Some thoughts on the file-swapping ruling

Down with Kazaa and their ilk

Monday, June 27, 2005 by Draginol | Discussion: Industry

Over on the WinCustomize.com news page I gave my two cents on today's ruling.  Based on the poll I saw on News.com, 2 out of 3 people disagree with the ruling.  What a shock.  "But...I don't want to have to pay for other people's work..I want it for free.." 

I know a lot of people who pirate software, games, music, movies, etc.  I don't harp to them about it.  What ticks me off are the companies that actually make a business model out of serving pirates.  eDonkey and Kazaa and the like made millions of dollars by enabling people to steal other people's stuff.

And in turn, they have harmed consumers in ways most people don't realize. Copy protection has gotten nastier, DRM has become a household term, and licenses have gotten more and more restrictve.  Not that such schemes don't get cracked -- they do -- but the record industry (whom I'm no fan of either) and the like have figured out that those who don't pirate can be made to buy more stuff with more DRM to make up for those who would have bought stuff but were able to download it for free from Kazaa or something.

Such services cheapen the value of hard work too.  The other day I read someone complaining how WindowBlinds was "too expensive".  It's twenty bucks for crying out loud.  That's just a bit more than a Pizza dinner.  A decent cooking knife costs $50. An AutoScanner is $140 (and I can tell you with some experience that the production/profit margins on these things is pretty significant). Cheap shoes are $50.  Stuff costs money.  Yet we'll see someone complain that a software product that took years to perfect that people run every day for years that costs $20 is too expensive.  And why? Because places like Kazaa have made software look worthless. 

People will complain about paying $40 for a game that took two years to develop and provides support to the user but you rarely hear the same people think twice about paying $40 for a small box of legos where the buyer will never interact with the company.  Places like Kazaa and their ilk devalue intellectual property.  And the results hurt us all in ways that people don't realize. 

Software piracy isn't as huge of a deal as many make it out to be, but the mainstreaming of it through these peer-to-peer services were steadily making piracy something that even the newbie down the street was able to do which definitely takes revenue away from hard working software developers, musicians, etc.

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MorghainenThorne
Reply #21 Tuesday, June 28, 2005 1:36 PM
If the courts have made software devs. accountable for file trading... why are gun makers not liable for who gets killed by there products? That's all I have to ask... Oh... Yeah... lobbist money... truelly a government for and by the people... with money...
Zoomba
Reply #22 Tuesday, June 28, 2005 1:50 PM
Industries are needed for music and movies because we expect a level of quality that costs a fortune to produce. And while it's great and all to say "They shouldn't care about the money!" people need to eat, need to pay rent, need to cover the bills etc.

People like DaVinci, Shakespeare and Mozart were able to do what they do because they lived in a time when art was more highly regarded. Now art is a commodity that you can pick up at the 7-11 next to the slurpee machine. The commercialization of performance is only possible because we permitted it as a society. You can't blame the record companies or movie studios for playing it safe when it's obvious that works since we all go and hand over our cash anyway.

And striving to be great rather than rich... those three guys listed above did their work ON COMMISSION. They were paid princely sums in many instances to produce their work. So really, the money motivation has always been there... the process has just become more refined.
Bichur
Reply #23 Tuesday, June 28, 2005 1:51 PM
you anonymous troll?


craeonics
Reply #24 Tuesday, June 28, 2005 4:47 PM
Don't worry, Bichur. You're a nonymous troll, not an anonymous one.
kona0197
Reply #25 Tuesday, June 28, 2005 6:10 PM
One thing that has to be mentioned: the RIAA amd MPAA are both a bit evil. They take to much from the artists and give little in return.
KoolKat2500
Reply #26 Wednesday, June 29, 2005 1:05 AM
P2P programs (well, most) are perfectly legal. It's what you do with them that aren't. In MY opinion I think that record companies should let people share their music . . . to a limit. Companies should at least allow free downloads of 2 or more songs from their artists. Even more so for those new groups out there! How are you going to get into a band if all you have to listen to is 20 or 30 second previews on [insert generic online music retailer here]?
*BUT* if you choose to go to the Dark Side of the Net and use file-sharing, go with LimeWire.
Kazaa sucks.
eDonkey is okay.
Warez P2P doesn't really do much . . .
and Ares is DEAD
those are the only ones I've really tried.
And there's always Bittorrent!
*BUT* There ARE some artists out there who allow free downloads. Check out Download.com's music section.

