Why piracy isnt theft

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FedoraRefugee
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by FedoraRefugee »

randomizer wrote:
FedoraRefugee wrote:It does not matter if you WOULD have bought it! If you pirate the item they LOST a sale! You have the item, they do not have your money. Case closed! You can twist words and definitions and over-analyze it all you like, it is stealing. :D
If I walk into a store and steal a DVD player, it must be replaced which costs the store money. That store has lost something and they will lose more to replace it. If I pirate Windows, Microsoft does not need to replace that copy of Windows. They have lost nothing and they have gained nothing. If you can't see the difference here then we will have to agree to disagree, because it seems to me as though you can't tell the difference between a loss and the lack of gain.

It is a lost sale. You have the good, they do not have the money. It is a simple concept. Replacing an item has nothing to do with anything. Believe me, you are not going to talk me into a circle, I am unimpressed with the baffle them with BS strategy of argument. I know you get what I am saying and you are trying to rationalize your way around it. It does not work. No morality involved either. If you take possession of something for free that you are supposed to pay for then you stole that item. No more, no less.
FedoraRefugee wrote:You do the same thing you are accusing me of!
I don't follow, do elaborate.
I messed up my quotes in my post. The next block explained my position. But it does not matter. You just carry on! :D
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by randomizer »

FedoraRefugee wrote:I messed up my quotes in my post. The next block explained my position. But it does not matter. You just carry on! :D
Oh, I didn't see that part of your post between the quotes (probably means I need sleep). Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems as though you perceive me as a piracy advocate. I am unsure why since I've already stated that this isn't the case.
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by FedoraRefugee »

randomizer wrote:
FedoraRefugee wrote:I messed up my quotes in my post. The next block explained my position. But it does not matter. You just carry on! :D
Oh, I didn't see that part of your post between the quotes (probably means I need sleep). Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems as though you perceive me as a piracy advocate. I am unsure why since I've already stated that this isn't the case.
No, I understand that you are just arguing against the single principle that taking a copy is not a loss to the creator. I disagree. That is fine, I do understand your point, I just feel it is wrong. You are left holding both the property AND the money. To me that constitutes a loss to the creator of the property.
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MALsPa
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by MALsPa »

Good points on both sides of this debate.

Personally, I agree with the idea that piracy is NOT theft.

If my friend brings his mp3 player over and I save copies of a bunch of those songs to my hard drive, that is considered piracy and it's technically illegal. So what. You cannot convince me that I have taken anything from anyone.

Had a debate about this with a musician friend of mine about 15 years ago. He said what is happening when I record music like that is that I am stealing from the musician. I said that what is happening is that I am keeping the musician and the recording industry out of my wallet.

I'm more inclined to think that the folks who are charging me $20 dollars for a music CD are trying to steal from me!!!

As far as I'm concerned, the same thing applies to something like... Microsoft software. Even though I've never gotten my hands on any bootleg Microsoft software. But back when I felt the need to use Windows, I would have if I could have. Sorry if that offends anyone.

Someone did pass along a bootleg copy of PartitionMagic to me, and I used it to do my first partitioning for Linux, back before I knew about qtParted (and GParted). Again, another situation where I thought that what they were charging for PartitionMagic was highway robbery -- they were trying to steal from me! I kept them out of my pocket. But I didn't steal anything from them.

But, whatever. That's how I look at it. Some of you will not agree with me.

This is one of those debates where you take one side or the other and you argue your point and you're quite unlikely to change anyone's mind. :lol:
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by FedoraRefugee »

markfiend wrote:My take on copyright infringement, downloading, and so forth:

There is an argument that goes as follows:
If a man has an apple, I take the apple, he no longer has the apple. This is theft, as I have deprived him of his apple.
If a man has a digital file, I take a copy of the digital file, he still has the digital file. This is not theft as I have deprived him of nothing.

Obviously this does not take into account the effort the other guy may have put in to creating the digital file in the first place. But if the content creator agrees with this philosophy and gives his time for free (e.g GPL software, creative commons stuff, etc.) then fine.

The problem for the "ban all downloads" authoritarians is that extensive research suggests that the more music (for example) a person downloads, the more music that person is likely to buy. I have certainly in the past illegally downloaded music, decided I liked the music, and then gone and bought the same music. Perhaps I'm in a minority here though! But this download was not a 'lost sale'; I went and bought it later.

Another thing is that if someone were prevented from downloading a certain piece of music, you have no guarantee that he would instead buy it: most likely he'd just do without. So there's no way that this download was a 'lost sale' either.

