Piracy and Libraries

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hawkmp4
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Piracy and Libraries

Postby hawkmp4 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:24 am UTC

What distinguishes between a library where the library buys a book and makes it available to anyone who gets a card, and someone who buys a book from a bookstore, scans it, and makes it available as a torrent?
It is generally accepted (at least here) that downloading an album from a torrent is morally impermissible. Would borrowing a CD from a library and ripping it to your hard drive before you return it be morally permissible? Why?
I can see an argument that would differentiate between the cases. With a library you have an actual, hard copy of the material. But I think that is irrelevant because the end result is the same- material that a person or organisation paid for once is being distributed freely to many people.
I'm not sure what to think on the subject. I think if you say that sharing on torrents is impermissible morally, then you must also say the use of a library is also. Saying that the moral value of the actions depend on how many people have access to the material seems an arbitrary distinction. Same with who is distributing the material.
Now, if an author expresses that he or she wants the material to be in libraries, the issue of libraries being moral or not goes away. But then, so does the issue of downloading it online, doesn't it? I don't see that raising an issue.
What do you guys think?
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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby Kryigerofe » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:25 am UTC

At least here in Finland, libraries have agreements with the copyright holders stating they can hold the works available for the public. They pay for this special privilege, more than the cost of a single copy. I'm not sure if it's still legal to copy materials borrowed from a library, but if it is, I guess it's just a part of the deal the copyright holder must accept.

Ethical bottom line: libraries do this with consent from the copyright holder and pay for it, torrent users usually don't.

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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby dosboot » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:42 am UTC

Let's separate out one issue here. The rule is pretty clear regarding your question about libraries vs torrents. Copyright law is about control over legality of making copies, specifically saying that the copyright holder gets nearly all the control for some duration. It's not about whether more than one person can ultimately benefit from something. You refer to "how many people have access to the material" when talking about arbitrariness of moral distinctions, while the current copyright system does not attempt to make such an arbitrary distinction.

Regarding "end results [of libraries] being the same". Well, isn't that good that the copyright system doesn't prevent libraries? The copyright system was intended to be a means to an end (increasing the value of authoring creative works). It establishes one simple to understand mean to that end. It doesn't say anything about the need to add more means (e.g., preventing libraries) just because one could imagine more ways to serve that end.

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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:02 pm UTC

I think the key issue is that the library has a fixed number of copies of the works in question, and has a license (if you like) to those fixed number of copies. The library doesn't have the right to take works in their inventory, scan them and print more copies of those same works, and certainly doesn't have the right to sell those scanned works for profit. Loans (or even gifts) are perfectly legitimate under most current copyright regimes: if I own a copy of a book/album/movie, I can give the physical copy of that work to someone else who can also make use of it without giving anything to the copyright holders. The library simply does the same thing, en masse. The distinction is the creation of new copies of the work, not the transfer from one person to another.

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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby Lord Krunk » Tue May 04, 2010 1:08 am UTC

I have to say, first impressions of these forums (I lurk) are very positive so far. I think I might stick around.
Kryigerofe wrote:At least here in Finland, libraries have agreements with the copyright holders stating they can hold the works available for the public. They pay for this special privilege, more than the cost of a single copy. I'm not sure if it's still legal to copy materials borrowed from a library, but if it is, I guess it's just a part of the deal the copyright holder must accept.

Ethical bottom line: libraries do this with consent from the copyright holder and pay for it, torrent users usually don't.

Aside from this post, I would have to remind you of the differences between Torrents and Libraries. With a library, you don't keep the book. In fact, it's more like a timed demo (remember those?). With torrents, the 'try before you buy' novelty is gone and that doesn't really give you the incentive to buy it anyway.

And I like my books on paper anyway. Doesn't hurt your eyes over time.

But yeah, I can se why the OP is pushing forward this questions but there are many differences that separates the two.

