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Author Topic: Why I Pirate - An Open Letter to Content Creators  (Read 15186 times)
wraith808
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« on: March 08, 2012, 12:10:46 PM »

https://www.insightcommun...etter-to-content-creators

One 'pirate' explains why he downloads for free, and how to get his money.

Reading this, I saw echoes of my experience.  When I was a teen with no money, I obtained cracks and warez off BBSes, and distributed it through sneaker-net to my friends.  As I grew older and left college and got a job, I stopped, and started buying to support the industry, because I liked the games they were putting out.

Then it all started to go to crap, as the industry became larger and more exposed to those that wanted to make money and didn't care about games.  I still don't pirate out of principle, but it is very rare that I'll buy new games now.  One, I have a large backlog.  But that's not the real reason.  The game industry itself has made me not buy new titles off the shelf.  For one, there is a lot of signal to noise, especially with the pressure to release on a certain date rather than complete a good game.  For two, because the fact that most games aren't finished and aren't good, they go down in price really quickly.  And for three, because they have started to really overprice games, just for the sake of all of them being at the same price point, and, in the name of one game exec, "because they can".  As the writer points out, the internet took that away- they have to convince the consumers to buy, because their content is not held and their leisure.  I hope that the game industry can learn easier than the movie and recording industries because of the difference in the structure of the industry (i.e. no MPAA/RIAA to tell them that they're right and everyone else is wrong).  But I have my doubts.

One final thing I wanted to highlight, and it echoes something Renegade has been saying for a while:

Quote
I will still give you my money if you make me happy. The sad part is there are still times where I would gladly pay for something but the content creator has left me no choice but to download it. Techdirt seems to post a story like that once a week. I'm not going to deny myself the enjoyment of your creation just because you haven't figured out how to collect.
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rgdot
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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2012, 12:40:10 PM »

Before I comment, I want to say that this thread - along with its title - will bring more interesting search queries to DC  Wink

Be back after I read it fully.
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wraith808
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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2012, 12:43:14 PM »

The tl;dr version - basically:

  • Give your customers the opportunity to try your product in full
  • Make it available unrestricted
  • Make it available to all markets at once
  • Price it realistically
  • Cut out any unnecessary steps between loading the product and watching/listening/playing it
  • Be honest to your customers (both in terms of trailers & PR)
  • Add value not blockages
  • Make it as easy to buy as it is to pirate.

And accept that not everyone will buy a copy but more will buy it than would have under your current tactics.
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rgdot
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2012, 02:00:06 PM »

Living in a society/system where in some jurisdictions public companies are required by law to maximize profits it is almost naive to expect less from them. They will suffer some of the consequences - it is irrelevant how much those consequences are exaggerated by them - but will not stop, guaranteed.
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wraith808
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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2012, 02:09:56 PM »

Living in a society/system where in some jurisdictions public companies are required by law to maximize profits it is almost naive to expect less from them. They will suffer some of the consequences - it is irrelevant how much those consequences are exaggerated by them - but will not stop, guaranteed.

But I've heard it's insanity to continue to do the same things and get the same (or worse) results.  Their current tactics are *not* resulting in increased profits.  The amount they spend on lobbyists and the amount of ill-will they create far outweigh the few results they do get.

Even when shown the truth, they still fight against it.  Case in point- Apple wanted to increase the length of the samples available in iTunes because research had shown that this increased purchases. [1], [2]

Even given this, the music industry fought against it, first saying no, then attempting to get performance rights for a 60-90 second clip.  Greed is the only explanation for something that's better for the consumers and the publishers to be held for ransom like this.
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40hz
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2012, 02:14:08 PM »


Make it as easy to buy as it is to pirate.


 I run into this problem in stores, online, and on the phone. Over and over, it never ceases to amaze me just how difficult some businesses make it for you to pay them your money.

I was always taught by my business mentors that the stupidest thing you can possibly do when a customer has made up their mind - and is handing you their credit card  - would be to introduce anything into the equation that hinders the sales process.