Also, the music business can't put the download genie back into the bottle. The more strenuously they chase after downloaders, the more they reinforce the idea that they're the bad guys, chasing kids for thousands of dollars for downloading a couple of mp3s.

So while I agree that in principle, freeloading other people's creativity is "a bad thing", there are shades of grey.

And finally:
FedoraRefugee wrote:You would be a fool to live according to ANYONE'S ideas of morality, you should be raping, pillaging, and plundering your way through life because this is all you got and it does not matter anyway. You are creating your own chains! But that is all for another thread! Fell free to start it.
If this is what you think morality would be like without a god, I'm quite glad that you believe in one!
Good post.

If the content creator agrees to give his content away there is no problem.

I also do not subscribe to banning downloads or stopping filesharing. I think it is up to the content creators to find better ways to lock down their products. Unfortunately, this is a problem that must be addressed from the user end. As long as people believe that what they are doing is ethical and that it is not wrong and causes no damage then it is only going to get worse. That is why I mixed politics in the first place, because it is a result of this entitlement generation we now have world wide. People simply feel they are owed things. They are owed the right to that song or movie for free. That is all it amounts to, pure and simple. There are many excuses people use to justify this; they wouldn't have bought it anyway, they are sticking it to the man, they are not hurting anyone...But the simple fact is people think they are entitled to free media. The only way to stop the problem is for people to realize that continued piracy is only going to bring about even more draconian measures to stop it.
Another thing is that if someone were prevented from downloading a certain piece of music, you have no guarantee that he would instead buy it: most likely he'd just do without. So there's no way that this download was a 'lost sale' either.

This is true, I said this earlier. It is not a lost sale UNTIL the person STEALS the item. Then it is a lost sale because the person has both the property and the money.
Also, the music business can't put the download genie back into the bottle. The more strenuously they chase after downloaders, the more they reinforce the idea that they're the bad guys, chasing kids for thousands of dollars for downloading a couple of mp3s.
Very true! It is a sad state of affairs. The only real solution is to quit offering the product as MP3. That still would not stop people from bootlegging the tracks and offering them online, but as long as people are willing to steal there is no answer.

About the morality thing, it is more of a philosophical argument. :D I am not saying that an atheist cannot be moral, that is silly, I personally know many good atheists, some even more moral than many of the Christians I go to church with. What I am saying is that it is an inconsistent position. It goes against Darwin's survival of the fittest. Why was Hitler wrong in murdering millions of Jews? Because the consensus opinion is that it was the wrong thing to do? Who are you to judge? Why is Hitler's opinion less valid than yours? Who sets the standards, and why should I believe the standards are right? Anyway...Let's not clutter up this thread with all that, there is already so much going on. Nick might have been trolling by starting this but it is threads like this that this forum needs to liven things up! :D
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

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FedoraRefugee wrote:No, I understand that you are just arguing against the single principle that taking a copy is not a loss to the creator. I disagree. That is fine, I do understand your point, I just feel it is wrong. You are left holding both the property AND the money. To me that constitutes a loss to the creator of the property.
Well as I said before, we will need to agree to disagree. I don't feel motivated to argue in circles any longer and I'm sure you feel the same ;)
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by randomizer »

FedoraRefugee wrote:What I am saying is that it is an inconsistent position.
Which is exactly why I was trying to avoid arguing with ethics/morals/philosophy. It leads into a circular argument of "I think, you think" 8)
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by markfiend »

FedoraRefugee wrote:It is not a lost sale UNTIL the person STEALS the item.
I don't know, if the thief (for the sake of argument, I'll agree to use the word) was never intending to buy the item, and only actually takes it because it's available for free download, have they actually lost a sale?
FedoraRefugee wrote:The only real solution is to quit offering the product as MP3
I'm not sure that's a solution either. I have been replacing a lot of my stolen mp3s by buying the same mp3s again from Amazon. IMO the paid-for mp3 route is the perfect replacement for free (stolen) downloads.

And that brings me on to another way in which the music companies shot themselves in the foot: if, back when Napster first came out, the recording industry had provided an alternative paid-for model which they could have promoted as "the legal version of Napster" I think this problem would never have existed. Rather, they were massively opposed to online availability of music at all; there was even the Sony root-kit fiasco where they tried to prevent people ripping CDs to mp3 at all. Once the technology is there, it's impossible to prevent people from using it.
FedoraRefugee wrote:About the morality thing, it is more of a philosophical argument. :D I am not saying that an atheist cannot be moral, that is silly, I personally know many good atheists, some even more moral than many of the Christians I go to church with. What I am saying is that it is an inconsistent position. It goes against Darwin's survival of the fittest. Why was Hitler wrong in murdering millions of Jews? Because the consensus opinion is that it was the wrong thing to do? Who are you to judge? Why is Hitler's opinion less valid than yours? Who sets the standards, and why should I believe the standards are right? Anyway...Let's not clutter up this thread with all that, there is already so much going on. Nick might have been trolling by starting this but it is threads like this that this forum needs to liven things up! :D
I agree that we ought to keep a discussion on morality out of this thread (already it's getting out of hand!) It's a very difficult subject.
Omnia mutantur, nihil interit.
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by FedoraRefugee »

