Ghostbear wrote:You've said multiple times in this thread and others something along the lines of "almost everyone", and I take issue with it; nowhere near "almost everyone" that I interact with, or has posted here, or that I hear from, thinks piracy is a problem that needs a legislative solution- either because they feel it isn't a problem or they feel it's a problem not can be solved in any acceptable manner through legal action. I don't think we need to do a damn thing to punish or prevent piracy from a legal standpoint. To me, all of these bills- even the one's that aren't as toxically shitty as SOPA- are a hammer looking for a nail. Studies detailing the effects of piracy on businesses are mixed at best, and overall provide no consistency for the doom and gloom numbers. It might be an overall net negative, sure- but the evidence I've seen over the years provides no clear picture of something having a major negative impact. Some studies show a positive effect, some show a neutral, and some show a negative. Not all of those studies are perfect, but so long as I ignore the horrible BS paid for by the RIAA/MPAA/similar groups, no overall conclusion seems to rear its head in amount that I'd be confident in. Countries with weaker copyright protection laws (to my knowledge that includes: the entire rest of the planet) haven't all imploded into a death spiral because of it.
In short, maybe it is a problem, but it's not something we need to be wasting time trying to fix legislatively. I don't think any good (as in, with no or practically no room for abuse) law can be crafted to "solve" piracy. If such a law could be crafted, i do not think it would necessarily be worth passing. Saying that we need to do something about piracy is, to me, a big part of the problem why we end up with them attempting to pass laws like this: any copyright law passed in the US is going to be one that the major media companies will have their tendrils buried deeply in. Doing nothing is something I very much believe is a better option than doing something, because doing something has so little potential upside to it, while having so many ways it can be fucked up.
I can't think of a previous law attempting to prevent or lower piracy that hasn't made things worse overall: why should we keep trying for more?
While I agree that the MPAA / RIAA are a bunch of turds, I've made my point clear where I stand on the piracy issue. Professional pieces of software get pirated all the time, and people excuse themselves because of the price ($500+ for Video Editing software, going up to $4000 or so for 3d Studio Max). However, by pirating you overall harm the legitimate pieces of software that are tailored for you.
Take for example the Blender community. As an open source product, their model is to give away their 3d Modeler for free. Its a decent piece of software, harder to use than 3D studio max but certainly has its uses. By pirating 3D Studio Max, you are not only hurting the company (and arguably "stealing" $3,500), you fail to participate in the free communities like the Blender Community. From feature requests, tracking bugs, finding new uses of the software and so forth, the Blender Community benefits when people use their software. Basically, there is a product and a willing community waiting to accept you if you don't want to pay the exorbitant amounts of money that Audodesk charges for 3D Studio Max.
Certainly, copyright infringement is not necessarily as wrong as other wrongs, and IMO, the country's current situation overly enforces copyright. But just taking the high-cost products hurts everyone. The developers of 3D Studio don't get the money they righteously deserve, and the programs designed for hobbyists that are at a lower price point suffer as they don't get customers. (Or in the case of Blender... which is free... they suffer from one less member in their community). With literally free software floating around, it is very hard to see how anyone can defend acts of piracy towards Computer Programs.
For most applications, you've got an Open Source alternative. Why pirate Photoshop when you can legally use The Gimp? Why pirate 3d Studio Max when you can use Blender? Why pirate Windows when you can use Linux? And if you feel that the costly program is superior to the open source alternative, then why didn't you pay for it? The worst choice in all of this is to just pirate the software, since if you participate in the free software communities... those free tools will improve. Much like how Linux is going toe-to-toe against Windows in the server market (ex: Wikipedia and Google use Linux IIRC), and Linux on Cell Phones is the most popular platform (Android), if you truly believe in freedom of information and free software, then you should
support the free software movements.
First Strike +1/+1 and Indestructible.