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> Pro-piracy politician proffers his worldview, "When we reach our first major political victory, such as taking seats in parliament, pirates across the world will see we can do something."
cerebral
post Aug 14, 2007, 08:34 AM
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Dressed in a gray suit and red satin shirt, his look suggests hip, young, European politician. But the founder of Sweden's Pirate Party could represent a very serious threat to the music and movie industries.

Falkvinge is a budding politician, a Microsoft-trained technologist and bitter foe of U.S. copyright law. Last year, he founded the party that surprised many when it amassed enough votes to become one of the country's top 10 political groups. (There are nearly 40 in Sweden.)

The organization failed to win enough support, however, to gain membership in the country's parliament and is now raising money for elections in 2009 and 2010. The party's platform is a promise to thwart U.S. attempts to enforce copyright law on Swedish soil.

There are some signs the Pirate Party's message could appeal to audiences beyond Sweden's borders. On Thursday, a group calling itself the Pirate Party of the United States announced that it was seeking support as it prepares to register as a political party in the state of Utah. The group said in a press release that it needs 2,000 signatures by February to qualify.

"The aim of the Pirate Party is to change intellectual property laws globally...Sweden, Europe and the rest of the world in that order," said Falkvinge, 35. "Fledgling pirate parties are now in many countries...When we reach our first major political victory, such as taking seats in parliament, pirates across the world will see we can do something."

Falkvinge's party has yet to win anything even in its home country. But the group arguably represents the largest effort to date to organize the unknown number of people who illegally download content, and wage a copyright fight at the ballot box. Their goal is to take their argument--that sharing movies, music and other information should not be a crime--directly to voters.

Founded by Falkvinge in January 2006, the Pirate Party received wide media coverage in Sweden. That was nothing compared with the attention the group received after police in the country raided the headquarters of The Pirate Bay, a highly popular online tracker of BitTorrent files.

Hollywood has accused The Pirate Bay, which is not affiliated with the Pirate Party, of being an essential pirate tool for file sharers. U.S. trade officials have lobbied the Swedish government to shut it down, according to Swedish media reports. In May 2006, police seized The Pirate Bay's servers, shutting down the site for several days.

Many Swedes believed their government had bowed to the will of a foreign power. The Pirate Party held two demonstrations attended by hundreds in Stockholm and Gothenberg. Attention began to swell: Sweden's justice ombudsman reviewed the police's handling of the case, but nothing came of it.

"Swedish youths are proud of the stubbornness and defiance of The Pirate Bay and see their activities as 'sharing,' not 'stealing,'" said Oscar Swartz a Swedish blogger. "Bloggers and activists stand up for The Pirate Bay and defend them against threats to their existence."

All of this occurred as the country headed toward parliamentary elections last September. Membership of the Pirate Party swelled to nearly 10,000 soon after and Pirate Party leaders were confident they could obtain 225,000 votes, or the required 4 percent, to earn a parliamentary seat.

Come election day, however, the party received 35,000 votes, or 0.6 percent. The party with the most votes, Sweden's Social Democrats, which lost in the election to an alliance between the country's liberal and conservative groups, earned the most votes for any single party with 1.9 million.

"To me, it is not an eligible party, but a protest group," said Mats Johansson a member of the Moderaterna party, currently Sweden's leading party in Parliament. "I hope they don't get any votes in the next election."

He may get his wish. Since the election, the Party Pirate's membership has dropped from 9,600 to about 5,700. Such drops are common with political parties in nonelection years, said Falkvinge. But questions have been raised about how the Pirate Party will fare in future elections without the benefit of a major controversy to galvanize followers.

"It all depends on what the media brings up," said Eva-Lena Jansson, who holds a seat in the parliament for the Social Democrats and oversees the party's stance on intellectual property law issues. "If the media chooses to focus on these issues then the Pirate Party might stay around."

Copyright holders in the U.S. scoff at the idea that the Pirate Party could ever threaten copyright law.

"Generating media attention is pretty much all that this group has done," said Patrick Ross, a spokesman for the Copyright Alliance, whose members include record labels and movie studios. "They haven't accomplished anything. They haven't swayed anybody. They certainly won't have any impact on this country."

