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Fighting For Downloaders' Hearts and Minds 325

Posted by timothy
from the dude-pirate-is-not-the-prefered-nomenclature dept.
iateyourcookies writes "As opposed to enforcement which usually makes the headlines, The BBC is running an article called Inside A Downloader's Head which looks at the film and music industries' attempts to prevent copyright infringement. It details some of the campaigns, their rationale, controversy surrounding them and notes that 'there are plenty, even among the young, who can be eloquent about why they believe illegal downloading is not wrong. These can include everything from what they see as the unacceptable "control freakery" of DRM and regional coding, to overcharging and exploitation of the very artists the music industry claims to protect.' However, PR company for the industry Blue Rubicon attests that 'campaigns can change hearts and minds... If you do them right you can make a material impact on people's behaviour.'"
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Fighting For Downloaders' Hearts and Minds

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  • A ha! (Score:5, Funny)

    by SomeJoel (1061138) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @05:54PM (#28381345)
    So they admit they want to control our minds!
    • Re:A ha! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Yvan256 (722131) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @06:03PM (#28381483) Homepage Journal

      That's so untrue it's not even fu- ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD!

    • Some honest two-way dialog is what's needed, not preaching the old way.

      • Re:Exactly (Score:4, Insightful)

        by causality (777677) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @07:07PM (#28382359)

        Some honest two-way dialog is what's needed, not preaching the old way.

        I could be wrong but I think my first impression of the summary was somewhat like yours, though expressed differently. When I saw this part:

        However, PR company for the industry Blue Rubicon attests that 'campaigns can change hearts and minds... If you do them right you can make a material impact on people's behaviour.

        My first thought on reading that was "because a material impact is the only type they're capable of recognizing." I also have my doubts that their campaign is going to try to "change hearts and minds" with facts and reasoning. It's sort of like a debate which has an audience: if you're good, you can "win" a debate or an argument whether or not you are actually correct, particularly if your audience is naive, unfamiliar with argumentation and critical thinking, or has no independent understanding of the subject matter. Unfortunately, I think all three of those factors are working in favor of the *AAs. The Slashdot crowd is exceptional in many ways, but I would not expect the average person to be so familiar with these issues and many unrelated things remind me of the general public's lack of familiarity with argumentation and critical thinking.

        Talk-show hosts do something similar all the time. They like to use the Socratic method not as a teaching tool, but to control the conversation by forcing the caller/guest into answering a series of simple questions that don't permit appreciation of differing viewpoints. Any attempts to suggest that the subject is more nuanced than this, that the questions don't cover the full scope of the issue, or that determing your conclusion prior to taking any other steps might be intellectually dishonest are dealt with. That's why the host's voice has a higher gain/volume than the caller's, why the host has a mute (or hold) button to instantly silence the caller, and is one (of several) reasons why calls are screened before being taken. Put those same hosts in a situation where they must interact as equals who cannot force the other person to submit to their control of the conversation and suddenly they'd have much greater difficulty seeming like they are always "right."

        The situation with media campaigns is likewise asymmetric. The *AAs can easily afford to run these campaigns and get their side of the story into public view. Could you or I afford to produce and air our own commercials, on a national level, that argue against them and show any flaws in their reasoning? You mention two-way dialog. Imagine what it would do to all of PR and advertising if that were the norm.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ShieldW0lf (601553)
          When I was in high school, I totally thrashed this guy in debate in history class. Can't for the life of me remember what it was actually about, but I do remember that at the end, everyone in the class agreed that it wasn't fair because my side was obviously right and his side was obviously wrong. So, I challenged him to do it again, only I would defend his side and he would defend mine. After he awkwardly tried to re-hash my arguments, I explained that all of the things that I had said were true, but th
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by causality (777677)

            After he awkwardly tried to re-hash my arguments

            If accurate, that right there tells me that you were dealing with a passive person, a pushover or a lightweight or whatever you may call it. If he lacks his own understanding and his own perspective he's going to compete poorly against someone who has those things. That's one thing I very much like about argumentation: those who are not independent thinkers (the "sheeple" if you will) have a chance to discover why this is a significant disadvantage.

            but tha

    • Re:A ha! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Wowsers (1151731) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @06:33PM (#28381885) Journal

      No, they want control back of your wallet. So stop spending money on computer games, mobile phones, or something else, help out those poor people in the RIAA and film industry.

