Up to 25000 British illegal downloaders sued

by Jim Stewart 50 replies
I was going to put this in the OT forum, but I think it needs to be seen here in the main one.

Up to 25,000 British illegal downloaders sued for £300 as games developers turn to courts | Mail Online
#main internet marketing discussion forum #british #downloaders #illegal #sued
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  • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
    Originally Posted by Jim Stewart View Post

    I was going to put this in the OT forum, but I think it needs to be seen here in the main one.

    Up to 25,000 British illegal downloaders sued for £300 as games developers turn to courts | Mail Online
    I see they are now targeting the people who actually download warez. Good.

    Hopefully, this will spur more people to stop pirating software....and buy it instead.
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    • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
      Good for us this but I have no idea how they'll administer this to be honest. I was filing a small claim against someone in the courts last week and according to one of the workers the UK court system is struggling to cope at the moment with the number of bank charge cases files and repossion hearings.

      Rich
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    • Profile picture of the author Frank Ayres
      Everyone has downloaded a song or something they shouldnt have
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      • I'm not in favour of piracy but the scapegoat they have chosen for the test case is disgusting. An unemployed woman responsible for two children required to pay out more money than the family will receive in a year. Such action can only lead the family to absolute poverty and means that it is difficult to have any sympathy for the software company concerned.
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        • Profile picture of the author espacecadet
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          • Profile picture of the author rsmllc
            Originally Posted by espacecadet View Post

            Hopefully, Impact, they'll look at it on a case by case basis and forgive folks like the woman with two children. Bankrupting someone means they'll never be able to legally buy their product, and especially not if they come to hate the product maker. But we all know how uncaring a corporation can be.

            I agree that lessons need to be learned. Downloading without paying really is stealing and people, especially the young people, need to realize that.

            This will send them a message certainly.
            Or perhaps young people see through the hype, and aren't buying it. So, one can download this thread (save as an htm) and it's an 'okay' downloading, but as soon as the characters are changed to mp3, mpg or exe, it's a 'ooh ooh, evil pirate' download? What is being 'stolen,' since the original code or property is fully retained by the creator? Can one believe in capitalism and property rights, without buying into the idea that copies = originals, whose distribution must be treated the same way as we treat originals?

            'Piracy' is traditionally identified as murder and kidnapping on the high seas. Some of us dislike the corporate hijacking of the term to create negative spin about really just neutral or at worst, mildly rude e-behavior. 'Fess up, sharing a file with a friend or peer is simply not the same thing as murder and kidnapping on the high seas. Less pejoratives should govern this debate, and dissent over treating copies like originals shouldn't be criminalized.
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            • Profile picture of the author KimW
              Sadly from what I've seen here in the states, we have raised a generation that has no qualms about stealing.
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            • Profile picture of the author topher
              I feel this will create fear in people and stop the madness. It is ethically bad to enjoy somebody,s labour which cost you nothing
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            • Profile picture of the author Kim Standerline
              Originally Posted by rsmllc View Post

              Some of us dislike the corporate hijacking of the term to create negative spin about really just neutral or at worst, mildly rude e-behavior.
              Maybe some of us spend thousands of dollars having software etc created and resent the fact that people think they have a "right" to help themselves to it because they think everything on the net should be free!

              At the end of the day, it's stealing, would you be of the same opinion if someone walked into a DVD store and helped themselves to the latest title because they feel they have a right to it (I think not)

              It's about time they cracked down on piracy, (Though I do obviously hope they show the woman involved some mercy)

              And no most of us don't download illegal software/music etc. I buy mine from itunes (legally)

              Kim
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          • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
            Originally Posted by espacecadet View Post

            Hopefully, Impact, they'll look at it on a case by case basis and forgive folks like the woman with two children. Bankrupting someone means they'll never be able to legally buy their product, and especially not if they come to hate the product maker. But we all know how uncaring a corporation can be.

            I agree that lessons need to be learned. Downloading without paying really is stealing and people, especially the young people, need to realize that.

            This will send them a message certainly.
            Do you really thing $700 USD is going to bankrupt these kinds of people?

            These people listed in this lawsuit have enough money to buy computers and broadband access. I don't think a judgement for $700 is going to bankrupt them, but it will put a crimp in their lifestyle for a while.

