posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 02:16 PM
Lazarus- Thank you for the apology. I apologize also if it seemed I overreacted. I usually try not to take things too personally, and I understand
now that you weren't intending to insult me personally but were making a point.
I agree that if everyone pirated movies, music, etc, the system as it is would not be sustainable. I suppose I take what I consider to be a realistic
rather than a moral view. Not everyone does as I do, in fact the only people I know who pirate things off the internet are generally, like myself,
young people who don't have the money to spend on every movie or cd that they want to check out.
I don't consider it so much theft as it is living on the crumbs of society, because unlike a thief, we are making use of data we would not pay for
anyway. The fact that I buy what I consider to be good isn't just a justification to make myself feel better, it's a fact. If there was no way to
pirate anything, I would generally only buy the cd's and dvd's that I would buy even with the ability to pirate things. Nothing has changed in
terms of the input of my cash into the economy. Another reason I pirate stuff is more or less the same reason people tape TV shows off of TV, because
I don't have the time to watch the shows I like when they are aired, so I download them to watch at my convenience. I think I still watch a large
enough portion of advertisements to balance it out.
I really do see things your way, to an extent, which is exactly why I buy the "good stuff" that I like, when I don't have to, because I want to
support the ingenuity of bands and movie makers that I like and feel it's wrong, if I appreciate something, to not do so. But the things I wouldn't
pay for anyway, I sometimes download on the off chance that I've misjudged them and want to see for myself if it's worth paying for.
I think the laws themselves are too harsh on pirates. I know college students who have had to leave school because they couldn't afford tuition as a
result of getting sued by the RIAA. These people, had "stolen" music files off the internet, had their future taken away from them (and from
society) because the RIAA lost a few bucks. The penalty did not fit the crime, IMO. And the damage done to society was greater, not less.
These laws are not made harsher because there is a legislative interest in cracking down on crime. They are made harsher because there is a
legislative will to respond to lobbying from big industry. The RIAA and MPAA have perverted the original meanings of the Constitution as regards
copyrights. Article 1, Section 8 says: [Congress shall have the power] to promote the progress of science and the useful arts, by securing for
limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries. The Supreme Court has interpreted this to
mean that the public should enjoy benefits of an artists labors, not that artists should enjoy the benefits of their labors any more than is
absolutely necessary to get the work out to the public. (The case is Fox Film v. Doyal).
Yet companies like Disney have consistently used their legal clout to alter the meaning of "limited time" so it benefits them, and not the public.
Why? Walt Disney the artist is now dead, but Disney the company lives on and has an interest in protecting its empire, much of which is NOT directed
around getting art out to the public, but to realizing maximum shareholder value.
Let me put this one more way. It is the people you are allying yourself with, the MPAA and RIAA, who are hurting innovation and the "progress of
science and the useful arts," far far more than pirates. Consider the following:
When DVD technology came out, scientists around the world were elated. Part of the reason the DVD was invented was to create a universal video/data
format which would no longer be limited by the PAL/NTSC/SECAM format differences and incompatibilities that had plagued video tape. A new era had
arrived for media. But wait.... what does the MPAA do? They lobby for "Region Encoding," so NONE of this would happen! The sole reason they did so,
cutting up the DVD world into 6 zones, was to maintain profits by preventing people in the US from buying the same movie cheaper from some other
country. Well, thanks MPAA, I guess we know which side of the Constitution, scientific progress, and public welfare you are on. I take the other
I can't put it more simply than that. This industry, which tries to portray pirates as theives, has hurt society far more than pirates because they
won't adapt to the new world, they won't die out and make way for a new system. And pirates pay the price while they get away with it. Just look
at the Constitution and look at what they do, and ask how they get away with it. Because they are dinosaurs with huge amounts of money to spend.
They don't give a damn either about promoting artistic innovation. They care about controlling every theatre in the country so the theatres can be
flooded with the same set of movies (ie, their own movies) year round. That's it. And that's why this pirate tries to only pay for independent
films at independent theatres.
The penalties are unjust, and by ignoring them I don't consider what I do to be immoral, I consider it 1 part realism and 1 part civil
Please don't take this personally, Lazarus, but I counter that it is you, and people who share your views, who (though not intentionally) are siding
with the people who are doing the real harm to society.
As a final point, I agree with you in that I think the future lies in file sharing services that you can pay for which aren't owned by a big record
label but instead give you access to songs and movies from a wide range of artists, and lets you preview them. What society needs is to make data
EASIER to disseminate and yes, protect- to a degree (check out the idea of 'copyleft' on google) the right of the artist to make some money. Big
businesses that are too big to change easily should focus less on pirates and more on getting with the program.
[edit on 27-10-2005 by koji_K]
[edit on 27-10-2005 by koji_K]
[edit on 27-10-2005 by koji_K]