A Warning To All You Thieves

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The crackdown, which included seizing assets from 15 bank accounts, involved police, customs and the movie industry.
The closure of the sites, which had 6.7m visitors combined each month, was described as the "largest takedown of illegal movie and TV websites in a single action" by the government.
BBC News - US cracks down on online film piracy

At the moment it's the film industry, but it's still a move in the right direction and there's light at the end of the tunnel for digital product creators. Who knows how long the tunnel will be, but hey.

Apparently some of the sites they took down only linked to content hosted on third party servers. Fantastic because that excuse has been used by sites that contain links which enable people to steal our stuff (even if the downloads are infected with trojans), for years.
#thieves #warning
  • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
    Originally Posted by Louise Evans View Post

    Apparently some of the sites they took down only linked to content hosted on third party servers. Fantastic because that excuse has been used by sites that contain links which enable people to steal our stuff (even if the downloads are infected with trojans), for years.
    I'm not sure I agree with that. It's a very slippery slope. Where does it go from there?

    For example, let's say I link to a website that has a lot of content. Turns out later that they had been stealing that content from other sites without permission. Can I get in trouble for linking to them? If so, that means I would have to vet every site I link to. Even then, the website owner could lie to me. Maybe they stole the content from an offline source I don't have access to. Do I need to get the website owner to sign a statement confirming originality before I link to them?

    Once we head down that slope, it would then be in everyone's self-interest not to link to anyone. It can be challenging enough to find trustworthy writers for your own site; we don't need the additional hassle of confirming the status of every site we link to.

    The only ones that would be able to afford to link to anyone would be the big sites, and then we've created a situation where we've raised the barriers to entry so it'll be difficult for small sites to start up and get noticed. It'll be like TV or cable; instead of millions of websites to choose from, you might have a few hundred.

    So, I'm not sure this is something to celebrate. Sure, it's a good thing to shut down piracy, but the way they're doing it is something that should concern us all.
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    • Profile picture of the author mcmahanusa
      Dan,

      You raise a valid point. Headlines and actions like these are typical of government overkill, primarily in the bureaucratic need to get publicity and gain power. It's a way of justifying their next request for a budget increase. All too often policing agencies, looking for the easiest target (i.e., criminals who don't carry guns and won't fight back other with that deadliest of weapons, lawyers), throw out the baby with the bath water, and then throw out the mother as well.

      Sadly, we live (okay, have always lived) in a time when headlines and the need for power assume dominance over the need for thoughtful, well-considered and effective action.
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    • Profile picture of the author N4PGW
      Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

      I'm not sure I agree with that. It's a very slippery slope. Where does it go from there?

      For example, let's say I link to a website that has a lot of content. Turns out later that they had been stealing that content from other sites without permission. Can I get in trouble for linking to them? If so, that means I would have to vet every site I link to. Even then, the website owner could lie to me. Maybe they stole the content from an offline source I don't have access to. Do I need to get the website owner to sign a statement confirming originality before I link to them?
      I would certainly hope the authorities would recognize the difference between an arbitrary link to an illegal site and a site that specializes in linking to stolen materials. These busts are not being pushed by the authorities, but by the industry leaders, in this case, the movie industry.

      If Mike Filsaime and others with his kind of income decided to launch similar busts, would you expect them to spend their resources on trying to bust someone like you or me who happens to have one or two stray links or someone with a site whose well known purpose is to link to stolen materials?

      The underground websites that give away IM material is minuscule and hard to find by comparison. Likewise the financial damage is much less. Let's face it, when less than 1/2 of the buyers of digital material actually use it, how many people who steal it will actually use it?

      I can imagine that eventually, someone making enough money in IM could organize a bust on a site or two, but even if they do, I doubt they will expend the resources required to bust everyone with a stray link to the theft sites. It is counter-productive to their profits.

      Let's face it, if my sites were to have a lot of legitimate links and one to a stolen product of yours, how would you react? How would you react if you received a contact from me that said you were linked to a stolen version of my product but here is a legitimate link you can use?

      I recently experienced an interesting ordeal. I contacted a product reseller and over a series of a dozen or more emails discussed the product with him. I decided to buy the product and sent my $47.00. However, after more than 24 hours and before I could get a reply from the seller (a holiday weekend, I believe) I found a site offering a $7.00 copy. I bought it, and assume it is legitimate. Then, before the original seller responded, I received a number of old emails including the link to the original purchase. My ISP had a system burp and caused the delay. Each one offers 30-60 days refund, so, from whom should I request the refund?
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      • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
        Originally Posted by TMG Enterprises View Post

        Why is this okay but sharing a digital ebook is bad? I'm not talking about uploading it for the world to access, either. But letting a friend read it or something like that.
        Either the Kindle or the Nook lets you do that. They've made it more akin to the real world. When you loan someone your eBook, you cannot access it, just like you would not be able to access a physical book on loan to a friend. You cannot access that eBook again until they have returned it to you.

        And that might be a potential solution in the future. A virtual "This book belongs to..." book plate. In order to be effective, it would need to be an industry standard probably. It'd need to be document-centric and not application- or device-centric.

        There'd have to be a way for the file to not be opened or used if it was copied widely, such that if it wound up on a server, no one's going to be able to open it unless the owner of that copy releases it to someone. And still then only that individual would be able to open it.

        You'd have to be able to move it across devices that you own (as well as probably have a backup copy or access to re-download, but preferably your own backup or both) without issues. But, if you loaned it to someone, you wouldn't be able to access it until it was "returned."

        That would be a good solution that relies on technology rather than politicians. How feasible and practical it would be, though, I don't know.

        Originally Posted by N4PGW View Post

        I would certainly hope the authorities would recognize the difference between an arbitrary link to an illegal site and a site that specializes in linking to stolen materials. These busts are not being pushed by the authorities, but by the industry leaders, in this case, the movie industry.
        I wouldn't count on that. If history is any example, and it is, laws will be used beyond the original intent of the laws. If they want to get someone, they'll find a law to do it, even if the intent of the law had nothing to do with what it ultimately gets used for.

        Once the law goes on the books, then people will start thinking, well, if we can use it for this, why can't we use it for this?

        Don't like what a blogger says about certain government officials? Well, let's see if he has any questionable hyperlinks to bad websites...
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
    Originally Posted by Louise Evans View Post

    BBC News - US cracks down on online film piracy

    At the moment it's the film industry, but it's still a move in the right direction and there's light at the end of the tunnel for digital product creators. Who knows how long the tunnel will be, but hey.

    Apparently some of the sites they took down only linked to content hosted on third party servers. Fantastic because that excuse has been used by sites that contain links which enable people to steal our stuff (even if the downloads are infected with trojans), for years.
    Information wants to be free. It doesn't matter whether we want it to or not. If you want it to not be copied and shared, you can't put it on the internet ever. Copying and sharing is the mechanism by which we deliver the merchandise, so you can't ever stop that from happening.

    You can try, but it will usually only interfere with the people who would otherwise just pay for your stuff anyway.

    All that being said, I think the smart thing for information marketers to do is just go ahead and ASSUME piracy and eventual leakage of all products, and focus on making the stuff we sell worth buying ANYWAY.

    If you do that, even your leaked stuff just acts as free advertising, because if they have to come back to you for the rest, or more, or the full story - whatever - it really doesn't matter whether it got shared or not.

    I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me, but I believe that if you're selling purely digital content, just go ahead and assume internally that it's a FREE product and build your systems around that assumption. Then enjoy the fact that you get to sell it and some people will pay for your free, premium content.

    It's just an attitude shift, but I think the more people take it, the more they'll see how easy it is to stop worrying and actually let the pirates and thieves do work FOR you instead of you trying to get them to stop doing something they can't help.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

      Information wants to be free.
      Information doesn't "want" anything, and movies are considerably more than just information. It is entertainment with a high cost to deliver.

      Thieves want information to be free ... and music, and movies. The more of them that are caught and punished, the better.
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      • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
        Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

        Information doesn't "want" anything, and movies are considerably more than just information. It is entertainment with a high cost to deliver.

        Thieves want information to be free ... and music, and movies. The more of them that are caught and punished, the better.
        Sorry - I should have cited that - it's not just a thing I was saying off the top of my head:

        Information wants to be free - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

        "Information wants to be free is a slogan expressing the view that the limiting the exchange of information becomes increasingly difficult over time, due to technological progress."

        I happen to believe it to be true. Information "wants" to be free in the sense that the only reason it exists is to be shared. Fundamentally, at the DNA level, we are, ourselves information, and it too wants to copy and spread as freely as possible.

        We watch movies we love and they trigger emotional patterns and become memories and we want to share those with people close to us, so we rent the movie and watch it together again. Then it's in our heads.

        Then we talk about that experience with others, to discuss, reminisce, even just quote.

        The information will not be contained. It's a liquid. It's a viral contagion. If I listen to a whole album at someone's home have I not copied that information into my own brain? Do I then have to go buy a digital copy on plastic to justify my enjoyment?

        Information will spread, period - we are living information distribution organisms, and through the internet it's becoming truer and more unstoppable every day.

        I know that's all metaphysical-y and stuff, but I believe it. The reason these mass entertainment models are being decimated right now is that they are built around an obsolete package (physical and temporal specific delivery) and they are wholly invested in the delivery and control systems in order to profit.

        They are losing money precisely for the reason you describe in that the COSTS they've accumulated to keep creating this entertainment are based upon the need for all the machinery and complicated access structures.

        Those have aaaaaaall faded away. And it turns out MORE people will watch some randomly selected nobodies from the Jersey Shore than will go and see a new movie with Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise.

        That's the other "obsolete" package that big media has invested in and that's the idea that we would be more fascinated with the beautiful, rich, and famous than we would be with the endless variety available if ONLY we ALL had the means to create the content.

        With the web, we do. Information wants to be free is TRUE because it's already happening. The explosion of the internet is proof - everything is on the internet now. Why? So we can share it.
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        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
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          Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post


          With the web, we do. Information wants to be free is TRUE because it's already happening. The explosion of the internet is proof - everything is on the internet now. Why? So we can share it.
          Well, there's a whole bunch of people here who are actually selling information rather than "sharing" it and probably many of those are the same ones who feel that they're entitled to other people's intellectual property simply because the technology exists that allows them to rip it off.

          Discussing a novel or movie you've experienced is far different than "shoplifting" simply because you think it "should" be shared.
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          • Profile picture of the author tecHead
            Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

            Well, there's a whole bunch of people here who are actually selling information rather than "sharing" it and probably many of those are the same ones who feel that they're entitled to other people's intellectual property simply because the technology exists that allows them to rip it off.

            Discussing a novel or movie you've experienced is far different than "shoplifting" simply because you think it "should" be shared.
            I think you might be pitting morals against progress, here; no offense.

            At one point in time, in the US it was morally unacceptable for a man to even hint towards the fact that he wasn't interested in women intimately; now there are states that allow two men to get married.

            With progress comes moral adjustments; otherwise we remain stagnant.
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            • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
              Originally Posted by tecHead View Post

              With progress comes moral adjustments; otherwise we remain stagnant.
              Moral "adjustments" are only indicative of moral adjustments and do not necessarily equate to progress.

              Consider human history. When has the most progress been made? Was it when kings owned all that was in their realm? Was it when everything belonged to everyone? Or was it when people owned their own things?
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              • Profile picture of the author tecHead
                Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

                Moral "adjustments" are only indicative of moral adjustments and do not necessarily equate to progress.

                Consider human history. When has the most progress been made? Was it when kings owned all that was in their realm? Was it when everything belonged to everyone? Or was it when people owned their own things?
                Reversing a quadratic equation doesn't always produce the same result.

                I don't think I said moral adjustments equate to progress; what I said was "WITH progress comes moral adjustments".

                There's a distinct difference between the two statements.
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                • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
                  Originally Posted by tecHead View Post

                  I don't think I said moral adjustments equate to progress; what I said was "WITH progress comes moral adjustments".
                  You also added to that "otherwise we remain stagnant". Stagnation would be a lack of change. If moral adjustments do not occur following progress, then it cannot be considered progress because progress without moral adjustments would equal stagnation, according to your statement. But that wouldn't make sense because progress with or without moral adjustments is still change so it cannot be considered stagnation.

                  Consequently, in order for your statement to be true, moral adjustments must always follow progress else change has not actually occurred. If moral adjustments follow progress, then moral adjustments may indicate progress.

                  But, that doesn't mean moral adjustments cannot occur without progress, so the only thing they can truly be indicative of is that moral adjustments have occurred.
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                  • Profile picture of the author tecHead
                    Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

                    You also added to that "otherwise we remain stagnant". Stagnation would be a lack of change. If moral adjustments do not occur following progress, then it cannot be considered progress because progress without moral adjustments would equal stagnation, according to your statement. But that wouldn't make sense because progress with or without moral adjustments is still change so it cannot be considered stagnation.

                    Consequently, in order for your statement to be true, moral adjustments must always follow progress else change has not actually occurred. If moral adjustments follow progress, then moral adjustments may indicate progress.

                    But, that doesn't mean moral adjustments cannot occur without progress, so the only thing they can truly be indicative of is that moral adjustments have occurred.
                    wow... really? lol, ok... have a drink or smoke a J or somethin', bro.. its not that intense.

                    ...still got love for ya, though
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                    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
                      Originally Posted by tecHead View Post

                      wow... really? lol, ok... have a drink or smoke a J or somethin', bro.. its not that intense.
                      It's a good mental exercise anyway.
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              • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
                Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

                Consider human history. When has the most progress been made? Was it when kings owned all that was in their realm? Was it when everything belonged to everyone? Or was it when people owned their own things?
                Besides right now, in the information age, previously it was the Renaissance, which as you know was the result a widespread cross pollination of culture, ideas and technology. While not explicitly freely shared, they didn't have all kinds of intellectual property rights back then. Seems like they did okay as far as making progress anyways.
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            • Profile picture of the author Lance K
              Originally Posted by tecHead View Post

              With progress comes moral adjustments;
              Wouldn't a "moral adjustment" be considered an oxymoron?
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              • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
                Originally Posted by Lance K View Post

                Wouldn't a "moral adjustment" be considered an oxymoron?
                Only if you think a moral adjustment involves anything more than "changing your mind". Morals aren't objective absolutes. They change to fit culture all the time. Sometimes by the mechanism Dennis talked about a few posts ago, sometimes by other means. Sometimes temporarily, like during a war occupation. Sometimes permanently, like in the case of the abolishment of slavery.
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                • Profile picture of the author Lance K
                  Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                  Only if you think a moral adjustment involves anything more than "changing your mind". Morals aren't objective absolutes. They change to fit culture all the time. Sometimes by the mechanism Dennis talked about a few posts ago, sometimes by other means. Sometimes temporarily, like during a war occupation. Sometimes permanently, like in the case of the abolishment of slavery.
                  I see what you're saying. But I could change my mind about robbing a bank if I get to a certain point of desperation. That doesn't make it moral though. Same with slavery. Just because it existed in a culture doesn't validate it's morality.
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                • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                  Colin,

                  One of the interesting things about citations is that so many people assume they don't need to be checked.

                  The whole quote, as you know, is: "On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it's so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other."

                  Piracy is a very different issue. It's a matter of the adoption of a belief that "Because we can, we should." Also objectively stated as "Might makes right."

                  The cleverly worded comment by the young creator of gnutella is nothing more than that: You can't stop us, so deal with it. Confusing that with the impact of lowered cost of delivery and more democratized mechanisms for production and sale is a dangerous path to put people on. It makes the criminals feel like revolutionaries.


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                  • Profile picture of the author tecHead
                    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                    Colin,

                    One of the interesting things about citations is that so many people assume they don't need to be checked.

                    The whole quote, as you know, is: "On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it's so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other."
                    In reference to this quote, I think Colin said...

                    Originally Posted by Colin Theriot

                    Info pirates are a side effect of the info-wanting-to-be-free bit, aren't they? They exist only because of the tools that are talked about as part of the mechanisms the axiom DOES refer to.
                    .. which I will wholeheartedly agree with, for the most part; as every pirate that I know has a Robin Hood mentality as to why they do what they do.

                    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                    Piracy is a very different issue. It's a matter of the adoption of a belief that "Because we can, we should." Also objectively stated as "Might makes right."
                    More like a "because they're forcing us to AND we can, we should to teach them a lesson"

                    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                    The cleverly worded comment by the young creator of gnutella is nothing more than that: You can't stop us, so deal with it. Confusing that with the impact of lowered cost of delivery and more democratized mechanisms for production and sale is a dangerous path to put people on. It makes the criminals feel like revolutionaries.


                    Paul
                    gNutella dude wasn't saying "deal with it"; he was saying, "If you're not going to include us into the profit scenario, deal with it."... there's a difference.

                    Out of all of the hackers I know of, a good 90% of them are (for the most part) good kids. The evil ones are called crackers and will correct you with great conviction regarding the difference between the two.

                    The hackers/pirates are the side-effect of an overly bloated pricing system due to greedy CEOs. (this is NOT a justification -- its an understanding).
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                  • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
                    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                    Colin,
                    Paul, first I want to say it's awesome how you put my name in the posts in response. It has an immediate impact on me, and I am totally going to crib it. I'm a big fan of your newsletter, and I study it intently on multiple levels.

                    Thanks a bunch for contributing to clarifying ANYTHING I may write here (or even elsewhere). Some people argue just to argue, but I read your comments with great thought and care.

                    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                    One of the interesting things about citations is that so many people assume they don't need to be checked.

                    The whole quote, as you know, is: "On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it's so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other."
                    Yes, that is the full quote. And it is, what I think the issue at hand is, fundamentally.

                    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                    Piracy is a very different issue. It's a matter of the adoption of a belief that "Because we can, we should." Also objectively stated as "Might makes right."
                    This is what I mean - Pirates are essentially taking control of the slider knob between information being free and information being expensive. They are using the technology to FORCE the equation in a way that's so powerful that the people with a vested interest in the other end of the slider are taking notice.

                    What they're doing is trying to use to law to swat them away from the switch, but the fact is THEY are the ones who create the content and distribute it. They are the ones who are in control of what the slider is attached to.

                    So if you re-engineer things so that the distance between "profitable" and "easily distributed without getting paid" are closer together, you minimize the impact they can have on your business, while maximizing your own use of the technology they take advantage of.

                    Sort of how some shipping companies that had problems with pirates back in the day switched from big slow frigates that carried tons of cargo, to using smaller, faster, more maneuverable ships just like the pirates used. They ended up doing even better than they had before, because they could more efficiently distribute the goods for maximum profit, and they minimalized the loss of a single ship, not just to pirates, but to storms or reefs or whatnot.

                    The companies that did this actually ended up being profitable enough to NOT CARE about the pirates on the large, saved money on hiring war ships, and even got less piracy due to being less appealing, harder to catch targets.

                    Now, I know there's not a 1 to 1 comparison from actual seafaring pirates to information pirates. But I'm trying to make the point that sometimes accommodating for contamination allows you to leap beyond what you'd otherwise be able to do if not so challenged.

                    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                    The cleverly worded comment by the young creator of gnutella is nothing more than that: You can't stop us, so deal with it. Confusing that with the impact of lowered cost of delivery and more democratized mechanisms for production and sale is a dangerous path to put people on. It makes the criminals feel like revolutionaries.
                    Revolutionaries are almost always considered criminals while the revolution is taking place. In fact, most of them ARE criminals in the strictest sense.

                    Regardless of their motives and whether we agree with them morally, there's no denying that at least from the standpoint of historical effectiveness - they HAVE revolutionized the way we apply technology both to mass media and just sharing between computers.

                    And listen, pirates who are sharing stuff are not just people who don't feel like paying for stuff. Those people are being used by the people with a higher political agenda for the internet. The kind of people who talk about Temporary Autonomous Zones and read Neal Stephenson and want it to come true.

                    There's a political movement that has harnessed thievery to accomplish its own agenda, and it is going to result in a fundamental change in the way people globally think about intellectual property, and the creation and commoditization of it. It's already happening in business, as I've pointed out.

                    And the thing is, the Gnutella kid irks me to no end. How dare you go forcing me to deal with a nuisance. But the thing is, he's RIGHT. We can't stop them. This won't stop them. Crushing Napster didn't work. They can't kill Pirate Bay - those guys lost the case and yet away it goes.

                    I read an article that those guys actually have no idea where the servers even are - the principals are not involved in the running of the site, and it's stored in multiple redundant locations. They couldn't shut it down on purpose themselves even if they wanted to.

                    They did this not as a way to avoid legal punishment. They can't and they haven't - they've been found guilty but so... Now what?

                    Why would they do that? It's a belief. It's a movement. It doesn't matter whether we think they are actual revolutionaries or not because they already think they are. They have an actual political party. It's well past that particular concern being anything we can act on.

                    This goes beyond some people wanting to steal stuff and justifying it with politics. There are people involved at the highest level of the "piracy" movement who are coming at it from the other end - they have a political agenda first, and are using piracy to effectively mess with the other side long enough to further its own agenda.

                    Within my lifetime, the concept of copyright as it exists now is going to be fundamentally changed. And you know what? I'm not so sure it's to my benefit if the side that's for information being expensive wins.

                    Because they are old and ingrained and slow to evolve, the only ways they know to protect that value is to crush the mechanisms that make it freely distributable. I like my internet the way it is. I really do. It's nice to have a frontier left where I can stake a claim and have a go.

                    I feel like if the big lumbering side wins, some babies are going to get thrown out with the bathwater in the process.

                    But like I've already pointed out, there are a number of innovative businesses that are incorporating the decentralization of distribution directly into their business models and thriving.

                    No line in the sand, no immovable stance, but it's not just turning the other cheek, either. They're saying okay - these are all the benefits of piracy - how can I offer every single one of those EXCEPT "free" and then price it fairly.

                    I'm a customer of every one of those businesses I named. And I'm happy because I get what I want, when I want it, and nothing I don't want. That's not anything big media EVER would have even TRIED to give had not piracy changed the landscape around them.

                    Now, I don't want to make these guys seem like Robin-hoods because they aren't. Some of them are cheapskates, some are robber-resellers, some just trade and don't think it's bad, and like I said, some don't care about the media being shared at all.

                    But they're all criminals in a very real way. Doesn't mean they're all bad people. Just like during prohibition, every boozer was committing a crime. But everyone did it and wanted to do it and the people doing it didn't even think it was bad. We all know info pirates. They are not a villainous force out there somewhere. They are us.
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                    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                      Banned
                      Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                      We all know info pirates. They are not a villainous force out there somewhere. They are us.
                      Please do not include me in the collective "us" category. I am not a part of this Us and don't care to be. If I know an info pirate it is because we are pitted against each other. I spend a certain amount of time fighting pirates who aren't even selling my stuff. They are selling everyone else's stuff. They are not "sharing" the information ... they are profiting from it and preventing you from profiting from it by selling it cheaper.

                      They are not revolutionizing an industry. There's nothing glorious about what they are doing. They are villains. They are criminals.
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                      • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
                        There is one thing that has bothered me for a long time when it comes to info-products, mainly ebooks. I have never once hesitated to share a physical book with someone that might enjoy it. We even have libraries so thousands of people can read the same copy of a book.

                        Why is this okay but sharing a digital ebook is bad? I'm not talking about uploading it for the world to access, either. But letting a friend read it or something like that.

                        For the record, so I don't get beat up in here...lol...this is not something that I do because I know it's frowned upon. But I think there is a big difference between sharing with a friend compared to wholesale giving out of the information.

                        I also know that there are very few people who would hesitate to play a DVD movie with a group of friends - in fact, I don't know anyone who would tell their friend to go buy their own copy.

                        Okay, I guess I'm rambling now but this is just something that I've wondered about for a while.

                        Tina
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                        • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
                          Originally Posted by TMG Enterprises View Post

                          There is one thing that has bothered me for a long time when it comes to info-products, mainly ebooks. I have never once hesitated to share a physical book with someone that might enjoy it. We even have libraries so thousands of people can read the same copy of a book.

                          Why is this okay but sharing a digital ebook is bad? I'm not talking about uploading it for the world to access, either. But letting a friend read it or something like that.
                          Tina, I wouldn't have a problem with that if they read the ebook on your computer. It's when copies are made and redistributed that it becomes a problem for me. With a library book, you're letting the person read your copy, not making them a copy for themselves. No problem to me if you want to let them sit at your computer and read your your copy.
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                          • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
                            Dennis, that's a very good point about making a copy. That does make sense.

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                          • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
                            Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                            Tina, I wouldn't have a problem with that if they read the ebook on your computer. It's when copies are made and redistributed that it becomes a problem for me. With a library book, you're letting the person read your copy, not making them a copy for themselves. No problem to me if you want to let them sit at your computer and read your your copy.
                            This is a point I have tried to make but probably didn't so well, but you provide a good representation.

                            Feeling this way about a digital book takes away all of the benefit of an e-book over a regular book. It actually makes it LESS useful because it's less portable. That's taking an old concept and trying to insist the technology work to suit the old model, and this is what happens.

                            What if I put the ebook on my e-reader and let my friend borrow it? Would I then have to delete the copy on my computer? What about the copy I keep on my backup drive?

                            When you create a piece of electronic media, it will behave like electronic media because people will treat it like what it is, not how you want them to treat it. If you create your electronic media from the standpoint of what it ACTUALLY IS, you can gain a benefit.

                            And that will be a benefit that NO ONE ELSE adhering to the old model will have, and thus grant an advantage. This is how Netflix killed Blockbuster. Blockbuster saw them as a competitor. Netflix didn't even care Blockbuster existed.

                            Now taking that same concept from the product itself to the medium in general - play to its strengths. The internet is a content sharing machine. This is what is does. In order for you to even sell electronic downloads, the VERY ACTIONS required to pirate your material take place - namely it's copied, and sent to someone.

                            You will never ever be able to stop that from happening. So who cares how wrong it is, or illegal, or who does it? It's an inevitability. It's shrinkage. If you have content that you don't want shared, don't put it in a digital format.

                            Everything else, don't just assume it will - EMBRACE that it will and plan for it. Do what you can to make it valuable to you and then otherwise ignore it.
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                            • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
                              Meant to include this in my last post...

                              Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                              This is a point I have tried to make but probably didn't so well, but you provide a good representation.

                              Feeling this way about a digital book takes away all of the benefit of an e-book over a regular book. It actually makes it LESS useful because it's less portable. That's taking an old concept and trying to insist the technology work to suit the old model, and this is what happens.
                              I always thought the true benefits of any book, print or digital, was found in the content. You're talking about the benefits of one system of presentation over another. In that regard, ebooks have benefits that print books do not. Instant publication (I know, the gap has narrowed a lot), instant delivery, instantly updated for relevance are three examples that come to mind.

                              And now, off to work I go...
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                        • Profile picture of the author theimdude
                          Originally Posted by TMG Enterprises View Post

                          There is one thing that has bothered me for a long time when it comes to info-products, mainly ebooks. I have never once hesitated to share a physical book with someone that might enjoy it. We even have libraries so thousands of people can read the same copy of a book.

                          Why is this okay but sharing a digital ebook is bad? I'm not talking about uploading it for the world to access, either. But letting a friend read it or something like that.

                          For the record, so I don't get beat up in here...lol...this is not something that I do because I know it's frowned upon. But I think there is a big difference between sharing with a friend compared to wholesale giving out of the information.

                          I also know that there are very few people who would hesitate to play a DVD movie with a group of friends - in fact, I don't know anyone who would tell their friend to go buy their own copy.

                          Tina
                          • If you walk into a library, take a book of a shelf, walk to the copy machine and copy the whole book and walk out it is called stealing
                          • If you take a ebook you just purchased from a clickbank vendor copy it and give it to your best friend it is called stealing
                          • If you take a dvd from a shop and copy it and return it is is also called stealing
                          Not sure why if you give something to a "friend" it escape the "stealing part"

                          However if you go to a library read a book, watch a dvd with friends, or sit in front of you laptop and read a ebook that is not stealing

                          Not sure why this is so difficult to understand
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                        • Profile picture of the author N4PGW
                          Originally Posted by TMG Enterprises View Post

                          There is one thing that has bothered me for a long time when it comes to info-products, mainly ebooks. I have never once hesitated to share a physical book with someone that might enjoy it. We even have libraries so thousands of people can read the same copy of a book.

                          Why is this okay but sharing a digital ebook is bad? I'm not talking about uploading it for the world to access, either. But letting a friend read it or something like that.

                          <snip>

                          I also know that there are very few people who would hesitate to play a DVD movie with a group of friends - in fact, I don't know anyone who would tell their friend to go buy their own copy.
                          <snip>

                          Tina
                          The library is a read-and-discard system. A reader does not have the ability to provide the book to hundreds of other people for free and even the library pays for the book unless it is donated.

                          Even the RIAA said they never really had a problem with people who copied music for their immediate family and a friend or two. Five purchases for every six or seven copies was not a bad ratio. However, when one person buys an album and then distributes it massively to tens of thousands of strangers, the ratio becomes unacceptable.