            I like it. Enough to get your attention, not enough to cause extreme financial hardship. Sounds like the right approach.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jelasco
          Originally Posted by impact-productions View Post

          I'm not in favour of piracy but the scapegoat they have chosen for the test case is disgusting. An unemployed woman responsible for two children required to pay out more money than the family will receive in a year. Such action can only lead the family to absolute poverty and means that it is difficult to have any sympathy for the software company concerned.
          Did she break the law? If so, she is not a scapegoat. A scapegoat is someone who gets blamed for the actions of others.

          Being unemployed or poor is not an excuse for theft.
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          • Profile picture of the author rsmllc
            Yes, she is being made a scapegoat. Sorry to blaspheme again, but did she actually commit a crime? Or did she merely commit this phony thing we call 'piracy?' Getting a copy of something is different than getting the original, it is NOT stealing, despite all the presumptive assertions made above. This is a disputable claim that many want to make others accept as dogma. The absurd unfairness of the dogma is manifested by the example of this mother. Dickens had a comment about laws like these...
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            • Profile picture of the author Jelasco
              Originally Posted by rsmllc View Post

              Sorry to blaspheme again, but did she actually commit a crime? Or did she merely commit this phony thing we call 'piracy?' Getting a copy of something is different than getting the original, it is NOT stealing, despite all the presumptive assertions made above.
              It most certainly IS stealing if done without permission.

              I assume you aren't successfully selling anything online, or you would grasp this. If my guess is wrong, please post the download links to all your products here.
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              • I just want to clarify the point I made.

                I have no problem with the women involved being punished. I don't doubt that a crime has been committed and so some form of punishment is necessary. I have created software myself (as a programmer) and I have outsourced software creation too. I wouldn't want either pirated.

                However the 'test case' is purely picking on a vulnerable woman, who has no hope of being able to defend herself or ever being able to pay such a fine. There is not even any proof that the woman in question downloaded the game - only that it came from her computer. So what will happen? If she can't pay she may well be imprisoned. The children, without a guardian, would be put into care.

                Quite discounting the financial burden then passed onto the tax payer, that is surely a hugely disproportionate and cruel punishment for all members of the family concerned, not just the woman being charged. If she had simply gone into a shop and stolen the game the likely punishment would be a warning or small fine. To be seen as a visible punishment a penalty such as community service could have been used.

                I write this after the case has been completed (so there is no option of leniency etc) and this has been set as a legal precedent with the UK.
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                • Profile picture of the author Kim Standerline
                  Originally Posted by impact-productions View Post

                  If she had simply gone into a shop and stolen the game the likely punishment would be a warning or small fine. To be seen as a visible punishment a penalty such as community service could have been used.
                  Actually you have a point. I do think the punishment is certainly more than is warranted.

                  And I hope she will be able to appeal this rather disgusting fine. For the record, I think the £300 being asked for is also excessive.

                  Hell all I want is just for everyone to pay for what they downloaded or share from my sites. (It aint ever going to happen tho)

                  Kim
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                  • Profile picture of the author davezan
                    Originally Posted by Kim Standerline View Post

                    I think the £300 being asked for is also excessive.
                    Not as excessive as paying the court-imposed fine, though. Why she didn't do
                    it when she had the opportunity to do so prior to suit, only she knows.

                    We may not like the law sometimes, which is fine since some people don't like
                    laws for whatever reason. But...the law's the law for the most part.

                    I don't know about everyone else, but the last thing I'd want to do is give one
                    an enforceable cause to be held liable for. Or at least try not to, based on the
                    given situation.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Kim Standerline
                      Originally Posted by davezan View Post

                      Not as excessive as paying the court-imposed fine, though. Why she didn't do
                      it when she had the opportunity to do so prior to suit, only she knows.
                      She maybe couldn't afford it or she developed ostrich syndrome and decided to bury her head in the sand and hope it went away.

                      Kim
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                      • Profile picture of the author fred67
                        We all get offered software at one time or another, and many of us do buy it quite innocently thinking that the seller DOES have Master resale rights, or resale rights.

                        Do we dilligently check EVERY promotion we get to ensure that the person promoting the product DOES have the resale rights?

                        I for one have bought software at fair trade prices. But what if it was 'pirated' originally?
                        Do I now fear the knock at the door by 'The Jack-Boot warriors'? (No pun intended).

