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Internet piracy
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Thread: Internet piracy

  1. #1
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    Internet piracy

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    Elsewhere on this forum and on others, the topic of illegal downloads is being talked about. To some it is a topic not worth discussing, to others it is seen as a crime, or even a sin. I would like to bring this topic out of the corners and into the forefront to discuss it in the open. With the spotlight on it here perhaps it will become known for what it is. I did say perhaps because I sometimes find even when all aspects of an issue are known people may still choose to ignore the truths about it because the truth may not be popular enough to be popular.

    Some see illegal downloads as a small crime or sin, equal with speeding or swearing, others see it as a right because they donít think they will be caught, or because they can do it, or even others do it because they donít really care about how it will affect the owners of that intellectual property, just how it will benefit themselves. Yes, it may be wrong, but itís not so bad. Everyone does it, so itís ok. The other side of the coin is, it is wrong and all who do it are doing wrong.

    I can see both sides of this issue and I stand on my side. Some may stand with me but I stand alone as one person against what is wrong. I donít make excuses and I donít cast my judgments as final and damming. I do, however, make my judgments, and form my opinions, and do what is right by my moral compass. I donít expect others to live by my choices, but I do chose to share with others traditional values that were taught by our parentís and their parentís. The past is gone, but we donít have to forget it because it is more fun to do what we want because it benefits us personally. It is ok to do what is right in spite of our times I think.

    So, what do you think? Am I too old and too out of touch with society? Am I an evil person for making judgments about peoples actions? I don't really care about the negative aspects this has on our hobby so much as I care about what is happening to the world in general, but this is a sign of our times.

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    I think it depends on what is being download and for what reason..
    Movies and Music: you could do the same thing (as we once did) when you would make a copy of something that you borrowed from a friend or video store.
    RPGs: I tend to do this with only old, no longer in print games.. For those ones that are new, i see no problem if you download the game just to check it out or take it for a test drive. Its like borrowing it from the library. Maybe more game companies should have their books in the library.
    Software: I don't trust cracked software. tends to have too many possible problems or hidden traps.

    So i guess what thins comes down to is how the product is used and how new it is. Would it be concidered out dated or public domain (by the traditional copy right code).
    I do not play them here or there, I do not play them anywhere, I do not play them with a fox. I do not mash that button box. I do not like MMO games. In the end ther're all the same.
    -Tesral

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    Do you rip mp3's from your CD collection? I have over 100 gigs of music from something like 2,500 CDs that either I've bought, my wife has, or mom's CDs that I received when she passed. So I have the physical media for 99.% of the songs in my 100GB+ collection of music. My wife has purchased about 100 songs from iTunes so we don't have that physical media and I recorded a song (the Komeni one from the late 70's) from an online college radio station.

    I have ripped a few DVDs from my collection so I can watch them on the laptop without having to drag a bunch of DVDs with me when I'm on vacation.

    So using that logic, if I have the physical media (the books), why couldn't I download the PDFs, CFMs, or other digital media? Because it's harder to "rip" books, it's more convenient to download them from someone who's already ripped it.

    With that said, I have purchased the Paranoia and Flashbacks PDFs, the All Flesh Must Be Eaten core book and one of the expansions (forget which off hand), and all the Shadowrun 4th Edition PDFs.

    Carl
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    The Denver RPG Group - My Shadowrun Site - My Shadowrun Blog - Shadowrun Mooks
    I also administer the Mosaic and Stained Glass forums if you happen to be artistic


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    The difference between illegal and immoral. Big business has been buying law by the box car load. I don't think anyone sees the MIAA and the RIAA as good guys truly defending anything in any way that is right to do.

    This has given copyright a bad name. By being disrespectful of the customers they have caused the customer to not respect them or the law they have bought. They cheapen the law by making everyone a criminal. Once you do that all law suffers, not the just the law you bought.

    I believe in copyright. I believe in the limited copyright as seen by the founders 20 years. I don't believe that lifetime +70 years is moral. It might be legal, but it isn't moral. A creator of something should have the right to profit form that something. However I don't believe his or her heirs or corporate shills have any such right.

