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Stopping the Stop Online Piracy Act

Posted: 15th December 2011 17:09

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I would imagine that those of you out there who read news regularly, particularly tech news, are already aware of SOPA and its cousin PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) making their way through the American congress right now. For our readers worldwide, you might not care, though you might well eventually should either of these acts be signed into law.

I'm not here to reiterate the points that people far smarter than I have made against the passage of these bills. I will reiterate a partial list of companies that are against the legislation, though: Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Google, Wikimedia, Reddit, and LinkedIn. Do you use any of these sites? Yes, you do, and there's a reason that these companies are against this.

Here, instead, I'll link to an editorial by Jeffrey Zeldman, founder of A List Apart, one of the premier web development sites online. Having read him for quite a while, and seen him speak in person, he is a person in the industry who I genuinely trust, and a person who can present his ideas in a way that most people can understand. His article: http://www.alistapart.com/articles/say-no-to-sopa/

I'm posting this here, because it's relevant to us. If you look at that list above, you'll see a lot of big names. I can add another to that list, much smaller but clearly every bit as important: Caves of Narshe. Look specifically at this quote:
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If passed, SOPA will allow corporations to block the domains of websites that are “capable of” or “seem to encourage” copyright infringement.

While we feel strongly that CoN is a prime example of fair use of copyrighted material, and that we have taken care over the years to ensure that we are doing our best to not set a foot wrong in that regard, under a bill as broad as SOPA appears to be, it might not matter. The bar will be set quite low for IP owners, and most hosting providers - being businesses - will be more than willing to concede to these IP owners to protect their own business in the long run, resulting in the shutdown of entire domains at a time, possibly with no recourse.

Feel free to tell me I'm wrong, and indeed I hope I am should these bills become law. However, I think that this is a time to err on the side of caution, not to enact a law that in all likelihood won't work, and runs the risk of eventually shutting down the internet as most of us know it. If you agree, there are links to contact your representatives in Congress via Zeldman's article above.

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Posted: 15th December 2011 17:42

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From what I've heard, even if it does pass the senate, the President will veto it. Now, it is possible he might not be the President in about a year, but given that the Republicans never seem to keep a frontrunner in their pre-primaries fuss for more than a week before they release some video that turns them into a laughing stock it's all rather open right now.

There is of course the fact that this will be challenged in the Supreme Courts. Unlike previous bills that are blatantly unconstitutional, this one doesn't even have a national security reason - and if it does it is of such a limited and tenacious link, it won't even matter.

What will matter is that it will boil down to a long, and costly, battle between two arms of big business. Nothing will change, and if it does, not for a long time. Supporters of the act are isolationists who even if they can pass it will face opposition and legal challenges from home and abroad, and will risk severe losses from boycotts and that opposition.

What is quite astounding though is that as far as I know, the only actual supporters of this are the RIAA, Hollywood, and their lobbyists. In terms of voterbase opposition to it is bipartisan, at the very least in terms of what it is currently worded as.

This post has been edited by Del S on 15th December 2011 17:53

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Posted: 16th December 2011 22:40

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All of my congressional representation is currently co-sponsoring this crap, and I'm not happy. I called up John Larson's local office a couple days ago but I doubt that did much. I think I'm going to organize my talking-points and then bug Dick Blumenthal's and Joe Lieberman's offices.

Good thing Lieberman's gonna be gone in a year and change. And thank goodness Ron Wyden's put a lid on PIPA for now.

I think that those of us who oppose SOPA and PIPA should make a big deal about how such a law would make creativity suffer. Speak about how content producers would have a much harder time disseminating their works. SOPA and PIPA will have a strong chilling effect the ability for fans and patrons of creative work to share material relating to the work, making it much harder for new content to achieve market penetration.

The only producers who would benefit are those who have already achieved vast market penetration, and thus would not benefit much from bringing into contact with their works new people who are not yet willing to commit to a purchase. Not surprisingly, these are major media conglomerates with well-known and established series, artists, movies, and such. Everyone else will have a harder time achieving success.

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Posted: 17th December 2011 00:33

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I think the problem goes a lot deeper than SOPA. Copright law is notorious for being slow to catch up with changes in the past 20 years. It needs a fresh beginning or some kind of derivative subspecies for the internet. Believe it or not SOPA is more about enforcement of existing law than creating new copyright boundaries. The new crimes and powers are just another step against infringement. The new victims are technically at fault already if you take on board the principle and nature of copyright; there's just been no clear sanctions. If you read the Act itself, SOPA seems more to me like trying to fix a severely broken system. Copyright infringement is still copyright infringement, that's not really changed. The 'exclusive use' part of copyright law is what I think is the prime issue. It's clear and obvious that the copyright holder has near total control of the use of his work. That should be altered or at least extend 'fair use' or include other exemptions. The anti-SOPA argument is like berating a child for kicking a football through a window despite the fact that the older brother gave him the ball and told him to kick it. I'd be shocked if SOPA passes and this isn't amended. Actually I'd be shocked if SOPA passes.

