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Ser Scot A Ellison

Don’t pirate books, just don’t

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People really believe a lot of it, too.  I had an extensive argument once about custom firmware once in which just about everything the person I was arguing with turned out to be 100 percent bullshit, and he honesty thought it was all true. I mean yeah no one is going to come throw you in jail for downloading files for a cd you own, but some of the crazy things people tell me are legal...

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On 7/6/2018 at 7:05 PM, Errant Bard said:

The point of the thread wasn't legality but small authors not being paid, was it?

Not really getting the problem with new copies versus lending. You read the book, what does it matter if you keep the bits on your hard drive, after giving it to someone else? The author is no more paid.

The big difference being that you can only loan your friends the one copy (or several copies) you have, while if you have it in digital format you can share it with as many people as would like to download it while still keeping your copy.

Lending a book to your friend equals one reader not buying it, sharing it online can mean thousands if not hundreds of thousands not buying it. It's a matter of scale, mostly.

On 7/7/2018 at 9:04 AM, mankytoes said:

I was going backpacking and needed to pack light, so bit the bullet and got a kindle. I pirated a few books, but only ones I already owned the physical copies of. How is this generally seen?

Can't say about the legality of it but if we're talking about our personal ethical views on that I find nothing wrong with that.

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1 hour ago, baxusalah said:

The big difference being that you can only loan your friends the one copy (or several copies) you have, while if you have it in digital format you can share it with as many people as would like to download it while still keeping your copy.

Lending a book to your friend equals one reader not buying it, sharing it online can mean thousands if not hundreds of thousands not buying it. It's a matter of scale, mostly.

Can't say about the legality of it but if we're talking about our personal ethical views on that I find nothing wrong with that.

From a consumer perspective, it really doesn't feel different, this is the whole problem, evidently millions of otherwise law abiding people feel so. For example, my girlfriend recently bought a CD and said she'd lend it to me so I could put it on my iPod. Then she forgot it. It's hard to feel that pirating it is really morally worse than waiting two weeks until she can lend it to me. 

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1 hour ago, baxusalah said:

The big difference being that you can only loan your friends the one copy (or several copies) you have, while if you have it in digital format you can share it with as many people as would like to download it while still keeping your copy.

Lending a book to your friend equals one reader not buying it, sharing it online can mean thousands if not hundreds of thousands not buying it. It's a matter of scale, mostly.

Well, yeah, my response was specifically about the scenario Scott commented: lending to one friend.

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2 hours ago, mankytoes said:

From a consumer perspective, it really doesn't feel different, this is the whole problem, evidently millions of otherwise law abiding people feel so. For example, my girlfriend recently bought a CD and said she'd lend it to me so I could put it on my iPod. Then she forgot it. It's hard to feel that pirating it is really morally worse than waiting two weeks until she can lend it to me. 

Well, that's debateable.  

I made a similar argument here the last time we had this discussion and someone (for some reason I'm thinking it was @TrackerNeil or @Joe Abercrombie) pointed out that when you buy an LP you don't expect to get the CD for free.  In the past, whether you're talking books or music, you had to buy different formats individually.  Recently we've seen package deals on vinyl and digital downloads, but that is at the artist/labels discretion.  

Just because you subscribe to HBO doesn't mean you can go steal the GoT BluRay collection.

 

Edited by larrytheimp

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4 minutes ago, larrytheimp said:

Well, that's debateable.  

I made a similar argument here the last time we had this discussion and someone (for some reason I'm thinking it was @TrackerNeil or @Joe Abercrombie) pointed out that when you buy an LP you don't expect to get the CD for free.  In the past, whether you're talking books or music, you had to buy different formats individually.  Recently we've seen package deals on vinyl and digital downloads, but that is at the artist/labels discretion.  

Just because you subscribe to HBO doesn't mean you can go steal the GoT BluRay collection.

 

Indeed.  We own what we own not full rights to do anything we want with the content on the media we have purchased. I like audiobooks, but, owing the paper book doesn’t give me the right to a free copy of the audiobook.

I agree that it would be smart to allow people who own paper books the right to an e-copy of the same book.  But that doesn’t then give them the right to make as many e-copies of that book as they then want to.

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I think we've been down this path before, but I'll echo the comments made above. 

Pirating bad.

