Author Topic: How is using the library different than digital piracy?  (Read 33849 times)

CDP45

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #50 on: August 07, 2014, 06:52:49 PM »
This is a great question with many excellent responses as most technologically educated people know that digital "piracy" is a made up crime solely for the enrichment of large media conglomerates to reduce competition to improve profits.

Uhhh, no. When you pirate music, you are taking money directly out of the pockets of the songwriters and the musicians. Sure, you're probably also taking money out of the pockets of a "media conglomerate" (if the artist is signed to such a label), but even that isn't true in the case of all music. For instance, if you pirate an Ani DiFranco CD you're taking money out of Ani DiFranco's pocket twice, since she's both the songwriter/performer and the owner of the record label (she founded her own independent label). How do you justify that? Why should people entertain you for free?

False, I'm not taking money out of disneyland's pockets if I eat before I get there or bring my own water, I wouldn't have paid the price anyway. Of course it comes back to money, and she's not entertaining for free because there is no expense incurred by the artist when someone copies a CD. So artists can only make money recording by depending on an ultra-complex legislative construct fueled by lobbyists and politicians that only exists in certain countries while simultaneously giving the same product away through radio and TV channels, hmm no wonder people question IP.

I think the best response against the lie of IP advocates is well there is more music being produced than ever before

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There are more people than ever before, hence more musicians. Most people get into music because they love it, not because they expect to get rich off it--but does that really mean we shouldn't pay them AT ALL?

I didn't say they shouldn't get paid, Radiohead gave away an album. There is touring and all sorts of other live performances.
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And in any case, it's been over a century since music has been well protected by copyright in western nations, which is actually longer than there's been the technology to widely distribute music, so there isn't really a valid comparison to be made between how much music is produced now vs. how much music was produced at some point in time when copyright protection was stricter or laxer.

Since it's ineffective you're going to support abolishing it, right?

and also IP basically doesn't exist outside of western nations and that doesn't prevent the creation of music or books.
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So tell me, when was the last time you heard a great song by a Chinese or Indian band? And when was the last time you read a great book in the original third-world language it was written in?

Well I only speak english so how could I read a book in a different language? I am sure there are literally millions of chinese and indian songs on youtube but I'm not particularly motivated to explore when I have Bon Jovi and Usher.
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Isn't it interesting how even two decades into the existence of the web--i.e. even in this era when anyone can post their song or video online for everyone to see--the overwhelming majority of recorded music comes from countries with strong IP protection for music?
That might be due to the high rates of poverty and not IP laws.

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And the only way you're likely to read a great Chinese, Indian, etc. book is if some western publishing house pays a translator to translate it into English and then publishes it--which it would make no economic sense to do if you couldn't protect translations with copyright.
Like the Bible?

Also it gets to the question of what is property, and is something that can be infinitely replicated for no cost and doesn't prevent the original creator from using it really property? Should we all be forever paying royalties to the patent owner of the wheel?
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Patents only last 20 years, FYI. As for "what is property," I can't recall the exact quote offhand but one of our Founding Fathers said something to the effect that "there is no property more particularly a man's own than the product of his own intelligence." You seem to think people should produce useful or entertaining things with their intelligence but get paid zip for it. I personally don't think we should require anyone to work for free.

FYI try playing a Beatles song for profit without permission, pretty sure those are older than 20 years. https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120509/04041918842/ridiculous-hoops-mad-men-had-to-jump-through-to-use-part-beatles-song.shtml

And no one is required to work for free. Music is created without copyright and will continue to be made as long as humans are alive I believe.

sol

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #51 on: August 07, 2014, 07:29:46 PM »
A lot of this discussion seems to center on why piracy should (or should not) be illegal, rather than why it is illegal.  The latter question is a much easier one.

Piracy is illegal because there was a profitable industry based on content distribution before the internet made piracy a real possibility.  That industry realized it would lose revenue, so it spent money to lobby to make piracy illegal.  In a capitalist system "profit" is the ultimate answer to most economic questions and this case is no different.  Digital piracy was made illegal because it cuts into corporate profits.

That's a values-free statement.  You might think music companies are evil and deserve to be stolen from, or you might think that all corporations have a right to protect and profit from their intellectual property.  Doesn't matter.  Digital piracy was made illegal to protect their profits regardless of how you feel about that.


MrsPotts

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #52 on: August 07, 2014, 08:21:02 PM »
What is different is that public libraries are part of the social contract, that amorphous thing that makes communal life possible.  Piracy is criminal. 

An analogy...is swimming at a public park morally equivalent to sneaking in to a private pool?

GuitarStv

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #53 on: August 08, 2014, 06:23:01 AM »
An analogy...is swimming at a public park morally equivalent to sneaking in to a private pool?

A more apt analogy would be:

A rancher owns 10,000 hectares of land and on the land is a small pond which the rancher doesn't use.  Is swimming in the small pond on private property morally equivalent to swimming at a public park?  I'd argue they're pretty close, even though legally you're in the wrong on private property.

zinnie

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #54 on: August 08, 2014, 08:29:46 AM »
Copyright limits the ability to make copies.  The library doesn't make copies, while the pirates do.

This. I don't understand the original question. Copyright is the right to make a copy of something--which only the copyright holder has. Piracy is copying something. Loaning a book from a library is not copying something--it is sharing a copy that has been purchased or licensed from the copyright holder for that use. If copyright holders felt that the library system was a bad thing for them you bet things would change.

And I thought that the subscription services that are becoming increasingly popular have been a great thing for artists, as they are getting paid every time someone listens to/ uses their work. The Napster era was a great thing for artists in a lot of ways, because the massive amounts of piracy got the subscription model started.

LibrarIan

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #55 on: August 08, 2014, 09:29:20 AM »
I guess we've gotten a little too involved in this whole debate and haven't emphasized the obvious: Piracy means unlimited quantities of copies whereas libraries (physical/digital) mean a set number of copies which were all paid for. No matter how many times an item is borrowed, there are the same number of copies in existence (digital library files become useless or 'vanish'). If I pirate, now I have a copy and the originator has a copy, and these copies will always be usable. Maybe that is sufficient?

Not really.  You can pirate just a single copy of something.  If I rip a back up copy of a dvd I have and send it digitally to just you, so only you and me have copies, that is piracy but it's limited to a single copy.  What if we agree that we will never watch the movie simultaneously though, is it still piracy or just you holding onto my legal digital backup?  And if I am able to watch my own legal back up, why can't you?

I think part of the issue is that an item can be consumed without destroying the item.   100 people can all read the same physical copy of that book.  All 100 people consumed the book and all the ideas it contained, but still only 1 copy was purchased.


Let's roll with this. Say I have one car between five people, including myself. We each take turns driving it. No one seems to have a problem with this. Is this robbing the car company because 5 people are consuming one car and experiencing this car? No. There was one car created by the car company, one car was sold. It's just that multiple people are consuming it, knowing it, understanding what it's like to use it, etc. but in the end there is only one copy regardless of the knowledge we obtain from its use.

However, if I were able to somehow make copies of this car so all 5 of us have one, this is wrong. Now we can all have a copy to ourselves without having to take turns, share or go buy one for ourselves. The car company intended for there to be one copy of this car, but we went around them and made four others that they didn't intend for there to be.

I think this is really the issue. A creator intended (via some physical/digital distribution method) for there to be x copies. However, now there are x + y copies because people are pirating. I don't think it matters that someone 'consumes' the content of some book or whatever, as long as there are still the same number of intentional copies in existence in the end. Any argument against that is ignoring the vast history of everyone being okay with libraries and I would probably assume you're a hardcore libertarian.

I'm not sure what else I can really say at this point.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 09:34:32 AM by LibrarIan »

teen persuasion

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #56 on: August 08, 2014, 09:34:01 AM »
"Library items are steeply discounted."