                          Disney does not care if I show Snow White to ten of my friends and family at home, but if a church or other organization holds a public showing where everyone is invited or encouraged to invite others, they frown on that because it says not to do so in the beginning credits.

                          Some are not allowed to be used by 'lending libraries' and thus that material cannot be legally distributed even in the local public library.

                          Are you a member of the War Room? There is your library. Many authors offer free copies of their books for 'personal use only'(PU). I have acquired a lot of this material and enjoy learning from it. Some are WSOs for sale that I have received for free. (Bare in mind that some products allow redistribution with RR, PLR and Giveaway rights.)


                          I would like to know how other marketers think about this concerning their products:

                          If a customer bought my PU product and has two friends he works together with to help each other use my product to learn how to earn money, and they succeed doing so, I would really hope that each of the three would purchase my product. However, it would not bother me much, if at all.

                          However, if I visited a local IM meeting and found someone passing around CDs for each visitor to copy my anthology to their computers ... for no better reason than to distribute it... I would tend to want to call my lawyer or the local district attorney.

                          Knowledge cannot be copyrighted, only the expression of the knowledge such as a book. I can create a similar story to Snow White, produce a cartoon or movie and sell it. I can't use the characters, graphics or story line in the exact same way, but I can produce what is known as a knock-off.

                          IM has the same thing happen all the time. A person discovers a new technique and either releases a new product or announces the technique in the Warrior Forum. Then three to six months later I see similar ads coming out: "I was selling pencils at intersections and suddenly discovered this new technique where I suddenly made a million dollars in my first month." It is the same technique that they learned from a fellow Warrior or purchased in a course. The technique is the same, but the document that explains it is different, sometimes very different, sometimes just a little, but enough that it is not the same copyrighted material.

                          I saw this happen with a tip on the Warrior forum just recently. Someone freely announced how to send a notice to Aweber that will reduce your monthly expenses with them. Then, a few months later at least two different people were selling $7-$17 books on how they "discovered" a way to save tens to hundreds of dollars a month with Aweber.

                          I am curious, did we all 'discover' how to read?
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                      • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
                        Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                        They are not revolutionizing an industry. There's nothing glorious about what they are doing. They are villains. They are criminals.
                        Sbucciarel puts it well right here. This thread has been all over the map with many good points. However, without all the philosophizing to me it is very simple.

                        There are burglars that successfully steal from homes in my city every day. We still try to stop them - we still try to prosecute them. They get better at breaking in - alarm and lock companies get better at keeping them out... and on it goes.

                        Intellectual property thieves will never stop. Just because it is easy and prevalent doesn't make it less wrong though, and it doesn't mean we should just give up. We should keep trying to stop them and we should keep trying to prosecute them!
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                        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                          Banned
                          Originally Posted by ProductCreator View Post

                          All I see is one side against the other. I don't see any solutions where everbody wins and I think this problem is just indicative of wider societal problems.

                          Hundreds of millions of "digital criminals". I don't understand why some people have their head in the sand about this. Do some really believe that these "criminals" deserve to share jails with rapists, drug dealers and murderers?


                          btw hands up here anyone who used to have a duplicate tape recorder back in the 80s/90s. Is anyone who owned one of these a criminal?
                          Absolutely believe that thieves of music, movies and digital products belong with their buddies in jails or with enormous fines and freezing of their bank accounts and assets in cases where they are profiting from their theft. Why anyone feels that it is less criminal to steal products that I and many people work our butts off to create and make a living from, is beyond me and same with the movie and music industry.

                          ... and no, I never had a duplicate tape recorder, but TOS of many pieces of software, etc allow the making of a backup copy for personal use, and as long as it is used as a backup copy, that is not illegal. It is the copying and unathorized distribution that make it a crime. That should be fairly obvious.
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            • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
              Banned
              Originally Posted by tecHead View Post

              I think you might be pitting morals against progress, here; no offense.

              At one point in time, in the US it was morally unacceptable for a man to even hint towards the fact that he wasn't interested in women intimately; now there are states that allow two men to get married.

              With progress comes moral adjustments; otherwise we remain stagnant.
              People make moral adjustments to justify their theft. Quite simply, the movie companies, music peddlers, book authors and info peddlers along with just about every other provider of "things that people want and need" have not progressed to the point that they've decided to give away their goods.

              Just because the thieves have progressed to the point that they can copy and distribute products illegally, doesn't make an argument for progress.

              Progress in my book is developing technology that thwarts all the thieves efforts and they end up in jail where they belong. Now that's progress.
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              • Profile picture of the author tecHead
                Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                People make moral adjustments to justify their theft. Quite simply, the movie companies, music peddlers, book authors and info peddlers along with just about every other provider of "things that people want and need" have not progressed to the point that they've decided to give away their goods.

                Just because the thieves have progressed to the point that they can copy and distribute products illegally, doesn't make an argument for progress.

                Progress in my book is developing technology that thwarts all the thieves efforts and they end up in jail where they belong. Now that's progress.
                Such progress is the antithesis of technology and the information age because as technology is developed and publicized the information on how it was developed is publicized, as well. Thus essentially teaching the thief how to reverse engineer said technology.
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            • Profile picture of the author Doug Olson
              Originally Posted by tecHead View Post

              I think you might be pitting morals against progress, here; no offense.

              At one point in time, in the US it was morally unacceptable for a man to even hint towards the fact that he wasn't interested in women intimately; now there are states that allow two men to get married.

              With progress comes moral adjustments; otherwise we remain stagnant.

              Is that what you would teach your kids? Stick to your morals especially here when you write an article for a product you're selling do you tell everyone they can use it too? at no cost to them?Think about it
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              • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                Colin,

                Thanks for the kind words.
                Some people argue just to argue
                I have rules for when I will argue something, online or off. One of them is to interject when I feel things are being said that will cause harm to people who listen to them without alternative perspectives.
                What they're doing is trying to use to law to swat them away from the switch, but the fact is THEY are the ones who create the content and distribute it. They are the ones who are in control of what the slider is attached to.
                That's got an enormous error in it. They are not creating the content. They are stealing it.

                A secondary error is in the analogy. The market controls any such slider. The thieves have replaced it with a switch.
                So if you re-engineer things so that the distance between "profitable" and "easily distributed without getting paid" are closer together, you minimize the impact they can have on your business, while maximizing your own use of the technology they take advantage of.
                If I'm parsing this correctly, you're saying that reducing prices is the way to reduce piracy. And that is simply not true. I've given plenty of examples of this in the past, and one in this thread.

                If you have some other concrete suggestion that doesn't involve pretty-sounding catchphrases, I'm more than happy to hear them. I think we all would be.

                Keep in mind that I've been an active fan of democratization of information for the entire 15 years I've been online. The newsletter is only a small part of that. I am not opposed to the concepts you're discussing. Just the specific implementation called piracy. I know the effect it has on creators.

                I am quite open to "unreasonable" suggestions. Simply not the idea that we allow these thieves to be called anything but thieves. They're not heroes, they're scum.
                Revolutionaries are almost always considered criminals while the revolution is taking place. In fact, most of them ARE criminals in the strictest sense.
                True. There are different motives for revolution. Pinochet and Jefferson are hardly in the same category, morally, yet they were both revolutionaries in their way. Or, for another comparison, Mandela and Khomeini. Or Dr King and Castro. Or Lech Walesa and Mao Tse Tung.

                They all broke existing law, but there is a large difference in their characters. The most fundamental being, who got the power they sought to usurp?

                I'm aware that it's happening, and equally aware that it cannot be "stopped." I have a very different view than you and tecHead about the nature and motivations of the pirates, though. I know these people. I've dealt with every kind over the past 23 years, and I listen to them. That's the only way you "get" their stories.

                They're thieves, every one of them. The fairy tales they tell themselves and the world about their high-sounding purpose are just that - fairy tales. Stories made up to let them feel good about stealing.

                No faster way to catch the minds of the entitled than to make villains of the people who actually produce something useful.

                Based on that experience, I stand by my belief that the majority of these people are not objecting to greed. They're objecting to price of any kind. The exceptions are the real bottom feeders who steal products and sell copies. But at least they're honest enough to be thieves without asking us to believe they have some moral virtue.

                Yes, places like NetFlix are making useful advantage from the changing technology. That doesn't begin to be the same as outright theft. They've got an honest model that adds value. The pirate does not.
                They are not a villainous force out there somewhere. They are us.
                I will disagree with that completely and utterly.

                The fact that they don't kill babies and eat puppies doesn't make them innocent. It just means they don't kill babies and eat puppies.

                Pirates stifle innovation by removing the incentive to share it, whether through software or informational content. They actively steal from creators. And yes, their actions do encourage people who would otherwise buy a thing to steal it when it's possible. I see that every week, in emails from people and in my own site logs.

                The people who say "They wouldn't buy it anyway" are just clueless. I know better. I've watched it, in real time. I've tailed my logs, and seen people trying to guess download page urls, then disappear for 20 minutes, then come back and order. And no, those people aren't any more likely to refund than anyone else. They're just trying to see if they can steal it, instead of paying for it.

                If we forget the difference between evolution, revolution and banditry, we've lost our social and moral compasses. We're each free to do that if we choose, but it should be an active choice, not the result of imprecise reasoning on a discussion forum.


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                • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
                  Hey Paul,

                  Thanks again for responding.

                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  .That's got an enormous error in it. They are not creating the content. They are stealing it.
                  I didn't word that clearly - the product creators are the ones who control the product the slider is attached to.

                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  A secondary error is in the analogy. The market controls any such slider. The thieves have replaced it with a switch.
                  I'd say that's true generally about the market, but in this case the pirates (who are a minority) are pulling on the switch so hard that the vendors and creators are responding to them, and not the market as a whole.

                  The market isn't buying, but I don't think that's entirely the blame of sharing - I think it's more to do that the selling proposition is no longer compelling in light of the many other entertainment options.

                  We're saying the same thing though - the market can't fairly dictate what it wants because the pirates are jacking with it.

                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  If I'm parsing this correctly, you're saying that reducing prices is the way to reduce piracy. And that is simply not true. I've given plenty of examples of this in the past, and one in this thread.

                  If you have some other concrete suggestion that doesn't involve pretty-sounding catchphrases, I'm more than happy to hear them. I think we all would be.
                  No, what I'm saying is that what I think happens is that when the mode of theft actually provides many advantages OVER legitimate purchase, the old way of selling that product becomes devalued. First it happened in music in the pre-itunes napster days.

                  Why should I pay $20 for a record full of songs I don't want just to get the two I do, when if I steal it, I can search every song known to man, download at home, instantly put it on my ipod, share with friends, make copies, do whatever with it that restrictive DRM may eventually prevent?

                  I may not steal myself, but your product appears to be a ripoff now.

                  Now eventually, Apple came along and showed that if you unbundle the album concept and eliminate the packaging and give the legitimate consumer back ALL the advantages that pirates were getting over them, they proved that people would pay the EXACT SAME price for music on a per song basis.

                  In fact, the individual music shopper actually buys more songs than they did before. But even if they bought the same amount of songs, the profit was more, because of the average number of songs across any given album.

                  So it's not about lowering price, but about bringing the "expensive" packaging and configuring of that product down to a level that met the expectations people had on the ease-of-access side (expectation set by what pirates could do) then they regained not only a profitable business model, but a MORE profitable one before because there's no longer a manufacturing and distribution overhead.

                  How does that map to IM products? I have no idea - that's why I said we should thin about how to do it. It's worked there. It could work here, too.

                  Hopefully I explained that better this time.

                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  Keep in mind that I've been an active fan of democratization of information for the entire 15 years I've been online. The newsletter is only a small part of that. I am not opposed to the concepts you're discussing. Just the specific implementation called piracy. I know the effect it has on creators.
                  I'm morally against it too. They aren't the hero of the story I'm telling here - they are a villain that changes everything. Kind of like Empire Strikes Back. They are literally poking the status quo in the eye. The Pirate Party is not only supporting the act of piracy, they've said they will run the Pirate Bay servers from the parliament building if they get elected.

                  The movement for the radical democratization of media has adopted piracy as the vehicle of change. Probably because they know that the establishment they want destroyed is going to smash itself to pieces and drive away its own food source trying to overcome the problem the pirates present.

                  I do not agree with this tactic. There's not much I can do about it no matter how much I dislike it though. Sometimes the bad guy gets to tell the story.

                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  I am quite open to "unreasonable" suggestions. Simply not the idea that we allow these thieves to be called anything but thieves. They're not heroes, they're scum.
                  I agree. I'm not calling them anything different. I'm saying we try to conduct business around them instead of doing battle, because any attempt to stop them will only amuse them and probably drive them further.

                  When have I ever said that we shouldn't call them thieves or that they are magical heroes who ride on unicorns across rainbow filled skies? I get how you feel about pirates. I'm certainly not asking you to change your mind. I'm offering my suggestion on how to steer around the problem.

                  That being said, what's your own solution? Everyone responding to me keeps saying how wrong I am about how pirates aren't awesome and they suck. I AGREE! PIRATES SUCK! This is the problem, so what is the solution?

                  The OP seemed to suggest that Hollywood and the gummint are coming to the rescue. I don't think they are. So what are you saying I should do other than not think pirates are cool, which I never have.

                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  True. There are different motives for revolution. Pinochet and Jefferson are hardly in the same category, morally, yet they were both revolutionaries in their way. Or, for another comparison, Mandela and Khomeini. Or Dr King and Castro. Or Lech Walesa and Mao Tse Tung.

                  They all broke existing law, but there is a large difference in their characters. The most fundamental being, who got the power they sought to usurp?
                  I'm not sure I follow the thread here. I apologize. I just meant that you don't have to have a political motive for starting a revolution. Just purposely commit a crime that upsets the status quo. Piracy qualifies I think. Also, revolution doesn't always mean "good" or that things end up better afterwards. These terrible pirates have started a terrible revolution. Better?

                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  I'm aware that it's happening, and equally aware that it cannot be "stopped." I have a very different view than you and tecHead about the nature and motivations of the pirates, though. I know these people. I've dealt with every kind over the past 23 years, and I listen to them. That's the only way you "get" their stories.

                  They're thieves, every one of them. The fairy tales they tell themselves and the world about their high-sounding purpose are just that - fairy tales. Stories made up to let them feel good about stealing.
                  I guess I wonder why if you agree that it can't be stopped, and the changes are happening, why does it matter what their motives are? If they're operating as a force beyond anyone's control, to me, I don't care if they think they're saving the world or they want to get back at mommy and daddy for being sent to bed early.

                  I think it's still the right thing to do to not build my business around anything to do with them. Their actual motives don't enter into my thinking on that at all.

                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  No faster way to catch the minds of the entitled than to make villains of the people who actually produce something useful.

                  Based on that experience, I stand by my belief that the majority of these people are not objecting to greed. They're objecting to price of any kind. The exceptions are the real bottom feeders who steal products and sell copies. But at least they're honest enough to be thieves without asking us to believe they have some moral virtue.
                  In fact it's BECAUSE the reasons people are pirating are so complex now, that I don't think it's worth it to fight the problem.

                  Behaviors that have lots of complicated and sometimes even contradicting motives can't be reliably punished. Most DRM seeks to stop it through complexity which counters laziness, sure. But what about the DETERMINED pirate. DRM just makes him want to crack a security code BECAUSE IT'S THERE.

                  How can you logically fight that? Why would you seek to give yourself the headache? There are already businesses proving that you don't need to even worry about them.

                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  Yes, places like NetFlix are making useful advantage from the changing technology. That doesn't begin to be the same as outright theft. They've got an honest model that adds value. The pirate does not.
                  I didn't say those businesses were the same as theft. I'm saying they actually add value - namely the value that only thieves used to get.

                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  I will disagree with that completely and utterly.

                  The fact that they don't kill babies and eat puppies doesn't make them innocent. It just means they don't kill babies and eat puppies.
                  I didn't say they were innocent - I've agreed all along that they are criminals. But they are not skeevy dirty robbers skulking in the shadows. It's the kid down the street. The mom at home on the computer all day. The college kid who doesn't have the cash for the hot new video games he only wants because they're marketed so hard at him...

                  I meant that everyone knows someone who is violating copyright law regularly, most likely for convenience more than anything else. tecHead posted about hackers and crackers, but I was saying that this is not who we are talking about.

                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  Pirates stifle innovation by removing the incentive to share it, whether through software or informational content. They actively steal from creators. And yes, their actions do encourage people who would otherwise buy a thing to steal it when it's possible. I see that every week, in emails from people and in my own site logs.
                  Yeah, maybe. But what can you do about it that will be effective? I think you can try and make it so they guy who only steals can't get everything. And try to make it so the guy who would otherwise buy but steals it is enticed to stay in the "buy" category because of the added value they get when they do?

                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  The people who say "They wouldn't buy it anyway" are just clueless. I know better. I've watched it, in real time. I've tailed my logs, and seen people trying to guess download page urls, then disappear for 20 minutes, then come back and order. And no, those people aren't any more likely to refund than anyone else. They're just trying to see if they can steal it, instead of paying for it.
                  What percentage of your overall customer base are you talking about here? I'm not saying it's a 100% thing, but I can't tell if you're talking about a lot of people or an exception to the norm. I'm mainly curious - you've been at this a lot longer than me.

                  But again, what you're saying just factors into the many reasons people pirate. You're talking about the lazy pirate here. Though they MIGHT buy anyway, that's just one narrow subset. The determined pirate or terminal cheapskate will never buy it.

                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                  If we forget the difference between evolution, revolution and banditry, we've lost our social and moral compasses. We're each free to do that if we choose, but it should be an active choice, not the result of imprecise reasoning on a discussion forum.
                  Evolution is what's happening in businesses who are thriving using the tools of the pirates to commercial ends like Netflix et al. They are evolving AROUND the damage the pirates are doing to other business models.

                  Revolution is what's happening to the mass media industry due to the changing values the public places on how they want to consume and control their content.

                  Banditry is what the pirates are doing that is causing the above revolution, which is leading to the evolution that's occurring. I think I can tell the difference between them fine, and I've tried my best to explain them thoroughly as I can.

                  My moral compass isn't lost at all either - how is it that everyone thinks I side with the pirates just because I believe that they are the agent of inevitable change in this equation. I'm not defending them. I'm not saying they don't suck. Never did.

                  Sometimes people who suck get to be in charge of how things turn out. I can be mad about it and resist them, or I can try and adapt to operate effectively to the new environment. Other businesses are dying due to illegal sharing.

                  I'm saying the lesson for us is to try to make that impossible for us even if the pirates don't ever go away. All the way back to the point of the OP's post - why should we wait around for the government to crack down on the pirates who victimize us?

                  Why not work to find ways to make it a non-impactful problem vs. crying about how evil they are? In your final comment here you make it seem like I'm over here exhorting people to make the choice to pirate or not pirate.

                  I never ever have. I'm telling people to make the choice between adhering to a model that allows these predators to victimize you, or to create and shift to a model that moves the value elsewhere into a configuration that can't be transmitted by digital sharing.

                  If you do the latter, I think you will be able to focus on growing your business while other people are fighting the losing battle against piracy. And yes, it may be a noble fight against an evil villain. But I personally don't like to get in fights I can't win.

                  That being said, I suppose I'm done in this thread. Thanks again for the clarifications Paul. You challenge my thinking even though you haven't changed my mind.
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            • Profile picture of the author BruceWayne
              Originally Posted by tecHead View Post

              With progress comes moral adjustments; otherwise we remain stagnant.
              This assumes that morals aren't grounded in absolutes. The statement above states that morals (and thus moral truths) are fluid.

              The problem with that is it doesn't work. Absolute truth and morals are a logical necessity. They don't change.

              Saying that there are no absolutes creates a nonsense and invalid statement as it has created an absolute in the process of saying none exist . . .

              So, while some people may view something as morally acceptable at various times in history, this does not make it moral or change what is morally true or in any way related to progress.
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              • Profile picture of the author jdenc
                You can't stop pirates by out programming them. You can only stop them one way, remove the demand. You remove the demand, or seriously undermine it, by changing your business paradigm. Not by continuing the same way and chasing law suits. Just look around the war on piracy is no more effective than the war on drugs because it ignores the demand side of the equation for the most part. And when it does go after demand it does it all hamhanded and with poor results because not enough thought is put into the carrot side and all the effort goes into the stick.

                Think about it. Every major label could have had their own itunes. But instead they fought the digital model and wanted to continue with the old way they knew. Hasn't worked out so well. Every studio could have had their own Netflix. Instead they fought the digital model and continued with the old way. Again wasn't the right approach. We can either learn from these failures or we can continue to fail by repeating their mistakes.

                I think it's time we learned.
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                • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
                  Originally Posted by jdenc View Post

                  You can only stop them one way, remove the demand.
                  Oh, I don't know. A few months in jail can certainly change behavior. Part of the problem is catching them. Part of the problem is a sympathetic media that paints criminals as victims of big business. Part of the problem is that many of the worst offenders are outside of US jurisdiction.

                  But...jail time can certainly change behavior. It took two stints in prison for Kevin Mitnick to give up hacking, but it seems he finally got the message. That's one thing about being locked up, it's no fun. Most people never want to go back.

                  When you start seeing your friends go to jail, or you do, for 30 or 60 or 90 days, and you know the next time you get caught days could be measured in years, I think minds can be changed.
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                  • Profile picture of the author jdenc
                    Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                    Oh, I don't know. A few months in jail can certainly change behavior. Part of the problem is catching them. Part of the problem is a sympathetic media that paints criminals as victims of big business. Part of the problem is that many of the worst offenders are outside of US jurisdiction.

                    But...jail time can certainly change behavior. It took two stints in prison for Kevin Mitnick to give up hacking, but it seems he finally got the message. That's one thing about being locked up, it's no fun. Most people never want to go back.

                    When you start seeing your friends go to jail, or you do, for 30 or 60 or 90 days, and you know the next time you get caught days could be measured in years, I think minds can be changed.
                    You really can't jail your way out of any problem. Jail isn't really an effective deterrent for most of the people involved on the supply side. Further longer, harsher sentences don't seem to be slowing the drug trade after 30+ years of following that path. Why is it going to work now?
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                  • Profile picture of the author tecHead
                    Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                    Oh, I don't know. A few months in jail can certainly change behavior. Part of the problem is catching them. Part of the problem is a sympathetic media that paints criminals as victims of big business. Part of the problem is that many of the worst offenders are outside of US jurisdiction.

                    But...jail time can certainly change behavior. It took two stints in prison for Kevin Mitnick to give up hacking, but it seems he finally got the message. That's one thing about being locked up, it's no fun. Most people never want to go back.

                    When you start seeing your friends go to jail, or you do, for 30 or 60 or 90 days, and you know the next time you get caught days could be measured in years, I think minds can be changed.
                    So, you've been to jail? I ask because you speak about it with such authority regarding the post thought process, in your above post.

                    There are many that are determined enough whereas spending time in jail allows them to study up on and remedy what they feel was a mistake. A mistake in implementation; not a mistaken act which got them locked up in the first place.

                    Also, just because Mitnick stopped actively hacking doesn't mean he's not teaching someone(s) else how to...
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                    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
                      Originally Posted by jdenc View Post

                      You really can't jail your way out of any problem. Jail isn't really an effective deterrent for most of the people involved on the supply side. Further longer, harsher sentences don't seem to be slowing the drug trade after 30+ years of following that path. Why is it going to work now?
                      Drugs are an addiction. Different kind of mindset. Different goals. Different kind of problem.

                      Originally Posted by tecHead View Post

                      So, you've been to jail? I ask because you speak about it with such authority regarding the post thought process, in your above post.

                      There are many that are determined enough whereas spending time in jail allows them to study up on and remedy what they feel was a mistake. A mistake in implementation; not a mistaken act which got them locked up in the first place.

                      Also, just because Mitnick stopped actively hacking doesn't mean he's not teaching someone(s) else how to...
                      I spent about 4 hours in jail for underage drinking about 40 years ago, not that it's any of your business and I consider you an impolite jerk for even asking. No charges were filed, it was a scare tactic, and it worked.

                      As for your speculation on Mitnick, that's all it is, mindless, pointless, meaningless speculation.

                      And to both of you, I didn't say jail would stop everyone, but if you think jail wouldn't change a lot of minds and behavior, I would suggest you need to think about it some more. Most people value their freedom, especially when they've lost it for a while.
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                      • Profile picture of the author jdenc
                        Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                        Drugs are an addiction. Different kind of mindset. Different goals. Different kind of problem.



                        I spent about 4 hours in jail for underage drinking about 40 years ago, not that it's any of your business and I consider you an impolite jerk for even asking. No charges were filed, it was a scare tactic, and it worked.

                        As for your speculation on Mitnick, that's all it is, mindless, pointless, meaningless speculation.

                        And to both of you, I didn't say jail would stop everyone, but if you think jail wouldn't change a lot of minds and behavior, I would suggest you need to think about it some more. Most people value their freedom, especially when they've lost it for a while.
                        Actually study after study proves that when we talk about drugs we find the majority of users are not classically addicted just like the vast majority of alcohol users are not alcoholics. So I would say downloaders aren't really that different, for the purposes of this discussion, from the casual drug users that make up the bulk of the buyers. We even see the same kinds of enforcement. Go after some big folks make a splash and move on. All the while nothing has changed and there are just as many pirates/dealers and downloaders/users as there was before the big splash. Pretty much exactly the same pattern, people are people after all and these two things are more alike than they are different.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
                          Originally Posted by jdenc View Post

                          Actually study after study proves that when we talk about drugs we find the majority of users are not classically addicted just like the vast majority of alcohol users are not alcoholics. So I would say downloaders aren't really that different, for the purposes of this discussion, from the casual drug users that make up the bulk of the buyers. We even see the same kinds of enforcement. Go after some big folks make a splash and move on. All the while nothing has changed and there are just as many pirates/dealers and downloaders/users as there was before the big splash. Pretty much exactly the same pattern, people are people after all and these two things are more alike than they are different.
                          I would say they are different. People take drugs to dull or escape their reality. Downloaders download to get something they want for free. Very different things. Very different mindsets.

                          Comparing drug users and studies involving drug users to downloaders is a spurious argument.
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                          • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
                            Originally Posted by ProductCreator View Post

                            It's not a spurious argument, it's an analogy that demonstrates a point.

                            With an analogy, the two things being compared don't have to be similar in every respect, only in at least one respect.
                            Analogy: noun; an inference that if things agree in some respects they probably agree in others

                            As I stated, people take drugs to dull or escape their reality. Downloaders download to get something they want for free. The starting mindset of the two groups are very different, therefore you haven't established the things that agree, you've only submitted a conclusion based on the outcome you wanted to reach. Therefore, it's a spurious analogy.
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                            • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
                              Originally Posted by ProductCreator View Post

                              You are wrong again and you make false assumptions about me, unless you are capable of reading my mind.
                              I'm not wrong again because I wasn't wrong in the first place. People take drugs to dull or escape their reality. Downloaders download to get something they want for free. Very different things. Very different mindsets. Very different motivations. Drug users also commit other, more serious physical crimes to support their habit. Casual downloaders do not. Drug users also commit violent crimes BECAUSE they are out of their mind on drugs. Casual downloaders do not.

                              The are too many dissimilarities to use them as an effective analogy.

                              In my view, a new strategy is needed for both. People can bleat on about "lockin' em up" but it won't change anything. Such people fail to admit that effective law enforcement against pirates or drug users is an oxymoron. Why is this so difficult to admit?

                              Some people in this thread have asked Colin for a suggested solution. Unless I'm mistaken, this shows recognition that the current policy is not working and only a change to it will lead to better things.
                              Show me where I've said anything about not finding a new strategy. Show me where I've said what we're doing is working well.

                              I haven't said any such thing. I'm not against finding better solutions. What I am against is giving up what little control we have now before a new solution is found and put in place. What I am against is not taking a stand against criminal behavior. What I am against is throwing our hands in the air and saying, "Oh well, we can't stop them so we might as well accept it."
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                              • Profile picture of the author tecHead
                                Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                                .... I'm not against finding better solutions. What I am against is giving up what little control we have now before a new solution is found and put in place. What I am against is not taking a stand against criminal behavior. What I am against is throwing our hands in the air and saying, "Oh well, we can't stop them so we might as well accept it."
                                Please show me anywhere in this thread where someone has said...
                                • We should give up what little control we have before a solution is found
                                • We should not take a stand against criminal behavior
                                • We should throw our hands up and say, "Oh well, we can't stop them so we might as well accept it."
                                Please show me quotes that state explicitly these things because I seem to have missed them.

                                Thank you
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                                • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
                                  Originally Posted by tecHead View Post

                                  Please show me anywhere in this thread where someone has said...
                                  • We should give up what little control we have before a solution is found
                                  • We should not take a stand against criminal behavior
                                  • We should throw our hands up and say, "Oh well, we can't stop them so we might as well accept it."
                                  Please show me quotes that state explicitly these things because I seem to have missed them.

