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Intellectual Property Rights

George Brown
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Joined: Sep 26, 2000
Posts: 919
Here in Asia you can walk into a mall and find software shops selling only pirated software. I can understand the problems of software affordability for people here but still, piracy is a huge industry out here.
Same with pirated DVDs, pirated CDs with games, mp3s etc etc.
Does that seem strange to anyone out there in the west paying full whack for their software/DVDs/CDs?
Randall Twede
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Joined: Oct 21, 2000
Posts: 4347
    
    2

well we are aware of it. what can anyone do about it though? i see piracy as a probem worse that file sharing. pirates charge for their fake wares


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Shura Balaganov
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Joined: Apr 22, 2002
Posts: 664
I see this as a problem with Copyright. It is not a very sustainable concept.
Say, company charges $100 US dollars for a software CD produced in US. $100 is a price they came up with for a number of reasons, one of them being "it is a price that US customers will be willing to pay for our software". Since salaries in US are on average a lot higher than in other countries, there's no way a company can sell an equivalent amount of their CDs ABROAD charging the same $100. This is EXACTLY what pirates are telling, noone just wants to hear. THERE'S NO WAY a person in India or Russia is willing to pay the same $100, he/she just doesn't have these sort of money. This produces vacuum, where there's a demand, but supplier prices are too high to fulfill a demand, and supplier doesn't want to lower prices. So there's a niche where grey/black market moves in.
Policing this issue will create a MONOPOLYSTIC behavior, where buyers would have no choice but to pay the arbitrarily selected price, or go to black market. Untill there's a market-sustainable concept of Copyright and pricing, where price is regulated truly by supply AND demand, the situation will not change. JMHO
Shura
[ June 18, 2002: Message edited by: Shura Balaganov ]

