Piracy Law No Deterrent, Study of French Law Indicates

Piracy Law No Deterrent, Study of French Law Indicates

In fact, it makes pirates sneakier, this study of France's Three Strikes law suggests.

France's HADOPI or three strikes law, passed in 2009 and revoked in 2013, was meant to protect creative works on the internet. It had as its ultimate penalty suspension from the internet, for a period from two months to one year. But did it work? No, a recently published study by French and American academics suggests. Not only did the law have no substantial deterrent effect, those who were best educated about the law and piracy alternatives simply avoided monitored P2P networks and accessed content illegally through unmonitored channels.

The study is based on self-reported data from 2000 respondents sorted by age, gender, occupation and location, who were asked their views on the HADOPI law. About 37.6% admitted to illegal downloading, of whom 16.4% were given a HADOPI warning. This didn't stop anyone from pirating material, though it did affect the frequency of their downloads. All in all, the overall effect on file sharing was "negative but insignificant," the researchers conclude.

The bigger problem is the social network. If friends, family and the entire network are happily complicit in downloading, the likelihood that an individual will pirate increases. This is so even though people tend to overestimate the reach of the HADOPI law, and assume that unmonitored channels are actually being monitored. Those who are aware of the law don't stop pirating content; instead they become more strategic about it, selecting unmonitored sources to avoid detection.

The researchers feel that the only way a graduated response system like HADOPI is likely to have any effect, is if it starts cracking down on a significant portion of the population. If everyone's getting warnings and being punished, the allure of piracy vanishes. But HADOPI became unpopular, and was revoked, precisely because people didn't like it being enforced. Its ultimate sanction, removal from the internet, was so unpopular that it was removed, and in its lifetime was enforced only once.

The full paper can be found here.

Source: Ars Technica

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You're saying that people willing to break the law to acquire something don't stop just because a different law is passed? I am incredibly surprised by these findings.

Still, this sort of paper is always necessary. Things that are 'obvious' or that 'anybody could have seen' still can't actually be used as fact until you actually have concrete numbers instead of just some guys on the internet rambling.

"We asked a bunch of strangers whether they were breaking the law and 40% of them admitted to it."

Am I reading that wrong, or something? O_o

Not really a surprise that a deterrent whose 'ultimate penalty' is suspension from the Internet for a year doesn't actually deter many people, that and the low percentage of pirates who even got a warning to begin with.

Its ultimate sanction, removal from the internet, was so unpopular that it was removed, and in its lifetime was enforced only once.

Yeah, out of a population of over 60 million, one person was disconnected. I'm sure the French were trembling in fear >.>

Alpha Maeko:
"We asked a bunch of strangers whether they were breaking the law and 40% of them admitted to it."

Am I reading that wrong, or something? O_o

Its self reported data, in other words they did an internet poll.

albino boo:

Alpha Maeko:
"We asked a bunch of strangers whether they were breaking the law and 40% of them admitted to it."

Am I reading that wrong, or something? O_o

Its self reported data, in other words they did an internet poll.

As i read the report, they actually selected the people based on some criterias to get a good distribution of age, occupation etc., so it's not just your standard "Let's throw up a poll and see what random people respond" kind of poll (which of course would be silly in a scientific scope). Also the sample size of around 2000 people is pretty decent.

No law is a deterrent, if they were then there would be zero crime. Does that mean we should stop enforcing these laws? No.

SonOfVoorhees:
No law is a deterrent, if they were then there would be zero crime. Does that mean we should stop enforcing these laws? No.

Why not? If they are not deterrents, then we could stop enforcing all laws, spare a lot of money on enforcement, and the rate of crimes wouldn't increase anyways.

Alterego-X:

SonOfVoorhees:
No law is a deterrent, if they were then there would be zero crime. Does that mean we should stop enforcing these laws? No.

Why not? If they are not deterrents, then we could stop enforcing all laws, spare a lot of money on enforcement, and the rate of crimes wouldn't increase anyways.

People that commit crime do so because, for them, the gain out ways the risk. For others the risk of being caught isnt worth the rewards of the crime. Unfortunately, depending on the law, crimes would increase.....for instance speeding, shop lifting etc An for people that commit crimes now, if there was no law then they would have a field day and crime would increase.

Athinira:

albino boo:

Alpha Maeko:
"We asked a bunch of strangers whether they were breaking the law and 40% of them admitted to it."

Am I reading that wrong, or something? O_o

Its self reported data, in other words they did an internet poll.

As i read the report, they actually selected the people based on some criterias to get a good distribution of age, occupation etc., so it's not just your standard "Let's throw up a poll and see what random people respond" kind of poll (which of course would be silly in a scientific scope). Also the sample size of around 2000 people is pretty decent.

They are still self selecting. Its only going to be people who actually care about the law are those that are likely to respond.