                                  Thank you
                                  I'm not going back through each post to prove anything to you. If you haven't picked up on that attitude from some, that's not my problem or concern. You go back through the posts and report back to me. Good grief.
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                  • Profile picture of the author N4PGW
                    Originally Posted by ProductCreator View Post

                    Jail is well known as being an almost complete failure in terms of rehabilitation. It also turns one-off offenders into career criminals.
                    Jail doesn't turn one-timers into career criminals any more than a college diploma makes someone a millionaire. The criminal makes his own choices just as you do -- but hopefully, you make decisions that are not against the law.
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                    • Profile picture of the author onemind
                      Reading this whole thread has taught me a great deal about the character of everyone posting here and I have found it a valuable resource for basing future decisions on who to deal with ever. For example I believe Colin Theriot to be a wise and eloquent person who is able to see the whole spectrum. While others who must remain nameless prove to be narrow minded and borderline fascist. For the rest of the people that are on either side of the discussion of how to deal with the problem it seems they are close proximity to either side as well but not as prominent as the two I am speaking of. However what has been almost totally missed in the entire thread is the outrageous fact that due to this we are losing our liberty. You have people ferociously arguing that this be "policed" and punished strictly at the cost of all of our freedom. For what to save ebooks and web designs that are not even on the radar of the lawmakers?

                      You would throw away liberty to strengthen something that is not even granting you any extra security? The bottom line is that nothing will ever quell human nature and as technology advances so does the desire of selfrighteous cowards to use it to control what we are at the core of our being...free. No matter what is done there will always be those that will seek to take what they desire by force or trickery. That will NEVER change, and to cage yourself for security is a choice of a madman.

                      The argument that "if you're not doing anything wrong you have nothing to hide" is pure insanity itself. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone! One pious crusader of intellectual property rights might be the sexual predator next door or the adulterer up the block. It amazes me the tone of some of the arguments for "pirates" and "criminals" to be put to "justice". Especially when said arguments could be coming from savage hypocrites for as much as we know.

                      If you believe jail is even a remotely proper punishment for downloading things on the internet then I have to question your sanity or your knowledge of the criminal "justice" system. Have a talk with an ex con and find out. But I doubt that would be a good idea for some, because of their tone they might end up getting too much information too quickly. You cannot understand what you have not experienced, no matter how hard you try. And if you have no experience at something then you should not speak on it.
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                      • Profile picture of the author NicheMayhem
                        Originally Posted by onemind View Post

                        Reading this whole thread has taught me a great deal about the character of everyone posting here and I have found it a valuable resource for basing future decisions on who to deal with ever. For example I believe Colin Theriot to be a wise and eloquent person who is able to see the whole spectrum. While others who must remain nameless prove to be narrow minded and borderline fascist. For the rest of the people that are on either side of the discussion of how to deal with the problem it seems they are close proximity to either side as well but not as prominent as the two I am speaking of. However what has been almost totally missed in the entire thread is the outrageous fact that due to this we are losing our liberty. You have people ferociously arguing that this be "policed" and punished strictly at the cost of all of our freedom. For what to save ebooks and web designs that are not even on the radar of the lawmakers?

                        You would throw away liberty to strengthen something that is not even granting you any extra security? The bottom line is that nothing will ever quell human nature and as technology advances so does the desire of selfrighteous cowards to use it to control what we are at the core of our being...free. No matter what is done there will always be those that will seek to take what they desire by force or trickery. That will NEVER change, and to cage yourself for security is a choice of a madman.

                        The argument that "if you're not doing anything wrong you have nothing to hide" is pure insanity itself. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone! One pious crusader of intellectual property rights might be the sexual predator next door or the adulterer up the block. It amazes me the tone of some of the arguments for "pirates" and "criminals" to be put to "justice". Especially when said arguments could be coming from savage hypocrites for as much as we know.

                        If you believe jail is even a remotely proper punishment for downloading things on the internet then I have to question your sanity or your knowledge of the criminal "justice" system. Have a talk with an ex con and find out. But I doubt that would be a good idea for some, because of their tone they might end up getting too much information too quickly. You cannot understand what you have not experienced, no matter how hard you try. And if you have no experience at something then you should not speak on it.

                        Well said. I don't give the justice system in my country much credit for rehabilitating those it houses. I fear this issue has a cloaked figure lurking in the shadows waiting to step on our necks and bring our businesses to its knees while the "pirate" simply alters his strategy and continues along his merry way or the buck gets passed onto a new breed of thievery. If anyone is renowned for versatility and survival it is the criminal, the small business men/women get trampled and put out to pasture without the substantial capital to survive the transition.

                        What is the first step made towards giving the internet attention in 2010? The taxation of products being sold online to residents in every state of the USA, already adopted by 24 states, get ready for more of us honest people having to do a lot more work maintaining which state gets what. Awesome, so glad they are taking an interest.
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                        • Profile picture of the author onemind
                          Originally Posted by NicheMayhem View Post

                          Well said. I don't give the justice system in my country much credit for rehabilitating those it houses. I fear this issue has a cloaked figure lurking in the shadows waiting to step on our necks and bring our businesses to its knees while the "pirate" simply alters his strategy and continues along his merry way or the buck gets passed onto a new breed of thievery. If anyone is renowned for versatility and survival it is the criminal, the small business men/women get trampled and put out to pasture without the substantial capital to survive the transition.

                          What is the first step made towards giving the internet attention in 2010? The taxation of products being sold online to residents in every state of the USA, already adopted by 24 states, get ready for more of us honest people having to do a lot more work maintaining which state gets what. Awesome, so glad they are taking an interest.
                          I agree. It's the same old story yet people foolishly believe there is a model of morality that everyone (especially those in power) follow devoutly. The juvenile mindset that "big brother will punish those who do wrong" for he is without flaw himself. God forbid people have free-will and police themselves because someone just might get hurt! No matter how hard you try you can never convince an insane person that the nature of man is indeed natural. We are both good and evil, it is never going to be one way. The real "criminals" are the people who use things like this to impose more tight control on the public as a whole. And sadly there will always be small minded people who run head first into this trap.

                          I can never agree with the thinking of people who want everything to be "safe" that's just NOT how the universe works and it will never bend to their will no matter how hard they cry. The only thing that will happen is that people who do wrong will get smarter and stronger while people who do right will suffer. A prime example is video game copyright protection on PC games. You have these problematic programs that are intrusive like securom and starforce that install themselves in legit copy's and mess up paying customers systems but those that use cracked games are able to totally bypass them. I can be sure when I say no gamers like this.

                          Many more examples of this cowardly mindset can be exposed but that would just derail the topic and I don't want to do that. cough *gun control* *war on drugs* cough
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          • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
            Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

            Well, there's a whole bunch of people here who are actually selling information rather than "sharing" it and probably many of those are the same ones who feel that they're entitled to other people's intellectual property simply because the technology exists that allows them to rip it off.
            Hey, me too. I sell stuff online and write letters to persuade people to buy other people's stuff online. One doesn't preclude the other. I think that you think I'm saying "sharing is okay" and I'm not at all. I'm saying sharing is inevitable and inherent to both human nature and the nature of the internet.

            I can get mad about it all I want, but it's like lashing yourself to a ship's mast during a storm and daring God to strike you down. Why even fight it. Instead, Judo flip it to your advantage.

            This happens repeatedly throughout history. Technology that boosts the ability for the masses to access mass communication always leads to sharing. And usually, whoever is in control of the current info-distro model has a big problem with this.

            But once the environment is changed, it can never go back. Evolve, or die. The concept of "intellectual property" as something discrete and itemized that you can charge for is dying, because it's no longer tied to the unit. A "copy" is no longer a physical object that represents a commercial exchange.

            The rules developed around protecting that business model don't apply, and we're seeing the growing pains of that now. But do you really think that the internet will become MORE restricted over time? Do you really think it will become LESS widely shared and traded?

            I can't see that as a logistical possibility, or even one that people want. If it's too expensive to make movies the old way, the way of making movies will need to change to match the way people want to consume them. They have no choice because people are going to do what they want.

            But I predict that the businesses who focus on adapting to THRIVE in the realities of the new environment RATHER than make the new environment conform to the OLD rules...

            Those businesses will grow in around and over the ones that don't. Marketing 101 is give the people what they want and figure out how to profit from it. Increasingly, this is what people are going to want.

            Even if the average person does side with the side of commoditizing information the old way, eventually the system is going to become overly convoluted in an attempt to retain control and the audience is going to evaporate.

            All it takes is for someone to make it EASIER and SAFER to swipe it without paying and Honest Abe Lincoln himself probably wouldn't think twice. It's always been that way back to the guys buying their own satellite dishes.

            Fighting the tendency of information to want to be free is no longer tenable, and it's getting impossible to profit from. On the other hand, companies that are FACILITATING the sharing of content are thriving.

            In fact companies that make money via information NEED the companies that SHARE information in order to make any profit at all. It's just a slider that's moving, really.

            Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

            Discussing a novel or movie you've experienced is far different than "shoplifting" simply because you think it "should" be shared.
            What if I lend you my copy because I liked it so much?
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            • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
              Banned
              Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

              But once the environment is changed, it can never go back. Evolve, or die. The concept of "intellectual property" as something discrete and itemized that you can charge for is dying, because it's no longer tied to the unit. A "copy" is no longer a physical object that represents a commercial exchange.
              Try explaining that to Uncle Sam while you're in court for counterfeiting money. The technology exists to duplicate currency. Should we quote "money wants to be free" because some are able to counterfeit it? I don't think it's going to hold up in court.
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              • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                Banned
                Originally Posted by ProductCreator View Post

                Er...money is not intellectual property...last I heard anyway. Not a good comparison IMO.
                Just a higher grade of theft and crime ... only difference. Those who steal intellectual property, or those who burglar homes, rob banks, counterfeit money ... it's all the same to me. They are nothing more than criminals who feel entitled to get what they want for free. I don't make the distinction that one thief is better than another thief. They all deserve the same FREE housing, compliments of the state.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Colin,
      Information wants to be free.
      If I see one more person quote that out of context in this way, I'm going to puke on their digital shoes. Please look up, read, and think about the original quote. In full.

      It does NOT support the idea of piracy, or even point to it. Using it as an explanation is misleading and dangerous. It gives people a pretty-sounding justification for stealing.


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      • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        It does NOT support the idea of piracy, or even point to it. Using it as an explanation is misleading and dangerous. It gives people a pretty-sounding justification for stealing.
        It would be kind of like assuming "free enterprise" means businesses don't charge money for anything.
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      • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Colin,If I see one more person quote that out of context in this way, I'm going to puke on their digital shoes. Please look up, read, and think about the original quote. In full.

        It does NOT support the idea of piracy, or even point to it. Using it as an explanation is misleading and dangerous. It gives people a pretty-sounding justification for stealing.


        Paul
        I did cite and link to the wikipedia for it - I know it doesn't support piracy and thought I made that clear and explained the way it applied to what I was talking about. Info pirates are a side effect of the info-wanting-to-be-free bit, aren't they? They exist only because of the tools that are talked about as part of the mechanisms the axiom DOES refer to.

        The point I was trying to make is that those tools are going to continue to enable pirates to exist and circumvent whatever they throw at it. The technology will ALWAYS exceed the grasp of the law, because the law moves too slow to catch up.

        However, rather focus on the ways the technology is enabling pirates, we should focus on using the technologies that they are, the thinking that they use and incorporate them in.

        The same way that retail stores factor in shrinkage, the same way that Blockbuster for a time made a killing by banking on the inevitability of late fees. They clung to that a little too long it turns out.

        But like I pointed out in my previous post there are ALREADY businesses thriving by doing this - by taking that "why should I pay for it when I can download it" attitude and harnessing the payment model directly to it.

        It used to be that the pirate's experience was arguably SUPERIOR to the one the paying customer got. Now, that's quickly changing. Now my mom can download and listen to music via itunes legally and BUY THEM with all the same advantages I had in college when I was pirating them through Napster.

        The pirates' technologies and attitudes are shaping the technology, and that shapes the economy. We can try to fight them, or we can do the judo thing and incorporate what they do and why into the way we think about creating value that we want to eventually profit from.

        Hopefully I explained it a little better - nothing I've said here has EVER meant to be in defense of breaking the law. What I'm saying is, it's happening, so you can resist, or bend like a reed in the wind and take advantage of the way things or changing.
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    • Profile picture of the author madzstar
      ah huh, yea sure! Lets the thieves do the work for you
      I get your angle now
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  • Profile picture of the author ShaneRQR
    Hmmm... As much as I hate having my stuff stolen, I'm not too happy about this.

    Individual "small-time" digital product creators will be the very, very last in line to have anyone as much as raise an eyebrow for their rights.

    In fact, I'd wager that the Internet as we know it will end sooner than someone will lift a finger to protect some ebook or video course of mine.

    (sorry for the cynicism)
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    • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
      Originally Posted by ShaneRQR View Post

      Hmmm... As much as I hate having my stuff stolen, I'm not too happy about this.

      Individual "small-time" digital product creators will be the very, very last in line to have anyone as much as raise an eyebrow for their rights.

      In fact, I'd wager that the Internet as we know it will end sooner than someone will lift a finger to protect some ebook or video course of mine.

      (sorry for the cynicism)
      Absolutely. We look at movies and music of the mainstream the wrong way when we compare it to IM products. If you eliminate the concept of selling the info as "copies" and just look at it as a giant single product that sells for the total of ALL sales, you'll see what I mean.

      Most IMers, even the successful ones, might - MIGHT - make single figure millions from a single product. If they're lucky and work really, really hard.

      Hollywood creates multiple hundred million dollar products a MONTH. This is not about protecting their "information" so much as protecting the high dollar amounts they earn through controlling the access to that information.

      The money they have to put into the lobbying and lawsuits and bribery - whatever it takes to get the government to do things for them that it wouldn't do for you or I...

      I mean honestly, does the fact that entertainment gets shared effect the day to day operations of our country? Only insofar as it stops Hollywood from making as much money as it used to. Is that a right they have? To dominate technology because it messes up their business model?

      Sorry man, that's what happens in a capitalist society - sometimes you get out-evolved right out of business. If you want to be free to gobble up the market, you have to be willing to be eaten.

      The issue is that without proper regulation, a company can actually grow SO rich, it can just buy the government. At which point, it's not actually a free capitalist society anymore.

      What do they call that one? Is it Plutocracy? I can't remember. But anyways, yeah. I forget my point.

      They have a means of making money outside of the web. Most of us info marketers don't. The web jacks with their business model. We should design our business models around the realities of the web and play to the strengths of the medium.
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      • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
        Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

        Absolutely. We look at movies and music of the mainstream the wrong way when we compare it to IM products. If you eliminate the concept of selling the info as "copies" and just look at it as a giant single product that sells for the total of ALL sales, you'll see what I mean.

        Most IMers, even the successful ones, might - MIGHT - make single figure millions from a single product. If they're lucky and work really, really hard.

        Hollywood creates multiple hundred million dollar products a MONTH. This is not about protecting their "information" so much as protecting the high dollar amounts they earn through controlling the access to that information.

        The money they have to put into the lobbying and lawsuits and bribery - whatever it takes to get the government to do things for them that it wouldn't do for you or I...

        I mean honestly, does the fact that entertainment gets shared effect the day to day operations of our country? Only insofar as it stops Hollywood from making as much money as it used to. Is that a right they have? To dominate technology because it messes up their business model?

        Sorry man, that's what happens in a capitalist society - sometimes you get out-evolved right out of business. If you want to be free to gobble up the market, you have to be willing to be eaten.

        The issue is that without proper regulation, a company can actually grow SO rich, it can just buy the government. At which point, it's not actually a free capitalist society anymore.

        What do they call that one? Is it Plutocracy? I can't remember. But anyways, yeah. I forget my point.

        They have a means of making money outside of the web. Most of us info marketers don't. The web jacks with their business model. We should design our business models around the realities of the web and play to the strengths of the medium.
        Very interesting and thought provoking post. I have a feeling the battle for control of "intellectual property" will rage for quite some time, and have some sympathy for both the idea that you have a right to control and profit from what you create, whether information, hard goods, or entertainment, and the idea that freely shared information makes us a stronger, more democratic society.

        I hardly think though that access to blockbuster movies or my soon to be launched "Make $247,000,000 In 5 Minutes In Your Pajamas" ebook is of consequence, or that Hollywood is the problem with our democracy. The fact that they make huge profits (on the biggest, most successful films-they sometimes lose as well), is hardly a reason to give everyone a license to steal from them.

        I'd be more sympathetic to the idea that since an oil company owns Paramount, they deserve any ill fate for their horrible legacy (yes I know consumers are to blame too-but we didn't pay politicians to defund alternate energy research, or falsify science papers on climate change, etc-in fact the public's been quite enthused about alternatives-as documented in the film, "Who Killed the Electric Car"). But aside from that, who's going to spend 100s of millions to make a movie if it's going to be stolen right after it's made? Personally, I find (some of) Hollywood's output to be a lot of fun, and would miss it if it went away.

        I agree that democracy is threatened (arguably dead) because of the sheer, unprecedented accumulation of wealth and power by the biggest players, which almost makes them the defacto owners of our (US-but others as well) government, but that's a whole other tangent, worthy of a library of books, rather than a thread on ebook pilferers Suffice to say, I'm for both regulation to end our current system of turning politicians into election salespeople, and regulation against stealing.

        As for your earlier statement that "information wants to be free", I strongly agree with sbucciarel. As long as there is greed or an unfilled need, everything of value could be said to "want to be free", because there will be a tendency for it to walk away if you don't try to stop it-that's why we have laws. Information is inanimate (unless it's an animated movie).

        Some afterthoughts: I just noticed what seems to me a stark contradiction: in one paragraph you seem to be arguing in favor of just letting Hollywood "be eaten", because "that's what happens in a capitalist society", and in the next, you warn of the lack of proper regulation destroying our freedom. Letting people steal because technology makes it easy seems like pretty radical deregulation to me.

        I also find it a bit absurd to accuse Hollywood of an attempt to "dominate technology" just because they are trying to "make as much money as it [they] used to", and they don't want people using the internet to steal their products. Your underlying assumption seems to be that because the technology makes it possible to rip them off, it also justifies it, and if they don't like it, it's because they're too big for their britches.

        Is it their "right" to try to make as much money as they can? If they were a monopoly, no; there's a law to break them up, and it's high time we dusted it off and enforced it-but not against Hollywood, since it's not one entity, nor do all movies come from Hollywood, therefore the law doesn't apply.

        Until someone has a stranglehold on an industry, like many believe Bill Gates did, then yes, we all have a right to make not only as much money as we used to, but as much as we can, as long as we aren't doing it in a way that's destructive to our society. That includes moviemakers big and small.

        Again, the real problem with huge corporation comes from the influence they can buy, rendering democracies ineffective at best, and that should be stopped. Nobody seems to know how to do it though, since lawmakers they fund would be "biting the hand", if they put an end to influence peddling, which is at all time high. But Hollywood is hardly the root of the problem.
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        • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
          Originally Posted by Greg guitar View Post

          As for your earlier statement that "information wants to be free", I strongly agree with sbucciarel. As long as there is greed or unfilled need, everything of value could be said to "want to be free", because there will be a tendency for it to walk away if you don't try to stop it-that's why we have laws.
          Thanks for your thoughtful comment. To not go off track into the political stuff though, I'll focus on this last bit.

          You're comparing "information" to a physical object. The difference with owning a physical object is that if you take mine, I don't have one any more. I can also take mine back from you, and then you don't have it anymore. There, the taking hurts because the one taken from is diminished.

          If I take a copy of something, and the originator still has the copy, the only think I can actually diminish is potential earnings for you. Not actual ones - because I didn't take anything you didn't still have.

          Information already couldn't be taken back once it was consumed. Just like sneaking into the movies or a concert - you can't give it back once you take it. It's not made of anything - the medium is not the message.

          It's this de-physicalization that the movie and music industries are struggling with. That same physicalization that you're using as an example is why they are dying. But I say the removal of the physical nature is what's freed us.

          It's been proven over and over again that people will STILL BUY digital stuff EVEN WHEN it's available free elsewhere, even when it's free legally, EVEN WHEN they know where and how to steal it.

          Some more daring musicians have tried this by offering some music for sale, or the same music for free. Yes, they sold a LOT less than they would have otherwise. Does that mean it's a failure? No, I call it a success. While it may mean that a musician's potential earning power has shifted down as far as record sales, what they can then do is focus on collecting the people who given a choice WILL BUY ANYWAY, and cultivate those and develop the product that THOSE people want. Everyone else gets whatever enjoyment they want for free, and you don't have to worry about them because they don't support you.

          It's a model that shifts patronage back onto the producer of the material - it puts the value BACK directly onto them, as opposed to the productization of their material and it strips all the profiteers out of the distribution channel.

          We don't need any sort of help to develop our own media empires. Even IF we gave away every piece of our own info for FREE we could still profit from collecting an audience of our own in innumerable ways.

          The very reason we should ignore thieves of digital property is BECAUSE of the digital nature, they harm us materially, not at all. Like I said, in terms of potential, they may, but not if we adjust out business model to accommodate them.

          The larger old-school media companies are dying because the world has turned cold and they are dinosaurs. Instead of pinning your fate in any way upon whether they survive, just evolve into a mammal and use that same environment that's killing the big, slow, and old - take it and use it to THRIVE.

          Look at what's already happening that even MILLIONS of dollars and man hours cannot stop. The wave is here. Stand up and fight it, or turn around and surf it.

          I know what I will try to do personally, but I can't make anyone do anything they don't want to do.
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          • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
            Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

            It's been proven over and over again that people will STILL BUY digital stuff EVEN WHEN it's available free elsewhere, even when it's free legally, EVEN WHEN they know where and how to steal it.

            Some more daring musicians have tried this by offering some music for sale, or the same music for free. Yes, they sold a LOT less than they would have otherwise. Does that mean it's a failure? No, I call it a success. While it may mean that a musician's potential earning power has shifted down as far as record sales, what they can then do is focus on collecting the people who given a choice WILL BUY ANYWAY, and cultivate those and develop the product that THOSE people want. Everyone else gets whatever enjoyment they want for free, and you don't have to worry about them because they don't support you.
            The way the digital revolution has affected music is something I've thought a lot about, and I still have no idea how it's going to shake out, but as attractive as your metaphor is of surfing vs opposing the wave, it's not all good, and I for one, see a great loss to the musical community in the free "sharing" of their recorded music (and video images) against their will.

            As far as it having been proven that people will still buy-well sure, if you mean a tiny fraction of the people who would have bought before it was handed to them. Even those that do buy might have bought more if it weren't so darn convenient to grab it.

            That doesn't mean I see no good in it (as you apparently see no harm). Youtube music sharing for example has allowed people to become aware of whole cultures they would have gone through life totally unaware of, as has online radio, and anyone can make a recording of themselves and share it to the extent that they can generate traffic to it. Recording technology just keeps getting better and cheaper-great. I see wisdom in the idea of surfing the wave, going with the flow, adjusting to the changes, but I also see that wave impoverishing most musicians, no matter how well they surf, and ultimately the marketplace-when you take the money out, the talent looks for other work.

            You did a great job of making the distinction between physical and digital property-it's true that nothing (but potential earnings) is lost in the sense that you say. Yet, potential earnings, though intangible are very real, and there are real costs to produce that intangible that people consume for nothing. Aren't potential earnings often the dominant guiding force in kids' choice of a career, or a college major?

            You seem to be totally dismissive of such concerns, but why? If you're implying as I think you are, that there's no harm no foul, because the only loss is of "potential" earnings, I disagree. While I'm as happy as you about the demise of parasitic record companies, I'm not too thrilled that unknown numbers of talented, wonderful musicians will never fully develop their gift, because the music distribution industry was killed at the hands of digital sharers (thieves).

            Even the demise of some of the best record companies (usually those created by musicians) is a real loss to the world. What record companies were supposed to do, and sometimes did, was develop, fund and promote unpolished talent, so that Hendrix, for example could create the masterpiece, Electric Ladyland. That just doesn't happen today.

            You seem to imply that just as much money can be made in music as in the past, if only the artists will learn to adapt and thrive, and that is far from true-a few big ones do fine, but the pool of money is much smaller.

            As for your statement "you don't have to worry about them because they don't support you"- referring to those who will just consume your performances without ever paying you a dime, that makes no sense, except in the existential sense that worry is a state of mind, and therefore optional. Many of those people may have bought your music, but "fans" shared it and made it unnecessary for them to ever buy. Which could mean the difference between a hobby and a career.


            The successful experiment you point to is great, but only as an adaptation to harsh new times, not in comparison with the past, when artist got paid every time someone got a "copy" of their music.
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            • Profile picture of the author tecHead
              Originally Posted by Greg guitar View Post

              ...
              The successful experiment you point to is great, but only as an adaptation to harsh new times, not in comparison with the past, when artist got paid every time someone got a "copy" of their music.
              There's a lot more to your post that I'd like to address, but I'll have to do that later; as I need to get to work. But, this last statement just caught me ...

              You're talking about after the record company was paid back their production costs, right? Or are you talking about the maximum of 5¢ per air-time play through ASCAP or BMI?

              I don't know about you, but I've only seen musicians "make money" from live performances; all the rest is just fluff.

              Yes, the greedy record companies going extinct is probably THE best thing that could have ever happened to the music industry; but, that's not a disguised bad thing nor should it deter any musician from fully developing their craft. If anything, it should fuel the artist to further advance their craft; as now, the point of distribution is right in their livingroom.

              I'm a musician; have been one all my life; and I'd rather take gNutella dude's lead and say, "OK, so instead of you stealin' my stuff and throwin' it around the net, I'll give you 10¢ on the $1 for every sale you help me generate.".... I'm thinkin' the theft will pretty much end.
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              • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
                Originally Posted by tecHead View Post

                I'm a musician; have been one all my life; and I'd rather take gNutella dude's lead and say, "OK, so instead of you stealin' my stuff and throwin' it around the net, I'll give you 10¢ on the $1 for every sale you help me generate.".... I'm thinkin' the theft will pretty much end.
                Why would it? As Paul said, it's the fact there is any price at all that many of them object to.

                Maybe you'll get some converts by offering them money, but there will be others that will steadfastly hold to their position that your music should be free, and they will undermine your converts that have become your affiliates.

                For example, how many Clickbank products are on file sharing sites? If your example held true, why aren't those people earning themselves affiliate revenue instead of giving it away for nothing? And, bear in mind that some Clickbank products give affiliates 75% of the sale price, which is far more generous than your 10¢ on a dollar--and the theft continues.
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              • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
                Originally Posted by tecHead View Post

                I'm a musician; have been one all my life; and I'd rather take gNutella dude's lead and say, "OK, so instead of you stealin' my stuff and throwin' it around the net, I'll give you 10¢ on the $1 for every sale you help me generate.".... I'm thinkin' the theft will pretty much end.
                Hmm...just like affiliate programs for software and info-products have pretty much ended theft. No wait, it hasn't, and most of them pay a lot more than 10 percent.
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                • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
                  The thing is there has always been pirates, thieves and bad guys. For digital information product owners we can protect our products from them as best as we can.

                  But it doesn't mean we can't prosper in this business with piracy going on. Take Eban Pagan for instance...starting from his bedroom, not knowing how to build a website, a few years ago and last year, reportedly, did 19 million!

                  All I'm saying is, do you want to grow your business, or do you want to deal to the bad guys?

                  Think about it, where you focus will take you off course from the other. It's your choice.

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                • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
                  Originally Posted by Greg guitar View Post

                  As far as it having been proven that people will still buy-well sure, if you mean a tiny fraction of the people who would have bought before it was handed to them. Even those that do buy might have bought more if it weren't so darn convenient to grab it.
                  You're just supposing that though. Most people I know buy more music now digitally than we ever did otherwise. Whereas I wouldn't buy say, 3 mixed bag albums from an artist I like, I will buy every good song from all 3. Net result is, I'm buying more than I would have otherwise, and that's due to the info being disentangled from the package of an "album".

                  Originally Posted by Greg guitar View Post

                  I see wisdom in the idea of surfing the wave, going with the flow, adjusting to the changes, but I also see that wave impoverishing most musicians, no matter how well they surf, and ultimately the marketplace-when you take the money out, the talent looks for other work.
                  They may make less than the musicians who hit it big time, but how likely was it that the average musician was ever going to be mass-market enough to GET a record deal in the first place? The artists whose earnings are impacted negatively by the record industry collapse are much smaller in number than the artists who will now do BETTER because they don't NEED a record deal to finally reach an audience big enough to support itself.

                  Will it kill the rich rock star? Maybe - but how many of the rich rock stars earned that position on the power of their music vs. being turned into a product by the industry? The package is what's being made obsolete, and it's the package that was overvalued. The music per song, always cost the same. But I used to have to pay for junk I didn't want. Now I don't.

                  They're're making less money in the music biz because I'm not getting gouged on a package deal. The solution is to make MORE music that appeals to MORE people and marketing it BETTER.

