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Author Topic: Why I Pirate - An Open Letter to Content Creators  (Read 12939 times)
doctorfrog
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« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2012, 02:36:51 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. To say that you have a RIGHT to someone ELSE'S hard work is a RATIONALIZATION, IMHO.

Hold on there, Sally. Just as a consumer can't expect his every demand to be met at once, neither can any sensible content creator or legal IP owner perch in a chair and expect people to line up and hand over cash on exactly their terms 100% of the time. It's not gonna happen either way, so keep your shirt on.

Consumer: the world don't owe you constant entertainment and software.

Content holders: the world don't owe you a living.

Both camps: get over yourselves.

Also, open letters to entire swaths of people are self-indulgent and useless.
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40hz
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« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2012, 02:58:55 PM »


Also, open letters to entire swaths of people are self-indulgent and useless.


Not when they're posted in a forum! They provide the kickoff point for a debate. That's what forums are all about.  Grin
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 04:18:40 PM by 40hz » Logged

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IainB
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« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2012, 04:27:16 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
Well, it sounds great when put like that, but it would seem to be just a high-sounding opinion naively flying in the face of what is apparently a quite different reality in practice. The reality being that under US law, the rights to some kinds of property seem to take priority/precedence - almost like an ideological god-objective in their own right.

Copyright is property, and the copyright owners have that right sanctioned in law, and because they are corporate legal persons with apparently greater democratic/lobby rights than public persons (QED), then their acknowledged statistically artificial claims (QED) to monetary loss from copyright infringement are regarded as truthful reasons to justify treating copyright infringement as a major felony - with punishments that seem to be sometimes far in excess of the sort of punishments meted out to people for having committed arguably more serious crimes - e.g., such as (say), large-scale banking or corporate fraud against the public, enslavement or killing someone.

At that point - having the status of a major felony -  no matter how harmless to other people this arguably victimless crime might be - the right to life and protection of life apparently takes a back seat.

Don't believe that? Look at the exemplary dotcom raid.

Don't think that the right to life can be that easily superseded?
Try these:

If you can read up on those links and watch the videos without it turning your stomach or making your blood boil, then you could well be insensate.
The real criminals here could arguably be the lawmakers, judiciary and the state police - all there for your legal protection. Oopsy-daisy, we just made it legal to kill, and then did kill another innocent civilian for some apparently farking minor or non-offence. All correct and necessary in the execution of duty. Oh dear, what a pity, never mind. One less "felon" to worry about.

OK, let's revisit this statement:
Quote
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.
Yeah, right.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 04:36:25 PM by IainB » Logged
db90h
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« Reply #28 on: March 09, 2012, 06:09:44 PM »

First, I am not a license nazi. I give most all my content away freely. I author lots of open source. I don't go to great lengths to protect my paid software. I guess that's why pirates have been selling it lately. I agree consumers are as important as producers, and that's why I treat them with respect and dignity. I don't make them jump through hoops to use something they paid for, for instance.

Second, here's a quick article from a two second Google search: http://krebsonsecurity.co...at-way-to-infect-your-pc/

Yes, some of this malware is extremely sneaky. Ever heard of a rootkit? These guys controlling massive botnets have hundreds of thousands of PCs under their control, and the PC owners have no idea they are infected. Rootkits make it near impossible to remove or detect the malware. I am sure there are safe pirated software out there, and I'm not trying to scare people, this is just the truth. Your machine could be infected for years and you never have any idea that it's used in DDoS attacks, or whatever other nefarious purpose the botnet owner desires.

I am not MAKING UP the fact that I have SEEN and ANALYZED with my OWN EYES pirated software that installs fine, seems to work fine, but comes with an extra surprise -- a permanent rootkit infection (or other type of malware). The user never has any idea. Not ALL pirated software is infected, but this is one of the largest vectors of spreading malware. That is fact, not a scare tactic.

It's a reality. Botnet owners can tell you! How else do you think they get hundreds of thousands of PCs under their control?