      If they want to win the hearts of people the solution is ALL with the RIAA / Film industry.

      1) Stop producing cr@p that nobody is interested in. How many remakes of classic films can you do, do you think people don't realise a rip-off? How many formulaic "artists" are in the music charts when there's other stuff out there which does not get a look in because of the rigged radio market.

      2) Stop selling the DVD's and CD's at such high prices. The market has moved on and there's competition for the money, people have more things they can buy, as I mentioned already, computer games, mobile phones etc.. It's not the 1960's where for teenagers there was music, film, and that's it.

      3) Stop loading DVD's with unskippable cr@p (Disney the worst offender), stop putting idiotic unskippable trailers on copyrights - we just bought your legit DVD damn it! At least with VHS you could rewind to a spot where the actual content starts!

      4) Stop putting crapware on CD's, we want Red Book Standard CD's, and we also want the cases and CD's to have the logo on it to prove they are REAL audio CD's, not the fake crap put out today.

      5) Stop putting DRM on legit downloads. It p1sses me off that such and such file is restricted to what file format a device will play (with DRM built in to the player). I don't want to pay extra for a MP3 player to make some DRM licensee richer.

      6) Improve the audio quality of Audio CD's, and digital downloads. Audio CD's are chasing the loudness battle - I recently bought a compilation CD and had to give it away because I had ear ache after 5 minutes of this unlistenable compressed music. Digital downloads are also not much better, where are the file formats like FLAC on ALL download sites, not just highly specialised sites. Hell, you can buy a CD then rip it to make a FLAC and it will outclass and MP3.

      7) Get rid of the copy restrictions on DVD's, HD discs, camcorders, and the other formats.

      MAYBE after all that, downloaders MIGHT think about buying more music and films.

      • Re:A ha! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by FishWithAHammer (957772) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @06:51PM (#28382143)

        Or they'll just keep pirating because now it's even easier.

        • Re:A ha! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Vexorian (959249) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:35PM (#28384127)
          Meh.

          Do you know what? Home taping did not kill the music industry! I still remember those days, I was a kid but I saw it! : people did 'pirate', when you wanted a tune you could just copy one for yourself, liked it? Great! you might be the one buying the tape first next time before sharing it with your friends...

          The new people don't have it that easy, if they just want to copy a video they have to go to some site to crack the DRM, and etc. Or maybe they can just download the cracked version from one of the piracy sites. In my country's case, there was no such thing as streets full of hundreds of pirated tape-selling b*stards . Because, people could just easily share their stuff without their aid...

          So, if you want to know the truth, all DRM is doing is make things hard for consumers that want to share their tunes. Pirates have it easier now, thanks to IT. Not only that, but the international mafias behind piracy get all their web site money and CD sales, because copying is not trivial anymore. DRM is feeding these mobs, they wouldn't exist if copying was something the most layman guy could do.

      • 7) Get rid of the copy restrictions on DVD's, HD discs, camcorders, and the other formats.

        DVDs have copy restrictions? Since when? You mean I won't be able to put a DVD into my drive and make a copy anymore. That would seriously suck.

        • Re:A ha! (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Opportunist (166417) on Friday June 19, 2009 @12:28AM (#28385275)

          Just because the protection doesn't work, to the point where you don't even notice it, doesn't mean there is none.

          Could be an interesting defense in a DMCA trial. "Your honor, I didn't know it was copy protected at all, I looked really hard but couldn't find any way this was protected. Encrypted? Ummm... Every file format has a certain format, there was no way I could see that there was some sort of encryption on top of it..."

    • So they admit they want to control our minds!

      Wonder what they'll do with downloaders' hearts. Barbecue? Kentucky fried?

  • Suuure, trust me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dozer (30790) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @05:57PM (#28381391)

    "Blue Rubicon attests that 'if you do them right you can make a material impact on people's behaviour.'"

    That will certainly make a material impact on Blue Rubicon's net profits. But change people's behavior? That's pretty unlikely. History is not on their side.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Lendrick (314723)

      Honestly, the reason the whole "piracy is stealing" but will never sink in is because piracy isn't really stealing and people know it.

