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  • R 7:19 am on May 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Roderick T. Long: You cannot own information without owning other people 

    “Ethically, property rights of any kind have to be justified as extensions of the right of individuals to control their own lives. Thus any alleged property rights that conflict with this moral basis – like the “right” to own slaves – are invalidated. Intellectual property rights also fail to pass this test. To enforce copyright laws and the like is to prevent people from making peaceful use of the information they possess. If you have acquired the information legitimately (say, by buying a book), the on what grounds can you be prevented from using it reproducing it, trading it? Is this not a violation of (added: one’s property’s rights) and the freedom of speech and press?

    It may be objected that the person who originated the information deserves ownership rights over it. But information is not a concrete thing an individual can control; it is a universal, existing in other people’s minds and other people’s property, and over those the originator has no legitimate sovereignty. You cannot own information without owning other people.”

    • Roderick T. Long


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  • R 1:25 pm on May 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Fundamental property rights come first over artists/industry survival 

    Well, this is the disconnect I guess. You admit you only hold this view because of the detrimental effects (you think) are impacting the industry. You are asserting that a fundamental aspect of property rights and consumer rights as it has existed since the beginning of trade should be adjusted and recodified on a per-industry basis, not because it’s inherently bad or unethical, but just because you think it’s a threat to the industry’s health. Which means you are essentially arguing for protectionism for corporations–consumers are free to exercise their consumer rights only up to a certain point, but if that free exercise is perceived to threaten the viability of the industry, then their rights must be limited in order to save the industry.

    I don’t think I can put into words my disgust at this demeaning display of groveling at the feet of your game developer overlords. Less a die-hard laissez-faire capitalist, but because even a capitalist would accept that sometimes industries die and that’s the way the world works. As much as I enjoy games, there is no inherent good in this industry to claim ‘public good’. The ends do not justify the means here; there is nothing that makes the gaming industry inherently worthy of preservation, not to the point that would justify carving out a special exemption for them. Just because your favored set of content producers couldn’t properly adapt does not justify rewriting the rules of what “property ownership” means and fundamentally removing the ability to preserve, inherit, pass on, lend, and share its products.

    The industry does not come first; consumers do.

    • modified from neogaf post about first sale doctrine, but it is applied in the same way to real property rights and the right to manufacture copies of your own property for others. Substitute “industry’s health” with “artist’s rights to a living”.


  • R 12:16 am on May 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    The right to translate is a real natural human right 

    The right to translate is a real natural human right (& not a statutory one). if we have the right to freedom of expression, it therefore follows that we have the right to Express ourselves in our own languages using Somebody-Else’s expression (so long as this other person had willingly published it and it wasn’t stolen from him).

    Then how can copyright also be a human right if it contradicts this one?

    (Protip: one of them isn’t a human right.)

  • R 12:19 pm on May 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Prof. Stephen Davies: intellectual property is both intellectually incoherent and dangerous 

    “The third view, which I personally hold, is that intellectual property is both intellectually incoherent and dangerous. It’s dangerous because in order to enforce intellectual property, you have to interfere with people’s other real property rights in real physical objects and to stop them using those objects freely and as they wish to. So you aren’t able to freely use, for example, your computer, your mp3 player, or your video recorder.”

    • Prof. Stephen Davies
  • R 11:09 am on May 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Boldrin & Levine: Intellectual property law is not about your right to control your copy of your idea 

    “All of this brings us to what intellectual property law is really about – a reality that is simply obscured by analogies to other types of property. Intellectual property law is not about your right to control your copy of your idea – this is a right that we have just pointed out, does not need a great deal of protection. What intellectual property law is really about is about your right to control my copy of your idea. This is not a right ordinarily or automatically granted to the owners of other types of property. If I produce a cup of coffee, I have the right to choose whether or not to sell it to you or drink it myself. But my property right is not an automatic right both to sell you the cup of coffee and to tell you how to drink it.

    It is important to distinguish between property rights and contractual agreements. You could sell me the delicious cup of coffee you just made, and have me sign a contract agreeing not to drink the coffee after 4 pm. But if I were to violate this agreement it would not be theft. As a matter of law, you could not send the police after me. You could sue me for breach of contract – and the courts might or might not decide the contract was valid. But there would be no question of theft or violation of property rights.