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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby mister k » Tue May 04, 2010 10:08 am UTC

hawkmp4 wrote:What distinguishes between a library where the library buys a book and makes it available to anyone who gets a card, and someone who buys a book from a bookstore, scans it, and makes it available as a torrent?
It is generally accepted (at least here) that downloading an album from a torrent is morally impermissible. Would borrowing a CD from a library and ripping it to your hard drive before you return it be morally permissible? Why?
I can see an argument that would differentiate between the cases. With a library you have an actual, hard copy of the material. But I think that is irrelevant because the end result is the same- material that a person or organisation paid for once is being distributed freely to many people.
I'm not sure what to think on the subject. I think if you say that sharing on torrents is impermissible morally, then you must also say the use of a library is also. Saying that the moral value of the actions depend on how many people have access to the material seems an arbitrary distinction. Same with who is distributing the material.
Now, if an author expresses that he or she wants the material to be in libraries, the issue of libraries being moral or not goes away. But then, so does the issue of downloading it online, doesn't it? I don't see that raising an issue.
What do you guys think?


Obviously morally permissible is a nebulous term when you are talking about piracy. The presumption of the law, and its one I generally agree with, is that the owner of a creative work gets to decide how many people they'd like to access it. As others have mentioned, libraries have an agreement (as radios do), to distribute creative works, but not on a permenant basis, and not for profit.

Ripping a cd would definitely not be morally permissible. Said cd has been graciously leant to you, you have taken advantage of that to attain a permenant copy. Thanks to this said creator is unlikely to attain a profit when you might have bought a cd. That said, the lines are pretty thin here: by using a library you are agreeing to a contract that you have broken. It won't really hurt people that much- it is certainly not an activity imbued with evil, but I would argue that it is not a moral action.

Of course, if you then choose to distribute said cd, so not only using it for longer than agreed, but distributing it to others via torrents, then you are definitely over stepping the line. You are now not only keeping a copy for yourself, you are deciding how someone else's creative work should be distributed.

Note that I make no argument as to whether the owners of the creative work might benefit or not from this distribution- thats a little irrelevant, if I want to do things that are actively destructive to my interests with regards to the art I create then thats entirely my right.
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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby Iv » Tue May 04, 2010 12:19 pm UTC

mister k wrote:Obviously morally permissible is a nebulous term when you are talking about piracy. The presumption of the law, and its one I generally agree with, is that the owner of a creative work gets to decide how many people they'd like to access it.
It has been a good principle and created a win-win situation where many actors had to spread as many copies as possible in order to maximize profits and by doing so, increased the profit of authors. Unfortunately, the technology to easily copy and transmit information opposes in its core principles with the idea that one can control the flow of a work's copies. This is really a sad thing, for this was really an ideal situation : profit generated by a work was proportional to its spread, therefore two objectives were fulfilled by the copyright laws :
- favor the spread of culture
- make good authors earn a living

Right now, without inventing a new system, we will have to lose one of those two components. Attaining the first objective is now incredibly easy : if it were legal, you could have access overnight to every piece of culture that was ever digitized. We still miss a way to reach the second objective. I think business models will appear, a la flattr (http://www.flattr.com) but everything will be radically different. Maybe musicians will make more singles and less albums, authors more novels, directors more series or shorter movies... There is a mutation ongoing, it is inevitable. Failing to recognize the act of filesharing as nothing more than an illegal act of piracy rather than an efficient vector of culture is IMHO a mistake that copyright-holder are currently doing and that will cost them a lot in the long term.

mister k wrote:As others have mentioned, libraries have an agreement (as radios do), to distribute creative works, but not on a permenant basis, and not for profit.
But their primary mission was to give access to the culture to everyone. This used to be recognized as a worthwhile goal by institutions. Torrents propose to do that more easily. Where is the National Library that would have paid a huge agreement to the author in order to provide a torrent to every citizen ? I know that (at least in US) such a proposition is often met with accusation of rampant communism (because the state finances culture), but I must ask, why is that really different from the state financing libraries ?

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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby mister k » Wed May 05, 2010 9:01 am UTC

Iv wrote:
mister k wrote:Obviously morally permissible is a nebulous term when you are talking about piracy. The presumption of the law, and its one I generally agree with, is that the owner of a creative work gets to decide how many people they'd like to access it.
It has been a good principle and created a win-win situation where many actors had to spread as many copies as possible in order to maximize profits and by doing so, increased the profit of authors. Unfortunately, the technology to easily copy and transmit information opposes in its core principles with the idea that one can control the flow of a work's copies. This is really a sad thing, for this was really an ideal situation : profit generated by a work was proportional to its spread, therefore two objectives were fulfilled by the copyright laws :
- favor the spread of culture
- make good authors earn a living

