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04/22/2009 05:23:09 AM · #1
OK, I have been following this and now judgement has finally been handed out I just wondered if these guys should be imprisoned.

First off though lets get some things straight. Yes I have pirated software in the past, lots of software, both applications and games, yes I do realise this constitutes theft, I am sure a lot of you also have illegal version of Photoshop on your PC/Mac whatever - however as some of you may remember my new years resolution was to stop downloading music/software and go fully legit - granted being in a good position with the business this year has taken care of the purchases of Windows Vista, MS Office, Photoshop, Topaz, Autoloader, Artizen HDR etc - I already owned Lightroom - I buy any games the kids or myself want from Steam (unless xbox 360 titles which we generally buy pre-owned anyway), so this year I have been squeeky clean in that respect. I even bought the games I still play that I had pirated (Medieval Total War 2 and Oblivion). Apart from some legacy MP3 files I have downloaded before 1st January my system is free of any illegal software.

Now, this allows me to look at the Pirate Bay case in a different light - the guys who have been found guilty said that they never hosted the pirated material themselves, they just hosted the torrent files (for those of you who dont know how bit-torrent works I wont go into it here, do a search), now technically I guess they are right, they are not distributing the files, just telling people where to go to find them.. However I now realise this argument is without merit, I guess I always did, (and the geeks will shoot me down in flames for this) as this is the same I coming home and finding your house robbed, you don't know who did it, but knowing the guy next door told them how to get into your house, not only that, he told them when you was going to be out, where you kept the safe keys and just exactly what was worth stealing, to make it worse, he is also bragging about telling the burglars how to pull off the crime.. correct me if I am wrong, but surely the guy who told the burglars is as guilty as the thieves themselves, maybe on different charges, but complicit in the crime.

So what I am trying to understand is why are there so many people saying this is a huge miscarriage of justice? Surely it is an open and shut case.

that`s all.
04/22/2009 05:43:03 AM · #2
when i first read your post I thouht the analolgy with house was off, but when you think about it more it makes sense.
The downloaded software comes with serial keys etc to bypass payment, which is akin to saying the key to the house is under the rock in the garden.

my own line on downloading pirated stuff:-
i do have a few software titles, but i have lots more legit titles than pirated ones.
i have never downloaded a movie, as i enjoy going to the cinema, and i would rather pay for quality. My DVD collection is also vast.
Music this year, i have been downloading from Amazon, for about 70p per song.
The main thing by far i download is TV shows, like Lost and 24.
This is because i don't get any TV signal in my home. When available on BBC online etc i go that route, but otherwise I use torrents.
I am not sure on the legal issue of this, to my mind it would be the same as someone in the states recording the show and putting it in the mail for me. Would that be a crime??

04/22/2009 05:56:08 AM · #3
Ok but looking at it from another stand point, last year someone told this guy Simms that their neighbour was going to be out of town and as he was skint at the time he broke in to the house and stole some gear, Simms knew how to get in and he knew what to take that he could use in his own house, however, he now finds himself with some spare money and no longer need this stuff so threw it out, he didn't purchased the items he never used but did replace those that were useful and used regularly with store purchased items. He can occassionally be found bragging about his crime on some select forums around the net... I guess what I am really trying to say is Simms is guilty as charged send him to Jail! ;)

On a serious note though I guess this will shake up the net a bit all those news groups are surely as guilty as the creators / hosts of bit-torrent software.

04/22/2009 07:17:11 AM · #4
Originally posted by Mark-A:

He now finds himself with some spare money and no longer need this stuff so threw it out, he didn't purchased the items he never used but did replace those that were useful and used regularly with store purchased items. He can occassionally be found bragging about his crime on some select forums around the net... I guess what I am really trying to say is Simms is guilty as charged send him to Jail! ;)


I agree, yes, I know what I was doing was illegal and still is. The thing with filesharing/piracy is when you are doing it you really dont look at the big picture - you really dont even think of it as a crime, you make excuses such as "Even if I didnt download it I wouldnt be able to buy it, so effectively the software companies are not losing any money"... Obviously that `logic` is massively flawed, but that really is the way the pirate thinks.
However I dont look at my friends who still pirate software as criminals either, even though effectively they are.
Moving on, I wonder how many people on here have moaned about their images being stolen or used without their permission who processed them in a pirated version of photoshop/lightroom etc.
I would love to see an anonymous poll on DPC to find out how many people are using pirated versions of Photoshop. I would predict at least 50% if not more.
04/22/2009 07:59:03 AM · #5
I agree with you it's very easy to overlook the theft implications when downloading from the net, like you most of my programs are now full legal versions, I still have one or two to replace though, I believe the price of some of these products are way over inflated though which to some degree encourages people to use pirated versions over buying a full licence. I wonder if the companies would make more by lowering the prices to a more affordable level as there must be a huge number of people out there that would pay say £120 for photoshop but simply cannot afford close to £600 - once they have a genuine copy they are more likely then to pay to upgrade to newer versions...

