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torrents are destroying the world

This is a discussion on torrents are destroying the world within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; How about this - they don't lose exclusive distribution *rights*, but they lost exclusive distribution, which their *rights* to enable ...

  1. #61
    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    How about this - they don't lose exclusive distribution *rights*, but they lost exclusive distribution, which their *rights* to enable them to get back through legal remediation.
    Yes! I was trying to figure out what word to substitute instead of "rights" so as to fit your analogy, but it turns out the solution is to drop the word entirely.

    EDIT:
    Then again, it still sounds a little awkward, but never mind, it would be pointless to continue trying to find something that describes the situation even better.
    Last edited by laserlight; 07-09-2008 at 08:53 AM.
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  2. #62
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trennto View Post
    However, thinking that piracy is not theft is nonsense.

    Piracy is not the same as stealing. When you steal something you deprive the rightful owner of the use of that item. When you pirate something you do not deprive the owner of the use of that material. You perhaps diminish the comparative advantage they have in extracting profit form the item, btu the intrinsic value of the item adn its usefullness are not diinished. Therefore IP Piracy, while still a crime is not the same as stealing.

    If I steal your car, the harm to you is that you no longer can use your car. If I make an exact copy of your car, you are not harmed in any way. The car manufacturer may or may not be harmed depending on whether I woudl have bougth a car had I not been able to recieve one for the cost of copying yours. In the majority of cases, they are not harmed. Most people who pirate software, particularly high end software, would not buy it if they coudl not get it free, therefore the owner of the IP is not harmed by loss of a sale, since no sale would have taken place. There is some evidence that limited piracy actually benefits the market increasing the penetration of the most useful software. When a potential future customer can get any software for free, they will end up using the one that is most useful to them. Their future purchase of the software will be based on this experience. So while a 14 year old that downlaods a copy of Adobe Photoshop may nto buy it today, they will be more familair with it so when they are 24 and making the purchasing decision for their company, they are more likely to select the software they are familiar with.

    Similar market forces play out with music piracy as well. I bought more music when the original Napster was running than I have before or since. I honestly don't have the time or the money to buy every album by every artist ive ever herd of just to find those songs that I enjoy. Npaster let me downlaod a lto fo songs, and then then I could buy the albums they came form knowing that I was getting the song I wanted.
    Last edited by abachler; 07-09-2008 at 09:37 AM.
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  3. #63
    Registered User Trennto's Avatar
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    So while a 14 year old that downlaods a copy of Adobe Photoshop may nto buy it today, they will be more familair with it so when they are 24 and making the purchasing decision for their company, they are more likely to select the software they are familiar with.
    The problem is that you cant be sure he'll buy it in the future, he could just download it too (He's done it before with no problems, so why waste his money now?). That's how the "affected morality" bit comes into play. Most people don't just download one thing from Adobe, they keep downloading because mediums like torrents make it so easy.

    I realize you said, "for their company". In that case it makes sense, but more software is bought for residential use than for company use (especially games and music).
    Last edited by Trennto; 07-09-2008 at 09:51 AM.
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  4. #64
    Registered User Trennto's Avatar
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    Here's something interesting. I looked up "stealing" on dictionary.com. It has a few definitions, here are the two most important:

    sto·len, steal·ing, noun
    –verb
    1. to take (the property of another or others) without permission or right, esp. secretly or by force: A pickpocket stole his watch.
    2. to appropriate (ideas, credit, words, etc.) without right or acknowledgment.

    The first one is different from piracy, but the second.... not so much. To appropriate (take for yourself) one's ideas, credit, words, ect. That means someone's software too. According to this, copyright infringement or piracy IS stealing
    "Never be afraid to try, remember...
    Amateurs built the ark
    Professionals built the Titanic" - Unknown

    "If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging." - Will Rogers

    "The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese" - Steven Wright

  5. #65
    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trennto View Post
    Here's something interesting. I looked up "stealing" on dictionary.com. It has a few definitions, here are the two most important:

    sto·len, steal·ing, noun
    –verb
    1. to take (the property of another or others) without permission or right, esp. secretly or by force: A pickpocket stole his watch.
    2. to appropriate (ideas, credit, words, etc.) without right or acknowledgment.

    The first one is different from piracy, but the second.... not so much. To appropriate (take for yourself) one's ideas, credit, words, ect. That means someone's software too. According to this, copyright infringement or piracy IS stealing
    The second one is a new definition, and not appropriate for use when discussing the legal/moral definition of an act. The act of takign ideas without credit is Plagiarism, not stealing. So in this case callign it stealign is incorrect, or at least an oversimplification.
    Last edited by abachler; 07-09-2008 at 10:08 AM.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

  6. #66
    Registered User Trennto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abachler View Post
    The second one is a new definition, and not appropriate for use when discussing the legal/moral definition of an act. The act of takign ideas without credit is Plagiarism, not stealing. So in this case callign it stealign is incorrect, or at least an oversimplification.
    Your need proof if you want to call the dictionary a liar
    "Never be afraid to try, remember...
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    Professionals built the Titanic" - Unknown

    "If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging." - Will Rogers

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  7. #67
    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Your need proof if you want to call the dictionary a liar
    abachler is not saying that the dictionary is giving false information with that definition, but that that definition is new and thus inappropriate.