Edit
There are amendments to 'exclusive use' proposed but they don't really fit my point.

So I actually think it's right for its purpose, infringement has been continued to a frankly embarrassing level, but that purpose and the point of copyright is outdated. I don't think there can be an argument both supporting the merits of copyright in terms of business and creativity and also be against SOPA. I also think that the internet should have began with something like this in force if the law was intended to work effectively. I wonder what our perceptions would've been had SOPA been enacted in 1998 or so.

It's probably better described as the next evolutionary step (however remember I don't agree with copyright law in the UK or US). It puts a massive, possibly unreasonable burden on its target. And I agree it would change things for the worst in my opinion. But saying that SOPA should end but copyright law is ok doesn't work.

About the constitutional problem, I think it's pretty obvious. The free giving and receiving of information, totally aside from copyright, would be unduly prevented and that's basically the end of it from what I understand.

This post has been edited by sweetdude on 17th December 2011 00:41

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Posted: 17th December 2011 01:24

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I'll be honest, I haven't been following the politics of SOPA in respect of its likelihood of success. But, like all others here, I do agree that if passed it could prove to be bad news for the internet.

Not because it changes copyright law, or introduces something new, but because it attempts to enforce existing laws in a previously resistant environment. And in desperation, SOPA will be the equivalent of using napalm. It's indiscriminate and ham-fisted.

Sadly, other jurisdictions around the world are also trying to enforce similar legislation - the internet criminals have managed to prove elusive to date, and this is a way of cracking down.

And here is where I agree with Sweetdude. In part, at least. Copyright law is outdated. The law, generally, when relating to techonology is vastly outdated, simply because tech advances at such a phenomenal rate, and due to the flaws of democracy, the law is always dragging behind.

But I don't agree that the idea of copyright is wrong in its current incarnation per se. It exists for a very valid reason. And that's why what really needs to happen is the legislators need to rapidly understand the internet, and what drives it. They need to realise that the solution to the rampant online disrespect for copyright lies in several places. The law can help. But what also needs to happen is the largely prehistoric and greedy IP owning companies need to rethink their position, and accept that they are as outdated as their sales strategies.

Prohibiting and enforcing prohibition of copyright violations is not going to work without resulting in massive and unacceptable restriction to fundamental freedoms. The real solution lies in making copyright violations more hassle than they are worth from a practical, moral and social perspective. And I wish somebody in power would realise this.

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Posted: 17th December 2011 02:30

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I don't think there can be an argument both supporting the merits of copyright in terms of business and creativity and also be against SOPA.


There is.

Copyright law, as it currently stands, does not distinguish between "intentional" and "unintentional" infringement. By "intentional" I mean software/music/video piracy through unauthorized copying and redistributing the original work; by "unintentional" I mean things like fanfiction, fanart, AMVs/MADS, internet memes, screenshots, quotes, music tracks, and much, much more, that do not aim to copy and redistribute the work itself (and thus cut out the creator from receiving revenues), but to reflect on, elaborate on, spread the word about, express one's enthusiasm about, discuss, or otherwise deal with one's reactions to the work.

This second form of "infringement" actually greatly drives sales, such as the 100,000 copies of Recettear: an Item Shop's Tale that were sold largely on internet-based word-of-mouth within the first few months of its release. Despite lack of promotion by its creators. And despite lack of anti-piracy measures in the software itself.

(Well, the only ways this is at all protected is with parody and fair use provisions. And even then, the "safe harbor" arrangement as i understand it still presumes guilt before innocence, which is why YouTube Poop videos are taken down even though they are clearly parody beyond any doubt.)

If there is a way to separate these two legally, I think that would be the basis of a solution.

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About the constitutional problem, I think it's pretty obvious. The free giving and receiving of information, totally aside from copyright, would be unduly prevented and that's basically the end of it from what I understand.


Yeah, the chilling effects are pretty blatantly obnoxious. Even MPAA chief (and my former senator, whom I'm sorry for ever supporting in his run for president) Chris Dodd even compared this to China's policies.

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Posted: 17th December 2011 10:56

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Quote (Rangers51 @ 15th December 2011 17:09)
Feel free to tell me I'm wrong, and indeed I hope I am should these bills become law. However, I think that this is a time to err on the side of caution, not to enact a law that in all likelihood won't work, and runs the risk of eventually shutting down the internet as most of us know it. If you agree, there are links to contact your representatives in Congress via Zeldman's article above.

I just have one problem with copyrighting stuff ranger51:Some games don't even give demos.

