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  • ArneBab
    replied
    Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
    Can you think of a better way to stop people from pirating content?

    Even humble indie bundle games get pirated.
    And still they make lots of money. And one of the reasons for that is that they do NOT have DRM.

    Stopping people from pirating is a useless goal in itself. There is no value in it.

    The only useful goal is getting people to pay for your content. It is irrelevant how many people have your content without paying. The only number which counts is the number of people who pay for your content. I rather have 7 billion people copy my content without paying and 100 million buying it, than having no one copying my content and 10 million buying it. Because in the first case I get 10x as much money!

    So the question is how to make people pay. If you cannot use force, then this question transforms to the question how to make people *want to* pay. And artists have invented lots of ways to achieve that over the years. Hint: The central trick is to get fans who want you to keep working. Kickstarter shows how much untapped potential is in that.

    One example: Over 150 000$ for fan-coins - on a fundraiser where the artist hoped to get about 2000$ to be able to start producing them: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...hallenge-coins

    Another example: Over 300 000$ for a leather-bound deluxe edition of a roleplaying book where the artists hoped for 60 000$ - and RPGs are notoriously known for not being able to feed their developers: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...ed-3rd-edition ? and still 29 days to go.

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  • erendorn
    replied
    Originally posted by dee. View Post
    Yes, that is why I'm saying free sharing for noncommercial purposes needs to be legalized. That still wouldn't abolish copyright entirely, and it wouldn't allow someone to take whatever content and sell it for profit without the author's permission. So the scenario you describe couldn't happen legally.
    What would you make of people that profit from "sharing for noncommercial purpose"? like a torrent website, or usenet providers and filelockers. Or say, the paid employees of a non-profit dedicated to sharing other's work? (honest question)

    Leave a comment:


  • dee.
    replied
    Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    Yes, I do mean that. Speaking from a recent experience – I backed Expeditions: Conquistador on Kickstarter, and at the beginning the developers wanted nothing to do with publishers. But recently the developers struck a deal with one (BitComposer). It's mutually beneficial – BitComposer promised not to interfere with the development in any way, and provide additional translations, advertising, physical distribution and negotiating with Valve for including the game on Steam. The game still won't have any DRM, will still be available on Linux/Windows/Mac, will otherwise be the same, but will have additional professional translations, be available on additional distribution channels, and will have larger coverage, in return for some of the profits (acceptable amount, as otherwise they wouldn't have had a deal). That's how publishers ought to work.
    Yes, I have no problem with publishers that work purely as enablers, not gatekeepers.

    Here's a good piece on Techdirt highlighting the difference: https://www.techdirt.com/blog/innova...ekeepers.shtml

    Leave a comment:


  • GreatEmerald
    replied
    Originally posted by dee. View Post
    There's no reason why we'd need these corporations for those functions. Advertising can be done online, you can hire a freelance designer to do your ad campaign, QA can be done by the creators themselves, translations can again be done by hired freelancers...

    But maybe we're misunderstanding each other. I mean we don't need thse corporations in the form they are today, as big, inefficient, lazy, complacent parasites who only profit from other people's work... if you mean that these corporations would be revamped somehow, so that they'd function purely as enablers, then yes, I could see that we could still have use for them. If they only provided these services, but didn't try to lobby for anti-piracy laws or copyright maximalism, didn't act as gatekeepers to the market, then maybe they would have a purpose - but I can't see how these corporations could be transformed so radically, unless we can get all of the old and corrupt wall street sharks driven away from them. And that's not likely to happen as long as they can continue squeezing money from other people's work...
    Yes, I do mean that. Speaking from a recent experience – I backed Expeditions: Conquistador on Kickstarter, and at the beginning the developers wanted nothing to do with publishers. But recently the developers struck a deal with one (BitComposer). It's mutually beneficial – BitComposer promised not to interfere with the development in any way, and provide additional translations, advertising, physical distribution and negotiating with Valve for including the game on Steam. The game still won't have any DRM, will still be available on Linux/Windows/Mac, will otherwise be the same, but will have additional professional translations, be available on additional distribution channels, and will have larger coverage, in return for some of the profits (acceptable amount, as otherwise they wouldn't have had a deal). That's how publishers ought to work.

