Obama administration: "Piracy is flat, unadulterated theft"

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Deshin:

Romidude:
*Looks at harddrive contents* TACTICAL NUKE INBOUND!

*EDIT* Actually it probably wont go through as it infringes on amendments(As far as I know being Canadian) AND BASIC FUCKING HUMAN RIGHTS.

We have no human rights, what we have is a list of temporary privilages that can be revoked at any time our owners see fit; and every year the list of temporary privilages gets smaller and smaller.

(I miss Carlin)

I miss Carlin too, but some of his political rants just became total shit. Like the one you said above.

Our owners? You know we elect those guys, we can run in those things? Seriously. Oh wait. He's dead, too busy fuckin' with god to hear me. Nevermind.

MisterShine:
I miss Carlin too, but some of his political rants just became total shit. Like the one you said above.

Our owners? You know we elect those guys, we can run in those things? Seriously. Oh wait. He's dead, too busy fuckin' with god to hear me. Nevermind.

You missed his message entirely...

The owners are the ones with the politicians (and judges) in their pockets. The ones who pay for the politician's campaign trail and funding, the ones who can turn around and shut down entire cities with a phone call.

Deshin:

You missed his message entirely...

The owners are the ones with the politicians (and judges) in their pockets. The ones who pay for the politician's campaign trail and funding, the ones who can turn around and shut down entire cities with a phone call.

And you both missDdemocracy entirely.

Politicians are busted in bullshit corruption all the time. They do have thousands of people and groups who watch pretty much everything they do, and all the reports they file. They get caught eventually. Plus, ya know, the whole checks and balances our entire government is founded upon. The reason why everyone calls "bureaucratic bullshit" all the time is because you have to go through 5 committees before you can even talk about changing the percent on a tax. We overthrow the government every 2-4 years about. Heck, it's in the first document our "government" ever put together.

Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

If there really is a problem, it's the people. Our government IS the people.

MisterShine:
*snips*

Patriot Act, Japanese-American Internment, upcoming ACTA: that's democracy in action? Don't deny that money isn't today's ultimate power. If you've got enough of it you can get away with anything. Commit a crime and you're rich? Pay bail, then hire best lawyer you can who can probably get you off on a technicality. Commit a crime and you're poor? Rot away in jail til your hearing and get a state appointed lawyer who messes up and gets you locked up.

and then theres people like me who know it's against the law and don't care.
If i buy a game it's cause i think the creators deserve the money for the product

no oneder:
You're taking your arguments out of context. Law changes, but for all the time we've been alive, copyright laws have been the same (or about to change). You can't say that just because law "shifts" and "isn't absolute" it's okay to blatantly steal another persons ideas.
It may shift, but it's law. Or you're trying to say that because in the future it'll be legal you're doing it now?
Im'ma wrap it up, because clearly this is like talking to a wall that is drowning in it's own verbal diarrhea.

Edit: Besides, all your points were just made up by criminals so they can defend themselves in court.

Unless we're living in some sort of fantasy world, you cannot steal an idea. You can copy it, but that is not theft. You can use it first, but that is also not theft. Theft is a concept limited to the physical, depriving one to empower another. The idea that duplication is theft is simply contrary to reality and pushed mostly by those employing obsolete business models in a world thats quickly leaving them behind.

Enter ACTA, an ungodly pile of shit designed from the ground up to murder the future. Its goal, wording, and purpose is to force the advance of information technology to a violent halt. All for the benefit of those we should be leaving behind with nary a backward glance.

The idea it will be ratified because people don't understand the intrinsic difference between forcibly transferring ownership and duplication is suicide fuel.

The only people that want you to think duplication is theft are the people who's business model is built entirely around being the sole body capable of reproduction. The people you're defending by being staunchly anti-piracy are not the artist, musician, or developer. They're the studio, the publisher, the label.

InfernoJesus:
Theft that is insanely hard to catch, just as hard to prove, and not even worthwhile enforcing? Sign me up.

I think this is the real reason why a politician would want to pursue this. It is politically easy to legislate. No real voice of dissent to fight such a stance and when it does come to enforcement there really isn't any actual cost to make any budget hawk even flinch as it just gives police another crime to put onto a person should they get caught.

