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Author Topic: Should Illegal Downloaders Be Cut Off From the Internet?  (Read 4723 times)

Paul Keith

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Should Illegal Downloaders Be Cut Off From the Internet?
« on: December 02, 2009, 03:59:41 PM »
http://debatewise.or...f-from-the-internet?

Snippets:

Quote
it is an inappropriately harsh punishment for a badly thought out law. some instances of filesharing aren't stealing anyway - for instance, people making their own work freely available for download. and things like translation patches for Japanese games are still legally fuzzy.

why is going to court to be tried for a crime an 'inconvenience'? it is possible that you didn't commit the offence - you could have been hacked - and it is possible that your offence wasn't harsh enough to warrant disconnection - if you only downloaded one torrent file - so legally you should have a trial.

The Government uses claims and research supported by and affiliated with the music and film industries, to support her claim of damages done. These organisations have an interest in over-reporting and exaggerating the numbers, precisely to prompt legislation like the Government is putting forward at this very moment.

The Opposition holds, in contrast, that (a) the decline in sales of the media industry can be attributed to many other factors than illegal file sharing, (b) the music industry's definition of damages done is faulty, and (c) that even if the claims have some base in reality, something we believe to be not the case, increased enforcement would not have any effect on the damages to the film industry.

(a) To assume that the coincident rise of file sharing and decline of the media industry has a causal link is wrong. Several other important developments have a direct link to the argument made by the Government. The habits of media consumers have changed. They use their 'own', bought, media (such as bought CDs and DVDs) less frequently, and have shifted more to on-demand services like TV-channels.

Another development is the wide availability of professional grade production equipment on contemporary home computers, which enables a greater range of people to produce and manufacture their own media. This increases competition and draws revenue from large, traditional media companies to smaller, unaffiliated ones whose revenues are not reported in the figures the Government cites.

(b) The damages done by file sharing, as reported by the music industry, are wholly inaccurate. These figures are a combination of missed growth targets, extrapolated estimates, and pure fiction, made to influence public opinion. What really are these damages? Let us analyse them in more detail.

For one to do €10 damage to Sony Music by file sharing, they would need to (1) make up their mind to procure some music (say, a single of "Oops, I did it again" worth €5). (2) have been willing to pay the in-store price of "Oops, I did it again". (3) then instead download it illegally. Why the double damages? Taken as a whole, a file sharing network downloads and uploads exactly as much. So, for every person downloading "Oops, I did it again" illegally, on average, they facilitate one other person in downloading "Oops, I did it again" illegally.

(Note that it has yet to be seen that someone's Up/Down ratio has been used in a court case to determine the fine/punishment. The fines are mostly set by Sony Music et al. themselves.)

These three requirements are often not present when calculating the damages done for a purported criminal engaged in file sharing. For example, (1) is not present when someone sees a file offered for download they have never heard of, then, on a whim, decide to download it. (2) is most often violated - the vast majority of file sharers would not pay €50 for a video game or € 10 for a DVD they now get for free.

All of these arguments invalidate the claims the music industry has to any damages, or at least invalidates the amounts and methods reported in current court cases. This means that the Government's argument of solving a great economical evil by their plan does not hold.

(c) Increased enforcement will never put the illegal file sharing networks out of operation, which is what is necessary to generate more revenue for the music industry IF their claims are true (which (b) argues is not the case). These networks are global, the music industry is not (e.g. servers hosted in rogue states), and the technologically adept file sharers will find new, undetectable methods of sharing.

Quote
Many legal services are available which allow you to download video and audio for free. Most TV channels have an online on-demand service. There are similar services available for music, including Nokia’s Come with Music service, which allows owners of specific Nokia phones to download unlimited music, free of charge. Persistent file-sharers are halting the development and growth of these legal services.

The services are much more limited and less convenient, where it is possible to obtain almost anything off filesharing and bit torrent sites, mostly without any fuss other than waiting for it to download. Many people also prefer downloading something from a community of users than rely directly on a corporation.