                  Originally Posted by Greg guitar View Post

                  You did a great job of making the distinction between physical and digital property-it's true that nothing (but potential earnings) is lost in the sense that you say. Yet, potential earnings, though intangible are very real, and there are real costs to produce that intangible that people consume for nothing. Aren't potential earnings often the dominant guiding force in kids' choice of a career, or a college major?
                  But the only people who lose earning potential are the ones who rely on the old system to make a profit. The new kid choosing a career will soon have the option to go into emerging business models that will be profitable and be much more likely for him to be self-employed than reliant on a much larger company for a living. His earning potential won't be hindered because he's going to have the sense not to pursue a model that won't reward him to his expectations.

                  Originally Posted by Greg guitar View Post

                  You seem to be totally dismissive of such concerns, but why? If you're implying as I think you are, that there's no harm no foul, because the only loss is of "potential" earnings, I disagree. While I'm as happy as you about the demise of parasitic record companies, I'm not too thrilled that unknown numbers of talented, wonderful musicians will never fully develop their gift, because the music distribution industry was killed at the hands of digital sharers (thieves).
                  So the only reason anyone ever developed their musical gifts was to become the rare rich well paid kind of musician? Aren't musicians all mostly poor now? You make it seem like this is decimating the bulk of musicians, but it's really only very few have managed to make it big, relatively speaking.

                  Fewer will be able to make it as big, but more will be able to make it big enough due to the internet.

                  Originally Posted by Greg guitar View Post

                  Even the demise of some of the best record companies (usually those created by musicians) is a real loss to the world. What record companies were supposed to do, and sometimes did, was develop, fund and promote unpolished talent, so that Hendrix, for example could create the masterpiece, Electric Ladyland. That just doesn't happen today.
                  Now people can do what those record companies did without the help of any label money. No one has to be developed into a commercial product for the purpose of selling physically manufactured records. They just have to make a song that someone likes enough to pay for the privilege of listening to when they want to. Yeah, some people might steal it.

                  But not the people who really like you. But now you can get in direct touch with potentially ALL THE PEOPLE who will REALLY LIKE you. You don't need to be promoted. You can find em yourself, and put yourself where they can find you.

                  Originally Posted by Greg guitar View Post

                  You seem to imply that just as much money can be made in music as in the past, if only the artists will learn to adapt and thrive, and that is far from true-a few big ones do fine, but the pool of money is much smaller.
                  The scale changes. But consider that the records that made the most or sold the most are not the ones made by the best musicians. I would say that without the artificial hype manipulated into the album-buying public, a lot of those musicians would not have been as financially successful.

                  [quote=Greg guitar;2294460]
                  Originally Posted by Greg guitar View Post

                  As for your statement "you don't have to worry about them because they don't support you"- referring to those who will just consume your performances without ever paying you a dime, that makes no sense, except in the existential sense that worry is a state of mind, and therefore optional. Many of those people may have bought your music, but "fans" shared it and made it unnecessary for them to ever buy. Which could mean the difference between a hobby and a career.
                  So since people can't resist taking something for free if they can pay for it, do you also pirate music? Because you know, you can. But you won't right? The people who would have bought but now won't because it's free is already smaller than you think. You can make it smaller still by structuring your business intelligently.

                  For example, making performance your focus and using your media to drive paid attendence to those. I don't have time or facility enough to brainstorm a bunch of options, but I don't see how it would be any different than what happens now where, if I like a band you like, but not enough to buy the album, I'm going to make a mix from my friend's CDs.

                  All this music was already being shared and stolen, just on a smaller scale. The attitudes haven't changed, just availability.

                  Originally Posted by Greg guitar View Post

                  The successful experiment you point to is great, but only as an adaptation to harsh new times, not in comparison with the past, when artist got paid every time someone got a "copy" of their music.
                  That's not how musicians get paid except a few very exclusive cases. Like the exact same ones who testified against Napster, for example.

                  Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                  Try explaining that to Uncle Sam while you're in court for counterfeiting money. The technology exists to duplicate currency. Should we quote "money wants to be free" because some are able to counterfeit it? I don't think it's going to hold up in court.
                  If you don't already know why that's not the same thing, I don't think I'll be able to explain it.

                  Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                  Try to consider the words and not the author, there is a point to the words that fit the context of the discussion. Citing the author is simple attribution.
                  Dang, I swear! I got one guy telling me I need to use the full context of my own quotes and another guy saying I have to totally ignore the context of his. I got your point Dennis, I just thought it was ironic considering the source.

                  Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                  It's also cutting out the content creators. I don't see people sending money directly to the content creators after they steal their property. They aren't stealing to eliminate the middle man. They steal because they don't want to pay, and theft is theft. No disrespect intended, but if you can't or don't want to see that, I don't know what to say.
                  No I meant that the stealing cuts out the middleman, so he will collapse. Simultaneous to that, the content creators are realizing they don't need the middleman anymore anyway, hastening the collapse. The people stealing it were never going to pay, and even if they had, they probably would have paid, copied, and then refunded. They never wanted to pay in the first place.

                  I know why they steal, I was talking about side effects.

                  Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                  Is that right? Do you really think people who steal from big distributors or production houses won't also steal from the content creators themselves? Perhaps you need to take another look at pirate sites. They do not discriminate, they steal from big and small, indies and corporate, men and women, etc.
                  No, I must have made that unclear. What I meant is that it may require a shift in business model that focuses on continuous creation of new content, which is only available new from you. For the customers who are buyers, even if they come across pirated material accidentally, they will find you and get more of what they want. It's not about who they will steal from, but in making the VALUE you present not contained within informational products, but in coming directly to you.

                  Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                  It is interesting that you bring high prices into the discussion as a rationalization for changing the system when you admittedly charge high prices for your copywriting services. It's okay for you to charge high prices, but when other entities do changes need to be made.

                  Huh?
                  Well, good luck pirating my copywriting. To you also I say "huh?" I'm afraid I don't get the point you're trying to make here.

                  Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                  Are you kidding me? Netflix and Hulu get it, and are profiting from a new model. That is no justification for people to steal from the old model. If the old model no longer works, it will wither away on its own precisely because it doesn't work; but that old model should not be destroyed prematurely by illegal activity just because people don't want to pay for what they offer.
                  I'll say again, I am not saying ANY of this to justify piracy. I'm not saying it's okay for people to steal. I'm saying that innovative retailers have adapted to a model where piracy is not hindering profits. The question of piracy becomes moot because it doesn't hurt them anymore.

                  Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                  And if society is moving toward cutting out medication for the elderly because they don't have long to live anyway, that makes it right? Yes, that's an extreme example, but you're still justifying theft. If everyone but you is participating in illegal activity, that still doesn't make that illegal activity right...or legal.
                  Again, I'm not justifying illegal activity at all. I'm saying it does us as info marketers no good to fight them, and in fact, companies are profiting by co-opting things they learn from what works for the thieves.

                  Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                  Compare it to illegal immigration. There are so many illegals pouring over the borders a lot of people think it's wrong to even call them illegals, let alone think we should be doing anything to stop them or try to send them back.
                  Yep. Same concept. We agree, they are just alike. They are both systems that are currently broken, and things are not realistically enforceable - so SOMETHING's going to give.

                  I'm simply making a prediction that the pirates are going to win eventually, so I will structure my business as if that's true. I'm going to succeed either way, but piracy will harm me less, because I'm not going to focus on it beyond accepting it and incorporating it into all my plans.

                  Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                  By comparison, thieves are overrunning the "borders" of the record and movie producers, and other content creators. So, since society is moving that way, I guess we should just give in to illegal immigration, eh?
                  That makes no logical sense.

                  Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                  What's next? We never have to buy anything?
                  Maybe eventually. I don't know. They don't have money in Star Trek - bunches of other stuff from that show have been made to come true because enough people wanted them to happen.

                  I can't see the future. I have no idea what the final outcome will be.

                  What I do think is that if you insist on focusing your efforts on stopping the pirates, you're ultimately wasting effort you could be using to grow your business in meaningful ways with the people who would pay you ANYWAY even if what you sell is free to steal. There are lots of those people. Many more than anyone needs to make a living off of.

                  Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                  Those industries died of natural causes, not because people were stealing their products and services. There is a massive difference between evolution and revolution.
                  Ask the ice man whether he gives a crap if it's natural or artificial. Evolution doesn't care what causes the environmental shift - it just responds.
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                  • Profile picture of the author N4PGW
                    Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                    You're just supposing that though. Most people I know buy more music now digitally than we ever did otherwise. Whereas I wouldn't buy say, 3 mixed bag albums from an artist I like, I will buy every good song from all 3. Net result is, I'm buying more than I would have otherwise, and that's due to the info being disentangled from the package of an "album".
                    Any other Paul Wilbur fans out here??? I think I have identified about six of his English language albums. I own three. I love his music but can't find another album to buy because I have all but one song on all six albums. Do I want to pay $15 for only one song? Not really, I already have several songs twice and one song three times. I don't play the original CDs. I play them from my Ipod or an MP3 CD in my car. I would gladly pay $1 - $2 for the song, assuming it is complete.

                    (For those who don't know, he plays live concerts. Each track is carefully cut off-center so the previous song includes the introduction to the next. The first track contains the whole song plus the intro to the second track. The second track misses its own introduction and includes the introduction to track three. It doesn't sound good to play the tracks in random order or alone.)

                    Personally, I would be more willing to spend $60 on 50-60 songs I like from various artists than to pay $15 for one album from one artist.
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              • Profile picture of the author N4PGW
                Originally Posted by tecHead View Post


                I'm a musician; have been one all my life; and I'd rather take gNutella dude's lead and say, "OK, so instead of you stealin' my stuff and throwin' it around the net, I'll give you 10¢ on the $1 for every sale you help me generate.".... I'm thinkin' the theft will pretty much end.
                I am thinking you are wrong. Don't you get something similar to that by promoting links to Amazon.com?
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            • Profile picture of the author g_sandra
              At the moment it's the film industry, but it's still a move in the right direction and there's light at the end of the tunnel for digital product creators. Who knows how long the tunnel will be
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              • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
                Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                So ... they're going to buy it after they "try" a movie? lol.
                Sure ... if most people you know wouldn't buy unless they could try it, most people you know are thieves.
                There's a thing called "trailers" and "previews" - they do let you try it before you buy it. I do it all the time on Netflix on my Roku.

                Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                Those who steal intellectual property, or those who burglar homes, rob banks, counterfeit money ... it's all the same to me.
                I'm glad you are not a lawyer or a judge then.

                Originally Posted by Colin Palfrey View Post

                I think a large part of the problem here is attempting roll multiple problems into one lump.
                Yes, I agree with that.

                Originally Posted by Colin Palfrey View Post

                The music industry has been ruined by piracy, anyone arguing differently must be deaf. You simply wont get the likes of another Pink Floyd, Hendrix etc.. in this environment.
                Why do you feel it's the industry that produced those artists? And also, why do you feel it couldn't happen again without them? What did they bring to the table? Do you think the record industry as it exists now has any interest whatsoever in developing another Hendrix or Pink Floyd?

                Originally Posted by Colin Palfrey View Post

                However, when it comes to the film industry they already have the answer, but are too lazy to use it. All they need do is provide their content online themselves and monetize them with adverts. They already know this model is profitable, and when they consider the larger audience and the fact the viewer could actual take action on the spot by clicking, the amount they can charge advertisers is far more than they currently make.
                Yep. Exactly. Refusal to acknowledge the solutions that are already there.

                Originally Posted by Colin Palfrey View Post

                Does that mean I think people should be stealing films? hell no, but that doesn't mean that the people in charge of distributing the films to the public shouldn't change the way they go about it.
                YES YES YES YES! This is sort of a nutshell of what I've been trying to say all along, but people keep getting upset with me like I've hoisted the black flag myself and started slitting throats.

                Originally Posted by Colin Palfrey View Post

                Please note that none of the above applies to us at all!!! We are not in the entertainment industry, we sell information.
                I disagree. Not to bust on you, but you have a very limited understanding of our industry - not just information marketing, but in this very niche. Entertainment is made out of information. The reasons the majority of people buy and buy and buy information is very very largely about entertainment, regardless of what other purpose it serves.

                Originally Posted by Colin Palfrey View Post

                You cannot monetize education with adverts, and thus the obvious model for them wont work for us.
                Educating is not all we do. Also, Adsense. Just one example.

                Originally Posted by Colin Palfrey View Post

                I still think the best route for digital product creators selling info products is to fight back as hard as possible, while always watching for better ways to market our stuff.
                I disagree. Fighting back won't stop them. They aren't doing it to bully us.

                Originally Posted by Colin Palfrey View Post

                You cannot package totally different problems up and label them all piracy, then wonder why no one solution works for the whole of piracy.
                One solution does work - lump em all together and build your business so they can't materially harm you. Which is what I've been saying all along.

                Originally Posted by matty-81 View Post

                Let's say I put a few hours of hard work into building a picnic table to sell and someone else puts the same amount of hard work into their digital product. It wouldn't be legal to back your pick up truck up to my yard and take the picnic table just because it was there, so why should people think it's alright to do it with digital products?
                They think it's alright because you still have your "picnic table" and unless you go find where they are sharing it, you didn't even know it was missing.

                Originally Posted by matty-81 View Post

                I really don't see the difference, other than the fact that they can be cowards and hide behind their computers.
                Do you mean you don't see the difference morally? Because as I pointed out, there is a vast and undeniable difference in the physical mechanisms and impacts of stealing digital vs. physical property. If you don't "see" a difference, it's because you refuse to.

                Originally Posted by matty-81 View Post

                What I really can't understand is why one of those big marketers hasdn't gone after that forum. Do they know how much money they are losing?
                If you think they don't know, you're wrong. If you stop and consider your question, you might see that some people have already started doing what I suggested. They might be "losing" potential money that MAY OR MAY NOT have ever been spent. But they don't care because they are focusing on the money that IS spent.

                Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                Dennis put it so eloquently, that I don't need to repeat it. Glad to see there are others who haven't thrown in the towel and given these self-entitled brats a red carpet to steal their products.
                There's a difference between re-engineering your business to reduce the impact of a problem and rolling out a red carpet.

                Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                Embrace it. No. If the technology exists that allows sharing/theft, the technology can be developed that makes it more difficult without inconveniencing your real customers.
                Don't embrace pirates. Accept the fact that they are part of the environment and the cost of doing business, and move past it. Also, if you have an idea about effective anti-piracy technology, lots of people will pay you lots of money for it. They've thrown lots and lots of money at it already and haven't solved it in any industry.

                In the digital products realm, I argue that you never will be able to, because the EXACT SAME mechanism required for sharing is required for selling. Copy, Send. It happens when we sell it, no matter what you stick on it after than, the underlying possibility will still exist and will be discoverable by someone with the time and inclination. Which is what pirates are made of.

                Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                In the meantime, protecting my business from them is just part of doing business, IMO and any day that I can annoy them by making them lose their hosting or lose their domain (and all their backlinks with it) is a day that I get a personal satisfaction from doing so.
                Trading annoyance for annoyance just seems like wasted time for me, but if you get personal satisfaction out of it, I can see why you do it. I find it tedious, and maybe that's why we disagree.

                Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                Do I neglect my business to chase pirates? No. But I certainly don't ignore the problem and act as though it is inevitable that I will lose my websites or ebooks to these criminals.
                If they want it, they will take it, and nothing invented yet has been able to stop the determined pirate. If you have something digital that hasn't been stolen, it's because no pirate wants it, or no one has begged a pirate to get it for them. That's a fact. The more successful you are, the more the pirate will vex you.

                The more desirable you get, the more they want your stuff so how can you ever win UNLESS you build your business in a way that accounts for them and allows you to work around them?

                Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                Why anyone feels that it is less criminal to steal products that I and many people work our butts off to create and make a living from, is beyond me and same with the movie and music industry.
                And yet people DO IT ALL THE TIME. Is it really beyond you? I don't think it is - you KNOW why people do it - some of the ones who do it DON'T even really think it's "okay" - but they do it anyway and don't care.

                It's OBVIOUS why they think it's less criminal. We've said it over and over. It's easy, it's anonymous, and the person you're stealing it from still has it. It is apparent to everyone why this crime "seems" less serious.

                NOTE: I'm not saying what they think makes it less illegal, nor do I personally agree with the way they think. But I can't say "I don't understand" because I do - 100% and that's why I think you can't win against them.

                It's not an attitude that will ever go away because it has to do with flaws in perception and the fact that most people will cheat in an environment where they think it's okay (see experiments in 'Predictably Irrational").

                I would say MOST of the people who pirate know it's criminal, and they way they think it's okay is by not thinking about it one bit.

                Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                ... and no, I never had a duplicate tape recorder, but TOS of many pieces of software, etc allow the making of a backup copy for personal use, and as long as it is used as a backup copy, that is not illegal. It is the copying and unathorized distribution that make it a crime. That should be fairly obvious.
                How very noble of you. If everyone were like you, piracy wouldn't exist.

                Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

                Either the Kindle or the Nook lets you do that. They've made it more akin to the real world. When you loan someone your eBook, you cannot access it, just like you would not be able to access a physical book on loan to a friend. You cannot access that eBook again until they have returned it to you.
                So what you're saying is that rather than worry about piracy, Amazon built a device that transcends the pirate mentality while giving legitimate customers to use the device in a way they would logically expect? Holy ****! Really!? What have I been saying we should all do this whole time!!!???

                Sorry to get crazy on you there Dan, but when I say it people get upset, so I must not have explained it well enough, but this is another fine example of a company evolving AROUND the damaged environment that piracy has created.

                Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

                If history is any example, and it is, laws will be used beyond the original intent of the laws. If they want to get someone, they'll find a law to do it, even if the intent of the law had nothing to do with what it ultimately gets used for.
                Yep. Capone and tax evasion is one of innumerable examples.

                Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

                Don't like what a blogger says about certain government officials? Well, let's see if he has any questionable hyperlinks to bad websites...
                We fear the same thing Dan. The OP's post indicates that some among us are waiting for the gummint to come save us from the big bad pirates. If we don't take the reins and fix it ourselves, the size of the hammer eventually wielded by said government is going to also smash a lot of stuff we'd rather not see smashed.

                Originally Posted by nathanpennington View Post

                This assumes that morals aren't grounded in absolutes. The statement above states that morals (and thus moral truths) are fluid.

                The problem with that is it doesn't work. Absolute truth and morals are a logical necessity. They don't change.

                Saying that there are no absolutes creates a nonsense and invalid statement as it has created an absolute in the process of saying none exist . . .

                So, while some people may view something as morally acceptable at various times in history, this does not make it moral or change what is morally true or in any way related to progress.
                Morality would not exist without humanity, and humanity defines what morality is. The fact that morality is different not just in history, but from country to country today, proves that morality is something in flux and very much subject to the times and environments in which they develop.

                But I get the hint of religious conviction in what you say, so I don't think I'll convince you otherwise. But today, in countries that our government is actually allied with, the moral thing to do if your daughter is raped is to put her to death. This is what they must do to get right with their God and their society.

                It's easy to say "oh well, they don't have the REAL morality that WE have." But then again, that only proves that morality is subjective.

                Fortunately, I think the global spread of internet technology will serve to spread the "better" morality into the more sheltered corners of the world. And you know, thereby change it. Because it's changeable.

                Originally Posted by jdenc View Post

                You can't stop pirates by out programming them. You can only stop them one way, remove the demand. You remove the demand, or seriously undermine it, by changing your business paradigm. Not by continuing the same way and chasing law suits.
                YES YES YES!

                Originally Posted by jdenc View Post

                Just look around the war on piracy is no more effective than the war on drugs because it ignores the demand side of the equation for the most part. And when it does go after demand it does it all hamhanded and with poor results because not enough thought is put into the carrot side and all the effort goes into the stick.
                YES YES YES!

                Originally Posted by jdenc View Post

                Think about it. Every major label could have had their own itunes. But instead they fought the digital model and wanted to continue with the old way they knew. Hasn't worked out so well. Every studio could have had their own Netflix. Instead they fought the digital model and continued with the old way. Again wasn't the right approach. We can either learn from these failures or we can continue to fail by repeating their mistakes.

                I think it's time we learned.
                YES YES YES!

                Hopefully when YOU say it, people won't call you a pirate loving son of a scurvy dog.
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                • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
                  Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                  So what you're saying is that rather than worry about piracy, Amazon built a device that transcends the pirate mentality while giving legitimate customers to use the device in a way they would logically expect? Holy ****! Really!? What have I been saying we should all do this whole time!!!???

                  Sorry to get crazy on you there Dan, but when I say it people get upset, so I must not have explained it well enough, but this is another fine example of a company evolving AROUND the damaged environment that piracy has created.
                  Honestly, this thread has reached the point where I'm not sure what any of us are talking about anymore.
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                • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
                  Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                  Oh, I don't know. A few months in jail can certainly change behavior. Part of the problem is catching them. Part of the problem is a sympathetic media that paints criminals as victims of big business. Part of the problem is that many of the worst offenders are outside of US jurisdiction.
                  So if for the reasons you point out, jail is not going to work. So...

                  Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                  But...jail time can certainly change behavior. It took two stints in prison for Kevin Mitnick to give up hacking, but it seems he finally got the message. That's one thing about being locked up, it's no fun. Most people never want to go back.
                  He had to go twice. Must not be THAT convincing. Also, doesn't he work in computer security now? Pretty much the same job. He just found a way to do what he wanted anyways.

                  Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                  When you start seeing your friends go to jail, or you do, for 30 or 60 or 90 days, and you know the next time you get caught days could be measured in years, I think minds can be changed.
                  If jail is such a deterrent, why are they so full?

                  Originally Posted by jdenc View Post

                  You really can't jail your way out of any problem. Jail isn't really an effective deterrent for most of the people involved on the supply side. Further longer, harsher sentences don't seem to be slowing the drug trade after 30+ years of following that path. Why is it going to work now?
                  Exactly.

                  Originally Posted by tecHead View Post

                  There are many that are determined enough whereas spending time in jail allows them to study up on and remedy what they feel was a mistake. A mistake in implementation; not a mistaken act which got them locked up in the first place.
                  Jail is a better crime school than the streets.

                  Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                  Drugs are an addiction. Different kind of mindset. Different goals. Different kind of problem.
                  Oh man. Clearly you don't understand the OCD nature of the pirate. He is a collector. He often doesn't ever even USE everything he steals. He couldn't if he consumed it every minute of every day of the rest of his life. The collection is the trophy. The pursuit of the collection is the thrill. The robin-hood esque nature has its appeal. The kudos of the community. The hint of danger. The sticking-it-to-the-man... Sounds real similar.

                  Information addiction is just as real as any other kind, as far as the psychological aspect is concerned. As with real drugs, that's the HARD part to overcome. If it was physiological, they could fix it with a pill.

                  To not see the connection is to not understand the enemy properly.

                  Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                  I spent about 4 hours in jail for underage drinking about 40 years ago, not that it's any of your business and I consider you an impolite jerk for even asking. No charges were filed, it was a scare tactic, and it worked.
                  Well, as someone who has relatives who have gone to prison for crimes they did commit, and seeing the disproportionately harsh punishment that it proved, I had to assume that you hadn't either.

                  No one who knows what jail is like wants anyone but violent criminals to be in there. It's a cage you leave your humanity outside of, and when you come back out, it's often not there waiting for you anymore.

                  4 hours in the drunk tank is NOT jail. And the way it was 40 years ago is NOT how it is now. 30 years of the drug war has made for a vastly more dangerous prison population.

                  I'm glad you learned your particular lesson. But if you think of "jail" as a scare tactic, it's much, much worse than that.

                  I don't want to start a whole side tangent here, because the problem with jails and the drug war are going to dilute the otherwise fabulous discussion. If you're going make a very articulated argument for jail, it's fair to know what your perception of "jail" is.

                  Like I said, I don't know anyone who has been to jail, or has someone they love go to jail, who would EVER recommend jail as a punishment for anything but violence.

                  Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                  As for your speculation on Mitnick, that's all it is, mindless, pointless, meaningless speculation.
                  Well, aren't you speculating that it's jail that's stopped Mitnick from hacking? After all, he went twice.

                  Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                  And to both of you, I didn't say jail would stop everyone, but if you think jail wouldn't change a lot of minds and behavior, I would suggest you need to think about it some more. Most people value their freedom, especially when they've lost it for a while.
                  If jail only took away your freedom, I might agree.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
                    Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

                    Mr. theriot, let me try again in a different way.

                    What do you recommend we do?

                    If you could answer in a simple way, that would be cool. (Not saying you have to, of course)

                    All the best,
                    Michael
                    As I've said all along, those are things that we as the community will have to develop and design. I don't have an out of the box solution that works for everyone. As the exchange between Dennis and I pointed out earlier, I write copy. It's an un-stealable product. Any content I put out there, whether I sell it or not, ultimately acts as a commercial for me and what I do.

                    I really don't care if people are going to take anything I've put out there and spread it around. Mind you, I haven't ever developed anything really expensive yet. But if I do create an expensive product offering, it will very likely BE expensive due to an effect or benefit that a pirate can't get by copying content. Live coaching, hosted tools, things like that.

                    I also pointed out how in other industries, the commodity of information has been made profitable again due to a change in format and delivery. They were shifting from a physical to a digital model, so it's not a 1:1 since we are already digital.

                    But I think they are good examples of an evolved business model, and I try to collect other examples of those to think on. I don't have a solution, nor did I ever. But there's no solution on the "fight the pirates" side either.

                    If both sides need a solution to be invented, I vote for the "invent something to make my business resistant against this problem" vs. "invent something to try and stop the symptom".

                    That's because even IF they solve piracy in the meantime, I'm still in a more evolved position than my competitors, and hopefully farther ahead because while they've been fighting piracy, I've been growing my customer base.

                    And of course, when the world builds a better pirate, I'm still immune.

                    Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

                    Honestly, this thread has reached the point where I'm not sure what any of us are talking about anymore.
                    Honestly, your post expresses an opinion that has no relevance. Isn't it enough that we're all clearly enjoying ourselves? Sorry you don't like it, but there are lots of other threads here. No offense Dan, but why bother saying stuff like this at all?

                    Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                    I would say they are different. People take drugs to dull or escape their reality. Downloaders download to get something they want for free. Very different things. Very different mindsets.

                    Comparing drug users and studies involving drug users to downloaders is a spurious argument.
                    What are the downloaders downloading if not stuff to help them dull or escape their reality? The download is the score.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
                      Originally Posted by nathanpennington View Post

                      This is an unprovable assumption. Now, please don't take offense because I called it unprovable . . . that's not the same as calling it bad. But it is unprovable.
                      I so want to argue this with you, but I don't want to derail the thread. If you want to go start it in off-topic, I promise I'll be there.

                      I shoulda done that with my last post, too. Apologies all. Unless you can also think of a way to make it more relevant here. I'm down with that too.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
                      Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                      As I've said all along, those are things that we as the community will have to develop and design. I don't have an out of the box solution that works for everyone. As the exchange between Dennis and I pointed out earlier, I write copy. It's an un-stealable product.
                      Is that true? A person could steal your copy off of the website you wrote it for and use it to sell a similar product, or the same product if they stole it too. I don't knowingly visit pirate sites, but I'd be surprised if some of this isn't already going on.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
                    Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                    He had to go twice. Must not be THAT convincing. Also, doesn't he work in computer security now? Pretty much the same job. He just found a way to do what he wanted anyways.
                    If we take him at his word, it's exactly what stopped him. Yes, he is in security now. He found a LEGAL way to do what he loves. He didn't bend the system to him, he repositioned himself to work within the system.

                    If jail is such a deterrent, why are they so full?
                    Not all crimes are equal, not all criminals are the same. Downloaders (the conversation had changed to downloaders rather than pirates - you apparently missed that) are not heavy duty criminals. They are students, housewives, the banker, the ditch digger...didn't you say something like that yourself earlier? Anyway, to say a little jail time - perhaps even one day - will not deter the casual downloader because because the prisons are full of hard core criminals is quite a stretch.

                    Most of these people don't see themselves as criminals, and I think you said that before too. Well, if they get a hard reality slap that they are partaking in criminal behavior, and that there are consequences for their behavior, I would speculate that a majority of the housewives, blue collar workers, and other everyday people would adjust their behavior to their new understanding of reality.

                    All of your other comments were based in the idea that when I wrote about jail time I was referring to the pirates, when in fact, it had turned to the downloaders, with the exception of this comment:

                    Well, aren't you speculating that it's jail that's stopped Mitnick from hacking? After all, he went twice.
                    No, I'm taking him at his word for it from a guest appearance he made on a radio program I listened to. There is no speculation about that whatsoever on my part.
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                • Profile picture of the author BruceWayne
                  Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                  Morality would not exist without humanity, and humanity defines what morality is.
                  This is an unprovable assumption. Now, please don't take offense because I called it unprovable . . . that's not the same as calling it bad. But it is unprovable.

                  Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                  The fact that morality is different not just in history, but from country to country today, proves that morality is something in flux and very much subject to the times and environments in which they develop.
                  No, it doesn't. It merely shows that what is perceived to be morally correct has flux in it, but not that what is actually moral changes. Think of it like this. If I believed that an apple were an orange, that would not change the apple.

                  So, saying that doing this or that is or isn't moral doesn't change the actual morality of the issue.

