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Speaker: Copyright Must Change

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  • giovanni tiso,

    I am told my fake Scots accent is rubbish, for example, but I always use it for really evil characters.

    Erm... really?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Erm... really?

    No, my family's scots. In joke...

    Islander

    That said, ditch section 92 RIGHT NOW.

    This site is for you and other creators of a similar view.:

    http://creativefreedom.org.nz/

    Please do sign if you have not already done so.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    @Pat:

    As draconian as these measures sound, the illegal downloading of copyrighted content is theft. There's no simply justification for doing it, period.

    I think you're wrong legally and morally, Pat.

    Mark is correct; copyright is a legal construct devised 300 years ago to serve the public good, by establishing a limited monopoly right distribution etc, to encourage the creation of new works.

    It's not an absolute right. We've found it prudent to make all kinds of exceptions -- for libraries, for classrooms -- and, unlike a physical property right, copyright expires eventually (and that's a very good thing). By comparison, we don't amendment the Crimes Act to define ways in which it's permissible to take physical property without permission.

    Often, the law must catch up with what people are doing in the real world. We were format-shifting music long before that exception entered the law, and using VCRs years before an exception was made for those. For a while there, we were breaching copyright every time we loaded a web page and made a transient copy of all its files.

    We make these exceptions on an assessment of the greater public good. Which does sometimes mean copyright interests fall on the wrong side of the line -- like when RIANZ demanded in the copyright amendment act submission that libraries be prevented from making digital copies of works for archiving purposes , a position innately hostile to the public good.

    Morally? I download quite a lot of BBC TV, documentaries in particular. I know these programmes will never screen here, I can't watch them in BBC iPlayer and there is frankly no other way I'll see them: except possibly in degraded form on YouTube or Google Video.

    (Question: Is watching copyright content on YouTube the same as watching a higher-quality torrented file? If it is, there are a hundred million thieves abroad.)

    There is no cost to the copyright owner in me having access to this information.

    If a programme actually does come on the telly, in timely fashion, I probably won't bother to download it. C4 really nailed it with The Daily Show -- nightly, straight off the satellite. It was the internet that created a constituency for that (I do confess to personally getting in Andrew Szusterman's ear about it). Quite often, consumer piracy drives innovation in the commercial world.

    So I guess my point is that copyright is something we have , to be able to have a conversation about, and absolutes don't really facilitate that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    C4 really nailed it with The Daily Show -- nightly, straight off the satellite.

    Which begs the question: why isn't it on right now?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    Pat

    the illegal downloading of copyrighted content is theft. There's no simply justification for doing it, period.

    russell

    I think you're wrong legally

    ???????
    do you mean technically as in in the use of the word theft?
    or are you saying pats illegal isn't illegal?

    the moral bit is a matter of perspective and opinion

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Littering is also illegal. By your reasoning, that makes it the same as theft, therefore we can say that "littering is theft" and thus punishable by jail terms.

    No that wasn't my reasoning at all. I didn't say illegal==theft, I said, the term doesn't matter to most people. I know what I'm doing. If I was to show you what I was doing, you'd know what I was doing. If I ended up in trouble for it, the court would quickly figure out what I was doing, and throw out a theft charge.

    I don't download music that I could buy from a shop, online or physically, and same with movies. I'd feel that if I did, I'd be stealing, by not paying the various companies, and artists who made it, their fair bit of cash. The phrase "it's not theft!" is what turns me off "your side" of the argument. I feel it diminishes what I would be doing if I did download those things, which I'd consider 'stealing' by not paying for something that I should pay for. No it's not physically taking something, but it's still getting something and not paying for it.

    I download a lot of TV which you can't get here in NZ, I don't have a problem with that, if you could get it here in NZ, I'd pay for it.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Which begs the question: why isn't it on right now?

    Hear hear. I know it's started in the US. I feel robbed... or maybe no theft took place. Anyway, someone owes me something.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Which begs the question: why isn't it on right now?

    They say it's in hiatus (which it isn't, in the US) and that they'll advise about its return soon. Meanwhile I've been forced to take the laws into my own hands.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Meanwhile I've been forced to take the laws into my own hands.