Right now, without inventing a new system, we will have to lose one of those two components. Attaining the first objective is now incredibly easy : if it were legal, you could have access overnight to every piece of culture that was ever digitized. We still miss a way to reach the second objective. I think business models will appear, a la flattr (http://www.flattr.com) but everything will be radically different. Maybe musicians will make more singles and less albums, authors more novels, directors more series or shorter movies... There is a mutation ongoing, it is inevitable. Failing to recognize the act of filesharing as nothing more than an illegal act of piracy rather than an efficient vector of culture is IMHO a mistake that copyright-holder are currently doing and that will cost them a lot in the long term.

mister k wrote:As others have mentioned, libraries have an agreement (as radios do), to distribute creative works, but not on a permenant basis, and not for profit.
But their primary mission was to give access to the culture to everyone. This used to be recognized as a worthwhile goal by institutions. Torrents propose to do that more easily. Where is the National Library that would have paid a huge agreement to the author in order to provide a torrent to every citizen ? I know that (at least in US) such a proposition is often met with accusation of rampant communism (because the state finances culture), but I must ask, why is that really different from the state financing libraries ?



Now theres an idea. Its an interesting dilemma, and you are correct that hanging on to the status quo seems horribly naive. The internet has seemed to grow a culture of things that are free and then ask for donations- a lot of webcomics go for that method, and a tiny proportion make a profit. Would making media utterly free mean we would see less art created? Or would it mean only art of the highest quality would get money.

That said, I suspect donations go to things that inspire loyalty- so a creator has to not just create an excellent product, but probably foster a sense of community. I do like the idea of national libraries providing torrents to all individuals, the issue there is there is no reward for quality. I imagine that an author who is heavily popular makes more from libraries as they have to order more books (is this true- I actually don't know how it works!), but the same would not be true for torrents, unless there was a system set up to make it so.
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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby Steroid » Wed May 05, 2010 11:37 am UTC

The OP is working under what I think is a false assumption, that copyright holders are amenable to a philosophical principle that details what purchasers of a work are entitled to do with that work--a "line in the sand" beyond which they cannot cross and the purchaser holds a right. The position of copyright holders as to those rights in a legal sense is essentially, "You may consume the work you purchase under the manner we prescribe, said prescription to be alterable or revocable at our whim, automatically revoked should we cease to renew it." That is the legality. Economically, they know that that is not viable and would result in a price more akin to the rental of a work than a purchase. So entitlements like library lending are permitted by the rights-holders, but they would argue against it if it were economically necessary.

Consider other uses of a work beyond the purchaser. I may read a book aloud to my child without special dispensation, but not, say, to passersby in Central Park. I may lend the book to my friend, or even say to everyone on my block, "my door is open, take any book you like," but I cannot say that to everyone on the Internet. Rights-holders don't want a principle involved because if there is one, the customer base can "game the system" and extend the principle to make rampant non-revenue-generating consumption possible.

Now, a philosophically astute pirate might then say, "OK, rights-holders, since you're not operating on principle and just acting on your own interest, I will do the same and pirate your works without compunction." And then it becomes merely a question of who has the physical advantage--whether the pirate can hide better than the rights-holder can seek. Which in today's system seems to be the case, though it's a close match between the power of privacy and the power of government which leans to the side of the rights-holders.

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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby Iv » Wed May 05, 2010 11:51 am UTC

mister k wrote:That said, I suspect donations go to things that inspire loyalty- so a creator has to not just create an excellent product, but probably foster a sense of community.
I think the metrics is totally different. Our Mighty Lord Randall (Blessed Be His Name) would never have made it into a cartoonist career with his stick figures. Yet he is one of the most successful webcomics author out there. I think online media can rely more on communitieS than older media that rely on the existence of a huge "mainstream" public to generate a lot of public. I think what will change is that we are at the end of the rock-star era. Mickael Jackson had a wealth exceeding one billion dollar. His music is good, but does it deserves that ? This money could have make one thousand artists millionaires instead of one rock-star. I think this is what will happen : more segmented fan bases, more actors, about the same total wealth but an average a lot lower.

mister k wrote:I do like the idea of national libraries providing torrents to all individuals, the issue there is there is no reward for quality.
Instead of popular opinion, it is a governmental panel that evaluates quality. It has its advantages but also its drawbacks. I would prefer to rely on individual foundations (like the Hugo Prize award for instance) to evaluate this. They could for instance say they will finance as much books as they can according to the donations they receive. Something like $2000 for a short story, $50k for a novel, guaranteeing that the more they receive, the more there will be to read...

