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Old 05-29-2008, 07:19 PM   #1
True_Avery
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Stealing: Physical Vs. Digital

I had an interesting conversation last night about stealing, which brought up the subject of stealing online Vs. physically taking something from the store.

Lets say someone wanted a product (Music, Game, Movie, Etc). The product is in stores and is available online for warez/file-sharing/torrent. The person considers two options:

1) Steal it physically from the store
2) Torrent the product without paying

Now, which is worse? Is the digital copy more "legit" than the physically stolen copy? Or are they both stealing?

Which brings me to my question for the thread:
Is downloading something from the internet for free when it is up for sale stealing in the same way physically taking something is?

Thread Heads-Up:
Please, I'm not making this thread to have anybody brag about how much stuff they may or may not have stolen. The forum rules still apply, and promoting illegal downloading or stealing can cause trouble for us all.
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:41 PM   #2
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Is there a background for the options, or is it just "Online versus Physical?" Either way, it's my opinion that the reason for stealing is the one to be ashamed of. If you're attempting to steal something, than you really want that object. I ask, "Are you so drawn to that object as to steal (and potentially ruin yourself) for an object?"

It's different if you need it to survive (i.e., food or water), but when it's a trivial object, it makes the matter all the worse.

So, to answer your question, both are equally terrible (in my opinion).
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:10 PM   #3
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They are both stealing, but IMO physically stealing is worse because it also (and moreso) hurts the store selling the CD, not just the artists, recording industry, etc. I know some will argue that digital stealing has a 'trickle down' effect that ends up hurting the stores collectively, but IMO that damage is significantly less than physically stealing from the store.


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Old 05-29-2008, 08:30 PM   #4
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The point I brought up was that this "stealing" online (i.e. downloading a copy online) isn't stealing-- it's copyright infringement. I don't say this to make it appear more attractive, I just don't like to equivocate the two terms.

Morally I think that copyright infringement is not nearly as bad as physical theft, given that you haven't deprived anyone of anything, but have only violated their exclusive rights granted by copyright law. This view is borne out in law, as copyright infringement is largely handled by civil courts, not criminal ones. I can even imagine some cases where it could be morally appropriate to violate copyright-- for example, copyrights on medicines in third-world countries keep the drugs from getting to all but a tiny fraction of the people that actually need them.

But for a game, or music-- I'm not terribly worried about it. Virtually everyone I've spoken to wants a "real" copy of the content anyway. I like finding songs on Youtube so that I can preview the full-length tracks before I buy a CD. Technically, many of those videos are infringing. I don't see anything wrong with them, however-- they may violate the letter of copyright law, but not the spirit (which is to promote innovation by providing a viable way of making money off of one's ideas).

However, if you're just getting it because you don't want to pay, you're wrong to do so. Not "You should be sent to prison for years!!" wrong, but wrong.


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Old 05-29-2008, 08:33 PM   #5
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it's copyright infringement if you make something identical that looks the same and does the same things as something else. downloading something without paying for it is theft, regardless of what the circumstances are.
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyuuKage View Post
it's copyright infringement if you make something identical that looks the same and does the same things as something else.
Indeed. That's exactly what happens when you download something from the internet.

Quote:
downloading something without paying for it is theft, regardless of what the circumstances are.
Given the above, I think it is copyright infringement, not theft.


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Old 05-29-2008, 09:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True_Avery View Post
Is downloading something from the internet for free when it is up for sale stealing in the same way physically taking something is?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Webster’s New World College Dictionary
Steal – 1. to take or appropriate (another’s property, ideas, etc.) without permission, dishonestly or unlawfully, esp. in a secret or surreptitious manner.
Under the letter of the law I would agree with Samuel Dravis that downloading is copyright infringement and not stealing. However going strictly by the definition, I would say it was stealing. Be it music, games or elections when you take something from someone else you have not earned then you are stealing.

Morally I do not see the difference between stealing, copyright infringement or plagiarism; they are all taking someone else’s property or ideas without their permission.


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Old 05-29-2008, 09:48 PM   #8
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Downloading something illegally is theft of intellectual property, and it's just as wrong as stealing a physical copy of the game. You are denying someone payment for their product by stealing what you should be paying for, whether that's through the electronic or physical media.

We can dress this up in a pretty little relativistic bow and make excuses all day long, but downloading illegally and stealing it that way or stealing a physical copy from the store is still theft, and it's still wrong. Calling it anything other than theft or making some kind of justification for it is just fooling ourselves.