                        This has got SO out of hand that a truce or amnesty should be called.
                        A deadline fixed so that there can be NO misunderstandings at all.

                        It's all very well people accusing each other, saying they should know better.

                        The sad fact is, that MOST internet users ARE NOT internet savvy. (me for one)

                        When you catch a bus, you don't ask to see all the legal requirements of the bus company.
                        You believe they have the necessary licensing in place.

                        For most (though not all) it's the same principal.

                        Here in Reading, UK. It's the annual Rock festival this weekend.
                        Festival-goers went online to purchase their tickets in good faith and were 'conned' by a very official-looking website that offered available tickets.
                        It was a SCAM, but how were they to know? Hundreds, if not thousands will now turn up at the gates and not be allowed in. Most of us believe what we see on the internet, just as we do with the TV and Newspapers. We're all mugs. (NO EXCEPTIONS THERE EITHER).

                        The software owners need to 'SECURE' their products. The technology is there for them to do so. But like government departments, they're 'cheap-skates' and won't employ the technically able that could do it for them. They would rather re-coup their losses at the expense of mainly innocent people.

                        Record companies are equally as GREEDY and should shoulder THEIR responsibilities themselves. We're all expected to feel sorry for them? WHY?????


                        Pete.
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                • Profile picture of the author fred67
                  Originally Posted by impact-productions View Post

                  I just want to clarify the point I made.

                  I have no problem with the women involved being punished. I don't doubt that a crime has been committed and so some form of punishment is necessary. I have created software myself (as a programmer) and I have outsourced software creation too. I wouldn't want either pirated.

                  However the 'test case' is purely picking on a vulnerable woman, who has no hope of being able to defend herself or ever being able to pay such a fine. There is not even any proof that the woman in question downloaded the game - only that it came from her computer. So what will happen? If she can't pay she may well be imprisoned. The children, without a guardian, would be put into care.

                  Quite discounting the financial burden then passed onto the tax payer, that is surely a hugely disproportionate and cruel punishment for all members of the family concerned, not just the woman being charged. If she had simply gone into a shop and stolen the game the likely punishment would be a warning or small fine. To be seen as a visible punishment a penalty such as community service could have been used.

                  I write this after the case has been completed (so there is no option of leniency etc) and this has been set as a legal precedent with the UK.

                  There is definitely worse to come in the UK.
                  We're being screwed down so tight we can't move or think without permission.
                  Our CCTV coverage per head is the greatest BY FAR of anywhere else in the world.

                  Traffic Wardens have been given 'Pace' cards, and 'warrants' that give them legal powers to enter our homes in EMERGENCY!
                  What Emergency would that be then? (Probably illegal downloads.)

                  Don't think you Yanks are getting away with it. We're just the 'trial-ground'. It's coming YOUR way.

                  Supporting this 'agenda' is like sleep-walking off a cliff.
                  Or running and jumping off like lemmings.
                  Believing that the 'legal system' is there for 'US' is a long lost dream that never WAS in the first place.

                  Wake up Peep's, it's STARING you in the face here.

                  Pete.
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                  • Profile picture of the author ArTsYwRiTeR
                    I think that everyone involved whether seller or buyer is guilty. Punish both.

                    It is the same as drugs. Why just go after the user? Have more efforts in going after the pusher.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Frank Ayres
                      Originally Posted by ArTsYwRiTeR View Post

                      I think that everyone involved whether seller or buyer is guilty. Punish both.

                      It is the same as drugs. Why just go after the user? Have more efforts in going after the pusher.
                      Nobody mentioned anything was being sold or bought they are talking about filesharing where no money changes hands it is supplied as free torrent downloads
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                      • Profile picture of the author ArTsYwRiTeR
                        Originally Posted by SpudDS View Post

                        Nobody mentioned anything was being sold or bought they are talking about filesharing where no money changes hands it is supplied as free torrent downloads
                        Sorry... I was thinking of all the asian countries where piracy is rampant. Movies being copied by the thousands.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Kim Standerline
                    Originally Posted by fred67 View Post

                    Traffic Wardens have been given 'Pace' cards, and 'warrants' that give them legal powers to enter our homes in EMERGENCY!
                    Pete.
                    I didn't know that,

                    Now that bit of info is pretty scary. Most traffic wardens (I've ever met anyway) are right little hitlers. imagine what more power will do to them. God forbid (What is a pace card anyway)

                    Kim
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                    • Profile picture of the author Sarah Harvey
                      In my case I have nothing much to say but this:

                      As a fellow gamer enthusiast the industry will kill itself if they target their core market- GAMERS!

