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Author Topic: Megaupload seized / shut down  (Read 10480 times)
MeshGearFox
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« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2012, 10:51:36 PM »

http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2012/jan/13/piracy-student-loses-us-extradition

Oh hey the US can arrest people in the UK and extract them at will too, sweet.
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dyeager
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« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2012, 10:45:17 AM »

It's a strange universe we live in where folks who have brazenly made truckloads of money (Kim Dotcom made $42 million according to some reports) off of blatant stealing and money laundering on a massive scale become staunchly defended... but that's the crazy world we find ourselves in with Megaupload.

I'm a card carrying member of the EFF and make my living writing software and those guys and anybody who pirates games/music can burn for all I care. Megaupload is particularly heinous when you consider the lines of business that appear to have been laundering money through them also. Megaupload going down in flames is absolutely a good thing at face value, but I agree there are some disturbing legal issues regarding HOW it has been pulled off that people need to be aware of.

Still though, it was smart to go after Megaupload because their activities go way beyond any kind of rational defense. The methodology used behind the seizure and arrests? That definitely warrants skepticism and a closer look.
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Vanguard
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« Reply #32 on: January 23, 2012, 10:55:01 AM »

Pirating music has almost zero effect on the creators of it. You can't prove otherwise, unless you go with the logical fallacy of, "every illegal download is a lost sale."

Things like software, I know nothing about, and can't speak to, but in the arts, all of the IP laws in place benefit major corporations like Sony or Time Warner more the people who produce content.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #33 on: January 23, 2012, 10:56:29 AM »

I work on software for a living and really DOn'T care if people pirate stuff.

But the issue here isn't piracy -- the issue is that the US government is abusing its powers and policing OTHER countries when it has no right to do so. Which is nothing new but it's still fucked up.

I also really fail to see how 10 years in jail is a reasonable punishment for a 23 year old that ran a blog linking to torrents. I mean, christ, just issue a fine. Is it really worth ruining someone's life over?

More importantly, video games and Hollywood movies really don't contribute much to society. I mean, look. Even if piracy gets so bad that the video game industry ceases to exist, will anything of value actually be lost? Do video games save lives?
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 11:15:08 AM by MeshGearFox » Logged

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« Reply #34 on: January 23, 2012, 11:05:48 AM »

Pirating music has almost zero effect on the creators of it. You can't prove otherwise, unless you go with the logical fallacy of, "every illegal download is a lost sale."

I've heard this time and again and agree that the argument is not provable.

However the other argument is still stealing. If you steal a loaf of bread from a grocery store that was going to end up in the trash tomorrow anyway, it is STILL STEALING even though the store didn't lose a sale. You can argue about whether or not that means it matters from a moral and philosophical standpoint, asking whether there is a victim in that instance, but it is STILL STEALING.

Look I'm the last guy that's going to say corporations are being horribly victimized in some really meaningful way by this - I think more independent study is really needed on the effects - but I'm sick of people pretending that what they are doing isn't stealing just because nobody can prove there is an actual victim beyond any shadow of a doubt.

My gut says you can't get something for nothing - there are always consequences. But gut ain't worth much. What we do know is that if you steal something, it is 100% certain that nobody is getting compensated. Except in the case of places like Megaupload where the people getting compensated are the people doing the stealing. I just fail to see how that can possibly be a good thing.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 11:07:50 AM by dyeager » Logged
dyeager
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« Reply #35 on: January 23, 2012, 11:06:25 AM »

I work on software for a living and really DOn'T care if people pirate stuff.

Fair enough.
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« Reply #36 on: January 23, 2012, 11:09:04 AM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Qkyt1wXNlI

Thought this was relevant. It may not be completely applicable to games and software, but I thought it's an interesting viewpoint.
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Vanguard
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« Reply #37 on: January 23, 2012, 11:12:35 AM »

Pirating music has almost zero effect on the creators of it. You can't prove otherwise, unless you go with the logical fallacy of, "every illegal download is a lost sale."

I've heard this time and again and agree that the argument is not provable.

However the other argument is still stealing. If you steal a loaf of bread from a grocery store that was going to end up in the trash tomorrow anyway, it is STILL STEALING even though the store didn't lose a sale. You can argue about whether or not that means it matters from a moral and philosophical standpoint, asking whether there is a victim in that instance, but it is STILL STEALING.

Look I'm the last guy that's going to say corporations are being horribly victimized in some really meaningful way by this - I think more independent study is really needed on the effects - but I'm sick of people pretending that what they are doing isn't stealing just because nobody can prove there is an actual victim beyond any shadow of a doubt.

My gut says you can't get something for nothing - there are always consequences. But gut ain't worth much. What we do know is that if you steal something, it is 100% certain that nobody is getting compensated. Except in the case of places like Megaupload where the people getting compensated are the people doing the stealing. I just fail to see how that can possibly be a good thing.

Sure, but this IS a victimless crime. Analogies tend to be logically fallacious because you create a false equivalency. MP3s are not bread, and stealing them does not harm the musicians the way stealing food from a local co-op does.

I'm not saying it's not stealing, but this argument is based on fear tactics. "Pirating music is stealing, you know who else steals? Criminals."

You know how I support artists? I go to concerts and buy shit directly from their merch table.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 11:15:49 AM by Vanguard » Logged

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« Reply #38 on: January 23, 2012, 11:16:17 AM »

Yeah, I've seen Gaiman's opinions on this. It's definitely worth watching (I listened again) as I think it is a great example of the other side of the argument - aka the "pirating doesn't cost sales" argument.

