Serious thread about copyrights

Chat about stuff not covered by other forums.

Do you use file-sharing programs?

Yes. I regularly use file-sharing software (e.g - WINMX< KaZaA, etc)
23
51%
No. I don't use file sharing software
7
16%
I like to stalk mortal man and when I catch him I will drink his life bl...oops - I thought this was a Vampire-related thread....:o
8
18%
What's this!? A poll! Will give it here - i just gotta tick this here box! (votes) :D
7
16%
 
Total votes: 45

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dai-atlas2000
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Serious thread about copyrights

Post by dai-atlas2000 » Thu May 02, 2002 3:08 pm

I'm posting this thread, mainly because its something which has long fascinated me, mainly due to the fact that no-one seems to have a clear concise version of it: COPYRIGHTS.

Some of these may sound like stupid questions, but here goes anyway:

What is the current legal stance on the sharing of any sorts of entertainment media on free file sharing programs?
By entertainment media, I refer to: mp3s, DVD rips, movie downloads, TV series downloads.

With regards to TV series/films:
Also, with regards to certain TV series. Do the same restrictions apply to a TV series, which hasn't been comercially released or is currently out of print, e.g - certain TF episodes/ Beast Machines (UK), to series which is being shared as DVD rips?

With regards to mp3s:
- Is the free sharing of mp3 music files deemed as illegal?
- Or does it become illegal when moneys are illegally being made?
- Is it illegal to even just rip a CD onto your computer (as this would violate the: "DO not store in an electronic retrival system."?

This sortof stuff has long intrigued me, as I'm interested to know if anyone has solid information on the current legal status of file sharing of this (and other types). Also, if anyone out there has copyright information of the downloading and running of emulators and roms, please tell us also.

Also, I've attached a poll to this thread out of pure interest to see how many of us here use file sharing software.
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Post by Lomar4976 » Thu May 02, 2002 3:53 pm

Hehe... the age old argument... If we share files, is it illegal (and of course, whos gonna stop us....)


To answer your points (well my view on them anyway)

If anything can be legally obtained through accessable means (for instance, as a topical example, the new Transformer DVD boxed sets) then its illegal to share, brodacast or generally let it out of your sight unless every person who claps eyes on said product and wants to make use of it has a copy for themselves. That one is quite easy to answer (just read the copyright warning on the front of videos)

Legally in the UK you are allowed to keep 1 backup copy of any media you personally own so your originals dont suffer any wear and tear (I think this is still the case) so filesharing in itself isnt illegal - the illegal element comes in when you dont own a licence (this may be something as simple as having the product) for that product.

Since a few stores (HMV for instance) started doing personallised compilations (though I dont know if this was stopped due to legal reasons) I cant see it as a problem for charging someone handling and production costs for you to make their backups, though the question of where the buck stops is a grey area - is the person who made the copies the one who should check to see if the end user has a legally bought copy, or should the user be responsible ?

Emulators and roms are another grey area - currently available consoles shouldnt be emulated, and thats a breach of copyright (same with roms) but copyright only lasts for a finite amount of time (this is why the spectrum emulators are technically legal to own now)

I think the length of time on a particular copyright is 20 years from the copyrighted date (when you see (c) 2002 Hasbro for example) after that, its anyones unless an extension to copyright is made.

All of this information was from when I was doing research into it a little while ago (about 5-7 years ago) so I dont know if its changed much, with the invention of mass use internet and easy file sharing applications, the law may have completely changed.

Oh.. and I chose yes I do use filesharing apps - Its by far the safest and cheapest method to test a piece of software/video before you go out and spend hard earned cash on it - if I like the thing ive recieved, ill always go out and buy it.
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Post by Sixswitch » Thu May 02, 2002 4:19 pm

That seems sensible, Lomar. I chose the first, third and fourth options, because I do indeed use file sharing software. Well, when I'm not behind this dumb uni firewall I do.

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Post by RID Scourge » Thu May 02, 2002 7:23 pm

It's supposed to be illegal to keep a file for longer than 24 hours if you don't own the original.

However, they can't enforce it because they don't have the resources to do it, so I don't really care what they say. I only buy stuff if I really like it, and can't find a good copy of it online.

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Post by The HeartBrend Kid » Thu May 02, 2002 8:16 pm

I like to stalk mortal man and when I catch him I will drink his life bl... what? read the BotCon Wreckers comic... *whistles innocently*

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Post by S » Thu May 02, 2002 8:54 pm

I used to use Kazaa, but after I moved to a different location none of the file sharing software I've tried works anymore. Must be a firewall problem. Bah.

