Is Piracy Wrong?

Moderator: Mick

what do you think?

piracy is wrong
7
28%
copyright laws are wrong
14
56%
I don't know
4
16%
 
Total votes : 25

Re: Is Piracy Wrong?

Postby Ex Animo » 15 May 2012, 02:55

I was talking to a successful author last night about how everything in his books and DVDs was readily available for free on his Web site, and he explained that there was a very obvious hike in sales the more his stuff was available online for free. Go figure. :loco:
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Re: Is Piracy Wrong?

Postby trubadour » 15 May 2012, 22:58

Your author friend is not alone. Paulo Coelho famously went on Pirate Bay to promote his latest book. He says pirates are responsible for his success after some Russian websites copied and distributed millions of his books, i.e. made him millions of fans (~12 million). Now every book he writes (not to mentions the sales of the old ones) all go straight to the top of the charts across the world, thanks to pirating. Talk about encouraging new work.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/feb/01/paulo-coelho-readers-pirate-books

On a personal note, I looked at what remains of my CD collection the other day (long story short: I gave all my CDs away when I got my ipod :doh: :doh: :doh:). Every CD I own I first had been given a copy of or acquired a copy of on torrent or heard on mp3, via podcast or on the radio - either I got a copy if a certain song or an album or just got into a musician or even a style of music. It is how I got into most of the music I listen to. The gigs I've been to were of artists of whose I owned pirated material. They GOT sales off me and continue to get sales and get promoted by me BECAUSE I first got into them by hearing their music for free. Of course, this is besides the fact that now every CD I own is a digital copy. If I upload, I promote. If someone gets paid (advertising, say, on Pirate Bay) that makes the world a better place. More jobs, more money, more knowledge, more creativity.




Muzha Man wrote:There are two parts to copyright: one, protecting works so that the creators can make a profit thus not only rewarding them but encouraging future work; and the creation and protection of a rich public domain of work. From the start the public good was considered as important as rewarding work.


I think you'll find history contradicts you on the interests at work at the start of copyright.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_copyright_law

OK, so its wikiP but you can see from the first sentence the book publishing companies are the first to get on the legislative job with copyright.

But I'm glad you mention it. Significantly, it's books they start to prohibit the copying of. Can you imagine the historical absurdity of outlawing copying books!? If books were not copied over and over by scholars (the people who mainly read them) we would have practically no books to speak of! All the works of antiquity - the Bible, the Greek classics, etc, etc, - we would have nothing! :roflmao:

Interesting bit of research:

http://torrentfreak.com/history-shows-that-copyright-monopolies-prevent-creativity-and-innovation-120205/
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Re: Is Piracy Wrong?

Postby ironlady » 16 May 2012, 00:29

Comparing a situation where only an elite few had the means or the knowledge to copy books with a world where virtually anyone can make multiple copies of any work in seconds is really not valid.

As an author, it is discouraging to me when I sell a single copy of a book, and know perfectly well that the teacher has made 30 copies for every kid in the class to use. That is a significant difference in revenue for me. I don't believe that providing the entire work online for free is the answer -- they will simply skip the part where they have to do even a minimal amount of work to rip off the book.
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Re: Is Piracy Wrong?

Postby TheGingerMan » 16 May 2012, 08:26

Ex Animo wrote:I was talking to a successful author last night about how everything in his books and DVDs was readily available for free on his Web site, and he explained that there was a very obvious hike in sales the more his stuff was available online for free. Go figure. :loco:


I'm all for protecting an artist's source of future revenue, but some of the writers I edit have all said the same thing you mention.
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Re: Is Piracy Wrong?

Postby Mick » 16 May 2012, 10:52

ironlady wrote:Comparing a situation where only an elite few had the means or the knowledge to copy books with a world where virtually anyone can make multiple copies of any work in seconds is really not valid.

As an author, it is discouraging to me when I sell a single copy of a book, and know perfectly well that the teacher has made 30 copies for every kid in the class to use. That is a significant difference in revenue for me. I don't believe that providing the entire work online for free is the answer -- they will simply skip the part where they have to do even a minimal amount of work to rip off the book.


I hear you. But one must remember what the copyright laws were originally intended for, which is to say that for a limited period of time the writer would be protected from other publishers wishing to profit by reprinting and selling the work, thus depriving the author of any revenue and motivation to create new work. The idea that I couldn't have resold a book in a flee market, or lent it to a friend or read passages in public would have sounded absurd.

Although obviously an exception, J.K Rowling's ability to amass a billion dollars somewhat undermines the argument online copying is causing writers to go broke, and how will copyrighting her work for another 100 years encourage her to make more public works? Isn't it just a means to prohibit others using what is now part of our popular culture, like Superman or Yoda from Star wars, at some point shouldn't people be allowed to make derivative works? How is continued copyright on Elvis Presley encouraging new works?
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Re: Is Piracy Wrong?

Postby trubadour » 16 May 2012, 16:26

ironlady wrote:Comparing a situation where only an elite few had the means or the knowledge to copy books with a world where virtually anyone can make multiple copies of any work in seconds is really not valid.

As an author, it is discouraging to me when I sell a single copy of a book, and know perfectly well that the teacher has made 30 copies for every kid in the class to use. That is a significant difference in revenue for me. I don't believe that providing the entire work online for free is the answer -- they will simply skip the part where they have to do even a minimal amount of work to rip off the book.



