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  • aaeru1 6:25 am on June 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Piracy,   

    Profit without Copyright: “Copies have been devalued. There’s so much of it it’s like confetti.” 

    The issue with piracy is really an issue of entrepreneurs insisting that they use a business model of printing and selling copies (that have been devalued) and not understanding why their copies arent worth as much as they think it does.

    Whereas in the 20th century, printing copies required giant printing press which costs hundreds of thousands (if not millions) in investment capital. in the 21st century, the commoner can buy one for several hundred. So there was a paradigm shift. For something like $300 and a $20 monthly internet connection, u can rival the output of a factory from 20 years ago.
    What happens when every household can produce as much as what costed millions to produce a decade ago? It creates an abundance.
    Because basic economics tells us that prices tend towards marginal costs. The marginal costs for producing a copy is now $0.00001, so cheap, that people are willing to produce it for free. That’s why it is free, not because people stole it, but because competing printers bid each other down repeatedly until the price of it hits rock bottom.

    There’s so much of it it’s like confetti.

    The problem is that entrepreneurs are stuck in the 20th century business model, they want to sell confetti but they don’t understand why consumers don’t want to buy that anymore. Therefore, the fix to the problem is simply to produce things that haven’t been devalued yet. Like your labour. The act of creating a new movie or a new video game is always going to be scarce, because I cannot pirate a movie into existence. I have to offer to pay the artist to motivate him/her to exchange his or her services in creating new movies.

    That is why you are seeing in post-netflix world, a market that is mass-emigrating over to this model of production. Just the other day we saw crowd funding exceed $10 million http://www.polygon.com/2013/6/10/4410436/chris-roberts-celebrates-star-citizens-10-million-crowdfund
    In 2012, kickstarter, just one private player alone, has facilitated for more funding to the arts than the entire National Endowment of the Arts!

    Of course, I’m not saying the first hundred copies that the artist sells is not extremely valuable. But once it is sold into the world, there is no enforcement ability capable of preventing purchasers from manufacturing more copies for their friends & neighbours (short of a totalitarian police state).

    That is why even in the absence of scarcity of copies, you can still make money. Just because the copies have been devalued, it does not mean that there is no business model.
    Apart from selling your labour, you can also sell:

    • 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)
    • Convenience (i dont want to fiddle with file transfer. u do that for me)
    • 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/)
    • Patronage (i want to pay you. i like how 95% of my money goes to u)
    • Transparency (i like how u tell me how much u make, other sellers dont tell me this, aka humble bundle)

    ^ None of these things can be pirated.

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

    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 5:37 am on March 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Piracy   

    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 9:37 am on February 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Piracy,   

    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 2:39 pm on January 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Piracy   

    Jeffrey Tucker: The Death of File Sharing 

    The attack on Megaupload takes all of this to a different level. This was not some wholly surreptitious, sketchy institution that was trying to get around the law. It was already becoming a legitimate service for launching careers in music and art generally. It seemed to be doing exactly what we expect in the digital age. It was reinventing an old model for new times through innovation in production, delivery and profit sharing.

    As I wrote before, this was most likely why the old-line industry came after them. It was not the illegal activities, but their legal ones that made them a target. The moguls do not want change. They crushed the competition. At the same time, the actual legal rationale that the feds used to blast these people away was their supposed violation of intellectual property through file sharing.

    Which raises the question: Is every site that makes file sharing possible in danger? Consider Dropbox, the hugely popular service that allows you to put your files in the cloud and create specialfolders that share them with others. This allows people to work on shared folders in a collaborative way, and prevents the inevitable problem of version control that comes with emailing back and forth. How exactly is Dropbox different from Megaupload? It is not that different. It is staid and scholarly, rather than flashy and jazzy. It’s
    interface is plain and neat, rather than colorful and upbeat. Otherwise, it is hard to qualitatively distinguish one from another. Dropbox is hardly alone.