Any posted remarks that may or may not seem offensive, intrusive or politically incorrect are not truly so.
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Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Nobody *needs* these cd-roms/ music cds/dvds. They are not life sustaining things. *Wanting* something you can't afford really isn't acceptable justification for stealing it. Neither is it justification for stealing something you wouldn't have bought because you can't afford it or some other reason.
If, for example, Microsoft Office is just too expensive for the average Indian/Russian/whoever to afford (it's too expensive for most Americans too), then another product should fill the void. However another cheaper product would be unable to make it in a market where piracy is the norm, and apparently widely accepted (I guess morals don't always count for much). Piracy has undoubtably killed any chance some of these countries have at a profitable consumer software market.
The pirates themselves are worthless members of society, and their customers not morally much better. If the thieves were selling people's stolen jewelery in an open air market, and it was common knowledge that these were stolen goods, would these people still purchase the jewelery? Evidence seems to indicate so. It's pretty much the same thing. I think any society that permits and justifies theft on such a scale as this has deeper problems they probably should address. I can't imagine any parent encouraging their children to participate in the trafficing of stolen goods (whether as a buyer or seller), but apparently this isn't a moral dilemma for many parents.
I won't justify the pricing policies of the various companies, because I do think that for the most part they are bogus, but that doesn't change the fact that this is their property. If the market will not bear a certain price, they will not make a profit. But just because I personally might not be able to bear a certain price, that doesn't make it okay for me to steal it. I mean I'd like a new high-end Lexus SUV, but just because I can't afford one doesn't justify me going to steal one. I will just have to do without one.
If you're going to pirate something, at least acknowledge it for what it is, stealing, and don't try to justify to yourself to make yourself feel better.
Shura Balaganov
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 22, 2002
Posts: 664
Jason, are you attacking me personally again? 'cause we both know this will end up in closing threads.
When a person goes to the store and buys a product, how does this constitute stealing? If I need a hammer, I go to Home Depot and buy one, or if HD is not close by, I might ask my neighbor to give/sell it to me. I don't care where he got it.
When you go to a fancy US store to buy italian shoes, they might cost you 100-200 bucks, when in Italy same shoes might be $50-100. When you buy a made-in-China shirt in US, you might pay 10-30 bucks, but in China it costs cents. There's no doubt in your mind, you just go and buy it. You don't ask whether it was stolen.
The only time you do ask (hopefully) when it is a TANGEABLE GOOD, or a commodity (like a car, jewelery, house, etc.). You usually can resell these. Software or music is NOT A COMMODITY, they by nature are prohibited from being resold. Therefore I don't see a difference between software and a shirt. And I buy my shirts where I think the price is right.
Shura
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Not attacking you personally. Using "you" in the generic sense. To me it is easier to say "if you're going to pirate something" as opposed to "if one is going to pirate something". I just hate the word "one" as a pronoun.
When you go to a fancy US store to buy italian shoes, they might cost you 100-200 bucks, when in Italy same shoes might be $50-100. When you buy a made-in-China shirt in US, you might pay 10-30 bucks, but in China it costs cents.
I'm not sure what your point is. Yes different things have differnt values in different markets. That is all part of being a market economy.
The only time you do ask (hopefully) when it is a TANGEABLE GOOD, or a commodity (like a car, jewelery, house, etc.). You usually can resell these. Software or music is NOT A COMMODITY, they by nature are prohibited from being resold.
I am again confused. Software, music, and movies share the same properties as any other product. In addition, they most certainly can be resold. Haven't you ever been into a second-hand bookstore or music store? Electronics Boutique (EB), one of the larger chain retailers of computer sotware and video games in the US, buys and sells second hand software and dvds. BlockBuster and Hollywood Video sell used movies as well. Hell, you can buy any of this stuff used on Ebay or any other auction site. So I'm not sure what you are talking about.
Therefore I don't see a difference between software and a shirt. And I buy my shirts where I think the price is right.
I don't see much of a differnce either, but then again I don't traffic in stolen clothing as well. If you buy your shirts from a legitimate retailer (or even wholesaler), then there is no problem. Hopefully you can find somewhere that offers you the combination of style and affordability you seek. On the other hand, if you are buying your "new" shirts on the side of the road out of the back of somebodies van, then you are most likely dealing in stolen goods. If you are buying your shirts second-hand, like from a thrift store, that is your choice, but it is also completely legal as the original owner of the shirt has chosen to sell it.
Dave Vick
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Joined: May 10, 2001
Posts: 3244
Part of the problem I have with the shirt vs software thing is that the pirated software we are talking about is a copy of the original manufacturers product. That is a fairly hard to do with a shirt, at least to do it well.
Many of the knock offs of famous clothing labels have been by inferior products whose low price has been reflected in their low quality.
There really is no comparison between software and shirts. The copying of the software, CDs, DVDs, etc is so easy to do now and you get an exact copy of the original product - not a cheap imitation. I can buy one copy of a product for a few hundred dollars then copy it several hundred times in less than 24 hours and then turn around and sell exact duplicates of the original for a tenth of the price of the original and make a nice profit on the entire process. You cant do that with a shirt.
The only thing lacking in software piracy is that you dont get all of the support you would normally get by purchasing it legally. For the sort of people that steal the software by buying the pirated material that probably doesn't matter. It just ends up costing us honest people more money as the manufactureres have to raise heir prices to make up for the losses caused the pirates.
And they probably do lose money, yes some of the priing of the product is profit but a lot of the price we pay for it is in the development - which in some cases can take years and be very costly.
Pirates suck, like Jason said if you want it but can't afford the real thing then you'll just have to do without like any normal, honest people. Or, if you insist on buying a pirated copy you may as well just break into someones house and steal theirs. Just dont make it mine - I have a gun and a large dog
Shura Balaganov
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Joined: Apr 22, 2002
Posts: 664
OK, you are right, some software can be resold "used". My point is that, unless a person knows he might be reselling stuff he buys, it ususally makes no sence to find where it came from. Of course, if it is a truck on the side of the road, then stuff is most likely stolen. But when you go to a legitimate store in Russia/Asia, and buy a music CD for $3 that is supposed to cost $18 in US, why would you care about it? Wouldn't it be more reasonable to assume that since Russian household income is 50 times smaller than US, that the price is about right?
Posted by Dave Vick:
It just ends up costing us honest people more money as the manufactureres have to raise heir prices to make up for the losses caused the pirates.