      If I walk off with someone's handbag, that handbag is gone. The fact is, with a digital copy, there's no real life analogy. If I go up to someone's handbag, make an exact copy of it, and walk off with the copy, the owner of the handbag probably won't care (nor would I have done anything illegal anyway).

      The only thing you're depriving the IP owner of when you copy their IP i

      • Honestly, the reason the whole "piracy is stealing" but will never sink in is because piracy isn't really stealing and people know it.

        You're absolutely right. All the politics and euphemisms aside, the difference between physical and digital goods is fundamental - one is rival, the other is not. It's really hard to hide that fact, since so much of computers and the Internet are designed to exploit it. So these campaigns to "change hearts and minds" end up trying to convince people that the sky is green.

        Now you can argue all day long about how to deal with the differences in rivalry, and underproduction of public goods, tragedy of the comm

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Dekker3D (989692)

          well, about the "download a car" thing.. maybe someday, with rapid prototyping. of course, that'd just mean we get the same debate all over again.. with the odds stacked even more against us since we'd actually be saving quite a lot doing so.

          exactly the same debate, even, since it'd also open up the possibility for geeks without a factory of their own to design their own car. does this remind anyone of how open source gets criticized?

          • haha, I was thinking of the same thing...

            http://reprap.org/bin/view/Main/WebHome [reprap.org]

            It seems crazy, but what happens when something like this is powerful enough to create anything from a small piece of electronics to even a car. I'm not sure what the ratio of car cost is between manufacture/raw materials and design.

            I could see the same problem occur in anything where the main (or, in the case of music, only) cost of production is in the design and marketing.
      • by bennomatic (691188) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @06:44PM (#28382049) Homepage
        There is a real life analogy. You know when one kid repeats everything another kid is saying? The repeatee always gets upset, and y'know what? It's really freaking annoying.

        I'll bet they could get people to sympathize somewhat if they just had some ad showing a kid trying to say something meaningful and then 1, 2, 10, 100, 1000000 other kids all imitating that kid. It could end with, "Now do you see why we're upset?" in print, and after it's on the screen for a second, the first of the million repeaters saying it aloud, in his most annoying, taunting voice.
      • by QuantumG (50515) *

        If I walk off with someone's handbag, that handbag is gone. The fact is, with a digital copy, there's no real life analogy. If I go up to someone's handbag, make an exact copy of it, and walk off with the copy, the owner of the handbag probably won't care (nor would I have done anything illegal anyway).

        Hehe, what a terrible example. Lemme list the crimes:

        1. Counterfeiting of bank notes.
        2. Counterfeiting of government issued identification.
        3. Counterfeiting of merchandise.
        4. Invasion of privacy.

        I get what you're trying to say but, boy, do you need to work on how you say it.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Un pobre guey (593801)
          The central issue is that the guy is just flat wrong. People can insist all they want with bogus examples and shallow rehashing of macroeconomic theory. Piracy robs someone of labor. It is simple. You know it. Grow up. What if you were trying to make a living selling media on the web and everyone stole it?

          Please don't trot out the old "you can make all your money from touring" crap, either.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by QuantumG (50515) *

            Sigh. First you have to agree to a few fundamental truths.

            1. Everything is "worth" what its buyer is willing to pay for it.
            2. You are not entitled to be paid for every little bit of "labor" you do.. first you have to find a buyer.
            3. The second-hand market is legitimate and yet the exact same "robs someone" argument applies.

            And I'd ask you to consider *my* rights with at least equal consideration. The artist's intellectual property rights infringe on my physical property rights. Why does he win? If his r

          • by adona1 (1078711)

            What if you were trying to make a living selling media on the web and everyone stole it?

            I'd get another job. Seriously, no one is owed a living.

      • If I walk off with someone's handbag, that handbag is gone. The fact is, with a digital copy, there's no real life analogy. If I go up to someone's handbag, make an exact copy of it, and walk off with the copy, the owner of the handbag probably won't care (nor would I have done anything illegal anyway).

        If that person makes and sells handbags, they probably would care, since people could just come along, make a copy of her handbag, and get their own without buying it from her, exploiting the time it took her to create and design said handbag.