markfiend wrote:
FedoraRefugee wrote:It is not a lost sale UNTIL the person STEALS the item.
I don't know, if the thief (for the sake of argument, I'll agree to use the word) was never intending to buy the item, and only actually takes it because it's available for free download, have they actually lost a sale?
Yes. Because that person now owns the product. It is irrelevant if they would not have bought it anyway.
I'm not sure that's a solution either. I have been replacing a lot of my stolen mp3s by buying the same mp3s again from Amazon. IMO the paid-for mp3 route is the perfect replacement for free (stolen) downloads.
That is awesome that you are doing that! I would say that it is not even necessary, if everyone would just stop downloading freebies that should be bought the problem would be solved. Never mind what has transpired in the past, why keep doing it?
And that brings me on to another way in which the music companies shot themselves in the foot: if, back when Napster first came out, the recording industry had provided an alternative paid-for model which they could have promoted as "the legal version of Napster" I think this problem would never have existed. Rather, they were massively opposed to online availability of music at all; there was even the Sony root-kit fiasco where they tried to prevent people ripping CDs to mp3 at all. Once the technology is there, it's impossible to prevent people from using it.
I actually tend to agree with the thought that just giving away free MP3s is the better business model. I feel that this would allow people to try out the song first. If it is good they will usually spring for the album, especially in CD form.

You are right, it is impossible to stop people from getting music for free. I do it! That's right, I get free music! In my case I do not "steal" it, but I do record from the radio. I also listen to a LOT of youtube music. So I suppose my hands are not entirely clean either. However, I do not download illegal content.
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by eiver »

DrHu wrote:Logic and Ethics are not the same thing
Of course they are not. Ethics was first discussed in ancient Greece by philosophers and priests of all religions, as you have said. Ethics was created by a very long process of evolution of beliefs. However today we can use logic to explain why the process created ethics in its current shape. And that is what I meant by connecting logic and ethics. For example societies with ethics, where murder and theft is considered a good thing never managed to create advanced civilizations. In fact they never advanced any further than a pack of wolves. On the other hand ethics as we know it enabled us to produce a civilization as we see it today. It is a pure evolutionary process - just like evolution of animals, only this is an evolution of thought. So we can remove any religion and beliefs from the equation and only stick with logic and still explain why ethics today looks the way it does. (I hope I didn't sound to Vulcan :P).

Regarding politics and the like...

A form of ruling is one thing. According to the classical definition:
democracy - rules of majority
oligarchy - rules of minority
autocracy - rules of one person

All of these have serious flaws, that prevents them from being used successfully.

Then we have the republic, which is a mixed system trying to combine the three above to use their common pros. Unfortunately it also shares all cons. For example in the US you have the Senate (oligarchy), which is chosen by everyone (democracy) and there is also the president (autocracy).

Now a completely different thing is a financial system.
capitalism - everyone works for themselves.
socialism - everyone puts his or her earnings into a common pot. The resources in the pot are then distributed as needed to everyone.

Again pure versions of any of the above simply do not work.
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by FedoraRefugee »

eiver wrote:
DrHu wrote:Logic and Ethics are not the same thing
Of course they are not. Ethics was first discussed in ancient Greece by philosophers and priests of all religions, as you have said. Ethics was created by a very long process of evolution of beliefs. However today we can use logic to explain why the process created ethics in its current shape. And that is what I meant by connecting logic and ethics. For example societies with ethics, where murder and theft is considered a good thing never managed to create advanced civilizations. In fact they never advanced any further than a pack of wolves. On the other hand ethics as we know it enabled us to produce a civilization as we see it today. It is a pure evolutionary process - just like evolution of animals, only this is an evolution of thought. So we can remove any religion and beliefs from the equation and only stick with logic and still explain why ethics today looks the way it does. (I hope I didn't sound to Vulcan :P).
The problem here is we are both playing by a different set of rules and beliefs. Who is to say your rules and beliefs are right and mine are not? :wink:
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by eiver »

Evolution. :D And this argument for example. I can try to convince you to my way of thinking. I cannot convince you to abandon the axioms you believe in, because by definition an axiom is considered true without any proof. I assume (without any proof) that basic laws of logic are always true and I try to base anything else on that.
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by FedoraRefugee »

eiver wrote:Evolution. :D And this argument for example. I can try to convince you to my way of thinking. I cannot convince you to abandon the axioms you believe in, because by definition an axiom is considered true without any proof. I assume (without any proof) that basic laws of logic are always true and I try to base anything else on that.
You are trying to make it an either/or argument. You either believe in religion or in logic. You cannot believe in logic AND religion. Hence religion is illogical.