                  Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                  But I get the hint of religious conviction in what you say, so I don't think I'll convince you otherwise.
                  You are playing around the edges of an ad hominem attack there . . . careful.


                  Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                  It's easy to say "oh well, they don't have the REAL morality that WE have." But then again, that only proves that morality is subjective.
                  Not so. In this scenario, it wouldn't if your WE really did have the REAL morality, as you put it.

                  Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                  Fortunately, I think the global spread of internet technology will serve to spread the "better" morality into the more sheltered corners of the world. And you know, thereby change it. Because it's changeable.
                  In your world view, there can't be a "better" morality, as it's all individually defined. And if a collective group affects change to what they consider to be a "better" morality on others didn't previously hold to that "morality", then you have a problem . . . again because for you morality is individually defined. And you will be impinging on that one, in this case.
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                • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
                  Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                  One solution does work - lump em all together and build your business so they can't materially harm you. Which is what I've been saying all along.
                  Colin, exactly how does the average infopreneur change his or her business model so piracy can't harm them? I see a lot of high-minded rhetoric coming from you, but no solutions.
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                  • Profile picture of the author jdenc
                    Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                    Colin, exactly how does the average infopreneur change his or her business model so piracy can't harm them? I see a lot of high-minded rhetoric coming from you, but no solutions.
                    Again not to answer for Colin but it seems to me the answer is to get out of E-books for profit and to only use them to lead people to membership sites or coaching. The ebook as a lure not the pay off would take the value out of ebook piracy.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
                      Originally Posted by jdenc View Post

                      Again not to answer for Colin but it seems to me the answer is to get out of E-books for profit and to only use them to lead people to membership sites or coaching. The ebook as a lure not the pay off would take the value out of ebook piracy.
                      A membership site can be ripped off nearly as easily as an ebook. I appreciate your attempt to answer the question, I really do, but the solution doesn't hold up.
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                      • Profile picture of the author jdenc
                        Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                        A membership site can be ripped off nearly as easily as an ebook. I appreciate your attempt to answer the question, I really do, but the solution doesn't hold up.
                        Thanks but the point isn't to never be ripoffed again. That simply isn't attainable. The point is to make the ripoff hurt so little you don't care and to make it work for you when you can. So the ebook as lure if stolen leads them to the payoff that the pirate can't provide. And the reality is people join membership sites for more than just the info available. The pirate can't add community value to what he steals. He can't add the guy who has made tens of thousands online answering you in real time when you post. All he can do is steal the least valuable thing you have at that point. Out of context content. And let's be honest once you have the member site going there is a lot you can do to protect content as well. Again won't stop everyone but if you do it right it shouldn't make that big paycheck any harder to get.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
                          Originally Posted by jdenc View Post

                          Thanks but the point isn't to never be ripoffed again. That simply isn't attainable. The point is to make the ripoff hurt so little you don't care and to make it work for you when you can. So the ebook as lure if stolen leads them to the payoff that the pirate can't provide. And the reality is people join membership sites for more than just the info available. The pirate can't add community value to what he steals. He can't add the guy who has made tens of thousands online answering you in real time when you post. All he can do is steal the least valuable thing you have at that point. Out of context content. And let's be honest once you have the member site going there is a lot you can do to protect content as well. Again won't stop everyone but if you do it right it shouldn't make that big paycheck any harder to get.
                          I see what you're saying, and agree in part. I would say the pirate can add community though. It could be a community of thieves, or it could be legit if he repackages it and positions himself as a legitimate business. The pirate could take the content from multiple member sites and build a bigger community than any of those he stole from.

                          Granted, you can keep coming up with new content, and keep your members happy - but the pirate can keep stealing your content and everyone else's content and lure members you might have gotten if they hadn't found him first.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                          Colin,
                          It's not an attitude that will ever go away because it has to do with flaws in perception and the fact that most people will cheat in an environment where they think it's okay (see experiments in 'Predictably Irrational").
                          Which gets directly at my point.

                          I don't think you, or most of the rest of the people in this discussion, are endorsing piracy. My comments about "thieves and scum" are directed at the folks actually engaged in the practice.

                          We're failing right now by allowing the thieves to dictate the language of the discussion. When that happens, they get to create the environment in which people think it's okay. That's my target. Not stopping the distributors.

                          "Sharing?" Please. The implications of that word are enormous. They suggest a good will and ownership that are not at all applicable to the act of piracy. Yet the pirates use it, and many of us adopt it, and we perpetuate the propaganda. We become the mechanism by which it's allowed to be seen as "alright." After all, what kind of heartless creep punishes someone for "sharing?"

                          Even the word "pirates" has been romanticized by the media to the point where it no longer represents the murdering thieves the originals were.

                          Then some of us talk about how the fault lies with the "greedy *******s" who run the businesses that own the rights to the products being pirated. That's a wonderful sounding slogan, but it's got nothing to do with the theft end of things. Price is (for most products) a matter of market force, not moral rectitude.

                          I happen to agree with most of what you and tecHead are saying. I strongly disagree with parts of how you're saying it.

                          Saying that we shouldn't fight it is tantamount to giving permission for anyone who wants to steal from us to do so. Yes, fighting it through the medium of the files themselves is tricky. That just issues a challenge to the thieves. Going after them in other ways can be effective in limiting the number of people who do it.

                          More importantly, the potential for significant consequences reminds would-be casual pirates that they really are doing something wrong.

                          As far as it not being technically feasible to go after the pirates, that's not true. The challenge is that most of the things that would work are also illegal. For instance, it would be fairly easy to DDoS most of their sites off the net. Enough hammering on their pipes and even the most theft-friendly providers would shun them, out of fear of the cost to their other customers.

                          There are ways to get at the downloaders, too. They're equally illegal. But wouldn't it be nice to arrange for the thieves to open a pirated file and find their hard drives wiped?

                          Digital crime, digital penalty.

                          Those are just obvious, brute force mechanisms. They're not even close to the best solutions, but they're things that would make a significant dent in the "demand" for pirated goods.

                          So, yeah. We could fight them. We could make piracy sufficiently unattractive to deter a lot of the casual thieves. But the majority of us who are targets for this kind of theft are not willing to go those routes.
                          Why should I pay $20 for a record full of songs I don't want just to get the two I do, when if I steal it, I can search every song known to man, download at home, instantly put it on my ipod, share with friends, make copies, do whatever with it that restrictive DRM may eventually prevent?

                          I may not steal myself, but your product appears to be a ripoff now.
                          It only "appears" that way to people who think they're entitled to something. People who resent the idea that they have to choose between paying the asked price or doing without.

                          That same market force can - and has - changed the way many people buy music. Amazon's $.99 MP3s, iTunes, etc, are the proper response to those forces. Anyone who uses the rationale above to actually steal isn't making any statement except "I'm a thief."
                          How does that map to IM products? I have no idea - that's why I said we should think about how to do it. It's worked there. It could work here, too.
                          It doesn't map well to text-based content at all. Especially content that's already digitally-delivered.
                          The movement for the radical democratization of media has adopted piracy as the vehicle of change.
                          Let them. They'll kill the industry that supplies the content they claim to want. Take away enough of the incentive, and the creators will either stop creating, or they'll limit things to the point where far fewer people benefit from them.

                          And, of course, we'll have more people screaming about how the greedy *******s don't produce anything worth watching, reading or using any more.

                          It won't reach that point in the music or movie industry any time soon. But in some industries it's already there. This one, for example. You'd be surprised at some of the stories I hear from people who have massive knowledge and won't teach it, simply because they don't want anything to do with the IM crowd as it exists today.
                          I'm saying we try to conduct business around them instead of doing battle, because any attempt to stop them will only amuse them and probably drive them further.
                          Only if we let them choose the battlefield. Or make them the targets.

                          Want to kill a lot of piracy? Go after the downloaders directly. But not with spotty techniques like lawsuits. They don't work, simply because most people know how unlikely it is that they will personally be targets.
                          This is the problem, so what is the solution?
                          The most effective ones will also be illegal in most countries. Which is a shame. I think it would be very effective to make people understand that downloading stolen content could cost them their personal pictures and bank records. It wouldn't take a lot of those incidents to make piracy seem a lot less attractive to casual thieves, would it?

                          Yes, a business model change might work in some fields. I can think of a few ways to make it work in the teaching field, but they all involve making things much less convenient for the end user. I don't consider those to be improvements.
                          why does it matter what their motives are?
                          You're a copywriter. Think about that question from that perspective. The answer will become clear pretty quickly.
                          But what about the DETERMINED pirate. DRM just makes him want to crack a security code BECAUSE IT'S THERE.
                          Yup. No question. But they are not the bulk of the problem. The effective means to address the determined pirates involve breaking their distribution chains. With the advent of Tor and similar systems, that gets more complicated. But approaches that go after the end user don't. They're actually made easier by decentralized systems.
                          What percentage of your overall customer base are you talking about here? I'm not saying it's a 100% thing, but I can't tell if you're talking about a lot of people or an exception to the norm. I'm mainly curious - you've been at this a lot longer than me.
                          This particular subset was much smaller a few years ago. It's not growing fast, but it's growing. I'd guesstimate about 10-15% of the people who look at something I sell try to find a pirated copy first.
                          My moral compass isn't lost at all
                          Didn't think it was. Remember, when I speak in general terms here, I'm talking to ALL the people reading the post.

                          Most of us look at the problem of piracy from the wrong end. We talk about the people who make the files available. They're only a tiny percentage of the issue, albeit a critical part. The real problem is the end user who downloads pirated material.

                          I consider them to be the real villains in this morality play.
                          I never ever have. I'm telling people to make the choice between adhering to a model that allows these predators to victimize you, or to create and shift to a model that moves the value elsewhere into a configuration that can't be transmitted by digital sharing.
                          This is a good thought, and good advice. But without specific suggestions, it ends up sounding like we should all just give up the fight.


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                          • Profile picture of the author tecHead
                            Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                            ...
                            I happen to agree with most of what you and tecHead are saying. I strongly disagree with parts of how you're saying it.

                            Saying that we shouldn't fight it is tantamount to giving permission for anyone who wants to steal from us to do so. Yes, fighting it through the medium of the files themselves is tricky. That just issues a challenge to the thieves. Going after them in other ways can be effective in limiting the number of people who do it.

                            More importantly, the potential for significant consequences reminds would-be casual pirates that they really are doing something wrong.

                            As far as it not being technically feasible to go after the pirates, that's not true. The challenge is that most of the things that would work are also illegal. For instance, it would be fairly easy to DDoS most of their sites off the net. Enough hammering on their pipes and even the most theft-friendly providers would shun them, out of fear of the cost to their other customers.

                            There are ways to get at the downloaders, too. They're equally illegal. But wouldn't it be nice to arrange for the thieves to open a pirated file and find their hard drives wiped?

                            Digital crime, digital penalty.

                            Those are just obvious, brute force mechanisms. They're not even close to the best solutions, but they're things that would make a significant dent in the "demand" for pirated goods.

                            So, yeah. We could fight them. We could make piracy sufficiently unattractive to deter a lot of the casual thieves. But the majority of us who are targets for this kind of theft are not willing to go those routes...

                            Paul
                            I knew you had some gangster in you. lol

                            I like the way you think...
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                            • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                              tecHead,
                              I knew you had some gangster in you. lol
                              More than you know, I'm sure.


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                • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                  Banned
                  Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                  There's a thing called "trailers" and "previews" - they do let you try it before you buy it. I do it all the time on Netflix on my Roku.
                  He wasn't talking about trailers and you know it.


                  Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                  I'm glad you are not a lawyer or a judge then.
                  If you think a lawyer or judge would be more lenient, think again. This is just first page Google results to show that law enforcement takes criminal behavior seriously.

                  Movie Piracy Websites Seized In Widespread Raid By Feds
                  Canadian Movie Pirate ‘maVen’ Sent To Jail | TorrentFreak
                  Calif. Anti-Piracy Law Sends Online Movie & Music Traders to Jail ? LegalNewsWatch
                  Convicted music pirate faces jail
                  Montreal 'movie pirate' jailed for bootlegging
                  Four found guilty in landmark Pirate Bay case - CNN.com


                  Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                  There's a difference between re-engineering your business to reduce the impact of a problem and rolling out a red carpet.

                  Don't embrace pirates. Accept the fact that they are part of the environment and the cost of doing business, and move past it. Also, if you have an idea about effective anti-piracy technology, lots of people will pay you lots of money for it. They've thrown lots and lots of money at it already and haven't solved it in any industry.
                  It's in the works.

                  Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                  Trading annoyance for annoyance just seems like wasted time for me, but if you get personal satisfaction out of it, I can see why you do it. I find it tedious, and maybe that's why we disagree.

                  If you have something digital that hasn't been stolen, it's because no pirate wants it, or no one has begged a pirate to get it for them. That's a fact. The more successful you are, the more the pirate will vex you.
                  I don't find protecting my business tedious any more than homeowners and offline business owners find security solutions tedious. Perhaps it is you that don't have anything valuable enough to protect.


                  Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                  It's OBVIOUS why they think it's less criminal. We've said it over and over. It's easy, it's anonymous, and the person you're stealing it from still has it. It is apparent to everyone why this crime "seems" less serious.

                  NOTE: I'm not saying what they think makes it less illegal, nor do I personally agree with the way they think. But I can't say "I don't understand" because I do - 100% and that's why I think you can't win against them.
                  I have done fairly well fighting back. There are some simple solutions that require a little time and most people with products are simply too lazy to take the time. I've had sites removed from their hosting, sites removed from Google - banned for good so that domain is useless. An email here and an email there and you'd be surprised the impact you can make. Have I eliminated piracy from the Internet? No. Have I reduced it's impact on my business? Yes.

                  Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                  How very noble of you. If everyone were like you, piracy wouldn't exist.
                  And how very condescending of you. I make no apology for having ethics. You're not going to make me the bad guy for not stealing or not condoning it.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
                    Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                    If we take him at his word, it's exactly what stopped him. Yes, he is in security now. He found a LEGAL way to do what he loves. He didn't bend the system to him, he repositioned himself to work within the system.
                    Repositioning himself to work within the system. That's what I've been saying all along. I think pirates are now an inherent part of the system. I recommend instead of trying to change the system, we learn to work within it.

                    Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                    Not all crimes are equal, not all criminals are the same. Downloaders (the conversation had changed to downloaders rather than pirates - you apparently missed that) are not heavy duty criminals.
                    Maybe I'm not sure of the semantic difference you're saying there is between a "pirate" and a "downloader"?

                    Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                    They are students, housewives, the banker, the ditch digger...didn't you say something like that yourself earlier? Anyway, to say a little jail time - perhaps even one day - will not deter the casual downloader because because the prisons are full of hard core criminals is quite a stretch.
                    They don't give out one day jail sentences do they? And besides, I really REALLY don't want my tax dollars being spent arresting downloaders for a day. That would be literally insane to attempt. I don't even think a scare tactic would work as a deterrent because it would be so obvious that it couldn't be sustainable policed.

                    Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                    Most of these people don't see themselves as criminals, and I think you said that before too. Well, if they get a hard reality slap that they are partaking in criminal behavior, and that there are consequences for their behavior, I would speculate that a majority of the housewives, blue collar workers, and other everyday people would adjust their behavior to their new understanding of reality.
                    Maybe for a little while.

                    Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                    No, I'm taking him at his word for it from a guest appearance he made on a radio program I listened to. There is no speculation about that whatsoever on my part.
                    Fair enough. That wasn't clear initially. Thanks for clarifying.

                    Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                    As I stated, people take drugs to dull or escape their reality. Downloaders download to get something they want for free. The starting mindset of the two groups are very different, therefore you haven't established the things that agree, you've only submitted a conclusion based on the outcome you wanted to reach. Therefore, it's a spurious analogy.
                    Same thing I think. People download stuff partially for the thrill of the score, and partially because the contents of the product are an escape of some kind. Then eventually, it's not even about the experience of the content, it's just about the getting it and the having it. Much like purely psychologically based drug addicts.

                    Do you agree that people can become addicted to online gaming? If so, consider the act and culture of the pirate and downloader are very game-like.

                    Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                    A membership site can be ripped off nearly as easily as an ebook. I appreciate your attempt to answer the question, I really do, but the solution doesn't hold up.
                    Only if it's built around pre-recorded downloadable content. An ongoing live component can't be replicated without the user creating their own recordings, which is certainly possible, but enough effort to deter most people. Pair that with it being expensive enough, your leaks will be very minimal.

                    Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                    He wasn't talking about trailers and you know it.
                    I'm not sure what he was talking about, I was responding to you directly.

                    I was just saying is that movies are indeed a product that you can try before you buy. They always have been. It might not be how he meant it, but the concept isn't alien really. If you watch a movie in the cinema and then buy the DVD, the movie acted as a preview of the DVD kinda.

                    They include extended clips of movies on complimentary DVDs now, too. They run previews of upcoming TV series to build up interest, too.

                    But I'm not trying to pick a fight over that, really. I was just saying that "try before you buy" exists for movies and TVs in the legitimate channel already, so it's not a totally bizarre rationale for consumption.

                    Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                    If you think a lawyer or judge would be more lenient, think again. This is just first page Google results to show that law enforcement takes criminal behavior seriously.
                    It wasn't a matter of taking it seriously, I just meant that yours and my views on the similarity or difference between certain crimes is very different.

                    So I am glad that you are not a judge or lawyer where that disagreement would have more impact on my worldview. I didn't mean it as a dig. I'm sure you're equally glad that I'm not a judge or lawyer either, right?

                    Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                    It's in the works.
                    If you pull it off, you could become very, very rich. And also, your full time job would be fighting pirates. Which you do like, so it could be a great fit. Kudos!

                    Note: I'm not being sarcastic here - seriously, if you pull it off it will be a great gig for you.

                    Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                    I don't find protecting my business tedious any more than homeowners and offline business owners find security solutions tedious. Perhaps it is you that don't have anything valuable enough to protect.
                    Again with taking it into the physical realm when it's not. But here's how I apply my thinking to the above situation.

                    The businesses you mention may not find those activities tedious, but if they had the kind of business configured where they didn't present an appealing target for thieves, combined with a profit model that allowed for a certain margin of thievery to have no impact whatsoever, then they wouldn't need to do the security at all.

                    Now even though they didn't find it tedious before, I don't think you'll argue that you, as a business owner, have things you'd RATHER be doing than fighting thieves, right?

                    Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                    I have done fairly well fighting back. There are some simple solutions that require a little time and most people with products are simply too lazy to take the time. I've had sites removed from their hosting, sites removed from Google - banned for good so that domain is useless. An email here and an email there and you'd be surprised the impact you can make. Have I eliminated piracy from the Internet? No. Have I reduced it's impact on my business? Yes.
                    Kudos. All I've ever suggested is the same - reduce their impact on your business. You do it by fighting them after they've stolen it. I suggest doing it by making a less appealing or feasible target in the first place.

                    Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                    I make no apology for having ethics. You're not going to make me the bad guy for not stealing or not condoning it.
                    Who is trying to make you the bad guy? I said you were noble for respecting IP so thoroughly and said that if everyone were like you we wouldn't have this problem. Are you disagreeing with me?
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                    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
                      Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                      Repositioning himself to work within the system. That's what I've been saying all along. I think pirates are now an inherent part of the system. I recommend instead of trying to change the system, we learn to work within it.
                      And I've never been against that. I'm not against finding better solutions. Again, what I am against is giving up what little control we have now before a new solution is found and put in place. What I am against is not taking a stand against criminal behavior. What I am against is throwing our hands in the air and saying, "Oh well, we can't stop them so we might as well accept it.

                      They don't give out one day jail sentences do they? And besides, I really REALLY don't want my tax dollars being spent arresting downloaders for a day. That would be literally insane to attempt. I don't even think a scare tactic would work as a deterrent because it would be so obvious that it couldn't be sustainable policed.
                      They can, they have, but you're taking me too literally, which is my fault. It doesn't have to be a day, a week, 60 days or whatever. It wouldn't even have to be jail time. If casual downloaders were charged and stood in a courtroom accused of a crime, and if found guilty, were fined and had perform X amount of community service for their crime, a huge percentage of them are going to change their behavior because they do not see themselves as criminals right now. They rationalize their actions away with thoughts like: it doesn't hurt anyone; no one will know; everybody else is doing it; and so forth. I've had this argument with others, I know this is how many of them think.

                      Same thing I think. People download stuff partially for the thrill of the score, and partially because the contents of the product are an escape of some kind. Then eventually, it's not even about the experience of the content, it's just about the getting it and the having it. Much like purely psychologically based drug addicts.

                      Do you agree that people can become addicted to online gaming? If so, consider the act and culture of the pirate and downloader are very game-like.
                      Of course, people can be psychologically addicted to anything. Washing their hands, turning only to the right, sex, anything. The difference is, drug users often commit other crimes to support their activities. Drug users can be physically addicted as well. I think to compare them to downloaders is a reach. Most downloaders are just too cheap to buy, or have sense of entitlement. They are freeloaders, not victims of addiction. I'm not saying a few couldn't be addicted, just that most of them aren't, in my opinion.

                      Only if it's built around pre-recorded downloadable content. An ongoing live component can't be replicated without the user creating their own recordings, which is certainly possible, but enough effort to deter most people. Pair that with it being expensive enough, your leaks will be very minimal.
                      Now see, there is an interesting, and useful, suggestion. It could help mitigate some of the damage. This is where the discussion needs to head as far us WF members are concerned . . . but that doesn't mean giving up fighting thieves using the few tools we currently have available.

                      Like I said before, we're not that far apart. It's the "do nothing because it isn't working well enough" attitude I take issue with. The battle can and should be waged on multiple fronts, IMO.
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                      • Profile picture of the author tecHead
                        Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                        They can, they have, but you're taking me too literally, which is my fault. It doesn't have to be a day, a week, 60 days or whatever. It wouldn't even have to be jail time. If casual downloaders were charged and stood in a courtroom accused of a crime, and if found guilty, were fined and had perform X amount of community service for their crime, a huge percentage of them are going to change their behavior because they do not see themselves as criminals right now. They rationalize their actions away with thoughts like: it doesn't hurt anyone; no one will know; everybody else is doing it; and so forth. I've had this argument with others, I know this is how many of them think.
                        Yet, when the R.I.A.A. went after the 12yr old little girl for downloading music illegally; there was public outrage. Not to mention that since then digital music downloading has quadrupled.

                        So, again... the current model isn't working. We need to figure out something new.
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                        • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
                          Originally Posted by tecHead View Post

                          Yet, when the R.I.A.A. went after the 12yr old little girl for downloading music illegally; there was public outrage. Not to mention that since then digital music downloading has quadrupled.

                          So, again... the current model isn't working. We need to figure out something new.
                          I never said it was working. Just said that in my opinion we need to take a stand using the tools we have until we have something better. It doesn't have to be one way or the other. I've said before, it can be fought on multiple fronts. Do you get that?

                          Stop being so . . . what's the word I'm looking for here, you try to figure it out.
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            • Profile picture of the author darctydes
              If media companies and say bands for instance wanted to continue making great profits maybe they should consider adapting to the times. I can't exactly download T-shirt specials that could come with those cd's now could I? I couldn't just download rebates or specials that might come with the dvd now could I? They need to start offering things that cannot be so easily downloaded and stolen. I bet they could more than double thier profits if they simply used a different business model. If its electronic or digital it will be stolen no matter what. It cannot be stopped no matter how many sites you shutdown.

              just my opinion.
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              • Profile picture of the author Victoria Neely
                Theft is bad. I think everyone agrees on that core point. It's just no one seems to agree on how to approach it or what to do about it.

                All I can say with certainty is that I hate being indirectly punished for other people's wrongdoings through misapplied tactics and wrongheaded thinking.

                For example, anti-piracy software mucking up a DVD so badly that it won't run on my player.

                Or a computer game that's rigged such that I can only install it two or three times, and that's it.

                Or having my activity monitored just as if I were a criminal.

                I can picture a day when governments take such heavy handed tactics to end digital theft that it slowly but surely changes the landscape of the Internet, turning it into something tightly regulated, making it both difficult and risky to run an online business.

                I don't believe in fighting piracy "at any cost." Lines have to be drawn somewhere, or we stand to lose something more valuable than potential profits.
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              • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                Banned
                Originally Posted by darctydes View Post

                If media companies and say bands for instance wanted to continue making great profits maybe they should consider adapting to the times. I can't exactly download T-shirt specials that could come with those cd's now could I? I couldn't just download rebates or specials that might come with the dvd now could I? They need to start offering things that cannot be so easily downloaded and stolen. I bet they could more than double thier profits if they simply used a different business model. If its electronic or digital it will be stolen no matter what. It cannot be stopped no matter how many sites you shutdown.

                just my opinion.

                Oh .... because you can ... you do. Nice.



                Originally Posted by skyfox7 View Post

                If there is anybody who will revolutionise the way digital information is shared, it is the pornography industry, heck, they revolutionized many things we take granted as IM'ers today.Chris
                The porn industry is also suffering from piracy.

                Internet Piracy Is Killing Porn's Profits | TheWrap.com

                Porn Industry Struggles Against Free Content, Piracy - ABC News


                Originally Posted by ProductCreator View Post

                IMO, I respectfully assert that that is ridiculous. I hope you honestly do not believe that.

                All crimes of theft are not equal, whether or not you even include "digital theft" in that definition. Therefore, there is a clear distinction between different types, whether a man who robs a bank or a burglar or a white collar workers who steals from his company or a digital pirate.

                I commend you for fighting the good fight; even if I don't agree with your fighting style.

                I'll never advocate that someone bend over and hand an offender the grease. I will advocate not bending over anymore, though.
                I never said that all crimes were equal or that all punishment should be the same. I said that those who have no moral compass and feel entitled to that which they do not feel like paying for are criminals. They are thieves and the law punishes thieves and I see no distinction between the thief on the street or the digital thief.

                Do you think we're all here because this is a hobby? This is our livelihoods we're talking about. If the theft of a bunch of DVDs in a record store can land you in jail, which it can, why should it be any different online?

                So what about my tactics don't you like? That I believe that criminals should be punished?

                To tell you the absolute truth, I would prefer to deal with it in the manner that Paul referred to

                Digital problem = Digital solution

                But regardless of what you say, jail is a deterrent to some and I'd rather not end up there.

                Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                Yeah, but if he's free, he can generally make his own living. If he's in jail, we all have to pay for him to be there. If he didn't kill or hurt anyone, fine him or something.
                Like that little scumbag is ever going to "make a living" by any honest means. Jails are made for people like him. We pay whether this miscreant is in jail or out of jail. He has already said that he will take whatever he can without paying for it, which is costing somebody money somewhere.
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                • Profile picture of the author Palusko
                  Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                  If the theft of a bunch of DVDs in a record store can land you in jail, which it can, why should it be any different online?
                  Physical products require much more people involved in the pre-production, manufacturing, distribution, retail; and it also (most of the time) requires greater initial investment in building, machinary etc, making it a bigger crime than stealing the digital version only. But of course, you are also much more likely to get cought, which clearly is a big factor why most people who do not hesitate to take free content online will never steal anything offline.
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                  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                    Banned
                    Originally Posted by Palusko View Post

                    Physical products require much more people involved in the pre-production, manufacturing, distribution, retail; and it also (most of the time) requires greater initial investment in building, machinary etc, making it a bigger crime than stealing the digital version only. But of course, you are also much more likely to get cought, which clearly is a big factor why most people who do not hesitate to take free content online will never steal anything offline.
                    That's a crock. The very same movies and same music is being ripped off both in stores and online. It isn't a bigger crime to steal it from a store than online. It's the same crime and should be punished equally. In fact, it's actually a bigger crime because the criminal who created the movie or music as a digital file has uploaded it to a thousand places so that it can continue to be distributed for free. The shoplifter usually takes only one copy. The digital thief is responsible for many copies.
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                    • Profile picture of the author NicheMayhem
                      I disagree that the end user, the person who clicks the button to download the pirated copy, is the "real" criminal as far as illegal downloading. The person who deliberately alters the original product they bought just to make it available to the public for free are the ones I consider the criminal. These groups which take pride in themselves for "cracking" games and walk into theaters with a camcorder know exactly what it is they are doing.

                      I realize that on a grand scale the would-be consumers who download instead of purchase are the targeted "money-lost" but with such a broad array of people of all ages and backgrounds who now go online looking for convenience and the easy button, its tough to condemn such a large part of the population for me. I would rather it be the source that is held responsible for their actions and wholeheartedly agree they be pursued. The counter to "How do we protect our content?" is "How will they monitor our activity to see who is responsible?" -as always the problem has good and bad points which need to be considered.

                      In my previous posts, however ignored they are, I referred to "sharing" not as in it is just okay to download but that the "sharing" aspect of the internet is what started this whole problem. Its been nothing but a natural progression, stemming from funny pictures and what not, there is NOBODY to accurately point a finger at.

                      Yes it has crippled industries, yes it's a problem but no to the government stepping in to regulate!

                      This thread has many relative posts but it seems those which stubbornly just insist on repeating themselves saying thieves thieves thieves do not offer anything even remotely close to a solution and have no idea what the repercussions are more then likely going to end up being. If any government steps in to regulate online activity to the point where this can be controlled you better believe it is going to seriously hinder your ability to make a living online like you are today.