SonOfVoorhees:

Alterego-X:

SonOfVoorhees:
No law is a deterrent, if they were then there would be zero crime. Does that mean we should stop enforcing these laws? No.

Why not? If they are not deterrents, then we could stop enforcing all laws, spare a lot of money on enforcement, and the rate of crimes wouldn't increase anyways.

People that commit crime do so because, for them, the gain out ways the risk. For others the risk of being caught isnt worth the rewards of the crime. Unfortunately, depending on the law, crimes would increase.....for instance speeding, shop lifting etc An for people that commit crimes now, if there was no law then they would have a field day and crime would increase.

This is not untrue, however in this particular case it is not entirely true either. The problem here is not one of fear, but rather of a collective lack of moral quandary and social pressure. That a law exists is not enough. If the majority do not feel that an act is wrong, then a law claiming that it is is fairly useless. Most people want to be accepted by their peers and will at least keep up the appearance of doing the "right" thing in front of others in order to gain that acceptance(which is why internet arguments tend to be less civilized than those taking place face to face). When an illegal act gains general social acceptance, people stop perceiving it as "wrong." This encourages a much greater number of people to commit it than otherwise, and so most of the people that do not either have no interest, have a strong personal moral stance against it, or -as you said- fear punishment more than most.

With piracy, most of the blame can be placed on the major content providers: the music and movie industries and the like. By warping copyright law and pursuing draconian laws to make governments into their personal enforcers, they've demonized themselves to the point that people can't see them as victims. This does not excuse the act of copyright infringement, certainly not. But you can't soak your house in gasoline and claim no responsibility in another man's act of arson.

Of course, it's also true that the current state of piracy is different than that of previous decades only in scope. I don't recall there being any particular stigma on copying VHS tapes; it just took longer and resulted in a loss of quality. Perhaps that itself is an indicator that there is no winning move against piracy. Try a little and you're wasting money; try too much and you alienate your customers. Best just to focus on making your product appealing.

Scars Unseen:

SonOfVoorhees:

Alterego-X:

Why not? If they are not deterrents, then we could stop enforcing all laws, spare a lot of money on enforcement, and the rate of crimes wouldn't increase anyways.

People that commit crime do so because, for them, the gain out ways the risk. For others the risk of being caught isnt worth the rewards of the crime. Unfortunately, depending on the law, crimes would increase.....for instance speeding, shop lifting etc An for people that commit crimes now, if there was no law then they would have a field day and crime would increase.

This is not untrue, however in this particular case it is not entirely true either. The problem here is not one of fear, but rather of a collective lack of moral quandary and social pressure. That a law exists is not enough. If the majority do not feel that an act is wrong, then a law claiming that it is is fairly useless. Most people want to be accepted by their peers and will at least keep up the appearance of doing the "right" thing in front of others in order to gain that acceptance(which is why internet arguments tend to be less civilized than those taking place face to face). When an illegal act gains general social acceptance, people stop perceiving it as "wrong." This encourages a much greater number of people to commit it than otherwise, and so most of the people that do not either have no interest, have a strong personal moral stance against it, or -as you said- fear punishment more than most.

With piracy, most of the blame can be placed on the major content providers: the music and movie industries and the like. By warping copyright law and pursuing draconian laws to make governments into their personal enforcers, they've demonized themselves to the point that people can't see them as victims. This does not excuse the act of copyright infringement, certainly not. But you can't soak your house in gasoline and claim no responsibility in another man's act of arson.

Of course, it's also true that the current state of piracy is different than that of previous decades only in scope. I don't recall there being any particular stigma on copying VHS tapes; it just took longer and resulted in a loss of quality. Perhaps that itself is an indicator that there is no winning move against piracy. Try a little and you're wasting money; try too much and you alienate your customers. Best just to focus on making your product appealing.

Excellent reply. Most kids used to copy music tapes or cds. Now things are digital and we have massive hard drives now the quality and quantity of what a person can pirate is through the roof. Where as when i was a kid, you were limited by the amount of blank tapes or cds you owned. So, i agree, piracy laws are fairly pointless as people will do it regardless as its not seen as a crime for them. Like stealing a pen from work, you dont consider it theft even though it is.

Personally the first thing i would like stopped is those anti piracy "you wouldnt steal a car" adverts you cant skip on dvds. Hate those as i bought the product legally.

SonOfVoorhees:

Most kids used to copy music tapes or cds. Now things are digital and we have massive hard drives now the quality and quantity of what a person can pirate is through the roof. Where as when i was a kid, you were limited by the amount of blank tapes or cds you owned. So, i agree, piracy laws are fairly pointless as people will do it regardless as its not seen as a crime for them. Like stealing a pen from work, you dont consider it theft even though it is.

