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Author Topic: As a counter-point to the SOPA/PIPA demonstration  (Read 16594 times)
superboyac
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« Reply #50 on: January 23, 2012, 11:37:37 AM »

Perhaps part of the mistake is the idea that cash/currency (not sure what the proper term is) is the best way to control the world's power.  In earlier times, when it wasn't so easy to travel, or communicate, I can see this.  But now we can not only travel anywhere in the world in less than a day, we can communicate anywhere instantly, both audio and video, we have unlimited information accessible to us.  These were all effectively controlled by money before.  Directly.  But not anymore.  The way money ties into these things is very flexible now, and there are infinite ways to easily accomplish things with or without money.  So power and money now, globally, is very unique and far more complicated than it ever has been.

So I think the world is going to change as far as how we're used to thinking of money.  I have no idea how that works, but something has to change.  And if the change is just more rules, that's not going to be good for most people.  It's just going to make lives more uncomfortable for most.  And it's not like the powerful will really notice any difference in their lifestyle.  It's just a control issue.  The powerful will always be powerful, that's the way it works.  The beauty of something like the internet is that it doesn't make the powerful less powerful, it just gives MORE opportunities to those who previously didn't have any.  It's a win-win situation if done right.  But the powerful make it sound like they'll be losing something equal to what the less powerful is gaining, and that's not true.  If done right, it just opens up opportunities for others while those who are good stay good.
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« Reply #51 on: January 23, 2012, 11:46:11 AM »

All of you together have probably covered my opinion on this already, but there is one thing I do feel needs special mentioning: how 'copyright holders' got that MegaUpload advertisement pulled under the guise of the DMCA... while they have never owned any copyright on that material! That alone is to me the reason why SOPA/PIPA/ACTA/insert-four-letter-acronym-here should never happen: if they already abuse the current laws, then imagine what they could do with those despicable laws-in-the-making?

Is MegaUpload shady? Yes. I have no doubt they profited from less-than-legal activities.
However, according to the DMCA, especially according to the safe harbor proficiencies defined within, they were very much legal. They supported DMCA take down requests, did as much as the law asked of them to stay legal, and generally acted like a legit business. Compare that to some of their competitors who make none of those attempts, and you really scratch your head. MegaUpload is being made an example out of by the 'all filesharing is evil' crowd.

Apparently it is working, since some of those really shady competitors have since seriously cut back on their services, ripped out their ad-sponsorship programs and the likes. Good result? Maybe. But the way it was achieved is seriously depressing, since laws never remove rules: they only add more of them. mad

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superboyac
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« Reply #52 on: January 23, 2012, 12:02:14 PM »

Is MegaUpload shady? Yes. I have no doubt they profited from less-than-legal activities.
I would LOVE to be able to ask the same question to the banks where I put my money in.  When record companies continually screwed their talent, was that legal, was that shady?  Yet, it was so common that we now expect to hear stories of artists being screwed by the agencies.  But just because it's expected, does that make it legal now?  That's what it feels like.  When those artists were poor/normal people, wasn't their talent their power?  And when that power was converted to money, who got it?  And now that the companies are extremely powerful, they have put rules in place to prevent any of the power from backwards movement.  it feels like it sets up a situation for a one-way flow of power and money.
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« Reply #53 on: January 23, 2012, 12:11:24 PM »

When record companies continually screwed their talent, was that legal, was that shady?  Yet, it was so common that we now expect to hear stories of artists being screwed by the agencies.  But just because it's expected, does that make it legal now?  That's what it feels like.  When those artists were poor/normal people, wasn't their talent their power?  And when that power was converted to money, who got it?  And now that the companies are extremely powerful, they have put rules in place to prevent any of the power from backwards movement.  it feels like it sets up a situation for a one-way flow of power and money.


Precisely right.

In the past, musicians got royally screwed over by the recording industry.

Today, musicians get royally screwed over by many (if not most) of their listeners.

Yet somehow, this new reality makes things significantly better for all the working musicians out there.

(Ok. Can somebody please explain to me exactly what it is I'm missing in this logic?)
 Grin
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Renegade
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« Reply #54 on: January 23, 2012, 12:12:54 PM »

Then STFU about piracy. Period.