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Old 05-29-2008, 09:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi View Post
Downloading something illegally is theft of intellectual property, and it's just as wrong as stealing a physical copy of the game. You are denying someone payment for their product by stealing what you should be paying for, whether that's through the electronic or physical media.

We can dress this up in a pretty little relativistic bow and make excuses all day long, but downloading illegally and stealing it that way or stealing a physical copy from the store is still theft, and it's still wrong. Calling it anything other than theft or making some kind of justification for it is just fooling ourselves.
I agree with this.

However, other than necessary items (food or water), why would you be stealing in the first place? If you actually take a moment and examine your actions, you'll probably realize that you are either caught up in a 'popular movement' or you are too obsessed with a material object.

Or am I the only one that thinks that?
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Old 05-29-2008, 11:38 PM   #10
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To my mind, downloading or torrenting something legal from the Internet is not theft. Copyright infringement, maybe, but not theft. I am also under the belief that the whole "Internet piracy is theft" charade began as a sensationalist media way to dissuade Internet piracy.

On the Internet, when you download something, you reproduce on your computer, an exact copy of the source material, without paying a dime. I will say that I'm not entirely too sure about copyright laws. From what I know, they were imposed to avoid illegal copying in the sense that intellectual property may be hijacked (I avoided 'stolen' here) or abused by an individual other than the creator.

When you download a video game or a movie from the Internet, the name of the creators of the media is intact - you know who made it, you may enjoy it, you know whom to give credit to. You aren't "copying" it with the intention that you will put your own name on it and distribute it. Laws may say otherwise, but I believe that this is completely permissible and not copyright infringement.

As for the matter of "hurting" industries and them "losing" lots of money, I ask this: How can you lose something you never gained in the first place?


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Old 05-30-2008, 01:08 AM   #11
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My gut reaction is no. If I were to steal from a store, then I am depriving another customer of that product. With a finite supply, there can only be so many copies of something and only so many people will get one. Though generally everyone who wants one will get one in time. I am stealing, if nothing else, the physical product of a person's labor, or the labor of some giant machine to which I feel no sympanthy for in China.

With digital items however, there is, in theory, an infinite supply of product. So long as somebody has a copy and a copy can be made of the data, the laws of supply and demand seem to fall short of this realm. I'll give that many instances of pirating for profit are copyright infringement, though I am less sure on the subject when it comes to personal use. IE: I want this just for me.

I also feel that the average price of many digital products falls well above and beyond the value of the labor that went into the project. We're all well aware that the box, the disc, and the physical item you hold in your hands is near to valueless save a particular person who wants it. Take the price of Games for the current generation of consoles, just as much work generally went into the games for the last generation of consoles, so what justifies the 20%(from 50, that's 10 bucks, to 60) increase?

I think the problem with the system at the moment is who it's addressing. While it attacks the person who pays nothing and "steals" it does not address the person who limits the production of an item to falsely inflate the price or simply raise the price of an item without reason. In short, it only addresses one form of stealing and not the other, I think a lot of companies interpret not buying their product as not liking the material, and somehow ignore a consumer's inability to simply afford the item.


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Old 05-30-2008, 02:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin View Post
Be it music, games or elections when you take something from someone else you have not earned then you are stealing.
Who are you taking from? It's there for download to all who come, thus not theft. It's Copyright Infringement. Their rights to that property include their choice in means to distribute the content. As they choose to sell it via CD or Download link, if you download it through an alternate party, you are violating that Copyright.

And there we have not theft.

As well, if you look at any sales records you will find that downloading music and movies has had no negative impact upon sales. That is a myth, and a popular one at that. If only they could do a Mythbusters episode on that. Have the EFF come in as guest stars.

Anyway, I prefer having a physical copy. I love packages because I'm a vain packrat.


