The Dim-Post

April 14, 2011

More mealy-mouthed ambivalence

Filed under: media,technology — danylmc @ 1:21 pm

We all agree that the most important thing to get right when rebuilding Christchurch is to ensure that digital copyright holders can terminate the internet accounts of online copyright infringers, so to this end the government passed the The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill last night under the urgency granted to pass the CERA legislation.

I generally agree with Scott over at Imperator Fish, who is an intellectual property lawyer AS WELL AS a blogger. (Is it possible for one human to be so qualified on a single subject?) Owners of copyright have a right to protect their property, this law doesn’t seem too terrible at achieving that.  I don’t agree with the concept that internet access is a ‘basic human right’. That’s absurd.

On the other hand, the main cause of, say, digital film piracy is the insane business model the film industry operates under. Consider the status quo: if you read about a movie that’s just been released overseas there is no practical way for you to pay to watch that movie legally until it comes to your town some weeks, or months, or sometimes years later. Then for a few weeks you can travel to your local movie theatre, queue to buy tickets and then queue to get in, then watch thirty minutes of ads and watch the movie. But if you want to watch it a few weeks later there is, once again, no legal way to do this. You have to wait for months, or years, for it to be released on DVD. Then you can rent or buy it, and watch it after sitting through various ads and copyright piracy notices. Or, at any given time during this process you can just download the movie illegally and watch it at home.

We need copyright and the rule of law and all that good stuff, but if an industry insists on following a business model so suicidally stupid it drives their customers to become criminals in order to obtain their products, the state shouldn’t exactly bend over backwards to help sustain that industry.

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49 Comments »

  1. I’m always impressed by the willingness of rights holders to pay the charlatans in the DRM industry for a product that has never worked.

    Comment by JD — April 14, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

  2. I don’t agree with the concept that internet access is a ‘basic human right’. That’s absurd.

    It depends what you mean … if you mean “something that must be provided by the state”, then perhaps not. If you mean “something which the state cannot deny you without some really really good reason” then I think it is.

    In New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 includes the following:

    14 Freedom of expression
    Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.

    Are you telling me this doesn’t cover access to the Internet?

    We have a right to read newspapers, and buy books, and print newspapers and print books and speak to my friends and family and find out about their days etc. if the Government wants to stop us it needs to point to a compelling state interest to stop us. Are you suggesting that it doesn’t need a compelling state interest to stop me doing these things if I choose to do them on the Internet: you have a right to read the Herald, but not the Herald on line, you have a right to talk to friends and family, but not via email etc.

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — April 14, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

  3. That’s about the most thoughtful analysis of ‘the internet as a human right’ i’ve seen Graeme, thanks!

    Comment by StephenR — April 14, 2011 @ 1:39 pm

  4. I must admit to downloading television series that aren’t going to be shown in NZ. First I check to see if I can get region-free copies from overseas, then I check with the TV channels to see if they intend to show them.

    If both of those avenues fail, I download them since it’s the only way I’ll ever see them.

    Comment by mary — April 14, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

  5. We have a right to read newspapers, and buy books, and print newspapers and print books and speak to my friends and family and find out about their days etc.

    Firstly, we have the fundamental right to freedom of action but that doesn’t mean we can’t be imprisoned for our crimes.
    Secondly, if you have your internet connection terminated you still have the right, and means, to do all of those things, just not via the medium you were using to carry out an illegal activity.

    Comment by danylmc — April 14, 2011 @ 1:51 pm

  6. Imprisonment falls under the “point to a compelling state interest to stop us” category.

    There are comprehensive explorations of why we as a society have allowed the state to remove that right in certain circumstances, and there is a solid reason for an extensive justice system to ensure that removal of the right is only done appropriately.

    I don’t see the equivalence with this legislation.