I'm pretty sure that most people *do* consider stealing a pen to be stealing, only a very mild form of it.

The real problem with piracy, is that unlike with theft, it's definition itself has been made up in these past few decades.

Back in the 18th century, when the first copyright laws were made up, the only thing they could refer to, was printing thousands of books with your own industrial printer, and sell them on the market while cutting the writer out of the loop. In that case, it made intuitive sense to give a printing monopoly to the writers, while the public never got to feel that the very act of freely accessing a text is illegal (since there was no such thing anyways).

Even in the early 20th entury, with the new mediums, copyright mostly limited counterfeiting, and the customers only choice was to which seller to buy from, the bootlegger or the (often higher quality) legit one.

It was only in the past few decades, with personal tape recorders, photocopiers, and CD writers, that public was told that some private usage of their everyday household tools, can be illegal. The analogy about how sticking your own textbook into your own photocopier can be an act of "theft", certainly didn't help. What does it mean that you own a book as your property, if someone else also owns the authority over you-not-being-allowed-too-print-that-book as his intellectual "property"?

The Internet just confused this latest stage further, by placing us in a life where we constantly share text, video, music, and software without them being "taken away" from their sharer.

Copyright has little legitimacy, because the original consensus about it's usefulness was about giving publishers a monopoly over other publishers, not about giving publishers a censorship authority over the same system through which people communicate all their content to each other every day.

SonOfVoorhees:

People that commit crime do so because, for them, the gain out ways the risk. For others the risk of being caught isnt worth the rewards of the crime. Unfortunately, depending on the law, crimes would increase.....for instance speeding, shop lifting etc An for people that commit crimes now, if there was no law then they would have a field day and crime would increase.

That is a completely false. The risk/reward assessment of crime is archaic and more importantly proven completely false. Risk/reward assessments do not occur when someone is committing any crime. All people commit crimes of a sort, whether it be the legal kind, civil kind, or social kind of crime. Every person commits crimes so far as they still "feel" honest. Crimes of piracy are a prime example of this. Many people feel that IP Protection laws shouldn't exist or are an affront to what is morally right. Whether you agree with this assessment is inconsequential because moral's are highly individualistic. But they are not making assessments based on their moral attitude, it's more intrinsic than that, it's much deeper, it's automatic. There are bigger things involved too though. For instance, the further something is removed from actual money, the easier it is for people to "steal" it. Most people will not steal $6 they see sitting around. They won't steal even $1. But if you put out 6 cans of soda, valued at $1 each, the chances of them being stole is greatly increased. Digital goods are so far removed from money, it doesn't even register on moral scales for most people.

The risk/reward assessment is also further disproven by studies where people are given the opportunity to be dishonest in a situation that they could never be caught. A study that was repeated hundreds of times showed this. There was a woman taking a taxi who was pretending to be blind. She was going from a specific location to an airport (this was performed in many major cities around the world). This is ideal because in every major city there are numerous routes to the city Airport. This is obviously intended to deal with congestion in cities. But because of that, there are often routes that are significantly faster and cheaper by taxi. In all instances of this study, no taxi deceived the fake blind woman. They gave them multiple chances. Sometimes it was just a ride to or from the airport. Sometimes she would intentionally given give them a larger bill than she "meant" to. Each time the taxi drivers never ripped off the woman. In some cases, the taxi drivers charged no fair at all.

There, that is out of the way. I just get a little annoyed by these conversations. It's not your, it's a problem that is indicative of education. A long time ago, someone made the assumption there was a risk/reward assessment in reference to how "honest" someone was. This ended up in text books and being repeated again and again. But no one studied it till about the 80's, at least studied it on large enough scale that people took notice of it. But, as you can see, the risk/reward assessments of crime still lives today, even though there is literally no evidence suggesting that it ever took place. Another part of it is that people like to think that humans are logical and rational creatures, but we mostly are not. Most of our daily actions are not based on kind of logic or rationality, it's part of human duality. We are the only species on the planet with this quality, so humans have a propensity to over estimate it's roll in our daily lives.

This is obvious to anyone who understands the basic principles of the internet. The problem is data like this needs to be presented because as SOAP proved no lawmakers understand the 1st thing about the internet. It's mainly a side effect of them being crusty rich old out of touch men who are ill equipped to function in the modern world.

There is also the issue of enforcement; without MAJOR monitoring of everyones internet traffic by ispsit's like trying to hit somthing by firing a shotgun from space. The chances of actually being caught, never mind three times, is minute.