                      You don't go to a golf course and bitch and piss and moan about a water hazard, you play around it and factor it into your strategy to get to the goal. If we as marketers cannot figure out a solution to protect our property as best we can the solution will probably be a hindrance to our businesses and we may look back and long for the days when there was more freedom and hazard online.

                      Offering the same content broken up into different pieces which require the paying customer to access the meat where the access itself can be controlled is the closest I have seen in here which poses a solution, the rest of it is a waste of space.

                      I don't see anyone in here who does not agree it is stealing, the pirates themselves know it is stealing. Harsher penalties have their place and I agree that jail is a deterrent but in the end new criminals pop up out of the ground everyday and their has got to be a better way to protect yourself on your own. It is what has always been the best route to go down, conducting your business as efficiently and intelligently as you can ON YOUR OWN without the so called "helping hand" of the entity which governs you. Harsher regulation is something we do not want, I value my privacy and would rather have a tougher time making a profit then give it up. I would rather have to work smarter and figure out a way to stop the bitching instead of have it solved for me in a way which takes my freedom away.
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                      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                        Banned
                        Originally Posted by NicheMayhem View Post

                        I disagree that the end user, the person who clicks the button to download the pirated copy, is the "real" criminal as far as illegal downloading.
                        Then you believe that's it's ok to take that which does not belong to you without paying for it?

                        Right now, the government is targeting the sites that distribute pirated products, rather than the people who steal the products by downloading, but it would bother me none if they also targeted those who think that online theft is somehow different than offline theft.

                        "Operation In Our Sites" targets Internet movie pirates
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                        • Profile picture of the author NicheMayhem
                          Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                          Then you believe that's it's ok to take that which does not belong to you without paying for it?

                          Right now, the government is targeting the sites that distribute pirated products, rather than the people who steal the products by downloading, but it would bother me none if they also targeted those who think that online theft is somehow different than offline theft.

                          "Operation In Our Sites" targets Internet movie pirates
                          It would be nice if only tiny little parts of posts were not targeted for your rebuttal regardless of the rest, but that's okay. Perhaps read further and you will understand that I DO NOT CONDONE ILLEGAL DOWNLOADING. What I said was, condemning a few million people is not really a solution no matter how wrong it is that they partake. At that point, when you have millions and millions of culprits, it would be more a flaw of the system then an actionable offense. Within the context of my post as a whole, my statement rings true.

                          You are quick to point fingers and not get the message of anyone's opinion it seems. Being the poster child for morality poses no solution nor aid to the issue.
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                          • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                            Banned
                            Originally Posted by NicheMayhem View Post

                            It would be nice if only tiny little parts of posts were not targeted for your rebuttal regardless of the rest, but that's okay. Perhaps read further and you will understand that I DO NOT CONDONE ILLEGAL DOWNLOADING. What I said was, condemning a few million people is not really a solution no matter how wrong it is that they partake. At that point, when you have millions and millions of culprits, it would be more a flaw of the system then an actionable offense. Within the context of my post as a whole, my statement rings true.

                            You are quick to point fingers and not get the message of anyone's opinion it seems. Being the poster child for morality poses no solution nor aid to the issue.
                            Oh ... I get the message of the opinions. The message is quite clear that most of you believe that because it is so widespread, that it is less criminal and that criminals should be able to dictate how products are delivered and priced when there is such an overwhelming abundance of said criminals.

                            Poster child for morality ... give me a break. Morality encompasses a lot more than illegal activities and I don't meddle in a lot of "moral" issues that aren't my business. This is just more of making those who disagree with the pirate sympathizers look stupid.
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                            • Profile picture of the author NicheMayhem
                              Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                              Oh ... I get the message of the opinions. The message is quite clear that most of you believe that because it is so widespread, that it is less criminal and that criminals should be able to dictate how products are delivered and priced when there is such an overwhelming abundance of said criminals.
                              Not less criminal. Less feasible to take action upon because these are regular people with a skewed sense of morality. A person is smart, people are panicky senseless and easily led towards immorality.

                              The unfortunate fact is, criminals do dictate prices, especially in software. I think the consensus here is: Yes, the criminal factor should be considered. In a way which is conducive towards a more secure method of delivering your online product's MESSAGE as a whole. Rather then deliver the whole thing in a folder, split it up and put the best of it behind a log in and password so you have more control. How that gets turned into "your a thief" is beyond my understanding.

                              Your motivation is commendable but not very efficient. The government mentality when using a wrecking ball that is too small to break down the wall, is to get a bigger wrecking ball, obviously you agree with that mentality. I do not, I feel if you need to get people over to the other side you should first start with a ladder. Just like iTunes did and Netflix, they are making tons and tons more money then the pirates are. Figure a way to slow the progression of the act and give people an alternative to choose which is more honest, the majority will take it. Once that is accomplished, taking the wall down in the background piece by piece will probably be easier since the pirates will need to maintain their traffic flow and become more exposed.

                              As a person which heads up the operations it is your job to factor in compassion just as much as vindication, otherwise totalitarianism is an accurate assumption. ~Niche Mayhem
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                            • Profile picture of the author NicheMayhem
                              Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post


                              Poster child for morality ... give me a break. Morality encompasses a lot more than illegal activities and I don't meddle in a lot of "moral" issues that aren't my business. This is just more of making those who disagree with the pirate sympathizers look stupid.
                              The way that is worded, you are saying I intend to make those who disagree with pirate sympathizers look stupid? Or did you mean to say you intend to make those who sympathize with pirates look stupid?

                              I hope you do not think it is my intention to make anyone look stupid, I don't feel anyone is stupid for sharing their opinion or for having one, we all are individuals and members here therefore we are entitled to freely express it as long as it is cordial.
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                      • Profile picture of the author N4PGW
                        Originally Posted by NicheMayhem View Post

                        I disagree that the end user, the person who clicks the button to download the pirated copy, is the "real" criminal as far as illegal downloading. The person who deliberately alters the original product they bought just to make it available to the public for free are the ones I consider the criminal. These groups which take pride in themselves for "cracking" games and walk into theaters with a camcorder know exactly what it is they are doing.
                        Does that mean that a pawn shop owner who knowingly accepts stolen goods to resell is not a 'real' criminal.

                        It is illegal for Jimmy to copy a movie and give it to his friend Sally. Both have broken the law. However, when one of them posts it publicly on the net, the crime quickly grows from a misdemeanor to a felony.

                        They should be treated differently, but each is guilty.
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                        • Profile picture of the author NicheMayhem
                          Originally Posted by N4PGW View Post

                          Does that mean that a pawn shop owner who knowingly accepts stolen goods to resell is not a 'real' criminal.

                          It is illegal for Jimmy to copy a movie and give it to his friend Sally. Both have broken the law. However, when one of them posts it publicly on the net, the crime quickly grows from a misdemeanor to a felony.

                          They should be treated differently, but each is guilty.
                          No it does not, hence the quotes around the word real... and the remainder of my post! (EDIT: When I said the "real" criminal it was meant as nothing but a more clear depiction of the difference between the two crimes which both parties are guilty of but not equally deserving of the same punishment. A response to an earlier post which summed the two up as equals, sorry to not make that more clear) Targeting those who partake in downloading instead of or just as guilty as those who blatantly disregard, even scoff at the lawlessness they are participating in by deliberately altering a product to make it available publicly deserve the harsher punishment.

                          There were earlier posts which conveyed that "Jimmy" should go to jail for giving "Sally" the movie to watch, I simply tried to disagree and share my opinion which did not in any way say that downloading for free is okay! Matter of fact, as said before, a small group of people watching the movie is factored into the marketing of DVDs as it just simply happens. Making a copy of the video to distribute even to friends is not okay. That though barely relates to anything I said. It is completely beyond me why anything said that differentiates the two (uploaders/downloaders) gets turned into condoning downloading like it is something I think everyone should be able to do just because so many do, completely ridiculous and an obvious lack of depth of your understanding of the words I am typing.

                          In regard to your example, if it were possible to pinpoint every pawn shop which "knowingly accepts stolen goods" and close them, I bet a huge amount of pawn shops would disappear overnight. Same goes for jailing illegal downloaders, millions of people landing in jail? It is useless to repeatedly try and demonstrate how wrong it is to someone who agrees it is wrong.

                          I implore you though to comment upon if it is right to put millions in jail or it is right to target the source and solve the problem. If every illegal downloader in the USA was jailed tonight for doing it, tomorrow the entire country would be in chaos with a massive part of the workforce not showing up. My thoughts are hung upon the regulation and invasion of privacy needed to step in and control the problem home to home, not to mention the use of the issue as an instant revenue creating outlet for my government to crack down upon.

                          I got schooled on this subject by Paul Myers and agree with his reasoning behind not letting the line be drawn which marks one a heavier crime then the other but I am not going to let you sit here and pick apart my posts and many others by posting over and over with tiny little insinuating comments without saying anything.

                          NOBODY in this thread has at ANY point said that DOWNLOADING ILLEGAL PRODUCTS is OKAY!!
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                          • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                            Banned
                            Originally Posted by onemind View Post

                            Reading this whole thread has taught me a great deal about the character of everyone posting here and I have found it a valuable resource for basing future decisions on who to deal with ever. For example I believe Colin Theriot to be a wise and eloquent person who is able to see the whole spectrum. While others who must remain nameless prove to be narrow minded and borderline fascist.
                            I am soooo glad you got banned. An Internet Marketing forum with members who make an honest living from the products they sell hardly need a member who equates making a profit from our businesses and preventing theft with fascism. You seem to think that liberty equates to getting whatever you want for free ... it doesn't. Liberty includes the right to do business, make a profit and to be protected from the criminals that would deny us the right to make an honest living.

                            Originally Posted by NicheMayhem View Post

                            I implore you though to comment upon if it is right to put millions in jail or it is right to target the source and solve the problem. If every illegal downloader in the USA was jailed tonight for doing it, tomorrow the entire country would be in chaos with a massive part of the workforce not showing up.
                            ... and perhaps when they didn't show up for work, an honest person would get their job ... but I digress.

                            Of course it's not possible to jail all the downloaders and as much as everyone jumped on that to try to make their points, badgering those "fascists" who take a strong stand against piracy and treat it like the crime that it is just shows the pirates that those who would fight against piracy, not only have to deal with the criminals but also have to deal with the attitudes of those who claim to be honest.

                            Actually, I'm more for a solution where the computer simply blows up when an illegal file is downloaded ...
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                            • Profile picture of the author Alminc
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                              • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                                Suzanne,
                                I am soooo glad you got banned.
                                It's temporary. Phrases like he used - "narrow minded and borderline fascist," "selfrighteous cowards," "the sexual predator next door," "savage hypocrites," "question your sanity," "juvenile mindset," and "cowardly mindset" - really had no place in this discussion.

                                The whole "sexual predator" thing was the breaking point. When someone brings an insinuation like that into this kind of conversation, they're telling me they have no boundaries to their willingness to abuse. And that they need some.

                                The rest was just rude. That line was too much.

                                onemind,

                                Yes, you have the freedom to say what you want. We have the freedom to refuse to sanction it.


                                Paul
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                                • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                                  NicheMayhem,
                                  All in all I guess it is apparent to me today I have no impact on the issue whatsoever and would have been better off to just keep my mouth shut
                                  That's not true at all. The impact may not be obvious, but it's there, and it matters.

                                  Keep in mind that, while most of us in the thread have pretty strong opinions, a lot of people will read this who haven't had occasion previously to consider the things that have been brought up. Your additions to the conversation will help them to make more balanced decisions about it than they might have otherwise

                                  I'd say that was pretty valuable.


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                                  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                                    NicheMayhem,
                                    I am against the downloader, but I am much much more against the uploader, the one who knows how to get the file changed around and available and does it with the notion it is perfectly fine.
                                    Let me take a stab at the space between what you're saying and what I'm saying...

                                    The cracker/uploader knowingly engaged in a criminal activity. The casual downloader has no such malicious intent. That difference of intent seems to be the basis for your assertion that the uploader/host should face more severe penalties.

                                    I agree with that. The problem is the difficulty in enforcing those penalties.

                                    I don't personally think there's much to be gained by getting the police involved in the theft represented by casual downloading of pirated materials. Certainly not in the case of young children, who haven't been properly taught about this stuff. I DO think all of those people should face consequences significant enough to stop them from stealing, or at least to make them aware that it's not somehow "okay."

                                    We could debate for days about the appropriate penalties. That wouldn't change the fact that, from a practical perspective, the downloaders are the real problem. It wouldn't matter how many ways a file was made available if people refused to steal.


                                    Paul
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                                    • Profile picture of the author tecHead
                                      Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                                      ...

                                      We could debate for days about the appropriate penalties. That wouldn't change the fact that, from a practical perspective, the downloaders are the real problem. It wouldn't matter how many ways a file was made available if people refused to steal.


                                      Paul
                                      I see your point, Paul... and as much as I don't like it; I have to agree. Because I am a firm believer in the judicial system stating that ignorance of the law is not a valid defense.

                                      I think possibly the disconnect comes in where it would in the courts over a similar issue where ignorance of the law was a major conduit to the committed crime... and that being intent.

                                      Each individual downloader will have their own individual intent and if we don't/can't take the time to investigate that intent, it can be argued that its near impossible to impose an appropriate punishment.

                                      The easier and more economical way would be to just slap everybody over the head with a stiff fine, regardless of intent. But, then we create another problem with how to deal with those that do not have the funds to meet the burden of such a fine.... the way we've handled such thing thus far is jail time.

                                      Now we're back to square one.
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                                  • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
                                    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                                    NicheMayhem,That's not true at all. The impact may not be obvious, but it's there, and it matters.

                                    Keep in mind that, while most of us in the thread have pretty strong opinions, a lot of people will read this who haven't had occasion previously to consider the things that have been brought up. Your additions to the conversation will help them to make more balanced decisions about it than they might have otherwise

                                    I'd say that was pretty valuable.


                                    Paul
                                    Hey Paul,

                                    For a while now, I've noticed and appreciated your contributions to discussions on a variety of topics, and more importantly, to the well being of the forum; specifically keeping things civil. This is just a heads up that a PM is on it's way-hope you don't mind.

                                    Cheers, Greg
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                                    • Profile picture of the author NicheMayhem
                                      Paul,

                                      Thank you kindly for your ability to defuse my irritation. I get it, and realize the stand that those who can spread the right way need to do so with absolute assurance and steadfast confidence. Truthfully I got caught up in some negativity and let it fuel my response, thanks for having the integrity and intelligence to be patient and informative.

                                      TecHead,

                                      Thanks man, I appreciate your view point and your kind words. You let me know when that call out for support comes up because I so would love to be there. Voices of reason and compassion have a way of keeping the peace for everyone not just victims and criminals but also the innocent bystanders trying to conduct their business who are reluctantly affected. I do fear that things may be changing quite rapidly for internet marketing in the next few years, and it sure doesn't look good.

                                      Again Paul,

                                      Very well said, thus far I have stubbornly avoided saying the phrase "stealing is stealing" and sitting here right now I have come to a crossroads where I realize a little bit more about how I left certain things out to more prominently display other points. There-in lies the problem with my view.

                                      My humbled conclusion is: You can't have up without down, hot without cold, good without evil and pirates without downloaders. The gap has closed and thanks for drilling it into my stubborn skull. Simply no denying it and it is apparent to me why your stance is what it is, Further, it is better then mine because it holds the accountable accountable with no loop holes or backdoors to weasel out of responsibility for one's actions.

                                      I think it is safe to say I would never make a good prosecutor, I give people too much credit.

                                      Sbucciarel,

                                      There were specific points in oneminds post which I agreed with. They weren't however those which were extreme and offensive. "let those without sin cast the first stone" was the biggest and that is simply because of my inability to lose hope with people and succumb to negativity that completely strips humanity from communities of real people with real feelings. I apologize for calling you the poster child for morality, that was insensitive and immature of me, I doubt though that you give a damn, which honestly spawned the comment and is my closed minded impression of what you were saying in a lot of your posts. Intolerance is a tough sell for me, I despise it actually but it seems you simply despise crime so I apologize for being insensitive towards you.

                                      The other points in oneminds post which I agreed with play into the mindset statement above to Paul, I was seeing what I wanted to see because it fueled my approach and addressed the dangerous territory our trek to gain control may bring to the online business world.

                                      Not seeing the negativity and offensive dribble, as you put it, shows me something I need to work on and how I fell into a narrow minded crusade to be heard.

                                      I truly appreciate this community of diverse and knowledgeable people and am very glad I am here.

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                                      • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                                        Banned
                                        Originally Posted by NicheMayhem View Post

                                        Sbucciarel,

                                        There were specific points in oneminds post which I agreed with. They weren't however those which were extreme and offensive. "let those without sin cast the first stone" was the biggest and that is simply because of my inability to lose hope with people and succumb to negativity that completely strips humanity from communities of real people with real feelings. I apologize for calling you the poster child for morality, that was insensitive and immature of me, I doubt though that you give a damn, which honestly spawned the comment and is my closed minded impression of what you were saying in a lot of your posts. Intolerance is a tough sell for me, I despise it actually but it seems you simply despise crime so I apologize for being insensitive towards you.

                                        The other points in oneminds post which I agreed with play into the mindset statement above to Paul, I was seeing what I wanted to see because it fueled my approach and addressed the dangerous territory our trek to gain control may bring to the online business world.

                                        Not seeing the negativity and offensive dribble, as you put it, shows me something I need to work on and how I fell into a narrow minded crusade to be heard.

                                        I truly appreciate this community of diverse and knowledgeable people and am very glad I am here.

                                        Thank you. I appreciate your response.
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                                        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                                          William,
                                          The easier and more economical way would be to just slap everybody over the head with a stiff fine, regardless of intent. But, then we create another problem with how to deal with those that do not have the funds to meet the burden of such a fine.... the way we've handled such thing thus far is jail time.

                                          Now we're back to square one.
                                          I think, if we're going to go with fines, a penalty of 10 times the retail cost of the pirated product(s), plus court costs. Half to go to the enforcing agency, and half to the entity that owns the rights to the product.

                                          Can't pay? 1 hour of community service for each $30 of the fine, with emphasis on literacy training, food banks and similar pursuits. That works out to an hour for every $3 of product they steal.

                                          Just a general formula, mind you. It may be too heavy or too light, but the approach is the thing. Complete the community service, the whole thing comes off your record. Make it a low-grade offense that doesn't require them to say "Yes" if asked if they've ever been convicted of a crime.


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                                          • Profile picture of the author N4PGW
                                            Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                                            William,I think, if we're going to go with fines, a penalty of 10 times the retail cost of the pirated product(s), plus court costs. Half to go to the enforcing agency, and half to the entity that owns the rights to the product.

                                            Can't pay? 1 hour of community service for each $30 of the fine, with emphasis on literacy training, food banks and similar pursuits. That works out to an hour for every $3 of product they steal.

                                            Just a general formula, mind you. It may be too heavy or too light, but the approach is the thing. Complete the community service, the whole thing comes off your record. Make it a low-grade offense that doesn't require them to say "Yes" if asked if they've ever been convicted of a crime.


                                            Paul
                                            Check your math... I believe that an appropriate punishment doesn't have to be jail, but can be some form of service or financial cost. However, I know someone who claims having over 1000 movies... ouch!
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                                • Profile picture of the author N4PGW
                                  Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                                  onemind,

                                  Yes, you have the freedom to say what you want. We have the freedom to refuse to sanction it.


                                  Paul
                                  Paul, I know you understand, but for the sake of those who don't...

                                  Freedom of speech is protected by the government of this country (USA) against the government censoring it. However, that right does not extend onto private property. This forum, my yard (garden for the Brits) and inside my home are not protected.

                                  As for the thread, I do not think the effects of law enforcement against piracy will be effective unless they target those of both sides of the deal -- uploaders and downloaders.

                                  As for the invasion of privacy issue, stings can be setup legally without having to monitor everyone's computers. Obviously, finding the download sites is not a major difficulty. Once found, rather than shutting them down immediately, they can be captured and monitored. Then follow the ip trails back to the people making the downloads.

                                  In particular, a NYC sting could possibly monitor a site for all ip addresses located in NYC and go after those addresses very quickly, maybe even while the download is in progress.

                                  I have to admit that we may have our rights in jeopardy given the attitude of our current president. Unfortunately, many other countries do not share these rights with us including our neighbors across the pond, as they say, the Brits.

                                  Given that we are aware that our privacy rights on the Internet are at risk, maybe the solution will be for us to remain legal and cautious about our Internet activities.

                                  Someone once mentioned "appropriate punishment" for both parties of the operation. I agree. Appropriate punishment for a person distributing thousands of copies should be greater, much greater, than that of a person downloading the product. It might be that the appropriate punishment for a teen downloading the movies is to have the teen make a payment appropriately to each person harmed by his crime.

                                  I once heard of a drunk driver who killed a child. The parents requested that the driver's punishment would be to deliver a payment of $1.00 every Friday between the hours of 6:00 PM and 9:00 PM for either 10 or 20 years. His punishment was designed to inconvenience and remind him about what he had done.

                                  I wonder if there were some form of similar punishment for the downloaders. Let them 'work' off what they owe by inconveniencing their lives on a regular basis for a period of time. If they stole a $20 video, or even an e-report, then they can visit the jail every Friday evening about 8PM until 9PM where they get to write a check or money order and mail it to the victims.

                                  just a thought!
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                            • Profile picture of the author NicheMayhem
                              Unfortunately I am unable to demonstrate my point accurately. That is a flaw on my part obviously for not being able to put into words how I feel the person who downloads a file illegally is doing something illegal while also adding in my opinion of the possibilities that we as marketers will feel the wrath in the end from the side which is supposed to help us. Getting crapped on twice by Pirates and by the measures taken to stop them seriously bugs me.

                              I totally agree that it is wrong to download and have repeated that many times. Calling anyone fascist is unnecessary, adding the word "borderline" dampened the blow for me but reading it today I guess it was silly for me to agree with small parts but quote the whole post.

                              Sbucciarel, I do not disagree with you on the fact that it is wrong. Having the computer blow up might be just as over the top though then what that other guy was saying. I guess we aren't going to see eye to eye but it seriously bothers me to fall into the category of merely "claiming" to be honest. It is easier to make the assumption that I condone downloading and disregard anything else that I have to say then it is to allow me to express my opinion. It surprises me to see the extreme sides of this issue and not base my opinion on emotion but compassion and solution but yet be ridiculed. I can take it but it still is surprising.

                              If my country gets to the point where downloading a digital file can ruin a persons life, which jail and felonies and records do far beyond learning from mistakes, I think we will have failed the youth of the country. It is like dangling a steak in front of a hungry animal, they have such easy access and are so easily swayed. Not to say it makes it okay but good grief you never ever did anything wrong? Adults should be held accountable for everything they do but I just feel like there needs to be a better way of governing access rather then condemning millions of people, which to me seems way more realistic. Can't have it both ways though which has been thoroughly demonstrated to me in this thread.

                              All in all I guess it is apparent to me today I have no impact on the issue whatsoever and would have been better off to just keep my mouth shut, saddens me though to be stripped of my ability to have an opinion. It seems as though unless you strongly stand against the entire issue and wish to harm the downloader and uploader alike you will be regarded as a criminal yourself.

                              I am against the downloader, but I am much much more against the uploader, the one who knows how to get the file changed around and available and does it with the notion it is perfectly fine.
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                              • Profile picture of the author tecHead
                                Originally Posted by NicheMayhem View Post

                                Unfortunately I am unable to demonstrate my point accurately. ..
                                I think you've articulated your point rather well; as have most of the contributors to this thread.

                                You shouldn't feel defeated and/or deflated in any way. Those that agree with you will agree with you and those that don't... won't.

                                The people who drafted the Declaration of Independence didn't all agree at first, either. There are also documents that state that there were even some that decided to sit in reserve over some issues they had in order to meet the goal of having a final draft; finding an amicable solution.

                                The difference, (and this is a metaphor; for all those that will take these words literally), is that in this thread... there is no real agenda to come to an amicable position between the conflicting views. So, the final outcome is merely a pissing contest; and who can type the most. Nothing here will be resolved and maybe none of us are qualified to resolve anything... maybe some of us are.

                                Bottom line is, when the true time comes to stand up and speak out, protest, demonstrate and lobby.. who will do so. I know I will for my stance on all this and I know of a sleuth of other people that will be right by my side.

                                Only then will we see what the outcome will be. We can only hope that that outcome is one that moves us firmly forward in a direction of freedom and growth as a whole people and not down a path of regret after the fact.

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                              • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
                                Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                                Like that little scumbag is ever going to "make a living" by any honest means. Jails are made for people like him. We pay whether this miscreant is in jail or out of jail. He has already said that he will take whatever he can without paying for it, which is costing somebody money somewhere.
                                If you feel that way, why not just execute him? It's cheaper for everyone.

                                Originally Posted by NicheMayhem View Post

                                If my country gets to the point where downloading a digital file can ruin a persons life, which jail and felonies and records do far beyond learning from mistakes, I think we will have failed the youth of the country. It is like dangling a steak in front of a hungry animal, they have such easy access and are so easily swayed.
                                You bring up a really food point here about how the ready availability of technology paired with laws that predate said technology.

                                Like how kids can actually get their lives ruined through having to be a registered sex offender for sending explicit texts to each other... for something that's been a part of human experience. Sex, sharing things you like, scoring cool stuff - we're talking about drives that are always there.

                                What we're talking about is a problem of self-expression and how technology has made it easy to break the law while doing that. Edward Burnays, father of PR, said that to get people to do what we want, we have to harness that to their mode of self-expression.

                                For the pirate and the share-er, this occurs very deeply, and on many levels throughout the act of sharing, downloading, ripping, cracking, posting, etc.

                                And consider that it's the industries that make these consumables that have MADE acquisition and possession and experience of these items INTO a valid mode of self-expression. I HAVE to have this new game because all my friends do. I HAVE to see this new movie before it's out because everyone else will.

                                It's a rabbit hole where the very addictive desire created by the marketing is now the vector of attack because technology outpaced the business model.

                                But people are lashing out against children being inappropriately labeled as criminals for exploring their natural sexuality with the tools society have provided, feeling that it's overzealous prosecution and litigation. People feel that it's not the behavior that need to change, but the letter of the law.

                                Again, not saying theft is okay at all - but the solutions to the problem so far don't address the root cause of the issue in that it's about SELF-EXPRESSION and they don't provide an alternative to replace the "freedom" that would be taken away if they were to successfully squash the current mode of sharing.

                                Any time you have a people with a mode of self-expression which is being squashed or taken away, it's going to be problematic. Once they've had it, taking it away will create a void that NOTHING ELSE can fill precisely. Whether it's taken away by force, or you've compelled him to give it up through attrition, he's STILL going to miss it.

                                Mitnick was brought up by Dennis earlier, and even in his case, where he was deterred from expressing himself only insofar as he found a way to do it legally. He still gets to be a hacker. He still gets to hack. Prison didn't take away his desire to express himself through those skills.

                                But in the case of file sharing and trading and downloading or pirating or stealing - whatever - I don't think a successful solution will come about unless it can factor in and REPLACE the mode of self-expression with another.

                                And as I've already said, some businesses have already begun to thrive by providing those same self-expressive mechanisms of new technology and applying them to the traditional products of that market.

                                And as I've pointed out, there ARE profiteering IP thieves and political manipulators who have HARNESSED the self-expression of otherwise innocent people to further their ends - and those are the true criminal CAUSES of the end-user's access, much like dealers and suppliers can be seen to CAUSE the drug problems at a local level.

                                But in the same way that getting those pushers off the streets won't address the underlying cause of drug use and addiction, getting the pirates won't stop the sharing because there is now a VOID in ability to self-express.

                                The culture is going to route around it, just like how peer-to-peer sharing was invented to route around the central sharing model Napster got crushed for.

                                Yes - fight piracy however you feel you need to to protect your current interests, but if piracy is a particularly harsh problem for you, or even if it isn't...

                                I think it's worthwhile to pursue ways to take the inappropriate self-expression inherent in those communities and re-channel and harness it to our own ends.

                                And add that into whatever else you're doing because 1 of 2 things will eventually happen.

                                1. Piracy and trading will effectively be policed and prohibited. In this case ALL the people from those communities will be left feeling they are being impinged upon because a primary mode of self-expression has been taken away. Whoever can provide the legal alternative will EXPLODE.

                                2. Piracy and trading will never be effectively policed and prohibited, and will eventually become accepted as the norm. In this case, businesses who have models built upon the SAME modes of self-expression will survive, while traditional models will eventually falter and fail out of existence (or just be way less profitable than they used to be).

                                Now, in EITHER of those scenarios, you can still be fighting the most offensive predators who are targeting your business. But if that's ALL you do and don't change, you won't come out as far ahead as the folks who address the underlying issue of self-expression involved here.

                                And with that, for serious this time, I'm done in the thread. If anyone wants to address anything I've said in here, please PM if you need to.

