macsnafu on June 12, 2012, 03:51:27 pm
Huh?  I'm not talking about sharing.  I'm talking about someone taking a manuscript copy running off 10K copies and selling it.  Sharing is perfectly fine.  The library paid for their copy to lend. 

Why aren't you talking about sharing?  If I share a book I buy with half a dozen of my friends, then that's half a dozen potential sales that the author won't benefit from, right?  Assuming that they all are interested in buying the book, that is.

I love mankind.  It's PEOPLE I can't stand!  - Linus Van Pelt.

Andreas on June 12, 2012, 03:53:42 pm
However, there is a reasonable assumption on the part of the buyer that some part of his purchase price is making it back to the original author when he buys an item.  Whether this is done as a lump sum or as micropayments is immaterial to this assumption:  part of what the end user is buying is the knowledge that he is supporting the original author.
This, I think, is patently false. In the purchase of a physical object that incorporates a work of art, there cannot be such an assumption from any but the most naive.
The 2nd-Hand shop is a stellar example, we're just buying an object, whether it's the first purchase or the Nth purchase. We can make believe that our buying the object benefits the creator, but that's just a fancy.

If you want to support an artist, ask them how. Some have a tip jar, some will say "tell your friends", some will say "buy a plushie", "click the ads"... and my favourite: "buy some originals". That's how it is. The follies of fandom is not supporting of the creators - it is a self-involved pastime, a mental cosplay, if you will, of pretending that these trappings of the art can somehow transform their purchaser into something related to the art. Claiming to support the artist may be part of that, but it is not the truth value of the claim that has value to these cosplayers, it's the acceptance/envy (real or imagined) of their peers (real or imagined).

Andreas on June 12, 2012, 03:56:24 pm
Huh?  I'm not talking about sharing.  I'm talking about someone taking a manuscript copy running off 10K copies and selling it.  Sharing is perfectly fine.  The library paid for their copy to lend. 

Why aren't you talking about sharing?  If I share a book I buy with half a dozen of my friends, then that's half a dozen potential sales that the author won't benefit from, right?  Assuming that they all are interested in buying the book, that is.



Exactly, sharing kicks the bottom out of the "stolen sales" argument.
Neil Young said that for music, pirating is just the new radio. It's the way music gets around, the way you get your stuff heard.
That has a lot of merit.

myrkul999 on June 12, 2012, 04:37:03 pm
Huh?  I'm not talking about sharing.  I'm talking about someone taking a manuscript copy running off 10K copies and selling it.  Sharing is perfectly fine.  The library paid for their copy to lend. 

The key question is if the original owners no longer have their copy. If you copied the manuscript (or the plans to the new Ford), and started making physical objects to those plans - printing books, or fabricating cars - you've not stolen anything from anyone. If you took a physical copy of the manuscript or plans, however, then you have stolen something - the physical copy that once was in their possession.

macsnafu on June 12, 2012, 04:57:54 pm
Huh?  I'm not talking about sharing.  I'm talking about someone taking a manuscript copy running off 10K copies and selling it.  Sharing is perfectly fine.  The library paid for their copy to lend. 

Why aren't you talking about sharing?  If I share a book I buy with half a dozen of my friends, then that's half a dozen potential sales that the author won't benefit from, right?  Assuming that they all are interested in buying the book, that is.
Exactly, sharing kicks the bottom out of the "stolen sales" argument.
Neil Young said that for music, pirating is just the new radio. It's the way music gets around, the way you get your stuff heard.
That has a lot of merit.

Sure.  Of those half a dozen people I may share a book with, some may not have bought their own copy even if I hadn't shared it with them, and some might buy a copy for themselves because I shared it with them, and they especially liked it.   Any attempted calculation of 'lost sales" that doesn't take these possibilities into account must necessarily be flawed.
I love mankind.  It's PEOPLE I can't stand!  - Linus Van Pelt.

mellyrn on June 12, 2012, 06:48:12 pm
Quote
Neil Young said that for music, pirating is just the new radio. It's the way music gets around, the way you get your stuff heard.
That has a lot of merit.

I was once given a pirated music CD which I loved so much, when I had a few extra bucks, I bought 3/three "legitimate" copies -- one to keep, two to give away. 

Otoh, I know of a seriously-anti-pirating guy whose wife is a musician.  I doubt I'll ever buy her stuff because I don't know what it's like.  If I heard a sample and liked it, it might be the only track I did like, and the rest of the album would be a waste from my perspective; if I heard a sample and didn't like it, I wouldn't buy the album and might never know that was the only track I wouldn't have liked.

I'm an author-wannabe myself.  I've got a web site and everything (hasn't been updated in two years . . . at least).  When I get bold enough (meaning, I've got my butt in gear enough to do regular updates) to advertise, I'm going to put it out there and hope for the best.  If you can make money off it in ways that I can't (I have a turnip's masterful grasp of business) -- please fucking do!  It would be nice if you cut me in for a little piece; my other fan might think poorly of you if you didn't, dontcha know?  But as much as I'd like to make my living at writing, that isn't why I do it.

