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Old 02-04-2012, 03:38 AM   #1
Nick Vader
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Moral Issue (Yes, I have morality)

Suppose I buy a game. Then I stupidly lose the discs (lost for ages).

Is it morally right to download the game from a pirated site? I mean, you would have already contributed in the company's future releases right?

And remember, I mean 'morally' not 'legally' right.


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Old 02-04-2012, 04:04 AM   #2
Taak Farst
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This forum doesn't encourage the use of pirate software in any circumstance, to my understanding. I can see where you're coming from though.


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Old 02-04-2012, 04:40 AM   #3
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Well I wouldn't recommend the "arrrgh matey" approach because even if you avoid viruses, I believe it records your IP address.

Ehh, well if you already own it and it is in your possession I don't really see what the problem is except maybe the issue about copying. Usually most EULAs allow for one backup copy for archival purposes (translation: Oops, I lost the original of it in my heater vent like an idiot.)

@ Admin: Yes I realize I am treading awfully close to the line but this next example is for clarification sake. I am not necessarily advocating conscious law breaking.

I'm not sure how applicable this next example is to your issue, Nick, but it does bear similarities.

Similarly now, if you are like myself you have been in the ROMhacking scene. I own pretty much everything I could ever want to play for NES and that is the law so technically I'm not breaking any by just possessing theirs ROMs. Anything else I may do with it is another story. However I don't really see CAPCOM getting pissed off at all the other people who have made different versions (at least 20 to my recollection) of megaman 2, so long as it isn't infringement on intellectual property for profit. Essentially that is modding an older game much like the modding that goes on here for the KOTOR games and the Jedi Knight games. The reason it probably doesn't get shut down is because it is not for profit.

So back to your question: Moral? To the best I can tell you aren't stealing their material, or infringing which is essentially taking credit for another's work and/or stealing their profits as such. So unless you consider copying (and the reasons why) to be wrong in the first place, I personally would not say you have done anything immoral.


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Old 02-04-2012, 10:14 AM   #4
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Buy another copy!

If you own a car, you forget where you parked it, would it be right to take another car that is the same year, make and model just because you already bought that product?

Stealing is stealing, to me there is no gray area.
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin View Post
If you own a car, you forget where you parked it, would it be right to take another car that is the same year, make and model just because you already bought that product?
I'd suggest looking for it (whether it be a car, game disc or whatever you choose) first, but I agree with Mim - stealing is morally wrong.






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Old 02-04-2012, 01:52 PM   #6
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I agree that you should try to find the copy you already own. However, with that said, I don't really see anything morally wrong with what you suggested. The legality of it differs from country to country, so that's open for discussion. Switzerland, for example, has legalized the downloading of pirated copies for personal use. Many other countries consider piracy illegal, but only take action if people try to make profit from, for example, selling pirated copies of software, music, movies, etc.
In the end, I'll just add that there is a reason the term "piracy" exists and is used instead of "stealing" - they are not the same thing. Let me illustrate: you walk into a store, you see a shirt you like and you take it without paying. This is stealing, plain and simple. However, what if you decide to make an identical copy of that shirt and use it, instead of buying (or stealing) the one you saw in the store? Food for thought.


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Old 02-04-2012, 02:38 PM   #7
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I'm not trying to nag on you but if you lost it than it's your own fault. We all do it and man does it suck. But stealing is stealing, and in this situation I think 'morally' and 'legally' kind of go hand-in-hand.

It's not my place to judge or define what your morals are, though, ultimately it's up to you.

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Old 02-04-2012, 02:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin View Post
If you own a car, you forget where you parked it, would it be right to take another car that is the same year, make and model just because you already bought that product?
Was gonna use this metaphor, except with candy. If another kid stole your candy, it doesn't give you the right to steal the same candy from the same shop.


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Old 02-04-2012, 03:28 PM   #9
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Buy another copy!

If you own a car, you forget where you parked it, would it be right to take another car that is the same year, make and model just because you already bought that product?

Stealing is stealing, to me there is no gray area.
I wouldn't steal a car, but if I could make copies of them I would spend a ridiculous amount of time in parking lots in the affluent parts of town.