    Yes, this might be a time for experimenting with just how well the PS3 manages to stream video from my computer on to the big telly...

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    Islanders opinion is doubly important because of this
    on top of that she carries herself as a well reasoned and thoughtful person.
    the reason many of you don't all agree with her perspective is cos you don't walk in her shoes. you have day jobs which bring you income outside of media creation and ownership.

    It has already been pointed out to you that this is rubbish. Plenty of people here have day jobs that bring income BECAUSE of ownership in creative works.

    This attempted "media"/"not-media" dichotomy is just a red herring. Everything has a medium.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    @russell, @danielle and @giovanni

    you are now not only conspiring to theft, according to the good folks at MED creating the ACTA agreement you are in the same bucket as terrorists, arms dealers and drug smugglers.

    Do you feel well represented by our government officials or what?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Do you feel well represented by our government officials or what?

    The view is lovely today from my compound. And I do love the smell of p2p in the morning.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    @russell, @danielle and @giovanni

    you are now not only conspiring to theft, according to the good folks at MED creating the ACTA agreement you are in the same bucket as terrorists, arms dealers and drug smugglers.

    Dude! You're harshing my buzz!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    you are in the same bucket as terrorists, arms dealers and drug smugglers

    Hey, I'm a librarian. What if I said I was making a copy for archival purposes?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    But are librarians creative enough?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Danielle - brilliant - in that case all we need to do is ask you to make us all copies - only for fair use of course.

    And to think I scoffed at Judith Tizard when she mentioned this as an option for people who wish to back up their CDs and DVDs.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    you are now not only conspiring to theft, according to the good folks at MED creating the ACTA agreement you are in the same bucket as terrorists, arms dealers and drug smugglers.

    Only if they're working really hard at it.

    Daily show streams in full from their web site, freely available (the player they use is a pain however).

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Patrick Pilcher,

    @Russell

    Long time no speak. I think the moral angle is a matter of endlessly differing personal opinions so debate about this point isnt probably going get anywhere fast. Downloading music I could otherwise obtain via iTunes for a perfectly reasonable price strikes me personally as stealing. Others may beg to differ but that is my own viewpoint

    From a legal perspective I'd already commented earlier in this forum that the originators of the copyright framework would probably be aghast at how copyright has mutated and captured by big business.

    I also agree that exceptions need to be made for libraries and schools etc, and under S92 I'd hate to be the owner/operator of a cyber cafe, wireless access service such as tommizone or worse still a public library etc...

    Having said that some common sense applies here and policy/law has and always will be a blunt instrument so common sense interpretation and enforcement is critical. Having said this, ISPs as the arbiter of this law strikes me as being just plain silly.

    Whilst I understand your comment re downloading BBC documentaries, The BBC would argue that many are downloading and not purchasing any on DVD. The real cost of this can be counted in reduced DVD sales. To my mind the really bizarre thing about the whole copyright mess is that the industry is arrogantly dictating the terms of supply when it comes to media content and isnt tapping into what can only be described as massivley pent up demand. Surely a pay per episode version of Pirate bay would go down a treat globally.

    At the end of the day, we all want access to high quality content. Content creators meanwhile want to be able to put food on the table so obviously some form of copyright is still needed, even if it does need a massive overhaul to match changes in society and technology. S92 simply doesnt address this.

    Absolutes don't facilitate informed debate around copyright and I'd rather not get bogged down in splitting hairs as what constitiutes theft morally or legally as what is really needed is concerted action from all interested parties to force law makers into re-examining section 92 so some sanity can be put back into the copyright amendment act. Dont be a stranger, good to chat!

    Wellington • Since Jan 2009 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Sacha - many thanks for the tip.

    Mark Harris - not everyone wants an agent. Or needs one. They cost (between 10-20% of a signed-up book) and the relationship either works or - as in my case- doesnt.
    I am well aware that there are many creative people in PAS.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    But are librarians creative enough?