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Old 05-30-2008, 02:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True_Avery View Post
Is downloading something from the internet for free when it is up for sale stealing in the same way physically taking something is?
The categorical imperative applies to both physical and digital formats. If everyone stole, there would be no such thing as property to steal, which is a contradiction. You could also argue that if everyone stole there would be no profit motive in creating any product and thus there would be no products to steal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider View Post
With digital items however, there is, in theory, an infinite supply of product. So long as somebody has a copy and a copy can be made of the data, the laws of supply and demand seem to fall short of this realm. I'll give that many instances of pirating for profit are copyright infringement, though I am less sure on the subject when it comes to personal use. IE: I want this just for me.
Interesting point. So, in theory with infinite supply, all digital products should have a price of zero? No. The flaw in this logic is in the idea that supply is infinite. That is only so when someone duplicates the copy without authorization. It's true, the cost of duplicating the copy is essentially zero, but that is a reduction of the overhead costs of the supplier. Nonetheless, the supplier is entitled to the compensation of the costs incurred in product development by the consumer receiving the product. The End User License Agreement describes this contract.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
so what justifies the 20%(from 50, that's 10 bucks, to 60) increase?
You the consumer justify it by purchasing the software at that price. If you do not feel the price is justified, you will not buy the product.
Quote:
I think the problem with the system at the moment is who it's addressing. While it attacks the person who pays nothing and "steals" it does not address the person who limits the production of an item to falsely inflate the price or simply raise the price of an item without reason. In short, it only addresses one form of stealing and not the other
The latter is not stealing. The supplier can choose whatever monetary value to place on the product they are selling. The consumer can agree or disagree with the price. If they disagree, the product goes unsold. The exception is for monopolies in which the consumers have no choice but to buy the product offered at whatever price. The antitrust laws are in place to govern against that activity just as theft and copyright infringement laws govern against stealing.
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:45 AM   #14
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Think of it this way: you're getting something for free that otherwise has a price attached. What do you call that? Disregard any so-called "technicalities"...
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Old 05-30-2008, 03:15 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by RyuuKage View Post
Think of it this way: you're getting something for free that otherwise has a price attached. What do you call that? Disregard any so-called "technicalities"...
The best bargain possible, obviously (disregarding the so-called "technicalities")


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Old 05-30-2008, 03:23 AM   #16
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Well we could wind back and forth and find all kinds of lyrical workarounds for it, but when you take something from someone without his permission, it is theft.


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Old 05-30-2008, 03:43 AM   #17
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The best bargain possible, obviously (disregarding the so-called "technicalities")
Tread very, very carefully, Sabretooth. And please read the orange text in the first post.

This is your only warning.




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Old 05-30-2008, 09:13 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by El Sitherino View Post
Who are you taking from? It's there for download to all who come, thus not theft. It's Copyright Infringement. Their rights to that property include their choice in means to distribute the content. As they choose to sell it via CD or Download link, if you download it through an alternate party, you are violating that Copyright.

And there we have not theft.
Like I wrote in my original post in this thread, under the letter of the law…downlading is copyright infringement and not stealing. Going by the my understanding of the definition provide from Webster’s New World College Dictionary I would call it stealing (if the material was downloaded by illegal means). I don’t look down on anyone that downloads music or games, I just do not do it without paying a fee. It violates my moral code and I would not wish to saddle another with that code even if I could.

Beside my wall of CD and DVD tell me I’m a “vain packrat” too although I have gotten to downloading when I only like one song on a CD. I just download from Itunes and pay the .99 for the song or the $1.99 for videos. It has saved me because I’m running out of wall space.


Added
To those that believe that downloading copyright material without the artist and record company being paid by either the downloader or the website for the copy is not stealing, I have a few questions. Do you consider it stealing for someone to knowingly receive stolen property? The person did not steal the physical object but did benefit from the theft of the property. Is that wrong? I understand it is a crime to steal a satellite signal or cable television. How is that different from me listen to a downloaded song that another obtain illegally or is sharing illegally? I see no future benefit to the stolen television signal other than my memory of the program, but it is still considered a crime. Morally does it really make a difference if someone steals from a multimillion dollar corporation or to steals $5.00 from some bum in the streets?



Last edited by mimartin; 05-30-2008 at 10:43 AM. Reason: added another train of thought
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:18 AM   #19
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Suppose you go to a store and steal an object.
Now suppose you had the ability to duplicate objects and you choose to do that in a store.

There is a difference: the duplicated object isn't missing, the stolen one is.
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:32 AM   #20
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Now suppose you had the ability to duplicate objects and you choose to do that in a store.

There is a difference: the duplicated object isn't missing, the stolen one is.
Yes, but when you are talking about music, movies or games the product is the zeros and ones on the disc, not the disc itself. The music, movies or games is the product. That is what the artiest and programmers have poured their time and energy in to.