I would be ok with it if you could actually play a demo of every single game ever made,but you can't.Also:Old games don't become available anymore(Like ultima series).I tried one day to buy the entire ultima series from amazon,but they sold out the last copy.

Also:I would probably be even happier if you could have a subscription for ps3 and play any game while being a paying customer,sort of like how music artists have sites that you pay and can download all you want from them.

Square enix could do this and allow you to play any of their games for an example.This would be great,and i'd love em for a long long time if they did this.

Another problem is:You don't want to buy some game and later find out that you don't like it,or it sucks.You may think:Oh well its just a game,but its 50-60 bucks now,and that adds up to a lot in games.
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Posted: 17th December 2011 20:19

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Quote (Magitek_slayer @ 17th December 2011 05:56)
I just have one problem with copyrighting stuff ranger51:Some games don't even give demos.

I would be ok with it if you could actually play a demo of every single game ever made,but you can't.Also:Old games don't become available anymore(Like ultima series).I tried one day to buy the entire ultima series from amazon,but they sold out the last copy.

Well, that's all well and good, but that's not the part of copyright law I have a problem with at all. I actually don't have any sympathy for that argument, because I grew up at a time where console games didn't have demos at all. I somehow survived with renting games as much as possible, and living without the games I couldn't try before buying if I had any doubt about them.

However, if you want to download games knowing that copyright law, whether you agree with it or not, says you shouldn't, more power to you. Do what you want, you're the one who faces the consequences later.

I'm more concerned about derivative works, not clear-cut copyright infringement, because a derivative work is largely what CoN is - that's why I said what I said in my first post and ignored the older, more obvious discussion of game piracy.

With regards to what sweets posted, yeah, you're absolutely right. You also fall into the category of people smarter than me, at least in terms of legal issues and possibly fantasy soccer. wink.gif I see where you're coming from - SOPA and PIPA are trying to fix something broken. I can absolutely respect that. I feel that they're doing it wrong, though, and they're trying to make up for that twenty year gap by resetting everything - to me, in my admittedly biased view as a content creator, both original and derivative, this is a scorched earth policy intended to make it possible for the deepest pockets to bury the smaller guys either temporarily or permanently, and to reshape the internet in a way that benefits only those with the money to lobby Congress.

I'm no advocate for piracy. If you want to eliminate piracy, go to it. It can't be done, but if you're going to try, at least try to do it surgically rather than making a brush so broad that it wipes out people like us.

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Posted: 17th December 2011 21:46

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Quote (Glenn Magus Harvey @ 17th December 2011 03:30)
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I don't think there can be an argument both supporting the merits of copyright in terms of business and creativity and also be against SOPA.


There is.

Copyright law, as it currently stands, does not distinguish between "intentional" and "unintentional" infringement. By "intentional" I mean software/music/video piracy through unauthorized copying and redistributing the original work; by "unintentional" I mean things like fanfiction, fanart, AMVs/MADS, internet memes, screenshots, quotes, music tracks, and much, much more, that do not aim to copy and redistribute the work itself (and thus cut out the creator from receiving revenues), but to reflect on, elaborate on, spread the word about, express one's enthusiasm about, discuss, or otherwise deal with one's reactions to the work.

I think it already does distinguish between those two things. What you've described there is the balance between the positive exclusive rights of the copyright owner, and then the negative rights (well, liberties you could say) of everyone else in reviews, parodies, incidental use etc. And I'm not sure the intention comes into it; doesn't everyone intend to use existing IP when writing fanfiction? They might not intend to infringe, or be criminally liable, but that's irrelevant.

Honestly though, if you agree that copyright laws are correct in balancing rights of owner and user then there really is no other way of enforcing this other than SOPA placing these massive burdens on search engines, ISPs, social networks and so on. Clearly until now copyrights have been flaunted and nothing can be done to stop it.

Quote (Stiltzkin)
Prohibiting and enforcing prohibition of copyright violations is not going to work without resulting in massive and unacceptable restriction to fundamental freedoms. The real solution lies in making copyright violations more hassle than they are worth from a practical, moral and social perspective. And I wish somebody in power would realise this.

I agree, but making copyright violations more hassle than they're worth is surely something like SOPA? It forces self-regulation. The alternative would be making licenses so easy to get that piracy ceases to be piracy.

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Sadly, other jurisdictions around the world are also trying to enforce similar legislation - the internet criminals have managed to prove elusive to date, and this is a way of cracking down.

I don't think anything like SOPA is coming to the UK. The 2011 report to the DCMS didn't say so anyway: here it is.

