Smart politicans should realize the lobbyist and the general public don't agree on intellectual property rights for music (and movies).
Politicians are in between: they need funds to get re-elected but the man in the street has to like them. There's nothing to be liked by the man in the street of his/her kids getting banned on the Internet or getting sued by a record label.
I guess we'll see a while the politicians trying to be in the middle and finally head over in what the general public wants and make this dying industry obsolete. A state they'd be in long ago had they not used lobbying this much.
|But in a narrow vote MEPs backed an amendment to the report which said net bans conflicted with "civil liberties and human rights". |
How absurd. It's not a "civil liberty" or a "human right" to infringe on somebody's intellectual property.
|It's not a "civil liberty" or a "human right" to infringe on somebody's intellectual property. |
Pure liberty would also mean the liberty to infringe on IP wouldn't it? You cannot say you respect civil liberties and then restrict those same liberties because some rich people across the pond do not like it.
Also IANAL but isn't downloading a song legal?, the act of distributing the work is breaching copyright.
It IS definitely an infringement of civil liberties to impose hugely disproportionate punishments for a minor offence.
That's not liberty, that's license. A fairly good description of the difference can be found here [scribd.com] for starters, but in a nutshell, liberty is responsible freedom, whereas license is anarchical freedom. (This difference, incidentally, is how "America the Beautiful" can contain the line "Confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law" without the slightest contradiction.)
|Pure liberty would also mean the liberty to infringe on IP wouldn't it? |
See above - infringing on others' rights is not a civil liberty.
|You cannot say you respect civil liberties and then restrict those same liberties... |
I don't know which side of "the pond" you're on, but I'm on the American side. I don't happen to be rich, but I'm against any measure that restricts the ability of a person to profit from their own work or ingenuity. That's the essence of a free society, thus requiring copyright laws (and appropriate penalties).
|...because some rich people across the pond do not like it. |
|It IS definitely an infringement of civil liberties to impose hugely disproportionate punishments for a minor offence. |
How is refusing Internet access a "hugely disproportionate" punishment? Someone who commits an armed robbery isn't allowed to own a gun after he gets out of prison, despite the fact that there are many legitimate uses for guns. Illegally sharing a song online is obviously a much smaller offense than armed robbery, yet it is still against the law, and losing Internet access is a much lesser penalty than losing the right to own a gun.
I would think that rather than cutting off net access a series of increasing fines for first, second, third, etc. offenses might be politically palatable. It make a lot more sense to punish the crime than restrict an individual's access to, well, everything. Many of us here would agree that trying to live a normal life without Internet access would be quite difficult.
The physical equivalent would be to put an individual in jail or under house arrest. That may be appropriate for serious crimes, but doesn't happen for the first minor transgression.
What is more sinister is that to bring in this legislation would involve an extension of the current level of monitoring of web surfing activities to catch people involved in downloading illegal music and films. I am against illegal downloading – I am also against the monitoring of the internet, e-mail and other forms of communication by governments and others.
British Telecom has just been caught out for doing tests recording people’s surfing habits – a small step towards complete government control over all our online activities (legal and illegal). In Britain the amount of spying on people is getting to a point where we should all be worried – road cameras, street surveillance cameras and if this legislation went through – the complete surveillance of all online activity.
The people that download software, music and films without paying for them would probably not pay for legal versions anyway – so the loss to the companies is a technical loss, not a real one. And if you put UK, European and US downloads of illegal software into comparison with that carried out in the Eastern European countries, Russia and China it is probably a drop in the ocean so to speak. That does not justify it, just trying to put it into perspective.
We have seen with Windows that pirated software can actually be good for the company, we have seen with Radiohead that bands can make millions without a record company AND whilst giving their entire album away for free.
The dinosaurs are losing their ability to make 90% of a bands earnings so they are kicking and screaming like they did with the old 'home taping is killing music' line.
They are the ones that are killing music by only signing bands which will be economically viable and leaving the rest to play in their garage. The control and money will move from the large companies to the bands over the next 20 years. Free music will only encourage more diverse music (see myspace for examples) which can only be a good thing.