In an interview at a cafe near San Francisco's Dolores Park last week, Falkvinge was fresh off a fundraising tour in the United States as the party girds for Sweden's elections. Falkvinge acknowledged that he raised little money but plenty of awareness, which he hopes will help with future fundraising.

Falkvinge took an earlier interest in politics and was a member of the youth wing of Sweden's Moderate Party. An entrepreneur at age 16, he eventually joined Microsoft as a project manager. He credits the software giant with helping him to hone his organizational and leadership skills.

He's confident in himself and in his message. Copyright laws should apply to only commercial ventures, Falkvinge argued, and sharing videos, music or "culture" with friends for noncommercial purposes should be encouraged. The Pirate Party calls for a reduction of the copyright terms to five years, and an end to digital rights management schemes. Beyond copyright, the group also wants to abolish patents.

Falkvinge claims copyright doesn't offer society any benefit but is the film industry's way of trying to save a "crumbling distribution model." According to him, people no longer need middlemen like film studios to obtain movies and music.

"I would like a guaranteed income," Falkvinge said. "We all would. But that doesn't mean that it's in society's wider interest to write such laws. Copyright was never there as a guaranteed income for the artist."
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trojan_libido
post Aug 16, 2007, 04:18 AM
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I agree totally with what they're trying to do. If I buy a brand new DVD, I will almost certainly loan the film to as many people as I deem necessary to spread the joy I got from the film. I get the DVD back and they have not "stolen" anything. Is this illegal? I think it probably is.

Information exchange is on the increase, and its not really under our control. The animal behaviour of sharing is something we can't stamp out, so we should adjust our models so the majority are law abiding citizens, not adjust the laws so the majority are criminals.

I download whatever I like, but I buy the good stuff and stuff I want to support. This means I get to enjoy the mediocre stuff that I would never have bought in the first place.
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Rick
post Aug 16, 2007, 11:11 AM
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QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Aug 16, 2007, 05:18 AM) *

I agree totally with what they're trying to do. If I buy a brand new DVD, I will almost certainly loan the film to as many people as I deem necessary to spread the joy I got from the film. I get the DVD back and they have not "stolen" anything. Is this illegal? I think it probably is.

It's legal. It would be illegal if you charged money for viewing the DVD.

I have a dictionary on my bookshelf. I own it, bought and paid for. When my office mate needs to look up a word, I let him use it. That's fair use, and that's the law.

Suppose I get tired of my office mate always asking to borrow my dictionary? I could suggest he buy his own, but if I make him a Xerox copy so he can avoid buying one, that would be illegal. I think copyright law is generally fair. There are certainly some abuses by corporations, but the regulations can be tweaked to make them more fair.
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post Aug 16, 2007, 02:35 PM
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QUOTE(cerebral @ Aug 14, 2007, 08:34 AM) *

Falkvinge claims copyright doesn't offer society any benefit but is the...industry's way of trying to save a "crumbling distribution model." According to him, people no longer need middlemen like film studios to obtain movies and music.

I agree. Gone are the days of monopoly and profitaring manipulation of the music industry at the hands of a few who didn't give a rabbit's ass about the artist or the craft. The movie industry should be next. Heck yea!
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Flex
post Aug 16, 2007, 02:38 PM
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QUOTE(code buttons @ Aug 16, 2007, 03:35 PM) *

QUOTE(cerebral @ Aug 14, 2007, 08:34 AM) *

Falkvinge claims copyright doesn't offer society any benefit but is the...industry's way of trying to save a "crumbling distribution model." According to him, people no longer need middlemen like film studios to obtain movies and music.

I agree. Gone are the days of monopoly and profitaring manipulation of the music industry at the hands of a few who didn't give a rabbit's ass about the artist or the craft. The movie industry should be next. Heck yea!


How do you presume an artist is to make his art if there is no compensation? People don't go to shows, people don't buy cds, people don't buy merchandise--artists don't make music. I can't wait for the day that the consumer destroys the arts and is left in a colorless world.
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post Aug 16, 2007, 03:05 PM
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QUOTE(Flex @ Aug 16, 2007, 02:38 PM) *

QUOTE(code buttons @ Aug 16, 2007, 03:35 PM) *

QUOTE(cerebral @ Aug 14, 2007, 08:34 AM) *

Falkvinge claims copyright doesn't offer society any benefit but is the...industry's way of trying to save a "crumbling distribution model." According to him, people no longer need middlemen like film studios to obtain movies and music.