    So what is the contractual arrangement in current intellectual property law? The most significant feature is the agreement not to sell copies of the idea in competition with the person who sold you the idea. Outside of the area of “intellectual property” such an agreement would be called anti-competitive, and a violation of the anti-trust law. If you reach an agreement with someone else not to compete with them, not only would the courts refuse to enforce such a contract, but you would be subject to substantial civil and criminal penalties. “Intellectual property” in other words, is not about property at all, it is about legal monopoly.”

    • Michele Boldrin and David K.Levine


  • R 1:19 pm on April 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    The devs at greenheartgames are mistaken when they use the word ‘steal’. 

    The devs at greenheartgames are mistaken when they use the word ‘steal’.

    Making copies takes nothing away from the ones being copied from. You steal nothing. Rather you are manufacturing something without paying the monopoly holder. This is completely different conceptually and morally.

    [u]Compare the following four sentences:[/u]

    “He downloaded a copy of Avengers for free.”
    “He got a copy of Avengers without paying for it.”
    “He manufactured a copy of Avengers for free.”
    “He made a copy of Avengers without paying for it.”

    [quote]the first two are reinforces the copyright industry’s “stealing” moniker, with a clear tone of dishonesty. whereas the second two just don’t work in that respect – if anything, they have a “yeah, so?” tone to it. http://falkvinge.net/2012/12/08/its-not-getting-or-downloading-a-copy-its-making-or-manufacturing-one/%5B/quote%5D

    You cannot copy what the devs do not willfully release into the world. If you try to copy it [i]before [/i]it is released, then that IS stealing. But when you [i]buy[/i] a copy, then manufacture copies from your copy, then that’s copyright infringement. You are producing more of the thing that the holder of the copyright is supposed to have a monopoly on the production of.

    So these so-called pirates, are really people who are choosing the rational economical decision WITHOUT stealing. It is cheaper to manufacture your own instead of using the dev’s print shop (who is charging $8), therefore you just print it on your own, it’s just cheaper (yet never reaches $0. not in energy costs. nor in labour costs.). For they instinctively know that producing one more copy removes NO copy from anyone else, therefore is not stealing. And they know this even though they are taught to confuse sharing with stealing. manufacturing with theft. Amazing isn’t it?

    Copies are worthless. There’s so much of it. It’s like confetti. The service of information production is not worth anything that people are willing to pay a CENT for. (Unless. Unless there is value-added.)
    Rather, the devs should focus on providing value that the people with household printers [i]cannot [/i]print.

  • R 4:47 pm on April 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    They hijacked our sense of morality here in the West 

    [Aaeru] K13T3Y: they hijacked our sense of morality here in the West. for example in the 70s in the US, copyright was largely considered by the public as an advantage given to authors that the public was willing to tolerate, in order to see More creations. it was only after the 80s that this view began to be reversed (see first 4 paragraphs http://open-spaces.com/article-v2n1-loren.php/ by professor Loren)

    [Aaeru] K13T3Y: in fact the term ‘intellectual property’ didn’t even appear in our vocabulary until the 80s http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=intellectual+property&year_start=1950&year_end=2008&corpus=0&smoothing=3
    so before the 80s, it wasn’t even regarded as property

    [Aaeru] K13T3Y: in fact, the chinese had almost 1000 years worth of printing technology (they were several centuries ahead of the west), and yet NO concept of author’s rights or intellectual property ever arose.

    [Aaeru] the first chinese copyright law appeared at the start of the 20th century (they copied the Japanese), and serious enforcement was not in place until the 70s, when it was still being Resisted by the public at the time. http://c4sif.org/2013/02/to-steal-a-book-is-an-elegant-offense-chinese-saying/

  • R 8:45 pm on April 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    A response I wrote to an attorney employed by Mangagamer to threaten me with a coercive take down 

    Below is a response I wrote to an attorney from Greenville, Delaware (US), who was employed by Mangagamer to threaten me with a coercive take down of a Da Capo III fan translation. The first part of my response is here.