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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby Alan Chatham » Sun May 09, 2010 7:50 am UTC

Just a quick note in response to the original post -

Here in America, at least, libraries are covered by the doctrine of first-sale.
The doctrine allows the purchaser to transfer (i.e., sell or give away) a particular lawfully made copy of the copyrighted work without permission once it has been obtained. This means that the copyright holder's rights to control the change of ownership of a particular copy end once that copy is sold, as long as no additional copies are made. - Wikipedia


As mentioned before, since a library rents out each copy that it owns, you could almost consider it a temporary transfer of ownership; the person who borrowed the book does so to the exclusion of anyone else. This is what makes it different from file sharing - when I download House_season1_ep5.avi, I'm not removing the uploader's ability to watch it. Similarly, something you'll see in some libraries are signs by the copy machines telling you that you can't copy whole books - they'll let you look at it for free, but not make a new copy for yourself.

Here in the US, that's the legal difference at least. I am still kinda surprised that many libraries have CDs to borrow, since everyone I know just rips them onto their CD drives. Why the RIAA hasn't sued libraries like they have seeders is something that makes me curious.

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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby EmptySet » Sun May 09, 2010 9:41 am UTC

Alan Chatham wrote:Here in the US, that's the legal difference at least. I am still kinda surprised that many libraries have CDs to borrow, since everyone I know just rips them onto their CD drives. Why the RIAA hasn't sued libraries like they have seeders is something that makes me curious.


Well, the situation isn't too much different from the library lending books. The library has a piece of media which they lend in good faith. If someone takes a library book home and scans every page, thereby making a copy, the library is not liable. While CDs are much easier to copy, I believe the same general principles apply. Some libraries also have agreements stating that you promise not to do illegal stuff with library resources, and furthermore if you do so it's entirely your fault and the library accepts no responsibility whatsoever.

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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby styrofoam » Wed May 12, 2010 2:35 am UTC

Am I the only person who thinks that I'll get to see the day libraries aren't able to sell the new stuff, because the content holders are too concerned about "piracy"?
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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby Sam Adams » Wed May 12, 2010 8:46 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:The OP is working under what I think is a false assumption, that copyright holders are amenable to a philosophical principle that details what purchasers of a work are entitled to do with that work--a "line in the sand" beyond which they cannot cross and the purchaser holds a right. The position of copyright holders as to those rights in a legal sense is essentially, "You may consume the work you purchase under the manner we prescribe, said prescription to be alterable or revocable at our whim, automatically revoked should we cease to renew it." That is the legality. Economically, they know that that is not viable and would result in a price more akin to the rental of a work than a purchase. So entitlements like library lending are permitted by the rights-holders, but they would argue against it if it were economically necessary.

Consider other uses of a work beyond the purchaser. I may read a book aloud to my child without special dispensation, but not, say, to passersby in Central Park. I may lend the book to my friend, or even say to everyone on my block, "my door is open, take any book you like," but I cannot say that to everyone on the Internet. Rights-holders don't want a principle involved because if there is one, the customer base can "game the system" and extend the principle to make rampant non-revenue-generating consumption possible.

Now, a philosophically astute pirate might then say, "OK, rights-holders, since you're not operating on principle and just acting on your own interest, I will do the same and pirate your works without compunction." And then it becomes merely a question of who has the physical advantage--whether the pirate can hide better than the rights-holder can seek. Which in today's system seems to be the case, though it's a close match between the power of privacy and the power of government which leans to the side of the rights-holders.

A copyright holder certainly has the right to refuse to sell his works to libraries if he so desired. Most copyright holders know that enough people who read their books at the library will want to buy the next volume or have their own copy rather than waiting in line for the library's copy to become available to make it a financially attractive option to sell some copies to libraries.

By the same token, a library might offer a copy of Windows Vista available for loan, with the provision that it can be used on that computer so long as the disk that is loaned out is present with that computer. When the disk is returned, the borrower must stop using that piece of software.

Alan Chatham wrote:Here in the US, that's the legal difference at least. I am still kinda surprised that many libraries have CDs to borrow, since everyone I know just rips them onto their CD drives. Why the RIAA hasn't sued libraries like they have seeders is something that makes me curious.