Probably not. Unless items are donated or the vendor puts them on sale because no one is buying them, libraries normally pay more for items to counterbalance the fact that lots of people are going to check them out.

Confused. In every publishing option I've worked with, libraries are offered a special rate (40-45% discount) for books they purchase.

Every public library I've worked at paid higher prices. I would've loved those discounts though.

The library I work for gets a 40% discount from our publisher for hardcover books, less for other types.  However, the ebook prices charged to libraries is much higher than the prices charged to individuals.  An ebook copy for libraries might be $95, or more, and has a limit to how many times it circulates, typically 26.  A physical book can be circulated many more times.  DVD movies for library use are SUPPOSED to be rental copies, which are more expensive than just buying a copy at Wal-Mart.

There are publishing companies that refuse to sell ebooks to libraries, so you will never see ebooks from certain authors on your library's overdrive site.

Libraries also do pay for subscription services.  We pay for an annual movie rights license, so that we can occasionally host a free movie night and play a DVD on the tv in the community room.  I just paid for a performance license for our drama club play next week.  It would be very easy to skirt these fees if we did not try very hard to honor copyright/license rights.

frugalnacho

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #57 on: August 08, 2014, 09:47:10 AM »
I guess we've gotten a little too involved in this whole debate and haven't emphasized the obvious: Piracy means unlimited quantities of copies whereas libraries (physical/digital) mean a set number of copies which were all paid for. No matter how many times an item is borrowed, there are the same number of copies in existence (digital library files become useless or 'vanish'). If I pirate, now I have a copy and the originator has a copy, and these copies will always be usable. Maybe that is sufficient?

Not really.  You can pirate just a single copy of something.  If I rip a back up copy of a dvd I have and send it digitally to just you, so only you and me have copies, that is piracy but it's limited to a single copy.  What if we agree that we will never watch the movie simultaneously though, is it still piracy or just you holding onto my legal digital backup?  And if I am able to watch my own legal back up, why can't you?

I think part of the issue is that an item can be consumed without destroying the item.   100 people can all read the same physical copy of that book.  All 100 people consumed the book and all the ideas it contained, but still only 1 copy was purchased.


Let's roll with this. Say I have one car between five people, including myself. We each take turns driving it. No one seems to have a problem with this. Is this robbing the car company because 5 people are consuming one car and experiencing this car? No. There was one car created by the car company, one car was sold. It's just that multiple people are consuming it, knowing it, understanding what it's like to use it, etc. but in the end there is only one copy regardless of the knowledge we obtain from its use.

However, if were able to somehow make copies of this car so all 5 of us have one, this is wrong. Now we can all have a copy to ourselves without having to take turns, share or go buy one for ourselves. The car company intended for there to be one copy of this car, but we went around them and made four others that they didn't intend for there to be.

I think this is really the issue. A creator intended (via some physical/digital distribution method) for there to be x copies. However, now there are x + y copies because people are pirating. I don't think it matters that someone 'consumes' the content of some book or whatever, as long as there are still the same number of intentional copies in existence in the end. Any argument against that is ignoring the vast history of everyone being okay with libraries and I would probably assume you're a hardcore libertarian.

I'm not sure what else I can really say at this point.

Every mile you drive the car you are consuming a small portion of it.  Why doesn't the usa just share a single car? Besides the logistics of it, the car would be completely consumed and unusable after only a few hours (350M people all drive 1 mile and suddenly you've consumed several cars of even very long life spans).

LibrarIan

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #58 on: August 08, 2014, 09:49:27 AM »
Every mile you drive the car you are consuming a small portion of it.  Why doesn't the usa just share a single car? Besides the logistics of it, the car would be completely consumed and unusable after only a few hours (350M people all drive 1 mile and suddenly you've consumed several cars of even very long life spans).

What? I'm not even sure what you're talking about anymore. Who suggested everyone just using one car? I was merely making an analogy.

frugalnacho

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #59 on: August 08, 2014, 09:55:33 AM »
Yes and I used an extreme example to show that cars are in fact consumable.  I don't know why you think splitting a car between 5 people means 4 people are getting a "free ride" at the expense of the automobile company.  Why not 6 people sharing a car? or 10? or 100?  Besides the logistics of it (like how would 100 people realistically share a car?) it demonstrates that you would consume the car sooner.  If 5 people shared it, and all 5 people drove 12,000 mi/yr (just to use an average baseline), you are putting 60,000 mi/yr on the car.  How long will that car last before needing to be replaced? 

GuitarStv

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #60 on: August 08, 2014, 09:57:15 AM »
I guess we've gotten a little too involved in this whole debate and haven't emphasized the obvious: Piracy means unlimited quantities of copies whereas libraries (physical/digital) mean a set number of copies which were all paid for. No matter how many times an item is borrowed, there are the same number of copies in existence (digital library files become useless or 'vanish'). If I pirate, now I have a copy and the originator has a copy, and these copies will always be usable. Maybe that is sufficient?

Not really.  You can pirate just a single copy of something.  If I rip a back up copy of a dvd I have and send it digitally to just you, so only you and me have copies, that is piracy but it's limited to a single copy.  What if we agree that we will never watch the movie simultaneously though, is it still piracy or just you holding onto my legal digital backup?  And if I am able to watch my own legal back up, why can't you?

I think part of the issue is that an item can be consumed without destroying the item.   100 people can all read the same physical copy of that book.  All 100 people consumed the book and all the ideas it contained, but still only 1 copy was purchased.


Let's roll with this. Say I have one car between five people, including myself. We each take turns driving it. No one seems to have a problem with this. Is this robbing the car company because 5 people are consuming one car and experiencing this car? No. There was one car created by the car company, one car was sold. It's just that multiple people are consuming it, knowing it, understanding what it's like to use it, etc. but in the end there is only one copy regardless of the knowledge we obtain from its use.

However, if I were able to somehow make copies of this car so all 5 of us have one, this is wrong. Now we can all have a copy to ourselves without having to take turns, share or go buy one for ourselves. The car company intended for there to be one copy of this car, but we went around them and made four others that they didn't intend for there to be.

I think this is really the issue. A creator intended (via some physical/digital distribution method) for there to be x copies. However, now there are x + y copies because people are pirating. I don't think it matters that someone 'consumes' the content of some book or whatever, as long as there are still the same number of intentional copies in existence in the end. Any argument against that is ignoring the vast history of everyone being okay with libraries and I would probably assume you're a hardcore libertarian.

I'm not sure what else I can really say at this point.

I generally have been agreeing with your posts, but this car example doesn't make much sense to me.

Let's take two cavemen.  Thak and Groo.  Groo heads down to the valley one day, cuts down some trees and builds himself a house.  Thak sees Groos house, thinks it's a good idea, and does the same.

Under your logic, Thak has committed some kind of crime by bettering his life . . . as Groo had the idea to build the house in the first place.  Groo only intended there to be one house and should apparently be the copywrite holder to houses . . . but that means he is able to stand in the way of someone else bettering themselves simply because he built the first one.  That doesn't work morally for me.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 10:00:03 AM by GuitarStv »

frugalnacho

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #61 on: August 08, 2014, 10:05:10 AM »
What if Thak spent many months toiling away trying to figure out how the fuck to combine everything in the right proportions, and place things at the right location so they are structurally sound, and Groo spent that time gathering nuts.  Then after Thak finally got everything all done Groo came over and said "Yo Thak, imma steal all your ideas you spent months trying to figure out and build my house to the same specification in 1 day". 

Should Thak be rewarded for all his hard work?  Does he deserve a better house than Groo (or should Groo pay him some of his nuts)?  Or should that information flow freely from Thak to Groo?

beltim

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #62 on: August 08, 2014, 10:09:20 AM »
Yes and I used an extreme example to show that cars are in fact consumable.  I don't know why you think splitting a car between 5 people means 4 people are getting a "free ride" at the expense of the automobile company.  Why not 6 people sharing a car? or 10? or 100?  Besides the logistics of it (like how would 100 people realistically share a car?) it demonstrates that you would consume the car sooner.  If 5 people shared it, and all 5 people drove 12,000 mi/yr (just to use an average baseline), you are putting 60,000 mi/yr on the car.  How long will that car last before needing to be replaced?