However, I do think that there is opportunity for improvement in the system.

For example, let's say Author writes new book, and there are three purchase options: Hardback for $28, paperback for $8, and eBook for $6. 

Under today's system, if I buy one of each I pay the creator of the intellectual property each time ($25, $8, & $6 in my example) which feels unfair to me.

In my perfect world, you license the intellectual property from the creator, then pay for the delivery vehicle of the IP. I license the IP for $5 which goes to the author, and then I have several purchase options, commensurate with the cost of delivering the content which goes to the producer of the delivery vehicle: Hardback: $20, Paperback: $3, Ebook: $1 

This way, the author gets paid for what they create (the IP) and the publisher gets paid for what they do. 

 

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2 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

Well, that's debateable.  

I made a similar argument here the last time we had this discussion and someone (for some reason I'm thinking it was @TrackerNeil or @Joe Abercrombie) pointed out that when you buy an LP you don't expect to get the CD for free.  In the past, whether you're talking books or music, you had to buy different formats individually.  Recently we've seen package deals on vinyl and digital downloads, but that is at the artist/labels discretion.  

Just because you subscribe to HBO doesn't mean you can go steal the GoT BluRay collection.

 

I remember recording VHS of cable broadcast, and copying audio tapes, though, if we want to use less ridiculous analogies. (and it was legal, see link in my previous post)

Edited by Errant Bard

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So does the Blockchain not solve the piracy issue?  Can’t fake authorship, can’t produce multiple copies. Just have to get authors to use it. There’s already some websites where users write on Blockchain, at the moment most of the content is articles about how great cryptocurrencies are.

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6 minutes ago, john said:

So does the Blockchain not solve the piracy issue?  Can’t fake authorship, can’t produce multiple copies. Just have to get authors to use it. There’s already some websites where users write on Blockchain, at the moment most of the content is articles about how great cryptocurrencies are.

You absolutely can produce multiple copies.

 

A blockchain is just a ledger of _authorized_ stuff, a database that says "this person has this stuff" (or maybe "this stuff belongs to this person" is the more correct way to phrase it).

So it could record the fact that you legally purchased a legitimate copy of a book ... but it can't say anything about what you do with the book after, unless you make another transaction dependent on that exact copy. IF you make multiple copies and distribute them outside of the ledger, well, not much the blockchain can do about it. Cryptocurrency ledgers will, of course, be very robust when it comes to preventing creation of fake cryptocurrency getting recorded in the ledger. But that's because cryptocurrency are the base medium of exchange.

Edited by Switzeran

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Ok cool. Not much of a techie myself but I understood there was some use of blockchain for creative stuff. Well I guess it would be easy to prosecute an illegitimate consumer at least.

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When you buy a hard copy of a book it should automatically come with a pin/code to enter to also get the ebook copy.  I generally like reading from a book so I buy books, but at night in bed I prefer to read off my tablet so I don't have to have the lights on and keep the wife up.  It's BS I have to pay twice for the same product 

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13 minutes ago, the Greenleif Stark said:

When you buy a hard copy of a book it should automatically come with a pin/code to enter to also get the ebook copy.  I generally like reading from a book so I buy books, but at night in bed I prefer to read off my tablet so I don't have to have the lights on and keep the wife up.  It's BS I have to pay twice for the same product 

Not the same product, mate. You think when you buy the paper copy you pay for my software development time and for the server uptime and the bandwidth?

24 minutes ago, john said:

Ok cool. Not much of a techie myself but I understood there was some use of blockchain for creative stuff. Well I guess it would be easy to prosecute an illegitimate consumer at least.

No, actually, unless the copy is recorded in the ledger. Like, would you currently notify the publisher when you're copying their stuff?

 Anyway, checking which transfer of the same data is valid and which isn't was one of the biggest headaches of cryptocurrency and what led to mining. You could do that for book transfers but:

1) It does not prevent transfer, it just marks one as valid

2) It consumes more energy than what the books costs.

3) It only works if copies can only done through the blockchain. Just like DRM is supposed to only allow you to use stuff on registered devices. hahaha.

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2 hours ago, Errant Bard said:

Not the same product, mate. You think when you buy the paper copy you pay for my software development time and for the server uptime and the bandwidth?