Legislating against so-called illegal music downloading is like forcing all cars to run on coal to save the mining industry, or applying a tax to car tires to help blacksmiths who are losing money.
Matthew, most musicians do not make double digit percentage of the money their music makes. This forces these big greedy corporations to either come up with a better/fairer method of distributing music or turning off literally almost every person connected to the internet. Do you really think ISPs will opt to shut off 30, 40, 70% of their customers so willingly?
>> How absurd. It's not a "civil liberty" or a "human right" to infringe on somebody's intellectual property.
punishment and crime must be in line.
|Pure liberty would also mean the liberty to infringe on IP wouldn't it? |
Does pure liberty give you the right to steal a car?
No, so why does it make stealing a movie or music any different?
|Smart politicans should realize the lobbyist and the general public don't agree on intellectual property rights for music (and movies). |
Smart politicians realize that the music industry is in trouble and the movie industry could soon follow if they don't do something and an entire segment of the economy could collapse as a result.
Can you imagine no new songs from your favorite artists, no new big blockbuster movies with your favorite actors?
Then a LOT of unemployment from all the roadies, sound engineers, writers, producers, CD/DVD manufacturers, the workers on the line, recording studio owners in bankruptcy, etc.
It's not just the artists you steal from, it's a LOT of people you put out of work.
That's where IP theft leads, oops, I mean "infringement".
BTW, if you don't think infringement is a problem, give me your domain name and let me make a complete copy of your site online and compete with you for your own money, possibly do a better job and turn your entire site supplemental and put you out of business.
Ah, that hits too close to home doesn't it?
[edited by: incrediBILL at 6:06 pm (utc) on April 12, 2008]
|Illegally sharing a song online is obviously a much smaller offense than armed robbery, yet it is still against the law, and losing Internet access is a much lesser penalty than losing the right to own a gun. |
Must be kidding, right? If you live in the woods and the only way you can eat is if you have a gun to kill it, then maybe not being able to carry a gun is a big penalty or if you live somewhere where people kill each other to be able to eat.
You cut off some kid from the Internet, you've taken away their ability to access information critical to their future. At least they could still get a gun to get what they need to make up for that.
|BTW, if you don't think infringement is a problem, give me your domain name and let me make a complete copy of your site online and compete with you for your own money, possibly do a better job and turn your entire site supplemental and put you out of business. |
That's a bit different. That's more like someone taking over the identity of the artist and being the sole distributor of their music and taking all the revenue from it which is not what happens in this case.
|Then a LOT of unemployment from all the roadies, sound engineers, writers, producers, CD/DVD manufacturers, the workers on the line, recording studio owners in bankruptcy, etc. |
In the movie biz, yes, in the music industry anyone working on the shows would probably have more work than they could handle. More distribution of your music is probably going to lead to all-time high concert attendance.
Don't ya think when pricing for digital products is developed, the piracy factor is built into the price. It's still a buck to download something from iTunes, roughly the same cost per song as buying a CD, yet there is no packaging, no distribution, no physical copy, where is the cost savings to the end user?
MSFT is raking in the billions despite all the bootleg copies of their stuff floating around. If a person doesn't have access to software, they'll never be a customer. How many web firms out there exist today because the founders had no cash and no access to cash to buy software, pirated it in a college software lab and turned into some of the best customers of software companies once they got up and running?
In the end, there is some kind of pricing segmentation model needed so that everyone pays at least something for what they get, doesn't end up with some draconian penalty disproportionate to what they did and people are compensated for their work.
|More distribution of your music is probably going to lead to all-time high concert attendance. |
Which doesn't help all the out of work people involved in every step of music sales, thousands of people will be out of work, you can't justify IP theft.
|That's a bit different. That's more like someone taking over the identity of the artist and being the sole distributor of their music and taking all the revenue from it which is not what happens in this case. |
Nope, piracy is piracy, stealing is stealing.
You can't endorse one type of infringement while decrying the other.
Makes me wonder why people's moral compasses break when they don't perceive any "harm" being done.
Incredibill, your arguments sound convincing, but at the end of the day musicians will always play music, the public will always demand music and tours will always need roadies. Nobody needs big distributers anymore.
