretty much common sense at this point.


But that attitude is based on an idea of literal resources. I can't have that food that I don't have money for because there's only so much food--it doesn't make sense for me to have it all. In this situation, it's just information. It's not like I'm actually depriving anyone of a physical item. Saying "you can't afford something, you don't get it" makes sense when there's only so much to give, and wealth is a way of standardizing how much everyone can give in time, resources, etc. But in this case, I'm not trading my time/resources for other forms of time/resources. A copy of music requires such little time/resources to create, that it's virtually free.
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby rutebega » Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:47 am UTC

Pandercolour wrote:
rutebega wrote:I don't have a lot of money, so I'd rather download music to enrich my life then to go to the record store and maybe get something good. If I like something enough I will buy it and I will treasure, but I probably wouldn't buy anything without having had that "preview." If I download something, don't like it, and subsequently don't buy it, that's the musicians' fault for sucking.

I especially don't get this line of thought. If you can't afford something, then you don't get to have it. I mean, that's that pretty much common sense at this point.

I can't afford some books and I don't pay taxes, but I can get the books at the library.

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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Pandercolour » Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:04 am UTC

rutebega wrote:
Pandercolour wrote:
rutebega wrote:I don't have a lot of money, so I'd rather download music to enrich my life then to go to the record store and maybe get something good. If I like something enough I will buy it and I will treasure, but I probably wouldn't buy anything without having had that "preview." If I download something, don't like it, and subsequently don't buy it, that's the musicians' fault for sucking.

I especially don't get this line of thought. If you can't afford something, then you don't get to have it. I mean, that's that pretty much common sense at this point.

I can't afford some books and I don't pay taxes, but I can get the books at the library.

Which is an entirely different thing altogether. A better comparison would be that you can't afford to see a movie, but just walk in and watch it anyway.

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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:07 am UTC

It's more like, you can't afford to see a movie, so you go watch it at a friend's house. At a movie theater, you're using someone else's resources without their consent.
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Pandercolour » Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:09 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:It's more like, you can't afford to see a movie, so you go watch it at a friend's house. At a movie theater, you're using someone else's resources without their consent.

yeah but that examples assumes someone's downloaded it, which is what we're making examples for and doing that is against the rules.

Whatever. There's very little justification for it, unless you like already bought it and the disk broke. Then fuck that, download away.

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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:12 am UTC

Pandercolour wrote:
Sir_Elderberry wrote:It's more like, you can't afford to see a movie, so you go watch it at a friend's house. At a movie theater, you're using someone else's resources without their consent.

yeah but that examples assumes someone's downloaded it, which is what we're making examples for and doing that is against the rules.


Ok, but the people I'm downloading from have an authentic copy of the music. It's been paid for. Perhaps not by them, originally, but eventually. As for "against the rules": plenty of things that are good or bad are against or for the rules. They don't have much bearing as far as morality goes.
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby 3fj » Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:25 am UTC

I was at a lecture on this. As far as i made out the guy said:
  • Look to standards: Where do they come from? Do you agree with them? Do you agree with the source?
  • Look to the law: Why were they made? Who does it protect? Do you agree with it? Are you willing to accept the consequences of breaking it/fighting it in court?
  • Look to morality: If you were in the opposite party's shoes, would you be OK with what your doing? How does it impact the other party? Do you agree with impacting them in this way?

I can go pull the actual presentation if you like. I'm fairly sure that thats illegal too unless i cite the source; then it will meet the Harvard referencing system, follows copyright law and the other party is great with it.
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby benjhuey » Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:02 am UTC

Technically, yes, but I'm going to do it anyway.
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Xeio » Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:19 am UTC

benjhuey wrote:Technically, yes, but I'm going to do it anyway.

[/thread]? :roll:

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rutebega
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby rutebega » Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:20 am UTC

Pandercolour wrote:
rutebega wrote:
Pandercolour wrote:
rutebega wrote:I don't have a lot of money, so I'd rather download music to enrich my life then to go to the record store and maybe get something good. If I like something enough I will buy it and I will treasure, but I probably wouldn't buy anything without having had that "preview." If I download something, don't like it, and subsequently don't buy it, that's the musicians' fault for sucking.

I especially don't get this line of thought. If you can't afford something, then you don't get to have it. I mean, that's that pretty much common sense at this point.

I can't afford some books and I don't pay taxes, but I can get the books at the library.

Which is an entirely different thing altogether. A better comparison would be that you can't afford to see a movie, but just walk in and watch it anyway.

I wasn't comparing the two, or didn't mean to, so much as I meant to point out that I can have things I don't pay for.

I thought up a much better point, but got caught up in an IM convo and forgot. =[

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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby EmptySet » Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:55 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:It's more like, you can't afford to see a movie, so you go watch it at a friend's house. At a movie theater, you're using someone else's resources without their consent.


When you illegally download something, you are also using someone's resources (the intellectual property of the artist) without their consent. Sure, it doesn't stop them using their work, but neither does walking into a cinema without paying stop them showing movies. It's still depriving them of the right to decide who can use their property. Another comparison: is it okay to pick the lock on a Christian church at night and perform Satanic rituals, as long as you don't cause any damage? After all, it doesn't stop anyone else using the church. Is it okay if I break into your house and throw a party without your permission, as long as I clean up afterwards? I think a lot of people would object to these things happening, not so much because they cause damage, but because they infringe upon a person's right to control their property. Indeed, this right is central to the concept of private ownership. I find it somewhat ironic that many of the people who object to DRM yell "The record companies shouldn't be able to dictate what I do with my property!", when they themselves are infringing on the right of the artist to determine how their property is used.