    On a side note, I’m curious regards the fine structures. Everyone seems to be ok with that side of the legislation, but my reading of the bill seems to point to much less control over how and when fines are applied than for disconnection. Fines are drastically more punishing (and can lead to imprisonment) for a large proportion of our society…

    Comment by greg — April 14, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

  7. I do not see how copyright is a property right. Copyright doesn’t give you any personal rights at all, it only allows you to restrict the freedoms of others.

    Comment by Robert — April 14, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

  8. I have a bank account that I can only access online. I think if I go in to the branch they will refuse to process any transactions for me. (I imagine they would happily change the account to another type if I lost my internet access, but it would be a hassle.)

    There are many services these days that are easier, cheaper or even only available online. I’m also a little ambivalent about calling it a “human right” (though Graeme may have convinced me :-) but it’s certainly much more than a luxury.

    I still want someone to justify cutting off someone’s access to telephones because they used one to commit slander, or revoke their driver’s licence and oyster card (i.e. road use) because they shoplifted and then took the item home on the bus.

    Comment by David — April 14, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

  9. Secondly, if you have your internet connection terminated you still have the right, and means, to do all of those things, just not via the medium you were using to carry out an illegal activity.

    The problem is that the internet is such a pervasive and important medium now that terination seriously affects your ability to do all those things. Not to mention pay the bills, talk to your friends, and lobby politicians not to pass absurd laws. It is a serious infringement on freedom of expression. Such an infringement requires a serious justification, and a proper process. This law has neither. Individual copyright infrigement is a tort, not a crime; the only penalty should be financial, for actual losses sufered (which, in the case of internet downloading, tends to be very low, or suffered by another party rather than the actual rightsholder)

    Comment by Idiot/Savant — April 14, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

  10. I still want someone to justify cutting off someone’s access to telephones because they used one to commit slander, or revoke their driver’s licence and oyster card (i.e. road use) because they shoplifted and then took the item home on the bus.

    Bad analogy. The correct one is to trespass them from all roads, efectively banning them from leaving their house.

    Unfortunately our politicians are largely from the pre-internet generation, and some of them don’t even know how to use a computer. Their minds are still stuck in a world of physical presence and paper. But the world doesn’t work like that now; they’re just too fossilised to see it.

    Comment by Idiot/Savant — April 14, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

  11. The problem is that the internet is such a pervasive and important medium now that terination seriously affects your ability to do all those things.

    Surely it’s not that important. Why one can become an MP with the power to pass laws regulating the internet even if you know absolutely nothing about it.

    Comment by danylmc — April 14, 2011 @ 2:17 pm

  12. If you want information, “just go to our website”, says the advertisement from the government department. My late father would fume every time he heard that, as he had no means of doing so.

    If all other pre-internet services are maintained, then the internet is only an option, not a “right”. But as those services are gradually being phased out (Pay your bill at the post office? What post office? What bill?) then the contract between the government and the governed will increasingly depend upon citizens having access to the internet.

    So, yes, it becomes a “right”.

    (Edit: i.e. what David and I/S said)

    Comment by sammy — April 14, 2011 @ 2:17 pm

  13. My thoughts on this topic have been said more eloquently by plenty of others, but I will share a link that I think sums up exactly why abiding by the law generally sucks major ass: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_EbhbPbkypPY/S4lILqwD3GI/AAAAAAAABsw/XXPtZ28lEu0/s1600-h/dvd-piracy.jpg

    @ mary: Most DVD players sold these days are region-free. If you happen to have one that isn’t, a simple google search will provide you with a four digit code that switches it off.

    Comment by Purple-Shirted Eye Stabber — April 14, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

  14. Unfortunately our politicians are largely from the pre-internet generation

    As are most people with power – judges, newspaper editors, school principals, CEOs, etc. As am I (with no power, sob).

    But it’s OK, because these internet kids only riot online, so we don’t have to know about it.

    Comment by sammy — April 14, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

  15. Secondly, if you have your internet connection terminated you still have the right, and means, to do all of those things, just not via the medium you were using to carry out an illegal activity.