With regards the pirate bay discussion itself, I've just read that they received a years jail time each and $3.6 million in fines, the site name alone has implications of illegal activity and was always going to bring them into the spotlight but I really cannot see how it can be considered any different than usenet which hosts thousands and thousands of illegal programs / music files / films infact usenet is probably worst as they actively host the files.

I wonder if the site creators actually made much money from running the site...
04/22/2009 08:54:20 AM · #6
I've used some non-purchased software in the past, but my attitude has changed in recent years. A large reason for that is being on photography forums like this and seeing people po'd at their images being taken and used without permission.

I do think there is some software that is overpriced, simply because the publisher knows they can get what they want for it. However, if I can't afford a piece of software, I can usually find something less expensive or free that does a similar job. I am also a huge fan of open source software.

Watching Pirate Bay over the last few years has been interesting, I do think the guilty verdict was appropriate. Something else will quickly take it's place as the torrent index of choice.
04/22/2009 08:59:22 AM · #7
Originally posted by Simms:

I would love to see an anonymous poll on DPC to find out how many people are using pirated versions of Photoshop. I would predict at least 50% if not more.

Which is part of why I use a copy of PaintShop Pro that was purchased on a good sale for $40. Have several free plugins to help, and finding more all the time, plus the freebie version of photomatix.
04/22/2009 09:33:12 AM · #8
Knowing how to commit a crime and actually committing it are two different things.

With the house analogy, does that make the neighbour guilty? I doubt it. Just because he told a criminal HOW to commit a crime, he didn't actually commit the crime.

To take that a step further, if I happen to know how to commit fraud and get away with it, does that make me a criminal, no, because I didn't actually do anything. If I share that information with someone else but in no way prompt them to do anything with it, is that a crime? I seriously doubt it, so long as I'm not actually divulging any information which I am legally bound to keep secret (such as passwords etc). Even if you are in possession of the information that lets you commit a crime, you're not a criminal unless you act on it.

In the case of the piratebay, what's happened here is that the big media companies know they can never go after the people actually committing the crime, the downloaders and file sharers themselves, so they have decided to go after the person giving them the means to do so. What's frightening about this is that the large companies have effectively bypassed the law to try and protect their own interests and I don't know about you, but that strikes me as a very worrying precedent!

I could perhaps understand the large fine the owners of the piratebay have been ordered to pay, as you could reasonably argue in a civil case that they have caused you a loss of earnings to the media companies through their actions, but I can in no way understand how they have ended up with a jail sentence! This should NEVER have been a criminal case for the simple reason, no crime was committed!

In the long run it won't do any good. Time after time it has been proven that if they even manage to shut down one technology another one which is more difficult for them to fight will pop up to replace it. And what's the other side effect of this case, huge amounts of publicity for torrent sites, and people will just consider the media companies as greedy corporates, even more so than they already did.
04/22/2009 09:45:59 AM · #9
The operators of Pirate Bay knew what they were doing. At best, they were in business facilitating the illegal activities of others. At worst, they were performing the illegal acts themselves.
04/22/2009 09:55:52 AM · #10
Originally posted by Covert_Oddity:


...In the case of the piratebay, what's happened here is that the big media companies know they can never go after the people actually committing the crime, the downloaders and file sharers themselves, so they have decided to go after the person giving them the means to do so. What's frightening about this is that the large companies have effectively bypassed the law to try and protect their own interests and I don't know about you, but that strikes me as a very worrying precedent!...



The hard truth have always been that the laws and judical systems are in place to protect monetary intrests. Just look at the kodak case in the U.S. (about 1890-ish)where kodak effectively stoped a bicycle manufacturer from marketing bicycles under the name "kodak", something that was unthinkable up till that point.

btw. the modern european immaterial-law(and the U.N. organisation WIPO) originates from a conflict between the french troubadors guild and the swiss clockspiels-makers guild. So a illogical outcome is far from suprising.

Message edited by author 2009-04-22 09:59:02.
04/22/2009 10:06:35 AM · #11
Originally posted by Covert_Oddity:

With the house analogy, does that make the neighbour guilty?

Yes, that makes him complicit. An insider who enables the crime, knowing full well that you had done your best to secure the house. It's like a bank teller who leaves the door unlocked and tells his buddies how to disable the alarm. Though he didn't commit the robbery, he still intentionally provided the means to do so.
04/22/2009 10:45:19 AM · #12
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by Covert_Oddity:

With the house analogy, does that make the neighbour guilty?

