Cyber Piracy


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Blackwater OPS
September 27, 2008, 05:38 AM
Seems to be on the rise. One might wonder if it is related to the decline of classic American values and morality. Parasitic thieves that were once a small sub-group of the population now seems to be everywhere in overwhelming numbers. I can only hope that some will have the courage to call these people out for what they are, and refuse to aid and abet them.

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harmonic
September 27, 2008, 10:02 AM
Well, would you like to be a bit more surreptitious and vague?

Kevin108
September 27, 2008, 11:36 AM
http://homepage.mac.com/simx/technonova/C1700219634/E20060919035143/index.html

There is a big difference between what is now known as "piracy" and stealing. Stealing does constitute a direct loss of sales for a company. Stealing entails physically going to a store, taking something off a shelf, and walking out of the store without paying for it. In doing so, the thief takes tangible goods out of the store. It cost the company something to manufacture the packaging, to burn the CD, and to ship it to the store. Furthermore, the removal of that item from the store's shelf means that another potential customer may come in and find the shelf empty, in which case that potential customer will be unable to buy the product. The result of this is that the customer may end up buying a different product simply because the store was sold out of the original item. In this case, the thief has a direct, tangible effect on the revenues of a company.

Piracy is a totally different thing. With piracy, the pirate sits in his chair at his computer, looks on file sharing services for a copy of the full version of the software, and usually waits a few hours for it to download. It's true that the pirate is getting goods without paying for them, and that it's a morally unacceptable action. But that doesn't mean that he cost the company any money.

See, when a pirate downloads a full version of a piece of software, the pirate isn't leeching bandwidth from the company's servers. The pirate has to download the software from some other person who has already purchased it. So bandwidth costs because of the pirate are zero for the company. Furthermore, the pirate isn't depriving any other potential customer of the game: he has not physically removed a copy of the software from a store shelf. There's no loss of sale for the company there, either. Finally, the software company paid absolutely nothing for the packaging or manufacturing of the product. Given the nature of computer software, it was downloaded from someone else's computer; so no manufacturing was needed.

It could be argued that piracy amounts to lost sales because a pirate would be motivated to buy the software if he couldn't download it. However, given that pirates go out of their way to search the internet for pirated copies and to wait for the software to finish downloading, it's still highly unlikely that they would have ever bought the software, whatever the circumstances. Pirates don't want to go to the store, and they don't want to pay money for software. So this can't be legitimately construed as a loss of revenue.

It's unfortunate that groups like the RIAA and other software companies equate piracy with stealing. They are different, and people need to understand this. They are not the same thing. Piracy is not stealing. Piracy is simply downloading without authorization. There is no loss of revenue, and there is no loss of other potential customers.

Old Fuff
September 27, 2008, 11:53 AM
Piracy is simply downloading without authorization. There is no loss of revenue, and there is no loss of other potential customers.

What if the "pirate" then provides copies of the software to others for free? Each copy represents the loss of a sale to the software's rightful owner. In any context, the pirate is illegally obtaining a free copy of someone else's property. Stealing after all, is stealing - regardless of the method that's used.

And if others see the pirate's action as being justifiable, I would say that Blackwater OPS is right.

Kevin108
September 27, 2008, 12:08 PM
What if the "pirate" then provides copies of the software to others for free? Each copy represents the loss of a sale to the software's rightful owner.

This assumes that someone who would obtain the software illegally for free would also purchase the software for a sum of money. Often this isn't the case. Software pirates by their very definition do not purchase software. You can't look at them as potential customers who instead stole a product. They were never going to buy it in the first place.

There is definitely a generation gap to some degree when it comes to morals. Your great grandfather was probably fine with owning slaves. Today, obviously, things are different. The younger generations see pirating software or sharing music simply as making a copy. To them it is a victimless crime. And a crime without a victim is hardly a crime at all.

But no, I don't think pirating software is "right". Absolutely, it is morally wrong and legally dubious.

Old Fuff
September 27, 2008, 12:25 PM
They were never going to buy it in the first place.

Ah... Now I understand...

So if you want something, but don't intend to buy it, It's O.K. to steal it instead.

No one suffers any loss and software publishers shouldn't object if those who don't want to spend the money simply (and illegally) download a free copy.

Sounds like a good reason for software, music, etc. writers to simply stop creating the products. They could then go out of business and the priates would be left with nothing more to download.

I hope you realize that those that do buy software, music (or whatever) pay a higher price as the seller seeks to cover his/her losses.

Those that are creative expect to support themselves by selling what they create. Those that steal copies are doing exactly that - stealing.