        • The problem is that, for many people, the bags aren't worth paying what the maker is asking for, so if they are prevented from copying them, they'll just live without the bags. Sure, it can be morally more "just", but the maker will receive the same income in either case. And copy prevention systems cost money. Maybe they should just accept that most people that copy stuff aren't their target market anyway.

      • The only thing you're depriving the IP owner of when you copy their IP is the chance that you'll purchase their product. Even then, if you purchase the product because you pirated it and liked it, then the IP owner actually gets additional revenue from your piracy (although it's unlikely that this quite adds up to the lost revenue).

        Copyright holder. But overall your point is good.

        I wanted to add that the fact "the cost of piracy" often gets factored into things like bloated DVD prices is therefore sheer stupidity: It encourages more people to rationalize piracy ("Hey, I want to buy it but I don't want to be ripped off"), and it also acts as a barrier to people who have already pirated it and liked it from purchasing a legit copy ("I'd like to buy a legit copy, but I don't want to pay that much for it").

        The media industries need to st

  • Misleading Examples (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Myji Humoz (1535565) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @05:57PM (#28381403)
    The article seems filled with examples of fuzzy logic. For example, it discusses how many "bad guys" force illegal immigrants/migrants to sell pirated DVDs on the street, thus showing an example of how innocent foreigners are harmed by the trade in illegal software/media. However... isn't this better than them being forced into being drug mules or prostitutes? Shouldn't they be trying to clarify that morality != legality rather than muddling the issue?

    I suppose it's better than RIAA's tactics, but the claims of reducing piracy by 5% seem tenuous at best.
    • It's also a deliberate conflation of two very different issues. The trade in pirated CDs and DVDs -- fly-by-night publishers making physical copies of the discs, packaging them to look like the real thing, and selling them on the street -- has very little in common with people downloading copies onto their personal machines, except that they both involve copyright infringement. The first is clearly a type of organized street crime, with all the dangers that implies; the second involves no physical danger

    • Just wait until they have to resort to prostitution to pay their MAFIAA fines.
    • by dbcad7 (771464)

      "bad guys" force illegal immigrants/migrants to sell pirated DVDs on the street, thus showing an example of how innocent foreigners are harmed by the trade in illegal software/media.

      Using the above.. Then illegal is innocent... So illegal software is, innocent pirated DVD's on the street.

    • The article seems filled with examples of fuzzy logic.

      Membership functions? Fuzzifiers? Defuzzifiers? Linguistic variables? Where are they? They aren't even citing Lotfi Zadeh...

      ;-)

  • ...because downloading IS NOT wrong!
    • by QuantumG (50515) *

      It's not even "illegal".. but that doesn't stop them from lying about it.

  • by Space_Pirate_Arrr (1078149) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @06:06PM (#28381529)
    ...but it seems to escape them that home taping did not kill the music industry! I guess they just think it means their campaign worked.

    And of course I could also mention VHS (aka "The Boston Strangler").
    • by QuantumG (50515) *

      The article itself is pretty unbiased one way or the other.

    • The problem is they are hyping up their propaganda campaign, so when progressing technology inevitably wins the battle, they claim a "victory."

      The fact that home taping didn't kill the music industry is just the tip of the iceberg. The quality of recording music off the airwaves meant that it was never a threat to begin with. There are a lot of downloaders who are basically digital packrats, but a lot of people download TV as a cheap alternative to TiVo. Is it their fault the video industry took years

  • by Lendrick (314723) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @06:06PM (#28381533) Homepage Journal

    I can't justify everything I've downloaded from the pirate bay, however, there are certain instances where I don't feel the least bit sorry:

    * I purchased Spore and then downloaded the cracked version, which I installed on my computer, and then edited the system registry to give myself a the key. Sorry, if I purchased a piece of software, I deserve to get at least as good an experience as the pirates do, which means no rootkits.
    * Several years ago, I purchased RPG Maker XP. I've gone through several computers since the purchase, and it no longer allows me to activate the software. I'd like to continue using the software that I legitimately paid for, and my only option is to download a cracked, pirated version.
    * On many occasions, I've downloaded no-CD cracks for games I've purchased legitimately.