Not to mention that the courts in the US, UK and most nations are so uncomfortable with the massive settlements being demanded by giant corporations against individuals they are reluctant to persue these cases because of how bad it makes civil and ip law look

I agree with the service theory. You will never stop some people from pirating short of locking them in a box. But, other people pirate or just plain don't use/watch/listen to/play the product because the service to get and support it is horrible. Itunes' DRM for years made people use stripping programs be able to use non-Apple mp3 players or more than one or so ipods. Always online single player games have people pirating it out of spite or in a desperate attempt to play the game they bought but doesn't work. People are also getting weary of using a service that saves their card info or don't have a card to use. PSN, Xbox Live, Steam, Nintendo and itunes all have prepaid cards sold in meat space stores that solve the card problems. One thing that affects everyone is the anti-piracy PSAs. Going to the theater or popping in a DVD leads you to being force fed the message piracy is EVIL over and over, though you bought the ticket or DVD. They treat their own customers like criminals even though the guy with the camcorder knows he's breaking the law and DVD pirate just strip that BS right out so whoever watches that DVD never sees the unskippable PSA or annoying trailers. They need to minimize that, because it puts off people wanting to spend more money.

Another problem is price. We see Hollywood stars, big publishing execs and musicians flaunting ridiculous wealth while many who might pirate are trying to save enough for rent, bills, insurance, and kids and just what to have some entertainment once in a while. They see the big media people and think they got enough money so they go sailing on Pirate Bay. If the damn media execs would stop charging oodles of money for things more people would go to movies and buy DVDs, games, DLC, music, and TV episodes. Even George Lucas has said that $3 should be the price of a movie ticket. If salaries in Hollywood and corporate America didn't escalate ridiculously in the early 20th century we might not have to worry about piracy. I stopped seeing movies since it's such a rip off. (Someday I'll rent Django Unchained and Pacific Rim.)

If execs would lower their prices even a little, take out crippling DRM, and improve their services, piracy would go to the very few that refuse to pay for anything if they can help it. Pirates will never die, but their number can become negligible. Laws won't stop them. Steam's sales and GOG's very modus operandi is proof that your can be successful in a market supposedly overrun with pirates.

Baresark:

SonOfVoorhees:

People that commit crime do so because, for them, the gain out ways the risk. For others the risk of being caught isnt worth the rewards of the crime. Unfortunately, depending on the law, crimes would increase.....for instance speeding, shop lifting etc An for people that commit crimes now, if there was no law then they would have a field day and crime would increase.

That is a completely false. The risk/reward assessment of crime is archaic and more importantly proven completely false. Risk/reward assessments do not occur when someone is committing any crime. All people commit crimes of a sort, whether it be the legal kind, civil kind, or social kind of crime. Every person commits crimes so far as they still "feel" honest. Crimes of piracy are a prime example of this. Many people feel that IP Protection laws shouldn't exist or are an affront to what is morally right. Whether you agree with this assessment is inconsequential because moral's are highly individualistic. But they are not making assessments based on their moral attitude, it's more intrinsic than that, it's much deeper, it's automatic. There are bigger things involved too though. For instance, the further something is removed from actual money, the easier it is for people to "steal" it. Most people will not steal $6 they see sitting around. They won't steal even $1. But if you put out 6 cans of soda, valued at $1 each, the chances of them being stole is greatly increased. Digital goods are so far removed from money, it doesn't even register on moral scales for most people.

The risk/reward assessment is also further disproven by studies where people are given the opportunity to be dishonest in a situation that they could never be caught. A study that was repeated hundreds of times showed this. There was a woman taking a taxi who was pretending to be blind. She was going from a specific location to an airport (this was performed in many major cities around the world). This is ideal because in every major city there are numerous routes to the city Airport. This is obviously intended to deal with congestion in cities. But because of that, there are often routes that are significantly faster and cheaper by taxi. In all instances of this study, no taxi deceived the fake blind woman. They gave them multiple chances. Sometimes it was just a ride to or from the airport. Sometimes she would intentionally given give them a larger bill than she "meant" to. Each time the taxi drivers never ripped off the woman. In some cases, the taxi drivers charged no fair at all.

There, that is out of the way. I just get a little annoyed by these conversations. It's not your, it's a problem that is indicative of education. A long time ago, someone made the assumption there was a risk/reward assessment in reference to how "honest" someone was. This ended up in text books and being repeated again and again. But no one studied it till about the 80's, at least studied it on large enough scale that people took notice of it. But, as you can see, the risk/reward assessments of crime still lives today, even though there is literally no evidence suggesting that it ever took place. Another part of it is that people like to think that humans are logical and rational creatures, but we mostly are not. Most of our daily actions are not based on kind of logic or rationality, it's part of human duality. We are the only species on the planet with this quality, so humans have a propensity to over estimate it's roll in our daily lives.

That experiment with the taxi's proves nothing about risk/reward assessment in crimes. It demonstrates that the idea that people are fundamentally and totally dishonest at all times and are only waiting for the opportunity to not get caught false, but it does not prove that there is no risk/reward assessment in crime. It doesn't even begin to demonstrate that. And I know that at least some risk/reward assessment happens when crimes are committed because I have seen first hand the risk/reward assessment being made on multiple occasions.