    Just like how all those people who commit fraud in the mail are prohibited from sending letters.

    We don’t prohibit those who who shoplift from writing letters to the editor or having a bank account, why would prohibit those who unlawfully fileshare from commenting on blogs or using Internet banking?

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — April 14, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

  16. I have to take issue with your consumer right to pillage my movie catalogue because i choose not to sell it where and when you want it.

    Does that same ‘right’ apply to me when the petrol station is closed? Can i take my siphon and raid their tanks for having the effrontery to be closed when i, the mighty consumer choose to make a purchase and not expect to be pursued by the police for theft? Law needs some basis in principles that are transferable across product lines.

    On the internet as a right, given that govt is pushing more info and service delivery online, i suspect better minds than me could start making the argument that one’s ability to participate fully in society is going to be driven by net access, so there are rights issues emerging. Haven’t maori used similar arguments in pursuit of asset allocations?

    Comment by insider — April 14, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

  17. Graeme’s right to distinguish between positive and negative rights. The Government doesn’t have to buy me a printing press. But if I have my own printing press, the Government can’t take it away from me without a damn good reason.

    I’ve written about this in more detail, using more lawyerly words, previously.

    Comment by Jordan — April 14, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

  18. We don’t prohibit those who who shoplift from writing letters to the editor or having a bank account, why would prohibit those who unlawfully fileshare from commenting on blogs or using Internet banking?

    If you’re caught shoplifting in a store the store will, almost inevitably, serve a trespass notice against you. Which, if you wanted to be dramatic about it, you could cite as denying you the right to buy food and clothes, but really just means you have to go to another store, just as termination of your account means you go to another ISP or buy a wireless card or go to the library or an internet cafe to use the internet.

    Comment by danylmc — April 14, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

  19. I have to take issue with your consumer right to pillage my movie catalogue because i choose not to sell it where and when you want it.

    Does that same ‘right’ apply to me when the petrol station is closed? Can i take my siphon and raid their tanks for having the effrontery to be closed when i, the mighty consumer choose to make a purchase and not expect to be pursued by the police for theft? Law needs some basis in principles that are transferable across product lines.

    I don’t disagree with you in principle. But if your petrol station is a monopoly that is only open for ten seconds at midnight on a full moon, and at all other times anyone can just turn up and help themselves to your petrol, is the best solution for the state to increase its power to punish people for taking the petrol, because ‘they’re hurting your profits’?

    Comment by danylmc — April 14, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

  20. On the internet as a right, given that govt is pushing more info and service delivery online, i suspect better minds than me could start making the argument that one’s ability to participate fully in society is going to be driven by net access, so there are rights issues emerging.

    InternetNZ’s submission on this bill made (in my mind) a compelling argument along these lines. Paragraph 76 lists a few activities that can only be done online (and where using a library/Internet cafe would be inappropriate: filing annual company returns, filing monthly PAYE records, filing PPSA financing statements, transacting land, plus all types of online businesses.

    Comment by Jordan — April 14, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

  21. We don’t prohibit those who who shoplift from writing letters to the editor or having a bank account, why would prohibit those who unlawfully fileshare from commenting on blogs or using Internet banking?

    Good point. Danyl, do you think it would be too lenient a punishment for copyright infringement to solely prohibit people from commenting on blogs and using internet banking? Because that would be far less restrictive than what is proposed.

    Comment by derp de derp — April 14, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

  22. @danyl 18, “termination of your account means you go to another ISP or buy a wireless card or go to the library or an internet cafe to use the internet”

    Which hits on one of the other major flaws in termination as a remedy: any deterrence effect is greatly diminished by the ease by which the punishment can be circumvented.

    Also, public facilities are inappropriate for a lot of Internet activities. The “private” types of Internet activities.