                                Great thread everyone. Much food for thought, and as always, arguing with people is incredibly valuable to my copywriting skills, to I thank you if we've crossed s-words here.
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                                • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                                  Banned
                                  Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                                  If you feel that way, why not just execute him? It's cheaper for everyone.
                                  This is just more of the crap that I just addressed and really isn't even worth more than a one line response.
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                                • Profile picture of the author N4PGW
                                  Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                                  If you feel that way, why not just execute him? It's cheaper for everyone.
                                  LOL --- I know the context of your statement and know it is not your sentiment, but a reply, now out of context.

                                  As far as it goes, it costs less to house a prisoner for 30 years than to pay all the costs associated with an execution in this country. However, in other countries, that would definitely cut down the downloads. What does it cost to execute a prisoner in Russia? If I remember, it costs a trial, a bullet and the time it takes the janitor to hose down the shower the criminal was executed in. Then they bill the family for the cost of the bullet.
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                              • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                                Banned
                                Originally Posted by NicheMayhem View Post

                                Sbucciarel, I do not disagree with you on the fact that it is wrong. Having the computer blow up might be just as over the top though then what that other guy was saying. I guess we aren't going to see eye to eye but it seriously bothers me to fall into the category of merely "claiming" to be honest. It is easier to make the assumption that I condone downloading and disregard anything else that I have to say then it is to allow me to express my opinion. It surprises me to see the extreme sides of this issue and not base my opinion on emotion but compassion and solution but yet be ridiculed. I can take it but it still is surprising.

                                All in all I guess it is apparent to me today I have no impact on the issue whatsoever and would have been better off to just keep my mouth shut, saddens me though to be stripped of my ability to have an opinion.
                                I find that funny that you feel this way, particularly after reading Onemind's post and seeing you give him thanks for it. I found that post particularly offensive, although it wasn't the only post that I have found offensive.

                                I find being called borderline fascist, promoting a totalitarian gov, being called the Poser Child for morals, my sanity questioned, and the rest of the dribble that I've read that implies that my opinions are over the top and oppressive offensive.

                                I don't think anyone has called you names or prevented you in any way from voicing your opinion. You are free to voice it just the same as those who take a different stand.

                                Of course my reference to blowing up the computer was in jest. That should be obvious, but it does reflect my opinions. Simply put, stealing is a crime and the fact that minors might be engaged in this crime or that millions may be engaged in this crime doesn't make it less of a crime.

                                I happen to be glad to live in a country with a legal system that protects citizens from crimes, even though it has been rather ineffective in protecting businesses from piracy, thus far.

                                That puts more of the burden on business to protect ourselves from theft, or as some have suggested, just continue to roll out those products and continue to feed those thieves with the information that they don't want to pay for. Or ... we could just decide that teaching others online, or creating cool new software that makes life easier is just not worth it since the pirates will have your own product as a competing product at a lower price on hundreds of sites before the ink is even dry.

                                That doesn't even touch the issues of music and movie industries that suffer huge losses from piracy. It is always thrown into these conversations, even though it is less relevant to me because I'm not in the business of making movies or music.

                                I always seem to pipe in on these conversations and it's always the same ...
                                I certainly don't do it make friends because believe me, I don't. I just feel that there are far too many who treat it so casually that their voices are the ones being heard by the pirates. So if that makes me a borderline fascist, the Poster Child for morality, insane, etc. ... so be it.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Palusko
                      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                      That's a crock. The very same movies and same music is being ripped off both in stores and online. It isn't a bigger crime to steal it from a store than online. It's the same crime and should be punished equally. In fact, it's actually a bigger crime because the criminal who created the movie or music as a digital file has uploaded it to a thousand places so that it can continue to be distributed for free. The shoplifter usually takes only one copy. The digital thief is responsible for many copies.
                      Stolen physical products have clear price tags, very clearly calculated, unlike digital products, which are based on assumptions and projected sales.
                      BTW, your argument assumes that the person who puts a stolen digital product for a download is also responsible for action of other people, who decide to download it. Clearly, such person took what did not belong to him, but when it comes to his responsibilities for other people actions, he is only an enabler, and unless he charges money for the download, than that is where his responsibilities end and all he has to answer is his own action.
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            • Profile picture of the author tecHead
              Hey Greg

              Originally Posted by Greg guitar View Post

              The way the digital revolution has affected music is something I've thought a lot about, and I still have no idea how it's going to shake out, but as attractive as your metaphor is of surfing vs opposing the wave, it's not all good, and I for one, see a great loss to the musical community in the free "sharing" of their recorded music (and video images) against their will.
              My forte is music. I've been playing drums since I was 4 and come from a musical family. My Mother is a singer, my Brother plays bass and my Sister plays the stereo.

              So, from one musician to another, I wanted to address some of your concerns regarding this whole digital theft thing because I've been having this conversation with my other musician friends off and on now for quite some time.

              I just had this conversation with my Mother who's been singing professionally since the age of 17; so she's seen a lot and has provided us with a vast knowledge of musical history. She, and a lot of her associates, come from the "old skool" and have a LOT of concerns about the Internet and where its taken the music industry.

              Originally Posted by Greg guitar

              As far as it having been proven that people will still buy-well sure, if you mean a tiny fraction of the people who would have bought before it was handed to them. Even those that do buy might have bought more if it weren't so darn convenient to grab it.

              That doesn't mean I see no good in it (as you apparently see no harm). Youtube music sharing for example has allowed people to become aware of whole cultures they would have gone through life totally unaware of, as has online radio, and anyone can make a recording of themselves and share it to the extent that they can generate traffic to it. Recording technology just keeps getting better and cheaper-great. I see wisdom in the idea of surfing the wave, going with the flow, adjusting to the changes, but I also see that wave impoverishing most musicians, no matter how well they surf, and ultimately the marketplace-when you take the money out, the talent looks for other work.
              Firstly, I don't think Colin was trying to say that he "sees no harm" in the advent of digital theft. Quite the contrary, we both see the harm.. but we both agree that trying to grab it by the horns and wrestle it down to the ground might cause the madador more harm than good.

              Musicians have been impoverished long before the introduction of the Internet or digital music sharing. I mean, come on I even know of musicians that have lost love relationships because they wanted to pursue their craft rather than work a 9 to 5 for a living. Some of them were actually top notch musicians, too. Breaking into the music industry on the level of "making a living at it" has never been very reliable and no one has ever gotten rich from air play due to other factors that have had nothing to do with the Internet or digital music theft.

              Originally Posted by Greg guitar

              You seem to be totally dismissive of such concerns, but why? If you're implying as I think you are, that there's no harm no foul, because the only loss is of "potential" earnings, I disagree. While I'm as happy as you about the demise of parasitic record companies, I'm not too thrilled that unknown numbers of talented, wonderful musicians will never fully develop their gift, because the music distribution industry was killed at the hands of digital sharers (thieves).
              The music distribution industry has not been killed by digital sharers; (again, I say c'mon man). The music distribution engine has been controlled by the (non-talented) suits since the first record label was started. They locked down the distribution channels and made it totally inaccessible to the ones WITH the talent; (their meal ticket); the artist. All you have to do is look back through musical history and you'll find countless stories of musicians being basically enslaved by that distribution engine you're saying was killed.

              If anything, the Internet liberated the musician by taking the distribution channel away from the fat cats. That's what they're so ticked off about. But, its the musician that hasn't taken full grasp of this phenomenon yet. The record companies saw this the minute Napster went up and said "OH S*$%!! We gotta stop this!"... not because it was bad for the musician, but because it was good for the musician because now the distribution channel could be put in the rightful hands of the musician.

              Digital music theft, on the other hand, is a direct result of musicians taking a nap on this phenomenon. That may sound harsh but its a harsh reality. There are musicians today that have taken a firm grip of the Internet and aren't really worried about digital theft, today. Musicians like Prince, Larry Graham, Chaka Khan and a sleuth of Rap artists. These musicians have the right idea about what both Colin and I have been preaching about throughout this thread. Use the piracy to your advantage and incorporate it into your business model.

              Rappers nowadays have learned to lock down the studio and control their distribution. They are purposely dropping product on the net to create buzz. They're using it to test product. They're using it to drive people to their concerts. They've effectively flipped the script and have incorporated the digital sharers on their collective payrolls without the need to pay them; their pay is the pretige they get for having access to the latest hot cut from so-and-so. And the thieves are happy with that.

              Originally Posted by Greg guitar

              Even the demise of some of the best record companies (usually those created by musicians) is a real loss to the world. What record companies were supposed to do, and sometimes did, was develop, fund and promote unpolished talent, so that Hendrix, for example could create the masterpiece, Electric Ladyland. That just doesn't happen today.
              Any current record company that doesn't utilize the available technology, (IMHO), deserves to go the way of the dinosaur; because they're not proving to be new. The old model is dying because its antiquated, slow and obsolete. Again harsh but harsh reality.

              You talk about Hendrix; man part of the reason Hendrix killed himself was due to the schedule the record company had him on. It literally burned the poor man out. IF Hendrix had a hold of his own musical destiny, he would not have driven himself so hard that he (felt he) needed so many drugs to keep his head straight.

              Originally Posted by Greg guitar

              You seem to imply that just as much money can be made in music as in the past, if only the artists will learn to adapt and thrive, and that is far from true-a few big ones do fine, but the pool of money is much smaller.
              He's absolutely right. As a matter of fact, the musician can make more money today than they ever have been able to before. We can now effectively own our masters, produce product at more than half the expense, control our own publishing, control our own distribution and book our own houses. We're now able to cut out all of the leeches that have driven our profit margins down, in the past.

              Originally Posted by Greg guitar

              As for your statement "you don't have to worry about them because they don't support you"- referring to those who will just consume your performances without ever paying you a dime, that makes no sense, except in the existential sense that worry is a state of mind, and therefore optional. Many of those people may have bought your music, but "fans" shared it and made it unnecessary for them to ever buy. Which could mean the difference between a hobby and a career.
              We as musicians have never made any significant amount of money from product. We have effectively made the bulk of our profits from ticket sales to live performances. Period.

              Truth of the matter is; the Internet is the best thing that has ever happened to the musician, (IMHO). We have more freedom and more control over our own musical careers. Digital music theft should be used as a positive; just another distribution channel. We just have to continue to learn from example and control the point of origin; the studio.
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      • Profile picture of the author davers
        Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

        Absolutely. We look at movies and music of the mainstream the wrong way when we compare it to IM products. If you eliminate the concept of selling the info as "copies" and just look at it as a giant single product that sells for the total of ALL sales, you'll see what I mean.

        Most IMers, even the successful ones, might - MIGHT - make single figure millions from a single product. If they're lucky and work really, really hard.

        Hollywood creates multiple hundred million dollar products a MONTH. This is not about protecting their "information" so much as protecting the high dollar amounts they earn through controlling the access to that information.

        The money they have to put into the lobbying and lawsuits and bribery - whatever it takes to get the government to do things for them that it wouldn't do for you or I...

        I mean honestly, does the fact that entertainment gets shared effect the day to day operations of our country? Only insofar as it stops Hollywood from making as much money as it used to. Is that a right they have? To dominate technology because it messes up their business model?

        Sorry man, that's what happens in a capitalist society - sometimes you get out-evolved right out of business. If you want to be free to gobble up the market, you have to be willing to be eaten.

        The issue is that without proper regulation, a company can actually grow SO rich, it can just buy the government. At which point, it's not actually a free capitalist society anymore.

        What do they call that one? Is it Plutocracy? I can't remember. But anyways, yeah. I forget my point.

        They have a means of making money outside of the web. Most of us info marketers don't. The web jacks with their business model. We should design our business models around the realities of the web and play to the strengths of the medium.
        What a powerful post. There is serious value in what you have said. The only point I would contest is that online sharing of digital content somehow adversely impacts hollywood's bottom line.

        Even looking at this piracy issue, and comparing it to E-book, E-Course, or other online courses and materials is kind of silly. Most notably for the fact that the demand figures are incredibly different. There is no where near the demand for "How To Make Money Online" as there is for the worst of Hollywood movies. Therefore, the impact of digital theft is felt more greatly in IM when people steal products. Nonetheless, no government will ever stand up to protect your rights - guaranteed.

        Here is the truth about the piracy issue as it relates to movies:

        The majority of people who pirate movies online were never going to buy them, rent them, lease them, or otherwise provide economic consideration for watching them. Therefore - the impact to Hollywood is negligible at best.

        That is in stark contrast to the impact of individual theft in IM. These people WOULD HAVE provided financial remuneration for access to the information could they not have found it for free. So almost every violation actually costs the seller money.

        Great thread full of interesting perspectives.
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        • Profile picture of the author N4PGW
          Originally Posted by davers View Post


          Here is the truth about the piracy issue as it relates to movies:

          The majority of people who pirate movies online were never going to buy them, rent them, lease them, or otherwise provide economic consideration for watching them. Therefore - the impact to Hollywood is negligible at best.
          I beg to differ. You are partially right, in that they will pirate movies they would otherwise not have viewed. However, because they are available, they will pirate movies that they would otherwise have paid for as well.

          Besides, what is the impact to a movie theater when a person slips past the usher and steals an empty seat to see a movie he did not pay for? What does the law say?
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  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    Ask kids what they think, the answer is probably:

    - "If it's online, it's free, even when we know it's illegal. Catch me if you can."

    They just don't care.

    But when they don't care, someone needs to stop all this nonsense.

    Close sites? Hell yeah.
    Get some people in jail? Yep.

    People need to stop stealing. Cause in the end, that's what they do.
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  • Profile picture of the author tecHead
    Originally Posted by Louise Evans View Post

    BBC News - US cracks down on online film piracy

    At the moment it's the film industry, but it's still a move in the right direction and there's light at the end of the tunnel for digital product creators. Who knows how long the tunnel will be, but hey.

    Apparently some of the sites they took down only linked to content hosted on third party servers. Fantastic because that excuse has been used by sites that contain links which enable people to steal our stuff (even if the downloads are infected with trojans), for years.
    I tell all my musician friends the story about a couple years back when US Congress had a hearing prior to Napster being brought down; (in its then current capacity).

    They brought in numerous "players" of that debacle and one of them was the then 17yr old founder of gNeutella. I can remember laughing when one of the Senators commented on how quiet he had been and asked him what he thought of the proceedings, going on.

    This 17yr old kid looked the Senator square in the eye and said something along the lines of... "I think this is pretty pointless because it doesn't matter what you do to us because there's about another 100 fledgling Napsters and gNeutellas being developed in somebody's dorm room or garage, right now. You'll never be able to stop us no matter how much power you throw at us OR how much money you throw at the problem. IF you guys got your heads straight and factored us into your profit projections, your problem would go away."



    I think there was a good 15 seconds worth of silence; it was epic.

    So, I agree with Colin in that digital piracy needs to be factored into the marketing OF digital products. Otherwise, you're just fighting a losing battle; as the record industry is seemingly finally starting to understand.

    I mean, as a musician with some CD credits under my belt; I used to get pissed too. Yet, after hearing this kid tell it like it is... that was enough to change my way of looking at things because he was absolutely correct. Combine lack of funds with fostered knowledge and desired outcome; solution tends to soon follow. These kids have the knowledge to find their own solutions and they really don't care what their elders say because we just gave them our whole game plan AND history of how we got there.

    You can't win a battle against an opponent that knows your methods inside and out; look at how much trouble the US Military is having with the Tali-ban. YIELD: only used as a reference point.

    If we figure it out that factoring piracy INTO the profit scenario; then we're essentially using our enemy's power against them. This is ancient Chinese fighting technique; Sun Tsu.

    Just my 2¢
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    • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
      Banned
      Originally Posted by tecHead View Post

      I tell all my musician friends the story about a couple years back when US Congress had a hearing prior to Napster being brought down; (in its then current capacity).

      They brought in numerous "players" of that debacle and one of them was the then 17yr old founder of gNeutella. I can remember laughing when one of the Senators commented on how quiet he had been and asked him what he thought of the proceedings, going on.

      This 17yr old kid looked the Senator square in the eye and said something along the lines of... "I think this is pretty pointless because it doesn't matter what you do to us because there's about another 100 fledgling Napsters and gNeutellas being developed in somebody's dorm room or garage, right now. You'll never be able to stop us no matter how much power you throw at us OR how much money you throw at the problem. IF you guys got your heads straight and factored us into your profit projections, your problem would go away."



      I think there was a good 15 seconds worth of silence; it was epic.

      So, I agree with Colin in that digital piracy needs to be factored into the marketing OF digital products. Otherwise, you're just fighting a losing battle; as the record industry is seemingly finally starting to understand.

      I mean, as a musician with some CD credits under my belt; I used to get pissed too. Yet, after hearing this kid tell it like it is... that was enough to change my way of looking at things because he was absolutely correct. Combine lack of funds with fostered knowledge and desired outcome; solution tends to soon follow. These kids have the knowledge to find their own solutions and they really don't care what their elders say because we just gave them our whole game plan AND history of how we got there.

      You can't win a battle against an opponent that knows your methods inside and out; look at how much trouble the US Military is having with the Tali-ban. YIELD: only used as a reference point.
      The problems they're having with the Taliban are self-inflicted. You can't defeat an enemy when those in charge want to award medals for not killing the enemy.

      If we figure it out that factoring piracy INTO the profit scenario; then we're essentially using our enemy's power against them. This is ancient Chinese fighting technique; Sun Tsu.

      Just my 2¢
      PLP
      Wow, a criminal wants folks to make it easy for him. What are the odds, lol.

      So, according to you and the 17 year old wunderkind, if we simply factor pickpockets into the profit scenario, pickpocketing will go away? Or if we simply factor bank robbers into the profit scenario, bank robbers will go away? Or basically, cutting to the chase, if you simply give in to our blackmail, we'll cut you some slack? Or even better, just do away with the rule of law altogether. What could possibly go wrong, lol.
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      • Profile picture of the author tecHead
        Originally Posted by Black Hat Cat View Post

        So, according to you and the 17 year old wunderkind, if we simply factor pickpockets into the profit scenario, pickpocketing will go away? Or if we simply factor bank robbers into the profit scenario, bank robbers will go away? Or basically, cutting to the chase, if you simply give in to our blackmail, we'll cut you some slack? Or even better, just do away with the rule of law altogether. What could possibly go wrong, lol.
        That would be pretty pointless and silly; wouldn't it? I think you would agree based on your sarcastic tone and closing "lol".

        No, that's not what I'm saying at all. What I'm saying is we have to learn to pick our battles. Do you want to continuously have a pissing contest with someone with just as big a bladder at you; or do you wanna cut off their supply of liquid?

        Factoring in piracy doesn't have to mean giving in to it. A more intelligent approach would be to use it against itself. One must think outside of the proverbial box in order to get to that conclusion.

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        • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
          Originally Posted by tecHead View Post

          Do you want to continuously have a pissing contest with someone with just as big a bladder at you; or do you wanna cut off their supply of liquid?
          Now I'm the one who gets to compliment you on your communication skills. I lol'd. You win one internet.
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          • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
            Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

            Well, there's a whole bunch of people here who are actually selling information rather than "sharing" it and probably many of those are the same ones who feel that they're entitled to other people's intellectual property simply because the technology exists that allows them to rip it off.

            Discussing a novel or movie you've experienced is far different than "shoplifting" simply because you think it "should" be shared.
            ...and in addition to that and your other outstanding comments, I would like to add:

            Rationalizing away or justifying a lax attitude toward piracy only increases the perception that piracy is acceptable. More and more people who would have paid no longer think they should. In the end, those who do pay are looked upon incredulously and made to feel foolish for being honest. With societal acceptance of immoral behavior (theft) comes a lack of guilt for the partaking in that behavior. For every inch you willingly give up, two inches are affected.
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            • Profile picture of the author Marty S
              Most of this is too deep for me, but tactically speaking I helped a buddy out last year who found his valuable tech ebook being widely pirated.

              Since we basically knew we couldn't do anything about it, we filled the pirate sites with shorter versions of the ebook that when opened, provided links to the paid, full version.

              It resulted in a noticeable spike in sales. The pirates clearly helped actual sales after we acknowledged our predicament.
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              • Profile picture of the author N4PGW
                Originally Posted by Marty S View Post

                Most of this is too deep for me, but tactically speaking I helped a buddy out last year who found his valuable tech ebook being widely pirated.

                Since we basically knew we couldn't do anything about it, we filled the pirate sites with shorter versions of the ebook that when opened, provided links to the paid, full version.

                It resulted in a noticeable spike in sales. The pirates clearly helped actual sales after we acknowledged our predicament.
                This sounds like implimentation of the suggestion in an earlier post. "factor in the piracy situation." (paraphrased as best I remember it.)

                This does not make the act of piracy legal, but it does make it profitable to the originator.
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            • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
              Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

              Rationalizing away or justifying a lax attitude toward piracy only increases the perception that piracy is acceptable. More and more people who would have paid no longer think they should. In the end, those who do pay are looked upon incredulously and made to feel foolish for being honest. With societal acceptance of immoral behavior (theft) comes a lack of guilt for the partaking in that behavior. For every inch you willingly give up, two inches are affected.
              All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
              - Edmund Burke
              Pretty funny to bring Edmund Burke into a discussion about property, lol.

              The thing is, I don't understand how a massive commercial industry interfering in the government in order to protect their private business interests in ANY WAY makes them great defenders of out individual intellectual property rights.

              This is a big battle of ideas, and you're right that thoughts and feelings are changing. What I see is how piracy IS harming the distribution and control businesses that profit through limiting access to information. It's cutting out the middle men.

              The very same technology that's opening up the consumption channel is also opening it up for the creators. Now, THEY are the ones who are in control of the distribution. Now, you may no longer be able to profit from selling copies of things. However, since the model now puts the value on the SOURCE, they have to come to you to get it when it's new.

              This model can and is made profitable every day. Much the same way that REAL life pirates smashed monopoly trading companies and even outside control of local operators, the same thing is happening here.

              The big entity is losing control, and the power is becoming decentralized. Yes, lots of components are becoming devalued as the become obsolete, but what remains? The content. The content is what people actually want. Not to go to the gigabooplex and by $90 worth of tickets and popcorn. Not to pay $20 for an album with 2 good songs and terrible filler and overproduced packaging that will end up in the trash anyways.

              The content is the lifeblood of the entire mechanism. It's a machine that EATS CONTENT. Engineer your content to work within that organism, and you'll thrive. Companies like Netflix and Hulu get it - they are taking the content and adjusting it to fit the new distribution model.

              Real businesses are succeeding by basically mimicking what pirates do and just charging for it. Netflix does it with movies. Hulu with TV. iTunes does it with music. Steam for games, etc. Now, just like pirates you can LEGALLY get that content instantly straight to your home, WAY cheaper by bypassing the middle-men.

              So it's not like commercialization is out the window. It just has to change it's shape and structure to meet what society is moving towards anyway.

              I mean, we're sitting here talking about "intellectual property" as if it's got some moral attachment to it - this is a 19th-20th century invention, as long as we're talking about the potential for a piece of information to become a commercial object available to the masses.

              It's one of those things where there used to be a little industry built up around packaging and delivering that stuff, but it's dying. Just like they used to have a whole industry that used to deliver ice to your house to make your icebox work. It became obsolete. You can still charge for ice under special circumstances, but no one is shedding a tear over the ice man, you know?
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              • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
                Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

                Pretty funny to bring Edmund Burke into a discussion about property, lol.
                Try to consider the words and not the author, there is a point to the words that fit the context of the discussion. Citing the author is simple attribution.

                This is a big battle of ideas, and you're right that thoughts and feelings are changing. What I see is how piracy IS harming the distribution and control businesses that profit through limiting access to information. It's cutting out the middle men.
                It's also cutting out the content creators. I don't see people sending money directly to the content creators after they steal their property. They aren't stealing to eliminate the middle man. They steal because they don't want to pay, and theft is theft. No disrespect intended, but if you can't or don't want to see that, I don't know what to say.

                The very same technology that's opening up the consumption channel is also opening it up for the creators. Now, THEY are the ones who are in control of the distribution. Now, you may no longer be able to profit from selling copies of things. However, since the model now puts the value on the SOURCE, they have to come to you to get it when it's new.
                Do you really think people who steal from big distributors or production houses won't also steal from the content creators themselves? Perhaps you need to take another look at pirate sites. They do not discriminate, they steal from big and small, indies and corporate, men and women, etc.

                They have to come to source for one copy, no matter who the source is. Then they distribute it, or sell it, and it's still theft no matter which entity they are stealing from.

                The big entity is losing control, and the power is becoming decentralized. Yes, lots of components are becoming devalued as the become obsolete, but what remains? The content. The content is what people actually want. Not to go to the gigabooplex and by $90 worth of tickets and popcorn. Not to pay $20 for an album with 2 good songs and terrible filler and overproduced packaging that will end up in the trash anyways.
                The big entity is losing control, and it is because of theft. THEFT!

                It is interesting that you bring high prices into the discussion as a rationalization for changing the system when you admittedly charge high prices for your copywriting services. It's okay for you to charge high prices, but when other entities do changes need to be made.

                Huh?

                The content is the lifeblood of the entire mechanism. It's a machine that EATS CONTENT. Engineer your content to work within that organism, and you'll thrive. Companies like Netflix and Hulu get it - they are taking the content and adjusting it to fit the new distribution model.
                Netflix and Hulu get it, and are profiting from a new model. That is no justification for people to steal from the old model. If the old model no longer works, it will wither away on its own precisely because it doesn't work; but that old model should not be destroyed prematurely by illegal activity just because people don't want to pay for what they offer.

                So it's not like commercialization is out the window. It just has to change it's shape and structure to meet what society is moving towards anyway.
                And if society is moving toward cutting out medication for the elderly because they don't have long to live anyway, that makes it right? Yes, that's an extreme example, but you're still justifying theft. If everyone but you is participating in illegal activity, that still doesn't make that illegal activity right...or legal.

                Compare it to illegal immigration. There are so many illegals pouring over the borders a lot of people think it's wrong to even call them illegals, let alone think we should be doing anything to stop them or try to send them back. By comparison, thieves are overrunning the "borders" of the record and movie producers, and other content creators. So, since society is moving that way, I guess we should just give in to illegal immigration, eh? What's next? We never have to buy anything?

                It's one of those things where there used to be a little industry built up around packaging and delivering that stuff, but it's dying. Just like they used to have a whole industry that used to deliver ice to your house to make your icebox work. It became obsolete. You can still charge for ice under special circumstances, but no one is shedding a tear over the ice man, you know?
                Those industries died of natural causes, not because people were stealing their products and services. There is a massive difference between evolution and revolution.
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                • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                  Dennis,
                  The big entity is losing control, and it is because of theft. THEFT!
                  Not quite accurate. Big entities are losing market control because the resources needed to produce and widely distribute content no longer require big entities.

                  The difference to bear in mind is between losing control of a market and losing control of one's intellectual property.


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                  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                    More like a "because they're forcing us to AND we can, we should to teach them a lesson"
                    Anyone making that argument seriously is either stupid or lying. No-one is "forcing" them to do anything, except choose to pay or do without.
                    gNutella dude wasn't saying "deal with it"; he was saying, "If you're not going to include us into the profit scenario, deal with it."... there's a difference.
                    "If you're not going to give us what we want, we'll take it." How is that different?

                    Now, if you suggest he meant, "You need to adjust to new technologies," that's another matter. But the fact remains, those people are stealing.
                    The hackers/pirates are the side-effect of an overly bloated pricing system due to greedy CEOs.
                    No, they are not. They're a direct result of the fact that the pirates believe they are owed something, and the willingness to steal to get what they want.

                    The whole "Robin Hood" concept is as badly distorted as the "information wants to be free" notion. The Robin Hood in modern stories stole from people who got rich by force, and gave what he took back to the rightful owners. That's very different from stealing from the rightful owners and keeping the swag for oneself.

                    The problem, for these people, is not that the price is too high. It's the existence of a price at all.


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                    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                      Maybe you guys seeing a behemoth like Google grasping this concept will cause you to think a little differently?
                      Talking past each other, I think.

                      I grasp the concept quite clearly. I'm pointing out the danger of confusing thieves with legitimate market forces.

                      An example of the mentality I'm discussing: I publish a newsletter that is free, in the sense that there I don't charge anything in order to get it. When a person signs up, they get a book as a gift. One of these "Robin Hood" types uploaded it to a pirate site, with the suggestion that people should be able to get it without having to subscribe.

                      The objection is not that the price is too high. It's that a price exists at all. The rest is just rationalization.

                      That's a whole different animal from the argument that the supply chain costs are dropping, so the consumer will choose to go with lower cost options. That creates legitimate price pressure on manufacturers and distributors, and more opportunities for content producers.


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                      • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
                        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                        An example of the mentality I'm discussing: I publish a newsletter that is free, in the sense that there I don't charge anything in order to get it. When a person signs up, they get a book as a gift. One of these "Robin Hood" types uploaded it to a pirate site, with the suggestion that people should be able to get it without having to subscribe.
                        But subscribing is hard. I have to type my eMail address and, like, click a button. Geesh. What more do you want from me? You want my first born too?

