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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Posted: Mon May 31, 2010 8:24 am
by FedoraRefugee
randomizer wrote:It's good to see a "reasonable" (relatively speaking) settlement is being offered out of court. We all know how much they enjoy bankrupting people once they get in court.
No more than you would try and bankrupt them if you had the chance! :wink:

I think they are sending a message more than anything and I feel it is a good price to settle out of court. Not enough to break anyone, but even someone with decent money would feel the hit. If it were me i would just settle. It was an expensive movie, lesson learned! :D

What is ironic is that they guy this movie was supposedly based on was also talking about suing them as he got no royalties. I do not know what ever happened there but I think it was a wash.

Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Posted: Mon May 31, 2010 12:28 pm
by Nick_Djinn
I have my own relationship with 'God' or whatever you want to call whats out there or 'in there', and I am not going to be told that my morality is wrong or that Im not right with God because I dont share someones Republican conservative authoritarian positions. Anyone can do that. Osama Bin Ladden can do it too. One branch of Christianity has demonized the Christians of another, just so they could go to war and profit from the spoils....so forgive me if I take any claims of moral superiority with a grain of salt.

People who are afraid of change dont like to see their world view threatened by new ideas, or even old ideas that are new to them. If the government tells them that God wants them to invade Iraq or kill Palestinians (Most Christians in the region are Palestinians) they want to march off to kill people with the moral conviction that God is on their side.....so an alternative viewpoint that maybe if there is a God he doesnt really want you to kill all those foreigners is more of a threat than someone who doesnt want to fight for more personal reasons, because at least it doesnt upset the foundations of their wrong ideas.....and the more flimsy someones philosophy is, the more they feel threatened by such ideas.



Do I think that people are 'entitled' or 'owed' the privilege of proprietary computer software that they didnt pay for? No. It is not a basic human right, unless access to this software is necessary for survival....It arguably can be an economic necessity in some instances, but there are often free alternatives...and some people still cant see the need for a user friendly free alternative and still tell people to go back to windows, which costs money....

That isnt what I was arguing here. (I think that people who in engage in logical fallacies in debate are not necessarily as dishonest as they come off.....I think all the blind assumptions are the result of faulty logic skills and a tendency to believe your own imagination. )


Piracy is a DIFFERENT crime from theft, and while that is not a legal basis for justifying copyright infringement, there may be some moral considerations outside of legality......Would I feel justified in walking into someones home because they keep the doors unlocked? No. Not only is there a risk but I wouldnt steal from a fellow working class human being. Thats not right, unless their loss would be trivial and I needed something for survival. I dont need windows to live when I have linux.

Let me tell you a different example.....You are walking down the road when your car broke down in the middle of a giant national forest. You have been walking so long as you have no food. You probably wont DIE immediately if you wont eat, but you are very low blood sugar and you are suffering from the long walk....and you come across a little enclave of privately owned residences......and down on the end of the block you find one who has a giant orchard, and the apples on the very last row are just hanging off the side of the fence...you dont even have to trespass to get them. Just pick and apple as you are walking by that is hanging off their tree into the domain of public property, but its attached to a privately owned tree......apples are just falling to the ground, rotting from not being picked. The farmer will NOT have fewer apples if you pick some, because they are going to waste anyway, since he obviously couldnt sell enough to this sleepy town and doesnt seem interested in exporting them (that part isnt a direct metaphor)....the point is that its very reasonable to assume that he wont miss them.....and you dont have your wallet on you to pay for any.



Be honest. Would you pick the apples to help you walk back to civilization to get help for your broken down car?



And then you have to consider that a corporation is not REALLY a person, even though they are given the rights of a person. A corporation is a soulless amoral entity that is typically driven by greed, unless its some kind of non profit or egalitarian co-op. Its not the same as breaking into a families house and stealing their dinner.


By saying its not the same I am not saying we are entitled to it, depending on the circumstances. I am only saying that its not the same. It could still be wrong, but it should be judged differently.

Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Posted: Mon May 31, 2010 12:35 pm
by MALsPa
Nick, I enjoyed that post quite a bit.

Of course I would pick the apples and I don't think there would be anything at all wrong with doing so. I guess some people would call it theft or piracy or whatever. But it's a perfect example, in my mind, of how "right" and "wrong" are often not so clearly defined. And I already know that many people won't agree with me on that.

Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Posted: Mon May 31, 2010 1:06 pm
by FedoraRefugee
Nick_Djinn wrote:I have my own relationship with 'God' or whatever you want to call whats out there or 'in there', and I am not going to be told that my morality is wrong or that Im not right with God because I dont share someones Republican conservative authoritarian positions. Anyone can do that. Osama Bin Ladden can do it too. One branch of Christianity has demonized the Christians of another, just so they could go to war and profit from the spoils....so forgive me if I take any claims of moral superiority with a grain of salt.

People who are afraid of change dont like to see their world view threatened by new ideas, or even old ideas that are new to them. If the government tells them that God wants them to invade Iraq or kill Palestinians (Most Christians in the region are Palestinians) they want to march off to kill people with the moral conviction that God is on their side.....so an alternative viewpoint that maybe if there is a God he doesnt really want you to kill all those foreigners is more of a threat than someone who doesnt want to fight for more personal reasons, because at least it doesnt upset the foundations of their wrong ideas.....and the more flimsy someones philosophy is, the more they feel threatened by such ideas.
Nick...You just do not get it...I am not judging your morality, it is pretty obvious to me that some of it is badly wrong, however, there is a side of you that wants equality for everyone (or at least you THINK you do) and that is not necessarily wrong...But that is only MY opinion. I do not care what your politics are. I am also not suggesting whether you are right or wrong with God, only you and God know that. What does government even have to do with God? God does not want you to kill anyone, that should be fairly obvious to anyone with even a child's knowledge of the Bible. But...The Bible also specifies between killing and murder and also permits killing for justice. (Gen 9:6). How about killing for your country? I do not know, the New Testament is not specific here. My belief is that if you are killing armed combatants who are trying to kill you then you have the right. How about dropping bombs on innocents? I could not stomach that, but I do not judge those who have had to in time of war. But I am under no illusions that ANY killing is done for God! If God wants someone dead do you not think He could do it? Lol...But what does ANY of that have to do with this subject? You are trying to condemn people's morals but most Christians simply do not feel the things you ascribe to them. This is just MY opinion, but I think most of your political issues are caused by a lack of understanding of how the real world works. You like to lump people into stereotypical groups; ie Christians are immoral, businesses are greedy...But this is far removed from reality. You are knowledgeable, but you lack experience.