Why do so many businesses not realize that? If you're buying something why do you have to:

  • Register and open an 'account' before you can use an online shopping cart.
  • Put up with one or more "upsell" attempts
  • Be forced to subscribe to a mailing list in order to register a product to protect your warranty
  • Provide personal information not needed to process a transaction
  • Get last minute "bad surprises" (ex: ridiculously high shipping & handling fees, etc.) when you're finalizing your transaction
  • Use PayPal - even when you don't want to
  • Find out they don't take _______ (fill in the blank)
  • Discover they only ship to the USA and its territories
  • Discover they don't ship to the USA and its territories
  • Have the shopping cart crash or refuse to finalize the purchase
  • Learn they're never open evenings or on weekends
  • Discover (the hard way) that there are no provisions for communicating by human voice for service issues or pre-sales questions

Drives me nuts when companies behave like this. There's enough quality competition out there. Why does any business in it's right mind do anything to give a potential customer an excuse to walk...

Oh.

Guess I just answered my own question didn't I? embarassed

« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 02:34:41 PM by 40hz » Logged

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rgdot
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2012, 02:19:26 PM »

But I've heard it's insanity to continue to do the same things and get the same (or worse) results.  Their current tactics are *not* resulting in increased profits.  The amount they spend on lobbyists and the amount of ill-will they create far outweigh the few results they do get.

Even when shown the truth, they still fight against it.  Case in point- Apple wanted to increase the length of the samples available in iTunes because research had shown that this increased purchases. [1], [2]

Even given this, the music industry fought against it, first saying no, then attempting to get performance rights for a 60-90 second clip.  Greed is the only explanation for something that's better for the consumers and the publishers to be held for ransom like this.

One possible explanation:
Protecting their way is part of the "profit". How? they will go down in flames otherwise so lower profits for longer time is better than conceding.
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40hz
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« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2012, 02:24:36 PM »

Living in a society/system where in some jurisdictions public companies are required by law to maximize profits it is almost naive to expect less from them.



@rgdot - I often hear the argument that there are places where public businesses are legally required to maximize profit as opposed to acting in a fiscally responsible manner.  These two things are similar in goal - but not the same thing under law.

Are you aware of any place in the western world where a business is required at all times to maximize profit under penalty of law? I've been searching for such a thing for a long time (more out of personal curiosity than anything else) and I haven't ever been able to identify such a jurisdiction or law. Not surprising when you're as ignorant about international business law as I am. Grin

Any input would be greatly appreciated.  smiley

Anyone have the answer? Anyone? Anyone?
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rgdot
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2012, 02:54:55 PM »

They might call it "shareholder value" or "the interests of the corporation" and just because it is interpretable in a court (many 'higher' laws are challenged in court too) doesn't mean it's not being practiced.

One read:
law.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2238&context=expresso 1.4MB PDF
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wraith808
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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2012, 03:01:37 PM »

Protecting their way is part of the "profit". How? they will go down in flames otherwise so lower profits for longer time is better than conceding.

How do they know that?  And if they go down in the process because they hung on to the old ways in the interest of protecting perceived profit instead of adapting to change their business model to keep up with their consumers, then don't they lose out in the end?  Because that's the way things are going...

Even the language- conceding instead of serving.  In the end, if you depend upon a consumer for your livelihood, you are in the business of serving, not competing with your clientele.  So in order to serve them (and in the end yourself), it would seem to behoove you to listen to and work with your customers instead of digging your feet in an alienating your client base.

Thoughts?
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40hz
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2012, 03:02:01 PM »

They might call it "shareholder value" or "the interests of the corporation" and just because it is interpretable in a court (many 'higher' laws are challenged in court too) doesn't mean it's not being practiced.

One read:
law.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2238&context=expresso 1.4MB PDF

Thx! Much appreciated. smiley
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rgdot
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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2012, 03:05:16 PM »

Protecting their way is part of the "profit". How? they will go down in flames otherwise so lower profits for longer time is better than conceding.

How do they know that?  And if they go down in the process because they hung on to the old ways in the interest of protecting perceived profit instead of adapting to change their business model to keep up with their consumers, then don't they lose out in the end?  Because that's the way things are going...