I agree. Gone are the days of monopoly and profitaring manipulation of the music industry at the hands of a few who didn't give a rabbit's ass about the artist or the craft. The movie industry should be next. Heck yea!


How do you presume an artist is to make his art if there is no compensation? People don't go to shows, people don't buy cds, people don't buy merchandise--artists don't make music. I can't wait for the day that the consumer destroys the arts and is left in a colorless world.

That's not the issue I'm addressing here; but the fact that the artist doesn't need anything other than his/her art to make a living. What does he need a whole army of enpresarios for?! The internet, if nothing else, has serve as a medium for many real artists, who were rejected by the industry's elite to make their art known. It opened the door and gave equal opportunity to all. I don't hear anyone crying over Lime-wire or Kazaa's existence except for the Millies and the Vanillies of these world and their sponsors. I can't wait for the day that the consumer and the true artist take control of the industry and there's no more putting up with phonies the likes of "New Kids On The Block" or "The Pussy Cat Dolls" and garbage like that.
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Flex
post Aug 16, 2007, 04:13 PM
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My brother is one such artist--he has made a name for himself on the internet; he has made his money from those armies of empresarios. If it were up to him, his music would be public domain. The only reason he releases music is to make money. I think this is the case with most real artists. If it weren't for the need to make a living, I do not think you would see any true art.

I was young
Working hard
I got lost
But I didn’t care
‘Cause I believed
That I would see
The godhead

Sold my soul
A million bucks
I found some money
But I lost my Love
And having seen
I now believe what mom said

She said love is a heart at rest
Not some illusionary Friend
Or Her tenderness
Well, this time around,
I think I finally found it
This time around,
I think I finally found it

That was then
This is now
A fresh new day
But that same old stale doubt
And still the dream of that
Yet unseen godhead

Thought I knew
I guess that’s life
You change you’re mind
You change your wrong and right
Sometimes things
Seem to be causeless

But cause is a state of mind
We are the Gods to the worlds we make
Of our own design
Well this time around
I think I’ve finally found mine
This time around
I think I’ve finally found mine

Don’t quite know
Where I am
Where I’ve gone
Or where I’ll go again
All I know
Is I will go
Proudly

I’ll have my mind
My Set-In-Stones
No, they’re not yours
So, please, just leave them alone
You make these songs your own
They’re not about me

Because Song is a truth untold
Free from the shackles of Common Words
And of the weight they hold
Well, this time around
I think I finally let go
Well this time around
I think I finally let go.
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kortikal
post Aug 16, 2007, 09:20 PM
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QUOTE(Flex @ Aug 16, 2007, 03:38 PM) *
How do you presume an artist is to make his art if there is no compensation? People don't go to shows, people don't buy cds, people don't buy merchandise--artists don't make music. I can't wait for the day that the consumer destroys the arts and is left in a colorless world.


I would think that few artists create for money even if its required to live in our capitalistic societies. They create for other reasons. If they don't get paid for it, they find a side job for money. Doesn't stop them from creating since the motivation is rarely financial, but rather one of personal expression, which probably most people engage in, in various different ways, spontaneously.
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Flex
post Aug 16, 2007, 11:26 PM
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QUOTE(kortikal @ Aug 16, 2007, 10:20 PM) *

QUOTE(Flex @ Aug 16, 2007, 03:38 PM) *
How do you presume an artist is to make his art if there is no compensation? People don't go to shows, people don't buy cds, people don't buy merchandise--artists don't make music. I can't wait for the day that the consumer destroys the arts and is left in a colorless world.


I would think that few artists create for money even if its required to live in our capitalistic societies. They create for other reasons. If they don't get paid for it, they find a side job for money. Doesn't stop them from creating since the motivation is rarely financial, but rather one of personal expression, which probably most people engage in, in various different ways, spontaneously.


