Why piracy isnt theft

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randomizer
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by randomizer »

MALsPa wrote: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.
That's true of any law.
MALsPa wrote:Perhaps some of us look at copyright law as the evil rather than piracy being the evil.
What is the motive behind that thought though? Any law that is an inconvenience could be considered "evil." In fact things like the GNU GPL hinge on the very existence of copyright (or copyleft, if you like). To be honest, I think it's the enforcement of copyright that people have an issue with, not the copyright itself.

Now patents are another story.
hinto wrote: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
Not really. If you put your name on the assignment then you plagiarised it.
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by deleted »

Is plagiarism stealing? (aka theft?)
http://www.plagiarism.org/plag_article_ ... m_faq.html
randomizer
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by randomizer »

I guess it isn't. That article doesn't say anything about theft or stealing, only copyright infringement. But this was obvious.
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Midnighter
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by Midnighter »

What is commonly referred to as "piracy" is simply copyright infringement, but copyright infringement doesn't sound quite as dangerous or scary as "piracy", now does it?
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by deleted »

randomizer wrote:I guess it isn't. That article doesn't say anything about theft or stealing, only copyright infringement. But this was obvious.
Same site:
http://www.plagiarism.org/plag_article_ ... arism.html
They quote Merriam Webster:
According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" means

* to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
* to use (another's production) without crediting the source
* to commit literary theft
* to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.

In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward.
FedoraRefugee
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by FedoraRefugee »

hinto wrote:
randomizer wrote:I guess it isn't. That article doesn't say anything about theft or stealing, only copyright infringement. But this was obvious.
Same site:
http://www.plagiarism.org/plag_article_ ... arism.html
They quote Merriam Webster:
According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" means

* to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
* to use (another's production) without crediting the source
* to commit literary theft
* to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.

In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward.
Damn dictionary definitions ALWAYS getting in the way! :lol:
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MALsPa
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by MALsPa »

Questions:

Do folks here feel that it's a bit different if the software being pirated, or the music being copied, is strictly for personal use, and not for sale or distribution?

And, how do you feel about folks who go to the library, check out a few CDs, bring them home and copy them to their hard drives? Theft?
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by FedoraRefugee »

MALsPa wrote:Questions:

Do folks here feel that it's a bit different if the software being pirated, or the music being copied, is strictly for personal use, and not for sale or distribution?
Yes. Legally speaking it is a huge difference. Theologically speaking sin is sin. :D But yeah, when you sell or distribute the stolen property you are getting into serious hot water legally speaking!
And, how do you feel about folks who go to the library, check out a few CDs, bring them home and copy them to their hard drives? Theft?
It is wrong...But we have all copied friends albums...I do not think the industry is too concerned with this level of crime. People have recorded songs off the radio (legal BTW) and made tapes of their friend's albums from the beginning. The recording level of these copies make them impractical to sell. You will never get a high quality copy this way unless you have expensive equipment. That is why I trip out on how popular mp3 is. It really is a crappy encoding format.

Listen...I do not view ****. I think it is sinful. It is something that should be between a man and his wife. I feel **** has contributed much to the degradation of the sanctity of marriage. I feel it does more damage to society than most of us can even guess. However...I am more concerned with censorship and the damage banning **** would do to our right to free speech and ability to express ourselves. Who decides what is **** and what is art? In the end it is up to each individual to make his own moral choice on the matter. I do not condemn you for viewing ****. I understand. It is YOUR choice to make. Likewise, the level of crime that you mention here is ridiculously irrelevant. It is akin to swiping an apple off the farmer's tree. For the movie/music industry it is just the price of doing business. It really does not address the heart of the problem. That is the distribution of proprietary media for free.
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MALsPa
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by MALsPa »

Where did **** come into this discussion?
FedoraRefugee
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by FedoraRefugee »

MALsPa wrote:Where did **** come into this discussion?
Just an example. The point is we all have to live with our choices. If you are comfortable with what stares back at you in the mirror every morning then I am not going to push my morals on you. That is how it should be anyway, though society does need laws to prevent harm to others. But we are fast becoming a legalistic society where everything is against some law or other. God forbid I light a cigarette up on a public street anymore. :( It should be MY choice to wear a seatbelt. If I order a coffee from a mcdonalds and I spill it on myself it is MY stupidity I got burned. I do not get to sue anyone.