I believe this to be a misconception. THERE IS NO LOSSES. Here's a hint, I just lost $50 million, I need a big tax break, because someone else won the lottery... :roll:
Free Software Foundation organization can be found here, and some of its interesting articles about why software should be free can be found here
Here's a quote:
Our ideas and intuitions about property for material objects are about whether it is right to take an object away from someone else. They don't directly apply to making a copy of something.
I too have some personal believes and don't subscribe to "steal it" theory, but there's got to be a line drawn somewhere, and I don't think it's right where it is now.
Shura
[ June 18, 2002: Message edited by: Shura Balaganov ]
Randall Twede
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Joined: Oct 21, 2000
Posts: 4347
    
    2

one thing is for sure. the new laws in the US, the DMCA and 2 new bills in congress now, are not what they want us to think they are. i have written articles about them complete with links to the sources i got the info from.
http://www.angelfire.com/games2/programming/NewLaws.html
btw i got got A's on all 3
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Wouldn't it be more reasonable to assume that since Russian household income is 50 times smaller than US, that the price is about right?
Well, my guess is that people are probably aware when then are buying stolen goods, particularly because of the unreasonably low price. A given consumer's income does not set the market price for goods. There are many factors which determine that price, such as manufacturing costs, research and design, supply and demand, advertising, and the list goes on.
Should I be sold that ~$60,000+ Lexus for far less simply because I might not make enough to afford the Lexus? No, as much as I would like it, I realize that I am not the target consumer and it probably lies outside my means. Similarly I do not feel justice would be served by making the individual who can afford the vehicle soak up additional costs and pay a higher price because he must subsidize the difference in price that I am discounted on the basis that I cannot pay market value for the Lexus but feel entitled to one anyway (hypothetically speaking).
If you have to save for several months to be able to fit the price of a CD into your budget, then that's just what you have to do. It's called financial responsibility. It does no good to envy the guy who can buy as many CDs as he likes as often as he likes. What's the point in that? How does his situation affect yours? There will always be somebody smarter, better looking, with more money, etc... When people start worrying more about what the other guy has and how they feel entitled to these things as well, we begin to get these types of problems in society, and a host of others. It's because of this that people can begin to justify actions which are clearly morally wrong as well, such as trafficing in stolen goods ("I wouldn't have bought it anyway"), buying drugs ("I'm only hurting myself"), or a myriad of other things. Life != fair. We all need to just play with the hand we've been dealt. (As opposed to our hand playing with what we've been dealt, that's something different )
J. Yan
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Joined: Jun 14, 2002
Posts: 34
When you buy a made-in-China shirt in US, you might pay 10-30 bucks, but in China it costs cents.
--------------------------------------------------
So funny. If that's true, my cousin was already a millionaire long time ago, and everyone in this forum might should try to make some easy money by importing made-in-China shirts to USA instead of making a living by coding (which is really boring, IMO).
Can you tell me what's a shirt's price in Russia? I am considering changing my career based on the information you provide.
Shura Balaganov
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 22, 2002
Posts: 664
Ok, I'll repost this:
Our ideas and intuitions about property for material objects are about whether it is right to take an object away from someone else. They don't directly apply to making a copy of something.
Jason, why don't you go out and COPY yourself a Lexus, I wouldn't think that will be a problem. Just use parts you can find out there. It will take some time, but since you can't afford it, and time is what you have, maybe it'll be a fair deal?
Shura
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Randall Twede:
one thing is for sure. the new laws in the US, the DMCA and 2 new bills in congress now, are not what they want us to think they are. i have written articles about them complete with links to the sources i got the info from.
http://www.angelfire.com/games2/programming/NewLaws.html
btw i got got A's on all 3