Don’t try this experiment: Take a college course that requires a written report. Copy said report word for word from a book of your choosing in the school’s library. Turn it in as your work. All you’ve done is make a copy. The original is still setting on the library shelf, but you will be accused of stealing and you will not be not be attending that university in the future.



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Old 05-30-2008, 12:33 PM   #21
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Interesting point. So, in theory with infinite supply, all digital products should have a price of zero? No. The flaw in this logic is in the idea that supply is infinite. That is only so when someone duplicates the copy without authorization. It's true, the cost of duplicating the copy is essentially zero, but that is a reduction of the overhead costs of the supplier. Nonetheless, the supplier is entitled to the compensation of the costs incurred in product development by the consumer receiving the product. The End User License Agreement describes this contract.
by golly Mr Wizard, I had no idea.

hence the "in theory, the supply is infinite". And I'm aware of what EULAs say, of course, if we all went by what the EULAs say, then we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Quote:
You the consumer justify it by purchasing the software at that price. If you do not feel the price is justified, you will not buy the product.
If you bothered to read my post where I addressed how companies have gotten to taking that as not liking the material as opposed to not liking the price, you might actually have an argument. But taking this sentence out of the context of the paragraph in which it was written makes me wonder why I bothered to write the paragraph.

Quote:
The latter is not stealing. The supplier can choose whatever monetary value to place on the product they are selling. The consumer can agree or disagree with the price. If they disagree, the product goes unsold. The exception is for monopolies in which the consumers have no choice but to buy the product offered at whatever price. The antitrust laws are in place to govern against that activity just as theft and copyright infringement laws govern against stealing.
yes, and the last time the government successfully broke up a monopoly was...1920?

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Old 05-30-2008, 04:17 PM   #22
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Not really sure what side of the bed you woke up on Web Rider, but just someone quotes you in this forum doesn't mean they're attacking you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
hence the "in theory, the supply is infinite". And I'm aware of what EULAs say, of course, if we all went by what the EULAs say, then we wouldn't be having this discussion.
I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
You the consumer justify it by purchasing the software at that price. If you do not feel the price is justified, you will not buy the product.
If you bothered to read my post where I addressed how companies have gotten to taking that as not liking the material as opposed to not liking the price, you might actually have an argument. But taking this sentence out of the context of the paragraph in which it was written makes me wonder why I bothered to write the paragraph.
Okay...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
I also feel that the average price of many digital products falls well above and beyond the value of the labor that went into the project. We're all well aware that the box, the disc, and the physical item you hold in your hands is near to valueless save a particular person who wants it. Take the price of Games for the current generation of consoles, just as much work generally went into the games for the last generation of consoles, so what justifies the 20%(from 50, that's 10 bucks, to 60) increase?
There I quoted your paragraph. Your topic sentence states that the value of the digital products is overpriced in your opinion. Then you explain how packaging is not really valued, but the data itself. Then you ask what justifies a 20% increase (implying I guess that the digital product itself is what is more valued, not the packaging...?)

Your next paragraph then goes on to equate stealing with price increases that you think are unfair. After reading that paragraph, it seemed that you were building on your point in the preceding paragraph (ie. that digital products are overpriced) and asserting that price increases were because the companies were, in effect, stealing from the consumer (thus consumers steal back because they're too poor.)

That is how I understood your post. If your points were misconstrued anywhere, my apologies for my part and perhaps you could be more clear in the future and we could have a bit less meta-debating and name calling. Thanks.


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Old 05-30-2008, 04:55 PM   #23
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I think perhaps the fact that its far easier to steal via the internet and digital means also is a factor. People who don't steal hard objects from, for example, a games shop, may only not do so because of the potential punishments... And since the chance of being caught when stealing via the internet is so much smaller, people are less reluctant to do so. It may be stealing technically, but inevitably not everyone bases their decision of 'right and wrong', but rather 'can or can't'.

If that made any sense >.>
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Old 05-30-2008, 04:58 PM   #24
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Alright, at the risk of derailing things let me ask this:

For those of us that are old enough to remember cassettes; did any of you ever record songs (with your boom box) that you heard on the radio (so that you could listen to them later on your Walkman)? Is that any different than what we're talking about here? If yes, how?