What society does not understand is that very soon people are going to quit performing services due to the threat of litigation. That is a big reason why the mom and pop businesses are going under. I cannot afford to defend myself in lawsuit after lawsuit. I will leave it up to the big corporations with a legal department.

My wife and I teach children at church. But the kids these days are all screwed up. They cannot be controlled. Why? Because just as soon as a teacher or other adult in authority even looks at a child crosseyed human resources are called in and the teacher finds themselves jailed and their career ruined. It is not worth the effort. This has even impacted us! We know the risk we are taking by even dealing with kids.

What is the point to all this? Only that piracy is no different. The bigger the problem becomes the more we are all going to suffer. Do I much give a damn if you downloaded an mp3 or two? No. But it does have an impact on those of us that try to do the right thing.
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by Nick_Djinn »

FedoraRefugee wrote:Listen...I do not view ****. I think it is sinful.
You never know. It might improve your state of mind.

Now morally....what is the difference between looking at 'soft ****', and having fantasies of a real life person before you are married? The biggest difference I can think of is that the **** star is inviting you to view her that way, while the real life person might find it creepy or offensive if they knew....unless she likes you.

Unless you are going to be an acetic monk and never have an orgasm before marriage, a practically impossible goal for ordinary people, I wouldnt be too judgmental.




Anyway....dictionaries are not 'legal experts'. They use language in ways that people understand them.

I guarantee you, you will NOT be charged with 'theft/robbery/' for engaging in copyright infringement. You will instead be charged with copyright infringement.


Personally, I dont think that personal use of media should be 'protected' by copyright if that media has already been broadcast on the public airwaves.....once a song has been played on the radio for everyone to hear, played on television, ect, the artist has been paid for their work by sponsors or market to the viewer and consumer....the media should be consider public domain and free to record off the television, with TIVO, onto DVD or VHS, or digitally recorded and downloaded via torrent....its all the same and should not be treated differently.


Now, if you leak a copy of a movie before it hits the theaters, then in that case I would agree that whoever did it should be liable for damages that hurt them at the box office. The same movie after making public broadcast should no longer be protected as the artists have already been paid.
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LonePiper
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by LonePiper »

While I can see and understand the arguments for piracy being illegal, I always come back to the thought that it seems incredibly weird to have to pay to be allowed to have the ones and zeroes on my hard drive to be arranged in a certain way.

Image
http://abstrusegoose.com/261

I can't make myself believe that piracy is morally wrong. If it's illegal, then so be it. I have no problem with that. It's illegal to drive on the wrong side of the road, but there's nothing inherently morally wrong with the left or the right side of the road. It's just that, the way the road rules happen to work, chaos would result if you were to drive on the wrong side.

That being said, I don't get much in the way of pirated software, especially now I'm using linux. I prefer having "official" versions of things that I really want - it's somehow nicer.
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Fred
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by Fred »

Actually, piracy is the taking of a sea going vessel on the high seas that doesn't belong to you, so yes. Piracy is in fact the theft of someone elses real property.

Copyright infringement is neither piracy nor theft of real property. It is illegal in most countries and in my opinion unethical. To forcefully take the fruits of someone elses labor and use it in a manner that is against their wishes is pretty much universally unethical at best.

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randomizer
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by randomizer »

Ethics are inherent to the individual. Nothing can be universally ethical or unethical.
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Midnighter
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by Midnighter »

Fred wrote:
Copyright infringement is neither piracy nor theft of real property.

I wish more people understood this distinction. "Piracy" just sounds more scary/dangerous than "copyright infringement", so it gets bantered about a lot more. But nothing is "stolen", so it's not "piracy". Still illegal in many countries, but still completely different.
If you accept - and I do - that freedom of speech is important, then you are going to have to defend the indefensible. That means you are going to be defending the right of people to read, or to write, or to say, what you don't say or like or want said.
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by Nick_Djinn »

As far as the ETHICS of copyright infringement, I think it depends on what you are talking about.