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We therefore recommend below that the Government should press at EU level for the introduction of an exception allowing uses of a work enabled by technology which do not directly trade on the underlying creative and expressive purpose of the work (this has been referred to as “non-consumptive” use). The idea is to encompass the uses of copyright works where copying is really only carried out as part of the way the technology works. For instance, in data mining or search engine indexing, copies need to be created for the computer to be able to analyse; the technology provides a substitute for someone reading all the documents. This is not about overriding the aim of copyright – these uses do not compete with the normal exploitation of the work itself – indeed, they may facilitate it. Nor is copyright intended to restrict use of facts.

They go on to recommend a quicker marketplace for copyrights (Digital Copyright Exchange) that allows for automated or certainly faster licensing, and a database of rights holders. Basically make more things legal and make them legal faster. Also they want to increase the exceptions to bring it more in line with Fair Use in the rest of the world. EU law already has a wider scope of exceptions so it sounds like the next piece of legislation will widen the exceptions to fit.

Edit
I didn't think of the Digital Economy Act. It actually seems fairly similar to SOPA, I see what you mean now. Although it's certainly not as easily enforced. If anyone's interested in a similar thing to SOPA albeit less destructive (and actually kind of useless) see it here. It's only one section but it's kind of like SOPA-lite.


Quote (R51)
I feel that they're doing it wrong, though, and they're trying to make up for that twenty year gap by resetting everything - to me, in my admittedly biased view as a content creator, both original and derivative, this is a scorched earth policy intended to make it possible for the deepest pockets to bury the smaller guys either temporarily or permanently, and to reshape the internet in a way that benefits only those with the money to lobby Congress.

That's pretty much exactly what the problem is. Copyrights were made to promote individual ownership of creative work and effort, i.e. work like CoN. It's supposed to be a positive right and instead its use in computing and SOPA is turning it into a negative regulation. Here's the most sensible thing I've read about this, from the report I linked earlier:

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Digital technologies are based on copying, so copyright becomes their regulator: a role it was never designed to perform.


This post has been edited by sweetdude on 18th December 2011 06:05

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Posted: 17th December 2011 23:58

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Quote (sweetdude @ 17th December 2011 21:46)
[]Digital technologies are based on copying, so copyright becomes their regulator: a role it was never designed to perform.[/QUOTE]

I don't have a problem with asking for rights to make something based on your product sweetdude,otherwise it would be like stealing your idea outright.

It would be like some guy making a game stealing ideas from hideo kojima and or the guys who made final fantasy or metroid or mario or zelda or ninja gaiden,and then making it and selling that game as an original idea,when it clearly wouldn't.This kind of thing i would view with a kind of bad idea.

I'm not talking about changing ideas and coming up with something new,i'm talking about identical ideas.

On ranger51:Just because there aren't demos for everything and living with it is your answer doesn't make it right.And also:In videostores where i live,games are being rented less and less because of pirating,or cheap companies who simply just want you to buy a game outright and pray its good.

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Posted: 18th December 2011 07:14
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I have no words of my own to add to this thread (I don't really argue with politics much because for the most part it is just "he said, she said" and it's not my kind of thing) -- but while we're on the subject of online piracy I would like to include the following post that someone else made on another community in regards to piracy.

Here it is:
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I think the Law has blurred the lines of what is piracy. The copyright holders want to squeeze as much money out of the products the publish as possible. But at the same time, they hype the shit out of everything they expect to make money, regardless of quality. Please bear in mind that the Publisher is not the same as the person or group that created the product. Every Publishers wettest dream would consist of charging every person that hears even a portion of any song that they've published every single time they hear it, unless it is on the Radio.

I believe there is a big difference between their definition of Piracy and the common man's definition of Piracy. They would have Piracy defined as recording a song off of the Radio using an 8-Track Tape (if any of you even know what that is, dont raise your hands all at once). However, the Common Man would define Piracy as someone claiming to be the Creator of said content, and distributing it for profit. I take a Final Fantasy game, maybe hack it, take out everyone's name but my own, slap my name on it, then try to sell it as being MY product, that in my definition is Piracy.

I think most of us agree that Piracy is benefiting somehow from the distribution of a product that isnt technically yours. I download a movie off of some website while it is still in theaters, burn several DVD's of the movie, then sell them, I dont pay the Studios any money, the content creators a dime, and tell the Publishers they can go piss into the wind. That is what I believe is Piracy. Downloading a song off the internet for Personal Use, I.E. you don't sell it, to me, is the same as listening to it on the Radio. You can listen to a song on the Radio, if you are willing to put up with commercials, or pay a subscription fee to Satellite Radio, but for all practical purposes, you are listening to it for free. The Radio Station can not guarantee that you will listen to the Commercials. The Radio Station affords its operating costs by either Commercials or Subscriptions (Satellite). From the Commercial percpective, the Advertiser would prefer that you listen to their Commercials rather than the content that attracted you to that station to begin with. Same thing goes for TV.