                      Pretty stupid in my opinion.

                      Another thing...most people here at some point in their life owns something "illegal" and to be honest... if its used for profit or commercial reasons...sure sue them and lock them up. But to be honest...as far as gamers are concerned...we spend the most money on games in our lives...so to have one some people like that own one or five illegal games is no biggy... they still support the games industry whether people like it or not.

                      Personally I own over 30 games myself... half of them I never even opened or played... (not enough time) But lately I do play online games... like for example...at this moment I play Rohan Online: Bloodfeud... a MMO that is totally free. People forget that there are thousands of games that are free...after all its entertainment. But believe me when I tell you that I have spend more than 200 pounds on this FREE game to date. Purchasing items, pets, mounts etc. Everything my heart's desire.

                      So yes, gamers want entertainment free...but they pay dearly for things they want.

                      That is my story.

                      Good luck!
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                      • Profile picture of the author Kim Standerline
                        There is actually a marketing lesson in this somewhere, Just thinking about Sarah's reply.

                        These big corporations aint ever gonna beat it, so why not join in and profit for themselves instead.

                        As a previous poster said,go after the shareware sites instead of the downloaders and get em shut down. (They spread viruses anyway)

                        Then let music, games etc be on a free download but fill up with backend stuff. There are always purists who will still want to pay for the CD etc. (My son in law is just one I can think of)

                        I'm sure my suggestion is full of holes somewhere lol

                        Kim
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                        • Profile picture of the author derekwong28
                          Can anybody tell by what means could publishers find out who downloaded illegal copies of music and games? I am quite mystified how bodies like RIAA could actually find out who the individual downloaders are?
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                          • Profile picture of the author Nicola Lane
                            You might like to read this page about the Baen Free Library

                            Baen Free Library

                            The introduction is as follows

                            Baen Books is now making available — for free — a number of its titles in electronic format. We're calling it the Baen Free Library. Anyone who wishes can read these titles online — no conditions, no strings attached. (Later we may ask for an extremely simple, name & email only, registration. ) Or, if you prefer, you can download the books in one of several formats. Again, with no conditions or strings attached. (URLs to sites which offer the readers for these format are also listed. )

                            Why are we doing this? Well, for two reasons.

                            The first is what you might call a "matter of principle." This all started as a byproduct of an online "virtual brawl" I got into with a number of people, some of them professional SF authors, over the issue of online piracy of copyrighted works and what to do about it.

                            There was a school of thought, which seemed to be picking up steam, that the way to handle the problem was with handcuffs and brass knucks. Enforcement! Regulation! New regulations! Tighter regulations! All out for the campaign against piracy! No quarter! Build more prisons! Harsher sentences!

                            Alles in ordnung!
                            There is a full explanation of thier viewpoint.

                            There is also a great article on music downloads here:

                            http://www.baen.com/library/palaver11.htm
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                          • Profile picture of the author fred67
                            Originally Posted by derekwong28 View Post

                            Can anybody tell by what means could publishers find out who downloaded illegal copies of music and games? I am quite mystified how bodies like RIAA could actually find out who the individual downloaders are?
                            Every E-mail you write, every phone call you make and every keystroke you make (on the internet) is stored digitally by the US intelligence. (Sympathetic Western governments have access to it). the software is even more advanced than Google and picks out pre-defined keywords to sort & sift into sub-folders. These get sorted into sub-sub-folders etc.
                            If any government or official body applies to search the folders associated with certain keywords, (for a fee) the ISP's come up that are associated with those keywords.

                            YOU may not be guilty. Someone using your computer, or who has hacked into your wireless ISP could be the perpetrators, but YOU will get the knock on the door.

                            That's governments 'protecting' us folks.

                            Don't you feel a whole lot 'safer' now?

                            Remember. After 911 you all supported this way of 'thinking'.

                            'Thought Police'? Of course they don't exist, do they?

