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  • GreatEmerald
    replied
    Originally posted by Zapitron View Post
    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.
    Isn't that patents, not copyright? Copyright is about protecting the author's rights. Patents are about giving an incentive to innovate.

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  • Zapitron
    replied
    sharing is merely a strategy

    Hi Dee,
    There is no scarcity in digital media.
    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.

    Originally posted by dee. View Post
    .. we teach our children that sharing is good, because it's an intrinsically good value: when you share something with a friend, you can both enjoy it. If you just hoard it for yourself, you'll have your thing but no one to enjoy it with. Humans are social animals and require interaction with others. So that is why we share things. It's the way society functions, by sharing things with each other: experiences, knowledge, feelings, things... basically almost every aspect of civilized society is based on sharing in one way or another.
    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
    Congress shall have the power 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
    Whether it's ideal or not, it has been proven for hundreds of years to do a fairly decent job.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.)

    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.

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  • GreatEmerald
    replied
    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.

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  • erendorn
    replied
    Originally posted by dee. View Post
    There are plenty of business models that can work with free sharing. You just have to think outside the narrow box of the dominant paradigm. Crowdfunding, service based models, ad-funded content, donationware... the possibilities are endless. All that is needed is legalization of sharing for noncommercial purposes to give content producers the incentive to develop their business models. I've elaborated this in previous posts already and frankly, with the tone of your post, I get the impression that you're not exactly interested in discussing bona fide (that means: in good faith).
    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).

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  • bridgman
    replied
    Originally posted by dee. View Post
    If not, why should we create artificial scarcity anywhere where scarcity doesn't naturally exist, simply because some gatekeepers need it to survive? Why should we protect the profits of corporations who refuse to update their business models to cope with changing paradigms? We don't owe them a living.
    This is where it gets sticky. You don't necessarily own the corporations a living, but you do owe the individuals doing the creative work a living and today those individuals generally earn their living through corporations.

    Unless we have an alternative to the current corporate model that is demonstrably ready to scale up to the same size as what we have today (in terms of the number of creative people it supports and the quality of that support), one can argue that killing off or even seriously wounding the current system might be premature.
    Last edited by bridgman; 13 May 2013, 09:27 AM.

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  • dee.
    replied
    Originally posted by bridgman View Post
    I guess the question is whether you regard a creative work (song, movie, book) duplicated against the wishes of the creator as a non-scarce resource.
    Well it's actually pretty simple. It doesn't cost anything to copy a file. The expense of running a computer with xxx-GB harddrive is the same whether that harddrive contains 50 files or 500 files. So when the file (content) is already produced, then it is non-scarce. The scarcity exists only in the production of the content, which is why the monetization should also apply to the production, not the distribution.

    Here's a hypothetical: say we come up with AI that can produce endless content for us for free. Would that need to be restricted as well, so that corporations with pre-existing business models don't go out of business? If not, why should we create artificial scarcity anywhere where scarcity doesn't naturally exist, simply because some gatekeepers need it to survive? Why should we protect the profits of corporations who refuse to update their business models to cope with changing paradigms? We don't owe them a living.

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  • bridgman
    replied
    Originally posted by dee. View Post
    With a non-scarce resource, it doesn't matter if it's shared by copying or otherwise.
    I guess the question is whether you regard a creative work (song, movie, book, spiffy chair) duplicated against the wishes of the creator as a non-scarce resource.
    Last edited by bridgman; 13 May 2013, 08:44 AM.

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  • dee.
    replied
    Originally posted by bridgman View Post
    Thank you.

    When I was a kid, if I shared something with a friend I didn't have it at the same time they did (unless we were playing together with it), ie sharing involved an element of sacrifice.

    Sharing via duplication, ie letting my friend have something while I keep it for my own use as well, is not the same thing at all.

    It's probably too late, but we should think about using different terms for "taking turns using a single copy" and "giving copies to other people". Using the same word for two completely different things can trick smart people into making bad analogies.
    With a non-scarce resource, it doesn't matter if it's shared by copying or otherwise.

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  • V10lator
    replied
    Originally posted by erendorn View Post
    Sharing what you have is good. Nobody teaches their children to share the other kids' toys. You make content, you share it: it's good. You make content, I share it: not so good.
    So you tell your kids to produce their toys for themself or you buy it for them / give them money to buy it? Cause if the second one you teach them to share what they paid for, not what they made with their own hands.

    What most people here don't see is that free sharing already works. Guess what's my only income? Believe it or not: A Donate button! And I have a home, am just eating my breakfast and am browsing this forum with a high-speed internet connection with my high-end PC. I even have some luxury articles. Hell I even have enough money to give it to kickstarter projects / humble bundles and so on. As others said: You have to adapt to new technology, not trying to stop it.

    Now to the science-fiction (3d printers and such) some people here talk about: Tell me why a chair builder will need that much money in such a world (where money isn't that important anymore) ? Mom and dad give him this printer when he's young so he can print everything he needs. All he has to pay for is energy, maybe some kind of toner and maybe (if not printable, too) food. He just have to sell a few chairs for that, which he still will archive. In such a world creativity will be more important than working with your hands. Is that what you people fear?

    And, as others stated, too, free sharing (in form of piracy) is also happening all the time. Still no companies got bankrupt cause of it. It seems like the other way around: They even have enough money to fight against it. But at least some people are sane about that topic. Notch wrote a nice article about it: http://notch.tumblr.com/post/1121596...w-piracy-works

    Originally posted by dee. View Post
    People are selfish?
    From my experience of poorer times (living on the street and such) selfish people are rich and never where in such a situation for themself. People with less money and/or people who know how it feels to not have enough money to survive share what they can. I also give my money to poor people, sometimes I even sit me down to them and help them getting money from others. Also if I know a poor person good enough (ofc. there are black sheeps, too) I give them a sleeping place at my home.

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  • dee.
    replied
    Originally posted by erendorn View Post
    Sharing what you have is good. Nobody teaches their children to share the other kids' toys. You make content, you share it: it's good. You make content, I share it: not so good.
    And then, there's economics 101 about property and how it is necessary for exchanges, but maybe that's too complicated for you and you are more comfortable with kindergarten analogies.
    Maybe debating in a civil and rational manner is too complicated to you and you are more comfortable slinging ad-hominems and juvenile insults.


    If I understand correctly, your business model is to sell the infrastructure and not the content. That's exactly how piracy works right now, with usenet providers, svn providers, torrent sites, streaming sites monetizing a service so convenient that people pay them (so yes, it works). But how do the content provider could compete with them when it has to create the same infrastructure, and create content at the same time?
    Also, what worth is hype, when you can't sell your products? Do you think miniature toys can pay for a movie or a AAA game? Oh wait they can't, you can print the miniature at home with your 3D printer.
    There are plenty of business models that can work with free sharing. You just have to think outside the narrow box of the dominant paradigm. Crowdfunding, service based models, ad-funded content, donationware... the possibilities are endless. All that is needed is legalization of sharing for noncommercial purposes to give content producers the incentive to develop their business models. I've elaborated this in previous posts already and frankly, with the tone of your post, I get the impression that you're not exactly interested in discussing bona fide (that means: in good faith).

    Leave a comment:

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