    This is the 2nd half.

    These advantages (copyright) I mentioned, is in the handing out of exclusive rights to the artist to copy & distribute one particular work. An exclusive right is simply an euphemistic way of saying the destruction of everyone else’s right to copy in order to give the artist an economical advantage, let me explain. So an exclusive right, is not the same as a natural human right. Statutory rights work by necessarily rewriting other people’s real rights.

    So say for example.
    my legitimate copy of Da Capo III is sitting here on the shelf in front of me. Everything in the box is mine. Including the DVD. The DVD is a physical object and I have a physical property right in the DVD. Here when I say physical property right, I mean that I am justified in the use of (sufficient) violence to thwart any attempts by anyone who dares to intrude on my exclusive use of this object. And that moral justification exists outside of legislature. It is before Any State legislations factor in to the protection of these rights, Before there is even law, I was already entitled to the full use my physical disc in anyway I like, be it to play it, to break it, to play frisbie with it, or to print the data on it onto another disc and then give it out to my neighbour (because the 2nd disc is also my property). Outside of legislature, I am already justified in the use of violence in defence of this piece of property, because it is my property. And that includes my right to copy the disc.

    Now Enter 18th century copyright.
    Now one of my rights in my physical property, the right to copy, is denied, because a law created by legislature steps in and explicitly takes away those rights that I had in my disc. But not just one right. A total of Six rights are taken away. (ie. copy/distribute, derivative work, sell copies, perform in public, display work publicly, & audio transmission, USC Section 17, chapter 1, para 106). The argument that I want to make is that copyright is necessarily the rewriting of the customer’s real physical property rights (in their purchases) so as to give an economic advantage to the artist or publisher, and therefore, constitutes theft. For all Statutorily-created rights work by necessarily rewriting other people’s real rights. Either we fully respect real physical property rights, or we rewrite real physical property rights to make way for copyright. There is no in between. [see thomas paine rights of man]

    We are all born with the right to copy – today as well as prior to 1709. It is merely a law that says otherwise, that this right should be annulled and held, by exclusion, in the hands of ‘copyright holders’ for their commercial exploitation. It is not that people abuse copyright, and are even now, trampling on the author’s humananity into non-existence, but that copyright abuses people. In fact, you can deduce this in just a couple of sentences:

    “Copyright grants its holder certain rights.”

    What rights does copyright grant to the holder?

    “The right to produce copies or reproductions?”

    No, the holder already can do that. He does not need the government to tell him that he can.

    “The right to make adaptations and derivative works.”

    No, again the holder already can do that.

    “The right to perform or display the work publicly?”

    Again, this isn’t a right being granted to the holder, he is permitted to perform the work as he sees fit. None of these rights are granted to the holder by copyright law; they exist independently. What copyright law does is take away the rights of everyone else to do these things.

    That is why I can make the moral argument that I have a right to improve on my own purchased copy of Da Capo III, and then share those improvements to whomever I wish, but that these rights were merely annulled temporarily by the State for a default total of 14 years…. (*cough*) ahem… I mean life of artist + 50yrs.

    The last argument I make is that freedom of speech, is incompatible with copyright.

    “Congress shall make no law… prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the (people’s) freedom of speech,”

    It does not say, “Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise or abridging the freedom of speech, unless someone wants to repeat someone else’s speech.”

    Stopping people from repeating each other’s speech IS abridging the freedom of speech.

    So these people cannot even obey the very first law in their lawbook. [See No Law: Intellectual Property in the Image of an Absolute First Amendment]

    Anyways regardless of my views, I have done as you’ve asked. All localization efforts have been ceased and all distribution stopped (including seeding of the torrent).

    After all, you are the one with the guns.

    First half is here: http://visualnovelaer.fuwanovel.org/2013/03/da-capo-iii-fan-translation-cease-desisted-by-mangagamer

  • R 8:41 pm on April 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    The term ‘intellectual property’ is an oxymoron, a nonsense word. 