                            Pete.

                            In the uk. anyone can get your personal details from the DVLA by just submitting a registration number.

                            How much does it cost? ..... as low as £0.02p
                            That's how much 'OUR' privacy is protected by our 'protectors'.
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                            • Profile picture of the author specialist_k
                              Wow, thats nuts. And stupid.
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                            • Profile picture of the author garyv
                              There are a lot of bands rising up from the internet these days - and the ones that make it big, are the ones that effectively put their music out for free with file sharing and p2p programs.

                              Personally I think that this is a ploy by the large media companies, to get rid of filesharing all together. Thereby limiting your choices to the crap they decide to shove down your throat. Right now we have more choices in music than we've ever had in history. Because if your music is good, all you have to do is get it out there.


                              You'll find that Internet Marketing is the same way - the one's that give away the most stuff, are usually the one's making the most money.


                              If you produce good stuff, and a thief wants to steal it, let him steal it. If your product is really that good, he may be good word of mouth advertising to some legitimate buyers.

                              I recently read a thread where someone made their highest sales ever, after someone posted a link to his products on a BlackHat forum.
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                    • Profile picture of the author fred67
                      Originally Posted by Kim Standerline View Post

                      I didn't know that,

                      Now that bit of info is pretty scary. Most traffic wardens (I've ever met anyway) are right little hitlers. imagine what more power will do to them. God forbid (What is a pace card anyway)

                      Kim
                      I live opposite the local 'base' of our town's Traffic wardens, and yes, they are proper little vindictive animals. (Some of them). Others do it as just a way to get by, and it's the only job they can get because unskilled work in the area is so scarce due to the MASSIVE influx of Poles into our area. Of course we were all told how we 'needed' their 'unique' expertise to keep our economy afloat. Even though trained chemists, engineers, teachers etc were coming to the UK simply to earn 'more' than TREBLE their wage back home by doing whatever work they could get. (Usually nothing to do with their 'unique qualifications).

                      BUT....Our wonderful government needed to keep an artificially low inflation rate intact, so .... "STUFF the 'cannon-fodder', they'll get by".

                      Naturally, there are a lot of 'disgruntled' traffic wardens who are only doing it as a last resort to feed themselves and their families. The turnover rate is high because of the abuse they receive. It's a FACT that they have received the items previously mentioned.
                      (A pace card contains the information you have to read out to a person being arrested.
                      " You have the right to remain silent....etc,etc)
                      But it's also a fact that they were told NOT to divulge that information.

                      Disgruntled employees don't make for very good 'confidantes'.

                      Our government is expecting 'civil unrest' soon and this is apparently WHY they have been given these 'powers'. The police will just be TOO busy elsewhere.

                      Nice one Gordon. You couldn't make it up if you tried.

                      pete.
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        • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
          Originally Posted by impact-productions View Post

          I'm not in favour of piracy but the scapegoat they have chosen for the test case is disgusting. An unemployed woman responsible for two children required to pay out more money than the family will receive in a year. Such action can only lead the family to absolute poverty and means that it is difficult to have any sympathy for the software company concerned.
          Well, if I read the article correctly, they do offer an out of court settlement for $700USD. I'd say that is more than fair IMHO.

          She rejected it and got her day in court instead. Whose fault is that?
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          • Profile picture of the author Kim Standerline
            Originally Posted by Floyd Fisher View Post

            Well, if I read the article correctly, they do offer an out of court settlement for $700USD. I'd say that is more than fair IMHO.

            She rejected it and got her day in court instead. Whose fault is that?
            Apparently the £16k was reached by £10k in costs, and the rest was calculated by the number of people who had downloaded from her machine and should have paid. (I think I got that right)

            Kim
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          • Originally Posted by Floyd Fisher View Post

            Well, if I read the article correctly, they do offer an out of court settlement for $700USD. I'd say that is more than fair IMHO.

            She rejected it and got her day in court instead. Whose fault is that?
            Her fault entirely, but I doubt that paying $700 was an option - probably the amount that the family had to live on for 2 weeks. Maybe it could be raised over the course of a year... people outside the UK might not realise how tight money is here for most people and the poor state of the economy.