Even the language- conceding instead of serving.  In the end, if you depend upon a consumer for your livelihood, you are in the business of serving, not competing with your clientele.  So in order to serve them (and in the end yourself), it would seem to behoove you to listen to and work with your customers instead of digging your feet in an alienating your client base.

Thoughts?

The board of director types see your downloading exactly as that. They see you using megaupload as competing with their not free version.
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wraith808
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2012, 04:48:48 PM »

The board of director types see your downloading exactly as that. They see you using megaupload as competing with their not free version.

But does that make them right?  Or misguided?  As I said, I don't pirate.  But my buying habits have definitely changed because of their actions.

I had a DVD I bought.  I'd already seen the movie, but I bought it because I liked it.

One night before bed, one scene was on my mind.  So I decided I'd look at the end of the DVD.  I had about 15 minutes before I wanted to be in bed... plenty of time.

I put the DVD in.  First I had to watch the warnings.  In 3 different languages.  With no way to get past them.

Then there were the trailers.  The standard buttons didn't get past them.  I finally figured out how.

Then, it advertised the publisher.  I fast forwarded past it as I couldn't automatically get past them.

I prepared for the menus to come up.  But the warnings came up again.

Long story short, I spent 30 minutes trying to get to the scene I wanted.  But all I ever saw was the promotional material and warnings against copying.

It was at that point that I stopped buying DVDs immediately when they came out.  Not because of that one instance- that was just the straw that broke the camel's back.  But a series of decisions by the same executives came to the point where it reduced me from buying almost every release of action, sci-fi, and many other movies when they came out, to buying them for vastly discounted prices later, to just not watching many theatrical releases on DVD.

So how did their decisions to inconvenience a paying customer result in increased revenues?  It's not just the file sharing people they're alienating.
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superboyac
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« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2012, 05:58:59 PM »

^^ EGG-xactly.

When I was in college, I had a downloaded copy of one of my favorite movies, Terminator 2.  A few years later, the Xtreme edition DVD came out, so I got it.  It bragged about having a special high-def version of the movie on it.  So I put it in, and similarly had to wade through all the promotional/advertising nonsense.  I watched the movie.  Fine.  Then I tried to "access" the high-def version, which could only be played at the time with Windows Media Player.  I spent, no joke, a week trying to configure everything to work...codecs, installation, reinstallation, rebooting, etc.  I tried everything and never got it to work.  What did I do?  Plopped in the downloaded copy and watched that.  no problem at all.  Double-click...boom, I'm watching the movie.  hassle-free, buffer-free, ad-free...just pure enjoyment.

Now...can I take any "action" against the comapnies for making it darn near impossible to watch the high-def version that was so prominently featured on the DVD cover?  Nope.  At best, i can get my money back.  What about all the time and effort I wasted?  Not their problem.  not an issue, will never be an issue...it's just the nature of things.  Governments and big companies...all of that stuff...they will NEVER value the time/effort people waste by reacting to THEIR decisions.  Because it doesn't mean anything to them as far as money is concerned.  They will only move or act on something if their money is threatened.  This is the nature of things.  It's not worth fighting, at least not for me.  I just do my best to be aware of it and not waste more of my time and effort than I can stomach.

I live in Los Angeles...and even if your household is pulling in $100k, you will still feel "poor" because of the demands made on your time and effort.  And that's a crazy thing.  I see it with my friends and family members that have kids and spouses.  Chasing after the scraps is basically living in poverty.  Sure, the scraps amount to $100k, but that's all relative.  Can't easily go on vacations.  Can't easily have time to relax as a parent.  Can't afford to just take a month off and decompress.  Wanna move?  Go ahead...good luck finding a job...and good luck managing the move until you do find a job.
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db90h
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« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2012, 02:03:31 AM »

.
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doctorfrog
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« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2012, 02:50:13 AM »

"I'm not going to deny myself the enjoyment of your creation just because you haven't figured out how to collect."

I once felt this way myself, but I kinda grew up. This is extremely immature, but it's also the attitude of someone (again I was like this myself) who probably wasn't going to part with a buck to support your work anyway. I jumped in and out of hoops downloading the stuff I wanted, went to the trouble of archiving and hiding it just in case. I felt completely justified and it was actually pretty fun getting stuff "my way."