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Old 02-04-2012, 06:40 PM   #10
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Use to be, when you registered the game, you could call the company and get another free copy if something happened to your orignal. I did that once with Accolade years ago, because I had a copy that was bad. They didn't even ask me to send the bad disk to them, they just sent me another copy; and along with that, they sent me another plain disk with a updated patch for the game.

Anyway, I don't know if you can still do that now, especially if you haven't registered the game. But it's worth a try and at least it's morally honest.


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Old 02-04-2012, 09:12 PM   #11
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Buy a digital version of the game - many older games are available from GOG or Stream nowadays. A definite advatage to doing it that way is the games are more likely to play on more modern computers, they'll be patched up to the most current version, and you might get some extras included with your game purchases. (That last bit is dependent on the game you choose and where you purchase it, of course.)

If you get the game from GOG, you also can re-download it if your computer has a catastrophic failure.




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Old 02-05-2012, 12:21 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by mimartin View Post
If you own a car, you forget where you parked it, would it be right to AUTOMAGICALLY CLONE another car that is the same year, make and model just because you already bought that product?
Fixed for truthiness


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Old 02-06-2012, 12:21 AM   #13
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Buy a digital version of the game - many older games are available from GOG or Stream nowadays. A definite advatage to doing it that way is the games are more likely to play on more modern computers, they'll be patched up to the most current version, and you might get some extras included with your game purchases. (That last bit is dependent on the game you choose and where you purchase it, of course.)

If you get the game from GOG, you also can re-download it if your computer has a catastrophic failure.
Ah yes. THIS. Quoted for truth, convenience, and that which was on my mind but couldn't quite conjure up. Actually I'd say this route is a preferable approach since it's
1) Cheaper and/or less hassle than getting your machine fixed from downloading from some site with ill repute. Also digital copies might come with additional benefits if not a discount
2) cuts down on material if having the original in possession is not your thing for any number of reasons (I mean everyone practically has portable hard drives now for extra storage) since you download it directly and save it.
3) no possible legal issues in case their lawyers decide to eat a bag of D's about it (though I seriously doubt the feds are going to come knocking at your door for downloading a modified version of a 24 year old NES game--but your product may be a different story, OP)


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Old 02-06-2012, 12:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mimartin View Post
Buy another copy!

If you own a car, you forget where you parked it, would it be right to take another car that is the same year, make and model just because you already bought that product?

Stealing is stealing, to me there is no gray area.
But if you own a car and it's damaged, the insurance company will - in most cases - repair or replace it for you at little to no additional cost. And if that car is one that was neither produced by the company nor owned by anyone else, who exactly are you stealing from?

Some games are neither available in stores or through services such as Steam or the like. In such cases, I personally don't see any problem with replacing a lost or damaged disc with a downloaded copy. Particularly if the company no longer exists anyway, as in some of my own older games.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:43 PM   #15
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:59 PM   #16
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If you can even find a good version of your game you'd still be a filthy pirate. Digital download that ****.

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Old 02-06-2012, 01:24 PM   #17
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But if you own a car and it's damaged, the insurance company will - in most cases - repair or replace it for you at little to no additional cost. And if that car is one that was neither produced by the company nor owned by anyone else, who exactly are you stealing from?
I don't see what you are talking about here? A insurance policy is a legal contract, you paid someone for a service (to take on your risk), be it your car, home or life. There is additional cost in the form of premiums. Buy a car, don't pay for insurance and see if a insurance company will repair or replace your car if it is damaged.

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Fixed for truthiness
Not really. People that produce intangible products has just as much right not to have their product stolen. I can make a copy of money, but that is forgery. I can copy an essay, but that is plagiarism. I can make a copy of a game, but that is piracy. There may be a time limitation, but copying copyrighted material is still stealing to me.