Quote
ISPs are angry that they are being asked to police users and foot the cost of this enforcement. A spokeswoman for Virgin Media said that was a, “heavy-handed, punitive regime that will simply alienate customers.


http://news.bbc.co.u...chnology/8219652.stm

File-sharers Buy Media Too

http://revolutionmag...end-movies-probably/

P.S. Yeah, these are old points but I just recently chanced upon the site and thought some may be interested in rereading these points in light of the Mininova incident.

zridling

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Re: Should Illegal Downloaders Be Cut Off From the Internet?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2009, 05:15:07 PM »
Hell no they shouldn't be cut off. Internet access is a human right in the 21st century, since access to information largely controls the quality of your life. Here's a clueful piece from the Guardian:

The emancipatory potential of the free dissemination of intellectual property through infinite replication is overwhelming. Unlike private property that is subject to scarcity, supply and demand laws and other rigid determinations, immaterial property poses an explosive threat to our deeply rooted notions of proprietorship.

It is not only because there can be potentially infinite owners of property that the internet redefines our notion of it. It is also that people who participate in the exchange of immaterial works do not treat them as property. When they exchange music, books or movies, they are not merely transferring ownership from themselves to others; they simply do not recognise themselves as owners in the first place.

_____________________________________
No wonder they want to lock the internet down and lock users out!


zridling

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Re: Should Illegal Downloaders Be Cut Off From the Internet?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2009, 05:20:57 PM »
I should add: It makes governments crazy because it democratizes knowledge.

If everything is eventually considered illegal, then we're all criminals. I think the Associated Press considers quoting four words or more from a story copyright infringement, and for anything more they want to be paid!

Eóin

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Re: Should Illegal Downloaders Be Cut Off From the Internet?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2009, 05:35:49 PM »
People with lots of money are warping laws so they can get more, just plain old capitalism really.

40hz

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Re: Should Illegal Downloaders Be Cut Off From the Internet?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2009, 08:39:58 PM »
People with lots of money are warping laws so they can get more, just plain old capitalism really.

But only if you let them get away with it. :)

Maybe I'm just getting old, but I still believe in the notion that anyone accused of wrongdoing must be considered innocent until proven guilty, and shall have the right to a fair and speedy trial before a jury of their peers.

So if "they" decided it was necessary to kick somebody off the net for illegal activities, at the very least they should be made to prove the person had engaged in illegal activities - in court - and with the full rules of evidence and judicial oversight in effect.

I can't accept 'kangaroo' justice or summary administrative judgment ever being allowed to replace the rules of due process. Especially if such judgments are to be made by (or at the behest of) self-appointed industry entities,

Law enforcement and criminal prosecution are functions of a government's executive authority. Criminal trial and sentencing, along with the interpretation of applicable laws, lies within the domain of a government's judicial authority.

I don't recall there being any provisions to allow for private industries to carve out their own enforcement or judicial niches within our government. To allow that would be to return to the days of the old railroad and mining robber barons - complete with 'company police' (i.e. "goon squads"); and a non-existent record for honoring constitutional law.

I'm sorry if the music and movie industry is getting tired about what is happening to them.

I can only hope government doesn't get lazy and grant them everything they want just to shut them up.

---------------

BTW: I can't but help thinking that there's a much better way to send a message to the RIAA and Hollywood than by making illegal copies of music and movies. Why not "put the boot in" the only place a business can feel pain? Why not give them a kick in their bottom line?

All it would take are two separate but related actions to make things very clear:

  • Virtually everyone stops buying music and movies
  • Virtually everyone stops "sharing" music and movies

If everybody is as opposed to the antics of the music and movie industry as some claim, it should be a relatively simple matter to organize a near total boycott of all major-label movies and music. Three to six months with ZERO purchases of CDs, DVDs, and tickets to live shows - combined with ZERO "file sharing" - should be more than enough to let them know they need their public more than their public needs them.