    Comment by Jordan — April 14, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

  23. Does that same ‘right’ apply to me when the petrol station is closed? Can i take my siphon and raid their tanks for having the effrontery to be closed when i, the mighty consumer choose to make a purchase and not expect to be pursued by the police for theft?

    Copyright is not like tangible property and it should not be treated as such. If you want to make analogies between tangibles and ideas, you’d be better off if you supposed the existence of Star Trek-style replicators, because copying is fundamentally different from taking, and it is absurd to try to pretend otherwise. In that case, the analogous situation would be, “Can I take my replicator and create my own petrol (an exact copy of that which is in the petrol station’s tanks) without depriving the station of anything?” But I think in that case, the analogy works against you, because I suspect most people would support having the ability to do that if it were technically feasible.

    Comment by derp de derp — April 14, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

  24. re; rights – it may be illustrative that in countries with significant recent turmoil teh internets have been (it seems) a significant factor, and moves by various govts to cut large swathes of people off is sort of like stopping them assembling/conversing.

    Just a tool, or a right? I’m not sure, but I’m moving towards viewing it as a right. Digital divide = second class citizens = first class must exist = first class have more rights? Or do ‘first class’ just have easier access to information that the second class can get if they try really really hard and are prepared to wait a long time…?

    Comment by TBwood — April 14, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

  25. derp de derp – I’m not sure how you can copy the petrol tank without ‘depriving the station of anything’. If you could copy petrol rather than buy it then surely you are depriving the station of the revenue they would otherwise get from selling their petrol to you, and that really is the crux of what is wrong with copying a work illegally – you are potentially depriving the owner of the work from revenue from selling it to you.

    Comment by ieuan — April 14, 2011 @ 4:00 pm

  26. If you could copy petrol rather than buy it then surely you are depriving the station of the revenue they would otherwise get from selling their petrol to you

    Sure, and if I go to a different (24-hour) petrol station instead, I’m “depriving” the first station of the revenue that they would have gotten if I had bought from them instead. If I buy some ingredients from the supermarket and make myself a dozen sandwiches, I’m “depriving” the local deli of the revenue they would otherwise get from selling their sandwiches to me. And if you don’t send me $100 right now, you’re “depriving” me of the $100 I would have if you did.

    You can’t argue for strong copyrights based on authors’ “rights” to “own” ideas unless you’re prepared to accept absurdities; nobody has a “right” to take my money simply because they believed that they worked very hard and ought to be compensated for their hard work. The only coherent argument in favour of copyright is the incentive-based one: copyrights create an incentive for authors to produce creative works, which society has an interest in, so governments should create and enforce copyrights in order to advance society’s interests.

    Comment by derp de derp — April 14, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

  27. you are potentially depriving the owner of the work from revenue from selling it to you…

    …at the price they want to.

    But it could also be said the owners are depriving themselves of the revenue you are willing to pay.

    Which is the crux of our last paragraph of our gracious host’s post.

    FM

    Comment by Fooman — April 14, 2011 @ 4:37 pm

  28. I suggest using starting page

    Comment by Russell — April 14, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

  29. CAN’T YOU SEE THAT DIGITAL PIRACY IS KILLING THE PORNOGRAPHY INDUSTRY! LOOK AT HOW PRODUCTION VALUES HAVE DROPPED OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS! LIGHTING, ACTING, PLOT – ALL GONE! YOU PEOPLE MAKE ME SICK!

    Comment by Brad — April 14, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

  30. “But it could also be said the owners are depriving themselves of the revenue you are willing to pay.”

    that’s the big issue for me. I get really sick of the industry’s lost revenue claims assuming that every single pirate who pillages their movie from teh intertubez would otherwise certainly pay full price to see it at iMax in 3D for $40 (incl popcorn). It’s ludicrous.

    Would I spend a cent to watch “2012”? not a chance. would I (hypothetically, of course) watch it if I were really bored and a pirated copy was the only thing I had at hand to watch? maybe, if I had already washed my hair that day…

    Comment by nommopilot — April 14, 2011 @ 5:50 pm

  31. I presume that the circulation of pirated DVDs will increase after this. And the software to do so will improve too. Nice way to create a black market NZ Gov!