A lot of what changed my attitude, though, was just basic patience. Just about every game, movie, TV series, or piece of music I ever coveted, and then some, eventually has taken one of two paths:

1) It will arrive on a delivery platform that works for me, and requires an absolute minimum of cost and hassle.

2) It won't, and I will live just fine without it.

The idea that you're entitled to exactly the form of entertainment that you desire at any given moment isn't so much self-serving as it is self-limiting. You'll be OK if you don't play Mass Effect 3 this year. You'll survive. Either Mass Effect 3 will eventually get to you in a more convenient and pleasing fashion or you'll just get over it. For cripes sake, go outside. The world don't owe you a livin', and it don't owe you entertainment, either.

This approach obviously doesn't work for everything, every person, every parcel of entertainment or software, and it isn't meant to. Sometimes you really do need to reach out and grab something. Disney is incredibly hawkish about IP rights, to the point that I feel that they have denied the public good in an interest of locking down their content. If someone denied me the works of Charles Dickens or L. Frank Baum, I'd be really pissed off. Censorship makes my blood boil. Some stuff really does need to be accessible, unfettered, and freely available.

But the stuff people get most mad about is often the most petty.
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db90h
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« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2012, 02:58:23 AM »

. This is a stupid debate
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« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2012, 04:06:03 AM »

...content CREATORS have a RIGHT to charge whatever they want and to CONTROL the distribution of THEIR creations...

Disagree. And I am saying it as a content creator. My work in not sacred. I want to have a friendly and respectful relationship with people that "consume" my work.
* The piracy protection in my commercial software is a joke. Even computer newbies can circumvent it if they tried.
* The price tag on my commercial software is also a joke. Why did I pick that price? To not appear cheap. That is the only reason. If every consumer tracked (or just estimated) how much value did the software bring to him and paid me like 5% of that, I'll be perfectly happy. But this does not work, because people have been controlled by the content creators for so long and are conditioned to think in a weird (bash me, go ahead) way.

In short, the consumer is at least as important as the producer. They have to discuss their relationship and come to an agreement. Attempting to *control* something *generates* the piracy.

Donation-fueled software is the answer. It does not work yet. My freeware projects are bringing home less than 10% when compared to my commercial apps. It is because of the mindset of the people. There is only one software, not freeware and paidware. They will reunite again in the future. My belief is that the more people adapt the pirate mindset, the more will donate.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2012, 04:56:12 AM »

The problem is when something is available for free people take it (and usually don't even say thanks).

Donation based software is different and I think a lot of people get confused over the idea.

In both of these models supporting the product by including tons of unwanted crapware is really annoying - but I can live with it provided there is a clear way of avoiding installing it.

Fully commercial software is fine by me and most people provided you can install it and use it as you want without headaches.

As you say consumers are as important as the developers (if not more so). A commercial developer doesn't have a product if consumers don't buy it!

The problems start when developers try to protect their investment - I don't object to licensing and if it is a well established company I don't really mind activation to enforce licensing terms. But I do object to the addition of crap to software that screws with your system and I really object to enforced activation with no option to deactivate. I really don't understand why developers haven't grasped that people change computers or reinstall operating systems and it is real PITA if you have to contact dozens of vendors to ask for permission to reinstall their software or re-license DRM based media. (I have only ever once been declined this request but it is still a PITA).

One of the few companies that have got it right (IMHO) is Adobe - at least you can install on two machines and activate/deactivate as required - and activation/deactivation is quick. Effectively it means you can have the software installed on as many computers as you like but only have it activated on two at any one time.

Having said all that I get the impression pricing is more to do with market economics (how much can we get you to pay) than real reactions to perceived piracy. From what I have seen piracy seems more to do with a collection/magpie mentality than actually using things for real purposes. In real terms I would guess your 5% rule is probably about accurate for most people - certainly is for me - I have purchased a lot of software over the years and I guess the majority is no longer used, no longer compatible or has simply disappeared in some corporate takeover!