    As TechCrunch puts it:
    “Several digital locker services operate like Megaupload. RapidShare and MediaFire are two of the larger services. But these sites have undergone a facelift recently and at least appear to be much less nefarious than they once were. Other services like Dropbox, iCloud, and Amazon S3 are open to hosting any
    file type a user uploads. They also make sharing easy, but in a way, that’s a lot more private than Megaupload. Still yet, there are sites like Zoho in which users can easily share content, content that could be copyrightable. But the prime goal of all these sites is open file sharing— just like Megaupload.”

    It is hard to see how any file-sharing site can pass muster under the new regime. There are plenty more like SugarSync and FileSonic. As Ghacks points out, users of the latter were greeted with the following ominous message just this week:

    Question: What value is a file-sharing site if it doesn’t permit the sharing of files? It becomes a thumb drive in the cloud. Maybe that is a bit of convenience, but it is not highly marketable or useful.

    Another tactic that file-sharing sites are using after the Mega attack is to outright ban U.S. users in hopes that this will somehow immunize them from the terror attacks being used by the U.S. government. Thus at one upload site were American users greeted with a government-generated block message.

    Americans look at China with shock that the government doesn’t allow access to a huge amount of the World Wide Web. But look: It is happening right now in the United States, but in an indirect way. This has been called a “virtual Iron Curtain” that is being thrown up around U.S. borders. It has already happened to banking. We are seeing the first signs of this on Internet access. Another site called uploadbox.com has decided that it will no longer deal with the risk of these kinds of terror tactics and plans to shut down completely at month’s end. What else? Google Docs allows file sharing and has solved so many problems as a result. This has been a great advantage of this innovation. I use it every day. It is essential. But it is in danger. What about Facebook? I could post a copyrighted image there right now and share it with thousands. Facebook thereby becomes an accessory to the same crimes that Mega is alleged to have abetted. For that matter, what about email? When I send a file, it doesn’t remove it from my machine. A copy is made and made and made again. Who and what is to say whether what is sent or received is proprietary and made it through all the legal hoops? In the last several weeks, I’ve actually received emails expressing fear ofsharing links to public sites!

    All these changes go beyond the traditional “chilling effect” of random attacks on free speech and free association. This is a sudden and outright freeze, one that is devastating for the whole way in which the Internet has come to exist.

    What is called “file sharing” is the unique service that the Internet provides. Without that, the Internet becomes an efficient post office or another means of delivering television-style content. The reason that the Internet has been the driving force behind economic growth, political change, social progress and the general uplift of humanity is its capacity for taking scarce goods and converting them into nonscarce goods of infinite duplicability and availability. Information, media, data and images that were once captive of the physical world — paper and ink, film and bankers boxes — have been freed into another realm so that they can serve and enlighten the whole of humanity. This has happened because of the miracle of duplicating digital goods that are driving economies in the digital age. To ban duplication and file sharing today is no different from banning flight in the 1920s, banning steel in the 1880s, banning the telegraph in the 1830s, banning
    the printing press in the 1430s and banning the wheel and sail at the beginning of mankind’s advance out of the cave.
    It will set humanity back.
    It violates liberty.
    It attacks everything that constitutes and defines the times in which we live.
    It replaces a world of sharing and thriving with a world of violence and technological regression.
    The Internet will continue to exist, but it will take a different form. Large sectors will have to thrive behind very secure pay walls and only within private digital communities.
    And who is doing this? The U.S. government. Government in league with old-line corporate elites.
    And what is the official reason? To enforce “intellectual property.” It has really come down to this:
    Either the whole basis of copyright, trademark and patent are scrapped or we could see the death of the digital age as we know it. So long as IP is enforced, the U.S. world empire can continue to roam the world seeking whom it may devour

    • Jeffrey Tucker

    A Beautiful Anarchy – The Death of File Sharing

  • R 8:45 pm on January 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Piracy   

    Richard Stallman: Reject the propaganda terms that developer of proprietary software use to demonize cooperation and sharing. Terms like Pirate. 