I think in the end it will be illegal but you won't see any huge crackdown. Sure you will see this on local news but chances are it is the person who is sharing the pirated material en masse and not keeping things small and hidden.

No police department is going to hire a person just to find people who pirate because you need reasonable suspicion to even check a person's ISP and what sites they have visited.

Well yes it is, but that still doesn't justify the Copyright Nazis.

Onyx Oblivion:
Finally. One more thing I agree with the man on.

Which brings the list to 5 things. I'm not a big fan of Democrats or Republicans. I agree with the democrats on social issues like gay rights and abortion, but I agree with the Republicans on financial issues.

No way! Me too! I'm right wing on economic issues and Left on Social issues.

We need a party that shares our views.

Want to start an International Political Party?

Questions about piracy bore me a fair bit, and I'm pretty heavily affected by this issue, being on the corporate side of the music industry and all... thought I'd cherry-pick two of the more interesting comments:

Furburt:
If they're really so sad about the musicians, they'd force the labels to give them more than they currently do. Reading some of Steve Albini's articles on the issue, a member of a successful band can actually make less than an employee at Wal-Mart per year, depending on the label, while simultaneously making more money for the label then they would in their whole lives in a normal job.

Steve Albini has always been notoriously one-eyed about this issue. He's right of course, but the key word here is the "can" that I bolded. Artists certainly can make next to nothing even after a ton of sales, they can also do really well. Whether they do or not is dependent on things like their business savvy, their legal representation and contract negotiation skills. In a nutshell, whenever a band has a hit record they should immediately sit down with their lawyer and their label and renegotiate their record deal. Many bands don't renegotiate, or they don't use good representation that looks after their interests, and that's where they get shafted. Doesn't have to be that way though. Moving to a major label did wonders for Albini's pals in Sonic Youth who never regretted the move, but that was a band who had plenty of industry smarts and knew exactly what they wanted from a label going into the arrangement. Sadly, many bands are naive and clueless, they don't ask themselves that question, they just think a label is like this big machine that waves a magic wand and makes them a star/incredibly rich. Is it the fault of the industry for leading the bands down the garden path, or is it the fault of the bands for not opening a book or two and doing their research but instead believing in pie-in-the-sky "get a record deal and we've made it" rubbish? It's a good question. Industry practice has been recently that if a major label wants to sign you and you don't have legal representation, they won't let you sign until you do, they'll say "come back with a lawyer" - they know that if you sign without legal rep, if you then claim the deal was misleading/unfair you can always say "I had no lawyer plus I was drunk and high and they just shoved paper in my face" and a courtroom will be sympathetic. It's a deep and complicated issue and there are many sides, but if you think music artists get shafted, the print industry is even worse...

Gildan Bladeborn:

If the record labels had their way, you couldn't copy music that you purchased from one medium to another - if you wanted to use it on a portable device, in your car, in a home stereo, etc, that would be a separate purchase for each. Their dream scenario is a world where their customers have no other options but to purchase the same things over and over; these are not people you as a consumer want writing the law of the land, or you're going to get screwed over.

To an extent, this already happens. Your 12" vinyl doesn't play in your CD player in your car, you gotta buy the thing again. Why do you think record companies jumped on the inferior CD format so fast when we already had vinyl? Why do you think reissues, box sets, greatest hits compilations and "special editions" with bonus tracks or other teasers constantly come out? Sometimes singles are even released in multiple parts, forcing you to buy the same track over and over if you want the complete set, each disc with a different set of money-draining remixes...

As for the overall issue of piracy being theft, or whatever, I don't think that matters much, it still hurts the industry. I know, people say "if it's really good I'll buy it anyway", or "I wasn't going to buy it anyway" but not all those people are telling the truth, sales (and thus royalties for artists) have definitely been on one hell of a sharp downturn since torrents came out, I know this because I work in the industry and I've seen jobs lost and companies both big and small bankrupt or downsize drastically. I know plenty of teenagers who have massive music collections and haven't paid for any of it. Big, successful bands won't give a shit, they'll survive anyway (when you're as big as Radiohead you can afford to give away your new album for free), but it's the little artists that get shafted because they simply can't get a leg up, financially - their stuff appears on Russian MP3 sites sometimes before their CDs even hit the shelves...

