Monday, November 2, 2009

how do you feel about intellectual property rights and illegal downloads?

if your answer is "I try not to think about it because I know it's wrong" then check this out.


Chris said...

how are you so amazing?

Anonymous said...

As someone who has, at various times, made a living through the production of intellectual property, I'd be a hypocrite to advocate in favor of piracy. That being said, I take a "fuzzy" attitude . . . I buy songs online, but I'll sometimes burn them onto mix CDs to share with friends. On the other hand, I burn only singles, not whole albums. I no longer use pirated software, and I'll only download a copyrighted book if it's out of print.

Anonymous said...

Property rights arose from the need to protect scarce resources. If I take your axe, then you can't use your axe. Intellectual property is not a scarce resource - if I see you make an axe and make my own, that doesn't stop you from using your axe. The only purpose to impose "rights" on IP is the profit motive - if I make and sell axes, then you won't be able to have a monopoly on yours. So the question is, is profit-motive (artificial monopolies) a valid justification to prevent others from using your IP.

I say, long live IP pirates!

Marc D. said...

Piracy comes from inaccurate pricing and flawed business models. Look at music CDs. The record labels charged an inaccurate price, >$15/CD, long after it became cheaper than that to just burn a copy of your friends' CDs. Then they tried to maintain their production and distribution models long after people made it clear through using Napster what the optimum distribution model was. If not for some level of piracy, we'd all still be shopping at Sam Goody in the mall for our overpriced music. IP piracy is the essential first assault against mispriced information.

Unknown said...

Let's have a free market. If music is priced way to high then piracy will set it at the right price.

ben daswani said...

i do not acknowledge the validity of the notion of intellectual property.

since this is a chess blog: anyone with a Demonoid account can get, for free, a whole slew of chess material including Rybka, CB, Fritz, Megabase, CB opening books, CB magazines, and those absurdly priced $60 CB opening DVDs

p.s. your blog has had a lot of interesting topics recently

Anonymous said...

so lizzy are you saying that it is safe and we wont get arrested, or fined, or even get any kind of viruses what so ever of we download it.
Basically are you sure its free with no consequences?

Anonymous said...

If you don't accept the validity of the notion of intellectual property, then you don't accept the validity of employment in creative production. You're basically arguing for a return to the era when all art, music, literature and science were funded solely by patronage.

I understand, and can to some extent sympathize, with the point of view that piracy is a form of rebellion against stubbornness in pricing. But mostly, piracy is just the bullshit desire to nab for free something that someone else worked hard to create and probably didn't get paid enough for the first time around -- especially if copying is going to eat into sales.

Elizabeth Vicary said...

yeah, I'm surprised people are ok with it. Obviously I'm doing it, but I don't think there is any moral justification at all. The free market arguments strike me as especially weird-- if people can easily steal things for free, there is no real price negotiation that can go on?

thanks Chris. also, awesome timing.

anon 6:20. I kinda doubt you'll be arrested, but no idea about the rest. :) I've downloaded some stuff and not had problems.

Anonymous said...

Of course free market arguments strike you as weird; you are a state socialist, and can only understand issues within the framework of government control.

Anonymous said...

Intellectual Property is just another government protected monopoly.

Buy "Against Intellectual Property" for more details, or read free via this link

Anonymous said...

I looked though that website a while ago. I already own most of what I wanted.

Marc D. said...

"...if people can easily steal things for free, there is no real price negotiation that can go on?"

Only if there is something to negotiate! The objectively correct price of information is the value of the time, materials, and expertise that it takes to copy it. So if it takes a long time, expensive equipment, or specialized knowledge (I include DRM, copy protection and the like in this category), then you can command a nice market price for your copy service. But it costs almost $0 for me to rip my friend's CD, so why should I pay $15 for it at the store? Apple and Amazon got it right, I think, to offer songs at a low enough price that its worth it for me to browse and buy efficiently instead of wasting my time scouring my friends CD collections for stuff to copy.

As far as compensating the artists, music acts have mostly caught on that they can make their money on concert sales.

BTW, great blog. I love the chess quiz!

Gurdonark said...

I am a huge believer in open source creation of intellectual property, and in particular of liberal licensing of this material through Creative Commons licenses.

My agreement with the idea that media should be made more "read/write" and in favor of a sharing culture does not cause me to support the unauthorized use of others' intellectual property.

We can leave aside the obvious reasons, about its illegality and
the unsavory nature of deriving an economic benefit from a form of property created by another under circumstances which should grant that benefit to its creator.
Those are good reasons, but one of my primary reasons is another reason.

My reason is that if we propagate a mainstream of cultural expression through misappropriating that mainstream, then writers, artists, film-makers and musicians miss the chance to create a new sharing culture of
things better than the mainstream.

The digital media revolution took away the hegemony of record companies and publishers. Now that anyone can publish, it turns out that not everyone will be paid to do so. I am not sure anyone realized how much the newspaper business depended on advertisers who would flee the moment a more cost-effective publishing alternative arose.

I do not support the Pirate Bay/file-sharing approach. I find it an insupportable model.

I support a limited copyright term with a limited right to extend. I support current patent terms, though I would make certain process patents, particularly in non-scientific applications, far less easy to obtain.

I strongly oppose the "Mickey Mouse" drastic copyright extension that Congress passed and the president signed some years ago.
The "deal" in copyright is that one gets a limited term, and then the works go into the public domain. The shift of this deal
through an extended copyright term
defeats the public's right to have materials fall into the public domain. I consider this legislation a huge mistake, both in its US version and in its EU analog.

I don't download illegally,but instead download among the thousands upon thousands of legal downloads released on netlabels and by artists who work outside the old music system. I see this as the future. I see illegal downloads of tired mainstream acts as an impediment to this brighter, better future.

Anonymous said...

Marc D., you've essentially "proven" that recorded music and digitized text are worthless.

Marc D. said...

@anjiaoshi I'm sorry to be so inarticulate that I gave that impression. I basically totally agree with @gurdonark. My point is really that it's pointless to try to make billions of dollars selling CDs and books anymore. Technology has changed the marketplace to the point where there is no way to negotiate the price levels needed to sustain these businesses.

Anonymous said...

There are many reasons to resent the heavy handed techniques of the RIAA among others in protecting IP rights in music. Similarly, one can feel a certain disdain at the notion that drug companies only pursue new medical technologies in cases where they can patent their inventions and thereby profit. (Indeed one wonders if a big pharma company discovered that standing on your head while eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich cured cancer, would they tell anyone?) That said, for all the disdain, often well placed over IP rights and the strong US laws that protect IP rights, one need only look into the dearth of innovation in places like China for a powerful counter-argument.

Anonymous said...

Oh, man, I try to dodge fans but they keep swarming
MC Frontalot's heart's huge; let's have a housewarming
I love you so damn much I'll sell ya CDs
I'm greedy to get loved back like Ally Sheedy
in WarGames -- I got more sayings and turns of phrase
in my Communist handbook than in my -- damn, what'd
I do with my ledger? I'll never get paid now
That distributor promised me checks but didn't say how
he was gonna locate the Front
It's the anonymity I'm a little bitty bit late to shun
Hate to run; can't be tardy to my rally --
"Art Must Be Free" is the decree, the finale
is my lecture on the evils of the R-I-double-A,
how they gonna sue you every single time you hit play
They're lame! Must revolt! What's that you say?
Kids are pirating the Frontalot? Oh no -- I got BETRAYED!

It's truuuuuue!
Frontalot's destituuuuuute!
I need yooooouuu
to buy my CDs so I can buy foooooood!