 

Blu-ray comes with the digital copy of a movie so you don't have to purchase twice, why can't books be the same?

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I'm surprised there was even room for five pages of debate on this topic, but perhaps we're all anti-pirating except for one example that seems subjectively reasonable, with high individual variation on where to draw that line.

What about this example I have been considering?: if I buy a Kindle as a gift for a family member, link it to my Amazon account and allow them access to any of the Kindle books I have previously purchased.  Does that seem reasonable?  It's a digital equivalent of lending a book to a family member, but I would avoid paying for additional copies of potentially hundreds of books.  And I think Amazon even has a program that allows you to buy a discounted Kindle version of a hardcopy book you previously bought on Amazon (although perhaps that was just a limited time offer).

Has that crossed the line into piracy?

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1 hour ago, Iskaral Putsch said:

I'm surprised there was even room for five pages of debate on this topic, but perhaps we're all anti-pirating except for one example that seems subjectively reasonable, with high individual variation on where to draw that line.

What about this example I have been considering?: if I buy a Kindle as a gift for a family member, link it to my Amazon account and allow them access to any of the Kindle books I have previously purchased.  Does that seem reasonable?  It's a digital equivalent of lending a book to a family member, but I would avoid paying for additional copies of potentially hundreds of books.  And I think Amazon even has a program that allows you to buy a discounted Kindle version of a hardcopy book you previously bought on Amazon (although perhaps that was just a limited time offer).

 Has that crossed the line into piracy?

Good question. In previous threads, I've used the example of my wife and I. We both have our own Nooks. Years ago, back before we realized we could just share an account, we set them up with our own individual accounts. There came a point where my wife wanted to read some of the ebooks I had bought and downloaded to my Nook.

So, put those ebooks onto my PC, stripped them of their DRM and loaded them onto my wife's Nook so she could read them too. Technically, that was piracy. But, I don't feel the least bit bad about it. I don't think it was morally a wrong thing to do at all.

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4 hours ago, Errant Bard said:

No, actually, unless the copy is recorded in the ledger. Like, would you currently notify the publisher when you're copying their stuff?

I don’t get it.  Like if there was 2000 instances of a book in the ledger and yours wasn’t one of those then you must’ve pirated it.

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2 hours ago, Iskaral Putsch said:

I'm surprised there was even room for five pages of debate on this topic, but perhaps we're all anti-pirating except for one example that seems subjectively reasonable, with high individual variation on where to draw that line.

What about this example I have been considering?: if I buy a Kindle as a gift for a family member, link it to my Amazon account and allow them access to any of the Kindle books I have previously purchased.  Does that seem reasonable?  It's a digital equivalent of lending a book to a family member, but I would avoid paying for additional copies of potentially hundreds of books.  And I think Amazon even has a program that allows you to buy a discounted Kindle version of a hardcopy book you previously bought on Amazon (although perhaps that was just a limited time offer).

Has that crossed the line into piracy?

I've done this, and don't feel any shame, though my mom, for whom I bought an Amazon Fire tablet, and linked it to my Prime account, doesn't actually read books. But technically, she could access my library. I also let my parents access my Prime account for Amazon Video and also Netflix, but, again, they seldom use them. I did that more for myself, because occasionally I have to spend time at their house taking care of their pets, and need my entertainment.

I think this, once again, this falls in the category of small scale; you are allowing a small group of people access to stuff you purchased. There is still only one copy purchased and utilized, not multiple copies, unlike stripping the DRM and making multiple copies. It could also potentially cause you headaches, considering that if you and a family member happen to read the same book, your devices will want to automatically sync. ;)

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10 hours ago, Errant Bard said:

I remember recording VHS of cable broadcast, and copying audio tapes, though, if we want to use less ridiculous analogies. (and it was legal, see link in my previous post)

What's so ridiculous about my example?  Unless you're getting the ebook from scanning a physical book I don't see the difference.

 

ETA: in an slight tangent - I'd say if the author's been dead more than a say ten years* pirate away

*Actual amount of time depends on a lot of stuff but I'm not fucking paying for a copy of Moby Dick or the fucking Illiad.  Line drawn in sand, dude.

Edited by larrytheimp

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Isn't the more interesting question whether the system/industry can be changed to combat piracy? Moral and legal arguments about it are doing precisely nothing. 

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