Old Fuff
September 27, 2008, 01:25 PM
kingjoey:

This thread is about the right or wrong of illegally downloading software, music (or whatever) over the Internet, not stealing websites which is another matter. Please read the first two posts and refrain from going in an unrelated direction.

kingjoey
September 27, 2008, 01:28 PM
kingjoey:

This thread is about the right or wrong of illegally downloading software, music (or whatever) over the Internet, not stealing websites which is another matter. Please read the first two posts and refrain from going in an unrelated direction.

I see no mention of that in the OP.

Old Fuff
September 27, 2008, 01:39 PM
I should have included post #3, and this quote:

There is a big difference between what is now known as "piracy" and stealing. Stealing does constitute a direct loss of sales for a company. Stealing entails physically going to a store, taking something off a shelf, and walking out of the store without paying for it. In doing so, the thief takes tangible goods out of the store. It cost the company something to manufacture the packaging, to burn the CD, and to ship it to the store. Furthermore, the removal of that item from the store's shelf means that another potential customer may come in and find the shelf empty, in which case that potential customer will be unable to buy the product. The result of this is that the customer may end up buying a different product simply because the store was sold out of the original item. In this case, the thief has a direct, tangible effect on the revenues of a company.

Piracy is a totally different thing. With piracy, the pirate sits in his chair at his computer, looks on file sharing services for a copy of the full version of the software, and usually waits a few hours for it to download. It's true that the pirate is getting goods without paying for them, and that it's a morally unacceptable action. But that doesn't mean that he cost the company any money.

See, when a pirate downloads a full version of a piece of software, the pirate isn't leeching bandwidth from the company's servers. The pirate has to download the software from some other person who has already purchased it. So bandwidth costs because of the pirate are zero for the company. Furthermore, the pirate isn't depriving any other potential customer of the game: he has not physically removed a copy of the software from a store shelf. There's no loss of sale for the company there, either. Finally, the software company paid absolutely nothing for the packaging or manufacturing of the product. Given the nature of computer software, it was downloaded from someone else's computer; so no manufacturing was needed.

It could be argued that piracy amounts to lost sales because a pirate would be motivated to buy the software if he couldn't download it. However, given that pirates go out of their way to search the internet for pirated copies and to wait for the software to finish downloading, it's still highly unlikely that they would have ever bought the software, whatever the circumstances. Pirates don't want to go to the store, and they don't want to pay money for software. So this can't be legitimately construed as a loss of revenue.

It's unfortunate that groups like the RIAA and other software companies equate piracy with stealing. They are different, and people need to understand this. They are not the same thing. Piracy is not stealing. Piracy is simply downloading without authorization. There is no loss of revenue, and there is no loss of other potential customers.

This was the priacy the original post was refering too.

Kevin108
September 27, 2008, 01:43 PM
I hope you realize that those that do buy software, music (or whatever) pay a higher price as the seller seeks to cover his/her losses.

That's the argument from the seller, but the fact of the matter is pirates are not customers. You can't base a business around what you don't sell.

Say you go into Blockbuster, look around to see what's new, and leave without buying anything. You then go home and download one of the movies you thought looked interesting. Blockbuster didn't incur a loss. You were never going to buy anything from them to begin with. You are not a customer. No income will ever be realized or lost from you, so no business operation can be based upon your actions.

Say I make video games for a living. I know that if I do my best and put out a good game, most people will pay for it. Some people will pirate it. If I want to make money, I do the smart thing and focus on the people who will purchase my game. They are the source of money. They are the customers. They are who I am making the game for. I'm not making the game for pirates any more than I would be making a game for people who don't play video games.

I do want to reiterate that while I don't agree with piracy, I understand the thought process.

Old Fuff
September 27, 2008, 01:54 PM
I do want to reiterate that while I don't agree with piracy, I understand the thought process.

Ya. It's the same thought process that cause supermarkets (and other retailers) to up prices to cover shoplifting losses. But in this instance the piracy is being done over the Internet, rather then at the retailer.

JDoe
September 27, 2008, 01:57 PM
Seems to me that some companies have done rather well for themselves by acknowledging that despite best efforts piracy will happen.

Microsoft appears to have worked the piracy of it's software into it's business plan with reasonably good results. Why would a poor kid with no money buy a $500 piece of software when they can just make a copy of a copy that their school buddy has? Later in life when that kid is running their own business or is hired into the workforce the business has a lot of good reasons to only allow legal copies of software to be used. Microsoft has the advantage in being picked because everyone is familiar with it. Microsoft: 1 Competitors: 0

My best guess is that the companies that survive have done the research to determine roughly at least how much of their software is going to be pirated and how much is going to be purchased and then base their business plans on that research.