Now, something has changed in the last century. But lets think about what changed. Content Producers still want people to view or listen to their content. The Consumer wants to view the Content that the Content Producers produce. But getting that media (visual, audio, book, or game) from the Content Producer to the Consumer used to require a Middle Man. A TV station. A Radio Station. A Satellite Radio Station. A Game Publisher. A Book Publisher. A Cinema. Theater. Etc. Etc. Etc. What has changed in the last several years is that we have found ways to cut out the Middle Man, and the Middle Man is not happy about that.

Another topic to focus on is that Media used to be a One Way Street. Publishers were the ones who controlled which bands played, which movies made it into Theaters, which books and games got published. With the Internet, the Media has shifted from being completely controlled by the Publishers to being nearly entirely controlled by the Consumers, which is what allowed us to cut out the Middle Men. We self generate the response and demand for the content. We utilize social networks, forums, chat rooms, text msgs, and every other advantage the Interwebs have to offer us to communicate with each other as to what kinds of content are worth half a squirt of piss and what is the best content out there. We no longer listen to Movie Critics to tell us to go see movies that suck while they pan and criticize anyones product that hasnt bought their influence. We all know that the Major Middle Men are so heavily influenced that their reviews and recommendations can not be trusted. We know that you and I have nothing to lose or gain by giving a good movie a good review and a shitty movie a shitty review. We are as completely honest and unbiased about calling something what we feel it really is. And that is a massive threat to the Middle Men.

The Middle Men gained so much power, money and influence before the Internet when the could tell us what to pay for and what not to pay for that they ended up being the ones who funded most of the products. That influence still lingers, but is quickly diminishing. They've resorted to trying to assert themselves as being important in the industry by Lobbying for stricter Anti Piracy Laws and DRM to try to persuade us to continue to think that they are still important. The Middle Men are no longer important in the Age of the Internet. They are going the way of the Dinosaur and the Dodo Bird and Print Media. They are Extinct. They just havent realized it yet. The Age when the Middle Men controlled your content is Over.

The Future is the Consumers. We control which companies sink and swim based on our unbiased opinions. The Content Producers dont need the self-important Middle Men to distribute their content. We have a direct line of communication with the Content Producers to tell them what we want, what we dont want, and what our opinions are of their content. In that respect, absolutely nothing has changed in regards to the relationship between the Content Producers and the Consumers. Content Producers still want to produce content, and consumers still want to consume their content. The consumers will still pay for content when they believe that the Content Creator will be the one to benefit from paying for it. However, most of us could really give a shit less if the Publishers get paid. We dont need Publishers any more to get our content. But, the Publishers, the Middle Men have continued to try to maintain their importance in the relationship between the Creators and Content Producers and we the Consumers.

The Publishers are usually the ones that suffer the most from Piracy, when in fact I believe it is the Publishers that are committing the greatest Piracy of all. They have twisted the law to turn us into Criminals and themselves into Heroes. They get paid for distributing content that they did not create. They claim that any content that any Content Producers produce is their Intellectual Property. I believe the Middle Men are the REAL Pirates. They take our money, money that we want the Content Producers to have. They steal the Content from the Content Producers, claim it as their own, and "sell rights to License" the use of that material. They steal both the Content and the Money. The Publishers and Middle Men are Parasites. They are the Criminals. They are the Real Pirates. I would be tempted to say that there is only ONE fact that makes what they do as being Legal, and that is the Agreement between the Content Producers and the Publishers, but alas, I can not even say that. The Content Producers are so desparate and the Publishers (Middle Men) are so greedy for even more money that they bully and pretty much force the Conetnt Producer to give them absolutely everything that they work to create.

We always complain that DRM screws over the Consumer. But what we dont gripe about is the Content Producers point of view, where in order for them to get funding from the Publisher, they have to sign over 80% of the profits of their Intellectual Propert over to the Publsiher, as well as the rights to the Intellectual Property as well. So we have DRM on the side of the Consumers there to screw us over, but the Content Producers get just as screwed over. The Consumers outnumber the Content Producers, so often their voices are drown out in the sea of DRM rants. However, look at the real cause of the problem. The Real Cause of the problem is neither the Consumer or the Content Producer, but the Middle Men. The Publishers. Both DRM that screws the Consumer and Legalized Theft frmo the Content Producers are inventions of the Publishers in order for them to maintain a fading presence in a fully digital world.