    That said the way to fight it is to lobby your congress critter to get it changed. To nail the *IAA to the wall every time they abuse the law or outright break the law (Which they do, frequently)

    The recording industry does not have the right to their business model. Laws bought to protect that business model are immoral.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    I believe in copyright. I believe in the limited copyright as seen by the founders 20 years. I don't believe that lifetime +70 years is moral. It might be legal, but it isn't moral. A creator of something should have the right to profit form that something. However I don't believe his or her heirs or corporate shills have any such right.
    Well its currently 50 years with one 50 year renewal. Honestly in the days of the internet I would say 4-10 years with a 4-10 year renewal is acceptable. If you can't make your money back in 20 years tough... Just think of the benefits of it entering public domain nice dream.
    Playing: Pathfinder
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    "I'm beautifully hideous!" - Sven the Nosferatu

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    Angry

    As someone who derives a significant portion of my income by selling copyrighted work, you know which side of this argument I am on. All the arguments I have heard in favor of this theft are, at the end of the day, self serving justifications for taking something that is not theirs by right of purchase. The argument that most arouses my ire - "The artist gets far less of the profit than the manufacturer" - All the more reason to not deprive me of my nickel.

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    My thought is that if it is no longer in print then it is OK. when you are only dealing with used books then the idea of value is arguable. The artists and writer and evil publishers already made their buck. When I am stuck between paying a 100 dollars for a used copy because some weirdo thinks it's actually worth it or downloading it for free it is an easy option. I've found this most with old changeling books. People who have their books on sale for years because they think their shadow court book is more valuable then it is. My other problem is a PDF to me is a last resort. I just like the feel of paper. Now if any one knows if you are able to buy a pdf and have someone like lulu print it for you let me know because I would be all about that.

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    I have to agree that the music industry is paving the road of law to benefit themselves which hurts their customers. What they are doing is in my opinion wrong. Like Freejack, I have a huge music library, in open reel, cassette, vinyl, CDís and mp3ís. I think I have already paid for this music, well, I thought I was paying to own the music I paid for and possess, but the music industry thinks I am only buying the use of the music and must continue to pay for the use of it if the format is changed. I am not truly sure why I need to purchase the music every time the format changes. I have bought Pink Floydís Dark Side of the Moon on Open Reel, Cassette, Vinyl and CD. How many times do I have to pay for the album I first bought back in the seventies? I canít answer that, but there should be a limit, I think.

    I do see the point. But, there are two sides of this coin. Perhaps the music industry should charge a fee for changing the format like the computer industry charges for the upgrades we purchase. How many times have I paid Microsoft for MS Office, or their Operating System? I think I have three different versions of Office. And now days I have to buy multiple copies of each OS. Microsoft has made a ton of money off my family, no wonder we are so poor. You should see the stacks of CDís we have. I tossed the cardboard boxes when my mother-in-law moved in and I needed more space, three garbage cans of boxes after they were broke down. That represented a LOT of money to me (I didnít count how many thousands of dollars). I was aghast when I drug them out of the house to the curb. We could have so much money if I just stole them all, and just stole all the programs we donít have but wish we did. But we donít, we make do with what we can afford.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrken View Post
    I do see the point. But, there are two sides of this coin. Perhaps the music industry should charge a fee for changing the format like the computer industry charges for the upgrades we purchase. How many times have I paid Microsoft for MS Office, or their Operating System? I think I have three different versions of Office. And now days I have to buy multiple copies of each OS. Microsoft has made a ton of money off my family, no wonder we are so poor. You should see the stacks of CDís we have. I tossed the cardboard boxes when my mother-in-law moved in and I needed more space, three garbage cans of boxes after they were broke down. That represented a LOT of money to me (I didnít count how many thousands of dollars). I was aghast when I drug them out of the house to the curb. We could have so much money if I just stole them all, and just stole all the programs we donít have but wish we did. But we donít, we make do with what we can afford.
    Format shifting? If I can shift the format I will and do. I bought the album, the program etc. If I want top move it from floppy to CD, I move it. Vinyl to digital? Yup, can and will. From CD to wave on the hard drive, can and do. I own the copy, I'll move it when and where I please. Mp3, wave ogg vorbis, or wax cylinder, it's mine.

    BTW, I have not given Microsloth a red cent in over five years. I download one copy of openSUSE and legally use it on every computer in the house. Likewise Open Office. No pirated software on my computer. Both my laptop and desktop machines are totally free of any microsoft branding. I do not and will not pay the microsoft tax.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    The difference between illegal and immoral.
    Exactly. Immoral is up to your individual beliefs, and nobody's opinion on the matter is any more valid than anyone else's. Unfortunately, illegal is also none too clear, and is determined case-by-case in the courts.