Do I think that people are 'entitled' or 'owed' the privilege of proprietary computer software that they didnt pay for? No. It is not a basic human right, unless access to this software is necessary for survival....It arguably can be an economic necessity in some instances, but there are often free alternatives...and some people still cant see the need for a user friendly free alternative and still tell people to go back to windows, which costs money....
If something is needed for survival does it become a basic human right? :wink:
That isnt what I was arguing here. (I think that people who in engage in logical fallacies in debate are not necessarily as dishonest as they come off.....I think all the blind assumptions are the result of faulty logic skills and a tendency to believe your own imagination. )
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Piracy is a DIFFERENT crime from theft, and while that is not a legal basis for justifying copyright infringement, there may be some moral considerations outside of legality......Would I feel justified in walking into someones home because they keep the doors unlocked? No. Not only is there a risk but I wouldnt steal from a fellow working class human being. Thats not right, unless their loss would be trivial and I needed something for survival. I dont need windows to live when I have linux.
Call it what you want, but stealing is theft. No matter if you are stealing time, an idea, or physical property. It is theft. I have proven this by definition. You can throw all the legalese at it that you like but in the end it is just semantics. You are taking what does not belong to you. End of argument. :D
Let me tell you a different example.....You are walking down the road when your car broke down in the middle of a giant national forest. You have been walking so long as you have no food. You probably dont DIE immediately if you dont eat, but you are very low blood sugar and you are suffering from the long walk....and you come across a little enclave of privately owned residences......and down on the end of the block you find one who has a giant orchard, and the apples on the very last row are just hanging off the side of the fence...you dont even have to trespass to get them. Just pick and apple as you are walking by that is hanging off their tree into the domain of public property, but its attached to a privately owned tree......apples are just falling to the ground, rotting from not being picked. The farmer will NOT have fewer apples if you pick some, because they are going to waste anyway, since he obviously couldnt sell enough to this sleepy town and doesnt seem interested in exporting them (that part isnt a direct metaphor)....the point is that its very reasonable to assume that he wont miss them.....and you dont have your wallet on you to pay for any.
True. But...It is still theft. The farmer OWNS those apples, he has a legal right to do whatever he wants with them. If he chooses to let them rot that is his business. You are trying to create a moral argument where none exists. Is it relevant that you did not have to trespass to get at the apples or that the farmer is just letting them fall to the ground to rot? NO!!! You are trying to justify your theft with lame excuses, just like with the piracy issue! The only fact that matters is the apples belong to the farmer and you are stealing them.


Be honest. Would you pick the apples to help you walk back to civilization to get help for your broken down car?
Honestly? Sure! But the proper thing to do would be to knock on the farmer's door and ask permission. Maybe even pay him a couple bucks. But yeah, I live in Florida and have stolen my fair share of oranges off of private trees. Unless you get caught with a 5 Gal bucket it really is a non-issue. I do not know of a single case where a person was prosecuted for this, or a grove owner that would not permit you an orange off the tree is you but ask.


And then you have to consider that a corporation is not REALLY a person, even though they are given the rights of a person. A corporation is a soulless amoral entity that is typically driven by greed, unless its some kind of non profit or egalitarian co-op. Its not the same as breaking into a families house and stealing their dinner.


By saying its not the same I am not saying we are entitled to it, depending on the circumstances. I am only saying that its not the same. It could still be wrong, but it should be judged differently.
Why? Because you falsely ascribe greed to corporations? Not saying that there are not a few who are greedy, but you cannot justify a blanket statement like that. Would you like a raise at work? Then YOU are greedy. :wink: Theft is theft. If you want to be a lawyer and ascribe varying degrees according to the value of the property or damage to the owner then great...Whatever...I do not concern myself with those issues.

Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Posted: Mon May 31, 2010 1:19 pm
by MALsPa
FedoraRefugee wrote:But yeah, I live in Florida and have stolen my fair share of oranges off of private trees. Unless you get caught with a 5 Gal bucket it really is a non-issue. I do not know of a single case where a person was prosecuted for this, or a grove owner that would not permit you an orange off the tree is you but ask.
LOL!

Nostalgic memories of growing up in Michigan... grabbing an apple or pear or some cherries off someone's tree on the way to school, or picking blueberries or raspberries or peppers from someone's yard. Uh, yeah, we were stealing, for sure.

Not trying to say it was right! :lol: But, those were the good old days. Great memories!

Later, lived in Arizona, and yeah, it was no big deal to grab an orange off someone's tree down there.

I'm definitely getting off-topic, here.

Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Posted: Mon May 31, 2010 10:25 pm
by Biker
Why do you think rock salt was invented? :mrgreen:

(Some not so pleasant memories of digging THAT stuff out of my backside!)

Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:34 am
by mick55
Biker wrote:Some not so pleasant memories of digging THAT stuff out of my backside!
Please spare us the details of your sex life.

:P

Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:05 am
by eiver
I believe that piracy might be one of the reasons, why Windows is considered to be full of viruses and other malware, while Linux is considered to be safe from such threats. Having a pirated copy of an operating system is a security threat - we can have no idea what the cracker did to our system in addition to cracking it. The same goes for all cracked proprietary software available on windows. On Linux not only the system itself is available for free, but also most of the software, so there is no need to download and run risky cracks.