    Leave a comment:


  • dee.
    replied
    Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    Technically borders still matter. That's because the country your in dictates the laws you're under. That's why you can sell Wolfenstein everywhere, but not in Germany. Though, of course, most of the restrictions are just baseless.
    Technically but not in practice. But hey, since governments mostly consist of old fossils, they inevitably lag behind the times and are clueless about new technology and how it really affects the world. Thus governments and politicians don't understand the internet. Borders don't exist on the internet - if you can't buy Wolfenstein legally in Germany, you can still torrent it there.

    Yea, like I said, they still have their functions. They can do translations, QA, advertising etc. ? something the authors themselves can't be bothered with. That's an actual, legitimate service.
    There's no reason why we'd need these corporations for those functions. Advertising can be done online, you can hire a freelance designer to do your ad campaign, QA can be done by the creators themselves, translations can again be done by hired freelancers...

    But maybe we're misunderstanding each other. I mean we don't need thse corporations in the form they are today, as big, inefficient, lazy, complacent parasites who only profit from other people's work... if you mean that these corporations would be revamped somehow, so that they'd function purely as enablers, then yes, I could see that we could still have use for them. If they only provided these services, but didn't try to lobby for anti-piracy laws or copyright maximalism, didn't act as gatekeepers to the market, then maybe they would have a purpose - but I can't see how these corporations could be transformed so radically, unless we can get all of the old and corrupt wall street sharks driven away from them. And that's not likely to happen as long as they can continue squeezing money from other people's work...

    Leave a comment:


  • GreatEmerald
    replied
    Originally posted by dee. View Post
    It's obvious that the industry is in denial about the full effects and implications of the internet. This can be seen in the fact that they think they can restrict the sharing of content. They think they can somehow control the internet, and what I feel is really sad is how they think they can still enforce country borders in the virtual realm where borders have effectively ceased to matter. The internet is a global village, we all need to learn how to play nice and share our toys, but these old fossils think they can put some content up and say "sorry, you can't buy this because you live in country X". They're failing at serving the market.
    Technically borders still matter. That's because the country your in dictates the laws you're under. That's why you can sell Wolfenstein everywhere, but not in Germany. Though, of course, most of the restrictions are just baseless.

    Originally posted by dee. View Post
    So no, I don't think CDs are an efficient market for music. We need the same content available online, with one-click buys. Preferably, we could get bitcoin wallets integrated with operating systems (some desktop environment should get cracking on this, hint hint KDE and GNOME) where you could just visit a website with music for sale, then pay them in bitcoins with one mouse click, enter some pin number or passphrase (for security... better yet, use a fingerprint scanner or usb key) and woosh, the money goes there, the music automatically starts streaming on your computer, you can listen it instantly with zero lag, but you'll also get a non-DRM copy for later listening. And no regional borders, that kind of thing is just silly in this day and age. Now That would be efficient, it would be convenient, and the market would be functional.
    Indeed.

    Originally posted by dee. View Post
    We don't need gatekeepers like them anymore. There maybe was a time when they were legitimate enablers, but not anymore. Movie and music creators can use the internet to sell their content to us directly. They can implement business models that do not care about sharing of content.
    Yea, like I said, they still have their functions. They can do translations, QA, advertising etc. ? something the authors themselves can't be bothered with. That's an actual, legitimate service.

    Leave a comment:


  • dee.
    replied
    Originally posted by Zapitron View Post
    Hi Dee,

    Ever heard the phrase, "100 channels and nothing good on?" ;-) That is the type of scarcity, existing at any tech level (whether we're talking in 1710 or 2013) that copyright is intended to address. That scarcity exists whether we're talking about expensive-to-reproduce statues or trivial-to-reproduce files.
    That may have been the original stated purpose of copyright. And I think it has failed at that. I'll elaborate below...


    Think of copyright as someone's idea for how to best optimize the values you're talking about, there. IMHO sharing itself isn't intrinsically good or the goal. Sharing is a strategy (which happens to usually work fairly well) meant to optimize the value of something else: the spread of knowledge and culture. IMHO that is actual the goal, and the Good Thing which I think we all want to happen (we just have different ideas about how to do it).