@Ren - minor niggle & a personal request: Could we maybe not do the STFU thing here? There's better ways to say it...and this isn't MySpace. smiley


Sorry - not my intent to offend you or anyone here. The point is that if someone is unwilling to take someone's money, then don't complain. But I really can't apologize for the "STFU" there. I really mean it. Like, if someone is offered money, but they refuse to take it, well, I have less than zero sympathy for them. I have nothing but contempt for these people. If anything, I massively understated what I think/feel about that situation.

Perhaps my use of "you" vs. "someone" was inappropriate. I mean "you" as in if you are one of those that would do whatever is being referred to.

Still, I'll try to rein in myself and attempt to be somewhat more diplomatic. (No guarantees Wink tongue )

(Have yet to address anything else... need to get back to vodka, then sleep Wink tongue )




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40hz
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« Reply #55 on: January 23, 2012, 12:18:12 PM »

Sorry - not my intent to offend you or anyone here.

@Ren - it's more a matter of esthetics than me being offended. I just associate 'STFU' with all those whining ALL IN CAPITALS SCREAMING DIATRIBES!!!! you run into on the kiddie boards.

And I didn't want to see it greenlighted here purely because of the audience it tends to attract.

Under no circumstances should you feel compelled, or even think an apology was being asked for.
 smiley Thmbsup

P.S. I also think it's very clear you were using a collective "you" rather than a personal one. No offense was taken. And I'm sure we can all see none was intended. smiley

-----

Addendum: Please do not rein yourself in! Renegade would not be Renegade Kiss if he did. ohmy Imagine how much less fun it would be around here if that happened.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 12:25:05 PM by 40hz » Logged

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wraith808
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« Reply #56 on: January 23, 2012, 12:25:53 PM »

Three related stories from TechDirt

Busta Rhymes Backs Megaupload, Says Record Labels Are The Real Criminals

From the article:
Quote
There's a key point in all of this that we missed in our earlier analysis about paid accounts at Megaupload. In the indictment, the government seems to assume that paid accounts are clearly all about illegal infringing works. But that's not always the case. In fact, plenty of big name artists -- especially in the hip hop world -- use the paid accounts to make themselves money. This is how they release tracks. You sign up for a paid account from services like Megaupload, which pay you if you get a ton of downloads. For big name artists, that's easy: of course you get a ton of downloads. So it's a great business model for artists: they get paid and their fans get music for free. Everyone wins. Oh... except for the old gatekeeper labels.

Dan Bull Raps about how Megaupload Takedown Screws Indie Artists Like Him

From the article:
Quote
My favorite line? "Make money giving away things for free? Ah! Why can't the majors do similarly?" It's a key point.  As we explained on Friday, tons of artists have figured out that Megaupload and similar sites are a fantastic new business model, but they're a business model that the major labels hate... so they work double-time to make it look like some evil conspiracy.

And even the alternatives are disappearing:

Megaupload Shutdown means other companies turning off useful services

From the article:

Quote
RIAA supporters are cheering this on -- believing that all of these services really focused on infringing content. But for the many, many artists, companies and individuals who used them legitimately, this is pretty troubling. Useful services are being shut down due to an overreaction on the part of the US government.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 12:40:16 PM by wraith808 » Logged

40hz
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« Reply #57 on: January 23, 2012, 12:43:22 PM »

The problem with US law enforcement is its tendency to operate with a broadsword and executioner's axe rather than a scalpel. And to equate 'equal justice' with a "one size fits all" approach to enforcement.
 Sad
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superboyac
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« Reply #58 on: January 23, 2012, 01:09:31 PM »