    “This is an intellectual ‘property’ (IP) issue. First of all, you need to understand what property really is. Legitimate property arose spontaneously as a means of justly determining the allocation of units of scarce resources among human beings. Imagine if we were in the garden of eden, there is no scarcity. I can conjure apples from the tip of my fingers, and so can you. Therefore the concept of property would not have arose, for it makes no sense. In a world where you can ‘have your cake and eat it too’, if you ate my cake, I will just conjure a new one. There is no scarcity. What does it matter that you ate mine? And so it is with packets of information. Information is not-scarce. I don’t have to wait until you’re done with the movie before I can play one. We press a button and we each have a movie each. If I modify my movie, it does not modify yours. If I copy yours, you don’t have any less. It is as if by magic, there is infinite copies of movies available. What does it matter that you are using this copy? I will just conjure a new one. That is why there is no conflict in the use of information, hence no need for property rights. We don’t have to guard the other from using our information. We can both use it at the same time. That is why the term ‘intellectual property’ is an oxymoron, a nonsense word.

    On the contrary, In the world of scarcity, if you ate my cake, I can’t eat it anymore. Therefore I will defend my cake with a gun if you dare try to eat it. Intellectual property is the opposite. You are saying you will invade other people’s use of their own cake with guns. You are saying you will invade other people’s use of their own movie with guns.

    However, you certainly have the right to keep your creation to yourself. If someone were to steal your copy, it would indeed be theft, and you would be entitled to compensation.

    However, it is another matter entirely if you willfully release your creation to the world, and then try to tell others that they can’t use their own property and effort to make a copy, or try to improve on their copy and share those improvements. To deny them this implies that you have the right to restrict their use of their own property. If they continue to use their property as they choose, you are saying you will use the government to steal from them in the form of fines, and if they resist…. then break their knee caps.”

    from http://fuwanovel.org/faq/5

  • R 8:34 pm on April 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Produce and serve customers. But don’t produce and serve customers at the expense of other people who produce and serve customers. 

    Anyone who uses guns to go around dismantling VN TL projects IS an enemy of the average fans who just wants to have as much translation as possible (which the free market provides). It means produce and serve customers. We appreciate that. But don’t produce and serve customers at the expense of other people who produce and serve customers. In the market for translations, whoever can do it at the fastest speed, at the lowest cost, and at the necessary quality wins. Serve your customers in the way they wish to be served, not in the way you wish to serve it (Not 2+1 years later). Because if you don’t, someone in the free market will do it for you.

    Mangagamer destroys a Da Capo III fan translation: http://visualnovelaer.fuwanovel.org/2013/03/da-capo-iii-fan-translation-cease-desisted-by-mangagamer/

    2nd part of my letter to an attorney from Greenville, Delaware (US) who was employed by Mangagamer to threaten me: http://fuwanovel.org/faq/3

    House Republicans: Copyright is not free market https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121116/16481921080/house-republicans-copyright-law-destroys-markets-its-time-real-reform.shtml

  • R 9:17 am on March 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    In 1974 the overwhelming majority of commercially published works in the US was public domain. 

    ^ books.google.com

    Before 1972 in the US, the public’s understanding of copyright was that it is a temporary advantage given to authors.

    Congress: “US Congress’s protection of copyrights is not a “special private benefit,” but is meant to achieve an important public interest: “to motivate the creative activity of authors and inventors by the provision of a special reward, and to allow the public access to the products of their genius after the limited period of exclusive control has expired.”

    US Congress: “The granting of such exclusive rights [copyrights] under the proper terms and conditions, cofers a benefit upon the public that outweighs the evils of the temporary monopoly.“

    By the provision of a temporary monopoly, parliament (UK) or congress (US) hoped to encourage the progress of learning and bribe authors into generating materials for the public domain as to benefit all people. It is not designed to benefit authors.

    Human beings have incredibly short memories. In 1974 the overwhelming majority of commercially published works in the US was public domain. In order to receive the privilege of copyright, you must show that you will be distributing copies, you must pay a fee, your copies must be marked with a copyright notice. Notice of copyright – the familiar C-in-a-circle, along with the name of the copyright holder, the date first published, when the copyright will expire, to whom you must address to request permission and contact details. Failing to provide an accurate notice will cause you to LOSE YOUR COPYRIGHT. It turns out the vast majority of publishers in the 70s didn’t care to register copyright. It was never really that useful. [Source:Jessica Litman – Sharing & Stealing] .