    For the morality of the issue, I confess I haven't heard any good arguments one way or the other. People who are downloading songs and PDFs are clearly getting something for nothing, so claims of "freedom" are a little hollow, but industries pointing to that as lost revenue are equally specious in their claims, since how many of those songs would have been paid for if they couldn't have been pirated?

    Ultimately, whatever the ethics, I think that the components of the industry that adapt to the new reality will thrive, and the ones that cling to the old ways will wither. Look at webcomics- I don't have figures, but the ones that are selling their content are probably making chump change, and the big strips are making their money on advertising and merchandise. Similarly, I believe that the bands that use P2P as free advertising, and get their revenue from merch and concerts, will be the model for profitability in the future. Either that or satellite radio will take off, and bands will get revenue from subscription fees.

    I wouldn't be surprised if someday CDs become known as the "collector's edition" of the music, and the default way to get music will be downloading or digital radio.

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    "All the arguments I have heard in favor of this theft are, at the end of the day, self serving justifications for taking something that is not theirs."

    Agreed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Etarnon View Post
    "All the arguments I have heard in favor of this theft are, at the end of the day, self serving justifications for taking something that is not theirs."

    Agreed.
    What exactly is being stolen? Stealing means I take something from you, I remove value, deprive you of the use of something.

    Files copy. If I copy a file you have I deprive you of nothing. You still have the use of the file. No matter how illegal it is made, by the definition of "stealing" nothing has been stolen. You are still in possession of your property, it has not been spoiled, it has not been made less valuable.

    The definitions are out of date. However the recording Industry wishes to redefine stealing as doing anything with the IP without their permission, including copying it from your CD to your mp3 player, or taking bought mp3s and burning them to CD.

    IMHO more reasonable people are not so defining it. Once I have bought the use of a bit of IP it does not matter how I use it. I can put a copy on every machine I own, as long as that original is still in my possession.

    At one point the RIAA tried to shut down the sale of used CDs saying the didn't "grant" a license to pass on the recording. The courts laughed at them. The Betamax decision affirmed your right to copy for your own use. The *IAA has tried to get around that with the DMCA, making it illegal to "bypass copy protection". Mind you any copy protection makes it illegal to call a product a "CD" as the red book standard is held by Phillps, and they have said so.

    99% of so called "copy protection" is worthless if I drop a disk in my computer. Why? It's aimed at windows and I don't. So the copy protection simply does not exist for my computer. DRM is again pointless. It only hampers those trying to do things like they should. As Eric Raymond said. "Making bits uncopyable is like making water not wet". In the Linix community we say. "There are two DVD codexes. The legal one and the one that works." Yes, the legal Linux codex is so hampered by DRM it will not function correctly. So, to play DVDs on my computer I have to become a criminal? Is that right? DVDs I have legally bought and paid for. So the MIAA through their machinations has deprived me of the use of my DVDs. they have effectively stolen them from me.

    Wrong isn't so cut and dried.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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    Personally, I don't mind exploring alternatives to Capitalism. It may be inevitable anyway, what with technology taking away more and more jobs. In order for individual citizens to survive in a world that simply doesn't have enough work for them to do, we may have to rethink Capitalism as we currently know it. We may be on the verge of a true Technocracy, something previously only seen in sci-fi. But that's the future. At the moment, we have Capitalism. Maybe not for everyone reading this board, but I'd guess that most of this board's visitors live in Capitalist countries. In a Capitalist society, artists must be paid for their work. Period. If they can't get money, they starve to death, at which point their work kind of suffers. One way or another, money has to make it from the user of the product, to the creator of the product, or else there won't be any incentive to make future products.

    Many pirates see themselves as real life Robin Hoods, but that's a silly analogy. Robin Hood fought to feed impovrished citizens who couldn't afford to survive otherwise. Pirates help themselves to free movies and computer games. There is simply no comparison.

    Which is not to say my hands are clean. With computer games for example, sometimes they make it difficult not to be at least a little bit of a pirate.

    I'm a huge advocate of "try before you buy". As long as there's a demo available, or you can rent it, then there's no problem. But if there's no other way to try before you buy, then I have no problems with someone finding a hacked copy... as long as they treat it like a demo. Get through the first level, decide if you want to play more of it, delete the hacked copy and buy the darn thing. So, about 10 years ago, a friend of mine gave me a cracked copy of "The Sims". The original Sims did not have a demo available (or at least not at the time), and we'd always been curious about it, but there was no way we were going to pay retail sight unseen. We installed the copy, loved it, went out and bought it, followed by about $300 worth of expansion packs, sequels, and spin-offs. Without that cracked copy, we never would have bought it.

