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Author Topic: About Digital Rights Management  (Read 10474 times)

Offline Fallen One

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2012, 03:35:38 PM »
The image of someone who thinks information should be free, whether it comes from them or from other people, and who see the act of downloading something not akin to stealing, but instead to borrowing from a friend, from a library or buying it second hand: in none of those three situations is the author receiving money for their work.

 Besides, piracy can be used to further the sales of books in the long term. In my personal case (I'm aware this might be on the grey area of the banning for advocating piracy, let me know if it's gone too far and I'll immediately delete it) , I downloaded a few rpg books, played them and enjoyed them thoroughly. A few years later, when I had some money, I bought many of those books from amazon, though not all. The books are somewhat expensive (at least for my meager economic means), so I probably wouldn't have spent the money I did if I hadn't read them first, so in the end the publisher got a bit more money from me than it would have had I not downloaded the books.

 Ps: is it possible to get a few guidelines about the discussion of piracy? I can feel the banhammer looming over me, and I wouldn't like it to fall because of my failing to understand the limits of the aforementioned prohibition.
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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2012, 03:51:15 PM »
I have books for sale online. I wrote them and contracted with publishers to produce them in sellable format. If you download them without paying for them and without the express permission of either me or my publishers, you are stealing our property. You're a thief.

Offline Autumn2May

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2012, 04:25:55 PM »
MOD POST

The policy on talking about piracy on site is "don't talk about piracy onsite". I know there are arguments as to why it should be okay some of the time and why some pirates are worse than others. But onsite it comes down to the fact that it is illegal. Since it is against the law to pirate things, it is against forum rules to try to explain why it's okay if this person does it because X. X might be a good reason, but the person doing X is still breaking the law.

If you want to discuss how DRM is stupid and ineffective, or how awesome it is (if you feel that way) please continue, but if this is going to devolve into “because of DRM it's okay for some people to pirate stuff”, then this thread will be closed too.

And again, I promise I won't ban you without a couple warnings. :)

Everybody clear? Good. :) Continuing on then. :)

Offline Francis Knight

Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2012, 07:31:05 PM »

 I don't think it's pertinent, since I posted a thread precisely about that yesterday.

Not sure how I completely missed that was the link in your original thread. My bad!

Quote
Besides, in this forum it isn't allowed to speak in favor of piracy,
  You won't find me in favour. I just liked the irony.

Anyhow, *looks at mod note* I've seen a few postulated alternatives to DRM, but none of them seem to be much better. Anyone seen any that might actually be beneficial to real customers and to to The Other Ones?
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Offline Nestat

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2012, 09:46:46 PM »
I have books for sale online. I wrote them and contracted with publishers to produce them in sellable format. If you download them without paying for them and without the express permission of either me or my publishers, you are stealing our property. You're a thief.

Sorry to join in and tread the wire, but I feel this point ought to be made clear. Whatever your views on piracy, it is not theft. It is its own separate entity. I have a friend who is a copyright lawyer for a major fashion retailer. He does not pirate, but he would get very annoyed with you if you called piracy theft in his presence.

In software piracy, there is no deprivation involved. You haven't gained a sale, but you haven't had anything taken away from you. This is basically why the issue is so problematic for lawmakers. Piracy is illegal, but it is not theft. You can call it theft if you want, but I suspect naming an individual as a thief would probably technically count as libel/slander!

Isn't society wonderful?

Anyway, to get to the point, that article is not a terribly good example to discuss intellectual property rights! This person is called a hypocrite because a third party exercised their rights to the content, without (I suspect) her permission or knowledge.

And OK, she negotiated a deal with the third party to edit, typeset, print, market, sell and otherwise generally publish her book, but presumably some members of the pirate party at least believe that piracy provides a positive sales boost for intellectual content? Without any kind of comment from her, I think the criticism is just ridiculous.

And to address the original thread's discussion point, I believe DRM is probably the biggest advocate for piracy in existence. Which is why Jennie is currently having a coronary as we chat. 

 

 

 
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Offline Idlewilder

Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2012, 09:49:55 PM »
But pirates are known for theft! - also pillage, looting, swashbuckling and general high seas mayhem. ;)
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Offline Francis Knight

Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2012, 10:01:25 PM »
Quote
Anyway, to get to the point, that article is not a terribly good example to discuss intellectual property rights! This person is called a hypocrite because a third party exercised their rights to the content, without (I suspect) her permission or knowledge.

Which she sold them the right to do (leased the copyright in effect), despite supposedly being pro the free exchange of copyright/IP. And the fact the pub would do that would be either heavily implied (because that's what pubs do), or in the contract. She sold them that permission.


Quote
But pirates are known for theft! - also pillage, looting, swashbuckling and general high seas mayhem
And ravishing, don't forget the ravishing.
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Offline Fallen One

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2012, 10:21:01 PM »
Anyhow, *looks at mod note* I've seen a few postulated alternatives to DRM, but none of them seem to be much better. Anyone seen any that might actually be beneficial to real customers and to to The Other Ones?