  • R 5:37 am on March 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    If I print 1000 books, all 1000 books are mine. If I sell one book, I have 999 left. 

    If I print 1000 books, all 1000 books are mine.

    If I sell one book, I have 999 left.

    The one book that I have sold it is no longer my property. It has become the customer’s property. Now this one book that is no longer my property, it competes against my 999. The customer I have sold to is free to re-sell it or even give it away to friends, family or community for free, and clearly that may subtract a potential sale of my 999. But my customer does not steal from me, he merely competes with me.

    Now suppose my customer was to flip through his book and stroke by stroke with a pen, he copied his entire book into a 2nd book. So now my customer has two books. He has the book he bought from me, and he has his copied book. Now do we say that the 2nd book is not his property and that it is my property? No, the 2nd book is still his property. Just because he manufactured it by using a piece of property that he bought from me does not mean I even partly-own his 2nd book. He has full control over the 2nd book just as much as he has full control over the 1st book. If he chooses to spend his own time and money to manufacture a 2nd book so that he can give it to a friend, then he is free to do so, because THAT IS HIS PROPERTY.

    I do not even try to pretend that I partly-own his 2nd book because that would be implying that I can restrict my customer’s use of his own property, which is theft. I do not try to confuse my customer into thinking that competing against me is the same as theft, because that itself is the moral equivalent of frauding an old lady off her pension funds.

    It does not logically come to pass that if I manufacture a 2nd book using 21st century technology that it is no longer manufacturing books. Manufacturing a book in 14th century is the same as manufacturing a book in 21st century regardless of the technology of the time. Words like theft, piracy, stealing, protection are dishonest words that attempt to confuse the customer into thinking they do not fully own their own property, that someone else does. These attempts are the real theft. These are the words of thieves. Unfortunately their attempts do not work on thinking people. Do you not see it?

    See why do copyright monopolists think they can just steal from somebody else’s work? http://falkvinge.net/2013/02/10/why-do-copyright-monopolists-think-they-can-just-steal-somebody-elses-work/

    Also see 5 basic misconceptions about the copyright monopoly and sharing of culture. http://falkvinge.net/2013/02/13/five-basic-misconceptions-about-the-copyright-monopoly-and-sharing-of-culture/

    • Crosbie Fitch 7:46 am on March 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      NB there are (usually) two forms of property here: the paper book (material work) and the novel (intellectual work).

      If you sell someone a book, you necessarily sell them the intellectual work within it too.

      However, if the book/manuscript is in your private possession, a burglar can steal the intellectual work (by making a copy), even though they haven’t stolen the material work (the paper book).

      Intellectual work is property. The state granted monopoly called copyright is not a property right, but an 18th century privilege – despite the fact that so many people like to pretend it makes their words their property even after they have sold them.

    • Chris Tenarium 10:46 am on April 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      If someone were to copy the entire works of harry potter, printing 100 copies of those works and selling them or giving them out etc, that is illegal, property and intellectual property are two different things, I can’t justify it in a court of law by saying “Well I copied/improved their work and then used it for my own benefit”, people can pirate until their heart is content but I can’t let someone try and justify piracy.

      • Aaeru 12:45 am on April 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I didnt spell out the point of the article properly.

        the point is that any enforcement of your so-called intellectual “property” requires the destruction of real property rights. you can have real property, or you can MODIFY it to make way for IP. u cannot have both at the same time.

        • houstonlawy3r 6:52 pm on July 26, 2013 Permalink

          Interesting point. I was going to also make the comment that the act of copying copyrighted content (“the book”) is what the person with the pen was not allowed to do.

          Obviously I have my own feelings on whether it is right or wrong to make a copy of something you have purchased of lawfully acquired, but this is where copyright law differs from many peoples’ sensibilities. With some “fair use” exceptions, the law generally does not allow you to copy someone else’s copyrighted content, even if it is for the purpose of sharing it with your friend so that he can read it to. The law wants you to give YOUR PHYSICAL COPY of the book to your friend; this would be okay. In its essence, you purchased the tangible book; not the rights to the content in it.