Music existed way before records and CDs and will exist long after. People can always make money in the music industry, the power will shift to the musicians and their agents rather than the record companies who sign away an artists life just to press a few CDs for them. Once a band is popular they will pay for themselves many times over.
In a free country people should be entitled to a proper trial before being punished even if the punishment is loss of internet access. The RIAA and the MIAA like to bypass that step wherever possible.
|In a free country people should be entitled to a proper trial before being punished even if the punishment is loss of internet access. The RIAA and the MIAA like to bypass that step wherever possible. |
In a free country people should also obey the laws and we wouldn't be having this discussion in the first place.
Good honest and moral people would do the good, honest and moral thing and pay for what they need and not just take it whether it belongs to them or not, whether it be music, someone's car or boosting a TV.
Besides, the RIAA and MIAA don't do anything worse than a store keeper with shoplifting detectors at the front door or Picscout scanning the web for unlicensed images for Getty lawyers to attack.
Sure, there will be music, but it won't be the same without the big distributors promoting them, getting them radio air time, music videos, talk show appearances and all of the other things the industry current does.
If those things aren't needed then the industry will sort itself out and it will fall by the wayside but that's currently not the case, the music isn't free whatsoever, and there's no justifiable argument to freely take must that isn't free and be a theif.
If it's free it's free, take it with a clear conscience.
If it's not free, don't try to justify reasons why it SHOULD be OK to steal it because calling it "infringement" doesn't make it any less of a theft.
Best yet, people have ZERO justification to steal music or movies other than being too cheap to pay royalties to the people that make those things.
It's not like stealing milk because your baby is starving and short of personal survival needs in dire circumstances I can't condone theft or infringement of any kind.
If others can condone it, well it's just another sign of the complete and utter moral decay of civilization and disregard for the laws.
OK, enough of this, my stance won't change ;)
[edited by: incrediBILL at 12:47 am (utc) on April 13, 2008]
I forgot to add one last point -
The music, movies, books and more are all freely available for anyone to use at the local public library therefore invalidating any possible logic about why infringement is OK when it's already there to use for free, just not copy.
OK, now I'm done ;)
[edited by: incrediBILL at 12:50 am (utc) on April 13, 2008]
I just have to chime in on this one because I've recently been victimized by software pirates, although in a somewhat different way. One of our customers posted his license code to several warez sites. In less then 2 weeks I tracked in excess of 4000 downloads that originated from that site before I realized what was happening and released a new version that blocked this license. At $59.95 per copy that's damages of about 250k from just this site alone. I'm not a multi-million dollar a year business or overpaid recording artist; every instance of piracy is felt in my own pocket.
The Internet has created a culture of perceived entitlement to everything for free. Even worse, this culture is condemning of publishers making money through advertisements. Could someone please explain why people who will mindlessly watch TV commercials get pissed if you have a couple ads in your software, ads that don't infringe on their ability to use it and don't act nefariously?
I feel your pain, but not all of them would have bought it for $60. Also, while stealing is bad, we have to figure out a way to stop it without life bans from the internet.
|not all of them would have bought it for $60 |
Then they didn't need it did they? :)
|Also, while stealing is bad, we have to figure out a way to stop it without life bans from the internet. |
Funny, hackers and spammers can be banned from the 'net and from even owning computers, why not pirates?
I like it.
I'll bet if Brett caught a WebmasterWorld supporter sharing a password with 100 other people they'd get banned as well.
Heck, people need to drive to survive way more than they need internet access yet people continue to drink and drive and lose their drivers license and make their lives a living hell of buses, trains and bicycles yet they survive.
You abuse the system, the system boots you out, seems fair.