On this scale, books are also consumable.  If a given book from a library is checked out often enough, it will eventually need to be replaced. 

LibrarIan

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #63 on: August 08, 2014, 10:16:16 AM »
Yes and I used an extreme example to show that cars are in fact consumable.  I don't know why you think splitting a car between 5 people means 4 people are getting a "free ride" at the expense of the automobile company.  Why not 6 people sharing a car? or 10? or 100?  Besides the logistics of it (like how would 100 people realistically share a car?) it demonstrates that you would consume the car sooner.  If 5 people shared it, and all 5 people drove 12,000 mi/yr (just to use an average baseline), you are putting 60,000 mi/yr on the car.  How long will that car last before needing to be replaced?

My point wasn't that everyone should get a free ride. My point was that car sharing is not taking profit from the car company simply because the sharers didn't buy their own individual vehicles. Much like me sharing a book with you does not take profit from the creator. They made one copy, I bought it and then gave it to you. One copy still exists. If you really want to talk about lots of people using things that degrade, we can do that. Books fall apart over time. Ebook licenses eventually run out for libraries. So what?

In regards to GuitarStv's point, I also wasn't talking about someone going and building another car themselves. This would be the builder entering into a whole different ball game. I was basically saying "imagine if I could magically copy this car" and give it to other people. I know this is impossible, but I think you get the idea.

You can apply this to all sorts of things. If me sharing a book is piracy, then me sharing my microwave is piracy. The water cooler is piracy because everyone shares and doesn't have their own water cooler. I think we can stop arguing semantics and think bigger picture, yeah? We're all smart people here.

Also, if I were Thak, I'd probably help Groo. That's just me though.

frugalnacho

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #64 on: August 08, 2014, 10:27:55 AM »
Yes and I used an extreme example to show that cars are in fact consumable.  I don't know why you think splitting a car between 5 people means 4 people are getting a "free ride" at the expense of the automobile company.  Why not 6 people sharing a car? or 10? or 100?  Besides the logistics of it (like how would 100 people realistically share a car?) it demonstrates that you would consume the car sooner.  If 5 people shared it, and all 5 people drove 12,000 mi/yr (just to use an average baseline), you are putting 60,000 mi/yr on the car.  How long will that car last before needing to be replaced?

On this scale, books are also consumable.  If a given book from a library is checked out often enough, it will eventually need to be replaced.

This is true but they are still inherently different.  The major cost of purchasing a car is the physical material it contains, and time and machinery it takes to put that all together.  The cost of physically manufacturing a book is much smaller, what you are buying is the contents of the book.  When you talk about cds/dvds/blu-ray/digital copies the difference is even more profound - you are paying nearly 100% of the cost for the actual content and not the physical portion. 

scrubbyfish

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #65 on: August 08, 2014, 10:30:10 AM »
Also, if I were Thak, I'd probably help Groo.

Me, too. By selling him a copy of my house's design. Then I would be able to afford to buy some of those nuts from him, rather than starve inside my beautifully built Tiny House.

Now I'm going to go find out who's getting the difference on my paperback copies, after each one is sold to libraries at the 40-45% discount stipulated on every publishing contract I wasn't permitted to negotiate on thus signed.

LibrarIan

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #66 on: August 08, 2014, 10:32:53 AM »
Yes and I used an extreme example to show that cars are in fact consumable.  I don't know why you think splitting a car between 5 people means 4 people are getting a "free ride" at the expense of the automobile company.  Why not 6 people sharing a car? or 10? or 100?  Besides the logistics of it (like how would 100 people realistically share a car?) it demonstrates that you would consume the car sooner.  If 5 people shared it, and all 5 people drove 12,000 mi/yr (just to use an average baseline), you are putting 60,000 mi/yr on the car.  How long will that car last before needing to be replaced?

On this scale, books are also consumable.  If a given book from a library is checked out often enough, it will eventually need to be replaced.

This is true but they are still inherently different.  The major cost of purchasing a car is the physical material it contains, and time and machinery it takes to put that all together.  The cost of physically manufacturing a book is much smaller, what you are buying is the contents of the book.  When you talk about cds/dvds/blu-ray/digital copies the difference is even more profound - you are paying nearly 100% of the cost for the actual content and not the physical portion.

Now we're onto something. I agree that I buy books/other media for the content, not just the physical item. Cost scale aside, this is probably where most people have an ethical dilemma in a debate like this.

Now I'm going to go find out who's getting the difference on my paperback copies, after each one is sold to libraries at the 40-45% discount stipulated on every publishing contract I wasn't permitted to negotiate on thus signed.

I'm not really sure why you're hung up about this. I ordered books for a library. They were more expensive than private buying costs. I don't know what else to tell you other than I'm glad other people experienced a 40-45% discount. Hooray for them.


Daleth

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #67 on: August 08, 2014, 10:34:40 AM »
Let's roll with this. Say I have one car between five people, including myself. We each take turns driving it. No one seems to have a problem with this. Is this robbing the car company because 5 people are consuming one car and experiencing this car? No. There was one car created by the car company, one car was sold. It's just that multiple people are consuming it, knowing it, understanding what it's like to use it, etc. but in the end there is only one copy regardless of the knowledge we obtain from its use.

However, if I were able to somehow make copies of this car so all 5 of us have one, this is wrong. Now we can all have a copy to ourselves without having to take turns, share or go buy one for ourselves. The car company intended for there to be one copy of this car, but we went around them and made four others that they didn't intend for there to be.

I think this is really the issue. A creator intended (via some physical/digital distribution method) for there to be x copies. However, now there are x + y copies because people are pirating. I don't think it matters that someone 'consumes' the content of some book or whatever, as long as there are still the same number of intentional copies in existence in the end. Any argument against that is ignoring the vast history of everyone being okay with libraries and I would probably assume you're a hardcore libertarian.

I'm not sure what else I can really say at this point.

No need to say more--that is indeed the problem. Car companies wouldn't be able to make enough money to survive in a world where it was possible to copy a car for free, near-free or even just significantly less than the cost of a car. The same is true of artists: they can't make enough money to survive if they are limited to making money through touring, for a few reasons:

- Touring is grueling and expensive (anyone wanna calculate the cost in gas/vehicle maintenance/etc. of driving several musicians, their instruments, their amps, etc. hundreds or thousands of miles per week? And then how much does even the cheapest motel add up to? And then food for everyone?). It's only financially worthwhile if you're either successful enough to draw large crowds, or young enough with no responsibilities (no family, etc.) so that you can live in the back of a van for months on end and eat for a few bucks a day.

And before someone pipes up with "but they can sell t-shirts," remember that the reason it's possible for t-shirts to be profitable is because they are also protected by IP laws (copyright and trademark). If the band is selling "official" t-shirts inside the venue for $15 or $20 and someone is standing outside selling identical knock-offs for $10, that is money out of the band's pockets.

- Because touring is grueling, it's not conducive to writing NEW music. Most songwriters rarely or never write songs while on the road. If you're the introvert type, you can't write because you're stuffed into a van or bus with a bunch of other people and unless you're successful enough to afford it, you don't even have a hotel room to yourself, so you never get a minute to recharge. And if you're the extrovert type--the kind who composes while jamming with other musicians--you can't jam in the van or bus because there isn't room or appropriate sound equipment, and you can't jam in the hotel room because other guests would complain. 