One way I'm going to try to battle this situation is to do my best to keep the flow of money and power that I possess amongst those who i have personal contact with.  I, for various reasons, have a very strong love of personal communities (which is why this forum is my favorite, it feels the most like an ideal community).  I really love the "messiness" of a true community.  Not socialism Grin!  Yes, when different types of people interact with each other a lot, there's a lot of messy situations.  But you just put into place the minimum amount of rules to keep the messes from harming people seriously, and the rest of it you just manage on a case by case basis.  It's too hard (I would say impossible) to come up with the perfect rule.  And it's ridiculous and awful to try to continually fix rules and go down that mandlebrot chain (which is where we are right now).  we can't be afraid of the mess.  We can't expect every...little...thing...to be just absolute perfect.  You need to give people freedom and be capable of dealing with the effects of that freedom 99% of the time.  And yes, there will be that 1% which will result in a horrible disaster...but can we really avoid it?  I don't believe that, but I do believe we can be prepared for it without needing to control people as much as we are now. 
We can't be so scared and defensive all the time.  We are people, we live with people, we have to be able to trust each other blindly on some level.  We can't be afraid to ask for help if we need it.  We need to be able to offer help without feeling like we were taken advantage of.

I was in a taxi with an individual who made hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.  She felt that the cab driver charged her $5 too much for the non-metered ride, and bargained with her to get it down from $20 to $15 or something like that.  That's all power and control.  It's unnecessary, it ruins the healthy balance of things.  Now, we sit here and shake our heads at her and wag our fingers...BUT, we have all done the same thing at some level.  I just hope we become more aware of these things, and more sensitive.  I am practicing it and it has made me a better person.  And it doesn't work both ways, and I'm cool with the unbalance.  If someone is making half the money that I am and is battling with the cab driver, I am mentally far more patient with it than with the other girl.  Is that fair of me?  No.  But it's right.
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« Reply #59 on: January 23, 2012, 05:13:53 PM »

If someone is making half the money that I am and is battling with the cab driver, I am mentally far more patient with it than with the other girl.  Is that fair of me?  No.  But it's right.

Damn Straight! Back in the day when things were really tight, I'd fight tooth and nail for every dime. Now it's just simpler to pay it and get on with my day. I'm not rich by any standards...but I'm not in a constant and total bind either. So I do my part to "Share-the-wealth" by not being a dick about nickels.

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Renegade
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« Reply #60 on: January 23, 2012, 08:26:05 PM »

So many smart people here...

We can't be so scared and defensive all the time.  We are people, we live with people, we have to be able to trust each other blindly on some level.  We can't be afraid to ask for help if we need it.  We need to be able to offer help without feeling like we were taken advantage of.

+1

What is the path to the dark side? Fear.

Yoda: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

Fictional story or not, there is truth in there.

The problem with US law enforcement is its tendency to operate with a broadsword and executioner's axe rather than a scalpel. And to equate 'equal justice' with a "one size fits all" approach to enforcement.
 Sad

+1

Not only that, but they're eager to break the law even:

http://www.prisonplanet.c...ng-senator-rand-paul.html

Rand Paul was detained by the TSA en route from Kentucky to Washington DC. Ahem... What was that silly piece of toilet paper called... Ummm... the US Constitution?

Quote
Article I, Section 6 states:

“The Senators and Representatives…shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same….”

Shameful...


If someone is making half the money that I am and is battling with the cab driver, I am mentally far more patient with it than with the other girl.  Is that fair of me?  No.  But it's right.

Damn Straight! Back in the day when things were really tight, I'd fight tooth and nail for every dime. Now it's just simpler to pay it and get on with my day. I'm not rich by any standards...but I'm not in a constant and total bind either. So I do my part to "Share-the-wealth" by not being a dick about nickels.


+1

Anyone who has lived/traveled around in the 3rd world knows that there is a "tourist tax" or "white-boy tax". Being white helps in some situations, but it also puts a big target on you as well whenever you want to buy anything. e.g. A can of beer might cost a local something like VND 20,000 or VND 25,000 but will cost you VND 50,000. (Literally)

It can sometimes be frustrating, especially knowing full well that you're being "ripped off", but then again, I have to look at my situation and their situation. It's easy to dispel that frustration and convert it into a sense of peace by understanding what is really going on. For me, the extra bit of money really isn't going to make that much of a difference. In their hands, it will be more significant. So, it's more or less like involuntary charity. Once I think of it as giving to help someone, that sense of frustration disappears and it all becomes positive.

It's hard to begrudge someone when you have so much and they have so little.