Anyone that goes into business without researching all aspects of the proposed business deserves to fail. A business that doesn't change their business plan in response to changing conditions, circumstances and environments also deserves to fail. Those old geezers that don't know how to turn on a computer that were/are running music companies deserve what they get if they are too lazy to investigate and research new technologies that might impact their business model.

Piracy and theft are a reality in this world and the world of our parents and their ancestors. About the only thing we can depend upon is human nature and that isn't always pretty.

Nothing has changed.

Kevin108
September 27, 2008, 02:18 PM
I don't think you can really compare software piracy to shoplifting because if you don't want to pay for a steak, you can't walk into a grocery store, make an exact copy of a steak, and steal the copy. With shoplifting you steal a tangible item. With piracy, you just take a copy and there are infinite more copies to go around.

Piracy and shoplifting are morally the same, but different in almost every other aspect.

Old Fuff
September 27, 2008, 03:40 PM
Nothing has changed.

I disagee, and I can look back as far as the late 1940's.

There is more of a "something for nothing" attitude, along with "everybody else is doing it, why can't I". Mybe it's part of the entitlement idea, where everybody has a right to have whatever they want, regardless of ability to pay. They seem to feel that it's O.K. to steal (and this is stealing) so long as nobody gets hurt or it won't cost them anything - and besides I want it, but I don't want to spend the money if I can get it for nothing.

Never mind that someone spent a lot of time and money to make whatever is the object of their attention. Since they wouldn't have gotten any money from me anyway it's not wrong to just take it... And I can (probably) get away with it.

They can always find some justification (they're rich and I'm poor) or excuse (one little download won't hurt anybody) even though those "one little downloads" happen hundreds if not thousands of times.

If you can't (or won't) pay for it you have no right to have it. In my generation most people accepted that - but not now.

Art Eatman
September 27, 2008, 03:41 PM
Radio stations pay fees for the music to which you listen for "free" and eventually the musicians get royalties. Nightclubs pay fees to ASCAP, etc., for the musicians who are booked to play, and royalties go to the songwriters.

You download music for "free" and the musicians and songwriters get nothing.

Call it whatever you want.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
September 27, 2008, 05:29 PM
That's what I call it.

RNB65
September 27, 2008, 05:47 PM
I can only hope that some will have the courage to call these people out for what they are, and refuse to aid and abet them.

Not to mention that such acts are a federal crime under sections 15 U.S.C. 1125(d) (Cyberpiracy prevention) and 18 U.S.C. 1030 (Fraud and related activity in connection with computers) of the US Code. Most states have similar provisions in their state codes.

Blackwater OPS
September 27, 2008, 06:17 PM
I don't think you can really compare software piracy to shoplifting because if you don't want to pay for a steak, you can't walk into a grocery store, make an exact copy of a steak, and steal the copy. With shoplifting you steal a tangible item. With piracy, you just take a copy and there are infinite more copies to go around.


You can't make infinite copies of the song, the number of possible copies would be limited by available storage space and processing power. In any case though, that's not the point. You can make practically unlimited copies of a steer as well, but the production takes time and money. The only difference between a steer and a song is the the production costs of the steer are more spread out, while once a song recorded and mastered reproduction costs very little.

Using your example of meat, if you go onto a ranch and take a newborn calf that was just birthed, are you stealing? After all, you are just taking a copy and the calf has not cost the owner anything yet right?

You are depriving the rightful owner of a property of his/her potential profits from that lawfully owned property. It's the same thing as stealing because it is stealing.

Just because music is digitized and not "tangible" does not lesson the crime either, I'm sure if you worked long and hard on a design or invention, and someone hacked your computer and took it, you would be pretty pissed.

And yes, if you hijack someone's website with the intent to personally profit from it, that is stealing as well, and obviously a violation of federal law.

Tully M. Pick
September 27, 2008, 07:03 PM
Using your example of meat, if you go onto a ranch and take a newborn calf that was just birthed, are you stealing? After all, you are just taking a copy and the calf has not cost the owner anything yet right?

No, you still don't get it. What does the ranch owner lose if I never planned to buy the steer? So if I make an exact copy of his steer using magic, and he still has his steer, what is he out? The seller isn't out sales, because pirates were never going to buy what they're selling in the first place.

It's not theft, it's violating copyright. It's not even in the same arena. A good example of this is the DRM in the video game Spore, which was recently released. You buy the game, so it's yours, right?

Wrong.