I'm not going to comment on ACTA itself because the details are still being hashed out, but I'm not wildly concerned. What's being leaked at the moment isn't necessarily what it's going to be in its final form (remember the delay on ACTA has been because of negotiation) and even then it remains to be seen how it plays out in the real marketplace. Remember that most of you were already breaking the law anyway (nearly every single avatar on this site has been illegally copied, for instance) and if they're going to arrest you for that, where are they going to put you all? Of course they won't arrest you all. They'll take down a few bigger targets in order to scare off the rest - in other words, exactly what they do right now. Or they'll use it as a way to harrass specific persons that they might want on other charges (think about how Al Capone got done over). Also, a lot of current internet business models depend on copyright infringement (YouTube for instance) and that stuff isn't going to die quietly, the US isn't going to willingly shoot itself in the economic foot in this day and age. Even if ACTA gets passed in the fire-and-brimstone state that it's supposedly in at the moment, it's not that big a deal. Cops could just arrest you anyway.

TheRightToArmBears:
Pretty much. It's just really really easy theft. Like stealing candy from a baby. An unconcious baby. Man, I want some candy now.

Okay, don't get me wrong here, but I disagree with this. I am not pro-piracy, but I do have to point out that while it is theft, it still leaves the original in tact. Normal theft, eg, shop-lifting, does not.

And man, do I want candy too.

The Procrastinated End:
I'd be fine with this if they actually charged the people with the actual price of the things pirated, but no that's not good enough, they have to ruin some teenage lives.

That is because when they downloaded they could have shared those data packets to 10,000 people given them 1/13th of a song. That means they copied and spread those stolen goods. Making them not only steal, but to copy and "Sell" those songs forward, causing financial losses to the "Artist(Record label)" that must be repaid. So 1 cd costs ? 20euros that times 10,000 + legal fees.

And don't start with the movie downloads. If someone downloads a movie, they will share it with friend and will not go to see it in movies and will not buy DvDs or merchandises. So those great, story/plot writers and directors and whatnot don't get paid. Ofc, producers aren't the one demanding the moneys, the "artist are"

It is rather simple isn't it?

/sarcasm off

Sacman:
No crap, that's why it's called piracy...

That is exactly what I was thinking when I saw this.

In my opinion, this is just Obama's way of introducing the ACTA act before it gets signed.

This thread... it bothers me. This seems exactly like the kind of thing the Escapist usually deletes on sight simply for having the word piracy in it. It's interesting to see people's opinions on it though. Myself I'm only more disappointed in any government tan I've ever been. There are far better things the Obama administration could be dealing with. The U.S is an economical and military superpower and all it can think about is how capitalism can screw more people out of their money. What the fuck is wrong with this world?

BonsaiK:
I know this because I work in the industry and I've seen jobs lost and companies both big and small bankrupt or downsize drastically. I know plenty of teenagers who have massive music collections and haven't paid for any of it. Big, successful bands won't give a shit, they'll survive anyway (when you're as big as Radiohead you can afford to give away your new album for free), but it's the little artists that get shafted because they simply can't get a leg up, financially - their stuff appears on Russian MP3 sites sometimes before their CDs even hit the shelves...

Nice to see someone mention this. People like to point at the big bands out there and talk about how rich they all are, or point to the publishing companies and their giant yearly intake, and loudly proclaim that they have enough money and no one is getting hurt. As you pointed out, however, that's not really the case at all. The big bands don't feel the pain, and they more than make up for any losses with their giant tour and merch income. The heads of the publishing houses aren't going to be feeling it either, if revenue takes a dip they're likely the last ones to take a pay cut and if someone needs to be fired they're not going to fire themselves. It's the little guys that take even "small" losses on the nose. That indie band you were going to sign? Sorry, revenues are down for this year. Gotta cut payroll? That guy who works in the mastering department or the new guy on the art team that has a family to feed are a good place to start.

Deshin:

Patriot Act,

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

Several sections of which overturned for being unconstitutional and civil rights violations. Many attempts to have it repealed altogether, and somewhat successful in that when parts of the bill were phased out a few years ago. Since the bill remains, obviously a lot of people don't care enough to remove it, or like it the way it is.