I once knew a guy who wanted to go to a 21+ concert but who was only 20. He was considering trying to pass off as his slightly older brother and spent several hours with me hashing out a textbook example of a risk/reward assessment. I knew people who did drugs, I knew people who tried to buy beer, I knew people who I was able to talk out of doing very stupid things because I told them how risky it was. This would not have been possible if there was not risk/reward assessment going on. I have had people come to me and ask me just how risky it is to pirate things online and what kind of punishment is applicable if they get caught.

Don't tell me that "Risk/reward assessments do not occur when someone is committing any crime" because I have seen the risk/reward assessment actually happen on multiple occasions.

Now, if you had said that relying completely and totally on a risk/reward model for crime is incorrect I would have agreed. The problem is far more complex than that. But it would be equally foolish to completely throw out the idea of risk/reward assessment because it is an important piece of a much larger whole.

Also, you insistence that "there is literally no evidence" of the Rational Choice crime theory is demonstrably false. In fact, lets look at three examples:

1. Substantial reductions in aircraft hijackings in the 1970s achieved by baggage screening and other airport measures.
2. Reductions in thefts from parking lots due to surveillance.
3. Greatly reduced shoplifting and library books as a result of electronic merchandise tagging.

Or are you seriously going to argue that people didn't realize that hijacking aircraft was wrong until we started screening their baggage?

It double posted for some reason. Sorry about that.

Baresark:
*chop*

I'd be interested in seeing some sources on those claims.

Scrumpmonkey:
This is obvious to anyone who understands the basic principles of the internet. The problem is data like this needs to be presented because as SOAP proved no lawmakers understand the 1st thing about the internet. It's mainly a side effect of them being crusty rich old out of touch men who are ill equipped to function in the modern world.

It took SOPA to show that? What about the whole "series of tubes" thing? What about the bill (I think it was the INDUCE act) that attempted to ban illegal file sharing but would have effectively banned the internet and any internet-capable computer? What about the attacks on net neutrality because Congress believed the claims that we were "running out of internet?"

Zachary Amaranth:

Baresark:
*chop*

I'd be interested in seeing some sources on those claims.

Scrumpmonkey:
This is obvious to anyone who understands the basic principles of the internet. The problem is data like this needs to be presented because as SOAP proved no lawmakers understand the 1st thing about the internet. It's mainly a side effect of them being crusty rich old out of touch men who are ill equipped to function in the modern world.

It took SOPA to show that? What about the whole "series of tubes" thing? What about the bill (I think it was the INDUCE act) that attempted to ban illegal file sharing but would have effectively banned the internet and any internet-capable computer? What about the attacks on net neutrality because Congress believed the claims that we were "running out of internet?"

SOPA is simply one high profile example. You are right there are many many many many many MANY more.

Don't talk about net neutrality, it makes me die inside. taking it away effectively kills the internet in a technical sense. The Internet will simply be reduced to "Media conglomerate content delivery network. Startups unwelcome". Rival off grid networks and vpns are already showing us many have effectively written the mainstream internet off as a closing network and a corporate shambles.

Zachary Amaranth:

Baresark:
*chop*

I'd be interested in seeing some sources on those claims.

I can't find the reference pages (damn audio books, it the best way for me to do any "reading", to and from work on commutes and all). But if you read the works of Dan Ariely (leader in this particular field), you can see the evidence. Also, risk/reward calculation are a function of logic centers (or lack there of)and you can read a lot more about them when you read any article or scientifically cited works, or even the the book by Dan Kahneman. He won a Nobel Prize for his work, and more importantly Ariely and Kahneman have worked and written papers together. Both men show pretty conclusive experimentation for their theories, but as no one can be sure anyone is 100% correct, we should always keep in mind that in the future any accepted theories may change.

DrOswald:

Baresark:

SonOfVoorhees:

People that commit crime do so because, for them, the gain out ways the risk. For others the risk of being caught isnt worth the rewards of the crime. Unfortunately, depending on the law, crimes would increase.....for instance speeding, shop lifting etc An for people that commit crimes now, if there was no law then they would have a field day and crime would increase.

snip

That experiment with the taxi's proves nothing about risk/reward assessment in crimes. It demonstrates that the idea that people are fundamentally and totally dishonest at all times and are only waiting for the opportunity to not get caught false, but it does not prove that there is no risk/reward assessment in crime. It doesn't even begin to demonstrate that. And I know that at least some risk/reward assessment happens when crimes are committed because I have seen first hand the risk/reward assessment being made on multiple occasions.