I went to a Nine Inch Nails concert about ten years ago, where I stuck around after the show to get Trent Reznor's autograph. When I met him, I shook his hand, and gave him twenty bucks. I told him that I pirated his last CD, but since I knew he was coming to town, I'd rather give Trent the money personally and his Publisher didnt deserve a bigger chunk of the profit for the Content he created. He was a little puzzled, but graciously accepted the money, said "Thank you", gave me the CD (which I already pirated) and he autographed, and moved on to sign his next fan's CD. He didn't seem to troubled by the fact that not only I flat out told him I pirated his music I think because not only did I buy that CD right then and there, but he got an extra twenty bucks on top of me now having a legitimate copy of his music. I dont know if that had anything to do with Trent's decision to try a different method of distribution and changed his stance on Piracy or not, but it might have. Now, I just referred to buying his music to be legitimate, however, that is the Legal Definition, and not my opinion. As far as I am concerned, that so called "legitimate copy" is about as illegitimate as you can possibly get. Trent got screwed, and I got screwed out of my effort to pay Trent for the copy. Now, I wont deny that a CD is physical media and someone has to produce a CD, then go through the effort of copying the music onto that CD. The CD producer does deserve a share for having done some work, but when I can just go to NIN's website, make a financial exchange for me to have a copy of his music, I call that a Legitmate Copy. The CD's were usually produced and manufactured by the now defunct Publisher. The Publisher that overcharges NIN for the production of their CD's. Then, the Publisher who creates the CD wants to put screwy software on those CD's (Sony Rootkit) to keep us from "Pirating" what they've already stolen from the Content Producers. That to me is NOT a Legitimate Copy.

Let me change the subject for a minute. There is a Big Difference between what I will start referring to as Static Media and Dynamic Media. The difference between the two is that Static Media is something like a Movie, a Song, a Book, or something that you can NOT interact with. Dynamic Media would include Games and Software. I think there is a big difference between the definitions of Piracy for each. The examples that I provideded earlier where I listen to a Song (Static Media) on the Radio is not considered Theft or Piracy, as I can listen to it for free. However, when I play a Game (Dynamic Media) that I download, I have no other way to interact or observe tht type of Media than to be directly involved with it. I can't listen to a Video Game on the Radio, or watch it on TV. I can only play it on my computer, or what ever electronic device I need to play said Media. That to me does meet a definition of Theft, but not necessarily Piracy. Piracy is to benefit from the distribution of someone elses content. Essencially Pirates act as the Middle Men where they act as Publishers, but never agreed with the Content Producers to give them one Red Cent.

This is where I think a lot of people are not making the association of what really is theft, based on what type of Media they are observing or interacting with. I dont feel that if you download a song off the internet for free without paying either the Content Producer or the Publisher that it constitues Theft because you can observe that Media without having to pay for it. The Content Producers still get paid regardless if we pay for a subscription to Satellite Radio, or just listen to it on the Radio subsidized by Commercials. Dynamic Media on the other hand can ONLY be interacted with as that is its ONLY form of entertainment. Game Makers dont get paid if someone watches a video of someone else playing their game on YouTube, they only get paid when we the consumers buy the content they produced, and even then, they dont get their fair share, unless they've figured out that they dont need the Publishers any more.

Thus, Downloading Songs, Movies, and TV Shows = Not Illegal, Downloading Games = Illegal, but not Piracy. The Real Pirates are the Publishers who steal the Content from the Content Producers as their own, and profit from it.

Thoughts and reactions? Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not? Debate.
Post #198543
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Posted: 18th December 2011 10:59

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Quote (Allen Hunter @ 18th December 2011 07:14)

Thoughts and reactions? Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not? Debate. [/QUOTE]

I find your argument actually quite interesting.

Heck:,that part about piracy was what i was arguing about before.You know:Take someones product and then edit its name to make it yours and sell it,or copy it and distribute it.

Overall:I totally agree with your points.
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Posted: 20th December 2011 21:35

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Master Tonberry
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Quote (Rangers51)
I somehow survived with renting games as much as possible, and living without the games I couldn't try before buying if I had any doubt about them.


I agree, though I remember some media companies (I think movie and TV show companies, not game companies because videogames weren't as big of a deal back then) complaining that rentals reduced their share of profits. And they've said similar things about libraries, too.

Quote (Rangers51)
I'm more concerned about derivative works, not clear-cut copyright infringement, because a derivative work is largely what CoN is - that's why I said what I said in my first post and ignored the older, more obvious discussion of game piracy.


Yep, and this is pretty much precisely the sort of content that will be most affected. Or, basically a damn lot of the internet, since that's what a lot of the internet consists of--fan-created derivative works.

Quote (sweetdude)
The alternative would be making licenses so easy to get that piracy ceases to be piracy.


Actually, I really like this idea--provide some sort of "cover" provision the way that the law lets you just pay the original artist to cover their song even if they won't otherwise let you. (At least, this is based on what I've heard about how laws regarding covers work.)