    Did I violate the DMCA in these cases? Probably. Do I feel justified in doing so? Absolutely. I shouldn't be locked out of software that I purchase, and when I buy software legitimately, I shouldn't be punished for it with shitty DRM.

    • by syousef (465911)

      * On many occasions, I've downloaded no-CD cracks for games I've purchased legitimately.

      You wouldn't steal a handbag. You wouldn't steal a TV....but we definitely think you'd buy a broken one and then feel guilty for trying to fix it after we've ripped you off.

      What a bunch of disingenuous propaganda noise. They really don't need to do much to win the "hearts and minds" of downloaders. They just need to play fair.

      - Reasonably priced goods, that you can play anywhere once you've bought them WITHOUT jumping th

      • by xaxa (988988)

        Adding to that:

        Would record labels (and this unfortunately includes lots of independent ones) please stop making several versions of the same CD. If I hear a song at a gig (or especially in a nightclub) I might buy the album on impulse. It really annoys me when I find out that I was meant to buy the Super Luxury Limited Edition CD for another £4 to get the "bonus track/remix" which I heard. Or that I've bought the US version but the European version has more tracks.

        (I will probably search for the bonu

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Activation sucks, ran into the same issue with a game I purchased (online delivery) that I tried to track down a regression in WINE with. It had quite a few activations (never checked how many, probably in the forever long EULA). Reactivation after that was an email form that took two days to get a response. And if I ever needed to reinstall, I'd have to do that again. My response to that email "Thanks, but I already found a quicker, easier, permanent and probably illegal solution, but I don't care. Have a

    • by Chris Burke (6130)

      Did I violate the DMCA in these cases? Probably. Do I feel justified in doing so? Absolutely.

      I violate the DMCA every time I play a legally purchased DVD on my computer that runs Linux. I care exactly enough to occasionally mention this fact to company when I pop in the DVD and chuckle.

      No-CD cracks for games I own fall in the exact same category.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Opportunist (166417)

      You put the finger in a very sore wound here: Someone who does not buy the content but rather reproduces it illegaly often gets a better experience than someone who was honest enough to buy it.

      The worst offender in this game that I encountered so far was a certain, well known music editing program. Said program's copy protection consisted of a sizable portion of their code running on a virtual machine that used an "encrypted" executable (i.e. assembler instructions used different codes. inc eax was iirc 0x7

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by T Murphy (1054674)
      I completely agree that 99% of DRM breaks products and harms consumer experience (yes I like how Steam works, no I don't want to get into that debate right now). I am curious though: would you be so opposed to it if copyright was reasonable and lasted 7 years? You would then have the option of buying the flawed product to start using it now, or waiting for copyright to expire and get it for cheap/free then. Of course, if consumers are given that choice, DRM would have to be much more palatable since it has
  • unacceptable "control freakery" of DRM and regional coding, to overcharging and exploitation of the very artists the music industry claims to protect

    As a first step I suggest they finish up with DRM, regional coding, overcharging and exploitation of artists. That will certainly leave the downloaders without arguments, and much enhance the effect of any campaign they are planning. I for one would pay more attention to any message if there was cheap, non-DRM'd, varied and easily available music and videos, an

  • Civil Disobedience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 18, 2009 @06:19PM (#28381691)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_Clause [wikipedia.org]
    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Disobedience_(Thoreau) [wikipedia.org]
    "Resistance" also served as part of Thoreau's metaphor which compared the government to a machine, and said that when the machine was working injustice it was the duty of conscientious citizens to be "a counter friction" - that is, a resistance - "to stop the machine."

    ---

    Now, the current length for copyright seems to be 50 years or more after the death of an author. Are you fucking kidding me? How the hell is that limited in any way? The person has been dead for 49 years and his/her work still isn't public domain? What is that crap?

    The copyright should be date of publication + 20 years and I don't care if the author is a person or a corporation, nor do I care if the art in question is a song, a tune, a movie, a videogame, a tv show, a book, whatever.

    If it was published or released before 1989 then it should be public domain, no exceptions.

    In fact, the governments should have web servers so that its citizens can go download the now-public-domain things for free, in open or non-proprietary formats.