For me I watch media and try out software off the internet and if I feel it is worth watching/listening/using and fulfils a need I will purchase it. |I wouldn't buy a car without a test drive - I am certainly not going spend a lot of money on software without giving it a thorough tryout first. As for DVDs and silly warnings you can get unlock codes (or remotes) for most machines that allow you to bypass the function restrictions if it gets to you that much. On UK DVDs now a lot of the piracy warnings can be legitimately bypassed by pressing next or menu - presumably in response to all the complaints they got. I have never really seen the point of the piracy warnings anyway - why warn me, a legitimate purchaser, not to pirate? But then the media 'industry' haven't got too many braincells when it comes to their consumers.
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wraith808
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« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2012, 10:30:45 AM »

In short, the consumer is at least as important as the producer. They have to discuss their relationship and come to an agreement. Attempting to *control* something *generates* the piracy.

+1.  But this idea that you have a *right* with anything intellectual when you have to depend on other people to consume whatever you do with intellectual work is where the insanity comes in.  It's just like a lot of other things today- there is no moderate position.  Whatever happened to not just agreeing to disagree, but compromise?  And to get around it, in a lot of case we say that *they* (pirates, media creators, etc) are worse that we are.  And that it's their fault.  And when the other side is pointed out and explained, we let our emotions get in the way and completely dismiss the statement instead of analyzing it to find out what parts of their mindset we can integrate in order to make their radical stance a bit less radical, and move more towards the center ourselves. 

I think this is one of the failures of our digital world- things move so fast, and we lose such nuances that we are rapidly becoming a world of extremes, and this is one of the cases where that becomes evident.  Both sides have valid points.  And in the case when we were dealing with something physical, we'd have to come to that realization.  Look at the devices we make to consume these digital things- the devices make that compromise, and we don't have the same problems.  Another good example is art.  If it's in a digital format, it's very hard to get someone to pay for it.  However, if it's in a printed form, that possesses a more tangible value, and is easier to get someone to pay for.

This is becoming a rambling treatise, so I'll stop there.  But it is troubling, at least to me.
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« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2012, 10:37:40 AM »

Do you realize how much malware gets bundled with pirated software? It is where most of it comes from, arguably. This isn't a theory, this is a fact. I've analyzed a considerable amount of it myself in prior jobs. The software appears to be fine, installs fine, but you get a little extra, totally hidden, present along with it. THAT is what piracy is today.

No. This is what the software publishers would have you believe. Oh, that's right. You are a software publisher, aren't you, db90h? I'm sure you're a nice guy, but you have a dog in this fight so anything you say will be (unintentionally) biased.

Sure, if a person goes to those shady web sites that have catalogs of cracks or if they use most of the peer-to-peer file-sharing programs, sure...they are probably going to be infected, but the educated, savvy pirates know where to go to get software that runs buttery smooth with no performance-robbing DRM and is malware-free.

Every release group (those that bring the pirated software to the masses) does so to build up their rep and street cred among the other release groups, always competing to bring the latest, greatest software the quickest & before their rivals. Sticking a piece of malware in their release would wreck their precious reputations. Sure, an unscrupulous third party could later get ahold of that release and inject some malware, but like I said before....the educated, savvy pirates know where to go to avoid that. The dangerous thing for software publishers is a focused Google search is the only thing keeping people from becoming savvy & educated. Fortunately, what works in the software publishers' favor is laziness. People usually want the quickest, easiest, cheapest methods....so they'll be doomed to virus-filled Kazaa downloads.

Quote
I agree otherwise, but BEWARE. Also, don't think your security software can protect you from malware. That crap is regenerated DAILY and the scanners can't keep up. NO, that does not mean you should install multiple security suites, then you just get a really, really slow PC with lots of problems and more false positives than anything.

While I agree that new malware is written every single day & there's no way the security suites can protect against it all immediately, there's almost no chance of 0-day malware infecting any illegal software downloads just because of the way that culture works. The 0-day malware writers want to target the largest pool of victims possible. That's not peer-to-peer users. Sure, that malware may make it into the world of piracy eventually, but it'll be long after even McAfee will be able to detect it & neutralize it.