Quote (Allen Hunter's quoted post)
I believe there is a big difference between their definition of Piracy and the common man's definition of Piracy. They would have Piracy defined as recording a song off of the Radio using an 8-Track Tape (if any of you even know what that is, dont raise your hands all at once). However, the Common Man would define Piracy as someone claiming to be the Creator of said content, and distributing it for profit. I take a Final Fantasy game, maybe hack it, take out everyone's name but my own, slap my name on it, then try to sell it as being MY product, that in my definition is Piracy.


This is a very important distinction. I wonder how it could be legally separated; perhaps sweetdude can help us here.

Quote (Allen Hunter's quoted post)
various stuff about how it's the Middle Men who are the pirates


I partly agree with you. It is true that the "middle men"--the content publishers, more often than not--have a lot of clout. In fact, said publishers are sometimes the face of the developers, especially for TV shows, movies, and especially videogames. While people might still credit songs to "Rihanna" rather than "Def Jam" or "Universal", how many people credit the Metroid Prime games to "Retro Studios" rather than "Nintendo"?

That said, that clout is not all undeserved. For one, publishers often take care of promoting and distribution for the content creators. This means that creators can spend more time and attention on development/writing/other content creation activities rather than having to also worry about getting their work known, appreciated, and bought by consumers. (That said, sometimes this does go wrong, such as when publishers rush their developers to deliver hastily-made products by special deadlines.) And especially for developers who'd prefer to keep a low profile, publishers can handle all the publicity for them.

I think publishers have also generally been the ones to bankroll productions, seeing them as investments of a sort. This is especially relevant in high-budget products, such as movies and TV shows (as opposed to, say, games). They get this budget in part from content distribution revenue but also in part from advertising. Incidentally, the most successful media for indie content creators are the lowest-budget media: computer games, web-based original content, and music. (That said, indie does not mean bad at all, and additionally, lower-budget computer games are pretty nice for those of us who don't have high-end systems.)

So I think we, as a society, think about the ethics of both consumers and publishers, asking both sides whether either is overstepping their role.

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I just happened to come by this just now, and it seems relevant to the discussion, so I'll drop it here: http://torrentfreak.com/internet-piracy-bo...ncludes-110203/

I would advise checking out the study itself as a less biased source, but apparently it's in Japanese.

I'd also like to stress that not all people who pirate are doing so to replace a potential purchase (some of them end up purchasing anyway), and not all people who intend to pirate but are denied a way to pirate will instead purchase.

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Post #198568
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Posted: 21st December 2011 07:01

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Quote (Glenn Magus Harvey @ 20th December 2011 22:35)
Quote (Allen Hunter's quoted post)
I believe there is a big difference between their definition of Piracy and the common man's definition of Piracy. They would have Piracy defined as recording a song off of the Radio using an 8-Track Tape (if any of you even know what that is, dont raise your hands all at once). However, the Common Man would define Piracy as someone claiming to be the Creator of said content, and distributing it for profit. I take a Final Fantasy game, maybe hack it, take out everyone's name but my own, slap my name on it, then try to sell it as being MY product, that in my definition is Piracy.


This is a very important distinction. I wonder how it could be legally separated; perhaps sweetdude can help us here.

I'm not really sure why a common man would define piracy as plagiarism. I don't agree with that at all.

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Posted: 21st December 2011 08:48

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Master Tonberry
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Actually I should probably have clarified what I meant.

The meaning that I meant to agree with was that for a good lot of us, we see the real threat of piracy not as casual reusers of media (such as AMVs and YTPs) or even casual downloaders, but as those random dudes on street corners selling pirate copies of movies, those malicious romhackers who tried to use Telefang carts to fool consumers looking for Pokémon games, and things along those lines.

Coincidentally, though, you do point out a similarity between plagiarism and copyright infringement. Both involve copying of creative work, though plagiarism is about not giving credit while copyright infringement is about not being given permission. I'll have to mull over that a bit to figure out what that means; it's getting late and I'm about to go to bed.

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Posted: 21st December 2011 12:30

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Quote (Glenn Magus Harvey @ 21st December 2011 03:48)
The meaning that I meant to agree with was that for a good lot of us, we see the real threat of piracy not as casual reusers of media (such as AMVs and YTPs) or even casual downloaders, but as those random dudes on street corners selling pirate copies of movies, those malicious romhackers who tried to use Telefang carts to fool consumers looking for Pokémon games, and things along those lines.

I'd like to throw in my lot again here just to say that this is in no way what I see as the real threat of piracy, if indeed a real threat exists. I think the number of people exposed to piracy this way versus that "targeted" by current legislation is remarkably small.

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Posted: 21st December 2011 15:06

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I have something to ask:Don't you think piracy would be lessened,if the games sometimes didn't abuse the customer and treat him like an idiot?

Sometimes it seems like the game producers take advantage of us so much,that we can't help but want to pirate their games just cause of the ridiculous price of the games.