No? That's weird because it demonstrates that when there is no risk and all reward, taxi drivers (at least) are completely honest and do not commit any dishonest act. You should re-read what I wrote, I think you may have misunderstood (or I mistyped something, totally happens sometimes). If there was a risk/reward assessment that determined whether or not they were going to steal from someone, then they would have overwhelmingly been dishonest, and none were at all. I'm not sure if you are familiar with the actual scientific idea of risk/reward assessment in crime. This idea states basically that the reason you don't rob every convenience store you pass is simply because the reward doesn't outweigh the risk. It presupposes that people are completely dishonest and the increase in risk is what keeps people honest, which is a completely false view of people.

I once knew a guy who wanted to go to a 21+ concert but who was only 20. He was considering trying to pass off as his slightly older brother and spent several hours with me hashing out a textbook example of a risk/reward assessment. I knew people who did drugs, I knew people who tried to buy beer, I knew people who I was able to talk out of doing very stupid things because I told them how risky it was. This would not have been possible if there was not risk/reward assessment going on. I have had people come to me and ask me just how risky it is to pirate things online and what kind of punishment is applicable if they get caught.

Don't tell me that "Risk/reward assessments do not occur when someone is committing any crime" because I have seen the risk/reward assessment actually happen on multiple occasions.

Now, if you had said that relying completely and totally on a risk/reward model for crime is incorrect I would have agreed. The problem is far more complex than that. But it would be equally foolish to completely throw out the idea of risk/reward assessment because it is an important piece of a much larger whole.

Also, you insistence that "there is literally no evidence" of the Rational Choice crime theory is demonstrably false. In fact, lets look at three examples:

1. Substantial reductions in aircraft hijackings in the 1970s achieved by baggage screening and other airport measures.
2. Reductions in thefts from parking lots due to surveillance.
3. Greatly reduced shoplifting and library books as a result of electronic merchandise tagging.

Or are you seriously going to argue that people didn't realize that hijacking aircraft was wrong until we started screening their baggage?

I can't reason with someone who has decided that their personal experience preempts any scientifically conducted studies. You're arguments are specious simply because you are putting causal relationships to things that you cannot verify as causal. You have to understand that the majority of crimes are NOT premeditated. The issue is really what people "feel" is honest. Most people who pirate music do not consider it a "crime" in the sense that they deserve jail time if they caught. Sure, they know they are doing something illegal, but if you ask them they will probably still label themselves as an honest human being who does not steal from other people. As I explained in my post, the further removed from something of fundamental value, the easier it is for someone to not think of it as a crime. When most people who want to download a movie actually do, they are not running risk/reward assessments to themselves each time. They have simply made a value judgement and they are recycling from their previous experience It doesn't matter if everyone you know came to you and asked the questions they have asked you about, it's still an insanely small sample of any population. That means that you are far more likely to get an extreme sample. That is actually the rule of small numbers.

But, I'm not going to sit here and argue with you about it. You are making assumptions, I am talking about actual scientific research.

Edit: Best way to explain it is this: If crimes or any dishonest action was based on risk/reward, then crimes and overall dishonesty would be much higher. Honest people are honest, very few people are actual hardened criminals. That is the summation of all the evidence. Crimes exist independent of risk/reward calculations, overall. And by extension, so does honesty. Meaning that keeping people honest isn't about making laws. As a locksmith once said, locks keep honest people honest, but they won't stop criminals.

Edit2: Risk/reward assessment theory of crime is not what you are describing. You are saying that when an action is premeditated then there is risk/reward assessment. But that is not the same as crime on the spot, which does not involved risk reward. It's the same for software piracy. Or plane hijacking or car theft or shoplifting. Most of these things are not premeditated... well, I feel compelled to say that hijacking a plane is premeditated. No one is sitting around with weapons waiting for their plane, they get on and then decide they are going to hijack it. But that seems to be more the exception than the rule. Most crimes or dishonest acts are not premeditated.

Yeah, totally unenforced laws that have relatively minor punishments even if theoretically enforced didn't serve as effective deterrents? Who knew??

The ability of governments to enforce these laws accurately and comprehensively just doesn't exist yet. But when it does, I would be surprised if they didn't crush piracy entirely.

Excellent, lets hope they've learned something from this and never do something this stupid ever again...

Who am I trying to kid here, of course they will.

EDIT:

dyre:
Yeah, totally unenforced laws that have relatively minor punishments even if theoretically enforced didn't serve as effective deterrents? Who knew??

The ability of governments to enforce these laws accurately and comprehensively just doesn't exist yet. But when it does, I would be surprised if they didn't crush piracy entirely.

Let's hope that stable Internet excess becomes a basic human right before that happens.

It won't, but I like to hope it will.

dyre:
Yeah, totally unenforced laws that have relatively minor punishments even if theoretically enforced didn't serve as effective deterrents? Who knew??

