Is Piracy Wrong?

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what do you think?

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

Is Piracy Wrong?

Postby flike » 19 May 2012, 00:34

For one thing bananas are a commodity and thus receive commodity pricing. Ironlady's point in part is that she doesn't provide a commodity consumer good. Y'all whose cognitive dissonance leads you to conclude that piracy benefits the total revenue of ALL goods might help this discussion by leaving out all such commodity-pricing models.
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Re: Is Piracy Wrong?

Postby Super Hans » 19 May 2012, 00:56

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.


I don't think you can compare copyright of text with copyright of music. Although I no longer dabble in music much, I have jointly written and composed. Music I have been involved in has been produced for sale in Taiwan and the band I was a member of, and still remain close to, is still very much active.
Without freely downloadable music which is pirated, the band would absolutely not be enjoying the (albeit mediocre) success they are drawing in now. This summer they will be doing a brief tour of China and Hong-Kong - places where the records are not currently sold via physical hard copy. The tour will bring them more success and revenue to produce more music.
Much bigger bands out there rely on pirate downloads as a tool for spreading their music. The money is in the tours and merchandise, and loyal fans will always purchase music.
Incidentally, I am listening to something uploaded to youtube right now which I have never heard before, and as is my nature, I may go out and get a CD purely because I like to possess a hard copy.
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Re: Is Piracy Wrong?

Postby Confuzius » 19 May 2012, 01:08

Honestly, its adapt or die here.

Ironlady claims her ENTIRE books are bought by a teacher and then copied 30+ times and given to students for free. I find this extremely hard to believe for the following reasons:

1. Unless the book is LESS than 30 pp (and 30 pp is honestly stretching it) no teacher is going to do that.
2. No college or university will allow this (against policy...bc of copyright laws)
3. Lets even say that the teacher disregards the college policy, has a HUGE heart, tenure, loads of time, TA's, etc and makes 30 plus copies of each book. If they do it on their faculty card, guess what...it will get noticed. If they pay for it themselves, the copying itself can cost about as much as the book.

Now, if Ironlady's books are so short that they can easily be copied (less than 30 pp) and are overpriced (meaning they cost more than 50 usd a book) then yes, she will get screwed...but NOT by the teachers, by students who will group together, buy one book then make photocopies.

However, as the market has changed, in order to not get screwed one would need to make longer books and charge less for them (simple as that) or convert to more electronic based marketing systems (podcasts, ebooks, online tutorials, etc).

Honestly, I think its a GREAT thing! People now have to try harder, be more innovative, create more interactive materials...rather than writing a book...ONCE and thinking it is an eternal piggybank. This forces people to be more technology and consumer driven, constantly revamping, refining and improving their product.

So I think the only people who are going to get ripped off, are the ones who don't have what it takes to make it in the new worldwide marketplace...so be it.

The physical, paper book is becoming obsolete and those who continue to publish in this manner will die out like the dinosaurs. I am sure the scribes were all bitchin when the printing press came around too.
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Re: Is Piracy Wrong?

Postby zyzzx » 19 May 2012, 02:21

Confuzius wrote:Honestly, its adapt or die here.

Ironlady claims her ENTIRE books are bought by a teacher and then copied 30+ times and given to students for free. I find this extremely hard to believe for the following reasons:

1. Unless the book is LESS than 30 pp (and 30 pp is honestly stretching it) no teacher is going to do that.
2. No college or university will allow this (against policy...bc of copyright laws)
3. Lets even say that the teacher disregards the college policy, has a HUGE heart, tenure, loads of time, TA's, etc and makes 30 plus copies of each book. If they do it on their faculty card, guess what...it will get noticed. If they pay for it themselves, the copying itself can cost about as much as the book.



You know that the Universities in Taiwan are surrounded by copy shops that will reproduce textbooks for you, right? Half the books on the shelves in the grad student offices are photocopied textbooks. This might not happen as much in the US, but it sure does happen some places.
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Re: Is Piracy Wrong?