This is going on in other areas too. You either believe in science or religion. You cannot believe in both.

This is not only a false argument, it is also...illogical! Many scientists believe in a six day creation and a young earth, in fact, the theories that now exist fit the known evidence much better than secular theories such as evolution and big bang. But we are not here to argue any of that. The bottom line is no one can PROVE any of these theories and never will. It all amounts to world view. You are no more logical than I am just because I believe in God! In fact, I could say you lack logic because you do NOT believe in God. There is no other way to explain creation other than a first cause, and a first cause by definition, is God. He is the only thing that is eternal and has never been created. He has always existed. You can believe the big bang, but where did that pinpoint of matter come from? What was the first cause? As far as evolution, you will have to prove that one. So far no one has observed one species turn into another and even with all of our intelligence we still cannot create life in a lab. Yet we are asked to believe that it just happened, unguided, by accident? Show me the logic there. :D
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by eiver »

FedoraRefugee wrote:You cannot believe in both. (...) Hence religion is illogical...
But it is. And you said it yourself by saying you believe in God. You think God exists, because you believe. Not because you derived it from other axioms using the logic. The existence of God is an axiom itself. So the existence of God is illogical in the sense, that it does not follow from the laws of logic. Instead it shares the same place as the logic itself. It is an axiom. Don't be misled by the fact that the adjective "illogical" is commonly used in a pejorative sense (as in illogical behavior). I don't think believing in God is bad or stupid. In fact both axioms (laws of logic and existence of God) can exist together. Unless you find a contradiction.

I only try to avoid mentioning God in a discussion like that to prevent using a sneaky rhetorical strategy on me by other people on this forum. Its called "attack on the axioms". One can try to prove or assume that your axioms are wrong. If he or she succeeds, your whole argument will be ruined. Many people do not believe in God. On the other hand I never met a person, who would not believe in logic, so you are more safe from this kind rhetorical method when you derive your arguments from logic, whether you believe in God or not.
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

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Actually, without God, there is no logic. If everything is by "chance" then there is no reason to believe that say, gravity, will be the same tomorrow as it is today.
-H
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by eiver »

And if God exists, how do you know that the gravity will not change. Maybe there are some reasons which men cannot understand (but God can) which will change the gravity tomorrow?

If you believe in God, you can say that God is an axiom and God created rules of logic and made our world follow them.
If you don't believe in God the you can still assume that our world follows the rules of logic.
So either way logic works and can be used to derive other arguments.
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by MALsPa »

FedoraRefugee wrote:Hence religion is illogical.
:D
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by FedoraRefugee »

I believe God exists because it is illogical to believe otherwise. I have already explained this yet you ignore the explanation.

Let me try again.

1. Every finite and contingent being has a cause.
2. Nothing finite and contingent can cause itself.
3. A causal chain cannot be of infinite length.
4. Therefore, a First Cause (or something that is not an effect) must exist.

Now before you pull out the classic defenses against the Cosmological Argument I am NOT using this to try and prove God's existence. I am only showing that to believe in God, or a first cause, is actually a very logical position. I can prove God to you in a few different ways, my favorite is the Empty Tomb Argument which shows Christ's resurrection has to be factual hence not only proving His deity but also God, and the accuracy of the Bible. The problem is, you will not accept any of the evidence. That is fine. But please understand that to me it is YOUR position that is illogical.
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by FedoraRefugee »

MALsPa wrote:
FedoraRefugee wrote:Hence religion is illogical.
:D
You know better than taking quotes out of context! :(
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Re: Why piracy isnt theft

Post by FedoraRefugee »

eiver wrote:And if God exists, how do you know that the gravity will not change. Maybe there are some reasons which men cannot understand (but God can) which will change the gravity tomorrow?

If you believe in God, you can say that God is an axiom and God created rules of logic and made our world follow them.
If you don't believe in God the you can still assume that our world follows the rules of logic.
So either way logic works and can be used to derive other arguments.
I do agree with this.

But you cannot exclude God as a logical argument just because you do not accept the proofs. You are free to try to explain things without using God.
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