... Also consider this: What if someone decided they wanted to copy ALL OF DonationCoder.com and put it up at some other URL. That happens every day to large sites. Do they have a right to do that?

Do IP laws need reformed? ABSOLUTELY. Do content CONSUMERS need protected too? ABSOLUTELY. Do content consumers need to be treated with more respect? ABSOLUTELY. However, we MUST have IP laws, else we have chaos.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 06:25:04 PM by db90h » Logged
Renegade
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« Reply #29 on: March 09, 2012, 06:11:25 PM »



The US police are increasingly becoming militarized. Drop by InfoWars.com and find out more about that. It's sickening.

But for the right to life...

Ethicists Argue Killing Newborn Babies Should Be Allowed

Australian Bill Allows for Sterilizations Without Parental Consent at Any Age

Oh, hey... Let's kill babies and sterilize children! WOW! What a good idea!  Cry

Hello? McFly?

These people are insane!

I have a vested interest in copyright and IP. I make my living on it. But when it comes to copyright laws... we already have enough. No more are needed. We don't need to flush our freedom of speech down the toilet to protect copyright. We all know where that is headed. Because everytime we let governments take away one freedom, they line up to take another.

262,000,000 people were murdered by their governments in the 20th century. That's 10% of the world population in 1950.

We have every reason in the world to be very afraid of what will happen if we let them take away any freedom.

Copyright isn't that important.


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40hz
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« Reply #30 on: March 09, 2012, 06:16:26 PM »


Well, it sounds great when put like that, but it would seem to be just a high-sounding opinion naively flying in the face of what is apparently a quite different reality in practice.

It's not a smart-alecky comment at all. tranglos was addressing the underlying logic and philosophical argument being made. You're discussing realpolitik - which we all can appreciate is often different from what the law may actually say - even when it isn't flying directly in the face of it.

So I wouldn't dismiss tranglos' comment as either being high-flown or naive. It just elegantly and succinctly points out how morally and logically bankrupt one of the arguments being used in support of the realpolitik of copyright enforcement (i.e. the absolute sanctity law) actually is.

It also illustrates just how divorced most IP legislation is from reality because it ignores the predominant reasonable flexibility and "living practice" of enforcing laws.

For the IP protection mavens, copyright and related legislation is being presented as something akin to an inevitable force of nature rather than the human invention any law is. And like all forces of nature, those supporting this new legislation see such laws as being neither subject to human interpretation nor to amelioration in practice. These new laws are being seen as absolutes.

Naive and high-flown arguments? I should say so...

But they aren't the ones being made by tranglos. smiley
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db90h
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« Reply #31 on: March 09, 2012, 06:31:54 PM »

I edited my above post a lot, as I usually do. I didn't want drawn into this because I GIVE most all my content away FREELY. I treat my consumers with RESPECT and DIGNITY. Still, there are realities that are simply the truth:

  • IP laws need reformed, but we MUST have them - else somebody could copy ALL OF DonationCoder.com and set up some new domain and that would be 'just fine'. Without IP laws, we would have chaos.
  • FACT: Pirated software and other content *is* one of the largest (or the largest) vector for spreading malware. Often times this malware is completely transparent to the user, and once a rootkit is installed on the PC, the malware is virtually invisible to security software and the end user. It can lie there for years, being yet another zombie machine on a botnet. Botnet owners control millions of PCs in total, each botnet controller having their own botnet of thousands to hundreds of thousands. They then get together and coordinate attacks or do whatever else. I am not making this up to scare people. Please, do your homework before you question this, as I've worked for security companies and have analyzed this stuff with my own eyes. YES, there are safe places where pirated software is distributed, I'm sure -- but it's pretty darn hard to know which is safe and which isn't. The fact that so these botnets (or malware %) are so large says it all when it comes to malware.
  • As has recently happened, pirates selling my software and putting money in their pockets, leaving me with the 'support bill' isn't cool. That is, and should be, illegal.
  • Consumers should respect Producers, and Producers should respect Consumers. I am WELL AWARE that without my consumers I am nothing. I therefore treat them with the utmost of respect.