Postby Confuzius » 19 May 2012, 02:38

zyzzx wrote:
Confuzius wrote:Honestly, its adapt or die here.

Ironlady claims her ENTIRE books are bought by a teacher and then copied 30+ times and given to students for free. I find this extremely hard to believe for the following reasons:

1. Unless the book is LESS than 30 pp (and 30 pp is honestly stretching it) no teacher is going to do that.
2. No college or university will allow this (against policy...bc of copyright laws)
3. Lets even say that the teacher disregards the college policy, has a HUGE heart, tenure, loads of time, TA's, etc and makes 30 plus copies of each book. If they do it on their faculty card, guess what...it will get noticed. If they pay for it themselves, the copying itself can cost about as much as the book.



You know that the Universities in Taiwan are surrounded by copy shops that will reproduce textbooks for you, right? Half the books on the shelves in the grad student offices are photocopied textbooks. This might not happen as much in the US, but it sure does happen some places.


Done by the lecturers/professors/teachers? No way.

And we were talking about the US.

Grad students, btw, are the biggest pirates in the world, hands down, no questions about it (but that is another discussion, perhaps...). They (we) put napster to shame.
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Re: Is Piracy Wrong?

Postby Confuzius » 19 May 2012, 03:00

Adding to my last post....

I think the Grad student pirating phenomena is different than other forms of piracy for the following reasons:

1. Academic books cost literally HUNDREDS of dollars
2. A grad student MUST have access to those materials.
3. A grad student does not HAVE to access just one or even 10 books that can cost anywhere from 2-500 usd, but hundreds of books that cost from 2-500 usd
4. Grad students are uber poor
5. Grad students would not buy the books even if there was no way to pirate them (because of #'s 1, 3 and 4)

So the deck is totally stacked against them. They are in a segment of their career where the materials they MUST have to properly conduct their profession are quite literally out of their reach...unless they pirate.

This is not a case of one grad student making photocopies and handing them out to 30+ students (which does not happen, sorry, only people doing stuff like that are 10-20 undergads pooling for a book together). Grad students scan books into folders containing thousands upon thousands of meticulously labeled jpgs (yes, entire books, journals, conference proceedings, etc) or if they have the software, pdf's or djvu's (there are some other formats out there mostly used in Asia, but I digress).

These copies (except for a few, which are uploaded to 'private trackers' not stuff like the pirate bay, but membership only sites, but this is still a very small minority of what gets pirated) are not widely circulated, but kept by the grad student who made the copies. There may be a 'digital library swap' between students here and there who share what they have made with each other in order to mutually double the size of their digital libraries, but no one is printing these things out and handing them to students. NOR are they emailing them to classes (as it is always against university policy).

Now the interesting thing is...there is no way, not a snowball's chance in hell, these grad students would purchase these materials-they simply do not have the means. They get their hands on the books through uni libraries. So in this case, no one is losing any money-especially not the author! (many of these books are out of print as well and if they WERE to be purchased, the money would just go to a seller on ebay or an antiquarian book depot website) and of course the out of print books are even more expensive.

I wonder how the anti-piracy police feel about this.
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Re: Is Piracy Wrong?

Postby ironlady » 19 May 2012, 04:15

Confuzius wrote:Ironlady claims her ENTIRE books are bought by a teacher and then copied 30+ times and given to students for free. I find this extremely hard to believe for the following reasons:

1. Unless the book is LESS than 30 pp (and 30 pp is honestly stretching it) no teacher is going to do that.
2. No college or university will allow this (against policy...bc of copyright laws)
3. Lets even say that the teacher disregards the college policy, has a HUGE heart, tenure, loads of time, TA's, etc and makes 30 plus copies of each book. If they do it on their faculty card, guess what...it will get noticed. If they pay for it themselves, the copying itself can cost about as much as the book.