Something that the RIAA may consider in the future.

styrofoam wrote:Am I the only person who thinks that I'll get to see the day libraries aren't able to sell the new stuff, because the content holders are too concerned about "piracy"?

Probably not. Although people who burn CD's that they borrow from the library result in less revenue for the artist, the alternative is the Apple iTunes store where hopefully the cost of a creative work is cheap enough that it may not actually be worth your time and effort to rip it off of the CD. It also gives one the satisfaction of knowing that you have provided an incentive for that artist (or author) to create more content for your enjoyment.

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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby skeptical scientist » Tue May 18, 2010 10:53 pm UTC

Sam Adams wrote:A copyright holder certainly has the right to refuse to sell his works to libraries if he so desired.

Yes and no. As long as you own the copy (and since nobody else can make copies, you start out owning all the copies, assuming you don't give others license to make copies), you can choose who to sell it to. But as soon as you sell any copies, whoever purchased that copy can turn right around and give it/sell it to a copy. (This is the doctrine of first-sale mentioned above.) So if you're trying to get consumers to buy your books or CDs, you can't stop libraries from buying and lending copies as well.

Alan Chatham wrote:Here in the US, that's the legal difference at least. I am still kinda surprised that many libraries have CDs to borrow, since everyone I know just rips them onto their CD drives. Why the RIAA hasn't sued libraries like they have seeders is something that makes me curious.

The Library isn't doing anything illegal, so the RIAA can't sue them. They could sue the people ripping the CDs onto their hard drives, if they could detect who was doing it, but since such behavior does not involve the internet, it is probably impossible for the RIAA to detect by any legal means.
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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby styrofoam » Tue May 18, 2010 11:29 pm UTC

Alan Chatham wrote:Here in America, at least, libraries are covered by the doctrine of first-sale.

This whole discussion is moot if the content is licensed, not sold.
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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby General_Norris » Mon May 24, 2010 12:03 pm UTC

skeptical scientist wrote: you can't stop libraries from buying and lending copies as well


First of all you assume that it's legal to sell it again, which is not always the case. For example, some modern videogames explicitely forbid you in the EULA (contract) to do so.

Secondly, I think that renting doesn't follow the same laws as selling, IIRC.

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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby MiB24601 » Mon May 24, 2010 8:37 pm UTC

General_Norris wrote:First of all you assume that it's legal to sell it again, which is not always the case. For example, some modern videogames explicitely forbid you in the EULA (contract) to do so.

Secondly, I think that renting doesn't follow the same laws as selling, IIRC.


Many jurisidictions do not find shrink-wrap licenses, which can include EULAs, to meet the necessary requirements or consideration to be a valid contract. Additionally, courts may find the EULA to be invalid if the transaction is closer to a sale than a license, no matter what the seller calls the transaction.

The first-sale doctrine, which is what allows an owner to sell their copy of a copyrighted work applies just as much to rentals or even to lending out materials. The important part is the disposition of the physical copy.
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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby General_Norris » Tue May 25, 2010 3:26 pm UTC

^I stand corrected. Thanks for your post, it has changed my point of view. I was told that the EULA was a contract and given that I'm pretty much your average Joe when it comes to laws I believed it. This changes my position quite a bit on some matters. Thanks, really.

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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby MiB24601 » Tue May 25, 2010 5:14 pm UTC

General_Norris wrote:^I stand corrected. Thanks for your post, it has changed my point of view. I was told that the EULA was a contract and given that I'm pretty much your average Joe when it comes to laws I believed it. This changes my position quite a bit on some matters. Thanks, really.


A EULA is a contract but not all contracts are necessarily valid.
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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby Steroid » Wed May 26, 2010 10:53 am UTC

It raises a further legal question, that if I sell chattel property (the laws are different for real estate) without having the right to do so, ought the buyer be able to either retain the property without encumberance? In other words, if you are licensed to use a product under a EULA that says you can't transfer it to me, and you do so anyway, you have violated the agreement, but I have made no agreement. Can't I sell it, reverse engineer it, and generally treat it as if it were wholly owned by me?

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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby MiB24601 » Wed May 26, 2010 11:28 am UTC

When you mention chattels, you seem to be conflating the two types of personal property (as opposed to real property, which is, as you mentioned, real estate). Personal property includes both chattels and intangible personal property. Since you are describing a real property that has an aspect that can be reverse engineered, it is covered by both types of personal property: the chattel, which is the item itself and the intangible person property, which is the intellectual property aspect.