Again, I am no license nazi, with 95% of my work being either freeware or open source. Some seemed to mis-interpret my comments. I hope this clarifies it. As someone said, where's the compromise these days?
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 07:24:50 PM by db90h » Logged
40hz
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« Reply #32 on: March 09, 2012, 06:39:32 PM »

As someone said, where's the compromise these days?

Good question. That is one of the real problems with all of this. Too many people insist this is a zero-sum game - and behave and think accordingly.
 undecided
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superboyac
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« Reply #33 on: March 09, 2012, 06:54:38 PM »

As someone said, where's the compromise these days?

Good question. That is one of the real problems with all of this. Too many people insist this is a zero-sum game - and behave and think accordingly.
 undecided
There is no honest communication happening.  None.  No normal person can have an honest and open conversation with anyone in power.  Not bank managers, not people who can make decisions in large comapnies, not your politicians, not the president.  So anything the people in power are hearing is coming second-hand.  And they're not trying to fix that, so the communication will continue to have middle-men.  Middle-men remove the raw truth and emotion behind whatever words are said and written down.  being able to email your congressman through a form on a website is not personal and honest communication.  That's basically a congressman doing the bare minimum to communicate.  They are basically saying, "what can I do to make people think I'm accessible, but not actually have to deal with the people I'm supposed to be accessible to?"

And you'll see that most things are like that.  Anything that you, as a unique individual, truly desire and want to find out how to accomplish AND you need the help of someone other than a personal friend or family member, you will notice all the obstacles in place.

Think of it like the cell phone companies:
When you want to get your first cell phone, you walk in and within minutes you have your phone up and working.  Free things are all over the place and the efficiency is almost wizard-like.  BUT...when you want to terminate the contract...prepare to spend hours on the phone, or paying lots of crazy fees, and all sorts of other things that will make you feel shitty, paranoid, guilty, doubtful, etc.
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db90h
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« Reply #34 on: March 09, 2012, 07:19:24 PM »

Indeed, superboyac, the problem with a lack of any middle ground or compromise is far larger than this issue alone.

As for the trend of long-term contracts on everything, don't get me started ;o. It is the most outrageous crap, and *should* be outlawed in any civil society. I mean, to obligate yourself to any service or company for a period of years, with heavy penalties if you terminate pre-maturely is a form of indenturement similar to the indentured servants of the past.

If only our politicians were on *our* side... LOL. Strange how they aren't, when America is supposed to be the shining example of Democracy (even though it technically isn't a Democracy, before someone points that out ;p). As that leaked Citibank memo said, our society is now a plutocracy, something never intended or envisioned by the founding fathers. While they had a fear of true democracy, and hence set up the electoral college, they did not intend for the rich and powerful to hold sole control over our politicians.

And if you think things are bad now ... just wait as these new SuperPACs grow. Thank you Supreme Court, great job you did. (sarcasm)
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superboyac
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« Reply #35 on: March 09, 2012, 07:40:30 PM »

And if you think things are bad now ... just wait as these new SuperPACs grow. Thank you Supreme Court, great job you did. (sarcasm)
God bless Stephen Colbert for bringing those to light.
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IainB
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« Reply #36 on: March 09, 2012, 07:45:20 PM »

It's not a smart-alecky comment at all. tranglos was addressing the underlying logic and philosophical argument being made. You're discussing realpolitik - which we all can appreciate is often different from what the law may actually say - even when it isn't flying directly in the face of it.
...
Naive and high-flown arguments? I should say so...
But they aren't the ones being made by tranglos. smiley
Oh, sorry, I was not intending to suggest that it was a "smart-alecky" comment. I never for a moment thought it was. It made a very good set of points. I absolutely agree with the sentiments expressed by @tranglos in that statement, and someone probably had to speak those sentiments at some stage, as a moral/ethical principle or standpoint at least.