You need to get out more before stating what happens or doesn't happen everywhere.
My books are bought by two groups: individuals learning Chinese and teachers teaching Chinese, most of whom work for school districts in the US. Schools have NO CLUE about what is being photocopied and most don't care.
The books range between 75 and 100 pages. And yes, they are copied. Whole. Minus, of course, the "unnecessary stuff" -- like the cover and title page and my bio. Not exactly calculated to build my overall sales.
These books sell for $7.99 retail, not $50. They are class materials (readers), not weighty graduate school tomes. I do not see anything NEAR $7.99 from the sale of a single copy. More like $2.30 or so. It costs money to print books, and Amazon.com wants its cut as well.

Music is somewhat different from books. I write and compose music. I am happy to allow people to perform our works as a means to enlarge their popularity. I would NOT be happy to have someone give a copy to every singer they know in New York at no charge, or to hand around a copy of the script and score so anyone who feels like it can put on the show. Then again, I am (once more) not dealing with the mass popular market for music -- I write for musical theater, which is a niche market, sort of like the academic writing market, and I'm not talking about recordings, but about sheet music and performance rights. Performance rights are the meat and potatoes of the musical theater industry, unless you hit it big doing songs for Disney or something (which I personally wouldn't want to do -- I know a guy who has, and his writing has gotten awfully saccharine-y over the years.)
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Re: Is Piracy Wrong?

Postby cfimages » 19 May 2012, 09:47

I think there can probably be a line drawn between piracy for profit and piracy for personal use.

If someone downloads a photo of mine without permission because they like it and want it as a desktop background, that's not really a big deal. However if someone downloads a photo and then puts it on their company website or a personal blog that they make ad revenue from, then I'm going to pursue them for copyright violation because they are using my work to make money for themselves.

A couple of weeks ago, Adobe released the latest version of Photoshop. I spent US$200 to upgrade to it because I use Photoshop in order to make a living. It's no different than if I upgrade some computer hardware or a camera, I expect to pay. Yey I know people in Taiwan who go straight to the torrents to get Photoshop and they then expect to make money from their photography or design work. That's a big no-no, IMO. If you're getting pirate versions of Photoshop because it's just a hobby, then that's not such a big deal, although in all likelihood you don't actually need it and could buy one of the cheaper alternatives. But if it helps you make money, even just a little, then you should pay.

A teacher who makes 30 copies of a text book is making money from doing so, because it is, in part, enabling the class to go ahead which he is getting paid for.
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Re: Is Piracy Wrong?

Postby adguy » 19 May 2012, 10:19

This issue is so much more complex than a poll that is saying either you think piracy is wrong, you think copyright laws are wrong, or you're too uninformed to have an opinion. I have very strong opinions, and because of that there is no way I can pick any of those three. :loco:
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Re: Is Piracy Wrong?

Postby Super Hans » 19 May 2012, 11:41

Music is somewhat different from books. I write and compose music. I am happy to allow people to perform our works as a means to enlarge their popularity.


I would not be happy for people to copy the music for a profit through performance. Having a pirated recording to listen to is different to passing stuff off as your own work

Performance rights are the meat and potatoes of the musical theater industry, unless you hit it big doing songs for Disney or something (which I personally wouldn't want to do -- I know a guy who has, and his writing has gotten awfully saccharine-y over the years.)


I am less than six degrees of separation from someone who writes songs for Disney. I feel sick.

Yey I know people in Taiwan who go straight to the torrents to get Photoshop and they then expect to make money from their photography or design work. That's a big no-no, IMO.


Having shite customer service is also a no-no. I had a huge activation problem with one of their previous updates, which I bought a couple of years back which involved some kind of online activation. Despite asking them constantly to sort the problem out, I couldn't use the program. At the time I was taking pictures of the rubber stoppers that you find on the bottom of chairs and tables for a factory catalogue - exciting work which paid well, and so luckily I had just discovered Linux and I got by with GIMP.
My copy was genuine, but later on I went out and got a pirate copy. Without prompting them I got no return correspondence, and so therefore they got no return custom from me. It seems with Adobe, once they have your money they basically tell you to get screwed.
I only use photoshop if I get a job anyway. For fun photos it's more satisfying to do everything in camera.
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