The DMCA and all these other bills that the MPAA and RIAA are buying from Congress are plain evil. No two ways about that. That's because they seek to take away or circumvent established consumer rights such as "fair use". And the ignorant courts and unscroupulous Congressmen are giving these companies everything they want while screwing the honest consumer.
You know why digital television has been held up so much in this country? The media moguls want to ensure that consumer electronics only record the content they allow you to record. This is pretty much now a done deal from what I understand and we've gotten the bone again. What they don't want to tell you is that it will make current digital televisions worthless, as well as DVD players and other devices.
Shura Balaganov
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 22, 2002
Posts: 664
J.Yan, it used to be that shirts would cost a dollar in Russia, because of low labor and production costs. Now it is getting more and more expensive, because Russian consumers demand quality (since they can't afford to buy LOTS of stuff, they know that quality goods last longer). The same probably is true for China, since half of cloths here in US are made there. There's adds lots of cost to quality control, shipping costs, and then distribution, marketing etc. which are added US costs. So in order to make a profit you need to bring lots of shirts, and have distribution channels ready. Well, some people had luck with it, some didn't....
I've been at a factory in Belarus that makes stuff exclusively for Italy. Italian designer firms then just put their lables on them, and off they go... That's a legitimate business.
Posted by Jason Menard:
And the ignorant courts and unscroupulous Congressmen are giving these companies everything they want while screwing the honest consumer.

Dude, haven't you heard, this is a Consumer Economy! Which means YOU AND I ARE PAYING THEIR BILLS! Honesty = Poor. Good luck playing the lottery.
Shura
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Ok, I'll repost this:
Our ideas and intuitions about property for material objects are about whether it is right to take an object away from someone else. They don't directly apply to making a copy of something.

That is mistaken. "Take an object away from someone else" is not the correct verbage. If you hire somebody to do your gardening, and then refuse to pay him once he has done the labor, you have just stolen from him. You did not take some object from him which he possessed, but it was stealing none-the-less. You took away that which was due him as a result of his labor. Similarly if you commissioned a portrait and then refused to pay the artist.

Jason, why don't you go out and COPY yourself a Lexus, I wouldn't think that will be a problem. Just use parts you can find out there. It will take some time, but since you can't afford it, and time is what you have, maybe it'll be a fair deal?
Let's use an example from history. Say you know an author who has created some great work. The only problem is the printing press is still scarce, so he has to write out every manuscript by hand. He can only sell so many of these books, even though many people want it, since it contains a great recipe for quiche, so he has to charge $10 / book. You happen to be in possession of a printing press. You are aware how popular this book is and decide to cash in. You can set up your printing press to produce the book in large quantities and only charge $2 for it. You have now directly stolen this author's livelihood. Worse, you are making money off of his effort.
Author Stephen King tried an experiment in self-publishing on the web several years back. He started writing a serial (it might have been The Green Mile) and placed it on the web site. The fiction was freely accessible, but he said that people were still required to pay a certain amount for reading it. He levied the stipulation that if at least a certain percentage of viewers paid for it, he would continue to publish the story. Guess what? People robbed him blind. They stole his intellectual property big time, with relatively few people honest enough to pay. They probably even made copies of it and distributed it, meaning less potential purchasers for the product. He initially halted publishing just like he said he would, although he later continued, feeling a sense of obligation to the honest coustomers.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Honesty = Poor
Honesty = being able to face yourself in the mirror every morning knownig you are a good and decent person.
Honesty = not being hypocritical when trying to teach your children morals.
Honesty = being a productive, contributing member of society.
You can't get something for nothing, and anything worth having is worth working for. I don't expect anyone to hand me anything, and whatever economic success I may or may not acheive will be only as a result of the amount of hard work and effor I put in.
Shura Balaganov
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 22, 2002
Posts: 664
I subscribe to all of the above things. That's why you and I are never going to be rich, not unless there's a chance like lottery. A few of us blessed with extraordinary gift will write books, create movies, etc. and become famous, and eventually, make a few million for themselves and a lot of millions for some corporation. The rest of us honest folk will be living paycheck-to-paycheck. Corporations will be hiring us ONLY BECAUSE they will make money on us. Once they can't, we will be thrown away, useless.
Sorry, this IS reality.
Shura
[ June 18, 2002: Message edited by: Shura Balaganov ]
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Shura Balaganov:
The rest of us honest folk will be living paycheck-to-paycheck. Corporations will be hiring us ONLY BECAUSE they will make money on us. Once they can't, we will be thrown away, useless.
Sorry, this IS reality.

I can live with that. Nothing wrong with an honest living, and it always could be far worse I think.
Shura Balaganov
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 22, 2002
Posts: 664
I see. Ever heard of slavery?
This discussion went out of its way as well, into something I wish not to discuss.
Shura
 
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subject: Intellectual Property Rights