    Comment by ropata — April 14, 2011 @ 6:08 pm

  32. I’m with derp on this one. Although extending on the incentive point made (#26), realistically (all irrelevant “analogies” aside) the entertainment industry this law is trying to satisfy already HAVE “incentive” (i.e. profits) to continue producing, despite all their boo-hooing about people who pirate. Music piracy never substantially hurt the recording industries. Radio and TV did not kill the music or film industry either. The argument that “piracy/sharing is hurting innovation” is unrealistic, because it hasn’t. If anything, it gives creators a much more representative picture of how popular their work is, and disseminates their work much further. Of course, much of the entertainment industry doesn’t care about that unless it translates into dollars. If I pirate a film I otherwise would definitely not have considered if I had to pay for it, then I tell friends if it’s good, and some of those friends may see it at the cinema, who otherwise wouldn’t have…and so on. The dumb thing is, the entertainment industries are so behind that they don’t realise the potential of filesharing to popularise and filter, and actually continue to line their coffers. Some bands have already cottoned on to this, and offered their entire albums online for free. For film this is a bit different (see! I’m not just equating one thing with another! It’s not that difficult!), but Apple TV is already experimenting and personally I’d be totally down with the model if it was a bit less restrictive.

    Comment by Zo Zhou — April 14, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

  33. One of the controversial aspects of the legislation is cutting off internet access.

    If MPs understood the internet, they would know that they could block bittorrent access by itself.

    Or if they restricted offenders to ports 80 & 443, then families would still be able do internet banking etc but not be able to share files.

    Comment by Graeme — April 14, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

  34. Brad @ 29.

    You’ve gotten older, but the girls haven’t aged at all…

    Comment by Phil — April 14, 2011 @ 7:34 pm

  35. I download stuff all the time, and I do it because I don’t want to a) wait, b) pay through the nose for it, or c) there’s no other means of having said digitally encoded work. I also don’t lie about it, but I also don’t lie about actually buying the items when they’re a) available as a DRM free digital download or b) available for a decent price in the store. The same goes with books, although I tend to find that I either buy the e-book version or download that illegally because the damn things are SO expensive in NZ.

    However, I rarely use filesharing – and if I do, then I either exclusively use private trackers, or I use a secure VPN combined with an IP range blocker. I’m more commonly found to be using avenues like… well, I won’t say, but we’ll say that they use encrypted connections and I’m damn careful about getting caught.

    In short, they won’t catch me, and I’m a really prolific and totally unrepentant thief. Fortunately, my internet bill is much larger than the average family’s, so I do contribute economically. Am I depriving you of revenue? Only if you’re marking up your goods to exploit me and don’t make them available in any other format. Otherwise, I just wouldn’t buy them. I’m certainly not depriving my ISP of revenue – and because I subscribe to Sky and use other paid-for download services, and buy the stuff my revenue gets out there.

    I don’t sell other people’s stuff, naturally. I don’t intend to make money off the back of other people’s work. I just don’t intend to pay for it if you hold a monopoly on that copyrighted work and you’re trying to gouge me. Why should I? I’m a consumer, of sorts; but I’m a consumer who’ll pay only on my terms.

    Of course, this isn’t a justification. I don’t have one. As I said, I’m just a really prolific and totally unrepentant thief.

    The only way you could stop me would be to first of all catch me, and secondly, to cut my internet off or restrict it to a speed that would make downloading the files impossible within a reasonable amount of time. And even then, I probably wouldn’t buy anything else, and I wouldn’t pay money to my ISP, and I wouldn’t buy the hardware I currently use.

    But like I said. I don’t really care. I can live without this stuff. It’s just that at this moment in time, I’m a really prolific and totally unrepentant thief.