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Renegade
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« Reply #61 on: January 23, 2012, 09:15:34 PM »

However, I refuse to blame someone that makes $400 a year for pirating my software. Those people aren't the problem.

I hear what you're saying. But you have to be careful with situational ethics. All distinctions such as these avoid dealing with the underlying issue by creating exceptions. And it leads down an endless path. By way of example:
 (see attachment in previous post)
Quote from: An example
I don't have an issue with people who are taking something against the wishes of its creator if they are making less than $400.

    What about if they're making $450 or less?

I still don't have a problem with that...

    Ok. How about $600?

Not too much a problem...

    How about $100,000?

Yes. I'd have a problem with those people.

    Why?

Because they can afford it.

    How do you know they can? Or the people making only $400 can't?

Well...there's a big difference between $400 and $100,000...

    So what? Maybe the $100K guy is paying all the medical bills for his mother and is broke for all intents and purposes. Maybe the guy with $400 has no bills or responsibilities because he lives with his parents who pay for everything and don't care. So that $400 is pure disposable money burning a hole in his pocket.

Well...you can come up with an exception for everything.

     Precisely. If $400 is ok, why not $450? If $450 is ok, how about $600? If ...

Ok, ok. I see your point.

     Glad you do. Because I grabbed a cracked copy of your software off the torrents last week.

That wasn't right of you to do that.

     How can you know possibly argue that?

Because you could afford it. And so could a lot of the people who will be downloading it.

    How can you possibly know that?

Something seems wrong with this argument you're making.

    There's nothing wrong with it. You're the one that introduced exceptions into the debate as wildcard arguments. Once you do that, you can argue virtually anything and not be wrong.

But...but...

     But me no buts! Unless you want to go back and possibly consider there are the deeper issues of morality and personal responsibility lurking under all this - and trying to duck it by introducing exceptions isn't an effective way to get down to the real issue.

I'm a little conflicted by all of this.

     Don't worry. We all are. So let's not let ourselves get distracted by bullshit arguments while we're trying to get it all sorted out.

Anybody ever tell you you're a royal pain in the butt sometimes?

     At least once a day...it keeps me young.



 Cool Wink


Absolutely good points. It is by no means easy to "solve/resolve".

I think it is useful to point out 2 things that we tend not to address:

1) The actual situation as it is in all perceptions of reality
2) The resolution of the situation


Now, everything I had mentioned before fits in perfectly with #1 there. I'll go through 1 simple example to outline how #1 applies. (To be clear - #1 is an ideal - not a prescription for dealing with reality.)

Take the poor farmer who makes a few hundred dollars a year and his 13 year old kid. The kid manages to get a tiny bit of money from dad and uses it to go to the local cyber-cafe to play with and learn about computers. Now, the kid goes and pirates my software as the $50 price tag is simply so far removed from his reality that the only way he can possibly use it is to pirate it.

I can't say that I begrudge that kid.

Now, take your average kid in the first world that gets $20 or $50 a week in allowance. Now there's no excuse. Most likely... (see below)

There are objective measures that can be looked at, as above.

I also think that there are intentional measures that only reside inside of the person and that only the person can measure. Here, I mean those sets of principles, morals, and ethics that most of us have. They're not really worth talking about though because whenever we do, we end up projecting our own principles, morals and ethics onto others. The topic can only be approached through sympathy and empathy, which in a legal context, is moot. "Laws" are anything but sympathetic or empathetic (which is why we have no justice).

If we can try to understand what those 2 kids are thinking/feeling and their experience of reality, then I think we are in a better position to know what right and wrong is.

Now, take the second kid with the allowance... Suppose his dad expects him to save it, and the kid knows that if he doesn't, he'll get beat. I can't really begrudge the kid there.

It's only by trying to get an "inner understanding" of others that can tell us whether or not an action is right or wrong. However, this is in many cases simply impossible. I do not mean to imply that this is an always possible task.

Moving on to #2 there...

So, it boils down to #1 simply not being possible for mere mortals. We cannot know the mental/spiritual states of people with certainty or exactness. This makes #1 basically useless for the purposes of resolving quarrels.

It then falls to law... An imperfect system that doesn't really work very well, but works better than not having it at all. Kind of like trying to slice tomatoes with large rocks.

