Illegal downloading is not theft - its something new

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Just because I think it is vaguely relevant to the topic:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=HToRWLu0BqU
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=l5SmrHNWhak
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=rDD_8Yti-J8

BTW, How does piracy fund terrorism?

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Morderkaine:
I know there are other posts on illegal downloading, but this is not the same thing. This thread is to try and stop people from using the wrong words in their arguments, and to realize that in our digital world, old terms and systems dont nessecarily apply. You cant use the same rules for a digital signal that can be reproduced 1000000 times for free as you can for a loaf of bread.
Over and over again I see people making comments like `You wouldnt steal a BMW would you?` or `How would you feel if you were mugged on the street`, but these comments have nothing to do with downloading, even as an analogy.
Downloading movies, music and games is not theft. A definition of theft : The act of stealing; specifically, the felonious taking and removing of personal property, with an intent to deprive the rightful owner of the same.
When something is downloaded, the music artist, game company, etc loses nothing, there is no piece of property that vanishes from their homes or businesses. If I download a game for free, the only thing that company loses is the CHANCE to POSSIBLY sell that game to me, a chance they may never have had in the first place. For example - if someone in a country where a game is not sold to downloads it, what did the company loose? They could have never sold to that person in the first place, it would have no effect on their profits at all, so is it theft? Of course not! Did the company lose a cent? No! Is it illegal? Apparently.

Now, I am not saying that there is nothing wrong with illegal downloading. It is illegal, it can hurt the game, music, movie, etc makers. But it is not theft, it is something new that needs its own name. I just dont want to see anymore stupid arguments comparing it to breaking and entering, stealing cars or chocolate bars, etc, as I know the downloading issue is one that will be constantly brought up over and over again as new legislation passes.

In short, downloading can reduce profits, in some cases increase them by spreading knowledge of a product, and in some cases make no change in sales at all. It is not theft and should not be referred to as such. You may as well say that if you walk into a book store, sit down and read a book, then put it back on the shelf and leave that you stole from the store. Maybe call it `potential/possible loss of sales`, or `reduction in maximum possible revenue`, but not theft, and its nothing like stealing a car or any physical object.

Any posts to this thread, please lets avoid posts on if you agree or disagree with downloading, keep it to the topic of whether it is theft or something different, and maybe options for what to call it.

i agree with you completely. they llse nothing if they dont offer it where your at

I dont see what all the problems with pirates is, Johnny Depp sort of change a lot of peoples perspectives. Plus look at them somalian pirates I may 'borrow' some digital information from time to time but i dont raid ships with AK47's, but to end my argument aaaahhhhhhhhhhh pieces of eight.

sheic99:

SirSchmoopy:

Graustein:

SirSchmoopy:
I don't get it, whats the difference from downloading a game and stealing a copy from Gamestop? Isn't it the same thing?

Basically, if you steal the copy from Gamestop, that's one less copy they have to sell to someone else..

Yes you are. Your stealing a copy they could be selling to YOU. It doesn't matter if you steal a copy, they will have another for someone else anyway. The point is if you download it, they lose money straight up.

Yes, but Gamestop purchased that disk from the company that produced said game. Gamestop would lose the money that was spent on that copy of the game. Where as in pirating, what is lost is an non-existant profit that could be payed for the game, but no company loses additional money from the act.

How dense ARE you people!? The OP may be sick of hearing it called theft, but I'm sick of people who don't understand the concept of "potential profit." I'm not even going to try to explain it, because not even the simplest analogy seems to work. People continue with this "Well, I wasn't going to buy it anyway." Yes. Yes you would have if you had no other choice.

Lvl 64 Klutz:

sheic99:

SirSchmoopy:

Graustein:

SirSchmoopy:
I don't get it, whats the difference from downloading a game and stealing a copy from Gamestop? Isn't it the same thing?

Basically, if you steal the copy from Gamestop, that's one less copy they have to sell to someone else..

Yes you are. Your stealing a copy they could be selling to YOU. It doesn't matter if you steal a copy, they will have another for someone else anyway. The point is if you download it, they lose money straight up.

Yes, but Gamestop purchased that disk from the company that produced said game. Gamestop would lose the money that was spent on that copy of the game. Where as in pirating, what is lost is an non-existant profit that could be payed for the game, but no company loses additional money from the act.

How dense ARE you people!? The OP may be sick of hearing it called theft, but I'm sick of people who don't understand the concept of "potential profit." I'm not even going to try to explain it, because not even the simplest analogy seems to work. People continue with this "Well, I wasn't going to buy it anyway." Yes. Yes you would have if you had no other choice.