Yes, that makes him complicit. An insider who enables the crime, knowing full well that you had done your best to secure the house. It's like a bank teller who leaves the door unlocked and tells his buddies how to disable the alarm. Though he didn't commit the robbery, he still intentionally provided the means to do so.


Absolutely correct. In fact, it goes on all the time in the real world, with people getting a cut of the proceeds for providing insider information that facilitates the theft. If the authorities can prove you did this, you'll be convicted.

R.
04/22/2009 11:45:10 AM · #13
Originally posted by Simms:



So what I am trying to understand is why are there so many people saying this is a huge miscarriage of justice? Surely it is an open and shut case.

that`s all.


I won't address the purloined software issue as I think your subject was mostly mp3's, at least by quantity. If you want to know why some people are pist that pirate bay was taken down, you must only look at the prices of music available on iTunes and other places. They just raised the prices 30 percent.
In the free fall of the biggest recession since the Great Depression in 1933, music companies have raised prices 30 percent. And for old codgers like myself who used vinyl we remember the doubling of prices when the companies went to CDs. And take a look at the Blueray crap. They're gonna rake an additional 50 to 100 percent out of you for that. So, if record and movie companies hadn't always been on the ready to GOUGE the HELL out of the consumer, maybe they might not be in such a bind now. I liken intelligent property companies today to banks with their doors wide open with no guards. You gotta expect peeps to come thru the doors and grab a sample of the cash. If the record companies and others want the good ol days to come back they're gonna have to come up with transparent, uncrackable digital rights technology. That ain't happened yet. :)
04/22/2009 12:22:29 PM · #14
here's a different take on the philospy of those who pirate music or software - and one i argue with a friend of mine a regular basis.

his theory is - like mentioned above sort of - that the music industry ( mainly ) is ripping off the artists that create the music. taking the majority of any profits from sales - when the record companies are merely an outlet for the art the musicians created. an anology would be the milk industry in the US. the farmers make the milk, but the wholesalers reap most of the rewards - and set the prices the milk the famers created will be bought and sold for.

so his thinking is that 'why should i support the nasty record companies when they are taking advantage of the artists ? so i'll steal the music and not support the record companies at all. '

my take is that even if the record companies are raping the artists - some of the purchase price does go to the artists pocket - and therefore i AM supporting the artist - even if it's a small way.

not to say i don't have any pirated music - but the majority of it is music i purchased on CD - and the CD was stolen from me or damaged by some room mate not putting it back in its damn case... :)

Message edited by author 2009-04-22 12:22:58.
04/22/2009 12:30:33 PM · #15
Originally posted by FireBird:

And for old codgers like myself who used vinyl we remember the doubling of prices when the companies went to CDs.


I think this point is somewhat debatable. When CD's were first introduced, they did cost more as a new and more expensive media. I think taking inflation into account, I can buy a CD for about the same as an LP used to run. Most of the time I can get one for $10-15. I can buy an MP3 of one song for about a dollar. I recall buying a 45rpm single for about $2-3 in the 80's.
04/22/2009 12:33:48 PM · #16
There is something rotten in the state of copyright. Elvis and colonel wossname - Lennon and McCartney signing the rights to all their songs (including those they hadn't yet written) over to Northern Songs. Several-pages-of-vituperative-modifiers-deleted-here-for-the-sake-of-minors-or-others-to-whom-similar-modifiers-may-apply descendents of someone who created something having the legal right (no, really) to sue you or anyone who reproduces the creation is yet another sign, as is the sick, sad, world of glitterati at large.

The trade union movement was a good and necessary thing that went bad, or became anachronistic and/or irrelevant. Something very similar has happened to copyright. The boyyos who sailed the bad ship pirate bay were essentially opposed to the principles of copyright, especially where it was unreasonable. OK, they were probably arseholes, but I'd definitely lay a pound to a penny that those who are actively bringing them down are arseholes too.

I'm all legit now too. I hang my head.
04/22/2009 01:02:40 PM · #17
I didn't know about PB till I saw this thread,
I went to check their site and it is up and running, in the blog section you can find this:

So the first verdict finally came, almost 3 years after the raid. You might have heard about it in the news...

You, our beloved users, know that this little speedbump on the information super highway is nothing more than just, a little bump. Todays verdict has already been appealed by us and will be taken to the next level of court (and that will take another 2 or 3 years!)

The site will live on! We are more determined than ever that what we do is right. Millions of users are a good proof of that.