Where if we could have perfect understanding of all perceptions of reality (#1), we could resolve situations with trivial ease. Since we can't, we resort to what we can do.

But what we can do really boils down to a very, very, crude version of #1. We simply try to discount all mental/spiritual states of being and attempt to determine what the physical reality is. We then come up with sets of rules for that physical reality.

Physical reality is much simpler to deal with. It requires very little thought or reflection. We can measure physical reality. This is what makes it easy to agree upon. You can pick up a book from the table and bang me over the head with it. We both know that it is a book and we both know that I have a head.

Reality then diverges... I know the pain caused by the book connecting with my melon, but you don't know, and can't know.

So, our rules reflect that. We punish you not for the pain I was subjected to, but for the act that we can observe.

*****

None of that is revolutionary or new. It's simply framing the situation differently than what most people are used to.


The current world religion of "science" is anything but scientific. We operate under what I believe to be false assumptions.

To be clear, the idea that all of reality can be reduced to empirical knowledge is not something that I can get on board with. I think Donald Davidson is pretty much bang on with Anomalous Monism.

http://plato.stanford.edu...entries/anomalous-monism/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anomalous_monism

My approach above reflects this, and under the current world religion of science and law, it suffers because it is outright rejected.

So, the slippery slope that you've outlined there fits very well into "objective reality" in that we can't determine what reality is for different people, and are constrained by that.

Again, to be clear, I'm not trying to offer a resolution to anything. I would leave that to greater minds than myself. I only attempt to offer a perspective that explains in part.

At some level, I think that most people will agree with some or much of what I've outlined, e.g. it's difficult to blame someone who is starving for stealing food. I think that we do have more than simple atoms and molecules between our ears. We are greater than the sum of our parts, and we transcend physical reality in many ways. i.e. We are souls that inhabit bodies.

It is unfortunate that we cannot have a system that works to address our reality.


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Deozaan
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« Reply #62 on: January 24, 2012, 09:18:15 AM »

Did you guys hear about MegaBox yet? Perhaps the "real" reason why MegaUpload was taken down?

In December of 2011, just weeks before the takedown, Digital Music News reported on something new that the creators of Megaupload were about to unroll. Something that would rock the music industry to its core. (http://goo.gl/A7wUZ)

I present to you... MegaBox. MegaBox was going to be an alternative music store that was entirely cloud-based and offered artists a better money-making opportunity than they would get with any record label.

[...]

Not only did they plan on allowing artists to keep 90% of their earnings on songs that they sold, they wanted to pay them for songs they let users download for free.

Read the rest here: https://plus.google.com/u...1626869/posts/HQJxDRiwAWq
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« Reply #63 on: January 24, 2012, 09:22:40 AM »

@Deozaan - Thanks for posting that! I didn't see that before.

It makes sense. Given the behaviour of the Media Mafia, it's hard to doubt that's a major motivating force there for them to snipe MegaDownload.

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40hz
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« Reply #64 on: January 24, 2012, 09:31:36 AM »

Timing is everything.

Can you say "preemptive strike"???

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« Reply #65 on: January 24, 2012, 10:08:41 AM »

Did you guys hear about MegaBox yet? Perhaps the "real" reason why MegaUpload was taken down?

In December of 2011, just weeks before the takedown, Digital Music News reported on something new that the creators of Megaupload were about to unroll. Something that would rock the music industry to its core. (http://goo.gl/A7wUZ)

I present to you... MegaBox. MegaBox was going to be an alternative music store that was entirely cloud-based and offered artists a better money-making opportunity than they would get with any record label.

[...]

Not only did they plan on allowing artists to keep 90% of their earnings on songs that they sold, they wanted to pay them for songs they let users download for free.

Read the rest here: https://plus.google.com/u...1626869/posts/HQJxDRiwAWq

I doubt it. According to a SCMP article the investigation against Kim Dotcom started in late 2010:

Quote
Customs did confirm it had been working on the case against Dotcom since late 2010, when the FBI approached it for help.

http://www6.lexisnexis.co...6287&Em=7&start=3
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« Reply #66 on: January 24, 2012, 10:53:30 AM »

Yeah... I heard that they'd been working on this for 2 years as well.