Now, one of the other arguments I've seen is that "it's okay because the record companies demand draconian restrictions on the use of their property", or the like. I don't it's acceptable to seize control of someone's property simply because you think the terms they offer for its use are unacceptable. If you want to stay at a hotel (with plenty of free rooms, so you're not inconveniencing anyone else) but you think the price is too high, you aren't entitled to break in and use their facilities anyway. What you are essentially doing with this argument is claiming something is important enough that it shouldn't be withheld - and then going on to say that its value is so low you won't pay the $1 iTunes is charging for it. You're willing to say that a piece of music is amazing, yet you still assign it less worth than a mass-produced chocolate bar.

Another argument is that "piracy really helps the artist". Maybe, but that's not your choice to make. I might think that the local restaurant would do better business if their walls were a nice duck-egg blue with chintz curtains, but that doesn't entitle me to break-and-redecorate. I might think that a writer could make more money in accounting, but I shouldn't be able to force them to change jobs. I can certainly tell that it's more economical to buy battery-laid eggs than free range, but that doesn't mean we I should remove all free-range eggs from supermarket shelves. Perhaps artists don't always make the best economic decision, and perhaps distributing their works for free would be beneficial. However, it's their choice to make. I can guarantee you that you're going to run into people with whom you disagree. A lot. I'm sure we've all run into religious types who are eager to save us from ourselves. I'm sure some of us *are* religious types who want to save others from themselves. I don't think these people have the right to force others to adhere to their beliefs, though they are allowed to try and convince us. By the same token, you shouldn't force what you think is the best distribution plan on an artist - though you are, of course, free to write them letters explaining what a great idea it would be if they released stuff for free.

Sir_Elderberry wrote:But in this case, I'm not trading my time/resources for other forms of time/resources. A copy of music requires such little time/resources to create, that it's virtually free.


Not really. Remember to count the time it took to produce the original, and overheads like rent, equipment, electricity, etc. Also remember that you have to hire sufficiently talented individuals - high-profile artists can ask a high price for their skills due to the law of supply and demand. Thus, even a small portion of their time may be expensive.

Look at the credits for most modern video games, for example - they include scores and scores of people, and it's not uncommon for a video game to take years to produce. If 50 people work 10 hours a day, 300 days a year for two years, that's 300,000 man-hours. If there are a million copies in circulation, each copy constitutes about 20 minutes of someone's time, and that's not including the cost of rent, electricity, dozens of computers, transport, and so on, which were required to produce the game.

Dingbats wrote:The way I see it: People can ramble on and on about how it's a moral issue and file sharing is terrible and whatever. It's just a logical consequence of the technological evolution. As long as there are computers, people will be sharing files with each other, one way or another. How to solve the money making part is up to the people who want to make money, not me.


Murder is a logical consequence of human evolution, and will occur as long as there are people. I don't think that means it's acceptable.

EDIT: Also, semi-related Penny Arcade comic.

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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby Iori_Yagami » Mon Aug 11, 2008 6:59 am UTC

The real problem started when art became a sellable 'product'. I am not going to throw pearls, but 'commercial' stuff is a bubble-gum for your brains - awfully sweet, colourful, brightly packaged and absolutely non-edible and empty of 'food value' while being 'chewed' forever.
Recording companies are parasites on top of decaying culture's body. When another rotting region of 'ew kewl' new genre appears, they rush to suck from it. Of course, they want to get whole body, and not just the superficial layers for carrion eaters - anti-art 'package music' consumers (this alone sounds... not well). Exactly, consumers - take off the package, consume and excrete the remains of impressions into your useless blog or something. They want more and more... Too bad art is not a product.

As for file sharing... Record companies are almost useless now and can as well shrink and slough off media sharing process...
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Re: Is file sharing wrong?

Postby steewi » Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:08 am UTC

Is it wrong?

Legally: Yes. It just is, at least in the home countries of most XKCD-forumites.

Morally: It's relative - depends on your morality system (I don't go for the idea of universal morality). For many people, Yes, but they don't care. For some No.

My Morality: Mostly, yes. It's still wrong, even though I do some small-time download piracy (but no torrents or P2P sharing). I wouldn't like it done to a book of mine (should I write one), so why should I do it to people's music? The loss of sales or output is irrelevant to me, but rather the degradation of intellectual property. Should someone release it for public use under a licence, sure, but otherwise, it's not good to copy without authorisation.

Ethically: Generally no. It's a matter of hypocrisy here - if you wouldn't like someone copying your artwork/music/writing/etc., then you shouldn't. If you don't really care about stuff of your own output, then ethically it's less of a problem.

For many people it's a system subversion thing - the concept of ownership applying to something so readily copiable is foreign to a lot of people today. If a system is developed where software and music can be freely available while still maintaining the author's ownership and control, and allowing them to gain some sort of income off it, then the whole copyright culture will change. CC licences and the like are beginning that change, but it has a long way to go, yet.

Ninja'd edit: Iori_Yagami's historical point is true, but it's still a consumer product at the moment, and while it is, there's still a definite legal issue, and somewhat of a moral-ethical issue.


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