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  #11  
Old November 12th, 2005, 10:06 PM
Tobias Tobias is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by RainOfSteel:
Under US law, this is a rationalization to support theft.
Well, theft is a problematic term in my opinion. It isn't theft. Theft is to illegally take someone's possession, which isn't the case here. It's a breach of copyright laws.
To a degree, I realize where Gnusam is coming from. The rationalization is as follows:
1. I wouldn't or couldn't spend money (at least not the asked amount) for the product in any case, but I would take it as a freebie.
2. Ergo, the producer isn't missing a sale.
3. Ergo, I do not hurt the producer.
But simply, society and law do not and cannot work with each citizen weighing off the pros and cons of laws by himself. The authority in this matter is the copyright holder (or the author rights holder, depending on the legal system.) If she deems a certain price fair, her wishes have to be respected in this regard. I can see a different situation when the copyright holder has vanished, or doesn't care, but with a copyright holder who is actively marketing her copyrighted work and who explicitly forbids distributing PDFs of it, the case is pretty much clear.

It is equally unfeasible for the buyer to determine a fair price by himself (maybe it would be feasible in Zhodani society.) A few weeks ago, one of the book peddlers making open air sales on our campus started a little experiment (or maybe it was a sociology student.) He just put up a table with books, a bag (for money) and a sign saying: "Just take any book you like and please pay as much as you think is fair."
This experiment was not repeated.

Regards,

Tobias
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  #12  
Old November 13th, 2005, 06:14 AM
Pickles
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Personally, I would feel bad about ripping off Marc Miller, but good about stealing (non-Firefly) files from Fox [img]graemlins/file_22.gif[/img] . Nobody likes companies that make lots of money out of crap entertainment while stifling real talent. I think that's what this "It's morally ok to steal from big corporations" attitude comes from (but that's not the point I'm going to make).

Without going into the rights and wrongs of the situation, I can see a valid reason to share OOP-but-copyrighted material: without file-sharing, such material may be lost forever. Rare recordings of music and film are frequently found in the attic of a (often deceased) lawbreaker. Knowledge comes before legality in my book of human values.

Secondly, file-sharing may be having an unforseen side-effect. Has anyone noticed the proliferation of free RPGs and settings on the web? What's more, these author-driven productions are showing a rapid improvement in quality of content and presentation over the comittee-designed mainstream commercial games.

This may be correlation rather than cause-and-effect, but it amuses me to think that RPGs could be going back to what they were (for me, in their hey-day): a few commercial products and 99% homebrew.

I still wouldn't rip off Marc Miller, though.
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  #13  
Old November 13th, 2005, 07:27 AM
Gnusam Netor Gnusam Netor is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Randy Tyler:

And this comment:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />"You like the law? well then, enforce it."

(or rather, make sure it is enforced by the government)
What keeps you from commiting murder, vigilant law enforcement or a sense of self responsibility and respect for your fellow man? Why not show that respect for another human by not file sharing? </font>[/QUOTE]What keeps me from committing murder?
it's a bit funny that you seem to think murder is good for comparison with "theft" and "copyright infringement".

(it's not really funny)


edited for clarity
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  #14  
Old November 13th, 2005, 07:31 AM
Gnusam Netor Gnusam Netor is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by RainOfSteel:

The whole point of copyright law is to prevent what you are suggesting.
That's probably right.
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  #15  
Old November 13th, 2005, 07:50 AM
Gnusam Netor Gnusam Netor is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff M. Hopper:
Oh boy, do I disagree with Gnusam Netor here.
That is acceptable [img]smile.gif[/img]

Quote:

In short, illegal file sharing of RPG material is robbing from the poor. Why do that and damage an already marginal industry?
Is it possible that you misread my previous post?
In any case you are not the only one it seems, it makes it more likely that I “scrambled” my position unfortunately. [img]smile.gif[/img]
I will try to explain better.

I honestly don’t believe that robbing is a good idea - from rich or poor. I believe that it is a human right to own stuff (objects and to some extent ideas). But there is the problem that it is tricky to put ownership on an idea, it’s immaterial and as long as the actual object is not “stolen” that containis the idea (a book), nothing is lost to the owner.

Sorry have to break here, i'll be back later
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  #16  
Old November 13th, 2005, 09:01 AM
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Hemdian Hemdian is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tobias:
Well, theft is a problematic term in my opinion. It isn't theft. Theft is to illegally take someone's possession, which isn't the case here. It's a breach of copyright laws.
Well the theft isn't of the item, per se, as it is a copy. The theft is in any lost revenue. But how much revenue is lost? This is where IMHO the music/movie industries, et al, do themselves a disservice: they report a grossly inflated figure for illegal downloads and polorise opinion instead of recognising there are gray areas (like what is "fair use", etc).

Hypothetical example: "Joe" has a family to support and a low income job, he has maybe £30 a month for entertainment. He spends it on buying cheap illegal copies of DVDs and gets the equivalent of about £150 worth of DVDs. The movie industry would count this as £150 worth of theft, but if there were no illegal copies to buy and Joe was forced to use legitimate sources only then he'd still spend £30 a month. Is what he's doing illegal? Obveously. Is he wrong? Sure. But there's a difference between stealing £30 and steeling £150.

Gray areas include: lending a book to a friend, having friends round to watch a movie, region coding on DVDs, making legitimate backup copies, transfering a copyrighted item from one media to another, browsing a website, time-delayed or deferred viewing, selling secondhand, abandonware, try before you buy, derivative works, buying the copyright to competing works just to supress them, and how long should copyright be for away.