It won't be until people are willing demonstrate (to the entertainment industry and the government) that they're prepared to completely walk away from the industry's "product" that their protest will be taken seriously.

But the only way it will work is if the illegal copying and legal purchasing both stop simultaneously.

8)





« Last Edit: December 02, 2009, 08:41:46 PM by 40hz »

app103

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Re: Should Illegal Downloaders Be Cut Off From the Internet?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2009, 09:09:09 PM »
If one single member of a household were to be suspected of a crime (any crime) would it be reasonable, fair, or even legal to throw the entire family in prison, without a trial, regardless of suspected involvement, and include without exception, anyone of any age?

Of course not!

So why should it be considered reasonable, fair, or legal to without a trial, deprive every member of a household, regardless of possible involvement, regardless of age, internet access on the basis of one member being suspected of illegal file sharing?

Why does it make sense to some people that if a 16 year old in the privacy of his bedroom, where his actions are not always known to his parents, does something that may or may not be illegal file sharing, is suspected by the ISP or some other entity to be illegal file sharing, that the entire family is punished?

Is it reasonable or fair to deprive mom of access to her blog, dad access to his online business, and little sister access to information to complete homework assignments, all on the basis of suspicion, without proving in a court of law that anything illegal actually happened?

app103

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Re: Should Illegal Downloaders Be Cut Off From the Internet?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2009, 09:44:58 PM »
BTW: I can't but help thinking that there's a much better way to send a message to the RIAA and Hollywood than by making illegal copies of music and movies. Why not "put the boot in" the only place a business can feel pain? Why not give them a kick in their bottom line?

All it would take are two separate but related actions to make things very clear:

  • Virtually everyone stops buying music and movies
  • Virtually everyone stops "sharing" music and movies

If everybody is as opposed to the antics of the music and movie industry as some claim, it should be a relatively simple matter to organize a near total boycott of all major-label movies and music. Three to six months with ZERO purchases of CDs, DVDs, and tickets to live shows - combined with ZERO "file sharing" - should be more than enough to let them know they need their public more than their public needs them.

It won't be until people are willing demonstrate (to the entertainment industry and the government) that they're prepared to completely walk away from the industry's "product" that their protest will be taken seriously.

The more people don't buy the more they cry piracy, whether or not the losses are actually due to piracy. If you stop buying, things just get worse. It does not send them any sort of message.

I have embraced the world of free legal CC licensed music, full-heartedly and no longer buy any music produced by any RIAA affiliated label. But I still see what they are doing as a threat to even that independent net-label music I do buy and/or download (legally).

They will not be happy until all music of any type, from any source, generates them an unrestricted income. Free music is their enemy, whether it is the result of artists giving it away themselves or fans sharing it with each other.

They don't like the idea that the artists no longer need them to produce and market their music and they don't like that fans can acquire it, all without their involvement, and without them being able to stick their hand in and rip everyone off from all angles.

The truth is we don't need them any more.

The internet has made it possible to cut an album in your garage, upload it, promote it, sell it, and fans to acquire it without the need for a big corporate middle-man for any part of it from creation to end user.

If your business model was based for so many years on being the only way any artist could create and gain an audience, and the only way people could listen, with you being in full control of it all, to use and abuse in any way you saw fit, to make as much money as you could by cheating both the artists and their fans, wouldn't you see the computer age and the internet as a threat, too?

They are losing the control and this is why they are fighting back, attacking anyone and everyone, in any way they can.

davidson

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Re: Should Illegal Downloaders Be Cut Off From the Internet?
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2009, 04:07:25 AM »
 :-\
Perhaps all the money spent in prosecution cost would be better spent on deciding a universal law which covers every country so that no one is in any doubt about downloading rules and regulations.
Is anybody 100% sure of existing regulations in ANY country? I don't think so!

40hz

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Re: Should Illegal Downloaders Be Cut Off From the Internet?
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2009, 06:27:34 AM »
The more people don't buy the more they cry piracy, whether or not the losses are actually due to piracy. If you stop buying, things just get worse. It does not send them any sort of message.

