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Why the draconian copyright restrictions?


Orions_Stardom

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There's a major flaw in the argument of one of linked-to essays:

 

"We reject this because it is really a form of power, not a freedom."

 

"Power is being able to make decisions that affect others more than you."

 

Giving users the right to distribute, modify and basically do whatever the heck they want with other peoples' work affects more than them - it also affects the authors, especially those authors who feel so protective of the work that removing their rights would mean they'd stop publically releasing their work. By Kuhn and Stallman's own definition, users being able to do whatever they want would not be giving them rights, it would be giving them power - which Kuhn and Stallman clearly vehemently oppose.

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Oh, BTW since we touched that, in my country it's (unless they've changed it a moment ago) perfectly legal to copy the cd you like 20 times and give to the members of your family/friends. It's illigal to sell it or give to people who are not your friends.

 

BTW Nightmare why are venturing into people who want to protect their work, I thought we were talking about mods, something we do for fun? I.e. if it's about mods I'm for total common ownership, if you're let's say a writer and live off sales of your books then it's a slightly different matter.

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Assume the it would help him somehow. It is a violation of his rights and mine to say I'm not allowed to help my friend.

By that logic, it's a violation of someone's rights if he's not allowed to go around stealing, murdering, raping, etc :party:.

 

Not if they self-publish, bypassing the middle-men entirely.

 

Slight problem: unless it was done via the internet, they almost certainly wouldn't be able to afford to, especially if they were just starting out. Even if they could afford to publish on their own, they'd quickly start losing profit once large numbers other people started publishing their work without giving the author any royalties, etc. I'm afraid what you're proposing would most likely just move the power away from the big companies to wealthy, upper class individuals.

 

Publishing via the internet is of course an option, but only if you're not particularly interested in making much money from it. Obviously you could charge for downloads, but if you do that you're just going to find your work uploaded to the various peer-to-peer networks almost as soon as it was released. Oh, and remember that now it wouldn't even be illegal, since we've given pirates the legal right to do what they do!

 

Also, not everyone has a computer, and even those who do don't neccessarily have an internet connection. Internet-only publishing would therefore give even more power to the hardware, software and internet service provider companies, since not only would prospective authors/musicians/etc be forced to have an internet-capable computer, but every single user would be forced to have an internet-capable computer as well. In other words, we've just taken away the user's right not to have a computer, and his right not to have an internet connection :party:!

 

If they can get a revenue stream from people paying them because they like the music (and as I quoted earlier, 'if a box popped up asking if you want to give the author a dollar, wouldn't you click?')

 

Only if I knew it actually *did* go to the original author - something which is far from guaranteed, especially if the copyright laws are so strongly relaxed. Even if it somehow were guaranteed, I'm afraid you'll find the number of people who would actually donate money would be something like 1/500. Not exactly ideal if you want to earn a living from your creativity :).

 

then those middle-men will suffer, but that won't matter to anyone but them: they will suffer not because laws don't protect them enough, but because the way they make money is impractical and obsolete when the internet comes into play.

 

Perhaps a few decades in the future, but it certainly isn't now. Illegal file-sharing is a fairly serious problem for those trying to earn a living from creative works already - just imagine what things would be like if books, games, music, films, etc were only available via the internet, and sharing them via file-sharing networks was 100% legal.

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Hmm, again this "file sharing brings losses". From the figures I've seen music/movies sales are rather growing then diminishing. I know the companies cry that they're losing millions but that's because they assume that if not for piracy those products would be purchased legally. One should rather compare sales from let's say mid 80s and see how things like file sharing affected things.

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BTW Nightmare why are venturing into people who want to protect their work, I thought we were talking about mods, something we do for fun? I.e. if it's about mods I'm for total common ownership, if you're let's say a writer and live off sales of your books then it's a slightly different matter.