But how is an artist supposed to expand their career and reach new fans without writing new music? There needs to be a way for them to make money while NOT touring. And there is--it's called royalties, which arise from copyright.

beltim

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #68 on: August 08, 2014, 10:36:26 AM »
Yes and I used an extreme example to show that cars are in fact consumable.  I don't know why you think splitting a car between 5 people means 4 people are getting a "free ride" at the expense of the automobile company.  Why not 6 people sharing a car? or 10? or 100?  Besides the logistics of it (like how would 100 people realistically share a car?) it demonstrates that you would consume the car sooner.  If 5 people shared it, and all 5 people drove 12,000 mi/yr (just to use an average baseline), you are putting 60,000 mi/yr on the car.  How long will that car last before needing to be replaced?

On this scale, books are also consumable.  If a given book from a library is checked out often enough, it will eventually need to be replaced.

This is true but they are still inherently different.  The major cost of purchasing a car is the physical material it contains, and time and machinery it takes to put that all together.  The cost of physically manufacturing a book is much smaller, what you are buying is the contents of the book.  When you talk about cds/dvds/blu-ray/digital copies the difference is even more profound - you are paying nearly 100% of the cost for the actual content and not the physical portion.

So what?  Do the ethics of piracy depend on the profit margin of the manufacturer?  Would piracy be more or less moral if the author self-published and received all of the profit themselves?  Would 3-D printing exact copies of a car be moral if the materials only cost 10% of the cost of a new car?

frugalnacho

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #69 on: August 08, 2014, 10:38:52 AM »
Yes and I used an extreme example to show that cars are in fact consumable.  I don't know why you think splitting a car between 5 people means 4 people are getting a "free ride" at the expense of the automobile company.  Why not 6 people sharing a car? or 10? or 100?  Besides the logistics of it (like how would 100 people realistically share a car?) it demonstrates that you would consume the car sooner.  If 5 people shared it, and all 5 people drove 12,000 mi/yr (just to use an average baseline), you are putting 60,000 mi/yr on the car.  How long will that car last before needing to be replaced?

My point wasn't that everyone should get a free ride. My point was that car sharing is not taking profit from the car company simply because the sharers didn't buy their own individual vehicles. Much like me sharing a book with you does not take profit from the creator. They made one copy, I bought it and then gave it to you. One copy still exists. If you really want to talk about lots of people using things that degrade, we can do that. Books fall apart over time. Ebook licenses eventually run out for libraries. So what?

In regards to GuitarStv's point, I also wasn't talking about someone going and building another car themselves. This would be the builder entering into a whole different ball game. I was basically saying "imagine if I could magically copy this car" and give it to other people. I know this is impossible, but I think you get the idea.

You can apply this to all sorts of things. If me sharing a book is piracy, then me sharing my microwave is piracy. The water cooler is piracy because everyone shares and doesn't have their own water cooler. I think we can stop arguing semantics and think bigger picture, yeah? We're all smart people here.

Also, if I were Thak, I'd probably help Groo. That's just me though.

Yeah because you are using the car 5x as much and will need to purchase another car 5x sooner. 

I think the flaw in that logic is that magically creating another car would mean replicating physical material.  When you buy a book the cost of physical paper and ink are a small fraction of the total price, where as with a car the cost of materials are significant. 

If I were Thak I might be a little bit resentful that Groo horded all those nuts while I was using my intellect to improve my housing situation and then doesn't want to share the fruits of his labor even though he wants to benefit from the fruits of mine. 

scrubbyfish

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #70 on: August 08, 2014, 10:43:59 AM »
I'm not really sure why you're hung up about this. I ordered books for a library. They were more expensive than private buying costs.

Um, hung up about? I'm inside a thread talking about piracy. I thought I was participating.

But why am I curious and inspired enough about this particular aspect to explore it? Every publishing contract I have stipulates the library discount on paperbacks (and other versions), and my royalty is dramatically reduced on every copy sold to a library. I'm not holding this against you. I'm learning from you that some libraries are not receiving this discount, yet my wage is being reduced as though they are. I shouldn't be intrigued and frustrated by that, and want to find out more about this from the industry that facilitates this?

frugalnacho

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #71 on: August 08, 2014, 10:50:26 AM »
No need to say more--that is indeed the problem. Car companies wouldn't be able to make enough money to survive in a world where it was possible to copy a car for free, near-free or even just significantly less than the cost of a car. The same is true of artists...

These are two different things.  Copy a car for free would be replicating physical matter, which is magic and impossible.  Copy an artists creative work is not magic, we have the technology to do so in abundance. 

And if we got the technology to copy an entire car for only the cost of the raw materials (we may have that technology at some point)...

Would it be wrong to take a car GM has spent millions developing, and then pop it into a replicator to get an identical copy for the cost of raw materials?

frugalnacho

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #72 on: August 08, 2014, 10:52:10 AM »
Also, if I were Thak, I'd probably help Groo.

Me, too. By selling him a copy of my house's design. Then I would be able to afford to buy some of those nuts from him, rather than starve inside my beautifully built Tiny House.

+1 LOL.

Daleth

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #73 on: August 08, 2014, 10:53:54 AM »
False, I'm not taking money out of disneyland's pockets if I eat before I get there or bring my own water

Completely irrelevant, since food and water are not part of Disneyland's IP.

she's not entertaining for free because there is no expense incurred by the artist when someone copies a CD.

She is entertaining your ungrateful ass for free because there was an expense incurred to write and record the songs on that CD, and you feel entitled to get that work she did for free. Again, can you explain WHY you feel so entitled?

So artists can only make money recording by depending on an ultra-complex legislative construct fueled by lobbyists and politicians that only exists in certain countries while simultaneously giving the same product away through radio and TV channels, hmm no wonder people question IP.

This is a pet peeve of mine, so I apologize in advance, but I find it both stupid and annoying when people form strong opinions about things they don't understand. It looks like you don't actually know much about how IP law works, because artists are not giving their music away for free through radio and TV channels. Radio and TV pay royalties. How does that affect your analysis?

Also, speaking as a lawyer, copyright law is not even close to "ultra-complex." It's quite simple and with a few specific exceptions not relevant here, it's also very consistent from one country to the next thanks to the Berne Convention, which has been adopted by 167, yes one hundred and sixty-seven, countries around the world. Those countries include Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Kyrgyzstan and other leading lights of the western nations (haha). Here is a list of the members:
http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ShowResults.jsp?lang=en&treaty_id=15

I didn't say they shouldn't get paid, Radiohead gave away an album. There is touring and all sorts of other live performances.

I responded to that point in my last post prior to this one.

(me): And in any case, it's been over a century since music has been well protected by copyright in western nations, which is actually longer than there's been the technology to widely distribute music, so there isn't really a valid comparison to be made between how much music is produced now vs. how much music was produced at some point in time when copyright protection was stricter or laxer.
Quote
(you): Since it's ineffective you're going to support abolishing it, right?

That's a total non-sequitur. What did you actually mean? And BTW no, it's not ineffective.

and also IP basically doesn't exist outside of western nations and that doesn't prevent the creation of music or books.
Quote
(me:) So tell me, when was the last time you heard a great song by a Chinese or Indian band? And when was the last time you read a great book in the original third-world language it was written in?

Well I only speak english so how could I read a book in a different language?

Quote
(me:) And the only way you're likely to read a great Chinese, Indian, etc. book is if some western publishing house pays a translator to translate it into English and then publishes it--which it would make no economic sense to do if you couldn't protect translations with copyright.
Like the Bible?

I think you are missing my point. The reason it is remotely economically viable to translate books written in other languages into English so you can read them is because of copyright law. As for your remark about the Bible, do you sincerely, in your heart of hearts, think that there is a valid economic comparison to be made one of the if not THE best-selling books of all time, whose audience is constantly renewing itself thanks to Christian people having kids and/or preaching to others in search of converts, and a new novel written by some guy in Albania?

As for IP barely existing outside western nations, see the link I posted to the 167 countries that are members of the Berne Convention.

FYI try playing a Beatles song for profit without permission, pretty sure those are older than 20 years.