What I was referring to was the truth of the statement in the full quote. It has three parts:
  • 1. 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. (A general but absolute statement, probably true - certainly as a principle to be upheld in a free democracy - with inherent and commonly understood assumptions in terms of the existing laws of the land.)
  • 2. So why would property and copyright be the only rights to which there are no exceptions? (A question as to why the converse/contradiction of the 1st statement could be true in the single case of property and copyright.)
  • 3. When put like this, the position is untenable. (Therefore, the converse/contradiction of the 1st statement could not be tenable or true by implication.)
There is the important third part of the statement, which refers to and follows on from the first and second:
When put like this, the position is untenable.
You see, clearly it is tenable - or at least it seems to be in practice - because this "untenable" situation has become and/or is still becoming enshrined in law. I think I gave a reasonable and brief explanation to the question:
Quote
So why would property and copyright be the only rights to which there are no exceptions?
Why? Because the people pushing for this apparent contradiction want it and can achieve it if they push hard enough and "donate" enough to lawmakers/senators (QED) to do it.
Every day probably sees yet "another brick in the wall".
If it wasn't tenable, then it wouldn't/couldn't be happening, so the 3rd statement by @tranglos is invalid.

So, it is tenable in fact - and thus it would be a kind of "magical thinking" to believe that it is not.
It is probably a safe assumption that the majority of people reading the three parts of that statement quoted would nod their heads sagely up and down in agreement (I did anyway), certain of its truth.
But if you pause to look at it skeptically and ask "Is that really true? How is it substantiated?", then you can fairly quickly establish that it probably isn't true - though we would perhaps all like it to be.

How did it get to be so? By lawmakers and elected representatives being lobbied/"persuaded" by a powerful minority group to structure/restructure laws that enable the thing to be tenable (legal), even though the lawmakers/reps. would have probably understood full well that it went against the wishes and/or the best interests of the majority of the people (Joe Public) in the "free and democratic" system.
In such a system as this, of course, the wishes and/or the best interests of the majority of the people in this matter would seem to matter not one jot, and to have been pushed up where the sun don't shine.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 08:05:53 PM by IainB » Logged
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« Reply #37 on: March 09, 2012, 11:11:13 PM »

@db, it is estimated around half the PCs in the world use pirated software.
http://www.geek.com/artic...think-thats-a-ok-2011097/

If that pirated software doesn't bring the PCs it's on to a halt, doesn't have any other noticeable side-effects (like guzzling bandwidth), do you believe that the people who pirate care enough about what may or may not be happening under the hood, to go out and spend hard cash for something that they're currently getting for free?  

You used that as an appeal for people to stop pirating. I don't doubt you were sincere about the facts, but IMHO, you were saying what's been said a thousand times before and hasn't worked.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 11:34:44 PM by nosh » Logged
db90h
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« Reply #38 on: March 09, 2012, 11:37:14 PM »

I'm not trying to stop piracy, you misunderstand. I could care less if people pirate stuff, though I would prefer they didn't. I am just stating the real risks involved. Like others, I don't even go to great lengths to protect my own software, because I know it would be defeated no matter how much effort I put into it, and I don't want to inconvenience paying users. What I do care about is not having botnets of thousands of zombie PCs controlled by an anonymous person, thus giving him or her the power to DDoS whoever he decides he or she doesn't like that day. Of course, malware may not be used for DDoS, it could be used to steal their bank info or credit card data (something that is also very common). Lately, malware even does Bitcoin mining in the background, lol. It has gotten absurd.

Also, often times when I track down bug reports, the cause ends up being malware. These are annoying wastes of my time.

I'm no anti-piracy zealot. If people want to pirate, I simply suggest they take extreme precaution and be extremely careful with who they get the stuff from.

And you aren't really suggesting that malware is OK so long as it doesn't cause any harmful side effects, are you? Nah, surely not - seeing your last reply. No FUD here, just trying to tell people to be careful.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 11:50:48 PM by db90h » Logged
nosh
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« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2012, 11:49:43 PM »

Fair enough, but those "risks" are not seen as such by most pirates. It doesn't matter how many times and with what intention they're pointed out. In my experience, pirates will pirate while they can. But maybe you're had some luck in converting some people?