Would it be right for me to get someone to write code for my use then when they finish, copy the data onto my computer and then hand them back the original data and say thanks without paying the agreed amount? All I did was clone their data.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:20 PM   #18
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I don't see what you are talking about here? A insurance policy is a legal contract, you paid someone for a service (to take on your risk), be it your car, home or life. There is additional cost in the form of premiums. Buy a car, don't pay for insurance and see if a insurance company will repair or replace your car if it is damaged.
The terms and conditions that allow for an archived copy are in fact a legal contract as well. One is permitted to keep and retrieve a digital copy of most software in case of data loss or similar event. Granted, this scenario poses a second question altogether. While it may be a violation of the contract to provide your archived copy for use by others, there doesn't seem to be a clear indication as to whether using someone else's archive is also a breach of the contract - much the same way the tobacco and alcohol laws apply (at least, here in Ontario): it's not illegal for one to purchase either substance below the age of 19. It is, however, illegal for someone else to sell it to them. The minor is not breaking the law, the vendor is. I'd say the same applies to software sharing.


Quote:
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Would it be right for me to get someone to write code for my use then when they finish, copy the data onto my computer and then hand them back the original data and say thanks without paying the agreed amount? All I did was clone their data.
In most cases I'd agree with you. But in the case being discussed here, one has already paid the coder for their work and is simply retrieving a copy of the same code from someone else after it has been misplaced or damaged/corrupted.

Last edited by The Doctor; 02-06-2012 at 02:26 PM. Reason: Specified that said law applies to Ontario, rather than implying it applies to all of Canada.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:51 PM   #19
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Of course we are dealing with the moral issue and not necessarily the legal issue. So I suppose a fair question is about the moral landscapes of the public where things are generally agreed upon and individual levels.

I figure if an EULA has a provision for ONE copy, that is essentially the authors and publishers saying "yes you may have ONE copy because I understand in the real world things happen and some just prefer having a backup anyway." Legal issues aside, this says morally (to me at least) that it is in the good graces of the producer so long as it is done AS SPECIFIED. This is where we self regulate, despite some people refusing to step outside their comfort zone and dare to make that kind of judgment. To each their own. So long as you do not cross that line (which is pretty clear IMO) you aren't really violating the trust in the agreement. They leave you enough rope to hang yourself (sorry for analogy). So if you get in trouble, it's your own damn fault anyways.

They say it's okay at some definitive level, and I do not take that for granted.


@Doc: In some cases, where the company no longer exists or supports the program, and it is no longer available for sale (except the odds and ends stores, bid sites, surplus clearance, flea markets and the like), I would think that any copies floating around are considered freeware or abandonware...wouldn't it? Or is that only in the cases where whatever entity that published it has declared it or copyrights have not been renewed and allowed to expire?


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Old 02-06-2012, 03:11 PM   #20
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I really don't know what game we are talking about or about what company. I have not assumed the company is or isn't around any more. If it is not around and no one has purchase the copyright, then I would go by whatever the law says. I don't know I am not a lawyer.

Yes, I can make a copy of the product I own, but I did assume that was not what this thread was about since if Nick Vader had a copy of the product he purchased then there would be no morality question. Silly me, I though he was talking about actually getting a copy that someone else made of their game.

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Old 02-06-2012, 03:29 PM   #21
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Is it morally right to download the game from a pirated site? ...

And remember, I mean 'morally' not 'legally' right.
Pirate - a person who illicitly uses or appropriates someone else's literary, artistic, or other work

Illicitly - disapproved of or not permitted for moral or ethical reasons.


Well... Dictionary.com thinks you would be a bit on the shallow side of scruples if you want to go by book terms.

I can't be a personal advocate of moral being however since in my younger years I was guilty of well.. being morally young and stupid but nowadays I just do the right thing. Get a digital download of the game. It's cheaper, safer and 'morally' correct (and legit)

GOG and Steam should have just about any title you would want (as Sith Holocron stated), even if it's an earlier game. Or even try Amazon. I myself picked up Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines (Steam) because I can't seem to find my discs. So yeah, I've paid for the game twice now.. but it's worth it, and I can breathe easy every time I start it up to play.


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Old 02-06-2012, 04:19 PM   #22
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@Doc: In some cases, where the company no longer exists or supports the program, and it is no longer available for sale (except the odds and ends stores, bid sites, surplus clearance, flea markets and the like), I would think that any copies floating around are considered freeware or abandonware...wouldn't it? Or is that only in the cases where whatever entity that published it has declared it or copyrights have not been renewed and allowed to expire?
I'm pretty sure that copyright infringement is strictly a civil law matter, so if the company that owns the rights to the game disappeared and no one bought them, who's going to sue you?