    Of course, that didn't stop the same company from angering the entire video game community with Spore's DRM debacle.

    Also, the original NeverWinter Nights had a form of copy protection that made the disc incompatible with some CD drives. I had a legal copy of the game, but to run it, I had to download a legally ambiguous "No-CD" patch. Of course, eventually NWN was officially updated to where it no longer required the CD to run.

    Quote Originally Posted by Valdar View Post
    For the morality of the issue, I confess I haven't heard any good arguments one way or the other. People who are downloading songs and PDFs are clearly getting something for nothing, so claims of "freedom" are a little hollow, but industries pointing to that as lost revenue are equally specious in their claims, since how many of those songs would have been paid for if they couldn't have been pirated?
    I do agree that pirated copies are not the same as lost revenue. Whenever I see a report that says, "The record industry lost $100 million dollars last year to pirated MP3s", I want to ask them where they get those numbers. Because a lot of these people would never have paid for the CDs. For many pirates, the choices are NOT "get it free or buy the CD," but rather "get it free or go without." That doesn't make piracy right or justifiable, but still, "3 million people downloaded our MP3 illegally" does not in any way mean, "3 million people would have bought our album if MP3s had never been invented."

    Quote Originally Posted by Bearfoot_Adam View Post
    My thought is that if it is no longer in print then it is OK.
    If you really want to play a game that came out on a long dead console, and there's currently no legal way to play it, then I for one can't really fault you for downloading an emulator/ROM. But if the game then becomes available - like on Gametap or on Wii's virtual console - then you should delete the ROM and go through the proper channels.

    Quote Originally Posted by MortonStromgal View Post
    Well its currently 50 years with one 50 year renewal. Honestly in the days of the internet I would say 4-10 years with a 4-10 year renewal is acceptable. If you can't make your money back in 20 years tough... Just think of the benefits of it entering public domain nice dream.
    As I understand it (and correct me if I'm wrong), but copyright arises automatically when you create the work, not when you try to sell it. It can take years to get the attention of a publisher. Your copyright could expire while you're trying to get it published. Heck, I've got folders full of short stories I wrote in high school, and that's more than 10 years ago. I'd like to think I'd still be allowed to profit from them, should I ever find someone who wanted to publish them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MortonStromgal View Post
    Well its currently 50 years with one 50 year renewal. Honestly in the days of the internet I would say 4-10 years with a 4-10 year renewal is acceptable. If you can't make your money back in 20 years tough... Just think of the benefits of it entering public domain nice dream.
    Actuallyits higher than that, thanks to Disney. Mickey mouse was about to go Public domain so the company paid and pushed a bill through to get the time limit higher. Hense why its now a life time Plus..

    check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJn_jC4FNDo
    Last edited by jade von delioch; 12-09-2008 at 07:27 PM.
    I do not play them here or there, I do not play them anywhere, I do not play them with a fox. I do not mash that button box. I do not like MMO games. In the end ther're all the same.
    -Tesral

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    I'll try to keep it simple, as I think most folks know exactly where I stand.

    Piracy is the wrong answer. Period. In my book. You do not grow devil horns when you pirate, but you are doing the wrong thing.

    Burying the debate in the splitting of hairs as to what theft is, semantics about a copy not being theft, and stating that the law is out of touch do little to move me.

    At the end of the day, the Western society bases the exchange of goods around the idea that people who have something of worth are to be compensated when that something passes into the hands of others.

    People who bypass this compensation are guilty of theft, minor or not, and it's very cut and dry in my eyes. They may very well be comfortable in their blanket of reasons, but that does not mean I have to be.

    My last point that I would like to make before I do walk away from this conversation.

    We seem to be at a decision point here. One that we are not in a position to make. The question to be decided is "Is Pen and Paper Games a forum where piracy and methods of piracy are to be a tolerated topic, or is it a place where piracy is not welcome or discussed?"

    My experience has taught me that discussing piracy as acceptable is a slippery slope that always ends up in a site where people trade torrents or jacked PDF's. I do not wish to participate in such a community, which is why I am very clear and vocal in my objection to it being discussed here. That might give some of you folks a little insight into my behavior -- but the thing is, I'm not the person to answer.

    That answer comes from Farcaster, not us. These are his forums and I will cede to his decision for his website.

    Debating this back and forth is pointless. We aren't about to convince each other of anything.
    --
    Grimwell

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