Anyway, the way I see it copyrights are in effect all the time, excuses like "backups" or "24 hours" or "unavailability" or "who's gonna stop me?" are just that, a bunch of excuses for criminal activity. It's up to the copyrigth owners whether they choose to enforce their rights, and more often than not it's just not worth the trouble. But it's still illegal.

Now, moral rights are an entirely different thing... personally I don't give a rats ass about legislation, but rather take personal copies when I pretty much feel like it and d/l stuff off the web with little regard to IP rights. I know I'm evil, but I think of it as a form of "try before buy". If I like something, I'm going to buy it, if not, then I don't want my money supporting it. That makes me terribly, terribly evil, doesn't it? :p
Originally posted by Lomar4976
Emulators and roms are another grey area - currently available consoles shouldnt be emulated, and thats a breach of copyright (same with roms) but copyright only lasts for a finite amount of time (this is why the spectrum emulators are technically legal to own now)

I think the length of time on a particular copyright is 20 years from the copyrighted date (when you see (c) 2002 Hasbro for example) after that, its anyones unless an extension to copyright is made.
I don't know how things are in UK (I think I once heard that they have different copyright periods for domestic and foreign material), but my understanding is that international copyright lasts for 95 years or so. And every 5 years the corporations extend the period by 5 more years... the whole situation is kind of twisted. Anyway, this means that emulators and old games will fall into public domain in 2080s. Tough luck.

EDIT: One should distinguish between copyrights and trademarks. Trademark, so I believe, will last forever as long as the owner keeps renewing and using it.
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What it boils down to is...

Post by Denyer » Thu May 02, 2002 9:18 pm

...I'm a simple student. If you let me preview something, there's a very strong chance that if I like it, I'll buy it when I can afford to do so. (Note that if you release something with only marginal redeeming qualities, I'm likely to swipe the one track I like and perhaps buy a related product instead.) Also, if prices weren't so unrealistic in high-street stores, I wouldn't do most of my purchasing second-hand or on-line. Finally, if you don't sell the product, I feel entitled to copy bootlegs, b-sides and assorted other fluff — most of what I use file-sharing programs for.

I play by my own morality, not laws. Remember that enough people can a) change laws, and b) we pay money to you — screw with us too much and you'll lose your market.

Copyright is a bodge; it compromises between rewarding artists so that they produce more stuff, and the fact that there is nothing original under the sun — everything is derivative.

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Re: What it boils down to is...

Post by dai-atlas2000 » Thu May 02, 2002 10:47 pm

Originally posted by Stuart Denyer
I do most of my purchasing second-hand or on-line.
Denyer, I'm glad you mentioned about second hand - because here is another question which i have - more with regards to things like second-hand books. You knw the way it says about books not being sold, rented, hired, lent, etc - well doesn't that technically make all second hand bookshops a breach of copyright?

Stupid question I know...

Personally I'd almost rather read a second hand book. And second hand book shops are the absolute bees knees when you find a good one.:cool:
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I lovge file sharing, if that makes me a criminal, tough luck

Post by sprites touch » Fri May 03, 2002 2:48 pm

Copyrights owners, lately started to abuse there power and rights. Prices are unreasonably high, and the claim that "as long as there are pirated copies we loose money and can't lower the prices" is readiculous. piracy always exicted and it's always taken into acount when markleting a product. I'd be willing to pay a reasonable price for downloading media (songs,movies,books, and anything else that's uitable), but the entretainment industry (since when has it became an industry, I always thought entertainment was generated by indeviduals with talant) isn't willing to cope with the new reality (digital media with easy distribution), instead of showing fate in the majority of the potential consumers, they enforce methods such as encription(DVDs) and copytights to penalize the minority of pirates.
why do I have to pay 15$+ on a cd for just the one song I like (singles aren't cheep either), why a game I'll play for a week tops, should cost 40$? (PC games 10 years ago cost much less, though the time and work put into them is equivelent to the newest games today). why should we pay more for what is a popular product, instead of less?
most of the money we pay is pure profit and not just to cover the investment.
I'd respect the rights of those who make media, once they'll comedown to earth and realize that those right don't make them gods. If a cd costs 15$ how do we devide the production and marketing(videoclips, radio time, design, actual manufactoring) of that cd and the actual artistic effort? wouldn't it be better to sell more copies at a low price(with sutisfied customers) rather than few copies at a high price (with only the loyal core buying it).
it stends against the artists intrest, who'd want their art to be as widely distriputed and reaching the highest number of clients as posiable.
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Post by Sir Auros » Fri May 03, 2002 3:19 pm

I voted yes on this a while ago, but didn't bother to post. I'm a f**king thief. I have no qualms with stealing any intellectual property because I don't think that it has a right to even exist and it's really easy to steal. D'yargh matey, I'm a pirate. Games, movies, and music I get whatever I want and I don't give a shit about intellectual property rights.