The point is, if there were no copying there would be no knowledge. Copying not only preserves knowledge and ideas but spreads the fame and renown of the author.

The argument is valid. Your argument is make-believe. You can not say that you would have sold those books. If the teacher were unable to copy yours, the teacher would buy another and copy that. Copying actually gets you sales.

In fact most text books are made to be photocopy friendly. If you are a teacher and you know you are going to copy the book to distribute to the students you buy the copyable ones. It's a feature.
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Re: Is Piracy Wrong?

Postby ironlady » 16 May 2012, 21:54

You don't seem to know much about the educational book market.

"Copyable" books (also known as blackline masters) are priced far above "regular books". You can't get people to buy at those prices if they are not teachers.
The problem in educational writing is this: there are two kinds of readers, and only one of them is a teacher.

Reader A is a person learning Chinese on his own. He will legitimately buy a single copy of my reader, and read it. He will then sell it, give it away, lend it, or whatever. I have absolutely no problem with any of that. I've been paid for one copy of the reader, and there is one copy out there. Unless people want to sit on each other's laps, no one is going to use them simultaneously or in different locations or do anything else that would normally require two copies in the real world.

Buyer B is a person teaching Chinese. Miss B has 150 students in her public school classes. She would like every one of those kids to have a copy of the book, so she buys a single copy and goes to the Xerox machine in her school and makes 150 more copies. EVERY YEAR. I've been paid for one copy of the book, but over the course of five years, there are over 750 people reading it. That action would require at least 751 copies of the book (for each to have his own, or 31 copies minimum if you're using class sets to be left at school), not one copy. I've just lost a significant amount of revenue.

I strongly suspect that most of the people who are so happy to run down copyright and declare that everything should be freely reproducible have never taken the time to write a book, code a program or compose a piece of music for sale. Even a "little reader" such as the ones I write take hours upon hours to produce. If you are proposing to take away any financial benefit from copyright, the "little people" will no longer be able to write and code and compose. This isn't about Tom Cruise earning money from DVD residuals. It's about an ordinary person who looks at their workday and says "How much time can I afford to devote to creating a new work today? Will I see any economic benefit from it at all?"

If you don't offer protection to small producers, we will soon only have large producers -- which sadly is the direction education is going in the US.
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Re: Is Piracy Wrong?

Postby Mucha Man » 16 May 2012, 22:22

Damn, my post seems to have disappeared.

I agree with ironlady that there are instances where copying really does hurt. Education is one such field as the author gets no benefits from copying: no increase in fame or ability to secure a better contract.

This is different from many other fields., I suppose it may come down to whether copying increases your fan base. If it doesn't then you lose. If it does then you gain.
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Re: Is Piracy Wrong?

Postby Mick » 17 May 2012, 07:58

ironlady wrote: If you are proposing to take away any financial benefit from copyright, the "little people" will no longer be able to write and code and compose. This isn't about Tom Cruise earning money from DVD residuals. It's about an ordinary person who looks at their workday and says "How much time can I afford to devote to creating a new work today? Will I see any economic benefit from it at all?"

If you don't offer protection to small producers, we will soon only have large producers -- which sadly is the direction education is going in the US.


No one is proposing to take away any financial benefit from copyright. I notice you didn't address any of the points I raised about excessive length to copyright, or its use in restricting new ideas and competition so here's some more points.

Groups like the RIAA and MPAA are under current laws extorting money from anyone they can lay their hands on. A couple of years back I was in a exhibition in Frankfurt. A couple of weeks later we got a bill for around 300 Euros for playing music at the exhibition. It was our music, we produced and recorded it, and now we have this presumption of guilt and have to fight not to pay, outrageous.

The RIAA and MPAA have been sending out threatening letters requiring settlement from any owner of an IP address that illegally downloaded material, and now, some judges are realizing, an IP doesn't equate to an individual, these are extortionist practices. Should we talk about the size of the fines people have received for copyright infringement?

By the way, someone copies the entire book for her students? Really? It must be a very short book, anything beyond a couple of pages my teachers were too lazy to copy for me and I would be told to buy a book. Also, if you want to protect your work there are measures, I take extraordinary lengths to protect my software. Books are harder I admit, but any written document I get under NDA is quite likely to have my name watermarked on every page, my email and company on footers and headers, just to make sure I am less likely to copy it to people who shouldn't have it.
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Re: Is Piracy Wrong?

Postby Icon » 17 May 2012, 11:47

Muzha Man wrote:Damn, my post seems to have disappeared.

I agree with ironlady that there are instances where copying really does hurt. Education is one such field as the author gets no benefits from copying: no increase in fame or ability to secure a better contract.

This is different from many other fields., I suppose it may come down to whether copying increases your fan base. If it doesn't then you lose. If it does then you gain.


Exactly the problem I've seen with local content publishing companies: teachers photocopy the material for teh students, no books are sold, can't make profit, can't make more books, the only books that survive are cheapie newspaper quality paper printed and copy paste unoriginals that are cheap, cheap, cheap. We used to prepare this extra thing like tests as a hook -which teachers love, as they do not have to prepare tests- and those were copied not only by the teachers, but other companies which literally printed them even more cheaply and charged. :lol: My favorites were the ones who copied from the Internet the government tests, complieled and charged. :thumbsup: So still the big companies copyright infridgement was more harmnful than a single class instance of piracy by copying the tests/textbooks.
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