Deshin:
Japanese-American Internment,

Yeah, that was a horrible mistake. World War 2 was full of them on every side. We apologized though?

Deshin:
upcoming ACTA:

That's a treaty being worked on exclusively by the executive branch. To become law it has to be passed by a supermajority of the congress. Even if all the supposed blatant civil rights issues remain, they will be easily shown as unconstitutional.

Deshin:
upcoming ACTA:

Don't deny that money isn't today's ultimate power.[/quote]

Money is societies value of worth placed upon a commodity. Supply v. Demand. It has always been power, but it isn't the ultimate power. Rich people are sent to jail. Better funded campaigns don't always win. News media and internet do a fairly good job keeping us informed. Worst comes to worst, you can run for office yourself ;)

AndyFromMonday:
I just lost respect for this administration.

er, why? technically, piracy is stealing and why shouldn't someone who is stealing something be dealt with (IN AN APPROPRIATE MANNER)

Downloading one song and being given a $600,000 fine isn't justice, it's just overkill. But you should be fined.

Pirates would have something to worry about if the US government didn't have bigger things to deal with.

This all hangs on the facile argument that a downloaded file = a lost sale. It does not. Those who think filesharing can be 'stammped out' or even curbed obviously have no grasp on the issue as all. Filesharing is here to stay and this baseline lack of understanding of it's nature and what is involved just make things even harder to untangle.

Sure the government can say filesharing is theft but what has changed? What can change without ahnilating the interent as we know it? Those pushing hardest against filesharing are those who wish to maintain their outdated buisness models, ie. the record indusrty. Many Musicians are not keen to condem filesharing as it basically pours abuse on their fanbase, many even see it as a tool or a neccessary progession.

The internet has brought a lot of acts a lot of exposier but it also makes it possible to share Data, at no cost, with anyone in the world at high speed meaning the actual worth of a digital music file is always being pushed towards Zero in terms of 'actual worth'. They need to adapt or fail rather than keeping up this weird sharade of 'fighting the criminal pirates' since so many people fileshare and many not in as harmful fashion as you are being led to beleive.

SODAssault:

AndyFromMonday:
I just lost respect for this administration.

You're really of the opinion that obtaining something for free, when it was only able to be created because somebody sunk a lot of money into it with the intent of having their investment refunded (at the very least) by sales... is in no way a form of theft?

It cost somebody else a lot of money to create what you're pirating. If you obtain it without payment, and without their consent, you're taking money from them without their permission. That's a very basic form of stealing.

Maybe you should read this treaty a little more carefully. Have you cleared your cache since viewing this thread? Then by the terms of Acta, you're guilty of theft. It isn't just applicable to music and videos. The way this is written, any intellectual property right saved to your computer, knowingly or not, is fair game. Corporate logos, trademarks, video game characters, just to name a few examples. My avatar is a picture of Mario. That is the intellectual property of Nintendo. Because you haven't cleared your cache, you have an unauthorized reproduction of Nintendo's property without Nintendo's written consent. According to ACTA, you've defrauded Nintendo and they may pursue you (or if you're underage, your parents or whoever pays your internet bill) for punitive and compensatory damages in court if they so choose. ACTA also allows for your internet service provider to scan your hard drive without your consent looking for copy right violations and notify the "defrauded" party.

And I suppose a savage beating is flat, unadulterated murder?

There's a pretty substancial difference between copying and permanently removing... If I custom build a, let's say computer case, and somebody else sees it and decides to copy it exactly based on measurements that were made public one way or another, they have effectively "pirated" my plans...it's not exactly the same as stealing my case.

Agreed, piracy is 100% theft. No matter how you decide to justify it in your mind, it's not just theft, it's theft of an unnecessary fringe benefit in life.

AgentNein:

AndyFromMonday:
I just lost respect for this administration.

Cuz it's such a stretch to consider piracy theft? I mean, the only people who've fooled themselves into thinking otherwise are pirates and idiots.

Is it different than physical theft? Absolutely. But it's still theft.

Copyright Infringement actually.

I have no problem stealing stuff.
so calling it theft really doesn't matter to me.