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Post by S » Fri May 03, 2002 3:35 pm

Originally posted by sprites touch
I'd respect the rights of those who make media, once they'll comedown to earth and realize that those right don't make them gods. If a cd costs 15$ how do we devide the production and marketing(videoclips, radio time, design, actual manufactoring) of that cd and the actual artistic effort? wouldn't it be better to sell more copies at a low price(with sutisfied customers) rather than few copies at a high price (with only the loyal core buying it).
it stends against the artists intrest, who'd want their art to be as widely distriputed and reaching the highest number of clients as posiable.
Who are you to tell what the artists want? I think any artist (in a broad sense of the word, including writers, game programmers, movie directors, etc. etc.) first and foremost wants to make a buck, and secondly get praise for his work. Wide distribution is probably way down the list... heck, if I made something I'd rather have a devout cult following than big masses pirating my work.

If there weren't any copyright laws, nobody would ever bother making anything that costs a lot because they'd know someone could steal it without any repercussions. The problem is, where to draw the line? Personally I think copyright periods should be cut to 50 years or so, and there should be no restrictions on personal back-up copies (I guess these are going out of fashion anyway). But I have no problem with big companies cracking down on pirates, they get what they deserve.
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wanting to make a buck, is fine...

Post by sprites touch » Fri May 03, 2002 4:40 pm

but than I wouldn't call them artists, I'd call them people-who-want-t-o-make-money-of-their-talent, which is also fine, but who decides how much talent is worth, and who's more worthy? Just as they want to make money, I want to save mine. The argument that most steel it, because it's easy and you won't get cought or punished is valid, but instead of enforcing, there should be education. if you teach people that steeling is steeling and that just as you steel someone elses work, someone can steel yours, people would have values and be willing to pay. I still say prices are to high, and for that the public is revolting. It's no longer a small core of pirates/hackers/distributers. everyone has access to filesharing, it's user friendly and easy. The industry should wake up to it, and grant the public what they won't at a price that both sides will be willing to accept.
I've read my share of threads and reactions to the subject, and most people would be willing to pay for a product that has extra value for being ligalle (not just the fact that you are no longer a thief, which most people seem to live with and rationalize just fine). When the companies give you the feeling that all they want is to suck as much money out of you for as little of value as posiable, you feel the need to strugle back.
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Post by S » Fri May 03, 2002 4:52 pm

Well, there is an easy way to save your money: don't buy the art. If you make that decision, you still don't have any moral right to pirate the stuff. Piracy is not "struggling back" or anything noble, it's a theft, plain and simple. If you (or I) want to do it, fine, just don't claim high moral ground.
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Post by sprites touch » Fri May 03, 2002 5:22 pm

I don't claim high moral ground, as I said theft is theft, I'm fine with that.
technicly though, if I can't aford it anyway, I'm not a potential customer, and since we are talking about digital material, copying it and duplicating isn't like stilling an actual phisical product.
"when I see what I want I'm gonna take it, if it's against the law you can bet I'll break it". simple as that, I'm willing to pay the consiquances.
It's not about me feeling better about being a thief, it's about the fact that theft exist, and they are fighting it wrong (or evedants would show that theft of copyright is abolished).
Statisticly most of those who violate copyrights are young, they want the product but can't aford it, and even if they could they often feel that it's value is much lower than it's price. I'm not saying that it's right and corect. I'm saying it's the curent situation. You respect copyrights, aperantly something was done right along the way, if you think so. since it's imposiable to enforce all the rulls on costumers (you're not gonna arest every kid or it's oparents for steeling an mp3), it's wiser to educate (or as done now, just create mechanizems that most lamens can't override, which ultimatly fails aswell).
Alot of it is about feelings, the artist feels it's his right to be apritiated (mostly through cash), while we feel it's our right to get things for free. we feel like we rae ripped of, and that bad feeling is the cause of so many troubls (it allows us to moraly rationalize theft as a fight against wrong, wether it's true or false). the industry should see it in it's intrest that all the potential buyers(and every thief is one, or he wouldn't show intrest in the product) feel good about their purches.
I'm not taking any sides, I'm just trying to see it through both eyes (with some favor for the buyer since it's view is closer to mine).
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Post by S » Fri May 03, 2002 6:00 pm