    (Anglo-centric here; your specific culture may vary a little bit) Roughly around the 1700, people started thinking about the best way to get what we all want, and what they came up with was copyright. In US in 1789 the basic idea was expressed as

    Whether it's ideal or not, it has been proven for hundreds of years to do a fairly decent job.
    That's where I disagree. It has not been doing a good or even decent job for several decades now. Ever since they first raised the protection times, first to 25, 50, now 70 years from author's death... how is that even remotely related to "protecting innovation" anymore? And now we're at a point where even public domain is not necessarily public domain - in the US, there are actual cases where the entertainment industry has managed to take away content from the public domain which previously was there, and place it under their own copyright. Just think about that for a while and let it sink in. The implications are scary indeed.


    This takes the idea of "when you share something with a friend, you can both enjoy it" and implements it as you telling your friend "I like X" and your friend goes and buys X, where its title is a search key within an efficient market. This way, you both get to enjoy it and you also create commercial incentive for someone to make more X. The idea is that your child can "hoard" the content by not sharing the content itself, but also "not hoard" it, by giving a reference to the product, where the reference is nearly as good as the actual content.

    This was working great until the 1990s when some of the people who resell X decided that us buying it, wasn't enough for them. They wanted playback equipment licensing royalties too. So they defected from the arrangement, by rejecting some very important aspects of the solution that had been provided by copyright. Now when someone whose judgement you trust says "I like X," you may or may not be allowed to buy it (i.e. iTunes isn't on the web yet, and the one and only proprietary client that you're allowed to use, hasn't been ported to my computer). Or if you are allowed to buy it, you're not allowed to play it (e.g. it's both technically difficult, and also against the law to decrypt it so that you can get it onto your screen, save it to watch it when you want, etc) which is just as bad as not being for sale at all (maybe worse, if you think of it as a type of fraud). With video, the whole idea of "here's the search key for X, go use the efficient market to get it" has broken, since there isn't really a working market anymore.
    Yes, that is correct. But there can no longer be a return to the past. Internet was a pandora's box in a sense, and now that is open, we can never close it again - we'll have to learn how to deal with it. The copyright mafia has yet to come to terms with it - they're still struggling against the new market disruptors.

    It's obvious that the industry is in denial about the full effects and implications of the internet. This can be seen in the fact that they think they can restrict the sharing of content. They think they can somehow control the internet, and what I feel is really sad is how they think they can still enforce country borders in the virtual realm where borders have effectively ceased to matter. The internet is a global village, we all need to learn how to play nice and share our toys, but these old fossils think they can put some content up and say "sorry, you can't buy this because you live in country X". They're failing at serving the market.

    DRM makes the reference no longer be nearly-as-good as sharing the content, due to the lack of the market in which to go buy the video. Someone could recommend I watch the TV series "Game of Thrones" but it's not for sale at any price. I can't buy the files from HBO, or subscribe to their streaming service and have it work with MythTV. I can't get the content from them, and they don't have any way to receive the financial incentive. DRM has made the market fail, the very purpose of copyright subverted.
    I know what you mean. There are many videos and movies and other content I'd be more than willing to pay a reasonable price, if they'd just allow me to buy it in a format I can play with whatever equipment or OS I want, without DRM. Here we are, customers in line, asking "where can I throw this bag of money" and they're saying "sorry, we're not available in your region yet, if ever". Market fail!

    So a lot of people are choosing piracy at the thing which fixes the problem created by DRM. The various pirate channels have become the new incarnation of the efficient market, to fill the void that was vacated by Hollywood. But make no mistake: without the DRM, the "legitimate" market within the ideal of copyright, would almost certainly exist (eventually someones always steps forward to accept the money), and piracy would no longer be the best strategy for optimizing the value of culture-and-knowledge spreading.
    Well, yes and no. The legitimate market would have to be able to compete with piracy in all aspects (except price). People are willing to pay a reasonable price as long as you make it convenient, easy and efficient for them to do so. If buying the content legally were made easier than torrenting it, and the price was reasonable, and you'd be able to buy in as small increments as you wanted (one episode at a time, one song at a time) and pay in whatever way you want (bitcoin), very few people would bother torrenting even if it did save them some money, EVEN if it would be legal to do so.