(gee, I just made myself feel ancient).
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:04 PM   #25
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Alright, at the risk of derailing things let me ask this:

For those of us that are old enough to remember cassettes; did any of you ever record songs that you heard on the radio? Is that any different than what we're talking about here? If yes, how?
Yes, I'm old enough. Yes, I did record songs. No, that's no different than torrenting music. It's wrong according to the law, but I don't think the system is right.

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Old 05-30-2008, 05:31 PM   #26
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Yes, I'm old enough. Yes, I did record songs. No, that's no different than torrenting music. It's wrong according to the law, but I don't think the system is right.
Agreed!

Unfortunately as you said it is wrong according to the law. The Artist/Record Label does technically own the right to say if individuals can or cannot make copies of their work.

Although some can make an argument for "Fair Use" as it does state copyright infringement should take into consideration...

Quote:
the purpose and character of the use
or

Quote:
the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
So if you already own all the CDs making a mixed tape has no impact on the value or potential market for the copyrighted material. Therefore you are fine. Now giving that mixed tape to your friend...whole other story. Unfortunately those involved in litigation have usually distributed works to their friends or online so making the "Fair Use" argument is somewhat futile.

So, is it theft...well, downloading something for free that normally costs something is always illegal no matter what you call it.

Edit: Removed duplicate wording in the last sentence :P

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Old 05-30-2008, 06:00 PM   #27
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Well, the thing is that you'll never get the full information when you tape a song from radio. More information (quality) is lost each time you play the cassette as well. You're not obtaining a carbon copy of the whole song, album or a computer game etc without permission.

Also, more important, you "pay" for the song you get via the radio over the advertisement or via taxes for federal radio stations.

It is however theft, if you've copied a complete album from record/tape to tape, or a computer game, like some did in those ancient times I grew up in.


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Old 05-30-2008, 06:13 PM   #28
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Well, the thing is that you'll never get the full information when you tape a song from radio. More information (quality) is lost each time you play the cassette as well. You're not obtaining a carbon copy of the whole song, album or a computer game etc without permission.
So it's not stealing if someone only downloads one song?

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Also, more important, you "pay" for the song you get via the radio over the advertisement or via taxes for federal radio stations.
When I was younger and making tape recordings of songs on the radio, I wasn't paying taxes.

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It is however theft, if you've copied a complete album from record/tape to tape, or a computer game, like some did in those ancient times I grew up in.
Clearly. No one is questioning that. Because that's something completely different, I don't know how well it answers my questions.
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:26 PM   #29
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If you download one song, it's still a quasi identical copy of the full song. If you record from radio, the song is almost never beginning to end, full of atmospheric stuff and whatnot.

When I still used MiniDiscs the recorder did not allow me to digitally copy a disc that was already a digital copy. I could however do an analogue copy as often as I wanted to (with a loss of quality each time) -- bad example, but maybe you get the idea.

As for paying taxes, well, there is still advertisement, and (that's at least what it is is Germany like), radio tax is paid per household, and at least *I* lived with my tax paying parents, so...


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Old 05-30-2008, 06:38 PM   #30
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If you download one song, it's still a quasi identical copy of the full song. If you record from radio, the song is almost never beginning to end, full of atmospheric stuff and whatnot.

When I still used MiniDiscs the recorder did not allow me to digitally copy a disc that was already a digital copy. I could however do an analogue copy as often as I wanted to (with a loss of quality each time) -- bad example, but maybe you get the idea.

As for paying taxes, well, there is still advertisement, and (that's at least what it is is Germany like), radio tax is pay per household, and at least *I* lived with my tax paying parents, so...
It seems that you're attacking the minutiae rather than addressing the point.

Perhaps I was a prodigy, but I got very good at being able to get the whole song. Top 40 stations tended to play...you guessed it: the same 40 songs over and over again. Hear them enough and you could usually identify a particular song in a note or two. Also, if you hit Pause before Record, then all you had to do was tap the Pause button to begin recording.

As for sound quality, we didn't have CDs (not that they weren't available, we simply didn't own them), so radio quality on a tape was pretty equitable to radio quality from a radio.

And yes my parents paid taxes too. Did this make me a partial owner of the music? Is that really the argument you're trying to to make here? I pay taxes when I buy a movie ticket. Does that entitle me to a crap-quality home video recording of my favorite scenes?

I hope I have satisfactorily addressed your counterarguments on the unrelated points. Do you think we could talk about the relevant ones now?

