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[personal profile] stephiny
I'm somewhat prone to obsessing over what is right when it comes to moral issues. I end up thinking way more than is healthy, like the time that it was suggested to me that using wikipedia in any way for coursework was cheating. I'm still of the opinion that it's not, because proper research papers include bibliographies too, and the main thing I use wikipedia for is to find relevant sources of information on a subject. She wouldn't explain why or how it was cheating though, so I still find myself occasionally tearing the subject apart in my head trying to figure out how it is wrong.

The same goes for my thoughts on piracy. B thinks I'm a thief, and today on facebook this status was posted, "Ebook piracy is theft. If you upload or download an in-copyright ebook without paying for it you are a thief. No ifs, ands, or buts. You are a thief. It's no different to walking out of a shop with a book under your coat."

When two people that I respect disagree with me, that's a fairly strong sign that there is some kind of flaw in my logic. I can't for the life of me figure out what it is though, and it's not like I haven't carefully examined every issue that I can think of relating to it. I'm obviously missing something and it's really frustrating.

I understand perfectly that in terms of what the law states, I am a thief. Ethically though, I don't want to steal. I just have a different definition of theft to most people and if it's actually wrong then I have a lot of fixing that I need to do.

When I've watched a film online more than once I try to buy a copy. This is why I have a pile of DVDs that are still in their wrappers. I buy them because it seems wrong not to, because I've watched it enough that I can't justify not owning a copy. When it comes to books I read whatever is freely availible online first. Google books or amazon often have long excerpts that I can read to decide if I want to buy something or not. If I can't find anything like that, I'll hunt down a copy to download and read and I have a hard time stopping reading something partway through. I almost always read those to the end, even if the books are shit and not worth buying at all, which is wrong but still not resulting in the loss of a sale. At least there aren't many books that I download and don't go on to buy. I have a nice little pile of unread paperbacks because of this, though most books I like to read multiple times and I get enticed by the new book smell so they tend not to go unread for long.

But then again, everyone already knows I do that. I'm still missing something and it's going to drive me nuts until I figure it out.

Date: 2010-08-20 01:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*nod* One way or another, they have to deal with the reality - that's the main thrust of my arguments on the topic. The RIAA et al. have done their best to be draconian on the legal side, install horrible insecure rootkits into people's computers without their knowledge, spy on peer-to-peer sharing, sue college kids for millions of dollars, etc, etc, and piracy isn't going away. They need to divert those funds from pointless legal battles into user experience improvements, finding better, cheaper ways to deliver content, trim fat, and generally make their product more attractive. They're always going to be competing with "annoying, risky, and illegal but free", and they therefore need to focus on making their channels easy to use, useful for the average user in terms of perks, suggestions, freebies, etc. They've tried making the "illegal" drawback as scary as possible, they need to work more on value-added features to entice, as opposed to scare tactics.

And, yeah, that bit from The IT Crowd has popped into my head every time piracy comes up - it's too hilarious. Sort of less funny, though, when you realize that the new, serious version of "Don't copy that [floppy]" from the SPA includes footage of a kid's house being raided by heavily armed police who give mum a heartattack, and some implied prison rape, IIRC.


stephiny: (Default)

July 2011


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