Let's kill ourselves.
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:32 PM   #23
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Ebay. Cheap.
That and Amazon. I usually try the latter first as 9/10 times I can usually find several used copies of whatever game I'm looking for - in good to - near mint condition under 30 bucks. Also if money's not an issue they will usually have a few un-opened copies ranging from 30 - 100 dollars (if money isn't an issue), and it's not an auction so no wait time other than the shipping and no having to look over your shoulder for others trying to outbid you.


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Old 02-06-2012, 08:04 PM   #24
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I'm pretty sure that copyright infringement is strictly a civil law matter, so if the company that owns the rights to the game disappeared and no one bought them, who's going to sue you?
Hm. Well this too, really. I guess that fits abandonware by assumption of status quo, regardless of any "official" declaration (or lack thereof).
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Old 02-11-2012, 01:39 PM   #25
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How can you steal what you already paid for? (OP's issue)

How can we steal something we actually never owned? (license discussion of late)

****

I disagree Mim, that this is such a cut-and-dry situation as to gladhand the issue and say "Stealing is stealing is stealing". Nick Vader DID pay for the software... he did own the plastic thing that held the information on lease from SSSC (some stupid software company).

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Old 02-13-2012, 10:45 AM   #26
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Nick Vader DID pay for the software... he did own the plastic thing that held the information on lease from SSSC (some stupid software company).
"Did" is the key word.

When you lose something.. you don't go out and steal another to replace it, you buy another one. It wasn't the software company's fault Nick (and I, regarding my Bloodlines game) lost it.


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Old 02-13-2012, 10:59 AM   #27
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I disagree Mim, that this is such a cut-and-dry situation as to gladhand the issue and say "Stealing is stealing is stealing". Nick Vader DID pay for the software... he did own the plastic thing that held the information on lease from SSSC (some stupid software company).
Then tell him to load his copy of the "plastic thing." Oh wait...he lost his "plastic thing." Then he has to either buy another "plastic thing" or buy it from another source. Otherwise it is theft, by law and IMO morally too.

Pretty cut and dry to me, but again he asked for our opinions and I gave mine. That doesn't mean mine is correct, but it is the one I live by.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:47 PM   #28
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Personally, I don't pirate stuff, I prefer to have a physical copy in my hands as opposed to seeing an Icon on my screen and an empty spot in my games rack next to my desk. Holding a CD is much more fulfilling in my opinion. I lost Kotor II once, for PC. Took freakin AGES, but eventually I found another copy and snatched it as quick as a rat on cheese.....

But that's just me.

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Old 02-21-2012, 03:34 AM   #29
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:30 AM   #30
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When you lose something.. you don't go out and steal another to replace it, you buy another one.
Except that it was software. The rules are different.


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I don't want to get my hopes up, but it's like the planets are aligning or something.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:08 AM   #31
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Except that it was software. The rules are different.
No. No they aren't. The rules are exactly the same as anything else you purchase.

Software is still a product no matter the form. Digital or physical. You lose it, you buy it again unless the software provider has provided means to re-downlaod your software for no additional fee (Steam comes to mind).


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Old 02-21-2012, 10:25 PM   #32
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Software is still a product no matter the form.
Cars are products that were built with materials paid for by the company. If I buy a car, the workers get paid. If I lose that car and steal another one, the workers don't get paid for the physical object they've built. The company doesn't get paid for the materials they purchased to build the car either.

If I buy software, the developers get paid. If I lose that software and pirate another version, the developers have already been paid. They haven't been working to build that same software from the ground up for each and every CD.

The company's already received money from me for the 0's and 1's. Therefore, it is not wrong to procure another copy of that program if I've already paid for a legitimate version.


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Old 02-22-2012, 01:14 AM   #33
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I guess much depends on how you chose to parse it. For instance, if you buy a CD/game and make a backup copy in the event of future "hard luck", that might be one thing. By going to a "pirate" site, you are knowingly an accessory after the fact to fenced goods and could land in legal trouble. Since doing so is abetting a criminal activity, any claims to morality are on shaky ground at best.