I've seen downloadable content for dragon age origins,and i don't agree with all of the prices.I think if had a chance,i'd probably pirate a few just cause i don't agree that one should pay an arm and a leg for a little piece of product.For a good amount of product:Yes but not an arm and a leg.

I feel,that not being able to play the golem from the dwarven areas without first downloading the content a rip off.I think it should have already been there.

I also don't like downloadable content because there is a lot of cyber crime going on,and i worry that i could become a victim of identity theft.

On the other hand:I don't mind buying products that i like.I think if you don't buy something you like after trying it out and pirate it,then you are a criminal.

I also see music & games as a big deal.

Wouldn't you be mad if you never got paid for your hard earned musical work/game? Imagine if none bought it,and instead everyone pirated it.

Also:You would have a problem if you had to pay 60 bucks for a game now that you don't know if its good or bad,because you can't trust the media anymore.

Re5 got a 9.0 on ign
http://uk.xbox360.ign.com/articles/960/960151p1.html
gametrailers gave it a 9.0
http://www.gametrailers.com/game/resident-evil-5/2036

I don't think its a 9.0
Its got a good online gamer mode,but its controls are a bit stiff,and its not even scary.Also:its repetitive.



This post has been edited by Magitek_slayer on 21st December 2011 15:14
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Posted: 25th December 2011 02:37

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(note: I'm going to mostly be talking about video games so I'm not guaranteeing my idea WILL work for other stuff) I mostly agree with that quote alien hunter except i'd like to also bring light onto something Glenn magus Harvey kinda touched on. The main point of publishers is to help fund the production, distribution, and advertisement of these products and to give us a way to play the games they make. Not all developers have the money to do everything needed in developing something nowadays. I think the biggest problem atm is that publishers care a little too much about self recognition for helping the developers get their idea to consumers instead of just getting it out there. I THINK this relationship should stay between the developers and the publisher like a loaner and loan taker relationship and shouldn't be something we the consumers should worry about.

Let me get to the idea i thought of before i create a huge rant that i need to explain. I think we need a community console (Like, for those of you who know what this is, the Linux OS for PC's) It's something not developed by one company or given credit by any one guy but the work of people working together with the community to make something for the community and serviced by the community. I've found as I started using it that it works just as good and in some ways better than using something with a publisher like Windows or Macintosh/apple.

The biggest issue would be the difference between a community OS and console would be an OS is a community writen program and a console is a machine. Answer? Why not have game consoles more like computers. They make the hardware you buy but it's up to you what's on it. I can go to Best Buy and buy a computers of all kinds and powers and there are a variaty of softwares and OS's but you don't have to have any one on any one computer. Like how you HAVE to have Sony's stuff on the playstation or Microsofts stuff on the XBox. I feel with were video games are nowadays this is probably where they should think about going now instead of how they are. Not saying that the playstation shouldn't just be sony's and xbox shouldn't just be Microsofts because we have Macintosh/apple computers and Windows pc's which can only get exclusive with these companies OS's and their software on them and they're working but they arn't our only options.

Back to LInux, I'm saying part of why i suggest this is because I started using it as per an experiment a college friend got me into and I'm satisfied by the results. Suprisingly an open source anyone in the community can work with OS actually has almost NO VIRUS's even though it'd be a 2 minute indevor to make one. (Btw, anyone who's very well educated in the computer coding world know's Microsoft is very well hated which is why Window's is Virus littered) The only issues I've really had with Linux are 2 things:
1) I have to figure out on my own how to get things to work on my computer now instead of having a publisher do it for me which is why we still need some publishers to exsist because not all of us can do this. Asking people on the internet does help a lot though.
2) The community sometimes has trouble figuring out how to get a publisher specific game to work on linux because of copyright laws. but tbh in my opinion. we can't have a perfect world so I live with this limitation.

The only big issue i could forsee is if the community is capable on working with development for Video game consoles on the same level as OS's for computers. but that's the point of experimenting with this idea. to see if it works.

I'm somewhat sick so I'll have to also spin this topic around in my head to try and say exactly want to say so I'll stop here.
Also, sorry, I also feel this is kinda off topic a bit.
And This is my opinion so i'm just reminding people this is just what i think.
Last but not least, I ranted. dang it.

This post has been edited by TrueBOSS on 25th December 2011 02:57

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Post #198657
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Posted: 5th January 2012 05:50

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I haven't kept up with this thread, but I happened to see this particular link and I thought I might post it in here:
http://www.businessinsider.com/sopa-protest-2012-1

Apparently a lot of big-name sites have agreed to the concept of having a blackout day. There's a list of sites including Google, Twitter, Facebook, eBay and Wikimedia. I really hope this happens, if only for the opportunity to see what the world is like with the major internet players offline. I can't imagine a vote actually going through after 24 hours of no access to the biggest sites on the web.

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