 For the pirates, the benefit would be minimum, if any: right now, pirates already get free video games without need for codes, activation, online requirements (in the case of offline games like single player assassin creed, of course) or anything (except maybe the chance to play online, and that isn't in 100% of the cases). With music and books, they can read it wherever they want: smartphones, computers, electronic book readers, etc., without a limitation.

 So, the abolishment of DRM would only benefit the legitimate purchaser, who 1) Doesn't get treated as a criminal, 2) Can use a product he bought in any way he sees fit. The pirates already have those benefits, so it wouldn't make much of a difference. It wouldn't make things any easier to pirate: there's already a lot of people who specialize in breaking through DRM and posting the DRM-free stuff on the net.

 Right now, the pirates get a better product than the legit users. Without DRM, the users would at least get a product of the same quality the pirates enjoy. That seems like an improvement for legit users.
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Offline Doctor_Chill

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2012, 10:46:32 PM »
This might tread on some thin ice, but what's the argument for digital piracy? How do you justify that?
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Offline Nestat

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2012, 11:43:32 PM »
Which she sold them the right to do (leased the copyright in effect), despite supposedly being pro the free exchange of copyright/IP. And the fact the pub would do that would be either heavily implied (because that's what pubs do), or in the contract. She sold them that permission.

Of course it would be in the contract. But how exactly could she get a book professionally published without selling those rights? If those editors want to give her $100,000 for something she'd sell for free, more fool them.

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David Bridger

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2012, 12:08:23 AM »
I have books for sale online. I wrote them and contracted with publishers to produce them in sellable format. If you download them without paying for them and without the express permission of either me or my publishers, you are stealing our property. You're a thief.

Sorry to join in and tread the wire, but I feel this point ought to be made clear. Whatever your views on piracy, it is not theft. It is its own separate entity. I have a friend who is a copyright lawyer for a major fashion retailer. He does not pirate, but he would get very annoyed with you if you called piracy theft in his presence.

He can spout his sophistry until the cows come home. That is, after all, what lawyers do for a living. But I call bollocks to it. Someone who steals my property is a thief.

Offline Nestat

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #26 on: September 22, 2012, 07:52:52 PM »
He can spout his sophistry until the cows come home. That is, after all, what lawyers do for a living. But I call bollocks to it. Someone who steals my property is a thief.

I don't think it's sophistry, I think it's a fair and valid distinction. If someone takes a book you own, you have lost something. If someone pirates an ebook you wrote, you have lost nothing. You certainly feel like you've lost something, but you haven't. You've not gained anything.

That's the problem and it's tough to deal with, because the primary argument over the principle of piracy is also an argument against second-hand bookshops and libraries or otherwise lending books to friends. Another of my friends once argued that the difference between second-hand and piracy is one-to-one vs. one-to-many. But here, I would point out that the argument has shifted from principle to scale and therefore what's important is whether piracy is commercially beneficial.

Also, I would point out that sites like Amazon make the second-hand market much larger scale and effectively one-to-many.

But certainly, I see your point. If I had worked hard on something, I would feel I deserved to be adequately compensated for my effort too! But in reality, I think the question is far more complicated.

 
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Offline Lor

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2012, 08:01:43 PM »
From what I understand, piracy is different from theft in that whilst theft involves the removal of property without permission, piracy involves the copying and distribution of property without permission. Would I be right there?

I can understand why it would feel like theft, which is why it is such a tricky subject to discuss.

On the subject of DRM, I don't know that removing it will necessarily lead to more piracy, or that it may encourage more people to actually buy products, since they will know they're not restricted to one device, and having to buy them multiple times for different devices. iTunes is a real bug-bear for me; I have a huge music collection, and having it locked in like that really gets to me at times. It is easier for me to buy and download music than gather CDs in my already overcrowded shoebox of a room!
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David Bridger

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2012, 09:15:16 PM »
I don't think it's sophistry, I think it's a fair and valid distinction. If someone takes a book you own, you have lost something. If someone pirates an ebook you wrote, you have lost nothing. You certainly feel like you've lost something, but you haven't. You've not gained anything.

That's the problem and it's tough to deal with, because the primary argument over the principle of piracy is also an argument against second-hand bookshops and libraries or otherwise lending books to friends. Another of my friends once argued that the difference between second-hand and piracy is one-to-one vs. one-to-many. But here, I would point out that the argument has shifted from principle to scale and therefore what's important is whether piracy is commercially beneficial.

Also, I would point out that sites like Amazon make the second-hand market much larger scale and effectively one-to-many.

But certainly, I see your point. If I had worked hard on something, I would feel I deserved to be adequately compensated for my effort too! But in reality, I think the question is far more complicated.

My first degree included Criminal Law, although I never intended to practice it, so I think I'll stand by my statement that sophistry is what lawyers do for a living. Leaving that aside, however, here's the definition of theft in the Theft Act 1968:

(my bolding for the sections I believe are pertinent to this discussion)


1 Basic definition of theft.

(1) A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and “thief” and “steal” shall be construed accordingly.