Receiving stolen property is a crime but it requires intent.* If you received stolen property and you didn't know it was stolen, the property will be returned to the true owner. But that's the chattel aspect of personal property. If you receive a stolen chattel and it contained intangible personal property, such as a trade secret in how it was designed, the true owner may be able to prevent you from using the trade secrets that you learned during your possession of the chattel. However, trade secret cases are very fact-determinative so what exactly will happen will vary depending on the specific case, as well as the jurisdiction.

* I know you didn't mention theft but depending on the jurisdiction, transferring a chattel that you don't have the right to transfer may be theft.

Anyway, the answer to your questions is: "it depends on the jurisdiction, it depends on the contract and it depends on the intangible personal property involved." However, my broad, general answer is no, you can't treat the property as if you owned it because you weren't actually the true owner, although you didn't know that at the time.
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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby lu6cifer » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:43 pm UTC

To answer the OP, the main distinction between a library and scanning a book for torrenting is the morality of your action, and the morality depends on your intent. Buying a book and scanning it for distribution is just as immoral as borrowing a library book for the same purpose, but it's permissible to borrow a book for one's own use. Similarly, with borrowed CDs, it's the same situation--your intent determines your morality. If you check out CDs only to listen, and not to rip and distribute to others, then that's okay.
Although I'm a bit conflicted on ripping CDs that you bought yourself and distributing the MP3s to others. On one hand, you're giving people music that they haven't paid for, but on the other hand, you paid for the CD and you should be allowed to determine what to do with it...
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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby ikrase » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:58 pm UTC

I myself do not believe in the concept of intellectual property. I see all memorization and duplication of knowledge acceptable. My guess as to libraries and torrents is that a library is sharply limited in it's ability to rapidly transfer a work. With electronics though, memorization and copying are blurred.
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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby Cleverbeans » Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:43 am UTC

ikrase wrote:I myself do not believe in the concept of intellectual property. I see all memorization and duplication of knowledge acceptable.


Ditto, it's an antiquated concept that only serves to hinder the human endeavor and exposes the main failure of capitalism, which is that intellectual achievement cannot be rewarded without artificially restricting it's supply through the use of force.
"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." - Abraham Lincoln

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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby General_Norris » Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:46 am UTC

ikrase wrote:I myself do not believe in the concept of intellectual property. I see all memorization and duplication of knowledge acceptable.

So it's impossible to be a writer anymore since you can't win the money you need to eat through your job.

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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby morriswalters » Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:04 pm UTC

Since I am basically amoral and am only concerned with how any event will affect those things I consider important, I don't mind "stealing" someones work.

On the other hand since I'm greedy I want to get something for anything I do. I do not believe in philanthropy. Therefore how do you reconcile those two positions?

The only assumption here is that to get money you must work at something, and that in this society you need money to live.

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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby ++$_ » Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:16 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Therefore how do you reconcile those two positions?
Who says they are reconcilable?

You can't have things for free, and have their creators get paid. That's just an impossibility.

If the consumers of creative works spend a certain amount of money on them, then the producers of creative works will earn exactly that same amount of money. It's possible to distribute the spending and earning in many different ways among the various consumers and producers, but the fact is that consumers pay exactly the same amount as producers receive.

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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby morriswalters » Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:39 pm UTC

I don't say they are reconcilable, This is my restatement of the two opposing thoughts.

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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby styrofoam » Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:13 pm UTC

General_Norris wrote:So it's impossible to be a writer anymore since you can't win the money you need to eat through your job.

Net Nocessarilly. How about paying for the production up-front, like some F/L/OSS projects have started to do (bounties).

This solves many problems:
1) A story is never a financial failure, since it has already been paid for. If it sucks, people will simply not fund the author again.
2) Copyright can now be eliminated. By extension, so is piracy and DRM.
3) A hit cannot set an author for life. The author needs to continue being a productive member of society (if only by continuing to write).
4) No more publishing companies. The story can move naturally (many, price-competing, printing companies, the internet, photocopying, word-of-mouth). You'll still get advertising companies, to emmass funding with teasers.
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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby morriswalters » Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:33 am UTC

styrofoam wrote:
This solves many problems:
1) A story is never a financial failure, since it has already been paid for. If it sucks, people will simply not fund the author again.
2) Copyright can now be eliminated. By extension, so is piracy and DRM.
3) A hit cannot set an author for life. The author needs to continue being a productive member of society (if only by continuing to write).
4) No more publishing companies. The story can move naturally (many, price-competing, printing companies, the internet, photocopying, word-of-mouth). You'll still get advertising companies, to emmass funding with teasers.