We have seen that some people that we dont know have started collecting donations for us, so we can pay those silly fines. We firmly ask you NOT to do this. Do not gather or send any money. We do not want them since we will not pay any fines!
--------------------------
I think there is a long way before they can actually shot it down.
04/22/2009 02:08:34 PM · #18
Originally posted by raish:

Several-pages-of-vituperative-modifiers-deleted-here-for-the-sake-of-minors-or-others-to-whom-similar-modifiers-may-apply descendents of someone who created something having the legal right (no, really) to sue you or anyone who reproduces the creation is yet another sign, as is the sick, sad, world of glitterati at large.

On the bright side I learned a new word today: vituperative. Hmmm... you might be the first person on the planet to type that word in 2009.
04/22/2009 02:37:18 PM · #19
I am a bit amused, bemused, but somewhat unenthused over this entire thread.

We have people who used to pirate, but only have a little pirated stuff left now, that somehow now are qualified to cast judgement. Perhaps a reminder that if you ever pirated, and you only have a few things left, or even if you deleted it all, you are as guilty or even more so than those you are ready to see hang. According to them, they did not personally pirate anything and have not been charged as such.

Did they facilitate piracy, yes. On a similar level most libraries contain books and copy machines. True there is fair use, but they would not say a word if you copied the entire book or article, as long as they got their 8 cents a page. Yet there are no raids.

Is my stuff legit? Yes. Why? Because I am the poor soul, who if they had two songs on their hard drive, they would be the one the record company would make an example of. If I do stuff, I get caught. So I don't. Would I do it if I didn't get caught? I might, so no judgement calls from me. I'm just a little amused at the narrowness of some of the qualifications here.

I also find it interesting that congress extends copyright protection each time the copyright protection for Mickey Mouse is about to end. Coincidence, I think not. As long as there is a buck to be made, somebody will try to keep it all to themselves.

If they go to jail, so be it. If they get off, so be it...

04/22/2009 02:44:52 PM · #20
Originally posted by ambaker:

We have people who used to pirate, but only have a little pirated stuff left now, that somehow now are qualified to cast judgement.

I only said it was appropriate. No casting of judgment here. The courts did that.
04/22/2009 02:56:54 PM · #21
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

I can buy an MP3 of one song for about a dollar.


As of April 7, new release and newer inventory has gone from .99 to 1.30. 30 percent increase

Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

I recall buying a 45rpm single for about $2-3 in the 80's.


I bought them for a buck too. And usually there is a song on the back too! :)
04/22/2009 03:07:31 PM · #22
did any one here - or that is reading this - old schoolers so to speak - ever record an LP onto cassette - then give a copy to a friend ?

if the answer is yes - you pirated music.

did any one here - or that is reading this - old schoolers so to speak - ever record a rented movie onto video cassette - then give a copy to a friend?

if the answer is yes - you pirated video.

are we all guilty - my guess is most of us are. maybe its just in a small way. but little things added together make a big thing. IMO that's why the RIAA, and others have jacked prices up, pursued their legal rights, and a lot of folks have gotten in trouble.

you think photoshop is $600+ because that's what adobe thinks it's worth ? my guess is they know 1/2 the people using it won't have paid for it. so they let the legit people out there make up their loss. no different for the recording industry... etc.


04/22/2009 03:09:36 PM · #23
so complain about itunes prices and whatever. itunes now has non-rights managed options - what does that tell you ?
04/22/2009 03:31:28 PM · #24
[quote=dainmcgowan] but i have lots more legit titles than pirated ones. /quote]

......and I have let a lot more bad guys pass by than I have killed.
04/22/2009 04:12:33 PM · #25
I have been reading up on this story and and I understand the way Piratebay works you get a little file called a bittorrents then use what ever software you want to run the little bittorrent file and download the file (mp3/software/movie). So they are being sued for copyright for this but if you use google or yahoo you can find bittorrents and do the same damn thing.

Now maybe the argument for the copyright people is that if there are ads on Piratebay and they are making money. Also with search engines such as yahoo or google are used for many other things not just for bittorrents such as piratebay but my point is you can still easily get bittorents anyway you want.

Yes these guys are wrong but still bittorrents are out there and they easily show up in search engines. Whats coming for the search engines in the future.

On a side note I think these copyright people or record companies are getting a little extreme with their rules, especially with youtube, nowadays you cant cant sing happy birthday or any other song on a video you upload on the web without it being taking down or you getting a nasty letter from them.

Originally posted by soup:

so complain about itunes prices and whatever. itunes now has non-rights managed options - what does that tell you ?


Hey soup I am one of the rare ones thats not complaining about itunes prices, because I think its great that finally someone can be legit and buy mp3 now and its no-rights managed. I think thats a reason too why so many people were downloading free music.
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