I have been running anti-virus software on my LEGAL copy of windows for over two years and it didn't detect a thing. Finally I uninstalled it, to release resources. Now I only do periodic scans, but the system is clean each time.

Having a pirated copy of firewall and anti-virus software is the craziest thing possible. It might even work and detect viruses..... Except that tiny little "back door" left by the cracker :P.

So even if piracy isn't a theft - it is a threat.

Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:15 am
by randomizer
The problem with nick's analogy is that it is an analogy and therefore does not precisely fit the topic. In this case the thing you are taking is tangible and limited in number, which is obviously not the case with software which can be replicated indefinitely at (for all intents and purposes) no cost. Regardless of whether or not it is a sellable apple, the farmer has lost something that can't be replaced by an exact copy at no cost.

Ah analogies...

Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:19 am
by FedoraRefugee
eiver wrote:I believe that piracy might be one of the reasons, why Windows is considered to be full of viruses and other malware, while Linux is considered to be safe from such threats. Having a pirated copy of an operating system is a security threat - we can have no idea what the cracker did to our system in addition to cracking it. The same goes for all cracked proprietary software available on windows. On Linux not only the system itself is available for free, but also most of the software, so there is no need to download and run risky cracks.

I have been running anti-virus software on my LEGAL copy of windows for over two years and it didn't detect a thing. Finally I uninstalled it, to release resources. Now I only do periodic scans, but the system is clean each time.

Having a pirated copy of firewall and anti-virus software is the craziest thing possible. It might even work and detect viruses..... Except that tiny little "back door" left by the cracker :P.

So even if piracy isn't a theft - it is a threat.
Good point! Not to mention the media files someone pirates could also be full of who knows what!

But I think the main problem with Windows (XP and prior) was that you ran as full administrator. Programs did not need any special permissions to install, they could just install themselves. I think Microsoft has fixed most of this problem with the UAC. Of course the naive user can still give permission for malware to install itself, but at least there is human intervention now.

I never had much problem with XP but it was major work. Two or three anti-adware programs and you would always get a few pieces that couldn't be removed, AV, a decent two way firewall, constant defrags...But with Vista and now 7 I do not do ANY work. Default Defender and Firewall, no anti-adware at all, and i use AVG Free and that has been more than fine. AV scan and defrag set to auto. I have had no problems whatsoever.

Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:27 am
by randomizer
Win 7 is pretty much works OOTB for me, except for WiFi drivers which still need install but which work fine on Linux distros that use the GNOME NetworkManager (and Mandriva), although the KNetworkManager doesn't like hidden networks. :x

If I can finally stop distro hopping then Win 7 may well be the last Windows version I use unless I can get another free copy of the next one. I haven't paid for Windows since XP, thanks to the generosity of MS towards IT students :lol:

Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:29 am
by FedoraRefugee
randomizer wrote:The problem with nick's analogy is that it is an analogy and therefore does not precisely fit the topic. In this case the thing you are taking is tangible and limited in number, which is obviously not the case with software which can be replicated indefinitely at (for all intents and purposes) no cost. Regardless of whether or not it is a sellable apple, the farmer has lost something that can't be replaced by an exact copy at no cost.

Ah analogies...
This is starting to get circular... :roll:

Yeah, I understand your position. But I disagree, and it seems the courts disagree also. Otherwise there would be no damages involved. You simply do not have any moral or legal right to something that costs money unless you pay the asking price. There is a transfer of property rights involved. You can call it a copy if you like, but you do not have permission to copy the original. The owner of the original has indeed lost something. You are using his product and he did not get reimbursed for it. If you want to get hung up on whether it is theft, piracy, copyright infringement, or your basic human right, then that is your issue. But you cannot make a valid claim that you are not infringing on the owner's rights or that piracy does not cause damages.

Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:43 am
by randomizer
Oh I wasn't trying to continue the former argument, I was just commenting on the analogy for, well, the sake of commenting. I never claimed that piracy does not infringe on the owner's rights (else it would not be called copyright infringement ;)) nor did I claim it doesn't cause damages. Game piracy in particular causes more harm than most people care to admit. It's usually considered a bad excuse for greed when game devs say piracy is why they are moving consoles, when in fact the data supports their claims.

Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:51 am
by FedoraRefugee
randomizer wrote:Oh I wasn't trying to continue the former argument, I was just commenting on the analogy for, well, the sake of commenting. I never claimed that piracy does not infringe on the owner's rights (else it would not be called copyright infringement ;)) nor did I claim it doesn't cause damages. Game piracy in particular causes more harm than most people care to admit. It's usually considered a bad excuse for greed when game devs say piracy is why they are moving consoles, when in fact the data supports their claims.
Yeah I'm sorry. You have clearly stated your position a few times. I am just getting members mixed up.

You know, I really wonder what most of us are arguing about here? I do not think anyone has actually made the claim that copyright infringement should be legal. We are just getting stuck on definitions and whether it can be regarded as theft. An important argument in my mind, but really beside the point I think.

Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:00 am
by randomizer
I think I said back on page 2 that this sort of thing happens when you argue with piracy advocates (theft vs copyright infringement) but it looks like you don't even need piracy advocates :lol:

Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:26 am
by MALsPa
FedoraRefugee wrote:You know, I really wonder what most of us are arguing about here? I do not think anyone has actually made the claim that copyright infringement should be legal. We are just getting stuck on definitions and whether it can be regarded as theft. An important argument in my mind, but really beside the point I think.
Yeah. Going back to the article by Bhagwad Jal Park, which prompted this thread, some of us agree with the idea (that "piracy" isn't "theft"), some of us don't. Certainly a thought-provoking idea.

Personally, I've had issues with copyright law for quite a few years now. It's interesting to go back and consider how it all began, and what it has become. For sure, copyright law has benefited many lawyers! :lol:

I think it's healthy to question the entire copyright concept, and not to simply accept it because that's the way it is. Remember, the history of copyright law only goes back about 300 years, and how long was it before it was expanded to technology? And then to stuff like software?

For as long as there's been copyright law, and for as long as it shall exist, people have been trying, and will keep trying, to circumvent it.

Perhaps some of us look at copyright law as the evil rather than piracy being the evil. Maybe copyright law is a necessary evil. Maybe it isn't evil at all. And, as we've seen expressed in this thread and others here, different people have different ideas even about what good and evil are (and there's the school of thought that perhaps many or even most times a thing can be both good and evil, or neither).

Who knows?

:lol:

I don't! Fun talking and thinking about it all, though!

Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:30 am
by markfiend
Wow, this topic has progressed a long way since I last posted in here! Not much more to add, but this...
FedoraRefugee wrote:And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
One doesn't need to be a Christian to see the beauty and utility of some parts of the Bible. :D

Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:05 am
by MALsPa
markfiend wrote:Wow, this topic has progressed a long way since I last posted in here! Not much more to add, but this...
FedoraRefugee wrote:And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
One doesn't need to be a Christian to see the beauty and utility of some parts of the Bible. :D
Yep, some parts of it! I like that one! 8)

Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:18 am
by deleted
Maybe we should try to explain to our English professor that the essay on "Crime and Punishment" we copied from the web should still be counted as an 'A'. After all, we didn't plagiarize it, we just infringed on it's copyright.
-Hinto

Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:07 pm
by eiver
markfiend wrote:One doesn't need to be a Christian to see the beauty and utility of some parts of the Bible. :D
Agreed. When it comes to morality probably majority if not everyone on this forum would agree to last 7 of the 10 commandments. So catholic morality is very common among everyone in the world, even to people who do not believe in God. In fact all major religions share the same basic moral rules.