Well said. If people perceive that they're being screwed, they will rationalize theft. However, I disagree that lowering prices would do anything to reduce piratism, on the contrary... lower price means lower profit, which translates to cutting on costs like marketing. And marketing is pretty much the only thing (well, in theory...) that makes people buy the genuine thing if they can get it for free. So I believe that in the end only the aggressive salesmen will succeed, i.e. those who can best convince consumers that they should give them money. That means that independent and striving artists will be the ones who suffer.

But, like it has been said many times, there's no way to stop file sharing. Proprietary formats and blocks can probably slow it down a little bit though... I find it a bit hypocritical to oppose such measures on any other grounds besides "I want to be able to easily steal from you guys".
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Post by The Green Knight » Fri May 03, 2002 6:04 pm

For every higher wall there is a taller ladder...

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Post by S » Fri May 03, 2002 6:13 pm

True, but that doesn't make walls entirely useless. Especially if you keep building a taller and taller wall faster than the majority of people can get their hands on taller ladders. Or something.
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Yeah...

Post by Denyer » Fri May 03, 2002 11:02 pm

Originally posted by dai-atlas2000
doesn't that technically make all second hand bookshops a breach of copyright?
...'sthe same as recording to VHS or taping the radio breaches copyright. Fact is, everybody does it, and they can't stop us all. This is why the US forced through the DMCA, a piece of legislation which directly interferes with fair use provisions laid down in existing legislation for educational and private use. Check out http://www.doom9.net for some info.

Basically, I will buy anything I consider worthwhile...but I'll buy it once. No-one is gonna hook me with the change of formats between CD/tape/etc. I put money into the system, and if it doesn't like the small liberties I take, I can stop contributing to it anytime I choose...I have enough "legal" media to last me a lifetime.

Given the option of affordable small block downloads, or even a system whereby I paid in advance for a certain number of audio tracks per record company per year, I'd spend more on music. This would rely on compatibility -- I don't simply listen to music on a PC. Either meet standards (currently MP3/Ogg), or it will fail, since portable players and audio CD burners mainly support these formats. Secondly, reasonable prices. Fifty pence to about two-fifty (for latest material) sounds reasonable.

Is that enforceable? Well, it's as bloody enforceable as current measures, which simply see protected CDs returned because they don't sodding play in some regular CD players.

Also, as for supplanting CD as the format of choice; they have nothing left to offer us in terms of sound quality people will actually pay for the privilege of being trapped into.

Copyright is entirely an artificial bodge, even more so in times of almost universal computer literacy, scanners, advanced software and the net. The argument that this costs sales is not the whole story when most would not have bought anyway. Too much media demands our attention, and we are raised by marketing that to admit to possessing less is a cultural sin.

So, like I say, I support primarily small artists, through channels which ensure that they get most money rather than record execs who simply haven't earnt it. Financial speculation is not a job. It always involves someone else getting f#cked over.

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Post by Lucifer » Sat May 04, 2002 11:24 am

Interestingly enough, the RIAA got a law passed that forwards a certain percentage of the profits from blank tapes and CD's to union recording artists, so as to make up for some of their (artist's) profit loss due to hard copying of albums from CD to tape and so forth.

Also, as a pro musician, i cannot stand the sound quality of mp3's, no matter the hardware. They sound worse than cassette tapes ever did. No low end warmth at all.

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Post by Reverend Shrapnel » Sat May 04, 2002 11:59 am

Whilst I know it's robbery in some way, I don't feel bad about it simply because as a consumer I don't believe that the record companies offer the public any choice. I mean, if I fancied a listen to Darkthrone's 'Goatlord' album I wouldn't be able to get it in any of the shops here so I'll head online and get it there...see what I'm saying? I much prefer owning the actual CDs to a bunch of MP3s and sometimes file sharing can make huge profits for the companies. If I'd never downloaded 'Would?' by Alice in Chains I would never have bought their entire back catalogue...

If the companies that whinge would be more willing to allow the consumers to purchase rather than 'steal' than everything would be tickety boo but they're not helping their argument by denying the consumer what they want. It's just common sense. Anyone follow that? Me tired. Me get home at 3 AM.
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