But again I have to say that at this point nothing is going to change. They can't Jail everyone who downloads illegally, they can't fine them all especially in a state where the economy is so bad they would most likely all become destitute. A few token strikes now and then maybe but its not going to help all the industries as a whole. Something Radical needs to be done to games, books and shows that allows for the makers to get something out of file sharing. Yes I know it sounds absurd but frankly its that or jacking up the price on items so much that it crushes all of the industries suffering from it. People will go to great lengths to get the things they want free, so Corporations are going to have to get creative and get something out of it.

Question:

Under said copyright infringement laws, and in terms of, say, torrenting a game folder, would it be illegal to download and play the game, without seeding it? I mean, from what I can see on that law alone, as long as you don't distribute the game you're not infringing it. I assume that this is correct, but is there any other laws that affect the leechers?

It's all one big grey area. I personally feel that it's a shit thing to take someone's work without giving them compensation, but it happens all the time and is more and more common in every medium. I recently discovered that people pirate comic books. COMIC BOOKS. That was a medium I thought would be impervious to piracy, but I guess not.

I work in the games industry, and after spending 2 or more years on a game and them seeing people pirate the shit out of it before street date is irritating as all hell.

I think that it boils down to the fact that people put no value on something they can download.

When I was in highschool, I had like 200 CDs, which was a ridiculously huge collection back then for a teenager. Now kids have volumes and volumes of MP3s I'll bet a good percentage of kids have never actually paid for an album.

Is it good or bad? I think that morally it's wrong. I think there's some validity to the idea that it's expanding people's tastes, but if they never actually BUY the music, what good does that DO?

Downloading games is never going to stop. Unfortunately companies are responding with stuff like online-play only and DRM, which doesn't seem to me like a good thing to do. There's also the in-game advertising and the free to play things like "Battlefield Heroes" and (formerly) "America's Army", which DO seem like good responses.

I think that in the very near future, systems like STEAM and XBox Live/PSN will be the ONLY way to get games. Consumers won't have the games on their machine at all, it will be a subscription service to play whatever they want over a network.

Something like steam without the bad :
drm , accounts, required internet connection.

...would be great , especially if they lower the prices a bit.
that's if things turns out cool.

Now I certainly hope that something like what's mentioned above does not happen:
entirely online games through paying accounts , accessible for limited time periods at large prices and on the one computer used to make the account ,while we're at it.

This is a gamer's dystopia ...
hopefully those who are so inclined will always have the option of retro gaming ; and maybe some crafty criminals will still put the new games online...

but i'm all for a humane and intelligent version of steam.

on topic:
I guess that "piracy" , or copyright infrigement, is indeed a (lesser, non violent, non profitable) form of theft .
The gaming industry , though , needs to learn that they just can't loose the money they can't earn !

...I'm proposing
DENIAL OF POTENTIAL HYPOTHETIC PROFIT

"Illegal reproduction" applies too, but is taking things from a different angle.

Baha, so the real thieves are Gamestop and the used game sales!

Lvl 64 Klutz:

sheic99:

SirSchmoopy:

Graustein:

SirSchmoopy:
I don't get it, whats the difference from downloading a game and stealing a copy from Gamestop? Isn't it the same thing?

Basically, if you steal the copy from Gamestop, that's one less copy they have to sell to someone else..

Yes you are. Your stealing a copy they could be selling to YOU. It doesn't matter if you steal a copy, they will have another for someone else anyway. The point is if you download it, they lose money straight up.

Yes, but Gamestop purchased that disk from the company that produced said game. Gamestop would lose the money that was spent on that copy of the game. Where as in pirating, what is lost is an non-existant profit that could be payed for the game, but no company loses additional money from the act.

How dense ARE you people!? The OP may be sick of hearing it called theft, but I'm sick of people who don't understand the concept of "potential profit." I'm not even going to try to explain it, because not even the simplest analogy seems to work. People continue with this "Well, I wasn't going to buy it anyway." Yes. Yes you would have if you had no other choice.

Not necessarily, I could have rented it or borrowed from the game from somebody who already has it, or even play a cloned version of the .iso file from the disk itself. None of these are illegal, but they all involve me not paying for it.

I agree with you 100% it needs a new term made for it. What I don't understand about people is how they can be so hypocritical. How can you condemn someone for taking away potential money from people that can afford the basic necessities of life, but shop at supermarkets, where you would be (by extension) forcing slaves (or pretty much slaves) to make your food so you can get it cheaper. I think that's a hell of a lot more evil than software piracy, the only difference is that supermarkets are socially acceptable, although that doesn't make it right.

sheic99:

Not necessarily, I could have rented it or borrowed from the game from somebody who already has it, or even play a cloned version of the .iso file from the disk itself. None of these are illegal, but they all involve me not paying for it.