    “And you should also reject the propaganda terms that the developer of proprietary software use to demonize cooperation and sharing. Terms like pirate.

    Because what do they mean when they use it and apply it to people who share copies of things?
    They’re trying to trick us into supposing without question, that helping your neighbour is the moral equivalent of attacking a ship. And nothing could be more wrong than that.
    Because attacking ships is very bad and helping your neighbour is good.

    … Don’t accept the enemy’s propaganda. Pirate is one example of a propaganda term. When they falsely label copyright infringement as theft, that is a propaganda term. Don’t fall into it. Complain. Criticize when someone makes that mistake.”

    • Richard Stallman

  • R 9:17 am on November 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Piracy   

    Crosbie Fitch: Pay artists you like 

    Make copies of art, give them to friends, even sell them. Find art via @tpb, pay artists you like, make art yourself, but ignore #copyright.

    • Crosbie Fitch

    • ralph lauren 4:49 am on December 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      When approaching an mlm business, measure the pay plan. It really is vital how the sales stems from items offered for sale but not hiring visitors to your corporation. You have found yourself a scam if the revenue generated is completely from recruiting efforts. Ensure one can find goods presented, and the solutions should be the primary reason you are feeling that your network marketing business can have great results.

  • R 10:12 am on September 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Piracy,   

    Neil Young: Piracy is the new radio. 

    “Piracy is the new radio. That’s how music gets around. […] That’s the radio. If you really want to hear it, let’s make it available, let them hear it, let them hear the 95 percent of it.”

    • Neil Young

    Neil Young on music and Steve Jobs: ‘piracy is the new radio’

  • R 9:52 am on September 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Piracy,   

    Pirate Coelho: Don’t they understand that if I hear a song and I like, chances are that I will buy the CD? 

    Pirate Coelho
    The publishing industry will say: Artists can’t survive if they’re not paid.

    In 1999, when I was first published in Russia ( with a print- run of 3,000), the country was suffering a severe paper shortage. By chance, I discovered a ‘ pirate’ edition of The Alchemist and posted it on my web page.
    An year later, when the crisis was resolved, I sold 10,000 copies of the print edition.
    By 2002, I had sold a million copies in Russia, and I have now sold over 12 million.

    When I traveled across Russia by train, I met several people who told me that they had first discovered my work through the ‘ pirated’ edition I posted on my website. Nowadays, I run a ‘Pirate Coelho’ website, giving links to any books of mine that are available on P2P sites.
    And my sales continue to grow — nearly 140 million copies world wide. (…)

    ‘Pirating’ can act as an introduction to an artist’s work. If you like his or her idea, then you will want to have it in your house; a good idea doesn’t need protection.

    The rest is either greed or ignorance



    Paulo Coelho, the best-selling author of “The Alchemist”, is using BitTorrent and other filesharing networks as a way to promote his books. His publishers weren’t too keen on giving away free copies of his books, so he’s taken matters into his own hands.

    Coelho’s view is that letting people swap digital copies of his books for free increases sales. In a keynote speech (embedded below) at the Digital, Life, Design conference in Munich he talked about how uploading the Russian translation of “The Alchemist” made his sales in Russia go from around 1,000 per year to 100,000, then a million and more. He said:

    In 2001, I sold 10,000 hard copies. And everyone was puzzled. We came from zero, from 1000, to 10,000. And then the next year we were over 100,000. […]

    I thought that this is fantastic. You give to the reader the possibility of reading your books and choosing whether to buy it or not. […]

    So, I went to BitTorrent and I got all my pirate editions… And I created a site called The Pirate Coelho.

    He’s convinced — and rightly so — that letting people download free copies of his books helps sales. For him the problem is getting around copyright laws that require him to get the permission of his translators if he wants to share copies of his books in other languages.