I argue that this implies bias. The bias exists because it gives preference to those activities which are difficult or impossible to produce digitally.

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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby Glass Fractal » Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:01 am UTC

styrofoam wrote:
General_Norris wrote:So it's impossible to be a writer anymore since you can't win the money you need to eat through your job.

Net Nocessarilly. How about paying for the production up-front, like some F/L/OSS projects have started to do (bounties).

This solves many problems:
1) A story is never a financial failure, since it has already been paid for. If it sucks, people will simply not fund the author again.
2) Copyright can now be eliminated. By extension, so is piracy and DRM.
3) A hit cannot set an author for life. The author needs to continue being a productive member of society (if only by continuing to write).
4) No more publishing companies. The story can move naturally (many, price-competing, printing companies, the internet, photocopying, word-of-mouth). You'll still get advertising companies, to emmass funding with teasers.


What do you mean by paying for the production up front? Like people commission stories from authors?

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styrofoam
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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby styrofoam » Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:45 pm UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:
styrofoam wrote:Net Nocessarilly. How about paying for the production up-front, like some F/L/OSS projects have started to do (bounties).

This solves many problems:
1) A story is never a financial failure, since it has already been paid for. If it sucks, people will simply not fund the author again.
2) Copyright can now be eliminated. By extension, so is piracy and DRM.
3) A hit cannot set an author for life. The author needs to continue being a productive member of society (if only by continuing to write).
4) No more publishing companies. The story can move naturally (many, price-competing, printing companies, the internet, photocopying, word-of-mouth). You'll still get advertising companies, to emmass funding with teasers.


What do you mean by paying for the production up front? Like people commission stories from authors?

Yep.
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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby ikrase » Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:31 pm UTC

So it's impossible to be a writer anymore since you can't win the money you need to eat through your job.


My ideology does not exist in a vacuum, apparently
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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby Turtlewing » Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:50 pm UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:
styrofoam wrote:
General_Norris wrote:So it's impossible to be a writer anymore since you can't win the money you need to eat through your job.

Net Nocessarilly. How about paying for the production up-front, like some F/L/OSS projects have started to do (bounties).

This solves many problems:
1) A story is never a financial failure, since it has already been paid for. If it sucks, people will simply not fund the author again.
2) Copyright can now be eliminated. By extension, so is piracy and DRM.
3) A hit cannot set an author for life. The author needs to continue being a productive member of society (if only by continuing to write).
4) No more publishing companies. The story can move naturally (many, price-competing, printing companies, the internet, photocopying, word-of-mouth). You'll still get advertising companies, to emmass funding with teasers.


What do you mean by paying for the production up front? Like people commission stories from authors?


You could publish a pitch for your project (say on the internet), then collect donations. When the donations total at least a minimum amount you finish the project and either sell it or release it for free. You can also provide inscentives for those who contribute based on how much they contribute.

There have been musicians, and authors who've sucessfully used this buisness model. I believe there are web services that are designed to allow you to do exactely this (though they may take a percentage or something similar).

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styrofoam
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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby styrofoam » Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:59 pm UTC

@Turtlewing, myself, Glass Fractal, and General_Norris

Perhaps we can make a new thread for the discussion of copyright-less creative moneymaking.

Do so if you like, but do not continue with it here.

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Re: Piracy and Libraries

Postby El Spark » Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:55 pm UTC

I work at a library, so I might have a couple of tidbits to throw into this discussion:

When we show a movie, we have to make sure that it falls under our movie license. We buy/renew a license each year, and it allows us to show certain movies at our facility. If we want to show a movie, we have to check and see if it falls under that license; if it does, we're golden. We can show the movie and advertise that we're showing that movie, as long as we're not making a direct profit (we can't sell tickets, but indirect profits related to increased circulation are okay).

Now as far as I know, we don't require a similar license for music CDs, though we probably would if we were going to put on an Evening of Tchaikovsky or something using the media from the collection. As others have pointed out in this thread, it's the difference between us displaying the media ourselves and us buying it just to lend to people.

Hope that helped!
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