(2) It is immaterial whether the appropriation is made with a view to gain, or is made for the thief’s own benefit.

(3) The five following sections of this Act shall have effect as regards the interpretation and operation of this section (and, except as otherwise provided by this Act, shall apply only for purposes of this section).

2 “Dishonestly”

(1) A person’s appropriation of property belonging to another is not to be regarded as dishonest—

(a) if he appropriates the property in the belief that he has in law the right to deprive the other of it, on behalf of himself or of a third person; or

(b) if he appropriates the property in the belief that he would have the other’s consent if the other knew of the appropriation and the circumstances of it; or

(c) (except where the property came to him as trustee or personal representative) if he appropriates the property in the belief that the person to whom the property belongs cannot be discovered by taking reasonable steps.

(2) A person’s appropriation of property belonging to another may be dishonest notwithstanding that he is willing to pay for the property.

3 “Appropriates”.

(1) Any assumption by a person of the rights of an owner amounts to an appropriation, and this includes, where he has come by the property (innocently or not) without stealing it, any later assumption of a right to it by keeping or dealing with it as owner.

(2) Where property or a right or interest in property is or purports to be transferred for value to a person acting in good faith, no later assumption by him of rights which he believed himself to be acquiring shall, by reason of any defect in the transferor’s title, amount to theft of the property.

4 “Property”.

(1) “Property” includes money and all other property, real or personal, including things in action and other intangible property.

(2) A person cannot steal land, or things forming part of land and severed from it by him or by his directions, except in the following cases, that it to say—

(a) when he is a trustee or personal representative, or is authorised by power of attorney, or as liquidator of a company, or otherwise, to sell or dispose of land belonging to another, and he appropriates the land or anything forming part of it by dealing with it in breach of the confidence reposed in him; or

(b) when he is not in possession of the land and appropriates anything forming part of the land by severing it or causing it to be severed, or after it has been severed; or

(c) when, being in possession of the land under a tenancy, he appropriates the whole or part of any fixture or structure let to be used with the land.

For purposes of this subsection “land” does not include incorporeal hereditaments; “tenancy” means a tenancy for years or any less period and includes an agreement for such a tenancy, but a person who after the end of a tenancy remains in possession as statutory tenant or otherwise is to be treated as having possession under the tenancy, and “let” shall be construed accordingly.

(3) A person who picks mushrooms growing wild on any land, or who picks flowers, fruit or foliage from a plant growing wild on any land, does not (although not in possession of the land) steal what he picks, unless he does it for reward or for sale or other commercial purpose.

For purposes of this subsection “mushroom” includes any fungus, and “plant” includes any shrub or tree.
 
(4) Wild creatures, tamed or untamed, shall be regarded as property; but a person cannot steal a wild creature not tamed nor ordinarily kept in captivity, or the carcase of any such creature, unless either it has been reduced into possession by or on behalf of another person and possession of it has not since been lost or abandoned, or another person is in course of reducing it into possession.

5 “Belonging to another”.

(1) Property shall be regarded as belonging to any person having possession or control of it, or having in it any proprietary right or interest (not being an equitable interest arising only from an agreement to transfer or grant an interest).

(2) Where property is subject to a trust, the persons to whom it belongs shall be regarded as including any person having a right to enforce the trust, and an intention to defeat the trust shall be regarded accordingly as an intention to deprive of the property any person having that right.

(3) Where a person receives property from or on account of another, and is under an obligation to the other to retain and deal with that property or its proceeds in a particular way, the property or proceeds shall be regarded (as against him) as belonging to the other.

(4) Where a person gets property by another’s mistake, and is under an obligation to make restoration (in whole or in part) of the property or its proceeds or of the value thereof, then to the extent of that obligation the property or proceeds shall be regarded (as against him) as belonging to the person entitled to restoration, and an intention not to make restoration shall be regarded accordingly as an intention to deprive that person of the property or proceeds.

(5) Property of a corporation sole shall be regarded as belonging to the corporation notwithstanding a vacancy in the corporation.

6“ With the intention of permanently depriving the other of it”.

(1) A person appropriating property belonging to another without meaning the other permanently to lose the thing itself is nevertheless to be regarded as having the intention of permanently depriving the other of it if his intention is to treat the thing as his own to dispose of regardless of the other’s rights; and a borrowing or lending of it may amount to so treating it if, but only if, the borrowing or lending is for a period and in circumstances making it equivalent to an outright taking or disposal.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) above, where a person, having possession or control (lawfully or not) of property belonging to another, parts with the property under a condition as to its return which he may not be able to perform, this (if done for purposes of his own and without the other’s authority) amounts to treating the property as his own to dispose of regardless of the other’s rights.

Offline Nestat

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Re: About Digital Rights Management
« Reply #29 on: September 22, 2012, 09:24:43 PM »
1 Basic definition of theft.

(1) A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and “thief” and “steal” shall be construed accordingly.

Thank you, yes. That's my understanding of it and where I am told the problem lies - you have not been permanently deprived of your property.
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