    So is Coelho just seeding torrents of his books? That’s just the beginning. He took it one step further and, as quoted above, set up a WordPress blog, Pirate Coelho, where he posts links to free copies of his books on filesharing networks, FTP sites, and so on. He says it had a direct impact on sales:

    Believe it or not, the sales of the book increased a lot thanks to the Pirate Coelho site…

    In his speech he talks about how the Internet is changing language and books, and how online “piracy” and BitTorrent have helped him not only be more widely read, but also sell more books! It’s a must watch.

    Torrent Freak – Alchemist Author Pirates His Own Books
    http://torrentfreak.com/alchemist-author-pirates-own-books-080124/ (see video on this page)

  • R 8:17 am on September 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Piracy,   

    The Legacy Entertainment Industry’s Business Model: Charge A Ridiculous Markup On The ‘Copy File’ Command 

    Rick Falkvinge: “Increasingly, the copyright industry has tried to assert that “the free market will sort it out” in the field of culture sharing. The problem is that the copyright industry’s monopolized view is anything but a fair and free market.

    The copyright industry likes to pretend that making copies is somehow “stealing” and that on a fair and free market, everybody would be forced to buy from them. As is obvious to everybody else, this is the complete opposite of a fair and free market.

    When somebody buys something, no matter what, they own it. They have the right to do pretty much anything with it, they have the right to perform work on the object they have bought. Such work includes duplicating the object that you own; on a fair and free market, such duplication work is an offering like any other that competes with other people performing a duplication of the object in question.

    In culture sharing, people perform this work for free for one another – duplicate files for one another – as a good social deed, just like helping anybody else out with your own time is a good deed. (The copyright industry tries to vilify this activity as somehow being immoral and unfair, which completely misses the positive social mechanisms of good people helping friends and strangers alike, and only makes the copyright industry appear absurd, anachronistic, and downright evil.)

    Thus, the copyright industry deliberately confuses the goods that they offer for sale with the service of duplication, which is a completely different kind of offering. The service of duplication is what’s on an immoral, anachronistic monopoly, not the goods themselves.

    On a fair, free market, anybody is able to perform this work, as well as offer it for sale if they think their particular duplicative work is cost-effective.

    However, the copyright industry has the audacity and the entitlement to call out people who compete with them for this service as “thieves”, “immoral”, and “unjust”. That can only come from living in a complete world of denial and entitlement.

    In a fair and free market, competitiveness rules, and nobody has a monopoly – such as the copyright monopoly – on doing a particular kind of work, like duplication of a specific object. If somebody else can duplicate your original at a lower cost than yourself, then you weren’t able to compete and you’ll find yourself out of business. That’s called marginal cost – that competition takes place on the additional cost of every product once the investments are made, on the cost of duplicating an original – and that’s how the market works for all products in fair and free markets. It’s actually Economics 101.

    In my world, and in a fair and free market, any entrepreneur or executive that claims a moral right to prohibit others by law from competing with them can fuck off and die.

    Further, our economy works by people specializing, and paying each other for work that somebody else does more efficiently. If an electrician is better at wiring my home than I am, then I have the option of paying such a craftsman for his/her time, rather than spending my own time. That’s why we evolve as an economy and a civilization.

    The competition in the copyright monopoly and culture-sharing field is about who executes the “copy file” command the most cost-efficiently. That is largely a pointless debate, as the cost of executing a “copy file” command is trillionths of a cent – nobody would buy it from anybody, as everybody can do it themselves. Claiming a legal right to charge a premium of a gazillion percent over and above the real cost of this service is absurd and macroeconomically counterproductive.

    The copyright monopoly only serves to protect the past from the future, and it is the antithesis of a fair and free market, as are all monopolies.

    Original: http://falkvinge.net/2012/09/03/a-fair-free-market-or-the-copyright-monopoly/
    Techdirt: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120904/01443220262/legacy-entertainment-industrys-business-model-charge-ridiculous-markup-copy-file-command.shtml

  • R 5:33 am on September 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Piracy   

    I want to explain what Piracy has done for the world and why you should not be ashamed of it. 