Quote
Sure, there are probably non-malware sources of pirated software - but the laymen user doesn't know. So, I wouldn't EVER condone this practice. Not because it is illegal, but because it is unsafe and spreads malware.

The laymen do spread malware, but fortunately it's the equivalents to Sasser & Blaster. These days I'm far more worried about the malware that comes through PDF exploits & advertising banners on web sites than anything that little Bobby or Suzie download from that cool new peer-to-peer program all the hip kids are using at school.
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« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2012, 12:08:41 PM »

Quote
Do you realize how much malware gets bundled with pirated software? It is where most of it comes from, arguably. This isn't a theory, this is a fact. I've analyzed a considerable amount of it myself in prior jobs. The software appears to be fine, installs fine, but you get a little extra, totally hidden, present along with it. THAT is what piracy is today.

Must be some reeeeal sneaky low-level shit, just sitting there... biding its time. Or else most home PCs in the third world would have ground to a halt by now. Wink
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« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2012, 12:14:00 PM »

There was a time when I would have condemned that article. That time is long past. Personally I have never used any pirated software except one - and I still use that one today. (More on that later...) Also I haven't downloaded music or movies illegally. But... I no longer feel as strongly against such things as I did before. The entertainment industries have become so nasty, so overbearing, that I actually enjoy articles like the one linked above. I root for the pirates - they are now my "home team". I am disgusted by the graft paid to pass laws like SOPA, ProtectIP, and so-called treaties like ACTA. I am even more disgusted by the thousands of lawsuits by RIAA and MPAA. Not sure why but I seem to take all of that personally. At some point I imagine that I too will finally feel that last straw as my back breaks and start downloading anything and everything I possibly can!

I said earlier that I have never used pirated software with one exception. That exception is a piece of medical software for CPAP machines that was once available to consumers from Respironics. However they never allowed updates and eventually stopped making it available to non-medical professionals. So that software has become a standard download for almost anyone using a CPAP machine. I still must download pirated updates every time one is released. I don’t feel the least bit guilty about this as the software is not available otherwise. All other software that has ever been on a computer of mine has been purchased, is donationware, or is freeware (in which case I always donate if I find it useful and continue using it). Regarding music and movies, I did download roughly 60 or 70 tracks from Napster before the lawsuit. All were either TV show themes or similar cuts that weren't available any other way. Movies? Every movie I have at home is from a DVD I purchased, though I do rip each and every DVD to a hard drive and strip out the warnings and previews. No way I intend to keep that crap on any DVD I rip! I also subscribe to Netflix (streaming only now) and I have Amazon Prime for more movies.

Has DRM ever bitten me? Of course - I don’t know if anyone can honestly say it hasn’t gotten them at some point. A two-hour video I downloaded - an instructional video - had DRM and required a password to be entered every time it was started. I watched about 45 minutes and then when I tried to continue later it would not take the password. No help at all from the vendor. I finally was sent an email from another person who had purchased it and experienced the same problem. It said that I had to use the original WMP 9.0 - no updates at all and no newer versions. It instructed users to uninstall WMP and find somewhere to download the original, virgin WMP 9.0. They had stopped sending out that solution by the time I had contacted them. (2 years later I was speaking with a new owner of that company and he sent me that video in DVD format along with several others. But two years?) I also lost the use of about 2,000 music tracks I had ripped from my own CDs. I subscribed to Rhapsody for about a year, the service where you can't download any tracks but just listen to them. It was cheap - through Comcast - and once I had become disabled my computer was the only place I ever listened to my music. So that was OK until Rhapsody apparently ran into some pirating problems, real or perceived, I don’t know, but I had to install several updates because the previous one was screwing up my machine. (A problem for everyone, not just me). The anti-pirating software baked into their player was messing all manner of computers up. So I dropped the subscription. My problems arose with WMP 11 or 12 - not sure which. Rhapsody allowed you to build a database of your preferred music from which you could make playlists, etc. All the tracks stayed on their server; users could just listen to them with this subscription. Also, Rhapsody scanned your computer and listed all tracks found in the database so you could listen undecided to them on their player too. About a year or so after I uninstalled Rhapsody, WMP (11 or 12) refused to play any of the songs that were ripped from MY DVDs but were listed in the Rhapsody database, saying that I must have the Rhapsody player installed so that WMP could check to see if I needed a license for those tracks or not. Bullshit! Rhapsody had apparently tagged my tracks in a way that Microsoft wasn’t sure if they were mine or not. I have all the CDs but I really didn't feel like re-ripping them all. But that's what I had to do, because I could not find a way to "clean" the Rhapsody info from the tracks, and so many damn players use the WMP engine and thus also refused to play the tracks.