However I'd also suggest two things:

1) There is a significant difference between people lending books/games to each other and somebody going in to a bookstore, stealing the book, and xeroxing it thousands of times and making money off the copies.

2) Giving books away = advertising. Gaiman is a savvy guy taking advantage of how he perceives the "pirating" market is working. If folks want to do that of their own volition, that's their choice. It should also be their choice, however, to decide NOT to do that.
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dyeager
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« Reply #39 on: January 23, 2012, 11:19:25 AM »

Pirating music has almost zero effect on the creators of it. You can't prove otherwise, unless you go with the logical fallacy of, "every illegal download is a lost sale."

I've heard this time and again and agree that the argument is not provable.

However the other argument is still stealing. If you steal a loaf of bread from a grocery store that was going to end up in the trash tomorrow anyway, it is STILL STEALING even though the store didn't lose a sale. You can argue about whether or not that means it matters from a moral and philosophical standpoint, asking whether there is a victim in that instance, but it is STILL STEALING.

Look I'm the last guy that's going to say corporations are being horribly victimized in some really meaningful way by this - I think more independent study is really needed on the effects - but I'm sick of people pretending that what they are doing isn't stealing just because nobody can prove there is an actual victim beyond any shadow of a doubt.

My gut says you can't get something for nothing - there are always consequences. But gut ain't worth much. What we do know is that if you steal something, it is 100% certain that nobody is getting compensated. Except in the case of places like Megaupload where the people getting compensated are the people doing the stealing. I just fail to see how that can possibly be a good thing.

Sure, but this IS a victimless crime. Analogies tend to be logically fallacious because you create a false equivalency. MP3s are not bread, and stealing them does not harm the musicians the way stealing food from a local co-op does.

I'm not saying it's not stealing, but this argument is based on fear tactics. "Pirating music is stealing, you know who else steals? Criminals."

You know how I support artists? I go to concerts and buy shit directly from their merch table.

My point is merely that I don't think you can actually prove the crime is victimless given current evidence. I don't think you can prove the crime has a victim either. I think the verdict is still out there and unfortunately the research is so one sided because the large interests have trumped up studies that don't seem to add up. But just because they haven't proven their case doesn't mean the opposite (piracy is victimless) automatically becomes true. Hence I think more independent study and research on this is absolutely essential. It may turn out that piracy is, in fact, totally awesome and good just like everybody who does it desperately wants it to be.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 11:23:43 AM by dyeager » Logged
MeshGearFox
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« Reply #40 on: January 23, 2012, 11:20:10 AM »

Even if pirating music isn't a victimless crime, I don't think the victims are being victimized in a particularly meanigful way. They're being wrongly denied sales. They are not losing their ability as a whole to sell their original product.

Also there are worse, and totally legal, things you can do to a person.
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« Reply #41 on: January 23, 2012, 11:21:39 AM »

Also there are worse, and totally legal, things you can do to a person.

Agreed. But we're not building straw men here.
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« Reply #42 on: January 23, 2012, 11:28:17 AM »

The problem, I think, are recording companies and publishers, who at the end steal from artists far more than actual piracy does and are the biggest sponsors of shit like this. It's almost always publishers/recording companies/etc that crusade against this and frankly I'm getting tired of the U.S. government's kowtowing and turning our country into a corporate government. I consider it damn near to regulatory capture, if it isn't already.
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« Reply #43 on: January 23, 2012, 11:31:56 AM »

The problem, I think, are recording companies and publishers, who at the end steal from artists far more than actual piracy does and are the biggest sponsors of shit like this. It's almost always publishers/recording companies/etc that crusade against this and frankly I'm getting tired of the U.S. government's kowtowing and turning our country into a corporate government. I consider it damn near to regulatory capture, if it isn't already.

Because they're the ones losing money. I can break out industry numbers about how much a new act makes, how much it costs to promote a single song, how much of each sale goes to the artist once they repay their advance etc. There's a reason the industry is losing money, and it's not because I have a 20G of stolen music on my hard drive.

And dyeager, the research is out there. You don't think the RIAA, the big four record companies, and their lawys don't make sure it doesn't get coverage or legitimacy?
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 11:35:27 AM by Vanguard » Logged

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dyeager
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« Reply #44 on: January 23, 2012, 11:35:46 AM »

The problem, I think, are recording companies and publishers, who at the end steal from artists far more than actual piracy does and are the biggest sponsors of shit like this. It's almost always publishers/recording companies/etc that crusade against this and frankly I'm getting tired of the U.S. government's kowtowing and turning our country into a corporate government. I consider it damn near to regulatory capture, if it isn't already.

I agree with this point wholeheartedly. But still - just because recording companies and publishers are unsympathetic jerks does not mean that piracy is suddenly okay. It's still a straw man - a very sympathetic straw man, but a straw man nonetheless.

For the most part it is clear that folks around here have really thought carefully about the topic and have reasonably well informed opinions on this - as well informed as we can get with all the noise and static around this issue. I simply respectfully suggest that when we talk about this topic, we need to talk about it for what it really is, which is taking things for free that are not being offered for free. That is stealing whether it is being done for what may in fact be noble and correct reasons or not.

But even more importantly I would respectfully suggest that we don't really know whether this is victimless or not. I agree 100% that it has not been proven to any rational person's satisfaction that pirating has tangible victims, but I disagree vehemently that we know with certainty it is victimless. And since I don't think we can reasonably know one way or another, I have personally made a choice to always err on the side of stealing probably having a downstream consequence.
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