    Comment by Dizzy — April 14, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

  36. Graeme – Good point, although filesharing itself isn’t illegal, and there are plenty of legally downloadable movies you can obtain through torrenting. The MPs don’t understand that, or much about the internet at all for that matter. Their speeches on youtube really bring shame on New Zealand >.< The only one that wasn't condescending and ignorant was Gareth Hughes' speech.

    Comment by Zo Zhou — April 14, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

  37. all irrelevant “analogies” aside

    Well, yeah, I’m not the hugest fan myself, but it was insider who started talking about petrol stations. I reiterate my point that “copying” is not the same as “taking”, and so-called “property” in ideas (such as copyright) should not be compared to actual, tangible forms of property – it should be evaluated on its own terms.

    Comment by derp de derp — April 14, 2011 @ 11:22 pm

  38. Or if they restricted offenders to ports 80 & 443, then families would still be able do internet banking etc but not be able to share files.

    Except they wouldn’t be able to do DNS lookups (port 53) and wouldn’t be able to assign themselves a dynamic IP address (port 68 for IPv4 or 546 for IPv6). And if they used an email client on their computer rather than webmail (some email providers do not offer webmail interfaces, and some people prefer not to use them), they would be unable to access email (various ports depending on protocol used). It would also restrict them from other activities, such as accessing FTP servers to download files, using IRC, accessing newsgroups, and using SSH, Telnet, or LDAP. This is not to mention the fact that modern BitTorrent clients allow you to set the port used by the application.

    Comment by derp de derp — April 14, 2011 @ 11:32 pm

  39. that’s the big issue for me. I get really sick of the industry’s lost revenue claims assuming that every single pirate who pillages their movie from teh intertubez would otherwise certainly pay full price to see it at iMax in 3D for $40 (incl popcorn). It’s ludicrous.

    Or that every single pirate who downloads a TV episode deprives them of a boxed-set DVD sale. That’s even more ludicrous. The real victim is the local broadcaster, who is deprived of the advertising revenue from your eyeballs when they decide to screen it (assuming they do, and that its not at an inconvenient time, and that they don’t make it unwatchable with ads). And the cost of that is SFA.

    Comment by Idiot/Savant — April 15, 2011 @ 2:59 am

  40. - derp de derp @ 11:32 pm
    “…DNS lookups (port 53)…”

    Yes, I didn’t want to go into detail.

    The point is, it is quite straight forward to restrict connections without cutting them off.

    For example speed reduction. ISPs do this when you run over your quota each month. They reduce your speed, which makes file sharing unusable. But you can still browse and email.

    Or, there is filtering software/equipment at the ISP level that can distinguish file sharing traffic.

    Comment by Graeme — April 15, 2011 @ 8:29 am

  41. It staggers me how many people think it’s OK to rip stuff off on the internet because it is easy to do and no one gets hurt.

    And it is all somehow justified because estimates of the lost revenue are exaggerated or to punish people for so is a breach of their rights/freedom.

    It’s theft people, pure and simple and I hope you get caught.

    Comment by ieuan — April 15, 2011 @ 9:41 am

  42. God don’t encourage filtering for torrents. Every time they try that on they nuke all the other modern web apps that use p2p to lighten the hosts bandwidth costs. Like pretty much every game in existence.

    Comment by greg — April 15, 2011 @ 9:45 am

  43. To 32, who said “Music piracy never substantially hurt the recording industries”

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/02/02/news/companies/napster_music_industry/

    I know there are other ways to make money in the music industry which are being successfully exploited by some parties, and I know the nineties are over, but come on – We’re talking about billions of dollars of damage here.

    The end result is that recording companies are taking far fewer risks, releasing only the most inane mainstream bullshit. I’m talking Beiber, people.

    Yes, the industry needs to change to keep up with the times/technology, but don’t say that pirating music hasn’t affected the music industry, because it definitely has.