As someone who always purchased my music, movies, and software this stuff has been niggling at me over the last five or six years....

Too tired to continue bitching - I'll bitch more later.   Thmbsup

Thanks!

Jim
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tranglos
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« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2012, 02:08:24 PM »

"I'm not going to deny myself the enjoyment of your creation just because you haven't figured out how to collect."

I once felt this way myself, but I kinda grew up. This is extremely immature, but it's also the attitude of someone (again I was like this myself) who probably wasn't going to part with a buck to support your work anyway.

AMEN! Whether we AGREE or DISAGREE, content CREATORS have a RIGHT to charge whatever they want and to CONTROL the distribution of THEIR creations.

There's a very fine line there. Creators? Maybe. But Franz Kafka told his best friend to burn all his writings after his death - instead the guy published them and for a good reason, too. This happens all the time to many authors, both celebrated and entirely unknown while alive.

But then, the whole debate is more about music and film. In music and film, first of all there is almost never a single creator. Second, and more important, the actual creators don't really have a say in any of this, do they? It's not the creators, it's the publishers. Whoever owns the rights, usually bought for a pittance, a sliver of the actual worth.

Remember when Michael Jackson bought rights to all (or most of) the Beatles catalog? It's hard to imagine how this is even possible and legal, but hey, it is. So - theoretically - Michael Jackson could decide (back when he was still with us) that he wasn't going to permit any distribution or public performance of music by the Beatles. Does the "right to control" still apply here? I can't see why not, but I also can't see why anyone should respect that and be denied Beatle music, just because a random person now owns the rights and does with them as they see fit (again, theoretically).

There is no one right that trumps all other rights, not the free speech, not the freedom of assembly, not even the right to life. So why would property and copyright be the only rights to which there are no exceptions? When put like this, the position is untenable.

On edit: Finally, we should be talking about what is, not what we would like to be. What is is that as long as it's so much easier to download then to acquire and play legally, downloading will happen. As the OP/article says, it's not about the price, as long as the price is reasonable. It's about availability. When Amazon sells a printed book or a Kindle book only to US addresses, this is bloody ridiculous, and nobody should respect that limitation.

There was a book, pretty expensive as books go, that I could not order to Poland. Amazon would only ship it to the US. So I bought the book when I was in the US, how about that? I then brought it home with me. If the publisher has the final say, then what I did should somehow be illegal, however ridiculous that sounds. If it's a Kindle book, I can either buy it via a VPN or proxy (misrepresenting myself to Amazon), or I can maybe find a "liberated" copy on the net. I don't care which. The book has been published, hasn't it, and I really couldn't care less if an American publisher can't work out their differences with a European publisher.

This goes triple for movies and especially serial TV shows. In some countries seasons of the most popular shows are broadcast two or more years behind their US premiere. Then sometimes the local broadcaster will only by the rights to season 1 and 2, say, and forget about seasons 3 and 4. This is exactly what motivates people to download the whole thing from bittorrent, and why not? Seriously, the rights owners behave as if they did NOT want to make any money from publishing the stuff that they have. But it's their problem. Maybe they need counseling. No-one of their potential customers should lose any sleep over it.

« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 02:21:03 PM by tranglos » Logged

40hz
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« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2012, 02:13:34 PM »


There is no one right that trumps all other rights, not the free speech, not the freedom of assembly, not even the right to life. So why would property and copyright be the only rights to which there are no exceptions? When put like this, the position is untenable.


Very good point, nicely argued. Well done, tranglos!  Thmbsup

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