You were talking about patents, so that's what I responded to. Copyright lasts much longer than patents.

And no one is required to work for free. Music is created without copyright and will continue to be made as long as humans are alive I believe.

No doubt it will. But there's also no doubt that people won't be able to be professional musicians--and thus won't be able to write anywhere close to as many songs, or explore as many musical avenues, or evolve artistically in interesting ways (e.g. compare the Beatles circa 1964 to the Beatles circa 1969), unless we continue making it possible for them to earn money from the songs they've written. Not just from the touring they've done, but from the songs they've written.

My sense is that you simply don't think writing and recording music deserves to be considered work or a job or a profession. Why not?
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 11:01:20 AM by Daleth »

Daleth

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #74 on: August 08, 2014, 10:56:39 AM »
Also, if I were Thak, I'd probably help Groo.

Me, too. By selling him a copy of my house's design. Then I would be able to afford to buy some of those nuts from him, rather than starve inside my beautifully built Tiny House.

Yup! Exactly. And here's how that works under US copyright law:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_in_architecture_in_the_United_States#Types_of_architectural_works_protected_by_copyright_law

GuitarStv

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #75 on: August 08, 2014, 11:03:16 AM »
No need to say more--that is indeed the problem. Car companies wouldn't be able to make enough money to survive in a world where it was possible to copy a car for free, near-free or even just significantly less than the cost of a car. The same is true of artists: they can't make enough money to survive if they are limited to making money through touring, for a few reasons:

- Touring is grueling and expensive (anyone wanna calculate the cost in gas/vehicle maintenance/etc. of driving several musicians, their instruments, their amps, etc. hundreds or thousands of miles per week? And then how much does even the cheapest motel add up to? And then food for everyone?). It's only financially worthwhile if you're either successful enough to draw large crowds, or young enough with no responsibilities (no family, etc.) so that you can live in the back of a van for months on end and eat for a few bucks a day.

And before someone pipes up with "but they can sell t-shirts," remember that the reason it's possible for t-shirts to be profitable is because they are also protected by IP laws (copyright and trademark). If the band is selling "official" t-shirts inside the venue for $15 or $20 and someone is standing outside selling identical knock-offs for $10, that is money out of the band's pockets.

- Because touring is grueling, it's not conducive to writing NEW music. Most songwriters rarely or never write songs while on the road. If you're the introvert type, you can't write because you're stuffed into a van or bus with a bunch of other people and unless you're successful enough to afford it, you don't even have a hotel room to yourself, so you never get a minute to recharge. And if you're the extrovert type--the kind who composes while jamming with other musicians--you can't jam in the van or bus because there isn't room or appropriate sound equipment, and you can't jam in the hotel room because other guests would complain. 

But how is an artist supposed to expand their career and reach new fans without writing new music? There needs to be a way for them to make money while NOT touring. And there is--it's called royalties, which arise from copyright.

The majority of artists I've known and spoken to all make the bulk of their money from concerts, touring and T-shirt sales.  Very little trickles down to them from album sales if they're associated with any big label.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 11:05:51 AM by GuitarStv »

Daleth

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #76 on: August 08, 2014, 11:17:48 AM »
The majority of artists I've known and spoken to all make the bulk of their money from concerts, touring and T-shirt sales.  Very little trickles down to them from album sales if they're associated with any big label.

Big labels tend to give big advances, which many (most?) musicians don't understand means "this is a loan which you'll pay back by letting us keep all the royalties on album and single sales until it's paid back." And big labels also fund tours and videos which are likewise basically loans to the artist that are to be paid back with royalties. And in a lot of cases the money the label spent on the advance and on touring is never paid back--that is, the record being promoted never makes enough money to pay all that back--so there are never any more royalties due to the artist. IOW when you see cases like that, it's not the fault of copyright law, it's the fault of greedy record labels and of bands who get so blown away by the prospect of $$$ and fame that they sign stuff without even investing $200 to ask a lawyer what the contract means.

That's not the case with smaller or independent labels--no big advance (sometimes no advance at all) but you get to keep the royalties as they come in. And even with big labels the rights can later revert to the artist so they do start getting royalties--that tends to happen 2-3 decades later, which is often when the artist needs it because they're older, much less up for touring/more tied to a single location, and have family responsibilities, health problems etc. I have a friend who gets about $30k/year from some songs he wrote in the 1970s and released on a major label.

And then there are other royalties and similar deals (radio/internet, TV/movies). If your song gets picked up for a car ad or an episode of (insert TV show here), you are sitting pretty. Why? Because copyright law prevents that car company or TV producer from using your song without paying you.

And then there are cover songs. No one can cover your song without paying you, again because of copyright law. You can't KEEP anyone from covering a song that you recorded and released--no permission is needed--but if they do cover it, they are required to pay you. As well they should be, since part of the reason their version of your song makes any money is because it was a good song in the first place.

SisterX

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #77 on: August 08, 2014, 11:20:58 AM »
No need to say more--that is indeed the problem. Car companies wouldn't be able to make enough money to survive in a world where it was possible to copy a car for free, near-free or even just significantly less than the cost of a car. The same is true of artists: they can't make enough money to survive if they are limited to making money through touring, for a few reasons:

- Touring is grueling and expensive (anyone wanna calculate the cost in gas/vehicle maintenance/etc. of driving several musicians, their instruments, their amps, etc. hundreds or thousands of miles per week? And then how much does even the cheapest motel add up to? And then food for everyone?). It's only financially worthwhile if you're either successful enough to draw large crowds, or young enough with no responsibilities (no family, etc.) so that you can live in the back of a van for months on end and eat for a few bucks a day.

And before someone pipes up with "but they can sell t-shirts," remember that the reason it's possible for t-shirts to be profitable is because they are also protected by IP laws (copyright and trademark). If the band is selling "official" t-shirts inside the venue for $15 or $20 and someone is standing outside selling identical knock-offs for $10, that is money out of the band's pockets.

- Because touring is grueling, it's not conducive to writing NEW music. Most songwriters rarely or never write songs while on the road. If you're the introvert type, you can't write because you're stuffed into a van or bus with a bunch of other people and unless you're successful enough to afford it, you don't even have a hotel room to yourself, so you never get a minute to recharge. And if you're the extrovert type--the kind who composes while jamming with other musicians--you can't jam in the van or bus because there isn't room or appropriate sound equipment, and you can't jam in the hotel room because other guests would complain. 

But how is an artist supposed to expand their career and reach new fans without writing new music? There needs to be a way for them to make money while NOT touring. And there is--it's called royalties, which arise from copyright.

The majority of artists I've known and spoken to all make the bulk of their money from concerts, touring and T-shirt sales.  Very little trickles down to them from album sales if they're associated with any big label.

I did hear a while ago (and this was years ago, so I'm saying upfront, right now, that it might not have been a reliable source) that a lot of artists have actually benefited from piracy because it gets their music out there to a lot more people, many of whom decide that it's worth it to purchase a ticket for that band's/singer's next concert.  So it wasn't really the artists who lose out on piracy most of the time, it's the corporate label, since they take most of the profits from an album.
Haven't there even been a few artists who've basically endorsed piracy, too?  I might be wrong about that, but I thought there had been several artists who did say that they had no problem with it.  Also, there's a reason bands find it worthwhile to release "free" albums.  It drums up more ticket sales for their concerts.
I'm not trying to argue that piracy is either morally right or wrong.  Just, more food for thought.

iris lily

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #78 on: August 08, 2014, 12:01:49 PM »
I'm not really sure why you're hung up about this. I ordered books for a library. They were more expensive than private buying costs.

Um, hung up about? I'm inside a thread talking about piracy. I thought I was participating.