No, they would not have all bought otherwise, but even if only a small percentage of this number represents lost sales it is still significant. Given that this was only one of about a dozen sites that I found this code on, and the only one I could track, the real number could be in the tens of thousands. Also, consider that the most typical way warez sites are used are people find software they want, try it, like it, and then go look for a crack, not the other way around. Finally, how in the hell does it justify someone using my software for free if they wouldn't be using it if they had to pay for it? That's like saying "ok, you can have a nice new shiny car for free because if we don't give you one you're not going to buy it"
Theft is theft, there is no justification
The somewhat good news in my case is that it prompted me to change our registration process to ensure each license can only be used on one machine at a time. In the past couple weeks I've caught about a dozen violators. Of course some people do get pissed if you make it impossible for them to buy one license and install it on all 4 of their computers. Again, the whole entitlement thing.
|Heck, people need to drive to survive way more than they need internet access yet people continue to drink and drive and lose their drivers license and make their lives a living hell of buses, trains and bicycles yet they survive. |
While DUI does cause serious harm to some people, you have organizations like MADD that have made it their business to skew the stats to make it look like alcohol related traffic accidents, fatalities, etc... are far more frequent and far more damaging than they are. If the media can say someone under the influence caused a 10 car pile-up you can bet they will, if the person hadn't slept in 24 hours, stats like that don't typically get dug up.
If a sober driver on a cell phone plows into someone under the influence, chalk one up for an alcohol related accident. A driver hits a pedestrian with a BAC over whatever the ever lower limits are, that's an alcohol related death.
Know anyone who as a rule doesn't drink but went out for happy hour for 2-3 drinks and blew something just over the legal limit? Talk about the penalty not fitting the "crime". Lose your licence, lose your job, spend a fortune in legal fees, court fees, other expenses.
Seems like in all of these types of issues, one side says give em' the harshest penalty you can and somehow that is going to change behavior. The other side says its no big deal. Despite how we think a penalty should work it often doesn't. So where is the middle ground?
Kevin - did sales decline while this was going on? Oviously there were lots of copies used that people didn't pay for but did sales drop?
Could that even be used as a marketing tactic? Leak a serial to all those sites to skyrocket downloads, give people a taste and then shut it down, lose some functionality, create a need to buy after 30 days or so to get people to buy it who want it and can pay for it but didn't pay for it.
Sounds like there is also a marketplace need for people to be able to install it on more than one machine. Is there a pricing model to support this? Initial licence $59.95, 2nd $39.95, 3rd+ $29.95, buy multiple licence now and take 10% off the total? Or maybe $59.95 for each licence purchased separately, the above pricing model w/o the 10% off if you buy multiple licences at once now.
If piracy causes so much loss of money for recording companies and artists then why are we not seeing them go out of business and where are all the starving musicians?
Piracy is good for software makers and musicians alike, it gets their works out to more people which then leads to greater profits not less.
I am glad the European politicians do not believe the rubbish coming from the USA at the moment.
|European politicians have voted down calls to throw suspected file-sharers off the net. |
I think everyoen is missing the keyword here which is suspected. To be suspected would suggest to me that the ISP would have to monitor you Internet activity which IMO is not acceptable. First of all no one should be allowed to monitor what you're doing online to look for suspicious activity. Although it may be illegal to steal a car the cops aren't going to follow you around 24/7 monitoring your activity to make sure you don't.
Secondly this is not the ISP's problem but the problem of the recording industry. It shouldn't be their job to protect the interests of the RIAA. The RIAA should be protecting its interest and should have to stay within the confines of the law which they seem more than willing to break.
Lastly I have no sympathy for the likes of the RIAA or MPAA because of past practices and things they do now. They have been raping the consumer and musicians alike for far too many years. I'll point out they unsuccessfully tried to make video tape recorders illegal (see betamax decision), successfully got DAT recorders taxed killing that format and attempted to do the same thing with both MP3 players and CD/DVD burners. If it was up to them this technology would not be in the hands of the public... You know why there isn't any cheap portable CD burners on the market? For same reason DAT tape never became cheap, there's a tax on such devices that goes right to the RIAA.
Do you really want these people influencing politicians and the laws they pass?
|........ and where are all the starving musicians? |
Actually they are "starving" now, the average musician makes a few cents on a download. Most of it goes elsewhere. Music I'll point out who's cost for distribution is measured in fractions of cent, is much lower quality that what is on a CD, cost more than if you bought the CD and of course has DRM which limits what you can do with it.
Here's my simplistic take on it (yes, it's going to be obvious that I'm no Economic Historian):
Associations like the RIAA are on the wrong side of history.