    That is why, while I strongly advocate that everyone please pirate most video products (please, please stop paying them for DRM!), I advocate against the piracy of music. There's still an efficient market for music, un-DRMed CDs are still for sale, and the cost of them is relatively low. (Yes, it really is low: the $12 I paid for a Suicidal Tendencies CD twenty fives years ago, over all the hundreds of times I've played it, is just nothing. And since it's not DRMed, I can play the music whenever and whereever I want to. If it weren't for that, the number of plays over which to spread the initial $12 cost would be far smaller, and maybe $12 would have been too much. That's especially true when the number of times I can play it is ZERO, as is the case with a Blu-Ray disc.)
    Well the thing is, who wants CDs? Can you even buy CD players anymore? I don't think I've seen many CD players for sale recently. Buying CDs is a hassle, they're a very inefficient and volatile way of storing content. Know how many CDs can you fit on a single USB thumb drive, or even a single 32GiB micro-SD card? 46, uncompressed. With FLAC compression, that's about 77 - and with lossy compression, the amount becomes silly (a bit over thousand CDs with 64kbps compression). That much fits on a storage media that's smaller than your thumbnail.

    Of course you could just buy the CD and then download the file on your computer and throw the disc away, but why do we need to buy the CDs if we don't need them? Think of the environment for a while... that's just stupidly inefficient.

    So no, I don't think CDs are an efficient market for music. We need the same content available online, with one-click buys. Preferably, we could get bitcoin wallets integrated with operating systems (some desktop environment should get cracking on this, hint hint KDE and GNOME) where you could just visit a website with music for sale, then pay them in bitcoins with one mouse click, enter some pin number or passphrase (for security... better yet, use a fingerprint scanner or usb key) and woosh, the money goes there, the music automatically starts streaming on your computer, you can listen it instantly with zero lag, but you'll also get a non-DRM copy for later listening. And no regional borders, that kind of thing is just silly in this day and age. Now That would be efficient, it would be convenient, and the market would be functional.

    Dee, I gather you're sort of compatible with me on video right now, but probably my opponent on music. All I can say is that I urge you to think about what course of action could result in your child and his friends getting the most; is directly sharing the entire content really the optimum, or have we perhaps been using something for the last few hundred years which works a little better, by making it easy for people to get things while also doing something about the "100 channels and nothing good on" problem? And please go on pirating video, as getting DRM sales down to zero is the best (IMHO) way I think we can persuade Hollywood to go back to the older, more proven model that everyone knows for sure, definitely works to the mutual gain of both publishers and consumers. But when that happens, when they re-open for business, we'll want to stop pirating.
    See the thing is, that "stop pirating" thing? It's very likely not going to happen. I think we're long past that point where it's possible to declare a truce like that (not least because people who pirate content are not a hivemind, every individual makes the choice to pirate or not him/her/itself). The main issue however is, that the trust towards hollywood and RIAA and MPAA and the rest is gone, they've spent too much time and effort trying to cripple the web and limit citizen rights with draconian legislation, censorship and oppression for us to ever trust them again. We need them gone. We don't need gatekeepers like them anymore. There maybe was a time when they were legitimate enablers, but not anymore. Movie and music creators can use the internet to sell their content to us directly. They can implement business models that do not care about sharing of content.

    In earlier posts I've made some arguments and posted some examples about how this could be achieved, I've made my case how the market could function more efficiently if free sharing for noncommercial purposes was allowed - you might want to scroll back the thread a couple of pages and read my posts, because I really don't care to type it all again...

    Leave a comment:


  • dee.
    replied
    Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    Well, I get where you're coming from, dee. Yes, if we'd have replicators, then carpenters wouldn't exist in the first place, because they no longer create anything of value. However, patents would still exist ? if you create something new and never heard of before, you would want to benefit from it. Everyone could use it, but would have to obtain a patent license.