But why am I curious and inspired enough about this particular aspect to explore it? Every publishing contract I have stipulates the library discount on paperbacks (and other versions), and my royalty is dramatically reduced on every copy sold to a library. I'm not holding this against you. I'm learning from you that some libraries are not receiving this discount, yet my wage is being reduced as though they are. I shouldn't be intrigued and frustrated by that, and want to find out more about this from the industry that facilitates this?

Not all books are sold to libraries at those deep discounts.

Your book may not be in the category that sells to libraries at 40 - 45% discount. Those are, at my library, trade hardbacks from commercial publishers. Not Sci-Tech. Not small press. Not mass market. Not any of the other publishing categories defined by distributors.

Most public libraries that use major wholesalers will get this deep discount only for a tiny percentage of titles "published." And I use air quotes around "published" to mean print, Kindle, downloadable and other E-type distribution.

As an example, the fiction book at the top of the New York Times list is Big Little Lies by Lianne Moriarty.

List price: $26.95 (according to Amazon)
Amazon price to consumer: $16.16, shipping may be free
my library paid $15.18 (plus shipping) - nearly 44% discount
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 12:18:05 PM by iris lily »

tomsang

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #79 on: August 08, 2014, 01:47:41 PM »
List price: $26.95 (according to Amazon)
Amazon price to consumer: $16.16, shipping may be free
my library paid $15.18 (plus shipping) - nearly 44% discount

Comparing list price to the price that your library pays seems off, especially when you list what a consumer could buy it for on Amazon.  So maybe a 6% discount from market, or not if you get the book shipped for free on Amazon. MSRP is usually meaningless in commerce.


tomsang

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #80 on: August 08, 2014, 02:00:00 PM »
I did hear a while ago (and this was years ago, so I'm saying upfront, right now, that it might not have been a reliable source) that a lot of artists have actually benefited from piracy because it gets their music out there to a lot more people, many of whom decide that it's worth it to purchase a ticket for that band's/singer's next concert.  So it wasn't really the artists who lose out on piracy most of the time, it's the corporate label, since they take most of the profits from an album.
Haven't there even been a few artists who've basically endorsed piracy, too?  I might be wrong about that, but I thought there had been several artists who did say that they had no problem with it.  Also, there's a reason bands find it worthwhile to release "free" albums.  It drums up more ticket sales for their concerts.
I'm not trying to argue that piracy is either morally right or wrong.  Just, more food for thought.

I don't understand why it matters if the artist makes a penny or not. If the producer invests in finding, marketing, promoting, producing, music or a book or other IP, losing money on artists that don't workout, etc. then I think that they should be compensated for their services.  There has to be a reward or the companies will cease to exist and those hidden gems will not have a venue to promote themselves. To say it is ok to screw over the producers by pirating the content still seems very wrong.  I am a bit perplexed why this seems foreign to others.

The artist can always self produce.  It is challenging, hard work, but it is possible.  Our Mustachian Musician Macklemore and Ryan have pulled it off wonderfully. They are 1 in 1000 though. 

Do you know how much a farmer sells his goods for vs. what you pay for it at the Super Market? They are probably getting pennies on the dollar. To me that does not justify stealing from the grocery store.  They have to invest in finding the product, marketing the product, investing in the product, accounting for spoilage, overhead, transaction costs, etc. Stealing is Stealing, whether you are stealing from the man or stealing from the peon.  Contracts are in place, the peon does not have to sell to the man, they do so because they believe that they are going to get something out of the deal.

Done by Forty

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #81 on: August 08, 2014, 02:29:38 PM »
Cute question, but the OP's position specious. It doesn't stand up to any sort of analysis. Publishers willingly enter into agreements with libraries. Authors willingly enter in agreements with publishers. Piracy, by definition, operates outside of an agreement with any owner of intellectual property.

As someone succinctly said earlier in the thread, the difference is consent.

iris lily

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #82 on: August 08, 2014, 02:39:44 PM »
List price: $26.95 (according to Amazon)
Amazon price to consumer: $16.16, shipping may be free
my library paid $15.18 (plus shipping) - nearly 44% discount

Comparing list price to the price that your library pays seems off, especially when you list what a consumer could buy it for on Amazon.  So maybe a 6% discount from market, or not if you get the book shipped for free on Amazon. MSRP is usually meaningless in commerce.

Well, publishers and distributors like to use the concept of "list" price and many years ago, before the internet and mad price slashing, it made sense. Bookstores used "list price" a lot for their wares.

The "list" price is more of a theoretical concept now and is likely used exclusively as a baseline for discounting.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2014, 02:42:42 PM by iris lily »

scrubbyfish

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #83 on: August 08, 2014, 03:20:06 PM »
Not all books are sold to libraries at those deep discounts. Your book may not be in the category that sells to libraries at 40 - 45% discount. Those are, at my library, trade hardbacks from commercial publishers. Not Sci-Tech. Not small press. Not mass market. Not any of the other publishing categories defined by distributors. Most public libraries that use major wholesalers will get this deep discount only for a tiny percentage of titles "published." And I use air quotes around "published" to mean print, Kindle, downloadable and other E-type distribution.

Thanks, iris lily! Good info.

I understand, newly, from librarIan's post that not all books are sold to libraries at those deep discounts. So my next point of exploration was about the discrepancy between the agreements many authors are signing with publishers (for discount to library on paperback, for example) vs the news that libraries are not in fact getting a discount. i.e., In this case, why is the author seeing a reduction in royalty on those copies?

BUT...If publishers are talking "from list price", as in your example, and LibrarIan is talking "from the cheapest market price available at any given moment", the discrepancy quite possibly resolves. Thanks!

SisterX

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #84 on: August 08, 2014, 05:27:21 PM »
I did hear a while ago (and this was years ago, so I'm saying upfront, right now, that it might not have been a reliable source) that a lot of artists have actually benefited from piracy because it gets their music out there to a lot more people, many of whom decide that it's worth it to purchase a ticket for that band's/singer's next concert.  So it wasn't really the artists who lose out on piracy most of the time, it's the corporate label, since they take most of the profits from an album.
Haven't there even been a few artists who've basically endorsed piracy, too?  I might be wrong about that, but I thought there had been several artists who did say that they had no problem with it.  Also, there's a reason bands find it worthwhile to release "free" albums.  It drums up more ticket sales for their concerts.
I'm not trying to argue that piracy is either morally right or wrong.  Just, more food for thought.

I don't understand why it matters if the artist makes a penny or not. If the producer invests in finding, marketing, promoting, producing, music or a book or other IP, losing money on artists that don't workout, etc. then I think that they should be compensated for their services.  There has to be a reward or the companies will cease to exist and those hidden gems will not have a venue to promote themselves. To say it is ok to screw over the producers by pirating the content still seems very wrong.  I am a bit perplexed why this seems foreign to others.

The artist can always self produce.  It is challenging, hard work, but it is possible.  Our Mustachian Musician Macklemore and Ryan have pulled it off wonderfully. They are 1 in 1000 though. 

Do you know how much a farmer sells his goods for vs. what you pay for it at the Super Market? They are probably getting pennies on the dollar. To me that does not justify stealing from the grocery store.  They have to invest in finding the product, marketing the product, investing in the product, accounting for spoilage, overhead, transaction costs, etc. Stealing is Stealing, whether you are stealing from the man or stealing from the peon.  Contracts are in place, the peon does not have to sell to the man, they do so because they believe that they are going to get something out of the deal.

I never said that it was right, or wrong.  In fact I went out of my way to say that I wasn't putting a moral judgement on it.  I just wanted to refute the idea that artists always lose due to piracy.