          As for your comment, you are correct that the PAPER AND THE INK that you used to copy the content is still your personal property. Now obviously there are those who want to alter the laws to take even that away from you, but that is a very different issue than whether you were allowed to make the copy in the first place.

        • houstonlawy3r 6:54 pm on July 26, 2013 Permalink

          And sorry for the misspelling. The “f” and “r” keys are quite close together on this laptop.

          “Obviously I have my own feelings on whether it is right or wrong to make a copy of something you have purchased *OR* lawfully acquired, but this is where copyright law differs from many peoples’ sensibilities.”

  • R 11:17 pm on February 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Legitimate property exists only as a means of justly determining the allocation of individual units of scarce resources. 

    “First of all, you need to understand what property really is. Legitimate property exists only as a means of justly determining the allocation of individual units of scarce resources.

    You certainly have the right to keep your creation to yourself. If someone were to steal your copy, it would indeed be theft, and you would be entitled to compensation.

    However, it is another matter entirely if you willfully release your creation to the world, and then try to tell others that they can’t act upon information gained from it, or use their own property and effort to make a copy. To deny them this implies that you have the right to restrict their use of their own property. If they continue to use their property as they chose, you are saying you will use the government to steal from them in the form of fines, seizure of property and possibly jail time.”

    • rikugo1


  • R 6:54 pm on February 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    As soon as one scarcity finishes, it opens up the door to every other scarcity that surrounds the one that has now been fulfilled. (that were previously out of reach) 

    Your argument is ‘right’ and ‘deserve’.
    No one has a ‘right’ to make a living. That means even if they create our beloved arts. If you create video games for a living, you are a video games entrepreneur. It is your job to find a model to monetize your creations in the way/i> that the customer wants it, not in the way that you want to serve it. But serving them is not enough. You must serve them in a way that they will be willing to pay. Society doesn’t bend itself backwards for you. If you want my money, you serve me in a way that I will be willing to accept your services for a reasonable sum of money. There is no coercion. This is how the human empire was built.

    In post-netflix world, as soon as you have sold to your customer, they compete against you. That is because advances in information-reproduction has made the industrial activity of reproducing information so infinitesimally cheap. Everyone can run a printshop for the price of a computer and an internet.
    Do you know what happens when almost every person in the country runs a printing press that previously needed Hundreds of thousands of dollars to build? It creates an abundance. There is no scarcity or market demand left for the industrial activity of information-reproduction anymore. In fact it makes no sense to try and sell information-reproduction. Even if I charge $5, the bloke down the street with his printing press will do it for free. It means the market price for information-reproduction has been reduced to zero dollars (that is because price of goods tend towards marginal costs given enough time). It means if I sell it, I will probably not succeed. I will probably be outcompeted.

    But fortunately human desires never end. They never end. They always desire something.

    As soon as one scarcity finishes, it opens up the door to every other scarcity that surrounds the one that has now been fulfilled. (that were previously out of reach). I have listed some examples of scarcities that are still in demand.

    There is also:

    • Immediacy (i want it in my folder here as soon as it comes out. I will pay $3).
    • Personalization (i want u to record a brand new version of this track just for me)
    • Support (i want 24/7 support for this piece of software. I want online play.)
    • Accessibility (i want it on all my platforms. i want it on smartphone)
    • Embodiment (i want a boxed copy. i want it to line my shelf)
    • Generosity (i want it bcuz u are so generous. i like how u sold me $400 worth of games for $25)
    • Attention (https://sharingisliberty.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/attention-economy/)

    But also:

    • Patronage (i want to pay you. i like how 95% of my money goes to u)
    • Transparency (same as above. i like how u tell me how much u make)

    ^ What if I don’t want to sell any of those? What if I can’t afford to sell any of these?
    The solution is to sell your labour. Because the creation of new arts is necessarily a scarcity. You are giving birth to a piece that previously did not exist in the world. So long as fans desire your work, it will always be a scarcity in the sense that you cannot pirate it.