    • by QuantumG (50515) *

      In fact, the governments should have web servers so that its citizens can go download the now-public-domain things for free, in open or non-proprietary formats.

      Agreed. We'll call them "libraries".. although you can also get works that are still under copyright from libraries.

  • Acceptable dissent (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chris Acheson (263308) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @06:31PM (#28381851) Homepage

    there are plenty, even among the young, who can be eloquent about why they believe illegal downloading is not wrong. These can include everything from what they see as the unacceptable "control freakery" of DRM and regional coding, to overcharging and exploitation of the very artists the music industry claims to protect.

    "Principled opposition to copyright itself" is, of course, left out of their range of acceptable dissent.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Well doh, they're a PR firm so they have to sell it like something they can do something about. Anything like "principled" sounds tough to change.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @06:34PM (#28381893) Homepage

    The core of what is wrong is the abuse, exploitation and extension of copyright law. Region coding is not justifiable as a means to do anything but control multiple prices in multiple markets. Content protection systems (aka DVD-CSS) are not justifiable as it does not prevent copying and only serves to control how and what players are used to access the media that, once purchased, the media companies no longer have any right or entitlement to. And the very idea of DRM is not only a problem in the sense that it grants no rights to the user and that they literally have to "ask permission to access" each and every time the user wants to access it, but it also runs the risk of becoming theft on the part of the DRM controller as when they shut down, they deny all access to the content that was legally paid for by the consumer. (They selleth, and then they taketh away!) And the extension of copyright terms to durations that can only be useful to immortal corporate "persons"? That is more unreasonable than words can express.

    And before anyone can say "but that does not give you the right to steal" I have to say "so fucking what?!" Look. Fighting against "wrongness" in any way available is how the USA gained its independence. Some colonials wanted to stay connected to the crown of England and didn't want any part of it. Sounds like the "no right to steal" crowd.

    And forgetting all this morality stuff, let's be plain about it. The amount of copyright infringement is negligible and most infringers are also people who buy things when they can and when it is good enough. These media jerks should let it quietly go on because they are still raking in tons of money and are still getting their laws passed. They don't need the enemies they are breeding and they don't need the growing fight they are getting. The more fight they give, the more doom they bring upon themselves. Wait and see... they will be wishing for "the good ole days" when they have everything nearly the way they wanted.

    • by cdrguru (88047)

      Region coding is a technique that allows different countries to have different censorship (aka Movie Ratings). WIthout this or something like it a DVD must satisfy UK, Japan and USA requirements. This isn't going to happen very easily except for My Little Pony animated cartoons. Take a look sometime what they are forced to cut out to be able to sell a movie in Japan that was already edited for UK.

      There basically is no such thing as child porn in Japan. So showing nearly naked 12-year-olds having sex is f

      • by erroneus (253617)

        Point by point, you are out of your head!

        Region coding MIGHT serve that purpose were it not for the very few and wide ranging regions that are designated. "Censorship" as an argument doesn't fly. A DVD sold in Japan is no different from a VHS tape sold in Japan or a book sold in Japan. It's media. There is no need for regions based on this and was NEVER a requirement by any national government. Not ever. And the argument that without it, a DVD couldn't meet whose requirements? What requirements might

  • sharing is not theft (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 18, 2009 @06:36PM (#28381923)

    It seems the BBC has forgotten about the last time it forgot that sharing is not a crime! : http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/4758636.stm [bbc.co.uk]

    'First though, an apology. File sharing is not theft. It has never been theft. Anyone who says it is theft is wrong and has unthinkingly absorbed too many Recording Industry Association of America press releases. We know that script line was wrong. It was a mistake. We're very, very sorry.'

    Not sorry enough to remember...

  • Until they start living up to their end of the copyright agreement, I don't give a fucking rat's ass what they have to say. That means putting copyrighted works into the public domain while they're still relevant, valuable, AND profitable. For most entertainment items, that would mean about 5 years or less.

    They're also not helping themselves with the bullshit clips on DVDs claiming that downloading is stealing.

    Word to the media distributors: when you play fair, I'll play fair. Until then, go sodomize yourse

  • You know what burns me most about the DRM stuff? That it gives the **AA the right to wast millions of person hours every day. I'm not going to steal their film; why should I be forced to sit through the legal warnings? The people who are going to steal it won't pay attention when they're ripping it.