    Everyone can enjoy visual novels in the West.
    I want to explain what Piracy has done for the world and why you should not be ashamed of it. The youtube clip that was included with this pdf featuring John Perry Barlow (Co-founder of Electronic Frontier Foundation) comes from here.



    We live in this unfortunate world of scarcity, where there isn’t enough to satisfy everybody’s wants and needs.

    The history of human civilization is man’s constant struggle against nature and scarcity. People in the past, all they ever did was look for food all the time just to get enough to eat! Most human beings that have ever walked this earth lived their entire existence in what today we would call ‘Absolute Poverty’. Before the 18th century, the average person was extremely poor. It was only VERY VERY recently the specialization of roles and the division of labor and trade post-industrial revolution that gave us the relative abundance that we enjoy today. Just in the last 50 years, average income of every person on the planet (adjusted for inflation) Tripled and lifespan is up by 30%, food production per capita is UP by a third yet world population DOUBLED! We are vanquishing scarcity! We are building heaven on earth! But…. but even in the 21st century we still have scarcity. We don’t have total abundance yet (we don’t have the replicator from Star Trek but we’re getting close!). My point is, burying scarcity IS human progress.

    Enter Internet.


    What happened when Internet…


    For the first time in the history of the world, human beings somehow managed to create a gigantic copying machine that was capable of reproducing human knowledge unto infinity at almost no costs.


    This is nuts. because information had always been scarce. But with the internet there is now almost no scarcity.

    We’ve reached a point in history where information has become non-scarce. There is no shortage of information because there is no costs in reproduction. Everyone can have as much knowledge as they want and that it is good that everyone can have their curiosity be satisfied to its fullest extent without needing to trade-off. General purpose peer-networked computers make information scarcities approach zero. Therefore we should let people use it as much as possible so that everyone can benefit from this technology. With the internet, we are one step closer to overcoming this world of scarcity!

    Copying is producing something out of nothing.

    When you create a digital copy, you produce one more for the world, which means one less deprived mind. This is an INSANE Concept! because it is literally something-out-of-nothing (since cost of reproduction is zero). Everytime we copy, that is ONE less unit of scarcity left for the world to face (as opposed to stealing, which subtracts one from another’s). Therefore we should arrange society to make use of this Gigantic Copying Machine as much as possible because it is Damn Awesome.

    But what is the State trying to do? It’s trying to stop it. It’s fighting it tooth and nail. It’s trying to turn the digital age back into the analog age. They are overturning human progress. [youtube] The FREE spread of information is integral to human progress.


    “If you could reproduce hot lunches at will with no incremental cost, no one would characterize that as a disaster, except perhaps the delicatessen industry. But today, where human knowledge can be reproduced at no incremental cost, our first response is to see to it how we can make that stop?? Human knowledge has through history been the prime factor that drives the human condition, our ability to enjoy our lives. The unfettered access to human knowledge improves us and makes us better.”

    – Cory Doctorow, Author and Digital Activist




    So can we please think of a way to incentivize creation that is not economically insane?

    See the cost of copyright

    See what we lose when we support copyright.

    There are better ways to arrange society that can have both artists getting paid AND free-use of the giant copying machine.


    Please visit forums.fuwanovel.org if you have further questions.

    IRC Channel: #Fuwanovel on Rizon. Click here to connect.

    Or you can email me:  aaeru@fastmail.fm

    Aaeru (fuwanovel.org)

    My blogs: Sharing is Liberty & Visual Novel Aer

    "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 for 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 (i.e. impoverishing) 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."

    – Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder John Gilmore



  • R 3:24 pm on September 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Piracy,   

    Falkvinge: You cannot stop the drive to make information free. 

    Host: “Now governments across the world have increased their effort against file-sharing. But what do these copyright laws do against file-sharing? Can file-sharing ever be stopped?”