Link
you can find some real goodies in there.
sushiK
Reply #27 Wednesday, June 29, 2005 10:27 AM

Who is bold enough to admit they HAVE used illegal means of downloading?

I have - Kaza
Musical-Mayhem
Reply #28 Thursday, June 30, 2005 2:46 AM
I agree with you KoolKat2500.
Speaking as a musician (a poor one I hasten to add), I think that record companys should allow at least 2 free downloads.
At the end of the day it shouldn't be about the record companys but the people like us who make the music.
I didn't become a musician to become rich, but because it's who I am.
And if I can make someone happy with it (whether they paid for the privilege or not), that's payment enough for me
MorghainenThorne
Reply #29 Thursday, June 30, 2005 2:20 PM
Man citizen Musical-Mayhem... Amen... as a fellow musician I can find no more true words then that... Have we all forgot why art is made... what purpose it serves to a culture or society... Plus any real musician knows... artist don't make dirt from CD sales record companies do... If you want to support your favorite band... give there music to everyone you know... and pay to go see one of thier shows... you then gave them as much money as they would get from selling 10 of thier CD's... DON'T BE FOOLED! THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE ARTISTS!!!! NOT AT ALL! IT'S ABOUT CORPERATIONS AND THIER DESIRE FOR EVERY PENNY THEY CAN PULL FROM YOUR BODY BEFORE YOUR SIX FEET UNDER!!!!
the lost emperor
Reply #30 Thursday, June 30, 2005 6:10 PM
The Internet has always been a file sharing network, and has been used as such legitimately for decades now. The music industry suddenly sees a revenue stream that it didn't have before and decides that it automatically has the right to take the Internet away from us, and give it back in a form that they can profit from. Stand up for your rights, folks. These companies have a business model which is broken; to protect it they seek to take our freedoms. If I set up shop in the public square and left an unattended fruit stand with a basket for people to leave their money in exchange for fruit, sadly I would probably return at the end of the day to find the fruit gone and the money basket empty. Would that give me the right to put a gated fence around the square? No. I naturally would be expected to find a better business model. Stealing is wrong, of course, but I've got no sympathy for you if you need to appropriate the public commons in order to stay in business. Find another line of work and quit whining. Musicians and other creative artists no longer have to buy the line that the media companies have been trying to sell them, that royalties are the only way to make a living. As a musician myself, I have earned more income as a result of the free distribution of my music than I ever would have otherwise. I don't have an easy answer for those of you who choose to be software creators, but let me remind you: you chose this business knowing full well that your work would be easily distributed without your consent, so don't come to me asking me to give up my freedoms because you are finding it tough to hang on to your wallet in a crowd of pocketpickers. Personally, I value your work, and I hope that you find a way to be fairly compensated for it, but don't take my Internet away from me in the process.
ins11
Reply #31 Thursday, June 30, 2005 6:51 PM
P2P networks provide their users with something the rest of the software industry never did, thanks to whatever idiotic beliefs that run them.

- Software available world wide on launch day
- Software that did not require cd-in-drive after installation, that could be taken as many backups of as you wanted, that you could run on more than 1 of your home computers (if you had such), that did not install drivers to ruin your system
- Games at the 'click' of a button.

P2P networks could have been a business opportunity if companies tried to work with 'them' instead of trying to sue away innovative and exciting technology.

A downloaded copy is not theft or lost revenue, its a business opportunity.
Jafo
Reply #32 Thursday, June 30, 2005 8:23 PM

A downloaded copy is not theft or lost revenue, its a business opportunity.

hahaha...chuckle..chuckle..chortle...smirk...snigger...guffaw

-xino
Reply #33 Thursday, June 30, 2005 10:45 PM
I believe he meant it was a possible business opportunity before said companies try to take down torrent software programmers.

I must admit he does have a point. Software companies could direct sell to custmoers much like stardock does, only with torrent files. You can encrypt a torrent file to only be allowed by one user if you do it right. The opportunity is there, no one makes use of it though.
ins11
Reply #34 Friday, July 1, 2005 9:33 AM
In addition: If the downloaded copy proves to be a good demo for said product, chances are that the downloader will either purchase it, or the next game in the series. Possibly also the entire back catalogue of games [As has occured with books and audio cd's].

Quality sells by itself and does not require lockdowns.