Ok, now that argument I can get behind. However, with renting you are paying someone for the time that you play it. And in terms of borrowing from a friend, if the disk is needed to play the game, then there still is only one copy of the game circulating. If it's not needed, well, that little detail has always bugged me in my quest to valiantly stand against piracy.

Lvl 64 Klutz:

sheic99:

Not necessarily, I could have rented it or borrowed from the game from somebody who already has it, or even play a cloned version of the .iso file from the disk itself. None of these are illegal, but they all involve me not paying for it.

Ok, now that argument I can get behind. However, with renting you are paying someone for the time that you play it. And in terms of borrowing from a friend, if the disk is needed to play the game, then there still is only one copy of the game circulating. If it's not needed, well, that little detail has always bugged me in my quest to valiantly stand against piracy.

The thing is, now we are talking in potential profit, If I borrow, say, Mirrors edge from someone and complete it in one week and return it, I'm not going to buy it. It's exactly the same as piracy, because it was potential profit.

I agree that analogies like "You wouldn't rob a bank, would you?" is a terrible argument, but that doesn't mean piracy is OK.

An almost infinite number of statistics will tell you that the music/movie/video game business loses millions of dollars because of illegal downloading each year.

sheic99:

perfectimo:
Look at it this way then had you not acquired the game through "piracy" you would have had to of bought it from a store. That is why this is theft. There is no way around it.

The game could have been rented from a store. The original company won't make money if you rent from Blockbuster or Gamefly. The same goes for borrowing, EA didn't make money when my friend lent me his copy of Crysis. Is that stealing?

The bolded statement is completely fallacious. Blockbuster and Gamefly buy all of their games from the publishers. Granted, they usually get a discount for buying in such bulk, but money goes into the publishers hands regardless.

It's just that Blockbuster and Gamefly are in business to make money, and if they rent out that game 7 times at $5/week (or whatever the rates are), then, they've made money.

Borrowing is not 'stealing', since your friend bought the game originally (or your friend's parents or whoever; you get the idea). Same goes with books. I bought The Watchmen a few weeks ago, I read it, and I've lent it out to about a half dozen friends. Sure, the publisher is probably mad they missed out on a potential chance at $60, but if my friends want their own copies for whenever, without any "Oh, I'm reading it now, can you wait a few days?", then they have to buy it themselves. Just like you with video games. If your friend has the physical disk, then when he has it at his house, you can't play it. If you really liked the game, you'll probably want your own copy eventually, instead of being a constant mooching whore.

kanyatta:
I agree that analogies like "You wouldn't rob a bank, would you?" is a terrible argument, but that doesn't mean piracy is OK.

An almost infinite number of statistics will tell you that the music/movie/video game business loses millions of dollars because of illegal downloading each year.

sheic99:

perfectimo:
Look at it this way then had you not acquired the game through "piracy" you would have had to of bought it from a store. That is why this is theft. There is no way around it.

The game could have been rented from a store. The original company won't make money if you rent from Blockbuster or Gamefly. The same goes for borrowing, EA didn't make money when my friend lent me his copy of Crysis. Is that stealing?

The bolded statement is completely fallacious. Blockbuster and Gamefly buy all of their games from the publishers. Granted, they usually get a discount for buying in such bulk, but money goes into the publishers hands regardless.

It's just that Blockbuster and Gamefly are in business to make money, and if they rent out that game 7 times at $5/week (or whatever the rates are), then, they've made money.

Borrowing is not 'stealing', since your friend bought the game originally (or your friend's parents or whoever; you get the idea). Same goes with books. I bought The Watchmen a few weeks ago, I read it, and I've lent it out to about a half dozen friends. Sure, the publisher is probably mad they missed out on a potential chance at $60, but if my friends want their own copies for whenever, without any "Oh, I'm reading it now, can you wait a few days?", then they have to buy it themselves. Just like you with video games. If your friend has the physical disk, then when he has it at his house, you can't play it. If you really liked the game, you'll probably want your own copy eventually, instead of being a constant mooching whore.

You mentioned potential chance to make money in your post. Don't you see? the only difference between borrowing it and downloading it is that you need another copy of it. As things are going at the moment, the vast majority of games has an unacceptably short lifespan to it. With the exception of Portal, 7 hours is NOT a game. 7 hours should be the start of a game.