Consequently the public would never view said art, were it not for the financial needs of the artist.
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Rick
post Aug 17, 2007, 11:37 AM
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Putting on a good show or making a bronze sculpture costs money. The lighting and sound people need to get paid. The casting foundry needs to get paid.
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trojan_libido
post Aug 22, 2007, 07:55 AM
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Thats true of course but an artist doesn't have to create the largest and most expensive forms of art. I classify myself as an artist exactly because I don't do it for money. I go off on a thread of consciousness and will draw, paint and develop software for the fun of it. Its rare for me to have the passion for creating actual art, but when it comes it burns.

I'm sure if someone is really amazed by their favourite artists, whatever industry, then they will pay for that artist. An artist that doesnt quite hit the mark is a sad fact of life, they need to get over it and make that part-time job full time. When the industry collapses the only thing left will be word of mouth, the ultimate guide to good art.

I do not like to be subjected to "The Cheeky Girls" music or any other manufactured tripe just because the music moguls decided to take the least talented X-Factor entrants and polish them upto semi-professional level. Its insulting and disrespectful, but I guess thats what the human herd has allowed pass as musical authority. Same goes for other artistic industries.

Lack of cash in the industry won't finish off the artist in humanity is what I'm saying, it may even allow the real artists to shine...
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post Aug 22, 2007, 04:48 PM
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QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Aug 22, 2007, 07:55 AM) *

Thats true of course but an artist doesn't have to create the largest and most expensive forms of art. I classify myself as an artist exactly because I don't do it for money. I go off on a thread of consciousness and will draw, paint and develop software for the fun of it. Its rare for me to have the passion for creating actual art, but when it comes it burns.

I'm sure if someone is really amazed by their favourite artists, whatever industry, then they will pay for that artist. An artist that doesnt quite hit the mark is a sad fact of life, they need to get over it and make that part-time job full time. When the industry collapses the only thing left will be word of mouth, the ultimate guide to good art.

I do not like to be subjected to "The Cheeky Girls" music or any other manufactured tripe just because the music moguls decided to take the least talented X-Factor entrants and polish them upto semi-professional level. Its insulting and disrespectful, but I guess thats what the human herd has allowed pass as musical authority. Same goes for other artistic industries.

Lack of cash in the industry won't finish off the artist in humanity is what I'm saying, it may even allow the real artists to shine...

The industry that has built around the art is a modern day phenomenum. And all that money thrown around has cheapen art itself, instead of enhancing it, IMO. It has allowed for the most amount of phonies the likes of which has never been seen to take over and represent all artist to the masses. But now, thanks to the Internet, the tables have changed. It'll be interesting to see what will come of all this conmotion going on right now in 5 or 10 years. A lot of people are shaking in their pants right now of just the thought of what the future will mean to them. And I'm almost certain that none of them is a true artist, for the true artist will have nothing to fear and everything to gain about an Internet based equal opportunity of expression society.
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Flex
post Aug 22, 2007, 05:00 PM
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Art has always been centered around money--the king used to commission artists, now the commoner does (the commoner just has lower standards).

One of the creators of the internet revolution, Tom Anderson, is a friend and fan of my brother. He created a record label with the myspace name to promote the arts. Music would not be available to the masses were it not for the team of people working to distribute the products. You don't steal a book or an invention, so why would you steal music? Why would you pirate music, when you can download it?
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Rick
post Aug 23, 2007, 02:47 PM
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I thought downloading from illegal sites was the issue (problem). Paid legal downloads are not in question.
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Flex
post Aug 23, 2007, 03:59 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Aug 23, 2007, 03:47 PM) *

I thought downloading from illegal sites was the issue (problem). Paid legal downloads are not in question.


In order to have an artist on paid legal download sites, they must be a member of ASCAP or BMI, have a manager, a business manager, and a record label to provide capital required to produce albums and tour.

YOU WILL NOT HAVE QUALITY MUSIC IF IT IS NOT PAID FOR. Record labels are no different than venture capitalists. They are in it to make money--the consumer determines WHAT will make money. If you don't like pop music, don't support it; obviously someone does, or it wouldn't exist.
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post Aug 25, 2007, 11:55 AM
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QUOTE(Flex @ Aug 23, 2007, 03:59 PM) *

QUOTE(Rick @ Aug 23, 2007, 03:47 PM) *

I thought downloading from illegal sites was the issue (problem). Paid legal downloads are not in question.


In order to have an artist on paid legal download sites, they must be a member of ASCAP or BMI, have a manager, a business manager, and a record label to provide capital required to produce albums and tour.