            Either way, I stand by the point I was making - that a punishment should match the crime and should punish the criminal. Punishing the criminal's family is not the same thing.
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      • Profile picture of the author ShayB
        Originally Posted by SpudDS View Post

        Everyone has downloaded a song or something they shouldnt have
        No, they have not.

        It is stealing. Plain and simple.
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        • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
          It's stealing yes. I've often thought however that the bigger offender is the site that offers the downloads. Dangle temptation in front of people and some will bite, especially in the comfort of their home. If that site didn't exist they couldn't download the goods.

          I know , I know, its nearly impossible to go after some of these sites simply based on where they are located.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike McBride
        Originally Posted by SpudDS View Post

        Everyone has downloaded a song or something they shouldnt have
        Bull. I haven't. But I take it by your statement that you have.

        You really should avoid making absolute statements like this, because they are overwhelmingly likely to be just plain wrong.

        And Majik, while I almost agree with you, I would qualify that to say that we have raised a generation in which many have no qualms about stealing in such a manner. (And a few too many of them have found their way to this forum.)
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      • Originally Posted by SpudDS View Post

        Everyone has downloaded a song or something they shouldnt have
        This is the type of post I take exception to. Some people say "everyone has"... No, "everyone" hasn't! I've never illegally downloaded a song or anything else that I shouldn't have. I pay Rhapsody (Real Networks) a monthly fee so that I can legally download songs that I want.

        Sweeping generalizations are almost always FALSE.
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        • Profile picture of the author peteinoz
          Originally Posted by Angela V. Edwards View Post


          Sweeping generalizations are almost always FALSE.

          Hey Angela, is that in itself a Sweeping Generalization ?




          hehe.. sorry couldnt help myself

          pete
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        • Profile picture of the author fred67
          Originally Posted by Angela V. Edwards View Post

          This is the type of post I take exception to. Some people say "everyone has"... No, "everyone" hasn't! I've never illegally downloaded a song or anything else that I shouldn't have. I pay Rhapsody (Real Networks) a monthly fee so that I can legally download songs that I want.

          Sweeping generalizations are almost always FALSE.
          I sincerely hope you've checked EVERY PIECE of their legal paperwork yourself have you?

          Could THEY be selling you 'pirated' material?

          Think HARD before you make a sweeping statement of FACT!

          Pete
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    • Profile picture of the author Dick Doe
      Originally Posted by Floyd Fisher View Post

      IHopefully, this will spur more people to stop pirating software....and buy it instead.
      I hope so too.
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      • This about people sharing torrents on private trackers. Its not a case of people being identified as downloaders, as this information could not be shared without (in the UK) violating the Data Protection Act.

        The copyright owner, identifes various shares, then contacts the ISP, without providing any evidence, and asks them to contact the subscriber.

        Legally identifying them will prove very hard, no wonder they are going for out of court settlements. ISPs are under no legal obligation in the uK to provide details of suspected pirates as the copyright owners cannot prove a crime without the ISPs data and as such have no legal method to require the data be shared by the ISPs.

        Seeing as the ISPs do not want to break Data Protection and get sued for a lot of money, nor infringe on that stupid Human Rights act, they have a simple choice. Help out the record / game / film industry and destroy their golden goose: high download limit packages, (largely profit) or give a token gesture at helping the industry but frustrate them.

        ISPs are in the business of making money. Cooperation is not advatagous unless they are facing massive legal repercussions. They may pay lip service as they need to be seen to be doing that, but there business model and cash cow products are built on the tacit understanding that downloading of massive files occurs.

        Will the out of court bully boy tactic work. To an extent yes.

        I think this will stop a casual amount of piracy, but we all face an uphill struggle to stop Internet Marketing piracy, which is the battle that we face. This will do nothing to help us, and I think we need to focus on our own struggle a little more.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stallion
    I heard that France was going to implement (or may have) a three strikes policy. If you're caught pirating on the internet three times, you're barred. I like that idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
    I love all the stories in the press at the moment about illegal file sharing and how they gloss over reality in favour of a good story and backing the big companies because it sells newspapers.

    So let's take a moment to explore some of the things that get left out of these stories shall we?

    1. The idea that ISPs should be monitoring for this stuff. For starters that'd cost a small fortune and the ISP market in the UK has already been comoditised so there is no money for this kind of stuff. Even if the ISPs are ordered to monitor this someone will just make a system that encrypts everything and give the governement the choice of outlawing encryption (goodbye Internet shopping/banking etc) or giving up the stupid idea of monitoring who is sharing what.