I don't really see the big issue here, there is no loss of money as the copies are not being made by the companys and most people who pirate things wouldn't even buy it, they would just use youtube or some sort of other legal digital media on the internet.

in short:
noone looses money on piracy.

(let the flaming come at me)

Damn it, I should have pirated EZdrummer before this law was thrown down.

Fucking great. Now I have to buy it a THIRD time. Stupid registration code shit.

Calling digital piracy theft is a slippery slope that leads to 85% of the internet users to become thieves.
Own that avatar/desktop background/mp3, video, image or game you got from a friend, do you? You don't, you say? Have a seat for 2 to 8 year in this cell, you thief you. Yes copyright infringement is badong but it's not theft. Only person I know of that is not an "internet pirate" is my mother because she don't use her computer for anything but emails and banking.

Whether Piracy is Theft or "Copyright Infringement" doesn't matter, your still depriving the owner of money. I'm not saying 100% of the pirated products would have sold anyway, but that doesn't matter at all.

The Procrastinated End:
I'd be fine with this if they actually charged the people with the actual price of the things pirated, but no that's not good enough, they have to ruin some teenage lives.

How, exactly? :S

Capitalism is a dirty business.

You know what, I'd admire the US government and the ACTA act if it was standing up for integrity. If it was standing up for artistic creation. But it's not.

It wants big business to have more power. It wants big business to make more money. You think they really gives a shit about the morality of piracy? Hah! You think it really cares about the fact that Musicians and Film Makers aren't making as much money as they could be? Hah! This is a government that kills tens of thousand innocent people a month. This is a government that is currently experiencing one of the worst environmental disasters of our times and doing next to nothing to solve the problem. This is a government that is willing to shit all over its constitution if it will provide a profit to them.

ACTA is out for the protection of multi-billion dollar corporations to safeguard and control their wealth. So is Obama.

Please. Whatever your thoughts about piracy, this bullshit coming from the Obama Administration and ACTA needs to stop.

Just like everything else that makes money in this world, the internet is going to become a branded, regulated, controlled, censored and privatised experience.

Valkyrie101:

The Procrastinated End:
I'd be fine with this if they actually charged the people with the actual price of the things pirated, but no that's not good enough, they have to ruin some teenage lives.

How, exactly? :S

Some lady was charged $80.000 per song for an album-torrent she uploaded to some torrent tracker. I doubt she will ever get back on track and will probably have an easier life by turning full time criminal.

Piracy is theft because you're getting something for nothing. It's basically freeloading.

Hateren47:

Valkyrie101:

The Procrastinated End:
I'd be fine with this if they actually charged the people with the actual price of the things pirated, but no that's not good enough, they have to ruin some teenage lives.

How, exactly? :S

Some lady was charged $80.000 per song for an album-torrent she uploaded to some torrent tracker. I doubt she will ever get back on track and will probably have an easier life by turning full time criminal.

Holy shit. That's just for uploading stuff, not downloading, though? And I thought ACTA hadn't passed yet?

Valkyrie101:

Hateren47:

Valkyrie101:

The Procrastinated End:
I'd be fine with this if they actually charged the people with the actual price of the things pirated, but no that's not good enough, they have to ruin some teenage lives.

How, exactly? :S

Some lady was charged $80.000 per song for an album-torrent she uploaded to some torrent tracker. I doubt she will ever get back on track and will probably have an easier life by turning full time criminal.

Holy shit. That's just for uploading stuff, not downloading, though? And I thought ACTA hadn't passed yet?

Well uploading is "worse" because you are making it available for everybody else to download, and I see why she got charged more than most would in that regard. But $80.000 per song is still ridiculous and $800 per song would be enough to punish her within her means. They did it as a scare tactic but ruined her life none the less.

TheRightToArmBears:
Pretty much. It's just really really easy theft. Like stealing candy from a baby. An unconcious baby. Man, I want some candy now.

To be honest, I'd take candy from a sleeping baby. If no one was looking and I really wanted it anyway. =/

Ham_authority95:
Have fun trying to enforce anti-piracy laws you guys :D

Hope you get that War on Drugs finished beforehand, though.

Yep. Throwing the whole country in prison poses some issues.

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