YOU WILL NOT HAVE QUALITY MUSIC IF IT IS NOT PAID FOR. Record labels are no different than venture capitalists. They are in it to make money--the consumer determines WHAT will make money. If you don't like pop music, don't support it; obviously someone does, or it wouldn't exist.

So, you don't see any wrong with the status-quo in the movie and music industry as of the last few decades? I see something wrong right off the bat: Art is now an "industry" When did we ever hear this before?
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Flex
post Aug 25, 2007, 12:44 PM
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Art isn't the industry--selling art is the industry. Great art is created every day, the consumer simply does not want it. Produce a symphony and produce a pop song, then try to sell them both; I am sure you know which will sell. Art is art, art as a commodity is a business.
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post Aug 27, 2007, 04:22 PM
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QUOTE(Flex @ Aug 25, 2007, 12:44 PM) *

Art isn't the industry--selling art is the industry. Great art is created every day, the consumer simply does not want it. Produce a symphony and produce a pop song, then try to sell them both; I am sure you know which will sell. Art is art, art as a commodity is a business.

You still didn't answer my question.
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Flex
post Aug 27, 2007, 04:50 PM
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Something certainly is wrong with the staus-quo. When have you ever before heard that it is acceptable to steal? That is exactly what is happening with music.

As for the second question, like I said before, calling art an industry is just a misunderstanding.
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trojan_libido
post Aug 28, 2007, 12:27 AM
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To me it seems like the information age has brought a fresh test of our morales. The fruit (art, movies, music) is hanging on a internet based tree and God (government) has his back turned - unfortunately for a large proportion of us that means we'll break a commandment and commite the sin of theft. It's not a physical theft, no one has lost anything, but it is theft of an experience.

I'm kinda on the fence when I think of piracy. The things I've "stolen" online are things I wouldn't pay for in a million years. Ancient B movies, difficult to source texts, music thats on the radio every day. Even extremely expensive software to try and train in something I would have no chance of being exposed too under normal circumstances. I know its wrong, but in forwarding my own place in humanity without harming anyone, I'm willing to take the consequences. It is, however, too common for average joe to download Hollywood and be selling pirate cds. This is something I don't agree with.

I've been asked by many many friends, and friends of friends, to teach them to pirate cds. This gets me so riled its unreal, mainly because they assume I would give my time and effort to someone who can't use windows explorer, or who doesnt even know about file types. Its amazing how many of these newbie computer users, and unintelligent users, see gold at the end of their path and manage to pull together some focus and learn all the pitfalls associated with converting media. Quite a feat!

Spiritually I believe information, as an entity, WANTS to be shared. Being able to find out anything about anything, watching or listening to anything, talking to anyone at anytime is the trend that has been occuring over the last 100 years. This is simply another chapter in the spirits story.
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Flex
post Aug 28, 2007, 12:56 PM
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I buy everything. Intellectual property is property nonetheless. I wouldn't steal a computer, so why would I steal computer software? The computer is just a physical representation of intellectual property. Someone DESIGNED the computer. You are not paying for the parts, you are paying for the idea of the parts.

The reason software is so expensive, is because so many people steal it, creating an added burden on individuals such as my self who value intellectual property (I do not value any other property than intellectual property). By stealing software you are hurting both the creater of the software, and consumers. You are being a parasite. If you spent 10 years developing a vaccine, you would expect to be compensated for your time and knowledge, likewise if you spent 10 years developing software, you would expect to be compensated for your time and knowledge.

This is an instance where utilitarianism is unjust.
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post Aug 28, 2007, 02:22 PM
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QUOTE(Flex @ Aug 28, 2007, 12:56 PM) *

...You are being a parasite...

Harsh words!
QUOTE(Flex @ Aug 28, 2007, 12:56 PM) *

If you spent 10 years developing a vaccine, you would expect to be compensated for your time and knowledge...

Wrong analogy:
"...synthetic malaria vaccine has recently been developed by a Colombian biochemist and physician, Dr. Manuel Patarroyo...
...Besides its unusual structure, this vaccine is also remarkable because Dr. Patarroyo willingly forfeited any profits from its commercialization and donated all proceeds to the WHO as a humanitarian gesture..."