    Readers don’t expect you to work for free, but they expect to be free to share and build upon the work after they have paid you to write it.

    Quote from John Gilmore co-founder of EFF.org
    “What is wrong is that we have invented the technology to eliminate scarcity, but we are deliberately throwing it away to benefit those who profit from scarcity. We now have the means to duplicate any kind of information that can be compactly represented in digital media. We can replicate it worldwide, to billions of people, for very low costs, affordable by individuals. We are working hard on technologies that will permit other sorts of resources to be duplicated this easily, including arbitrary physical objects (“nanotechnology”; see http://www.foresight.org). The progress of science, technology, and free markets have produced an end to many kinds of scarcity. A hundred years ago, more than 99% of Americans were still using outhouses, and one out of every ten children died in infancy. Now even the poorest Americans have cars, television, telephones, heat, clean water, sanitary sewers — things that the richest millionaires of 1900 could not buy. These technologies promise an end to physical want in the near future. “We should be rejoicing in mutually creating a heaven on earth!” Instead, those crabbed souls who make their living from perpetuating scarcity are sneaking around, convincing co-conspirators to chain our cheap duplication technology so that it won’t make copies — at least not of the kind of goods they want to sell us. This is the worst sort of economic protectionism — beggaring your own society for the benefit of an inefficient local industry. The record and movie distribution companies are careful not to point this out to us, but that is what is happening.”

  • R 9:37 am on February 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    How to make a living as a video games entrepreneur in a world without scarcity of copies? 

    How to make a living as a video games entrepreneur in a world without scarcity of copies?
    [Aaeru] it all depends on your business model
    [Aaeru] consider that the THQ bundle made $5 million by selling 1 cent bundles. http://www.joystiq.com/2012/12/12/humble-thq-bundle-ends-earns-5-million-from-885-000-bundles/
    [Aaeru] the bundle price they were offering was for 1 cent
    [Aaeru] that’s the actual price for the item
    [Aaeru] yet the average was $5.76
    [Aaeru] now where does this 5.76 come from?
    [Aaeru] how is it possible?? asks the copyright-dogma minded
    [Aaeru] the answer i believe, is patronage.
    [Aaeru] the average was 5.76 per customer bcuz that is how much ppl are willing to pay to the artists
    [Aaeru] that’s the market price
    [Aaeru] In this scenario, the value comes from the patrons. The 5.76 exist, because the customer knows most of their money is going towards more video game creations. That is why it is worth 5.76. The folks at humble bundle recognizes this, and their ingenious innovation was ‘Transparency’. Of course there are lots of other innovations, but this is one of the primary ones.
    [Aaeru] humble bundle shows us that even in the absence of scarcity of copies,
    [Aaeru] u can still make money.
    [Aaeru] handing out copies for free does not mean that there is no business model

    [Aaeru] This is a very influential article from 2008 http://kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2008/01/better_than_fre.php
    [Aaeru] so when u buy a game from Steam,
    [Aaeru] u are not so much buying the game as you are buying the service surrounding the game
    [Aaeru] u buy it for the convenience, the findability, the online play, the friends system, the community
    [Aaeru] Steam is selling accessibility (i can DL the copy on another comp and play. i dont have to move files around myself)
    [Aaeru] Steam has regular discounts. They are generous.
    [Aaeru] Steam sells me immediacy (the download is so fast)
    [Aaeru] Steam has achievements.
    [Aaeru] if you create video games for a living, you are a video game entrepreneur
    [Aaeru] It is the entrepreneur’s job to find a way to monetize on their own creation. This is not factory work. The money doesn’t just roll in, Okay? In entrepreneurship you must find ways to serve the customer in the way that they would like to be served, not in the way that you would like to serve them.
    [Aaeru] u have to find a way to serve your customer in a world where every one of your customers become your competitor as soon as you’ve sold to them (everyone with an internet is a printshop). It is a world where the industrial activity of reproduction has become infinitely cheap. And because basic economics tells us that price of goods tend towards marginal costs given enough time, therefore the price of paying someone to reproduce you a copy right now, has reached $0.00. Therefore, don’t sell reproduction. No1 wants that.
    [Aaeru] It is not enough to just serve them. You must serve them in a way such that they will be willing to let go of their money despite the free copies.
    [Aaeru] in fact Gabe newell said he doesnt consider piracy a problem anymore
    [Aaeru] bcuz he has Outcompeted piracy.