    About the cinemas and films, I get your idea as well. They could make open cinemas, but they wouldn't earn anything from it, and if they want to, they have to share their profits as usual. And it's something you can't pirate. I suppose that most of the income for the movie industry comes from the cinemas, and if NC copying was legalised, while they provided no DRM, easy distribution and some extra token for buying/donating, not much would change from what we have now in terms of profits, but it would be much easier for consumers. I suppose the same goes for the music industry, where the main source of income is live concerts. Though we'd still have problems with games, as game developers don't have such an additional income source. Same with software in general.
    Incidentally, I also think the patent system needs to be abolished (or at the very least very heavily reformed). It's become nothing more than a money machine for the corporate market leaders, those who can afford to benefit from it, at best - and at worst, a weapon for gatekeepers to use to raise entry barriers for their competition, and let's not even start about patent trolls and swpats... It does nothing to protect innovation and in most cases actually hinders it.

    Patent protection is entirely unnecessary anyway - if you create something new, you already benefit from being first-to-market. After that you just have to keep innovating to maintain the competitive advantage.

    As for software in general, that's where open source software comes in. Open source business models are intrinsically immune to any effects of "piracy", they are by nature designed to benefit from free sharing instead of being harmed by it. Not everyone has to go open source - there'd still be alternatives, such as service-based models, and I guess corporations would still be free to use DRM if they wanted to - although I think the market would quickly correct and cull that kind of behaviour...

    As for games, I think there are many business models that can work for games that allow free sharing. Console makers could fund game creation with hardware sales - basically, taking the opposite approach to the current one, where hardware is sold at a loss and recouped with game sales. Steam would also pretty much work just the same even if sharing was allowed, although that could admittedly again be considered a form of DRM. And my favorite new thing - someone has recently started a game project, forgot the name, where they release the game in parts - one episode at a time, with each episode being released when a set amount of funds is raised. This is kind of ingenious I think, it keeps the players wanting for more, and the funding targets are more manageable when they're in smaller pieces, and players get new content faster...

    Leave a comment:


  • dee.
    replied
    Originally posted by erendorn View Post
    But all these business models already work as is, there is no need for any legalization for them. And most of these business models (crowdfunding excluded) still rely entirely on copyright laws: because whatever you produce, I can just pull your contents and display/offer them on my own site, with adds, a donation button or services, for cheaper than you (although arguably with less revenue too as a second hand platform, but that's not even certain).
    Yes, that is why I'm saying free sharing for noncommercial purposes needs to be legalized. That still wouldn't abolish copyright entirely, and it wouldn't allow someone to take whatever content and sell it for profit without the author's permission. So the scenario you describe couldn't happen legally.

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  • Zapitron
    replied
    Originally posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    Isn't that patents, not copyright? Copyright is about protecting the author's rights. Patents are about giving an incentive to innovate.
    Subject to debate, I suppose. In US law, both copyright and patents are justified by the constitution as promoting the progress of the useful arts and sciences. Whether or not they have different motivations, they're treated as being very similar.

    IMHO since the sales of copyrighted content has been commercially successful in the past (this is how Hollywood got onto the map and acquired enough wealth to be able to purchase new laws, such as DMCA), that suggests copyright has been providing incentive, and that incentive can likely be credited for many works which exist today. Functionally, no matter where you stand on the rights issues, the incentive aspect can't be blown off, and is a strong motivation today (especially in a society increasing apathetic to questions of rights in general -- not sure whether to make a winky face or frowny face on that). It's definitely there and still working, outside of the industries which use DRM.

    My opinion is authors do have natural rights: they have the right to not publish, or publish and take their chances. Governments saw that this was insufficient for their purposes of growing economies, so they created new rights in common law and statute. These expanded author rights came with certain conditions and understandings, to balance how they infringe others' rights to make use of the works. DRM represents a failure to remember the necessity of that balance, and in some ways has gone beyond mere imbalance, to absurdity and impracticality (e.g. not being allowed to play a movie that you've bought, not being fully in control of your own computer, etc).

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