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m085...v13/ai_17372679
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Flex
post Aug 28, 2007, 03:00 PM
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Parasite is only a harsh word because of its connotation--I simply use it to describe a relationship.

As for Dr. Manuel Patarroyo, he is a rare exception, and I am sure he is already well off. As for his vaccine, it is only 40% effective at most, not to mention the fact that this vaccine would be extremely difficult to capitalize off as cases of malaria occur primarily in 3rd world countries, where individuals could not necessarily afford a series of three vaccination (that would only have a 30-40% chance of working).
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trojan_libido
post Aug 30, 2007, 07:51 AM
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Ok, well a little harsh but morally justified. But what about the millions of people who download their favourite TV shows to keep up with the 24/7 lifestyle we're being badgered towards, or the person who likes to watch them all in one sitting?

Series were never really sold until DVD became a standard, then it was possible to put a lot of information on relatively cheap discs. But the way I see it is they've already given you the episodes on TV for free, you just weren't in the right place at the right time. Is downloading a missed episode, or playing catchup in a series a different story from people who download pirate films?

People need to realise that when someone downloads an episode or a full series, the chances of them watching it again are slim to none, but still we'll collect the whole series and hoard it away with our mega-porn stash smile.gif
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Flex
post Aug 30, 2007, 12:13 PM
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The TV series was not free. You paid for your cable bill. You could buy a Tivo unit to allow you to watch episodes at a later time. Having the episodes on a P2P network is like giving society Plato's Ring Of Gyges.

The only time I could justify piracy was when I was under 18 and needed a viable mega-porn stash wink.gif
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trojan_libido
post Aug 31, 2007, 12:23 AM
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Well the distribution of media is changing pretty fast, but this change is making me annoyed more than anything. You can watch whatever you like, whenever you like, BUT you have to pay for it - again. Its like old 1990 games being converted and sold again for portable formats with absolutely no change other than a price tag that is 3 to 4 times the original price you bought it at in 1990. I'm sick of being fed regurgitated products that I've already paid for once on some other format.

After reading the wiki page on The Ring of Gyges you mentioned, I guess this is what you mean:
QUOTE
In The Republic, Plato puts the tale of the ring of Gyges in the mouth of Glaucon, who uses it to make the point that no man is so virtuous that he could resist the temptation of being able to steal at will by the ring's power of invisibility. In contemporary terms, Glaucon argues that morality is a social construction, whose source is the desire to maintain one's reputation for virtue and honesty; when that sanction is removed, moral character would evaporate


Excellent analogy and very probably true. Our unselfish deeds are rooted in selfishness, because we're doing it to remain "Good" in other peoples eyes. Its true I would never steal physical goods from a store, but when your in the comfort of your own home with a 20MB connection to the world, its tempting to download whatever media you read about. Its similar to the way a child behaves, I WANT IT NOW!

I took p2p networks and such to be a perk of my profession, but it seems its grown way way past that now.
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code buttons
post Aug 31, 2007, 04:08 PM
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QUOTE(Flex @ Aug 30, 2007, 12:13 PM) *

The TV series was not free. You paid for your cable bill. You could buy a Tivo unit to allow you to watch episodes at a later time. Having the episodes on a P2P network is like giving society Plato's Ring Of Gyges.

The only time I could justify piracy was when I was under 18 and needed a viable mega-porn stash wink.gif

What do you consider that would be reasonable punishment, then, for those of us common folks that share our music files with friends?
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Flex
post Aug 31, 2007, 04:40 PM
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Now there is a difference between playing a file (that was legitimately purchased) and transfering a file illegally. I would say a just punishment should be something to the extent of paying a $100 fine per song that would be put towards funding libraries who could put the money to good use BUYING CDs and allowing individuals to loan them for a trial to see if they enjoy the songs--if they do, the individual should go out and BUY the album.

Note this just just came off of the top of my head~
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trojan_libido
post Sep 03, 2007, 04:11 AM
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Then you just extract the audio and theres even less anyone can do about it. Its just like taping a song from the radio, and who didn't do that when they were younger... I'm just against laws that make the majority criminals.
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Flex
post Sep 03, 2007, 09:45 AM
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So if the majority does it, it is just? The holocaust was then just?
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