    I was looking for Victory over Death, a great eighties Colin McCahon documentary, in the Auckland City Libraries system recently. The Central City library has a copy on VHS. I have no VHS player. Did the library have VHS players, I asked? As it turns out, nope, just DVD systems.

    This is going to expose my copyright ignorance, but what would prevent Auckland City Libraries from loading such films onto DVD, a format most people can actually still use? What's the status of copyright with regards to public-good material locked up on a dying format?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1611 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The University of Otago library will no longer (they do have some stock which they recorded themselves) accept material taken off the TV. They also probably wouldn't format shift it, but they have a bunch of VHS players however.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    we don't amendment the Crimes Act to define ways in which it's permissible to take physical property without permission.

    it maybe tv fiction but aren't police and military allowed to commandeer private property if necessary for the public good?

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Downloading music I could otherwise obtain via iTunes for a perfectly reasonable price strikes me personally as stealing. Others may beg to differ but that is my own viewpoint.

    Sir, you have the right to your own opinions, but not to your own facts. "Stealing" or "theft" means the removal of the theived item from the owner, denying him possession and use of it. Copyright infringement does not do this.

    That's why theft is a crime and copyright infringement is a civil matter.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    "Stealing" or "theft" means the removal of the theived item from the owner, denying him possession and use of it. Copyright infringement does not do this.

    Yes, but so long as we are talking about the evolution of society in a new media environment, couldn't we stretch our morals a little bit further than the existing capitalist blueprint (which says more or less: defend the private property of stuff above everything else)? Insofar as copyright infringment might rob some people of their ability to make a living - a possibility we ought to entertain at least in principle - isn't that too a kind of theft, and a pretty offensive one at that?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    Morally? I download quite a lot of BBC TV, documentaries in particular. I know these programmes will never screen here, I can't watch them in BBC iPlayer and there is frankly no other way I'll see them:

    Not knowing exactly which programs you're refering to and based on recent recommendations from you (you were condoning downloading a freely and easily available music series) well many of them you could buy. Is it being a hassle to buy items justification for taking them without recompense and permission?

    You don't just walk out of a shop without paying the price because the queue is too long?
    In a shops case the price is cash, in a tv programs case its viewers watching advertising or the nation pays the bill from license fees and taxes, or you buy it on dvd locally, or internationally by mail order, its pretty easy.

    We all have our own threshold in what we find morally wrong or right. Individuals will re write the law in their own mind to suit their own personal outlook. As I noted, much of the discussion comes from the perspective of someone who has nothing to lose from the equation. Islander most definitely does.

    It is annoying that programs sometimes take forever to reach us, and we justify to ourselves that we're "just time shifting when we're watching it", and" tv should do their job better to bring this stuff to us when we want it".
    I wish they would, and given finances they probably could.
    My understanding is it costs more to screen programs early, cheaper if you wait a while, so if we want to see them earlier we'll just have to lobby for broadcasting funding to get a bigger budget from taxes, if that is an issue that were willing to pay to correct.

    The fact of the matter as Kyle so clearly pointed out, if you think about it honestly we know this when we download, and we justify and argue over words and semantics to make it ok for ourselves.

    it helps to personalise it to put it into perspective.

    Using islander as an example again. (sorry)
    who here is going to say they're prepared to download a pirated digital copy of a book of hers knowing full well no money will go back to her or her chosen financial partners. (this is assuming you can buy a full price copy of the book, be it slightly difficult to do so or not and available format isn't an excuse either).
    If not then why can we do the same thing to the media strangers.
    Is it because we like to distance ourselves by objectifying them as evil corporations that give little money to the author? (surely that's a matter between the artist and their chosen distribution network, not for us to decide).
    Do you research every item you download to see if the artist negotiated a deal you think is favorable, and the distribution network isn't making too much profit by your standards so there for they're worthy of full price?

    its a lot harder to take something off someone without their consent when you have to look them in the eye.

    I object to "evil majors" cliche is it clouds that simple view. Not everything we take is generated in greed and how would we know. We mostly don't bother to check cos its too much trouble, and even if we do check,.... its too much trouble.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

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