On the flip side, you may come across as someone who's trying to spread FUD, when all you're really trying to do is raise awareness.
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« Reply #40 on: March 09, 2012, 11:54:44 PM »

Quote
And you aren't really suggesting that malware is OK so long as it doesn't cause any harmful side effects, are you?

I'm saying most people who pirate don't care. Your speech may be rousing but the theater's empty.  tongue
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« Reply #41 on: March 10, 2012, 11:35:40 AM »

db90h, you talk as if software pirates invented the rootkit! Please try to remember exactly WHO first introduced most of the public to the "joys" of rootkits!

(Hint: Not to mention Sony BMG by name... -Oops! - but could it have been an overbearing corporation claiming to protect their copyrighted material?? So much for blaming pirates, db90h!)

Jim
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« Reply #42 on: March 10, 2012, 11:57:20 AM »

db90h, you talk as if software pirates invented the rootkit! Please try to remember exactly WHO first introduced most of the public to the "joys" of rootkits!

(Hint: Not to mention Sony BMG by name... -Oops! - but could it have been an overbearing corporation claiming to protect their copyrighted material?? So much for blaming pirates, db90h!)

Jim

In all fairness, I don't think it's all that relevant who may or may not have invented the rootkit. Or who first attempted to deploy one. It's still unacceptable no matter who did it, when they did it, or for what purpose. Rootkitting someone is wrong.

So let's not get too bogged down in finger pointing or arguing 'tit for tat' and "You're another!" This is too important an issue to allow ourselves go off on tangents.
 smiley
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« Reply #43 on: March 10, 2012, 12:10:02 PM »

db90h, you talk as if software pirates invented the rootkit! Please try to remember exactly WHO first introduced most of the public to the "joys" of rootkits!

(Hint: Not to mention Sony BMG by name... -Oops! - but could it have been an overbearing corporation claiming to protect their copyrighted material?? So much for blaming pirates, db90h!)

Thank you, J-Mac! I was just getting ready to make that point!

db90h, under the traditional definition, perhaps piracy and warez could be construed as being the leading attack vector for malware.

However, what if we broaden the definition? Malware is by definition software that performs unintended, usually harmful, unwanted actions to a user's PC. It's a brave, new world. By that definition, a lot of forms of DRM can fall into the definition of malware!

The installation of games that cause performance slowdowns or optical drives to (no lie!) disappear! The mandate that a user's PC must be connected to the internet in order to be used! And what of J-Mac's Rhapsody story above? His own ripped CDs were commandeered and rendered unusable by actions by a piece of software that could only fall under the description of a virus or trojan.

None of this could ever be construed as being wanted behavior by a PC owner. Therefore, I would make the bold claim that DRM is merely a sub-species of malware.

Piracy as the leading vector of malware? I think it may lose to Steam.
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« Reply #44 on: March 10, 2012, 12:12:49 PM »

So let's not get too bogged down in finger pointing or arguing 'tit for tat' and "You're another!" This is too important an issue to allow ourselves go off on tangents.

I don't think it's a tangent at all. It's been put forth in the thread that piracy should never be considered an option as this is where malware comes from. J-Mac was merely making the counter-point that even if one were to never pirate anything, one might become a victim of malware through the actions of a 'respectable' corporation.
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« Reply #45 on: March 10, 2012, 12:32:48 PM »

db90h, you talk as if software pirates invented the rootkit! Please try to remember exactly WHO first introduced most of the public to the "joys" of rootkits!

(Hint: Not to mention Sony BMG by name... -Oops! - but could it have been an overbearing corporation claiming to protect their copyrighted material?? So much for blaming pirates, db90h!)

Jim

In all fairness, I don't think it's all that relevant who may or may not have invented the rootkit. Or who first attempted to deploy one. It's still unacceptable no matter who did it, when they did it, or for what purpose. Rootkitting someone is wrong.