Money has only been made in two ways, historically:
1) Either when value is created (or grown or dug up).
2) Arbitrage: ie. selling something for more than you bought it for.
In the Agrarian Age (before mass production) only Artisans and Craftsmen created value. (Farmers grew it and Miners dug it up). There was no mass distribution.
Now wind forward from 1700 to 1950
By the late Industrial Age such things which still could not be mass produced (such as original music) could nevertheless be mass distributed.
Those who worked in mass distribution (in this case the major record labels) made money out of arbitrage - buying the created value from the Artist and selling it for more money to a mass audience.
The Artist, no expert at mass distribution, needed the record label and the record label, no producer of value, needed the Artist.
Except that the web puts the power of mass distribution in the hands of the Artist. Now the Artist no longer needs the record label. The record label, par contre, without the Artist, is phukt.
Since the record label can see this it will do everything it can to persuade everyone (politicians, the public) that it is still relevant and not the historical institution that it so clearly is.
File-sharing will go on, not only because it is popular with the public, but also because it is in the interests of the Artist to have as wide a distribution network of try-before-you-buy listeners as they can get (even if a high percentage of those listeners never buy and end up only recommending the Artist to their friends). The only Artists who will lose out are those who currently dominate the shelf-space in high street stores.
I'm amazed at the reaction to this. Must be the differences between American and European copyright laws.
As a European, professional musician, record label owner, and long time advocate of all the alternatives to the Copyright mindset (be it free music, Creative Commons, Copyleft or whatever your flavor is) I'm thankful that the EU has not lost its mind (like the major labels have).
A couple notes:
In Europe, unlike the U.S. we have a right to make private copies of music. It's legal to copy a CD for a friend, lend it, etc - as long as its done not for profit and for private use. And yes, filesharing is legal too, at least in Spain.
With the newest IP Law in Spain, filesharing songs for private use and not for profit is absolutely not a criminal offence, and it could be a minor civil offence but judges are not going to pursue it.
The major problem at stake, and yes, we're talking about Fundamental Rights and Liberties here, is that you can't lose your rights to personal privacy, data protection and secrecy of your communications just to satisfy the megalomaniac needs of the record industry.
Again, glad to see this move!
|In Europe, unlike the U.S. we have a right to make private copies of music. |
You can do this in the U.S. with CD's you own for your own personal use which amounts to being able to make a backup copy. From my understanding if you want to stay completely legit you have to use CD's labeled as "Audio" CD's. These are special CD's that cost more than your average CD because of the same "tax" I previously mentioned on DAT recorders and portable CD burners.
Should be noted that if you own one of these portable CD burners they will only work with this type of disc, they will reject a standard CD.
"Smart politicans should realize the lobbyist and the general public don't agree on intellectual property rights for music (and movies).
Politicians are in between: they need funds to get re-elected but the man in the street has to like them"
They call it lobbying in America but I thought everywhere else they call that bribery and corruption?
|They call it lobbying in America but I thought everywhere else they call that bribery and corruption? |
That sounds about right, lobbying sounds much more palatable. :)
In the US you are free to let someone use, copy or listen to a CD you bought, you can record music from the radio, you can resell a CD you no longer want, you can go to a library to borrow a book, you can rent a DVD, you can take a DVD out of the library if they have them.
You just can't make copies and sell them for profit. The RIAA seems to be up in arms even though file sharing is basically the same thing, just on a larger scale. How much of file sharing is for profit?
The world has changed, thanks to the Internet so the digital providers need to roll with the punches. How would all this change for those demanding huge penalties, if those lobbying for those penalties had to pay for the enforcement? You want to ring someone up on charges for downloading a song, ok, well you can foot the bill for the court proceedings, you can pay for the monitoring software or whatever to ensure they don't access the Internet, if there is any jail time you pay the 40-50K per year to keep them locked up. How many of the people "lobbying" for these types of things can't even check their email, can't conceptualize what search advertising is and look no further than the spreadsheet with P&L in front of them?
When you put a Hollywood CEO at the healm of an Internet company you get Yahoo! When you put Internet CEOs at the healm of and Internet company you get Google.
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