Either way, it stinks.

If they were working on it for 2 years, then the new business for MegaBox would be a great reason to kill them now.

The Media Mafia is polarizing me away from them. I lose respect and sympathy for them at virtually every turn.

Especially with Chris Dodd whining about how senators won't remain bought and paid for... Douche...



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« Reply #67 on: January 24, 2012, 04:17:12 PM »

Jonathan Coulton Destroys The Rationale Behind The Megaupload Seizure With A Single Tweet; Follows Up With Epic Blog Post

The tweet:

Quote
"Any other musicians notice that ever since they shut down MegaUpload, the money has just been POURING in?"


From the actual post:
Quote
Along with all the illegal stuff happening on MegaUpload was some amount of completely legal stuff. People used MegaUpload to send large files around. Some number of those files were personal files owned by the people sending them. I have no idea what the ratio was, and probably it would be impossible to figure that out with any certainty, but let's stipulate that it was a very large percentage of illegal activity, and only a very tiny percentage of the users were there for anything other than downloading content that they didn't buy. Still, today that tiny percentage had something taken away from them, without warning, maybe just a service they liked using, but maybe a piece of digital media that belonged to them - if they uploaded something and didn't keep a copy, that thing is now gone. Them's the breaks I guess, but in evaluating whether this shutdown was a net positive for us humans, you have to take that into account.
Even some of the illegal usage was likely the kind of activity that approaches what I consider to be victimless piracy: people downloading stuff they already bought but lost, people downloading stuff they missed on TV and couldn't find on Netflix or iTunes, people downloading stuff they didn't like and regretted watching or hearing and never would have bought anyway, people downloading a Jonathan Coulton album (oh let's say, Artificial Heart, the new Jonathan Coulton album, which is an awesome Jonathan Coulton album called Artificial Heart) and loving it so much that in a year they decide to buy a ticket to a Jonathan Coulton show and walk up to the merch table and hand me $20. I know not everyone will think all of those things are victimless crimes, and even I can admit that some of them maybe kinda sorta have victims, but my point is that you can't easily say that every illegal download is a lost sale, because it's a lot more complicated than that. So when you evaluate the "damage" that a site like MegaUpload is causing, you have to think about these things too. The grand jury indictment against them says they've caused $500 million in damages to copyright owners. Given the complexity of actual usage on a site like MegaUpload, how can they possibly know that?
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superboyac
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« Reply #68 on: January 24, 2012, 04:20:45 PM »

^^^I sure hope they don't keep ignoring the complexities.
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superboyac
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« Reply #69 on: January 24, 2012, 05:23:56 PM »

I don't get it...I was just reading some Obama stuff...he's saying all the right things, but nothing is moving in that direction.  I don't know...I have a hard time trusting any of these guys, even when they're saying the right things.  How f-d up is that?
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PhilB66
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« Reply #70 on: January 24, 2012, 05:44:38 PM »

What did you expect to hear from him in an election year, the wrong things? It's the same every single f*****g time, tell the public what it wants to hear but never/hardly ever deliver afterwards.
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #71 on: January 24, 2012, 05:50:58 PM »

Yes, deliver me from evil ... Straight to the malign.
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Renegade
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« Reply #72 on: January 24, 2012, 08:33:56 PM »


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Make good stuff, then make it easy for people to buy it. There’s your anti-piracy plan.

Ahem. How many times have I screamed about this like a complete idiot?

It's not rocket science. Make it easy for people to buy AND USE stuff, and you've solved most of the problem. And no... iTunes isn't an answer...


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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker
wraith808
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« Reply #73 on: January 24, 2012, 10:56:08 PM »

I will add... don't price it like its gold just because everyone else does...  undecided
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Deozaan
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« Reply #74 on: January 25, 2012, 01:57:41 PM »

I don't get it...I was just reading some Obama stuff...he's saying all the right things, but nothing is moving in that direction.  I don't know...I have a hard time trusting any of these guys, even when they're saying the right things.  How f-d up is that?

What he says and what he does are two separate things that often contradict.
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