I'm not entitled to a living.  Either I can make one, or I can't.  People will either buy my stuff (from me, or my agent if I had one), or they won't.  "Copyright" seems like trying to force the world to give me what it doesn't have to -- rather as "government" seems like trying to force me to accept some people as "my" people whether I truly feel that way about them or not.

Warren on June 12, 2012, 07:10:32 pm
These two links have some interesting observations that bear n the current discussion.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,710976,00.html

http://www.cippm.org.uk/downloads/Symposium%202009/Hoffner%20-%20vortrag_eng-10_min.pdf

The data is from long before the computer age so I don't know if the conclusions would fit 100% with today's ease of passing information about.

mellyrn on June 12, 2012, 07:24:55 pm
Quote
I have been struggling with the copyright issue for a long time.  Yes, I do think that something is wrong with taking someone else's work without their permission and profiting from it.  But I cannot explicitly state what is wrong.

I thought this was such a good question, I took it home for dinner.  We've been chewing it over for the last hour, all of us agreeing that, yes, something's wrong about it -- but what?

Here's what we've got so far:  most of everyday life is lived in what P pleases to call "natural" anarchy -- we refer to no ruler or leader to decide what's for dinner or whose turn it is to do dishes, kind of thing.  That cooperation arises naturally out of community life; there's a sense of reciprocity and mutual respect -- I do this, you do that, stop when we feel we've done more than enough.  P borrows my shirts; she knows full well I'm going to say yes if she asks, and yet she still asks.  I wouldn't mind if she didn't -- and I like it better when she does.

Taking someone else's work without so much as a by-your-leave -- even a copy, so that he's not deprived of anything -- is a violation of that communal relationship, the unstated social dance that makes our homely anarchy function.

P went so far as to wonder whether it always was about the relationship -- that when it's theft of a physical object, the material loss involved perhaps masked the fact that the greater crime (from the perspective of a social species) was the damage theft causes to our relationships; and now that we're in this information society, and it's "intellectual" property, the harm to our social relationships is more clearly seen.


 ;) I could do a reverse-sam and say something about how you guys are all groaning at all this talk of 'ships and how it's obvious all my dinner partners tonight were women.  But I know we're all people here.

Brugle on June 12, 2012, 07:47:45 pm
violation of copyright is essentially fraud:  falsely claiming that a different company or author is the source of the material.
No.  Publishing your novel while claiming that I wrote it is fraud.  Publishing your novel without your permission while making it clear that you are the author is not fraud but is copyright violation.


Yes, you're right.  But in the case of copyright violation, not fraud, what is the actual harm to the author?  Sure, the author isn't making any money off a novel that was published without his knowledge or permission (unless of course, the publisher decides to pay the author something anyway), but that's not really "harm" as I understand it.
Obviously, the author might suffer a loss of income if someone copies a novel without permission.  But income is not guaranteed in a free society.  Copyright is a government grant of monopoly privilege which (as far as I can tell) would not exist in a free society.  Did I say something to suggest that I support copyrights?

there is a reasonable assumption on the part of the buyer that some part of his purchase price is making it back to the original author when he buys an item.
While I don't know if it meets the standard for fraud that Sandy described, I would consider it some sort of crime if the seller deceived the buyer in that way (similar to people collecting money for a charity and then keeping it for themselves).

Quote from: Wikipedia
In the early 1960s Donald A. Wollheim, science fiction editor of the paperback publisher Ace Books, claimed that The Lord of the Rings was not protected in the United States under American copyright law because Houghton Mifflin, the U.S. hardcover publisher, had neglected to copyright the work in the United States.[38][39] Ace Books then proceeded to publish an edition, unauthorized by Tolkien and without paying royalties to him. Tolkien took issue with this and quickly notified his fans of this objection.[40] Grass-roots pressure from these fans became so great that Ace Books withdrew their edition and made a nominal payment to Tolkien.[41][42] Authorized editions followed from Ballantine Books and Houghton Mifflin to tremendous commercial success.
When I bought LOTR, the store had both the Ace and Ballantine editions.  (I'm that old.)  Having been made aware of the issue by a friend, I bought the somewhat more expensive authorized edition.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 07:49:20 pm by Brugle »

EENalley on June 12, 2012, 07:55:40 pm
I refer people here.  When you get down to things, as this essay points out, all rights are property rights, and all property rights are Intellectual property rights.  You can do nothing creative without thinking about it first.


Brugle on June 12, 2012, 10:38:43 pm
I refer people here.  When you get down to things, as this essay points out, all rights are property rights, and all property rights are Intellectual property rights.  You can do nothing creative without thinking about it first.