I am going to be honest here. I pirate games. I don't do it because I hate EA (although I am rather pissed at them because I can't get this damn SecuROM off my system), it's because I can't pay. I can't afford the games I download. when I do have the money I will gladly pay for the games, and I would much rather have a legal copy rather than a pirated one but for the most part it really isn't an option for me.

I download the games I download because I am flat broke. I wouldn't buy the games anyway because I couldn't buy them. I have even enjoyed some pirated games so much that I saved up and bought a copy. I really don't see who I am hurting by downloading this stuff.

kanyatta:
I agree that analogies like "You wouldn't rob a bank, would you?" is a terrible argument, but that doesn't mean piracy is OK.

An almost infinite number of statistics will tell you that the music/movie/video game business loses millions of dollars because of illegal downloading each year.

sheic99:

perfectimo:
Look at it this way then had you not acquired the game through "piracy" you would have had to of bought it from a store. That is why this is theft. There is no way around it.

The game could have been rented from a store. The original company won't make money if you rent from Blockbuster or Gamefly. The same goes for borrowing, EA didn't make money when my friend lent me his copy of Crysis. Is that stealing?

The bolded statement is completely fallacious. Blockbuster and Gamefly buy all of their games from the publishers. Granted, they usually get a discount for buying in such bulk, but money goes into the publishers hands regardless.

It's just that Blockbuster and Gamefly are in business to make money, and if they rent out that game 7 times at $5/week (or whatever the rates are), then, they've made money.

Borrowing is not 'stealing', since your friend bought the game originally (or your friend's parents or whoever; you get the idea). Same goes with books. I bought The Watchmen a few weeks ago, I read it, and I've lent it out to about a half dozen friends. Sure, the publisher is probably mad they missed out on a potential chance at $60, but if my friends want their own copies for whenever, without any "Oh, I'm reading it now, can you wait a few days?", then they have to buy it themselves. Just like you with video games. If your friend has the physical disk, then when he has it at his house, you can't play it. If you really liked the game, you'll probably want your own copy eventually, instead of being a constant mooching whore.

I never said I was a mooching whore. We trade back and forth.

If 100,000 people rent from Blockbuster instead of purchasing the game, then that is 100,000 less copies sold. (I'll be damned if I buy Uncharted and play for it for 6 hours and beat it.)

With borrowing a copy can be easily made for and all that is needed is a no disk patch. Which according to copyright law is legal, since no money was made and it was done in person.

Lvl 64 Klutz:

sheic99:

Not necessarily, I could have rented it or borrowed from the game from somebody who already has it, or even play a cloned version of the .iso file from the disk itself. None of these are illegal, but they all involve me not paying for it.

Ok, now that argument I can get behind. However, with renting you are paying someone for the time that you play it. And in terms of borrowing from a friend, if the disk is needed to play the game, then there still is only one copy of the game circulating. If it's not needed, well, that little detail has always bugged me in my quest to valiantly stand against piracy.

COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT. In your attempt to stop piracy you may need a fleet of boats and some machine guns. (That's just something that bugs me)

Baneat:
The thing is, now we are talking in potential profit, If I borrow, say, Mirror's Edge from someone and complete it in one week and return it, I'm not going to buy it. It's exactly the same as piracy, because it was potential profit.

again not piracy. But you did not get Mirror's Edge from an illegal download so it is not illegal.

Jimmyjames:

I work in the games industry, and after spending 2 or more years on a game and them seeing people pirate the shit out of it before street date is irritating as all hell.

And if you spent 2 or more years writing a book, only to have everyone read it at the library, how would you feel then?

Ragdrazi:
And if you spent 2 or more years writing a book, only to have everyone read it at the library, how would you feel then?

Come on, are you serious?

Probably fine considering that the library is a public reference source. Not to mention they PAID for the books they lend out. Piracy isn't the legal borrowing that the library system is. You aren't (or shouldn't be) copying it when you bring it home.

Oh, and last time I checked, the Library doesn't copy the latest fucking Harry Potter book and put it up on the web a week before it's on store shelves.

Nimbus:
...it's because I can't pay. I can't afford the games I download. when I do have the money I will gladly pay for the games, and I would much rather have a legal copy rather than a pirated one but for the most part it really isn't an option for me.

"I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger I eat today!"

image

While I do agree with you in saying that piracy isn't stealing in the pure definition, companies and individuals do have the right to distribute their property in any area of the world as well as to restrict said property from being sold in specific areas of the world. So, if a company decides not to release a game in Russia, then that's too bad for the Russians. If that company only wants to release a game in Japan, then the rest of the world can go kiss-off. That's business.

It's still theft... this topic still going?