    Falkvinge: No it cannot. And that is a very important question. As mobile phones increase their memory and as devices increasingly have the capacity to store all of humanity’s music, movies & culture, (and we’re not far from there), that means everybody in a cafe can share anything and anonymously with everybody else in the cafe. So once you realize this cannot be stopped, you start to think instead of all the benefits of this new technology. We are at a crossroads where all of humanity can access the entire library of human culture and knowledge. All the tools have been developed, all the cables are in place, the technology has been rolled out. All we have to do is remove the ban on using it. But as usual, there are vested interests in doing things less efficiently and bereaving people, DEPRIVING people of this knowledge that frankly we gain economically from it.

    Host: “I’m sorry to interrupt but internet laws like ACTA and SOPA, they have been met with some global criticism. Many see it as a means to limit web freedom. But surely these rules have been implemented to protect people’s intellectual property?”

    Falkvinge: That is an excellent point. The thing is you cannot enforce the copyright monopolies and other forms of intellectual property without looking at what people send online to each other. That is after all where these files are being shared. And if you are looking at what people are sending to each other, you are also by definition starting to limit freedom of speech. That is why you see hundreds of thousands of Europeans on the streets, rallying against what politicians thought was a done-deal. So they were taken completely by surprise, as were the American politicians with SOPA. You cannot enforce these old monopolies laws without cracking down on Fundamental Civil Rights. Which is why you are seeing entire generation rising up against these monopolies.



    See You can have Internet and free sharing of information, or you can have Working Copyright. You CANNOT have both.

  • R 12:46 pm on September 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Piracy   

    Confusion Between Sharing Being Vilified As Stealing 

    The confusion between sharing being vilified as stealing is always… ALWAYS a confusion between the nature of physical objects in a physical world VS the nature of information in the information world. And the big copyright industries knows this and they exploit this confusion PERFECTLY……….. Let me explain.

    You Exchanged it for Money
    When you sell me an apple, that apple becomes my property. Once you’ve sold the apple to me it is mine.
    I don’t care how much effort you spent growing that apple, You give up your right to control this apple because it is no longer yours. You exchanged it for money.

    Now this apple of mine I will share it if I want to. I will even COPY my apple (i.e. throw it in the replicator from Star Trek) then share the copies to starving children. It becomes none of your business what I do with my own apple. This is no different with pieces of information. Once you’ve sold me a piece of information, that COPY, (just that one copy) becomes MINE. You give up your right to control THIS copy because you exchanged it for money.

    Then what is theft of intellectual property? Imagine if I hacked into your server with the intent of retrieving a copy of your game directly from your server…. Now if I really did that, then yes. That would amount to true stealing (i.e. hacking to bypass a paywall). In such a scenario it would indeed be like a real theft of intellectual property. It would be robbery and it is not to be tolerated.

    Expanding further, imagine if I broke into your house while you were asleep and I modified the code in YOUR copy of a game. Wouldn’t that be a form of trespass? I am exercising control of your property without your permission, not only is it trespass, it is also a form of vandalism. Now contrast with this scenario: Say if I purchased a copy from you… what if… I take this copy, I go to my computer and I make modifications to my copy. Would that still be trespass or vandalism? Not at all! Because me modifying MY copy affects only MY copy. Your copy is unaffected. Even if I upgraded my copy to version 1.1, yours is still at version 1.0! That is why no conflict occurs over the use of property, each exercises control over their own copy.

    Enter Copyright
    Now as a society we can agree to give up certain rights to our own property in order to promote the progress of learning, hence why copyright was invented [see Statute of Anne]. Copyright is the limited time, limited suspension of the PEOPLE’s RIGHT to Copy. With copyright, that right we all have, the right to exercise control over our own copy, that right is taken away and given over to the copyright holders for their commercial exploitation thereof. (hence copyright ‘holders’. they hold YOUR right to copy. Not copyright owners). Copyright is the ability to use the State’s branch of coercion to forcefully shut down competing printers. That is why Falkvinge calls it a ‘monopoly’ because mechanically it is one. (history reveals copyright as monopoly. Read your history books.) Even the US Supreme Court calls it that.