That being said, the big grocers (hey, Walmart!) who put such pressure on growers to constantly lower their prices, to the point that some actually lose money on the transactions (read: "Foodopoly") and the corporate labels which consistently screw over artists don't exactly have a moral leg to stand on in all of this.  So arguing it from a morality standpoint seems a little foolish too.  I'm sure there are plenty of smaller, indie labels which aren't gouging their artists and which are getting screwed over by piracy.  But the biggest labels?  They do their best to screw everyone else over, and have used their lobbying power to stack the deck in their favor.  You're never going to make me feel bad for them.  Notice I'm not saying that I endorse piracy, just that I can understand it and don't have any empathy for the giant record labels.

tomsang

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #85 on: August 08, 2014, 05:39:21 PM »
That being said, the big grocers (hey, Walmart!) who put such pressure on growers to constantly lower their prices, to the point that some actually lose money on the transactions (read: "Foodopoly") and the corporate labels which consistently screw over artists don't exactly have a moral leg to stand on in all of this.  So arguing it from a morality standpoint seems a little foolish too.  I'm sure there are plenty of smaller, indie labels which aren't gouging their artists and which are getting screwed over by piracy.  But the biggest labels?  They do their best to screw everyone else over, and have used their lobbying power to stack the deck in their favor.  You're never going to make me feel bad for them.  Notice I'm not saying that I endorse piracy, just that I can understand it and don't have any empathy for the giant record labels.

So are you good with people shoplifting or stealing from Walmart? 

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #86 on: August 08, 2014, 05:43:43 PM »
That being said, the big grocers (hey, Walmart!) who put such pressure on growers to constantly lower their prices, to the point that some actually lose money on the transactions (read: "Foodopoly") and the corporate labels which consistently screw over artists don't exactly have a moral leg to stand on in all of this.  So arguing it from a morality standpoint seems a little foolish too.  I'm sure there are plenty of smaller, indie labels which aren't gouging their artists and which are getting screwed over by piracy.  But the biggest labels?  They do their best to screw everyone else over, and have used their lobbying power to stack the deck in their favor.  You're never going to make me feel bad for them.  Notice I'm not saying that I endorse piracy, just that I can understand it and don't have any empathy for the giant record labels.

So are you good with people shoplifting or stealing from Walmart?

Oh good God.  I'm done.  How many times and ways can I say that I'm not in favor of piracy and stealing?

beltim

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #87 on: August 08, 2014, 05:49:46 PM »
That being said, the big grocers (hey, Walmart!) who put such pressure on growers to constantly lower their prices, to the point that some actually lose money on the transactions (read: "Foodopoly") and the corporate labels which consistently screw over artists don't exactly have a moral leg to stand on in all of this.  So arguing it from a morality standpoint seems a little foolish too.  I'm sure there are plenty of smaller, indie labels which aren't gouging their artists and which are getting screwed over by piracy.  But the biggest labels?  They do their best to screw everyone else over, and have used their lobbying power to stack the deck in their favor.  You're never going to make me feel bad for them.  Notice I'm not saying that I endorse piracy, just that I can understand it and don't have any empathy for the giant record labels.

So are you good with people shoplifting or stealing from Walmart?

tomsang

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #88 on: August 08, 2014, 06:22:34 PM »
I understand that your viewpoint is widespread.  I am intrigued by your and other member's thoughts or logic on piracy.

That being said, the big grocers (hey, Walmart!) who put such pressure on growers to constantly lower their prices, to the point that some actually lose money on the transactions (read: "Foodopoly") and the corporate labels which consistently screw over artists don't exactly have a moral leg to stand on in all of this.  So arguing it from a morality standpoint seems a little foolish too.  I'm sure there are plenty of smaller, indie labels which aren't gouging their artists and which are getting screwed over by piracy.  But the biggest labels?  They do their best to screw everyone else over, and have used their lobbying power to stack the deck in their favor.  You're never going to make me feel bad for them.  Notice I'm not saying that I endorse piracy, just that I can understand it and don't have any empathy for the giant record labels.

So you appear to be saying that you don't endorse piracy, yet that you can understand it.  You state that Walmart's business practices are so poor that they don't have a moral leg to stand on. You also are stating you have no empathy for the giant record companies when people steal from them. Do you have empathy when people steal from Walmart or other mega grocery stores?

If you found out that someone was pirating movies, music, books, or other intellectual property for their personal use would you turn them in or ignore it because the big company makes plenty of money by screwing over the artists and others?

or

If you saw someone stealing from Walmart or another large grocery store or corporation for their personal use would you turn them in or ignore it because the big company makes plenty of money by screwing over the growers, employees, and society?
 
I truly am interested in the thought process in justifying stealing in any situation and appreciate the question.     

saralibrarian

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #89 on: August 08, 2014, 06:34:44 PM »
Scrubbyfish, I'm just going to chime in as another librarian who buys books at the 30-40 percent discount. You are correct that the baseline for the discount is the publisher's MSRP, or list price. In the US, the major distributors to libraries are Baker and Taylor (that's what my library uses) and Ingram. I second the fact that discounts vary greatly and in some cases do not exist. I've never seen the "circulation fee" markup that was mentioned in earlier posts. I believe that libraries are basically charged slightly more than other distributors (Barnes and Noble, Amazon, your local Indie bookstore) but we don't tack a margin onto that like those do (justifiably, so they can make a profit along with you!)

Thanks for being a content creator! I know it's a difficult job and we appreciate you!


scrubbyfish

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #90 on: August 08, 2014, 08:26:39 PM »
Thanks, saralibrarian! (And you're welcome, hee!)

How fun and magical to have so many librarians on the boards -along with all the engineers- and participating in this conversation. Yum.

GuitarStv

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #91 on: August 09, 2014, 08:46:03 AM »
I understand that your viewpoint is widespread.  I am intrigued by your and other member's thoughts or logic on piracy.

That being said, the big grocers (hey, Walmart!) who put such pressure on growers to constantly lower their prices, to the point that some actually lose money on the transactions (read: "Foodopoly") and the corporate labels which consistently screw over artists don't exactly have a moral leg to stand on in all of this.  So arguing it from a morality standpoint seems a little foolish too.  I'm sure there are plenty of smaller, indie labels which aren't gouging their artists and which are getting screwed over by piracy.  But the biggest labels?  They do their best to screw everyone else over, and have used their lobbying power to stack the deck in their favor.  You're never going to make me feel bad for them.  Notice I'm not saying that I endorse piracy, just that I can understand it and don't have any empathy for the giant record labels.

So you appear to be saying that you don't endorse piracy, yet that you can understand it.  You state that Walmart's business practices are so poor that they don't have a moral leg to stand on. You also are stating you have no empathy for the giant record companies when people steal from them. Do you have empathy when people steal from Walmart or other mega grocery stores?

If you found out that someone was pirating movies, music, books, or other intellectual property for their personal use would you turn them in or ignore it because the big company makes plenty of money by screwing over the artists and others?

or

If you saw someone stealing from Walmart or another large grocery store or corporation for their personal use would you turn them in or ignore it because the big company makes plenty of money by screwing over the growers, employees, and society?
 
I truly am interested in the thought process in justifying stealing in any situation and appreciate the question.   

Your analogy isn't apt.

Piracy is quite different than physical theft as has already been explained in this thread many times.  With piracy nobody loses property.  The part that ends up being 'stolen' is the theoretical money that theoretically would have been paid if the person committing piracy would have purchased the item were it not available for free.  There's certainly no 1:1 correlation of piracy to earnings loss.

How many times is a library book used before it falls apart and another needs to be purchased?  100?  If the library pays 100% of retail for the book, effectively each user is getting the book for only 1% of the price paid to the author/publisher.  That is a loss of 99% of the theoretical money that would be paid.  It just seemed weird to me that everyone's OK with 99% loss! but not with 99.9999% loss (assuming that the one purchased book used for digital piracy is copied 1,000,000 times). We're talking fractions of a percent difference to the writers pocketbook here even if a 1:1 earnings loss correlation can be proven.

tomsang

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #92 on: August 09, 2014, 08:54:20 AM »
I am still blown away. You are stealing from the producer. I can't see how you can argue that. I don't understand why it matters if it is physical or not. To bring it back to your point.  Would you be good if an adult snuck into a movie theater without paying?  Into a baseball game? Into a concert? Into an arts festival? Into PAX? Into other. Into other venues? 