The ability of governments to enforce these laws accurately and comprehensively just doesn't exist yet. But when it does, I would be surprised if they didn't crush piracy entirely.

Well, it's a lot deeper than that. Humans learn in a very unique way compared to any other animal. In human development they call it vicarious learning. A human can learn either how to or how not to act by simply seeing the consequences presented to someone who acts a certain way. The idea is always punishment as a deterrent. That is what all laws regarding crimes are about. The death penalty was created to deter people from doing crimes so heinous that they "deserve" that penalty, but it doesn't. 40% of the US prison population are recreational marijuana users. Why? Because the punishment doesn't deter people from seeking out and finding marijuana. And mandatory sentencing guarantees jail time for certain amounts, but it doesn't stop people from buying that amount.

My point is that even if they could catch and punish people with 100% accuracy, it more than likely would still exist. It would simply find other means of existing.

Baresark:

dyre:
Yeah, totally unenforced laws that have relatively minor punishments even if theoretically enforced didn't serve as effective deterrents? Who knew??

The ability of governments to enforce these laws accurately and comprehensively just doesn't exist yet. But when it does, I would be surprised if they didn't crush piracy entirely.

Well, it's a lot deeper than that. Humans learn in a very unique way compared to any other animal. In human development they call it vicarious learning. A human can learn either how to or how not to act by simply seeing the consequences presented to someone who acts a certain way. The idea is always punishment as a deterrent. That is what all laws regarding crimes are about. The death penalty was created to deter people from doing crimes so heinous that they "deserve" that penalty, but it doesn't. 40% of the US prison population are recreational marijuana users. Why? Because the punishment doesn't deter people from seeking out and finding marijuana. And mandatory sentencing guarantees jail time for certain amounts, but it doesn't stop people from buying that amount.

My point is that even if they could catch and punish people with 100% accuracy, it more than likely would still exist. It would simply find other means of existing.

I imagine that's true to some extent, but (to use an extreme example) if the punishment for piracy was death and a fairly high number of pirates were caught, prosecuted, and executed, it would probably deter most remaining pirates. I'm sure mandatory sentencing with jail time deters some people from buying marijuana, and probably would deter even more people if it weren't for the fact that despite all the arrests, most people don't get caught.

I'm more talking about catching 100% of people rather than catching people with 100% accuracy.

SonOfVoorhees:

Personally the first thing i would like stopped is those anti piracy "you wouldnt steal a car" adverts you cant skip on dvds. Hate those as i bought the product legally.

You're not the only one.

OT: Well, France, it's good to know that some of you seem to understand. Could you send this to ummm...every single gaming company in the world please? They might actually get a clue someday, possibly well after their CEOs retire because their a bit slow on the uptake.

Baresark:

DrOswald:

Baresark:

snip

That experiment with the taxi's proves nothing about risk/reward assessment in crimes. It demonstrates that the idea that people are fundamentally and totally dishonest at all times and are only waiting for the opportunity to not get caught false, but it does not prove that there is no risk/reward assessment in crime. It doesn't even begin to demonstrate that. And I know that at least some risk/reward assessment happens when crimes are committed because I have seen first hand the risk/reward assessment being made on multiple occasions.

No? That's weird because it demonstrates that when there is no risk and all reward, taxi drivers (at least) are completely honest and do not commit any dishonest act. You should re-read what I wrote, I think you may have misunderstood (or I mistyped something, totally happens sometimes). If there was a risk/reward assessment that determined whether or not they were going to steal from someone, then they would have overwhelmingly been dishonest, and none were at all. I'm not sure if you are familiar with the actual scientific idea of risk/reward assessment in crime. This idea states basically that the reason you don't rob every convenience store you pass is simply because the reward doesn't outweigh the risk. It presupposes that people are completely dishonest and the increase in risk is what keeps people honest, which is a completely false view of people.

I once knew a guy who wanted to go to a 21+ concert but who was only 20. He was considering trying to pass off as his slightly older brother and spent several hours with me hashing out a textbook example of a risk/reward assessment. I knew people who did drugs, I knew people who tried to buy beer, I knew people who I was able to talk out of doing very stupid things because I told them how risky it was. This would not have been possible if there was not risk/reward assessment going on. I have had people come to me and ask me just how risky it is to pirate things online and what kind of punishment is applicable if they get caught.

Don't tell me that "Risk/reward assessments do not occur when someone is committing any crime" because I have seen the risk/reward assessment actually happen on multiple occasions.

Now, if you had said that relying completely and totally on a risk/reward model for crime is incorrect I would have agreed. The problem is far more complex than that. But it would be equally foolish to completely throw out the idea of risk/reward assessment because it is an important piece of a much larger whole.