Having said all that, in general I don't accept the "it's alright because I wouldn't have bought it anyway" argument. "Try before you buy" is one thing, but if you are going to use it you should pay for it.


Regards PLST

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  #17  
Old November 13th, 2005, 09:15 AM
Andrew Boulton Andrew Boulton is offline
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How about these cases:

- you've bought the CT reprints but want a copy on your computer?

- you want - and would willingly pay for - the old DGP books, but the owner refuses to make them available?

- it's a book that Drivethru have - and probably will again - given away for free?
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  #18  
Old November 13th, 2005, 10:42 AM
Tobias Tobias is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hemdian:
Well the theft isn't of the item, per se, as it is a copy. The theft is in any lost revenue.
Well, but this under the legal definition is not theft, at least as I understand the term. The definition of theft includes deriving the rightful owner of the use or possession of his property.

Quote:
But how much revenue is lost? This is where IMHO the music/movie industries, et al, do themselves a disservice: they report a grossly inflated figure for illegal downloads and polorise opinion instead of recognising there are gray areas (like what is "fair use", etc).
They also do themselves a disservice with what in my opinion is an outrageous double standard: They collect royalities from tape/CD-R production because these are used to copy their products, and yet see fit to pursue legal action against all who actually do use them in this way. In short ways, you have to pay them for a something they will sue you for.

Quote:
Gray areas include: lending a book to a friend, having friends round to watch a movie, region coding on DVDs, making legitimate backup copies, transfering a copyrighted item from one media to another, browsing a website, time-delayed or deferred viewing, selling secondhand, abandonware, try before you buy, derivative works, buying the copyright to competing works just to supress them, and how long should copyright be for away.
Dunno about British or US law, but under local law, most of these aren't gray areas, but squeaky-clean legal. Well, at least they still are. Who knows what EU meddling will bring.
One experience with one of the usual EULA documents for some MS software: It was the typical "By signing this document, you become our bitch" stuff, and just for sport I was actually viewing it this time. And you know what? At the end there was a postscriptum: "If you are German, we are obliged to inform you that none of the above is legally binding to you."
That made me grin.

Regards,

Tobias
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  #19  
Old November 13th, 2005, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gnusam Netor:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Randy Tyler:

What keeps you from commiting murder, vigilant law enforcement or a sense of self responsibility and respect for your fellow man? Why not show that respect for another human by not file sharing?
What keeps me from committing murder?
it's a bit funny that you seem to think murder is good for comparison with "theft" and "copyright infringement".

(it's not really funny)


edited for clarity
</font>[/QUOTE]So murder is too extreme to compare. Here are some other examples then:

1. What stops you from purse-snatching, the security guard?
2. What stops you from shoplifting, the security cameras?
3. What stops you from submitting a copy of a friend's thesis, term paper, etc. as your own?
4. You and your friends want to go to a concert but there is only enough money to buy one ticket. Do you attend the concert, record it on a tape recorder and after the concert make copies for all the friends who didn't attend, even those who didn't contribute money for the ticket? (Do you do the same for movie using a camcorder?)
5. Your employer schedules a meeting to discuss new revenue ideas, with the best recieving a reward bonus, for the company in a week. You and a co-worker talk about ideas and she comes up with a great one. On the day of the meeting she is sick and absent. Do you present her idea as you own gaining the bonus? If so how do you think she will feel about it? How will you justify your actions to her?
6. After your accountant fills and files your taxes do you refuse to pay him?
7. After the tree doctor trims your trees do you pay?
8. After your lawyer has filed papers with the courts for whatever reason do you deny him income by not paying?
9. You go to your job, work hard for the week(s) and when payday arrives your employer tells you he's not paying, you how do you feel? Sure you can sue the employer for your wages but filing a suit takes money (do you have some savings to use for this purpose and still live on until you recieve your due?), it's an added expense and time consuming. After the litigation is settled and you recieve your wage the employer repeats it the following month, he doesn't pay your wage. How do you feel? Do you sue again or quit?

Why deny income to the copyright holder by illegally copying his work? Why not show respect for the author, songwriter, or musician's work by not denying him income but refraining from copying his work?
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  #20  
Old November 13th, 2005, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gnusam Netor:

I honestly don’t believe that robbing is a good idea - from rich or poor. I believe that it is a human right to own stuff (objects and to some extent ideas). But there is the problem that it is tricky to put ownership on an idea, it’s immaterial and as long as the actual object is not “stolen” that containis the idea (a book), nothing is lost to the owner.
OK, I understand your position a bit better now, but I still disagree with it.

Even though intellectual property is immaterial, it still took time and effort from the creator to bring it into being. You are doing the author of that intellectual property a disservice by not paying for that time and effort with an illegal download.

There are several examples given about how file sharing is not bad as long as you do it from large corporations and it is done by people whose income does not allow them to get the intellectual property any other way. This is obfuscation of the highest order. We are not talking about record companies or movie producers (who admittedly, do have access to large monetary resources), we are talking about RPG writers - who are usually freelance workers of RPG companies and maintain other jobs in order to make a living. The difference is night and day in terms of income level. A record company may have hundreds, if not thousands, of employees while a RPG publisher is lucky to have a permanent staff numbering in the teens, some are even nothing more than guys working alone in their basements to publish stuff electronically.

Comparing the two different types of entertainment producers is a fallacy, especially when it comes to profit and loss for each.
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