Fizzle1203537
Reply #35 Friday, July 1, 2005 8:59 PM
I agree with Draginol. I am currently finishing my last year at college to become a software developer and know that any intellectual property that I develop in the future will possibly be pirated. Although, I know that there are people that simply just cant afford to buy certain applications/games/music, I am one of those people. So, if there is no way they could buy it, the owner of the property isn't really losing anything in my opinion and my tone won't change when it's my property being shared. There are people like me that are living on top ramen and water to get through school that would download steak ,shrimp, and beer if it were possible, but would gladly pay for it the minute they had the money. I don't know what my point is but maybe someone else does.
Jafo
Reply #36 Friday, July 1, 2005 9:09 PM

Citizen Fizzle1203537 ....possibly...

My father [now 87] once said..."if you are not a socialist in your youth then you have no heart....but if your not a capitalist when you're older then you have no brain."

I kinda like that one....

joeKnowledge
Reply #37 Tuesday, July 5, 2005 12:08 AM
Ka806
Reply #38 Saturday, July 9, 2005 5:57 PM
I found it to be a bad ruling, because it dont make sense.

The ruling states that those who "promote" p2p can be sued. WTH is that supposed to mean really. Nobody should be pleased with this ruling at all, because it is a BS ruling It can be fought from all angles in court, It doesnt mean a damn thing at all to Kazaa, and it seems like this ruling was made to satisfy people's whims.

If the courts really cared, they would have made the ruling affect whoever PROFITS from illegal P2P distrobution.
Frogboy
Reply #39 Saturday, July 9, 2005 10:57 PM

The other day I was looking around to see how widely available our stuff is from thieves.  I found Orion icons up there.  What's the excuse to pirate Orion icon's?  They're what? $8? The effort involved in creating thousands of icons should be obvious to anyone and yet there they were, people pirating them.

But that's not what this ruling was about.  It's not about piracy on its own.  It's about scumbag companies making a profit from piracy.

People like Bram Cohen disgust me.  They make programs that are primarily used to enable people to steal (spare me the occasioanl legitimate use of it, the issue isn't P2P, it's the IMPLEMNTATION of open ended P2P that I have an issue with) and then they put in nags to donate money to them via paypal.  What is their excuse for needing donations? What's their "overhead"? It's PEER file sharing for crying out loud.  But there he is, profiting from something used primarily to steal from OTHER people.  That's the sort of thing that bugs me. 

There's a big difference between someone pirating an MP3 and someone making money helping people pirate that same MP3.

Ka806
Reply #40 Tuesday, July 12, 2005 3:39 AM
The other day I was looking around to see how widely available our stuff is from thieves. I found Orion icons up there. What's the excuse to pirate Orion icon's? They're what? $8? The effort involved in creating thousands of icons should be obvious to anyone and yet there they were, people pirating them.

But that's not what this ruling was about. It's not about piracy on its own. It's about scumbag companies making a profit from piracy.

People like Bram Cohen disgust me. They make programs that are primarily used to enable people to steal (spare me the occasioanl legitimate use of it, the issue isn't P2P, it's the IMPLEMNTATION of open ended P2P that I have an issue with) and then they put in nags to donate money to them via paypal. What is their excuse for needing donations? What's their "overhead"? It's PEER file sharing for crying out loud. But there he is, profiting from something used primarily to steal from OTHER people. That's the sort of thing that bugs me.

There's a big difference between someone pirating an MP3 and someone making money helping people pirate that same MP3.



Yeah um i dont want to sound rude or anything but i do feel the need to tell you to zip it. I doubt you even used bit torrent or know how it works. Bittorrent is THE way to share linux distributions securely and effectively. Getting on Bram for making the protocol and the client is like getting on the ARPANET developers for making what we know as the internet today. He never promoted illegal file sharing, and bittorrent was never made in the first place for illegal file sharing, and at the moment it isn't used primarily for illegal file sharing. Most illegal file sharing is done over gnutella/fastrack/edonkey networks.....AND those clients have more legal stuff being shared than illegal stuff. But one thing for sure, the legitimate use of bittorrent far exceeds the "occasioanal" use that you bluntly mention.
He made a real good program and system and has every damn right to ask for a donation, which are VERY easy to turn off I might add. I have no idea how linux would spread without Bram Cohen.

Oh and if you are angered by the implementation of open ended P2P (is there another kind?!!?! wouldnt really be P2P unless it was open) then dont use the internet because of its openness. God forbid that somebody is whining about how open it is, rather then the copyright issues.

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