    2. The idea that it "costs the music industry billions of dollars every year". This is rubbish. It only totals billions if the people who download music "illegally" would've bought every single track they download. They wouldn't, and the people who quote these figures should at least be realistic about the sums of money involved.

    3. The idea that a "download tax" needs to be applied to everyone with an Internet connection. It's a serious possibility that everyone with an Internet connection in the UK will have to pay £30 to the music industry to make up for the lost earnings. WTF?!!? What about all the software engineers? What about all the actors? What about everyone else who has their stuff taken without compensation? And, what's more, most of this money will go to people at the record label companies, not the artists themselves.

    4. The music industry needs that money to survive. Yeah. Right. Just like when blank casettes became available it was going to be the end. Then blank VHS casettes. Yup, that killed it. Wait ... no it didn't. The music labels were established to solve a massive problem. Artists on their own couldn't get their stuff to the masses. Unfortunately the Internet also solves that problem and does it far cheaper than those massive companies. Allowing them to continue to profit from a problem that no longer exists is just backwards. When the railways were first built and there was no longer a big need for horse shoes for horses used for transportation, the blacksmiths weren't allowed to lobby to have every train fitted with horse shoes. Technology moves on, get over it.

    5. Outdated business models. Capitalism is about paying for value. Not forcing people to pay for something they can otherwise get for free. Music labels currently have contracts on all of the top artists preventing them from distributing their works far and wide across the Internet (which returns to them massively via all the live gigs they can do). In a few years this won't be the case and music will be paid for on the basis of a month subscription (that covers the cost of agregating everything plus a profit) but will allow unlimited downloads. The value isn't in the music itself but in the ease of finding it, searching for it, downloading it etc in terms of distribution or in the entertainment value when the artist is physically there in front of you on a stage.

    Discuss.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jelasco
      Originally Posted by Andy Fletcher View Post

      2. The idea that it "costs the music industry billions of dollars every year". This is rubbish. It only totals billions if the people who download music "illegally" would've bought every single track they download. They wouldn't, and the people who quote these figures should at least be realistic about the sums of money involved.

      5. Outdated business models. Capitalism is about paying for value. Not forcing people to pay for something they can otherwise get for free. Music labels currently have contracts on all of the top artists preventing them from distributing their works far and wide across the Internet (which returns to them massively via all the live gigs they can do). In a few years this won't be the case and music will be paid for on the basis of a month subscription (that covers the cost of agregating everything plus a profit) but will allow unlimited downloads. The value isn't in the music itself but in the ease of finding it, searching for it, downloading it etc in terms of distribution or in the entertainment value when the artist is physically there in front of you on a stage.
      Point 2 is technically correct in that the industry doesn't lose the money, but rather doesn't earn it, and nobody knows how many illegally downloaded tracks would have been purchased if the people couldn't have stolen them. But that's irrelevant to the fact that the behavior is stealing.

      Point 5 is socialist nonsense. "Otherwise get for free" is a nice way of saying steal it.

      Is running a retail store an "outdated business model" because some people shoplift? Why should I pay for items if I can just shove them under my coat and run out? Maybe the store should just charge an annual fee and let me take whatever I want.
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      • Profile picture of the author DrupalShark
        Originally Posted by Jelasco View Post

        Is running a retail store an "outdated business model" because some people shoplift?
        Not currently, but it would be if huge volumes of people suddenly started shoplifting and there was no practical and effective way to do anything about it. The implications are ugly and even disturbing, no doubt, but I think Andy Fletcher makes a pretty important point worthy of serious consideration. And I doubt he's a member of the communist party or a hardened thief/criminal. If you can't make money one way because of an unpleasant reality, you'd simply have to find some other way to make ends meet. The behavior of music industry in the last few years is reminiscent of death throes - forget the fact that the consumer doesn't feel the need to purchase their products, and whether or not it's right or wrong - their artists don't even need the label anymore to produce and distribute it.

        Writers can probably tell you how the internet means a necessary change of business models, too. Their product, the written word, was worth anywhere from 20 - 200 times more only 15 years ago. But go to any freelancing forum and for every 100 struggling authors you'll find one guy who's making a great living from it, simply by adapting to the new rules.