    I am not sure how new is that definition, but I can say that that definition is colloquial. In other words, when you accuse someone who plagiarised your work as guilty of stealing your work, you do not (formally) mean that that person is guilty of a crime that involves theft, but that the plagiarism is akin to theft. If this is what you meant when you stated that "pirating is theft, that's all", then that is acceptable, in my opinion. In the same way, some people say that eating "meat is murder", even though it is not murder in the legal sense.
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  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trennto View Post
    Here's something interesting. I looked up "stealing" on dictionary.com. It has a few definitions, here are the two most important:

    sto·len, steal·ing, noun
    –verb
    1. to take (the property of another or others) without permission or right, esp. secretly or by force: A pickpocket stole his watch.
    2. to appropriate (ideas, credit, words, etc.) without right or acknowledgment.

    The first one is different from piracy, but the second.... not so much. To appropriate (take for yourself) one's ideas, credit, words, ect. That means someone's software too. According to this, copyright infringement or piracy IS stealing
    This is using laymans terms - I doubt this came from a legal-terms dictionary, correct?

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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trennto View Post
    However, thinking that piracy is not theft is nonsense.
    The legal system disagrees with you. Theft is a crime, for which you can do jail time. Certain forms of copyright infringement are also criminal, but this is a different crime -- and copyright infringement on the scale of a home user rarely falls into the criminal category. I don't see how you can claim it is "theft" when you cannot possibly be sent to jail for it.

    There are many ways to steal, it doesn't just have to be taking away someone's possession's literally. In this case, a product was illegally duplicated, which in a way simulates the act of actually taking it from the store. Someone still has something that belongs to someone else without paying for it.
    No. What the person now has is a copy of the software they have no legal right to use. The owner of the software still possesses the copyright. We own COPYRIGHTS, not instances of digital data. The law is extremely clear about this.
    Code:
    //try
    //{
    	if (a) do { f( b); } while(1);
    	else   do { f(!b); } while(1);
    //}

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by medievalelks View Post
    Is it theft to steal a print of the Mona Lisa, even though another duplicate can be produced?
    Yes, because the print is a physical object. Removing it from its rightful owner is theft. It has nothing to do with the nature of the object. This isn't really a relevant argument.
    Code:
    //try
    //{
    	if (a) do { f( b); } while(1);
    	else   do { f(!b); } while(1);
    //}

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by medievalelks View Post
    What do you call it when you take something that is for sale without paying for it?
    It depends what that "something" is. If it's a physical object, it's theft. If it is a duplicate of some digital data which is under copyright and you have no license to use, it's copyright infringement. I don't think anybody here is arguing that either one of these activities is okay. But refusing to acknowledge the difference in both a practical and legal sense is just sticking your head in the sand.

    If you were a prosecutor in a courtroom prosecuting a case of criminal copyright infringement, and you referred to the act as "theft" you would receive a reprimand from the judge, the comment would be struck from the record, and the case would possibly mistrial, depending on the stage.

    Usually, computer programmers are good at understanding these sorts of small but important distinctions. I don't know why so many people get confused about this one.
    Code:
    //try
    //{
    	if (a) do { f( b); } while(1);
    	else   do { f(!b); } while(1);
    //}

  12. #72
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by medievalelks View Post
    Knowingly receiving illegally obtained property is not illegal?
    Under the assumption that I know that the uploader doesn't have the right to upload the file (which is probably reasonable in the case of music), you might be able to get me for assistance in the crime, but I don't think so. I'm not assisting the uploader's action by downloading the file. The criminal act is making the file available for download, not actually transferring the data.

    Although - it is an interesting aspect to consider.
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  13. #73
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    I wouldn't touch a torrent with a fictional ten foot stick. I hear they are usually fixed with viruses and after losing a hard drive to a trojan I'd rather never risk it.

  14. #74
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    >>Although - it is an interesting aspect to consider.

    I believe the key reasoning here is that the copyright holder may wish to distribute his property on the internet. If we assume that downloading copyrighted material was infringement then people who legally obtained something through the Web could be prosecuted. That ignores rights the holder could waive if they offered such a service -- "we grant you permission ... and waive any legal standing to a claim." But such a waiver would have to be granted implicitly anyhow.

    I'm not sure if it's a valid parallel but consider loaning anything to a friend -- a book. Despite the fact that you bought the book, your friend attained it from you without violating copyright. This is different from your friend starting his own distribution service after obtaining the book, violating publisher copyright because new copies of the book were created in some format.

    I think this is how the American law is looking at digital piracy but IANAL (yet). Individuals who upload digital content become unliscensed distributors.
    Last edited by whiteflags; 07-09-2008 at 11:58 AM.

  15. #75
    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    I asked my law student friend, and while he's not authoritative by any means, he agrees with me that a pure downloader cannot be prosecuted under Austrian law.
    All the buzzt!
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    "There is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be, any programming language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad code."
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