    Comment by Brad — April 15, 2011 @ 9:47 am

  44. Brad: perhaps the widespread release of inane bullshit is partly to blame for the reduction in sales?

    Radiohead released In Rainbows in ’07-08 as a “choose how much to pay” download. I personally paid nothing – I’m not a fan, but the gf was interested – but the average price paid was about 4 pounds.

    http://tinyurl.com/3n73xug

    There are numerous examples of bands using the internet as leverage on the way to stardom – Arctic Monkeys spring to mind, but other bands like the Kings of Leon have made singles available for download to generate interest.

    http://tinyurl.com/4yxdren

    The fact is: if your material is accessible, people will pay for it. What they don’t want to pay is some ridiculous price where more than half of the revenue is kept by a label, and increasingly people don’t want to pay for a full album when there are only 3-4 good songs on it. Downloading for free is one way to sample the album. What the public want in order to buy music has changed. The recording industry has not. Maybe they should catch up?

    Comment by Simon Poole — April 15, 2011 @ 10:24 am

  45. I agree with ieuan on a purely technical level. You can justify piracy all you want but ultimately it is theft and if you get done for it, well you don’t have a leg to stand on. However on an emotional level I’m cheering the likes of Dizzy on. Corporates treat us with utter contempt and if they’re getting ripped off, if they’re hurting, stuff them. I don’t care because I think they deserve everything they get. I’m not a pirate but I refuse to condemn anyone who is.

    Ranting aside, if we’re simply talking about lost revenue, why is piracy so much more of an issue now? It’s certainly been happening all my life – when I was a kid in the 80s we had dual tape decks for copying cassettes, and virtually all the computer games except the old Atari cartridges were pirated. Yet the creative industries haven’t died – there was pap coming out then just as there is timeless art being created now.

    And why the focus on downloading in 2011 when it’s a simple matter to rent CDs, DVDs and games from libraries and video stores and copy them? On top of that, half of my CD collection was bought second hand, so the recording industry was technically “cheated” out of hundreds of sales there too. This law makes no sense – it’s unworkable and will solve nothing.

    Comment by Purple-Shirted Eye Stabber — April 15, 2011 @ 10:27 am

  46. Oh, does anyone know where we’re up to with format shifting? Is it still illegal for me to copy my CD collection onto my PC?

    Comment by Simon Poole — April 15, 2011 @ 10:32 am

  47. Simon, what you’re saying is true. New business models are emerging all the time which take advantage of the changing landscape of the music industry, and some are profiting well from it. Good for them. The thing I don’t agree with is the opinion some people seem to have, that music piracy is a victimless crime. It HAS seriously affected revenue streams for many parties. Yes, large corporations have lost the most, whereas established artists have been able to suppliment their income but charging more for live performances. But it’s a lot more difficult for a new artist to establish themselves today, since signings by major labels are way down, and they won’t take the same kind of risks on less mainstream artists, that they would have in the past. (If I’m not mistaken (I might be) most metal bands in the nineties were basically funded by Mariah Carey and Celine Dion)

    Regarding question 46, I believe that qualifies as ‘fair use’ in the USA, not sure about here, but i don’t think you’re going to run into any problems.

    Comment by Brad — April 15, 2011 @ 11:22 am

  48. Another thought is that the industry content providers who will help UFB have value to the consumer is TV/Movie/Music/Games so tightening up laws in this space was kinda inevitable.

    Comment by able the amish — April 15, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

  49. Simon @ 46.
    Format shifting of sound recordings has been permitted since 2008, provided certain conditions are met (for example the copy must be made from a legitimate original, no more than 1 copy for each device, and for personal use only: see s 81A of the Copyright Act 1994.

    Only applies to sound recordings though: tough luck if you want to, say, rip a legally owned DVD movie into an iPod-friendly format.

    Comment by Jordan — April 15, 2011 @ 1:25 pm


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The Rubric Theme. Blog at WordPress.com.

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