        I'm not condoning stealing by a longshot, and I fully agree that's what we're talking about here. A couple of my recent products were pirated right out of the gate, and I'm certainly not happy about it. But I just can't get past the feeling that it's fighting a losing battle and I'm not looking at the bigger picture. Maybe I'm being far too cynical, but I do believe that for many, many people ethical conduct boils down to 'what I can get away with'.

        And so when it comes to doing business, I don't think anyone does themselves a favor by obsessing over 'what should be' as opposed to 'what is'. A person could easily go bankrupt while trying to sell their personal morals and ethics to another.
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    • Profile picture of the author peteinoz
      Originally Posted by Andy Fletcher View Post

      4. The music industry needs that money to survive. Yeah. Right. Just like when blank casettes became available it was going to be the end. Then blank VHS casettes. Yup, that killed it. Wait ... no it didn't. The music labels were established to solve a massive problem. Artists on their own couldn't get their stuff to the masses. Unfortunately the Internet also solves that problem and does it far cheaper than those massive companies. Allowing them to continue to profit from a problem that no longer exists is just backwards. When the railways were first built and there was no longer a big need for horse shoes for horses used for transportation, the blacksmiths weren't allowed to lobby to have every train fitted with horse shoes. Technology moves on, get over it.

      5. Outdated business models. Capitalism is about paying for value. Not forcing people to pay for something they can otherwise get for free. Music labels currently have contracts on all of the top artists preventing them from distributing their works far and wide across the Internet (which returns to them massively via all the live gigs they can do). In a few years this won't be the case and music will be paid for on the basis of a month subscription (that covers the cost of agregating everything plus a profit) but will allow unlimited downloads. The value isn't in the music itself but in the ease of finding it, searching for it, downloading it etc in terms of distribution or in the entertainment value when the artist is physically there in front of you on a stage.

      Discuss.

      Andy.

      Very well said mate..

      theres one thing you cannot stop and that is change..

      The music industry needs to keep up with technology, simple as that.

      They need to change their business models and adapt, if they don't they'll go down.

      There are music industry bodies growing here in Au to try to stop piracy, their best Idea to date, is to ask the ISP's to police the downloads of each of their individual users, and if caught, the ISP's are then meant to restrict their paying customers.. Genius!! Im sure every ISP wants to be the first to restrict their customers, so these customers just move on to one of their many competitors.

      Digital music is levelling the playing field.. Lots of people dont like it, Others LOVE it.

      pete
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      • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
        Point 5 is socialist nonsense. "Otherwise get for free" is a nice way of saying steal it.

        Is running a retail store an "outdated business model" because some people shoplift? Why should I pay for items if I can just shove them under my coat and run out? Maybe the store should just charge an annual fee and let me take whatever I want.
        I hope you can see where your analogy falls down here? Running a store is not an out dated business model for distribution of physical items. There is value in the item and value in putting them somewhere you can physically get to them.

        The same cannot be said for digital music products (and so many others). The value is in providing some higher level service with them such as aggregating them all into one place for easy sort and search. Each individual track (which is just bits and bytes on a hard disk) has no real value.

        When the record labels were at their peak artists couldn't make it on their own. There was no way you'd hear about them if they tried. Record labels solved this problem and profited suitably from it. Now anyone can get their music out there and heard by anyone with an Internet connection for just a few bucks a month to provide it and a bit of ingenuity to promote it.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jelasco
          Originally Posted by Andy Fletcher View Post

          I hope you can see where your analogy falls down here? Running a store is not an out dated business model for distribution of physical items. There is value in the item and value in putting them somewhere you can physically get to them.

          The same cannot be said for digital music products (and so many others). The value is in providing some higher level service with them such as aggregating them all into one place for easy sort and search. Each individual track (which is just bits and bytes on a hard disk) has no real value.
          My analogy is fine. It's your analysis of it that is flawed.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andres
    Instead of hitting the downloaders in the pocket book, hit the operators of the WAREZ sites and shut down every peer to peer server there is. That way you will stop all the movies, games, and programs being illegally shared & downloaded.

    But no they rather fine some person for downloading whatever.

    Gimme a break.
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