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                      • Profile picture of the author tecHead
                        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                        Talking past each other, I think.

                        I grasp the concept quite clearly. I'm pointing out the danger of confusing thieves with legitimate market forces.

                        An example of the mentality I'm discussing: I publish a newsletter that is free, in the sense that there I don't charge anything in order to get it. When a person signs up, they get a book as a gift. One of these "Robin Hood" types uploaded it to a pirate site, with the suggestion that people should be able to get it without having to subscribe.

                        The objection is not that the price is too high. It's that a price exists at all. The rest is just rationalization.

                        That's a whole different animal from the argument that the supply chain costs are dropping, so the consumer will choose to go with lower cost options. That creates legitimate price pressure on manufacturers and distributors, and more opportunities for content producers.


                        Paul
                        ...and for a scenario like that, I agree with your contempt, Paul. I'm not trying to justify the flat out ugly actions of the minority. What I'm saying is that there are more "good kids" than rotten career criminals in the hacker/pirate world.

                        Its kinda like the gang mentality in the inner-cities. The majority of those kids are only a part of that gang because they're not being heard by the adult/teacher. They're looking for a sense of belonging; yet, they get condemned, shot, killed and locked up.

                        And just like how some ex-gang members started recognizing this fact and working WITH those youths; in certain areas where this mentality is the most fostered, the gang proliferation is being minimized.

                        Its the same thing; IMHO. Flip the script.
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                        • Profile picture of the author NicheMayhem
                          A phrase comes to mind which I have heard throughout my life from all kinds of people:

                          "See, that's how they get ya"

                          The mentality that big business has been crapping on the little guy has always been around and a new generation of "sharers" in my opinion feel a little justification when they buy an album and go put it up on a sharing site to share with others. Same mentality can be applied to open source, its simply a new wave of thinking. Just as Colin pointed out, the new companies who are embracing the new distribution channels (Netflix, iTunes, Steam) are flourishing while the old simply want to put their head in the sand and find someone to try and stage a "crackdown."

                          Optimism rarely finds its way into the business world but the issues at hand in this discussion no matter how they are described simply demand optimism. Do what you can with what you got or the train is going to leave the station anyway and you and your business will not be on it.

                          Back in the day, business was reliant upon the localized people business owners interacted with. Sales were made door to door. Success was forged with smiles and good nature, helping hands and integrity. Many people do not seem to appreciate the conveniences of today's technology or forget the industry they cling to which supports them is only an adolescent and still developing. If big business steps in and regulates everything you better believe the times of marketers who create ebooks and courses from their living room and then go and sell them online will be over or at the very least heavily restricted. Big business has always had their bottom line in the forefront of their operations across the board which in my opinion created the "well, screw them" mentality that is apparent in a huge amount of the population today.

                          Embrace and accommodate the changes and you may find a place in the future, stick your head in the sand and cry for regulation and you may find yourself looking for a J.O.B. The wild west internet allows for the marketing of digital products to exist, it also allows for those products to be shared, well in my opinion at this point that just comes with the territory.

                          After all, the whole reason the internet was started was for the "sharing" of ideas and information across state lines. Public access did nothing but spawn more sharing, remember? Funny pictures were the biggie, people fell in love with the idea of "sharing." Where we are now is really a natural progression of human nature, word of mouth became click of mouse, upload of content, or ripper of movie and it all stems from there. The sharing sites didn't start out with the intention of demolishing the industries which produce the goods, they were friends who were sharing.

                          So, who is to blame? Nobody.

                          What can be done? Not a whole lot without invasion of privacy and regulation which as usual will not have us in mind but them.

                          I'm not saying its cool to go and download to escape paying, I'm saying it needs to be embraced as the way things are at this point in time. I hope beyond hope that there will not come a time when everything I do and say online will be tracked and regulated, I highly doubt little ole me will be able to make as much money on my own from my bedroom.

                          Many of you have no problem with bitching about the issue, but have you really stopped and thought about the choices for stopping it?

                          Sorry to repeat some things already said, my 25c take on it I guess.
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                          • Profile picture of the author N4PGW
                            Originally Posted by NicheMayhem View Post

                            A phrase comes to mind which I have heard throughout my life from all kinds of people:

                            "See, that's how they get ya"

                            The mentality that big business has been crapping on the little guy has always been around and a new generation of "sharers" in my opinion feel a little justification when they buy an album and go put it up on a sharing site to share with others. Same mentality can be applied to open source, its simply a new wave of thinking. Just as Colin pointed out, the new companies who are embracing the new distribution channels (Netflix, iTunes, Steam) are flourishing while the old simply want to put their head in the sand and find someone to try and stage a "crackdown."
                            I don't think it is as much old vs new. I imagine that old and new alike are staging the crackdowns. Just because a company distributes through Netfix doesn't make them immune to theft. If they are smart, the also distribute DVDs! The thieves do not target those who don't use Netflix. They target any production they can enjoy without having to pay. It is more the 'Entitlement Mentality vs the Earn-it Mentality".
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                  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
                    Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                    Dennis,Not quite accurate. Big entities are losing market control because the resources needed to produce and widely distribute content no longer require big entities.

                    The difference to bear in mind is between losing control of a market and losing control of one's intellectual property.


                    Paul
                    Paul, I don't disagree with that. However, the massive theft of intellectual property greatly contributes to losing market control. Technology is the enabler, theft is still the crime.
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                • Profile picture of the author N4PGW
                  Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post


                  Netflix and Hulu get it, and are profiting from a new model. That is no justification for people to steal from the old model. If the old model no longer works, it will wither away on its own precisely because it doesn't work; but that old model should not be destroyed prematurely by illegal activity just because people don't want to pay for what they offer.
                  While thieves may have created the basis of the model, Netflix and others found a legal way to capitalize on the model that is win-win with the originators of the content.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
    Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

    Thieves want information to be free ... and music, and movies. The more of them that are caught and punished, the better.
    I don't have a problem with the concept but with the particular implementation in this case.

    Originally Posted by ProductCreator View Post

    My personal view is that simply crying "thief" is too simplistic. I believe it is much more complex, a situation of retail cartels, big business, capitalism, the need to reinvestigate intellectual property rights, regulation, marketing and more.
    Here's the thing. If you want to watch a movie, pay for it. Or wait until it comes on TV where it's supported by ads or paid by your cable bill. It's not a complex situation.

    There are actually many parallels with the war on drugs. Hundreds of millions of people who are criminalised by their activities, in spite of the "war".
    It's not parallel to drug use. Drug users pay for their drugs. Sometimes they might steal to pay for them or whatever, but they pay for their drugs. If they don't pay their dealers, it's going to get ugly. What happens if one of those users makes the argument to their suppliers that drugs should be free?

    They either pay for their drugs or grow their own. If you want to draw a parallel between that and entertainment, then you should either pay for entertainment or create your own.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    To say this is a lost war is just plain stupid.

    We could lose some of our privacy rights to solve this issue and YOU know it.

    What will happen is, governments/police/whatever looking into what WE do online so they can track if any illegal stuff is going on.

    They WILL break OUR privacy just to track these morons.

    Everytime YOU defend them, you aggravate our Privacy Rights.

    Rant Over.
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  • Profile picture of the author abeja_reina_1989
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      Originally Posted by abeja_reina_1989 View Post

      I'm fairly new to the online world. I say that because there are so many rules and things like that that I fully don't understand. For example, I am constantly linking to things that I think are interesting, showing pictures to my followers that I think they may want to see. I am never trying to claim ownership, but just trying to share. In a sense, you could say I'm promoting, but without getting any benefit out of it. I don't think that's wrong, but technically it is, isn't it?
      Linking to something is generally okay, until now maybe, which is the discussion here.

      Posting a photo or article on your site without permission is not okay.
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    • Profile picture of the author N4PGW
      Originally Posted by abeja_reina_1989 View Post

      I'm fairly new to the online world. I say that because there are so many rules and things like that that I fully don't understand. For example, I am constantly linking to things that I think are interesting, showing pictures to my followers that I think they may want to see. I am never trying to claim ownership, but just trying to share. In a sense, you could say I'm promoting, but without getting any benefit out of it. I don't think that's wrong, but technically it is, isn't it?
      Let me review the situation. The OP involves people getting busted who are basically link farms for entertainment thieves. Both the owners of the link farms and their visitors know they are using the site to acquire illegal copies of music and movies.

      You say you link to "interesting" things. If I have an article about the Apple Blossom Amaryllis flower which includes my picture or a picture I purchased rights to and you link to the article, then you are only responsible for directing traffic to my site. Most site owners appreciate that if done in proper taste. On the other hand, if you write your own article about flowers, even if it is significantly different from my own, and you imbed a link to my flower so that it shows up as if it were your own graphic, then you are stealing my picture and my bandwidth. Not only do you steal the flower, but your tactic costs me money every time someone reads your article. Most site owners do not appreciate this.

      On the other hand, there are sites where it is ok to link to their pictures provided you acknowledge their copyright and include a link to a specified page of their sites. For example, Youtube provides embedding code so you can include their videos on your site. This is quite acceptable.

      If you setup a website where people can come and search for the movie or song they want to hear, and you link them to a site where you know the videos and audios are stolen, then you are an accessory to a crime, and thus you are committing a crime. These are the sites being busted for only having links to the material.

      On the other hand, if you have a site with hundreds of links to legitimate movies, music or graphics, etc., and one or two links are mistakenly pointed to illegal sources, then you have hit a gray area where the authorities are more likely to tell you to discontinue your link rather than take the time, money and energy to prosecute you. Technically, they can prosecute you as "ignorance is not an excuse" but then they risk creating collateral damage. For example, a thief breaks into a supermarket after-hours. In order to get the thief out of the store, the cops bulldoze the store down. It would be better to let the thief take the merchandise and get away than to have to replace the entire store.

      Is it right for a prosecutor to spend millions of dollars trying to prosecute someone who accidentally cost another man $10? No, not when the solution is as easy as informing the offender.

      So, how does this affect what you are doing? Compare your sites to what I just pointed out and see.

      Bare in mind that this is only my opinion of the situation and not any kind of advise.
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  • Profile picture of the author tecHead
    I dislike the "can't teach an old dog new tricks" adage; (no offense) but unfortunately it seems to be rearing its ugly head, here.

    I'm not a wordsmith; I'm a codesmith... and I'm glad that there's someone that can articulate elegantly what I'm thinking. Thanks, Colin.

    Sign of the times, people... sign of the times.
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  • Profile picture of the author tecHead
    Here's a Google search showing how Google is doing exactly what we've been talking about.

    Mozilla had a similar program for their browser, as well.

    Its not about condoning pirates and/or theft. Its not about taking a lax attitude towards them. Its not about forgiving the thieves. Its about turning their power against them and making them work for us.

    Maybe you guys seeing a behemoth like Google grasping this concept will cause you to think a little differently? <shrug>

    PLP
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      Originally Posted by tecHead View Post

      Here's a Google search showing how Google is doing exactly what we've been talking about.

      Mozilla had a similar program for their browser, as well.

      Its not about condoning pirates and/or theft. Its not about taking a lax attitude towards them. Its not about forgiving the thieves. Its about turning their power against them and making them work for us.

      Maybe you guys seeing a behemoth like Google grasping this concept will cause you to think a little differently? <shrug>
      Interesting. So Google pays hackers to find bugs in their software, yet they had no idea what wifi data they were collecting...
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
    Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

    Please do not include me in the collective "us" category. I am not a part of this Us and don't care to be. If I know an info pirate it is because we are pitted against each other. I spend a certain amount of time fighting pirates who aren't even selling my stuff. They are selling everyone else's stuff. They are not "sharing" the information ... they are profiting from it and preventing you from profiting from it by selling it cheaper.

    They are not revolutionizing an industry. There's nothing glorious about what they are doing. They are villains. They are criminals.
    I totally agree with you. It's foolish not to think the mass actions of a non-organized group of criminals acting in concert can still, nonetheless change EVERYTHING. Much like say, PIRATES - the actual historical ones - actually shaped the history around them through criminal actions.

    I'm not romanticizing anything. I am against piracy personally and professionally. But I see the black flag and I don't believe it will ever be torn down, and I see the the people fighting them will be left in a state of wreckage that will allow opportunities to create innovative new business models.

    I'm looking at it like some people want to be the Untouchables to smash organize crime - I'm for repealing prohibition. Not making pircay "legal" mind you - I'm just talking about not building my business in a way where piracy is damaging my income.

    Why are people missing my point so bad? PIRACY BAD. But Piracy = Here to Stay. So I say build around it, and take away its ability to hurt me at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author IM Listing
    thank you government finally they do something about this junk I hope that toggles all the way down I know they have been implementing new laws lately but I had no idea they were actually going to take action.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Colin, I need to get some writing done today besides at the WF, so I'm going to cut this short and give you the last word after this.

    Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

    I'm simply making a prediction that the pirates are going to win eventually, so I will structure my business as if that's true. I'm going to succeed either way, but piracy will harm me less, because I'm not going to focus on it beyond accepting it and incorporating it into all my plans.
    See, that's the division between us. We're not that far apart, it's just that I haven't conceded the pirates are going to win. That's why I wrote:
    Rationalizing away or justifying a lax attitude toward piracy only increases the perception that piracy is acceptable. More and more people who would have paid no longer think they should. In the end, those who do pay are looked upon incredulously and made to feel foolish for being honest. With societal acceptance of immoral behavior (theft) comes a lack of guilt for the partaking in that behavior. For every inch you willingly give up, two inches are affected.
    I'm not saying we shouldn't structure our businesses to minimize theft. I haven't said we shouldn't adapt. I am saying the more people justify it, rationalize it, and stop speaking out against it, the more readily it is accepted and the farther it spreads.

    I'm saying we don't have to accept the moral decay that makes theft acceptable, and that we shouldn't stop speaking out against it. Turning a blind eye toward a problem only allows the roots to grow deeper and the problem to spread into other areas. The battle can be fought on multiple fronts.

    You have a good mind, Colin, I enjoy your posts, but we part ways on this one.

    Well, good luck pirating my copywriting. To you also I say "huh?" I'm afraid I don't get the point you're trying to make here.
    Perhaps that's why you can be so indifferent, your "product" isn't as easily pirated?

    Anyway, how about you write some of your best sales copy for me. I suddenly have an urge to avail you of your services and later not pay you for them.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

      it's just that I haven't conceded the pirates are going to win. That's why I wrote:
      Rationalizing away or justifying a lax attitude toward piracy only increases the perception that piracy is acceptable. More and more people who would have paid no longer think they should. In the end, those who do pay are looked upon incredulously and made to feel foolish for being honest. With societal acceptance of immoral behavior (theft) comes a lack of guilt for the partaking in that behavior. For every inch you willingly give up, two inches are affected.
      Dennis put it so eloquently, that I don't need to repeat it. Glad to see there are others who haven't thrown in the towel and given these self-entitled brats a red carpet to steal their products.

      Embrace it. No. If the technology exists that allows sharing/theft, the technology can be developed that makes it more difficult without inconveniencing your real customers. In the meantime, protecting my business from them is just part of doing business, IMO and any day that I can annoy them by making them lose their hosting or lose their domain (and all their backlinks with it) is a day that I get a personal satisfaction from doing so.

      Do I neglect my business to chase pirates? No. But I certainly don't ignore the problem and act as though it is inevitable that I will lose my websites or ebooks to these criminals.
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    • Profile picture of the author N4PGW
      Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post



      See, that's the division between us. We're not that far apart, it's just that I haven't conceded the pirates are going to win. That's why I wrote:
      Some pirates are going to win. Others will lose, but overall, combating them will reduce the losses to the originators of the products while reducing, at least, the visibility of the sources of stolen material on the Internet.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    One of the things I keep reading is to assume there will be sharing of our products, and to factor that into the product itself.

    How do we do that?

    Include links to other products we sell? Which can then be shared anyway.

    Offer an exclusive membership? Which can be shared.

    Have them opt-in to a list where they get messages from us? Which can be shared.

    In fact, I'm willing to bet any form of "piracy mitigation" you want to include can also be shared just as easily.

    Sorry, but I'm not to the point of "accepting" anything when the alternative doesn't make sense.

    Other than that, there are a lot of bad analogies in this thread, and comparisons that don't make any sense whatsoever. Not that I can come up with one that's any better, but there are some things that are so specific to this issue that direct analogies are hard to make in a convincing manner.

    All the best,
    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author N4PGW
      Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

      One of the things I keep reading is to assume there will be sharing of our products, and to factor that into the product itself.

      How do we do that?

      Include links to other products we sell? Which can then be shared anyway.

      Offer an exclusive membership? Which can be shared.

      Have them opt-in to a list where they get messages from us? Which can be shared.

      In fact, I'm willing to bet any form of "piracy mitigation" you want to include can also be shared just as easily.

      Sorry, but I'm not to the point of "accepting" anything when the alternative doesn't make sense.

      Other than that, there are a lot of bad analogies in this thread, and comparisons that don't make any sense whatsoever. Not that I can come up with one that's any better, but there are some things that are so specific to this issue that direct analogies are hard to make in a convincing manner.

      All the best,
      Michael
      'Accepting' doesn't equate to doing nothing or condoning the practice. It basically means you acknowledge it is a part of business you will experience and you can plan to take measures to protect your profits. After all, if one product is making $10,000 per month and 10% of your product distributions are pirated, what are you making per month? $10,000. The question is, how much are you willing to spend to protect the product?

      Think of this. Security sees a man pocket a $25 watch. He approaches the thief who tries to run. The pursuit ends when security and the thief topple a glass display with $10,000 worth of glass ornaments in it. Was it worth catching the thief?

      Hollywood makes $50 million on a movie. With ten movies like this being mass pirated, they could be making an additional $500 million. is it unreasonable for them to invest $5 million in stopping the theft as best they can?
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Palfrey
    I think a large part of the problem here is attempting roll multiple problems into one lump.

    The music industry has been ruined by piracy, anyone arguing differently must be deaf. You simply wont get the likes of another Pink Floyd, Hendrix etc.. in this environment.

    However, when it comes to the film industry they already have the answer, but are too lazy to use it. All they need do is provide their content online themselves and monetize them with adverts. They already know this model is profitable, and when they consider the larger audience and the fact the viewer could actual take action on the spot by clicking, the amount they can charge advertisers is far more than they currently make.

    Does that mean I think people should be stealing films? hell no, but that doesn't mean that the people in charge of distributing the films to the public shouldn't change the way they go about it.

    Please note that none of the above applies to us at all!!! We are not in the entertainment industry, we sell information. You cannot monetize education with adverts, and thus the obvious model for them wont work for us. I still think the best route for digital product creators selling info products is to fight back as hard as possible, while always watching for better ways to market our stuff.

    You cannot package totally different problems up and label them all piracy, then wonder why no one solution works for the whole of piracy.

    My 2c
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Deegan
    There are obviously differing views on the subject, but for me and what I think we all need to remember is something Colin pointed out early in the thread...

    Piracy is going to happen...The best we can do is plan our actions and business strategy to factor it in beforehand. Getting pissy about it is not going to solve a damn thing.

    What i would LOVE to hear is more ideas and details on how we as information publishers can limit its effect on our business model or make it a non issue. I rather hear more about solutions then about the problem...

    Much love,
    Daniel D.
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    • Profile picture of the author NicheMayhem
      Originally Posted by Daniel Deegan View Post

      There are obviously differing views on the subject, but for me and what I think we all need to remember is something Colin pointed out early in the thread...

      Piracy is going to happen...The best we can do is plan our actions and business strategy to factor it in beforehand. Getting pissy about it is not going to solve a damn thing.

      What i would LOVE to hear is more ideas and details on how we as information publishers can limit its effect on our business model or make it a non issue. I rather hear more about solutions then about the problem...

      Much love,
      Daniel D.

      I totally agree, we all know what the problem is. Matter of fact check this out from 1985:



      *sorry to go off topic but that 1200 baud modem "Franky" mentions, that's 1200 bits/second ...would have made it faster...wow:p

      I don't condone stealing in any shape or form. This is not a new issue though and with me being such a small spec in the grand scheme of things, I just feel like I am smart enough and creative enough to do my best to factor in the issue as a hazard. Not going to waste my time and effort to try and poke at a huge cannonball with tiny needles when its not going to pop.
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  • Profile picture of the author BigDaddys101
    They might be able to take down some sites or even ban sites from reaching US Servers but a lot of the better torrent sites are in countries the US government couldn't even dream of touching.

    Besides most people I know wouldn't buy anything unless they could try it first, including movies. Not to mention the people that are really to poor to buy it, download and then talk about the product or movie to people who can afford to buy it.

    So in reality is it hurting them or helping them?
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by BigDaddys101 View Post

      Besides most people I know wouldn't buy anything unless they could try it first, including movies.
      So ... they're going to buy it after they "try" a movie? lol.
      Sure ... if most people you know wouldn't buy unless they could try it, most people you know are thieves.
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    • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
      Originally Posted by BigDaddys101 View Post

      They might be able to take down some sites or even ban sites from reaching US Servers but a lot of the better torrent sites are in countries the US government couldn't even dream of touching.

      Besides most people I know wouldn't buy anything unless they could try it first, including movies. Not to mention the people that are really to poor to buy it, download and then talk about the product or movie to people who can afford to buy it.

      So in reality is it hurting them or helping them?
      Hurting the industry.

      And the idea vilans will be safe outside the US is incorrect. Next year Portugal will start a campaign to stop illegal downloads from servers worldwide.

      Once people get caught downloading illegal items, they will be charged.

      PROBLEM IS:

      Authorities need access to EVERY internet connection to track who's doing illegal downloads.

      They will SEE and KEEP DATA of what I do - so they can stop illegal downloads.

      And that is a major privacy breach.

      This thread is going around the how the market yadda yadda yadda BUT I don't see people worried about their PRIVACY.

      Privacy is the key word here.
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    • Profile picture of the author N4PGW
      Originally Posted by BigDaddys101 View Post

      They might be able to take down some sites or even ban sites from reaching US Servers but a lot of the better torrent sites are in countries the US government couldn't even dream of touching.

      Besides most people I know wouldn't buy anything unless they could try it first, including movies. Not to mention the people that are really to poor to buy it, download and then talk about the product or movie to people who can afford to buy it.

      So in reality is it hurting them or helping them?
      Why don't you put it to a test? Start offering all your products for free with a paypal link at the end of the book and say "Please click here and pay for the book if you like it."

      Actually, I think you will find a different story if you asked this question on Survey Monkey.... "If you were given free, quality movies, would you pay for them after watching them if you liked the movie at all? Would you give the movie to your friends?
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Mr. theriot, let me try again in a different way.

    What do you recommend we do?

    If you could answer in a simple way, that would be cool. (Not saying you have to, of course)

    All the best,
    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author jdenc
      Originally Posted by Michael Oksa View Post

      Mr. theriot, let me try again in a different way.

      What do you recommend we do?

      If you could answer in a simple way, that would be cool. (Not saying you have to, of course)

      All the best,
      Michael
      I can not answer for Mr Theriot but it seems to me the answer is what we are supposed to be doing everyday. Figure out what makes your competition attractive and then use it to beat them. Maybe for the movie studios it's free movies that are ad supported. Instead of cam movies you get the full deal. And maybe they offer this straight to internet for some movies but still do blockbusters in the theater first and then release them online later. Where there was percieved value people would spend the money to go. I bet they would make more money overall and the big films would be huge while small films could be more profitable and therefore more doable. And film piracy? Why bother with that hassle when you are going to get it crisp and clear from the people who own it?
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  • Profile picture of the author tecHead
    All in all, what I think we have here in this thread are a multitude of well intentioned Warriors that have found ourselves in a communication disconnect. It seems to me that at the core, we're all saying the same thing...

    Theft is theft and that's not a good thing

    Yes, we all agree on this point but I think the disconnect starts when we start talking about how to deal with digital theft. We essentially have two arguments, in this regard...

    One Argument is...
    Lock 'em all up and throw away the key. Theft is theft and theft is a crime; therefore throwing a hacker in jail with murderers, rapists and pedophiles is what they deserve. Don't stop fighting against them even if the fight continues until both sides are nothing more than bloody masses, because eventually the fight will end.

    Counter Argument is...

    Fighting an opponent that is equally matched to you in a manner in which the fight just continuously goes on without any clear end in sight is a waste of time and energy. That same energy can be used in figuring out ways to end the fight and once and for all and make the thieves most determined efforts insignificant. Thus allowing us to carry on with the running of our businesses and not worrying about who's trying to steal from us.

    Which one is right? I won't be arrogant enough to say the way that I'm leaning is the right way; as at this point, we're still talking about theory. Yet, (albeit it may be biased), I do tend to lean towards the latter argument because going after these thieves tooth and nail has not worked. The same model hasn't worked in any other instance its been employed, either. What we have proof of and see on a daily basis is theft proliferating and the authorities taking steps that infringe upon our civil liberties and privacy in order to thwart the thieves.

    This thread started out with an article about the government stepping in from the above stance; "We'll take care of it." and some of the same individuals that are arguing against taking a different approach are the same ones that showed concern about the government stepping in because they're also saying, "If we step on your toes in the process; don't come whining to us."

    To me; that's pretty contradictory.

    The reason the government is stepping in is because we're showing incapability to police ourselves. The counter argument throughout this thread has been that of finding ways to police ourselves so that we're not subject to outside influence dictating things that we're not comfortable with in order to solve the problem.

    All the other minor details are irrelevant, really. No one needs to ask what we're teaching our children. No one needs to divulge whether they've been to jail or not; (I meant you no offense, Dennis). No one needs to point fingers at anyone else trying to insist that they're forgiving theft just because they speak about approaching it a different way. None of that matters.

    What matters is the fact that its a problem and the way we're currently going about solving that problem isn't working.


    I think we should work from that premise and that premise alone.

    Now... let's collectively come up with a solution.

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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by tecHead View Post

      Theft is theft and that's not a good thing

      Yes, we all agree on this point but I think the disconnect starts when we start talking about how to deal with digital theft. We essentially have two arguments, in this regard...

      One Argument is...
      Lock 'em all up and throw away the key. Theft is theft and theft is a crime; therefore throwing a hacker in jail with murderers, rapists and pedophiles is what they deserve. Don't stop fighting against them even if the fight continues until both sides are nothing more than bloody masses, because eventually the fight will end.
      If you're referring to my post where I spoke about jail time, you also seemed to miss a turning point where the conversation changed from the pirate to the downloader. And for the record, I was referring to jail, as in city or county jail, not prison.

      I appreciated this post, though.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    You wouldn't download a car would you?
    Originally Posted by BobJutsu View Post

    Hell ya I would, in a second if I could! Try and catch me sucka...

    Fine me, shut me down, lock me up; I'll pay my dues when I get caught and go right back to pirating the shiznick out of whatever I find interesting. Same way that I pay my fines a couple times a summer for having ape hangers too high and drag pipes too loud on my bike...it's not a deterrent, just the cost of doing business.

    If I saw J-Z or James Cameron in a bar, I'd take his wallet too! I have no stupid excuses for why; I'm not previewing it, I just plain don't like you and have no problem whatsoever taking your stuff, you deserve it. If I had to pay for it (in most cases), I would pay a bootlegger $20 for a $10 product, just because I think you, your industry, and most of your society to be douchebags...
    A perfect example of my point ... a criminal is a criminal is a criminal. There's no distinction between thieves. Someone with the above attitude will steal anything and everything they can get their hands on.

    This person belongs in jail. He is a parasite that feeds off of the society that he has no respect for at all.
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    • Profile picture of the author jdenc
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      A perfect example of my point ... a criminal is a criminal is a criminal. There's no distinction between thieves. Someone with the above attitude will steal anything and everything they can get their hands on.

      This person belongs in jail. He is a parasite that feeds off of the society that he has no respect for at all.
      You may have also noticed he doesn't have much respect for the penalties of jail time either. So while locking him up may stop him for a bit it won't stop a thousand more like him. And he'll go right back to it. So not sure this illustrates your point as well as it does the point that jail really isn't the best answer overall.
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    • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
      Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

      Is that true? A person could steal your copy off of the website you wrote it for and use it to sell a similar product, or the same product if they stole it too. I don't knowingly visit pirate sites, but I'd be surprised if some of this isn't already going on.
      I would say that I have arranged my business around the fact that this doesn't matter to me. I can always write more.

      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      A perfect example of my point ... a criminal is a criminal is a criminal. There's no distinction between thieves. Someone with the above attitude will steal anything and everything they can get their hands on.

      This person belongs in jail. He is a parasite that feeds off of the society that he has no respect for at all.
      Yeah, but if he's free, he can generally make his own living. If he's in jail, we all have to pay for him to be there. If he didn't kill or hurt anyone, fine him or something.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
        Originally Posted by Colin Theriot View Post

        I would say that I have arranged my business around the fact that this doesn't matter to me. I can always write more.
        Not exactly the point, but as long as it doesn't matter to you please link to some of your more successful examples here so I can adapt them for my own use. :rolleyes:
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