That sounds like Ayn Rand's defense of IP.  I enjoy reading Rand and find many of her arguments quite convincing, but found her weak on a few issues including IP (although that was not nearly as bad as her defense of the coercive state).

Stephan Kinsella discussed many justifications for IP (including Rand's), including the problems with using creation as the foundation for property rights, in "Against Intellectual Property":
http://mises.org/journals/jls/15_2/15_2_1.pdf

myrkul999 on June 12, 2012, 10:56:48 pm
Taking someone else's work without so much as a by-your-leave -- even a copy, so that he's not deprived of anything -- is a violation of that communal relationship, the unstated social dance that makes our homely anarchy function.

This is an excellent observation. Copying someone's idea is a dick move. But is it a crime?

Under the libertarian/anarchist definition, a crime causes harm to someone. Copying someone's idea doesn't harm them.

To quote Thomas Jefferson:
Quote
If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.
(Emphasis added)

So, no, even if it is a bit of a dick move to "steal" an idea, that person still has his idea, and can act on it. He hasn't been harmed, so there is no crime.

Andreas on June 12, 2012, 11:59:31 pm
This is an excellent observation. Copying someone's idea is a dick move.
Maybe that's just our "state brand" minds following on conditioning?
We're assuming here that the natural state of the artist is to hoard their work like a dragon, saying to all comers:
What I have is so awesome, that it'll cost you to even look at it...

... is that actually likely? Already people, artists, are adapting to the fluidity of thought in the electronic medium: The ones who are adapting are making "Free" their business model, and they're saying the exact opposite: Hey, come look at what I have! Feel free to share (tell your friends)

In the anarchic community, are people assumed to be stupid? Do we assume that they don't realize that their favourite artists need to eat, and that their keeping the art as a side business makes them less prolific in that field? Do we assume that they won't do what people already now do? Supporting what they'd like to see more of?

We've grown up in a society that was not free, where artists were regarded as freeloaders (even when their necessity was obvious), and where they had to retaliate in kind, rationing their art for the sake of proving its merit.


Copying someone's work against their explicit will is a dick move (or maybe just impolite), but think of fanart and cosplays and fanfics, those are all IP infringement (really, they are), and the lawyers sit perched in their aeries waiting to cease-and-desist the frack out of anyone trying any of *that* stuff...

That's the dick move.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2012, 12:24:40 am by Andreas »

Andreas on June 13, 2012, 12:21:46 am
I refer people here.  When you get down to things, as this essay points out, all rights are property rights, and all property rights are Intellectual property rights.  You can do nothing creative without thinking about it first.
That there was the death rattle of an ill-conceived and ill-delivered idea. When a pasture has become the target predators to the point where it can not be defended, and the predators cannot be driven out without destroying the pasture... nothing can be done but abandon it.
The copyright system is choking on the feces of its own impossibility, it CANNOT be saved - it may even be that the draconic measures of government meant to futilely try to save it will be the straw that breaks the back of government itself. The moghouls had the ability to control ideas back when ideas could be obtained only bound into physical objects... and even back then it was touch-and-go; now that information can move unfettered by physical containers, it's entirely impossible to maintain that monopoly.

And finally, piracy is immensely beneficial to the artist:
Of a given population, some percentage, x, is going to pay the artist for the art, up front, having found the artist by themselves.
A much larger percentage, let's arbitrarily call that y=10x (grossly conservative), will pay the artist for the art, up front, once it has been brought to their attention.
A much larger percentage, arbitrarily z=100x, will pay the artist for use of the art, after they've seen it and enjoyed it.
A much larger percentage, arbitrarily a=1000x, will tell their friends about the art, having gotten it for free, but wouldn't have ever bought it.
Now, the kicker is this: x is a function of b - findability. The 1000 freeloaders to each die-hard avantgarde (member of the basic x), who aren't withholding any money, as they were never going to have spent it, are going to boost the crap out b, expanding the artists income basis on all three paying levels (x, y, z).
And that's not taking into account income from ads, which in some cases may make even a-users profitable (or at least reduce overhead).

Piracy is not harmful to the author, only to the leeches that artists have had to associate with for the last century.

myrkul999 on June 13, 2012, 12:58:15 am
Copying someone's work against their explicit will is a dick move (or maybe just impolite), but think of fanart and cosplays and fanfics, those are all IP infringement (really, they are), and the lawyers sit perched in their aeries waiting to cease-and-desist the frack out of anyone trying any of *that* stuff...

That's the dick move.

Too true. But all of those are creative endeavors based on other people's IP. If I wrote a novel, and suddenly I see people dressing up as my characters, painting things based on my descriptions, or writing stories set in my world, or any of the various other activities fans get into, I'd be ecstatic. That means that those people loved my work so much, that it inspired them so much, that they wanted to create something from it. That's awesome. So, not a dick move at all.

I am reminded of the Shakespeare quote...

 

anything