Also, you insistence that "there is literally no evidence" of the Rational Choice crime theory is demonstrably false. In fact, lets look at three examples:

1. Substantial reductions in aircraft hijackings in the 1970s achieved by baggage screening and other airport measures.
2. Reductions in thefts from parking lots due to surveillance.
3. Greatly reduced shoplifting and library books as a result of electronic merchandise tagging.

Or are you seriously going to argue that people didn't realize that hijacking aircraft was wrong until we started screening their baggage?

I can't reason with someone who has decided that their personal experience preempts any scientifically conducted studies. You're arguments are specious simply because you are putting causal relationships to things that you cannot verify as causal. You have to understand that the majority of crimes are NOT premeditated. The issue is really what people "feel" is honest. Most people who pirate music do not consider it a "crime" in the sense that they deserve jail time if they caught. Sure, they know they are doing something illegal, but if you ask them they will probably still label themselves as an honest human being who does not steal from other people. As I explained in my post, the further removed from something of fundamental value, the easier it is for someone to not think of it as a crime. When most people who want to download a movie actually do, they are not running risk/reward assessments to themselves each time. They have simply made a value judgement and they are recycling from their previous experience It doesn't matter if everyone you know came to you and asked the questions they have asked you about, it's still an insanely small sample of any population. That means that you are far more likely to get an extreme sample. That is actually the rule of small numbers.

But, I'm not going to sit here and argue with you about it. You are making assumptions, I am talking about actual scientific research.

So am I. Those three examples, the hijacks, the parking lot muggings, and the shoplifting, are based on scientific research. Careful measurements were made for a control and then measurements were made after the change was enacted. The evidence suggests that there was a specific deterrent effect of the measures taken to catch criminals which indicates a risk reward assessment. Unless, like I said, you are seriously going to argue that people didn't realize mugging and shoplifting was wrong until someone put a camera up.

Edit: Best way to explain it is this: If crimes or any dishonest action was based on risk/reward, then crimes and overall dishonesty would be much higher. Honest people are honest, very few people are actual hardened criminals. That is the summation of all the evidence. Crimes exist independent of risk/reward calculations, overall. And by extension, so does honesty. Meaning that keeping people honest isn't about making laws. As a locksmith once said, locks keep honest people honest, but they won't stop criminals.

This assumes that if there is a risk/reward assessment going on then it is the only possible influence over if the crime is committed, which I specifically said was not the case and no one has ever put forth that theory because it is obviously false. If you would have read my post you would have noticed that I specifically said it is not the only factor. But it is a factor. Just because 99% of people will never even consider committing a certain crime does not mean that the 1% doesn't make a risk/reward analysis of the situation.

Edit2: Risk/reward assessment theory of crime is not what you are describing. You are saying that when an action is premeditated then there is risk/reward assessment. But that is not the same as crime on the spot, which does not involved risk reward. It's the same for software piracy. Or plane hijacking or car theft or shoplifting. Most of these things are not premeditated... well, I feel compelled to say that hijacking a plane is premeditated. No one is sitting around with weapons waiting for their plane, they get on and then decide they are going to hijack it. But that seems to be more the exception than the rule. Most crimes or dishonest acts are not premeditated.

3 things:

1. Yes, it is what I am describing. I read 3 different multipage summaries of the theory before making my post to make sure I understand it. The risk/reward assessment model, actually know as the Rational Choice crime theory, certainly applies to premeditated crime. But you did not specify only on the spot crimes, you just said "any crime." And this is what I have taken exception with. I will buy that a man, in the heat of the moment and full of rage, might shoot his wife without thinking about the consequences. I will not buy that a man just walks down the street and, in a moment of fancy without ever thinking about it before or even a cursory thought about the consequences or potential gains, steals a car or mugs a random passerby. At least, that can't be the case every single time.

2. How can piracy not be premeditated? It is something you have to plan to do. You have to learn how to do it, you have to install torrent software, you have to decide what to pirate, you have to go and search and find what you are pirating. You have to plan to do it. In fact, it cannot possibly be done without planning. That is what premeditated means. It was planned. For that matter, quite often muggings and shoplifting are planned, and therefore premeditated, crimes.

3. Even if the crime is on the spot there is often time for the criminal to think about the crime. This is why cameras are an effective crime deterrent, as I noted in my first post. The criminal, lets say a shoplifter, sees something they like and decides they don't want to pay for it. Are you seriously going to tell me that they will, without fail, grab the thing they want without even looking over their shoulder to see if anyone is watching? Because if they do that is a risk/reward assessment. They might not make a chart of pros and cons but even if it is just a snap judgement a risk reward assessment is happening. "I want this thing, lets look behind me, oh that camera is pointed strait at me, I guess I won't steal it." How is that not a risk/reward assessment?

The Rational Choice crime theory is not a general or complete model of criminal behavior and this is fully acknowledged by the proponents of the Rational Choice crime theory. This is where you seem to be tripping up.

 

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