It does if it puts them out of business.

Why tilt at dragons? Much more efficient to starve them to death.

No revenue = no money for bribes 'campaign' contributions

No revenue = no money to hire attorneys

No revenue = out of business ;)

_____

PS - That's why I said all file acquisition and sharing (legit and illegal) needs to stop simultaneously in order for such a boycott to work.

Scream as they might, they'll still get the message.



« Last Edit: December 03, 2009, 06:33:29 AM by 40hz »

app103

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Re: Should Illegal Downloaders Be Cut Off From the Internet?
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2009, 10:28:16 AM »
This new tactic of trying to gain the power of kicking suspected file sharers offline without having to prove guilt, is an effort to control the distribution of music and videos, and bring it back into the physical world. If they have their way, they will slowly move everyone offline, accusing anyone they please, in an effort to drive up demand for CD's and take away the demand for digital.

This, if it works and I seriously doubt it will, would eliminate the ability for artists to self publish their music, for their fans to buy it direct, and would return artists and fans back to the days of total dependence on their original physical copy marketing & distribution model, which they have complete control over.

They are attempting to reverse progress and make the internet go away.

They want to return to the days where they were needed by both the artists and fans alike.

I see this as a last ditch effort before their total collapse. They are getting desperate now.

They are releasing less music per year, less quality, losing more sales, blaming piracy, blaming file sharing, blaming the internet itself....and not the real cause for the so-called losses.

I think the plan is once everyone is offline and they make the internet go away, they will begin the process of increasing the number of albums released, insist on better quality, sign up more desperate artists that now have no other way to produce, market, and distribute music, and when more people actually buy the more abundant & better product, they can then say "I told you so" and it would prove their point...still blaming piracy, all along the way, instead of their own mistakes.

It's a plan that is doomed, but in the mean time, we suffer by having to put up with their shenanigans.

Gothi[c]

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Re: Should Illegal Downloaders Be Cut Off From the Internet?
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2009, 11:05:50 PM »
Quote
All it would take are two separate but related actions to make things very clear:

    * Virtually everyone stops buying music and movies
    * Virtually everyone stops "sharing" music and movies


If everybody is as opposed to the antics of the music and movie industry as some claim, it should be a relatively simple matter to organize a near total boycott of all major-label movies and music. Three to six months with ZERO purchases of CDs, DVDs, and tickets to live shows - combined with ZERO "file sharing" - should be more than enough to let them know they need their public more than their public needs them.

That would work, if it wasn't for the fact that the majority of the people are immensely STUPID.
And even the smarter ones are so numbed by tv and having a comfortable enough life, that they never take any action of any sort.
This is the one main thing the elite money grabbing goons have figured out. You don't enslave people by putting them in camps, or by keeping everyone starving. As long as people have enough food and get a daily dose of propaganda, you can get away with anything. Control the media, and you can get away with murder. If TV says it didn't happen, it never did.

No, I'm afraid people are either too stupid or passive for these kind of things to ever be realistic. I'm afraid it's up to the small percentage of people that actually do give a shit.

Quote
It does if it puts them out of business.

Why tilt at dragons? Much more efficient to starve them to death.

No revenue = no money for bribes 'campaign' contributions

No revenue = no money to hire attorneys

No revenue = out of business Wink

If only it were that simple. The only thing you need to make money, is lots of money. Not customers.

40hz

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Re: Should Illegal Downloaders Be Cut Off From the Internet?
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2009, 05:59:00 AM »
If only it were that simple. The only thing you need to make money, is lots of money. Not customers.

Lots of money and no customers?

If only it were that simple.  ;D

« Last Edit: December 04, 2009, 06:06:40 PM by 40hz »

nudone

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Re: Should Illegal Downloaders Be Cut Off From the Internet?
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2009, 06:01:47 AM »
got to agree with Gothi[c].

