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The Forum > Article Comments > Internet piracy: a white elephant in a sea of static > Comments

Internet piracy: a white elephant in a sea of static : Comments

By Tom Moore, published 20/8/2010

Internet piracy is not seriously considered to be 'wrong': it is considered to be normal behaviour.

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(quote)
Even more disturbingly, 50 per cent of 14-24 year olds do not believe that illegal file sharing is stealing.
(end quote)

Well, I'm familiar only with the definition of stealing in the UK Theft Act, and the Victorian Crimes Act - and according to those definitions they're perfectly correct.

Other legal systems have different definitions, but my guess is that they're probably not that different. (I'd be interested to hear about it if I'm wrong)
Posted by jeremy, Friday, 20 August 2010 11:53:49 AM
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The argument taken to its logical conclusion suggests it would be a disaster if the large corporate music and movie industries collapsed due to piracy. Assuming that is a realistic and factual assessment of the risks of piracy I'm wondering whether it would be a bad thing if young people got behind their local musicians and arts groups rather than the corporate players? All kinds of moral questions are raised by the digital divide. I'd like to see a discussion of those.
Posted by Rosie Williams, Friday, 20 August 2010 12:18:32 PM
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So Microsoft making 70% profit on windows was not "stealing" from the public?

Copyright as it stands today is more about protecting monopoly profits and excluding new players than it is about protecting artists/creators.

Software is nothing more than a really long string of numbers and I dont think you should be able to copyright numbers.

Corporate control of copyright has restricted creativity and progress not helped it. The burgeoning free and copyleft software movements have increased opportunities for people to create and improve unlike the propriety model so loved of the ideologues who prefer restriction and exclusion and greed over progress.
Posted by mikk, Friday, 20 August 2010 12:52:24 PM
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What is having a far bigger impact than piracy on corporate profits is the fact than people are now choosing to simply generate their own material (music, movies, software, etc.) and share it with each other free of charge.

Linux (available for free) is currently the world's fastest growing operating system. Many home-made Youtube videos have been viewed tens of millions of times. The fact is, the paid content is now having trouble competing with the free content.

So instead of just sitting absorbing information in front of a one-way TV, people can now interact with both the content and other users. Many people now spend hours a day communicating with each other instead of watching some crap sitcom with canned laughter.

And besides all that, it's not even certain that piracy does actually reduce profits:

http://www.thebookseller.com/news/120264-piracy-may-not-affect-revenues-says-new-report.html
Posted by Irmin, Friday, 20 August 2010 4:05:59 PM
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Like many conservative commentators, the author seems to want to have his cake and eat it too. It may be true that creative artists will stop producing if they don't get paid. It may be true that some people won't like this. But this is hardly a 'catastrophe' when the solution is so simple: start paying them again.

If enough people want to watch new movies and read new books, then they will find a way to pay the creators. On the other hand, if we're all happy with old movies and old books, then why should we pay people to make more? Right now we already have access to many more books, songs and movies than anyone could absorb in several lifetimes. Why on earth should anyone think we need new ones?

Except the people who get paid to create them, of course. But since there are many times more people who consume entertainment than create it, a democratic government should be on the side of the consumers.
Posted by Jon J, Friday, 20 August 2010 5:09:34 PM
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Thank you! At last an article championing for our very talented art content creators be it music, films, games developers, authors of books, software developers and all the associated technicians and industries involved and dramatically impacted upon by the freeloading culture of today and it is just not file sharers decimating the entertainment industry... it is the enablers like:

Google is profiting from adsense ads on websites where unauthorised distribution of copyrighted material takes place. They could shut down these websites if they wanted to do so but they choose not to do this because they generate income for Google through advertising.

ISPs provide the internet connection they are laughing all the way to the bank they know who the many millions are, downloading from illegal torrents sites and hogging bandwith (it is after all their network) they throttle their accounts until piraters go premium and pay more for their connection for an unlimited fast internet connection.

And also it is just not the younger generation who are illegally downloading and not giving any thought about the artists that they are robbing

I have neighbours who 10 years again were huge media buyers be it music or movies...

They have not bought any entertainment media in 10 years...However they have profited and have saved money from not buying media which enabled them to have the fastest internet connection available to download illegally, they have the lastest entertainment system in the living room with a huge huge wide screen televison. They have the best and fastest family member computers in the house to download illegal booty to the network hard drive attached to the huge huge wide screen tv so they can watch their favourite stuff all for free and with nothing going to the creators... it is obscene that they have passed on the stealing culture to their children who think that it is ok not paying for stuff that you want!
Posted by Coconut, Friday, 20 August 2010 7:53:51 PM
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