So let's not get too bogged down in finger pointing or arguing 'tit for tat' and "You're another!" This is too important an issue to allow ourselves go off on tangents.
 smiley

Sorry 40hz, but with comments like the following dl90h is briefly explaining what rootkits are and then intimating that software pirates are the main cause of it - with all CAPS even! Just thought I would educate back a bit.

Jim

Quote
Yes, some of this malware is extremely sneaky. Ever heard of a rootkit? These guys controlling massive botnets have hundreds of thousands of PCs under their control, and the PC owners have no idea they are infected. Rootkits make it near impossible to remove or detect the malware. I am sure there are safe pirated software out there, and I'm not trying to scare people, this is just the truth. Your machine could be infected for years and you never have any idea that it's used in DDoS attacks, or whatever other nefarious purpose the botnet owner desires.

I am not MAKING UP the fact that I have SEEN and ANALYZED with my OWN EYES pirated software that installs fine, seems to work fine, but comes with an extra surprise -- a permanent rootkit infection (or other type of malware). The user never has any idea. Not ALL pirated software is infected, but this is one of the largest vectors of spreading malware. That is fact, not a scare tactic.

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« Reply #46 on: March 10, 2012, 12:44:21 PM »

J-Mac was merely making the counter-point that even if one were to never pirate anything, one might become a victim of malware through the actions of a 'respectable' corporation.

Yes they can become victims. By a misguided response on the part of a content producer to a perceived threat from pirating activities...by people who were pirating originally because...

This can only turn into a "chicken or egg" circular argument after several iterations. Once again, it's turtles all the way down.

The only way to get beyond that is to handle it the same way reconstruction gets handled after civil wars. There comes a time when you have to say, we're victims of historic precedent. SO the only way to move forward is to remove the restraints such precedent has put on us and start with a blank slate. Forget about the past and put all the arguments and options on the table fresh.

It's no guarantee an acceptable compromise can be hammered out. But it at least provides hope that one could be.

None of this will ever go anywhere until both parties to the debate about creator's rights and consumer's rights agree to put the past behind them and stop looking to assign ultimate blame to someone. Because all of  that really is tangential to what all parties to this debate are hoping to accomplish - finding a way out of the mess we've created for ourselves over this.

Both sides have been guilty of selfishness, excess, and dishonesty.

How about clearing the tables and entering into some constructive dialog for a change?

That's all I'm saying. smiley
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 12:51:13 PM by 40hz » Logged

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40hz
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A'Tuin

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« Reply #47 on: March 10, 2012, 12:50:04 PM »



Sorry 40hz, but with comments like the following dl90h is briefly explaining what rootkits are and then intimating that software pirates are the main cause of it - with all CAPS even! Just thought I would educate back a bit.

Jim


I hear ya Jim! I'm not trying to lecture. (See my previous comment for a fuller explication of what I was thinking when I wrote that.)

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

@db90h - Personal request from 40hz: Please don't do the ALL CAPS thing? Pretty please? With sugar on it? (Maybe use italics for emphasis instead?) Thanks! smiley Thmbsup
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IainB
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« Reply #48 on: March 10, 2012, 03:28:29 PM »

As a possible solution to ALL CAPS accidents...
...
Tip - dispatching the CapsLock gremlin with Microsoft's remapkey.exe http://tips4laptopusers.b...apslock-gremlin-with.html
It refers to the Microsoft remapkey.exe utility.
...
Other keyboard mapping fixes are useful, but redundant if you use remapkey.exe, which works fine in Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and Win7-64 Home Premium.
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wraith808
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« Reply #49 on: March 10, 2012, 05:41:55 PM »

None of this will ever go anywhere until both parties to the debate about creator's rights and consumer's rights agree to put the past behind them and stop looking to assign ultimate blame to someone. Because all of  that really is tangential to what all parties to this debate are hoping to accomplish - finding a way out of the mess we've created for ourselves over this.

Both sides have been guilty of selfishness, excess, and dishonesty.

How about clearing the tables and entering into some constructive dialog for a change?

Well said, and seconded!
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