    The way I see it, if an average lifetime is 75 years, then that's 39.4 million minutes. Assuming that any DVDs that are sold are watched at least twice, then any movie that sells 20 million copies has wast
  • by asolidvoid (964293) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @07:02PM (#28382301)
    Stop the presses! A PR Firm promotes the value of running a PR campaign!
  • Make them like you (Score:3, Insightful)

    by V50 (248015) * on Thursday June 18, 2009 @07:11PM (#28382393) Journal

    My personal thoughts are the best way to counter piracy is to make people like you. I can only really give examples from my experience, as I don't really know other people's piracy habits.

    I am an avid gamer of all systems, although I rarely game on my PC anymore, as it's typically too much of a hassle with configurations and DRM. The DRM decreases my chance of buying a PC game, (especially if there's a good console version) and makes me more likely to pirate. As an example, I bought a copy of Spore. My bought copy of Spore thought I was pirating it. After screwing around for a bit, I decided to say screw it, and downloaded a pirated copy from the Pirate Bay. As a result, were I actually interested in the Sims 3, I feel I'd be much more likely to pirate it, now that EA's ticked me off.

    I have around 200+ console + handheld games, none of them pirated. Several of my systems (DS + PSP in particular) have very active "homebrew" communities, that make it very easy to acquire "backups". Despite the ease of which I know I could get handheld games for free, I choose to buy them, because I derive a great deal of value in having the original box + manual + disc/card to display, and because I actually like the companies.

    Pirating a game from, say, Nintendo to me would feel like kicking Mario in the groin. Nintendo (and others) have brought me such good times, that they seem almost like a friend. The few times I've even considered pirating DS games, I've felt very uneasy, the thought of it feels just wrong, to me. The RIAA, on the other hand, does not invoke such warm, fuzzy feelings to just about anyone. Perhaps if they stopped suing so many people, and installing rootkits on people's computers, they might have some more goodwill left.

    Those are just my thoughts. I know plenty of people don't derive the same satisfaction from having a big collection of legit games/music/whatever, but I really think that if the RIAA stopped suing people and instead built up a strong relationship with its customers like many gaming companies, and Apple, they might see similar loyalty and less piracy.

    Also, suing little kids is stupid on a logical level. I pirated plenty of software when I was around 12 or so because I had no money. Ten years later, I have plenty of disposable income, and provide the entertainment industries with many thousands of dollars in revenue a year.

    • by QuantumG (50515) *

      My personal thoughts are the best way to counter piracy is to make people like you.

      Huh? They are trying to make us be like them. :)

  • 1) Stop forcing people to watch through "piracy is a crime and teh FBI will jail you for 10 years if you bring your camera phone into a movie theater" for 5 minutes before every movie. Doing that just makes the TPB version a superior product to your version. It's basic capitalism - don't cripple your own product. It's that simple.
  • Any time anyone... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tikkun (992269) on Friday June 19, 2009 @09:18AM (#28388705) Homepage
    ... uses the word 'pirate' in a sentence, replace it with 'amateur librarian'. You now know how pirates think, if only subconsciously.

    We can spend the next few decades trying to recreate the scarcity of information. Seriously, we can. There is no magical reason why copyright laws have to get more liberal, or that the rent seeking industries of the world will start producing things that people are willing to pay for, or that the government will 'get' file sharing as the baby boomers are replaced by people that have been trading information since the mid 90's.

    This won't put humpty dumpty back together. Everyone has their own printing press/itunes store/app store, and has had one since end of the last century. The incredible utility of having computers that can run whatever software a user wants will not be dulled. A business model based on scarcity that used to exist *will* fail. As in the flunky working for $big_media_conglomerate that says 'hai guise wii can prevent people from steeling are stuff bi suing people and passing laws to make p2p moar eleegal' is wasting everyone's time and money.

    There is no scarcity of information. This is the point of the Internet. Build a business around the artificial creation of scarcity at your job's peril.

"Consequences, Schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich." -- "Ali Baba Bunny" [1957, Chuck Jones]

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