    • Tsukotaku 12:37 pm on February 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Mmh, only a question: do you forgot about the millions of dollars behind each title you mentioned? AAA titles are titles with a big budget, and those were AAA titles. So, no you can’t make a living with this. With that bundle THQ probably was whishing to recover some the financial losses, not enough to save the company. Actually they didn’t make an income, in the end naturally.

      • Aaeru 12:54 pm on February 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Before you invest millions of dollars into making a game, you might want to have a clear idea on how to make your money back before you do so. Otherwise you are going to lose your money and possibly go bankrupt. And that’s very bad.

        I don’t want to hear the argument that someone has a right to make a living by creating AAA budget titles. If you don’t know how to make an AAA title succeed, then please drop out. Because someone else who Does know how to, will do it. You do not have a right to turn a profit in your investment. You only have an opportunity to turn a profit.

        If it can’t be done, then just don’t do it. Someone else who is smarter than you will do it. And they will become the next set of artists that get to create AAA titles for a living.

        See J K Rowling scenario. https://sharingisliberty.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/profiting-without-copyright-jk-rowling-scenario/

        • Tsukotaku 2:00 pm on February 15, 2013 Permalink

          Now there’re more accessible license for game engines for privates and small groups, like the UDK’s licenses and the more expensive one of the Cryengine 3. However, with AAA we define a series of characteristics that the project must be.

          AAA Title = considerable amount of developers or personell = big amount of tools and workstations = a studio or a location to work = thousands or millions of € to feed what you intend to make = you need a startup = you need a publisher or something like a private funding

          And that is a very simplistic representation about how the industry works today. You’re the man who make the game for living or passion at least, and not the one who invest to make profit.

          The alternatives to make a career in the videogames industry are mainly two: the first is to find a job related to your knowledges, the second one is the “Indie” one. But honestly we will enter a never-ending discourse with a topic like this, and most importantly we can’t talk about AAA titles with the “Indie” market as subject.

          And I disagree when you say that: “u are not so much buying the game as you are buying the service surrounding the game”. I don’t know what you’re doing to live, but a simple task like make a model, a string of code or maybe a basic background may take hours. So, is not something that everyone can do without problems, and this is why you need a company or someone behind you and your group to a large scale project. And I think the is the biggest motivation of why service like Kickstarter are popular.

          Oh well, there’re also rare occasions when someone can pull up mountain of money with simple title and without the hand of no one. 😛

  • R 8:25 am on February 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    C4SS: So-called “intellectual property” is in fact nothing more than a legally fabricated monopoly 

    Several years ago, when I first put this website together, I dealt with these issues by means of “copylefting” notices and policy statements intended to make my writing freely available through a Creative Commons license. If you want to reprint this stuff under a Creative Commons license, you can still do that, all you want.[1] But I don’t care anymore. It’s not enough to try to kludge the legalities of copy-monopolies from within. So-called “intellectual property” is in fact nothing more than a legally fabricated monopoly, suppressing competition and emulation, constraining creativity, confining culture, science and technology to captive, capitalist-dominated markets, and violently depriving many of the poorest and most marginalized from access to critical resources for education and life-saving medicines. The legal fictions of copyright and patent are despotic attempts to monopolize the human mind; power-psychotic burdens crippling and destroying individual ownership and the progress of grassroots culture and technologies; outrageous constraints on human intelligence and creativity; and a destructive and desperate protectionist scheme for the profit of powerful corporations. This web project is, in spirit and in letter, at war with every aspect of Intellectual Protectionism, in its principles — of monopolizing power, entitlement, social control and economic privilege — and in its operation — through increasingly invasive government policing and legal coercion — and in the disastrous global effects of patent and copyright restrictions.

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