So, if I make a copy of a song from the radio that I have not paid for, is that theft?
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:39 PM   #31
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For those of us that are old enough to remember cassettes; did any of you ever record songs (with your boom box) that you heard on the radio (so that you could listen to them later on your Walkman)? Is that any different than what we're talking about here? If yes, how?

Heck, I’m old enough to remember doing this with real-to-real, 8-tracks and cassettes. Other than technical differences it was still stealing. I have no excuse I was a theft, but it did made me a music lover who owns over 3000 CDs today.

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(gee, I just made myself feel ancient).
You made me feel ancient too. Thanks

Added: How is recording a song on the radio, different than recording a television program?



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Old 05-30-2008, 07:13 PM   #32
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Quote:
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Also, if you hit Pause before Record, then all you had to do was tap the Pause button to begin recording.
An ancient trick, unknown to the younglings. XD

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So, if I make a copy of a song from the radio that I have not paid for, is that theft?
No. Recording from radio/tv is not theft.


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Old 05-30-2008, 07:35 PM   #33
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No. Recording from radio/tv is not theft.
Yet I've still obtained copyrighted material without paying for it.
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:52 PM   #34
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I've already tried to point out that you actually did pay for it. And since the radio station paid for it as well, you made a copy of legally obtained material.


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Old 05-30-2008, 08:02 PM   #35
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I've already tried to point out that you actually did pay for it. And since the radio station paid for it as well, you made a copy of legally obtained material.
No, I didn't. At best (best) some small portion of the taxes that my parents paid helped to pay the administrative costs of the government agency responsible for how that signal was transmitted to my radio, but that's it. I paid nothing. None of my parents tax money went to the radio station, the record label, or the musician(s).
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:04 PM   #36
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Inevitably, I think the copyright and privacy laws are going to change dramatically, whether we like it or not. There are too many idiots ruining it for those of us who aren't criminals, and due to their actions, we're the ones losing a lot of our 'internet freedoms'. But that isn't going to stop the pirating buisnesses from pirating things. I'm not worried about having to pay to download songs off of sites, I'll gladly pay if it's worth it, I'm only worried about my privacy on my computer. I don't have anything to hide, but I still want computer privacy nonetheless.


Please feed the trolls. XD
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:07 PM   #37
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No, I didn't. At best (best) some small portion of the taxes that my parents paid helped to pay the administrative costs of the government agency responsible for how that signal was transmitted to my radio, but that's it.
And how do you think do the stations get the money to buy the rights to air the songs?


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Old 05-30-2008, 08:12 PM   #38
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Eh...it's a different situation with television (probably radio, too, but I know next to nothing about radio since I never listen to it, so I'll only mention television). Networks in the US are privately owned, and thus they get payed by private owners--not the viewers, however, as all major networks in the US are free to watch (as opposed to cable/satellite). Networks get their money from advertisers. Advertisers give money to networks because they know the station's viewers will see their commercials and draw in customers (at least, they hope so).

When you watch a recording, what do you do when the commercials come on? You fast-forward. The advertisers know this, and it annoys them to no end. There's also the matter of people who hit the mute button when the commercials come on, and viewers who get their shows from "other" sources (i.e. torrents).

As of now, there is no widely used method that allows the advertisers to know who's watching what and when they're watching it (note I say there is no widely used method; several exist, but none are widely used). Which means that ad reps and networks resort to polls and surveys to figure out which shows are popular (and what age groups they're popular in, etc). So the most they can figure out is who's watching what shows. But that doesn't tell them how many people actually see the commercials, whether they avoid it through the mute button, the fast-forward button, or the download button. So it's all guesswork from there. And even if all those viewers actually see the commercials, there's no way to know if the commercials actually draw in more customers.

So it's a completely different matter. The actors, writers, producers, and other staff of TV shows get paid by the networks, who get paid by advertisers, who can only hope that their commercials draw in customers. Video game developers get paid by publishers who get paid by the customers. No guesswork involved in the latter.



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Old 05-30-2008, 08:14 PM   #39
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I don't know how it works where you are but in the U.S. radio stations are paid by advertisers. The only exception (that I am aware of) is public radio which receives some government money (via arts related funding) and contributions from listeners (like me ).

Last edited by Achilles; 05-30-2008 at 08:32 PM. Reason: "from" not "for"
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:24 PM   #40
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I don't think that there is any difference between Physical Theft or Digital Theft. None what-so-ever. Theft is still theft. To myself, that is all that it comes down to.

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