How do propose that the Producer or owner gets paid if everyone is stealing their Intellectual Property?

Very strange that you are good with people stealing other people's hard work and justifying it based on tangible vs. intangible. 

GuitarStv

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #93 on: August 09, 2014, 08:56:20 AM »
Who in this thread has indicated that they are good with stealing other people's work?  It's not something I've said, or that I believe.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2014, 09:02:01 AM by GuitarStv »

sol

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #94 on: August 09, 2014, 09:54:19 AM »
Who in this thread has indicated that they are good with stealing other people's work?  It's not something I've said, or that I believe.

I think most people assume that if you're questioning the status quo, then you disagree with the status quo.  Since piracy is currently illegal, people assume you'r a pirate if you even ask the question.

Same deal for marijuana.  If you start a thread about it, people assume you're a pothead.

YoungInvestor

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #95 on: August 09, 2014, 10:20:27 AM »
With a library, people can read the book one at a time. Conceivably, this could mean weeks or months of waiting for a recent bestseller.

With piracy, basically everyone could watch the movie with a single copy sold.

If you were an architect, wouldn't you mind people stealing your designs? Physically,you wouldn't lose anything, yet, you would have lost a sales opportunity or a chance for fair competition.

People don't work for free, pay them or don't use what they make. Especially with netflix and many other cheap/free services available.

tomsang

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #96 on: August 09, 2014, 10:21:09 AM »
You get your book, CD, or movie for no cost.  The artist is not paid for your usage of the material.  Nothing is stolen in either scenario.

Your first post is where I got the idea that you didn't see that something is stolen. Once the artist signs with the label they are out of the picture. What the label does with their art is negotiated in the contract. Just like when a farmer sells their product to a buyer. The buyer can bread it, put additives in it, deep fry it, give it away for free or sell it for a ridiculous price. Their contract was fulfilled upon delivery of the product and services stipulated in the contract. All the profits and losses are now the property of the producer. Stealing from a grocery store or from Sony is still stealing.

If Sony is good with selling the content to libraries, XM radio, radio stations that is there choice on how to maximize their profits. The contract between Sony and the artist may determine what can and cannot occur.

P.S. Is there any relevance that Sony music lost money for 5 quarters in a row?  I think it is assumed that they take the naive artists work and they make ungodly profits. There is still risk involved in producing.   They take the risk, they get the rewards or losses

scrubbyfish

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #97 on: August 09, 2014, 01:17:01 PM »
This morning I received an email from Amazon, presumably sent to all authors distributed through them, pressing me not only to agree with its take on what authors should and should not be allowed to negotiate, but to explicitly lobby to forgo that right. Um, what? Why would I lobby to forgo that right? I was appalled that they would press me and other creators to do so. That particular level of piracy (which is other than the one the OP was referring to, I realize) is bad enough as it is!

I absolutely agree with the posts here that indicate a creator has the option to sign or not sign a given contract, or to work with a distributor or to distribute 100% independently, and I agree absolutely that publishers and distributors deserve a living wage and a return on their gamble/investment, but I'm still appalled at how little negotiating room creators actually have. If we go solo, we have no protection (cannot afford insurance or legal costs as a solo creator, do not get rates proportionate to those a publisher does, etc), but the contracts offered are not really negotiated -they're usually a "take it or leave it" deal. I don't think creators are in a particularly empowered position (very much like the Canadian farmer -food creator- I was listening to in an interview yesterday).

For what it's worth, this thread is inspiring me to buy (vs borrow) more content. Yesterday I bought my very first Amazon-offered ebook. I have bought a few author-distributed ebooks in the past, but generally I very rarely buy. Totally reassessing that now. I'm still going to use libraries, as well as continue to donate to libraries books I've bought, kept in perfect condition, and am finished with, but I'm going to seriously ponder investing a portion of my own monthly income into other authors by buying the option that gets them the highest royalty, too (as well as post positive reviews for stuff I like). Maybe that's the best balance I, as both writer and reader, can strike at this point in my financial life.

Daleth

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #98 on: August 10, 2014, 09:10:38 AM »
This morning I received an email from Amazon, presumably sent to all authors distributed through them, pressing me not only to agree with its take on what authors should and should not be allowed to negotiate, but to explicitly lobby to forgo that right. Um, what? Why would I lobby to forgo that right? I was appalled that they would press me and other creators to do so. That particular level of piracy (which is other than the one the OP was referring to, I realize) is bad enough as it is!

I absolutely agree with the posts here that indicate a creator has the option to sign or not sign a given contract, or to work with a distributor or to distribute 100% independently, and I agree absolutely that publishers and distributors deserve a living wage and a return on their gamble/investment, but I'm still appalled at how little negotiating room creators actually have. If we go solo, we have no protection (cannot afford insurance or legal costs as a solo creator, do not get rates proportionate to those a publisher does, etc), but the contracts offered are not really negotiated -they're usually a "take it or leave it" deal. I don't think creators are in a particularly empowered position (very much like the Canadian farmer -food creator- I was listening to in an interview yesterday).

For what it's worth, this thread is inspiring me to buy (vs borrow) more content. Yesterday I bought my very first Amazon-offered ebook. I have bought a few author-distributed ebooks in the past, but generally I very rarely buy. Totally reassessing that now. I'm still going to use libraries, as well as continue to donate to libraries books I've bought, kept in perfect condition, and am finished with, but I'm going to seriously ponder investing a portion of my own monthly income into other authors by buying the option that gets them the highest royalty, too (as well as post positive reviews for stuff I like). Maybe that's the best balance I, as both writer and reader, can strike at this point in my financial life.

It's crazy that Amazon sent you that! Who on earth is going to lobby to reduce their own rights?!

You may be able to get liability insurance (which should cover your legal costs for things like accusations of copyright infringement, invasion of privacy suits filed by people who think you wrote about them, etc.) through a writers' organization--here's what you can get through the Authors' Guild, for instance:
http://www.authorsguild.org/member-benefits/media-liability-insurance/

And you can also often get legal advice through writers' organizations (for instance: https://www.nwu.org/contract-advice) or through your local branch of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, if that exists in your area. Here's the NYC branch's website:
http://www.vlany.org/
They may be able to point you to a local branch. VLA is an organization that practicing lawyers work through in order to offer pro bono services to artists, writers, musicians etc.

Re buying content, I agree with you. I must have 4000+ songs on my iPod and either I or my husband bought every one of them. When I'm making a buy vs. borrow decision I factor in how "big" the artist is--i.e. I would be more likely to borrow a Stephen King or JK Rowling book and more likely to buy a Lev Grossman book, for instance.

scrubbyfish

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Re: How is using the library different than digital piracy?
« Reply #99 on: August 10, 2014, 10:34:36 AM »
Daleth: Thanks for the leads! Alas, I'm in Canada and although I have seen excellent rates offered to US writers through US organizations, I wasn't able to locate the equivalent offer in Canada, even despite excellent support on an Ask A Mustachian thread I started some months ago. There are writers organizations here, and some of those offer group health insurance, but none were able to link me to any legal coverage. An insurance company I asked said even if we grouped together, the rate would still be about the same per person.

For the past three years, I paid $3000 per year for legal coverage, and in the end, it didn't cover me when someone claimed my work was theirs. That cost me another $22,000 in direct costs, plus another $50,000 (and counting) in lost income. (This is what I mean about lack of protection, author risks, etc, and why I have such concerns re: little negotiating power and reduced royalties, etc.)

I think one approach I'll have with libraries vs buying is to try to reinvest some of my writing income into authors whose work I'm thrilled about, and use libraries to "stumble upon" producers I don't already know about/am not specifically seeking out. (And then if I love them, post a great review, buy some of their other work, etc.)