I dont think it would be right for a musician to create a song, yet live dirt poor while somebody else takes credit and all of the profit for it. I dont think it would be right for somebody to spend years on an invention then see somebody else at the tail end of the process just hijack it and claim the money for that persons hard word without compensation.

However, I sometimes feel that some forms of property were never legitimate to begin with. My philosophical position is that you can only own what you create. Anything beyond your powers of manufacture cannot be owned and should not be considered property....that is why I feel that land should not be a commodity and we should be seen as stewards of our land rather than its owners, and we should not have land lords in the current sense of the word.....but things that we can create, like a building, or a tool, those things as the product of our labor should be treated as different and own-able while things like land, the air we breath, and water should NOT be own-able. I dread the day when we have to pay for fresh air and not just clean water....paying for the SERVICE of piping water? Fine. Saying that somebody can OWN our communities water supply as a commodity? I dont agree with that.

I like to support independent musicians and and artists and developers when I can. I would not choose to copy an independent producers work for my own use if I could afford to do otherwise without paying them for it. I often BUY a CD quality album from an artist if I enjoy their MP3s which I treat like radio.

Some of the mega-corporations however have what I consider 'illegitimate holdings', due to exploitation of workers, building empires on false pretenses, taking an unfair share of OTHER peoples work, or a number of other things that I find unethical and unacceptable in modern corporate trends.....now, this doesnt mean that I would necessarily have an interest in their product, but I dont necesarily feel as sorry for them either when they cant extract every last cent that they had hoped to.
randomizer
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by randomizer »

I have no problem with music labels taking the majority of the revenue from CD sales. The artist signed a contract. They didn't have to. By paying all my money to a label I am, in a sense, honouring the artist's wishes. But I don't listen to music so nobody is getting my money anyway, nor am I "pirating" anything.
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eiver
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by eiver »

LonePiper wrote:While I can see and understand the arguments for piracy being illegal, I always come back to the thought that it seems incredibly weird to have to pay to be allowed to have the ones and zeroes on my hard drive to be arranged in a certain way.
This reminds me of the OFF System, developers of which presented a similar way of thinking. Suppose someone takes 3 files: 1 blockbuster movie, 1 CD Album and the latest version of Mint Isadora CD and does a binary XOR:

a_movie XOR an_album XOR IsadoraCD = a_file

Who can claim copyright of the file? Does GPL apply to the file because its a modified Isadora which is released under GPL? What would a lawyer say? What would ethics say? Quite mind-blowing isn't it?
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by Nick_Djinn »

randomizer wrote:I have no problem with music labels taking the majority of the revenue from CD sales. The artist signed a contract. They didn't have to. By paying all my money to a label I am, in a sense, honouring the artist's wishes. But I don't listen to music so nobody is getting my money anyway, nor am I "pirating" anything.

See, I dont believe that just because you choose something that its automatically valid.

People sign an "agreement" at the emergency room to pay for services, but does that automatically make their pricing fair? Should they charge you over a million dollars if their expenses were only in the hundreds or low thousands, because your life was in danger and they 'agreed to it'? No. I think most people would say that charging that much would be wrong, but would still do it if it meant their life....not saying thats typical, but there can be a degree duress in agreements, sometimes a large degree. Agreements made under duress should be seen kind of like confessions made under duress....skeptically.

And what about the artists themselves who say they feel screwed?

Finally, there is the position that once media hits the public broadcasts it becomes public domain.....I believe there are some countries which uphold this position as their law, but I dont remember which ones.
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by gizmodo »

at the moment. i think piracy isnt exactly theft. sure its illegal. but really. the big record labels are even more criminals, their just making themselfs richer and richer, while keeping price unnecisairryle high. thats a worse crime then piracy imo. and not to forget that the record labels dont innovate, distrubution manners have changed drasticly since the coming of the internet and WWW. now any artist can throw it on youtube, hire a server and set up a paypal account.. its not the 80 anymore, but the record labels are still using the 80's marketing strategy. really industry. innovate or die you have become unnecisarry

(excuse for gramaticall errors. its 2AM here)
(i am NOT part of the gizmodo team or related to them, just before anyone askes;) )

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