CWuestefeld

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Re: Should Illegal Downloaders Be Cut Off From the Internet?
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2009, 10:00:15 AM »
I know very little about British law, so I can't address that. But in America, any unbiased hearing would have to throw out such a penalty.

Contra other claims in this thread, network access is not a human right. That is, you cannot force me to pay for your network connection through taxes. However, indirectly, network access is a necessary enabler to exercise many recognized human rights. For example, much of our interaction with government agencies is now done primarily through the web, so cutting access would have a significant negative impact on ones ability to participate in the democratic process.

The fact that the penalty is overly broad would also come into play. Penalizing a person who happens to live with me, who everyone agrees is innocent, for my personal transgressions, is a problem.

The lack of due process is probably where the rubber would hit the road. Certainly the Courts recognize the State's power to execute some punishments without due process. For example, the Emerson case upheld the "Lautenberg Amendment", which forever takes away a person's 2nd Amendment rights if he or she has ever been the subject of a restraining order due to domestic violence -- which can occur without any legal finding of guilt. But considering the other factors I mentioned -- its necessity for participation in the democratic process, and the effect on ones family -- I have to think that it would be struck down. However, courts aren't always honest: consider the recent Kelo decision, or google for "a switch in time saves nine".

People with lots of money are warping laws so they can get more, just plain old capitalism really.

I hate to be political here, but one thing I hate much more is the kind of idea that this represents. I don't claim that what Eóin is observing isn't happening -- it certainly is. But one cannot indict capitalism from it, because it is most certainly contradictory to capitalism. What we see in society today, where the political powers ally with corporate powers, is more properly called Corporatism or Corporate Fascism.

If one participant is coerced into a deal that he would not want to make (due to regulation, threats, violence, etc.), then the market isn't free and it's not Capitalist. Because so much of our political system has been captured by corporate interests for the purpose of rent seeking, it's clear that they are in alliance against the people.

In a real capitalist system, a transaction would only be executed if both sides agree to the terms. If your concern is, for example, that the entertainment industry is able to add unconscionable terms to their sales agreements (after the fact, in this case!), then the logical way to fix the problem is to throw out the Corporatist system and go back to real Capitalism. It's nonsensical to give additional regulatory powers to the government when the Corporatist system thrives precisely because of all the regulatory powers we've ceded to the State.

I find it incredibly frustrating that so many condemn capitalism as the problem, when in fact we do not now have a capitalist system -- and if we did, we probably wouldn't have the problem!

40hz

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Re: Should Illegal Downloaders Be Cut Off From the Internet?
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2009, 02:44:19 PM »
I find it incredibly frustrating that so many condemn capitalism as the problem, when in fact we do not now have a capitalist system

Exactly right! :Thmbsup:

We don't. And we never really did, despite those many people who have though and said otherwise.

 8)


JavaJones

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Re: Should Illegal Downloaders Be Cut Off From the Internet?
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2009, 02:54:58 PM »
Hmm. Can we start a new thread on capitalism? Because, seeing that you're an advocate, I think you might be in a position to explain how it should work. Which I've never quite understood... or agreed with. :D

- Oshyan

zridling

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Re: Should Illegal Downloaders Be Cut Off From the Internet?
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2009, 03:59:07 PM »
:-\
Perhaps all the money spent in prosecution cost would be better spent on deciding a universal law which covers every country so that no one is in any doubt about downloading rules and regulations.
Is anybody 100% sure of existing regulations in ANY country? I don't think so!

The United States has long done this through a Uniform Commercial Code when lobbying and negotiating trade agreements with any country via the WTO. The idea is to get every other country to adopt U.S. Copyright Law. Britain has done the same along with many countries, but because Britain produces an incredible amount of creative content (BBC among them) that is seen, read, and heard around the globe, it added significant additions to the US law.

Eóin

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Re: Should Illegal Downloaders Be Cut Off From the Internet?
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2009, 04:38:55 PM »
CWuestefeld, I agree completely, but what we have is called capitalism by the vast majority even if it doesn't meet the correct definition. I was just going along with the popular definition for simplicity.