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Old 02-22-2012, 05:26 AM   #34
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Having no morals is a blast

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Old 02-22-2012, 05:29 AM   #35
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Piracy = Unauthorised replication

I thought it was a pretty simple concept...

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Old 02-22-2012, 12:25 PM   #36
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Cars are products that were built with materials paid for by the company. If I buy a car, the workers get paid. If I lose that car and steal another one, the workers don't get paid for the physical object they've built. The company doesn't get paid for the materials they purchased to build the car either.
So by your reasoning, as long as you steal a car that's already been paid for no problem. Afterall, the manufacturer and workers already have their money right? Kewl! Why don't you try that with your neighbors car and tell me how that works out for ya?


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Old 02-22-2012, 03:03 PM   #37
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I think what Mars is trying to say, not that I agree with it, is this: With a vehicle you have a physical object that you can touch, see, and even smell, when the catalytic converter goes out and gives you that rotten egg smell. So of course it would be wrong to go out and steal another vehicle, even if it was from a junkyard, because somebody didn't get paid...again.

But, with software you don't have that kind of physical property, because all you have is info, "0's and 1's" as he put it, written digital information, and so you buy your own blank CD/DVD and copy that digital information that you already payed at least once for.


My question is, would that be any different with a physical book? Dosen't look that way to me. Let's say you lost your edition of Star Wars: A New Hope, and let's even say you decided that all you need is the written info, you don't need the cover of the book and whatever else, so you copy that written work from maybe the library on your paper that you bought and payed for. Is that stealing or just borrowing information you lost? I think it comes under the terms of stealing, aka "Piracy = Unauthorised replication" as Lynk posted. Why? Because authors like Lucas get a little thing called "Royalties" for ever copy that is made and sold, therefore, you didn't pay for that particular version you copied, therefore, you have stolen that written information.

And there you go....


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Old 02-22-2012, 03:22 PM   #38
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The company's already received money from me for the 0's and 1's. Therefore, it is not wrong to procure another copy of that program if I've already paid for a legitimate version.
Yes, it is. You paid for one copy. The fact they didn't have to build it like a car is irrelevant.






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Old 02-22-2012, 03:39 PM   #39
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But, with software you don't have that kind of physical property, because all you have is info, "0's and 1's" as he put it, written digital information, and so you buy your own blank CD/DVD and copy that digital information that you already payed at least once for.
True enough, and I get the "no physical property"... (and the following isn't directed at you purifier ) but just because it's easier to rip off from a torrent site doesn't make the rules any different.. it just makes it more accessible and anonymous. It's still stealing

As someone who works in the digital medium, I can say that anything I create is far more than just 1's and 0's. The equipment, and ironically enough, software I purchase to create the "digital information" costs me real money (a lot). The man-hours I put in to design & create the information costs me (a lot). The education I paid for to get the experience and know-how on how to create the magical mix of 1's and 0's costs (a lot).

Unless I, as the creator (or manufacturer, distributor, etc. blah blah), specifically provide a means to re-download or provide you another copy (for your own mistake I might add) there is no justification for stealing another. Either don't lose it (der), buy another one.. or buy from a dealer that does provide insurance of your software in case anything happens.

--

and purifier, LOVE the book example.


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Old 03-03-2012, 10:53 PM   #40
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If you always lose your discs, you can burn them to your HD ahead of time. Since you bought them, this is not illegal and you are just backing them up. So if you lose them, you can 1. run your backed up version or 2. burn your backed up version to another disk. Problem solved!

On the pirating situation though, it's tough for me. I work in film (Lol. Let's say starting out), where the software gets pretty expensive. You have your editors like Final Cut and Avid which are probably the cheapest. Then you have your modeling and animation stuff like Maya, 3ds, and Mudbox. Granted you don't need all of them, they are pricey as hell. Then on top of that you need your compositors/extras, like Photoshop, After Effects, and/or Nuke if you're really serious.

$1,000's easily. I don't have a job now so I can't afford the software, but I need to be proficient with the software to land the job. WHAT DO I DO?! Granted (thank god) Autodesk has great student options, the rest are pretty much legally unobtainable for me. Even with the free student software though, I'm not supposed to use it for commercial purposes so that's another dilemma in itself.

Sorry for my rant, this has been bothering me forever! Woe is me!

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