    Making Money in the World of Ideas
    If you want to try and make money by producing in the world of information, realize that in this world, one copy sold can be split into a million copies. Therefore, don’t try to make money like you’re selling bottles of milk. Okay?
    Use this strategy: https://sharingisliberty.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/formula-to-making-money-as-an-artist-on-the-net/ This is the formula to making money on the net.

    Revised from a comment on Falkvinge’s post: http://falkvinge.net/2012/09/03/a-fair-free-market-or-the-copyright-monopoly/

  • R 11:59 am on September 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Piracy,   

    Daniel Cook: Embracing Piracy 

    Piracy as a fun activity

    I was a pirate in my youth. Many of my fondest memories involve sorting through a giant stack of 3.5" floppies searching for that one diamond in the rough. I’m not exactly ignorant of the practice. In fact, I partially credit my current design chops to playing through such a vast range of hundreds of wonky and experimental games.
    Being a ‘pirate’ was being part of a community. You and your friends shared games like social gaming gifts on Facebook. It didn’t cost you anything to copy a game and give it to someone. A game was a social token to chat about, a gesture of kindness to reciprocate. A key takeaway from that time is that copying and sharing vast quantities of digital goods is a deeply fun, social and highly useful activity. This is a new thing, a new behavior in a post-scarcity world.

    Hacking piracy for profit

    As a young game developer, I believed that ‘piracy’ was the norm. The first game I worked on, Tyrian, used the shareware model. The essential assumption was that people love copying games for free, taking home a stack of 100 and then playing through them like it was Future Christmas. This behavior wasn’t about ethics, morality, legality, etc. It was an observable cultural pattern of behavior that sprung quite naturally and innocently from technology and people mixing.
    If you put out a pool of water and people start merrily flopping around in it, you acknowledge that this thing called ‘swimming’ exists. You can ban it as immoral, but I’d rather invent a sexy sandy thing called a ‘beach’ and get 2 bucks a head for admission.
    With shareware, we hacked the copying behavior. People would play the random floppies and some of clever programs would say "Hey! Did you know that you can pay for this?" And a small portion of users did. ‘Pirate’ and ‘consumer’ are not mutually exclusive properties. In our capitalist society, almost everyone (with a few notable exceptions) is trained to buy stuff. People who like checking out new software for free are really just another audience of potential consumers.

    Observing retail shenanigans from a distance

    Now to the retail world, piracy is kind of philosophically shocking. For much of history, physical goods have featured an inherent production cost. I make stuff, I sell stuff and hopefully the resulting revenue pays for the cost of making all that stuff. This is ingrained… we don’t even think about it. In fact in our specialist world, we’ve abstracted many of the roles and treat them as magical black boxes. Many engineers focus just on the ‘making stuff’ portions of the pipeline. "Oh, I don’t sell stuff; I’m a maker" is the essence of their personal identity. When the rest of the black boxes don’t magically perform ‘selling’ and ‘making a profit’, the world seems broken.
    Over the past 30-plus years, we’ve witnessed multiple generations of business owners coming to terms with this wild new copying behavior. And it is hard. EA used to think of themselves as a company that sold boxes. That is their culture. They hire people that love selling boxes in the same way that engineers like ‘making stuff’. Then they find that 80-90% of the people playing their games didn’t pay for them. In physical goods, that situation doesn’t even compute. Identities are at stake. The closest analogues are terms like ‘piracy’, ‘counterfeiting’ or maybe ‘intellectual property theft’.
    It has been a really confusing time for businesses. Some lashed out by labeling consumers as evil, some tried to protect the old ways with DRM. Relationships with customers…who see themselves as just having fun sharing cool stuff…became antagonistic. 30 years. When you raise kids in a warzone, they grow up parroting propaganda. No wonder the conversation is polarized.