TsunamiWombat:
It's still theft... this topic still going?

Apparently.

I agree- it is still theft, albeit a new type of theft.

Anyone who says otherwise should have their mouse taken away.

Jamanticus:

TsunamiWombat:
It's still theft... this topic still going?

Apparently.

I agree- it is still theft, albeit a new type of theft.

Anyone who says otherwise should have their mouse taken away.

Once, I stoles the cookies from the cookie jar.

I was beaten.

















Can I keep my mouse?

I don't think its necessarily a bad thing to do... mainly because I'm a bastard who's sense of morality has not moved passed the idea that Socialism doesn't work, but its definitely a bad idea.

Even being a smart internet user, and having anti-malware/adware/spyware/cookiecrisp-software, my laptop is in the shop (mah brother's house) because it caught a nasty virus.

Right now, I have a trojan and I don't do anything even mildy out of the ordinary on this computer. No 4chan or other assholes of the internet. No torrents. Nothing.

If you want a computer to stay alive for longer than a week, I suggest you stay the fuck away from illegal torrents or suffer the Wrath of the Trojan Man.

Hmm, let me propose another analogy to help clear up some vague comparisons.

Suppose there is a baker who makes four batches of 12 loaves of bread. "Piracy" would be comparable to you magically copying a dozen loaves. You have deprived him of your purchase, but you have in no way interfered with his ownership of those loaves.

To everyone who is just saying, "It's stealing," please provide your definition of stealing. This seems to be where most of the conflict is originating from and perhaps we can iron out a definition that stands up in all scenarios we perceive as "theft." Just throwing out "It's stealing" or "It's not stealing!" isn't contributing at all.

OP is on the right track with this. Someone should find a new word/phrase to describe this action. Because the company/person doesn't actually lose anything from people downloading, I don't think it is "theft".

Illegal downloading is not theft or something new, it's something old: copyright infringement. Notice the term: copy right. Or bootlegging, if you prefer, though that's not so literal. Did this use to happen a lot with leg-boots? What's the deal there?

Fraser.J.A:
Did this use to happen a lot with leg-boots? What's the deal there?

Here are the first couple of sentences of this page, which has your answer:

Bootleg or Bootlegging usually refers to making, transporting and/or selling illegal alcoholic liquor or copyrighted material; the term originates from concealing flasks of alcohol in the legging of boots.

Although, if you do not trust Wikipedia, I'm sure you'll find the same info on a more reliable webpage.

TsunamiWombat:
It's still theft... this topic still going?

Sorry babe, but it's copyright infringement.

For it to be theft, it has to deprive the original owner of the rightful possession of that property or its use.

It's just as bad as theft, but saying it's theft is a frankly dishonest simplification of such a complex issue.

UltimateXShadow:
Although, if you do not trust Wikipedia, I'm sure you'll find the same info on a more reliable webpage.

Good enough for me! I'm happy to consider it the truth as long as it makes a good story. :D

bkd69:

TsunamiWombat:
It's still theft. Sorry.

Just because you say so doesn't make it so.

Nah man, it's deff so. It's theft. It's stealing. After reading through 3 pages of arguments, I still don't get what's wrong with a lot of you people. You're splitting hairs. Call a spade a spade.

It's theft. it's probably been said before. But, say for example, you download the latest album by your favourite artist. The likelihood of you then going out and buying that album is significantly reduced. Property is theft. If it's in your posession (or on your hard drive) by purely ilegitimate means, it's theft.

chronobreak:

bkd69:

TsunamiWombat:
It's still theft. Sorry.

Just because you say so doesn't make it so.

Nah man, it's deff so. It's theft. It's stealing. After reading through 3 pages of arguments, I still don't get what's wrong with a lot of you people. You're splitting hairs. Call a spade a spade.

Because it is another issue with 2 sides who won't change their opinions I don't think it'll go anywhere , but I'll at least try to sum it up.

we have:
-the ones who think there are gradations in "theft"
and that "piracy" is the least harmful form of theft, so much that theft is maybe too big of a word for it.

-the ones who think theft is theft is theft , and seems to think "piracy" is just as bad as killing someone for his shoes.
If you can't see what is wrong with that , you are probably among the ones with selective vision that ignore posts like these:

Eggo:

Sorry babe, but it's copyright infringement.

For it to be theft, it has to deprive the original owner of the rightful possession of that property or its use.

It's just as bad as theft, but saying it's theft is a frankly dishonest simplification of such a complex issue.

One last though, I know there are countless studies , figures or whatever that "proves " the industry is loosing money . Before throwing these around , look who made them ...

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