You're only allowed to install it three times, and then you're screwed. You'd think you were the rightful owner of something you purchased, wouldn't you? Not in this case. If I get a patch so I can install it DRM-free, then I'm a criminal? Ridiculous.

If I make a copy of a song I own for my own use, I'm breaking the law. Ridiculous.

If I make a copy of a DVD so my 4-year-old son doesn't destroy the original, I'm breaking the law. Ridiculous.

If you can't (or won't) pay for it you have no right to have it. In my generation most people accepted that - but not now.

Are you a Boomer? It would be funny to have a Boomer lecturing anyone on having an ingrained sense of entitlement.

Eric F
September 27, 2008, 07:23 PM
If I make a copy of a song I own for my own use, I'm breaking the law. Ridiculous.

If I make a copy of a DVD so my 4-year-old son doesn't destroy the original, I'm breaking the law. Ridiculous.
NOT SO.

You coppied it for personal use thats allowed. Its when you copy it and spread it around for free or sale thats a problem.

General Geoff
September 27, 2008, 07:33 PM
Copyright infringement is not theft. they are two completely different things. This is what we call weasel wording, folks who are fighting anti-gun sentiment should know all about it.

Is swiping a book out of the library the same as making photocopies of all the pages? No. Is examining a sweater your friend bought, and then knitting a duplicate for yourself stealing? No.

Copyright infringement is illegal and morally questionable (at best), but it is NOT theft. To say otherwise is to dilute the meaning of theft.

blkbrd666
September 27, 2008, 07:33 PM
WHAT THE F..........are you guys talking about piracy of music and video games that contain gun related content??? Or is this just an experiment to see how long an off topic post lasts now?

Blackwater OPS
September 27, 2008, 07:33 PM
No, you still don't get it. What does the ranch owner lose if I never planned to buy the steer? So if I make an exact copy of his steer using magic, and he still has his steer, what is he out? The seller isn't out sales, because pirates were never going to buy what they're selling in the first place.

I don't think morality is your problem, but I think you are missing a solid grasp of economics. There are only so many customers for a particular product, even if you magically replicate the steer 100 times, you are diminishing the market for the original steer owned by the rancher. Since you cannot make a steer out of nothing (although we are assuming you can magically duplicate one) the copies of the steer (though they were free to make) DO have a value. The value equals the cost of creating and maintaining the original steer, divided by the estimated number of copies that could be made and sold from it, plus the maximum market value of each copy of the steer (assuming the steer is somewhat unique and desirable by some group).

It is illogical to assume that a pirate would not have paid for a copy of the product he/she is pirating if he/she is willing to pirate it. Obviously there is some desire for the product, and thus there is a some price the person would be willing to pay for it if it was not available free through piracy.

It's not theft, it's violating copyright. It's not even in the same arena.

If you take something that belongs to someone without their permission, it's theft. Whether that thing is a tangible thing, an idea, or even an image, does not matter.

A good example of this is the DRM in the video game Spore, which was recently released. You buy the game, so it's yours, right?

Wrong. You are licensing the game, NOT purchasing it.

You're only allowed to install it three times, and then you're screwed. You'd think you were the rightful owner of something you purchased, wouldn't you? Not in this case.

Exactly, not in this case. If you get a license to hunt deer do you then own all the deer in the forest? You only get one copy of the game (or three?), whatever the terms of the license.

If I make a copy of a song I own for my own use, I'm breaking the law. Ridiculous.

If I make a copy of a DVD so my 4-year-old son doesn't destroy the original, I'm breaking the law. Ridiculous.

Actually in either of these cases (keeping mind I am no lawyer nor am I giving legal advice) I think you would be ok, making a back-up copy for personal use in generally ok under the laws as I understand it. Keep in ming though, you don't own the media, you own the copy. If you make another copy for commercial gain, you stole it.

zxcvbob
September 27, 2008, 07:35 PM
WHAT THE F..........are you guys talking about piracy of music and video games that contain gun related content??? Or is this just an experiment to see how long an off topic post lasts now?
I think it was supposed to be a metaphor and it sort of got away.

General Geoff
September 27, 2008, 07:38 PM
If you take something that belongs to someone without their permission, it's theft. Whether that thing is a tangible thing, an idea, or even an image, does not matter.

I think I have to hit the restroom. OH NOES I'm STEALING! Obviously that idea has belonged to countless others in the past. It's not stealing. Nor would it be stealing if somehow that idea was copyrighted.

JShirley
September 27, 2008, 08:03 PM
blkbrd666 is right, this is completely off topic. Closed.

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