    Embracing the culture of free

    I’ve never really cared much about piracy. Even the term itself is a construct of a retail mentality attempting to protect old business models.
    Those business models may fail in the long run. I have zero emotional attachment to buying games at retail, collecting cardboard boxes or even more radically, preserving the existing forms of games that thrived in the retail world. If all ‘sequels’ aka ‘excuses to get you to buy another box’ stopped tomorrow, I wouldn’t be overly upset. Detach yourself from the emotions of history. Give up the past forms of what games were. Adapt to the current environment with one eye firmly fixed upon the future.
    People copying digital goods as an inherently joyful social activity is an opportunity. It is an artistic opportunity. It is a business opportunity. It is a cultural opportunity.

    – Daniel Cook



    Techdirt: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120825/19545120159/piracy-is-cultural-opportunity-embrace-it.shtml

  • R 6:09 am on August 31, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Piracy,   

    Formula to making money as an Artist on the Net 

    The formula to profit on the net is this:
    1) More access to content = more fans
    2) More fans = more true fans
    3) More true fans = more money

    The internet is the Economics of Abundance. Whereas in the 20th century, content was a scarcity (as a child I played through the same Nintendo games over and over again), Today on the internet there is overwhelming content & overwhelming copies (people have huuuuge backlogs), which means My Time becomes the scarcity, not the content nor the copies. See Attention Economy. John Perry Barlow, founder of eff.org states that the internet is monetized through ‘Attention’ or ‘Familiarity’.

    This is how it works:
    The spreading of your copies BUYS people’s Attention.
    The more your work is freely available, the more attention you’ve bought, therefore the more true fans you will generate, therefore the more money you will make from true fans gobbling up your shit.

    Your own fans sharing those purchases has now become your single BEST asset to establishing even more relationships with fans. They have become your co-conspirators, your vehicle of advertisement.  When they copy you, they evangelize you. And that is the best thing that can happen to you as an artist on the net because access to content brews fans, fans brew true fans, and true fans will pay you to make more of your work… Why do they do this? They certainly don’t pay because they Have to pay you… rather… they pay you because they WANT to pay you. They want to exchange their money for more of your work to get made.

    The Economics of Scarcity and the business models of the 20th century is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT on the internet. In fact it is extremely counter-productive knowledge, it is worthless knowledge, and it now works to hinder us from making money in an environment THAT-IS-NOT-THE-SAME-AS-THE-PHYSICAL-WORLD!  The faster you scrap them the faster you will reach life-sustaining profit.

    Neil Gaiman (a prestigious author) explains it the best:



    • aeliusblythe 3:43 pm on September 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      This is a really good reminder to creators.

      If people don’t KNOW your work, they can’t support it. So even if only a tiny percentage of people pay up (which is what creators fear) a tiny percentage of a big number is still MORE than a tiny percentage of a small number!

    • Aaeru 7:10 am on September 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention. – Herbert Simon

  • R 6:56 pm on August 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Piracy   

    Piracy is not a problem that needs to be solved. 

    They’re overreacting to technology (again). This is genuine control freaking. They are freaking out so much that, not only do they spend their money ratcheting up control with the State and legislating AGAINST public interest (70% of Americans admit to piracy), worse still, they feel the need to spend BILLIONS pumping out propaganda to teach their version of morality (the version that overwhelmingly favours copyright holders — which is them), and simultaneously spitting in the face of an ENTIRE generation of young people who then lost all respect for copyright.

    People need to get used to the idea that internet is just like home taping that came about in the 90s. The culture business never died (much less culture itself), in fact, it flourished.
    Look around you! Visit Youtube! We are in a real cultural renaissance!

    Studies on File-sharing show no negative effects on sales as a result of piracy. In fact it is showing that piracy increases sales: [Studies on File-Sharing][What Filesharing Studies Really Say – Conclusions and Links]

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