 

Some people don't find the idea of other people being allowed to take something they've spent countless hours of time and effort on, and distribute a modified version of it without even asking for permission or including the appropriate credits in the accompanying text file to be "fun". They most likely don't find the idea of other people being allowed to take that work and claim that they made it to be "fun" either. They certainly don't find the idea of users regularly coming along and demanding that they support a version of a mod which someone else has modified to be "fun".

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Hmm, again this "file sharing brings losses". From the figures I've seen music/movies sales are rather growing then diminishing. I know the companies cry that they're losing millions but that's because they assume that if not for piracy those products would be purchased legally. One should rather compare sales from let's say mid 80s and see how things like file sharing affected things.

 

Yes, but we're talking about what would happen if pirating music, movies, etc were made entirely legal. Those profits would change to loses *extremely* quickly. After all, why should a shop like Virgin Megastores or HMV buy multiple copies of a CD or DVD from the distributor, when they could just buy a single copy and make as many copies from it as they like?

 

Also, legalizing piracy would also mean legallizing poor quality (in terms of picture/sound/etc) reproductions. As anyone who goes to the cinema should know, quality degrades due to regular use. Thus we have yet an example of relaxed copyrights actually *removing* a right from the user, namely the right to buy a legal copy of a work and expect it to be of a certain quality.

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Hmm, again this "file sharing brings losses". From the figures I've seen music/movies sales are rather growing then diminishing. I know the companies cry that they're losing millions but that's because they assume that if not for piracy those products would be purchased legally. One should rather compare sales from let's say mid 80s and see how things like file sharing affected things.

Yes, we're talking about what would happen if pirating music, movies, etc were made entirely legal. Those profits would change to loses *extremely* quickly. After all, why should a shop like Virgin Megastores or HMV buy multiple copies of a CD or DVD from the distributor, when they could just buy a single copy and make as many copies from it as they like.

 

Also, legalizing piracy would also mean legallizing poor quality (in terms of picture/sound/etc) reproductions, thus we have yet an example of relaxed copyrights actually *removing* a right from the user, namely the right to buy a legal copy of a work and expecting it to be of a certain quality.

Who said anything about legalizing pirated material?? I'm at a loss... I only meant that most of the people who e.g. download a game for free would not buy it for 50 euros should only legal means of obtaining it existed. Thus losses to publishers due to piracy are not as high as they claim...

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BTW Nightmare why are venturing into people who want to protect their work, I thought we were talking about mods, something we do for fun? I.e. if it's about mods I'm for total common ownership, if you're let's say a writer and live off sales of your books then it's a slightly different matter.

 

Some people don't find the idea of other people being allowed to take something they've spent countless hours of time and effort on, and distribute a modified version of it without even asking for permission or including the appropriate credits in the accompanying text file to be "fun". They most likely don't find the idea of other people being allowed to take that work and claim that they made it to be "fun" either. They certainly don't find the idea of users regularly coming along and demanding that they support a version of a mod which someone else has modified to be "fun".

Well, yes I'm aware that some people tread things very seriously. But after all in such situation only harm is done to your ego. After all shouldn't modding be about making a game better and enhancing your experience while playing it? Does it really matter who did, who gets credit etc.? I know to many it probably does...

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Who said anything about legalizing pirated material?? I'm at a loss... I only meant that most of the people who e.g. download a game for free would not buy it for 50 euros should only legal means of obtaining it existed. Thus losses to publishers due to piracy are not as high as they claim...

 

Orion_Stardom did. He's saying that certain aspects of copyright, such as the part which gives the copyright holder the exclusive right to publish, sell and distribute his material (unless he relinquishes the right) was entirely unintentioned by the people who created copyright law, and that it's morally questionable because it gives the author/publisher them too much power over the user.

 

BTW Nightmare why are venturing into people who want to protect their work, I thought we were t

Well, yes I'm aware that some people tread things very seriously. But after all in such situation only harm is done to your ego. After all shouldn't modding be about making a game better and enhancing your experience while playing it? Does it really matter who did, who gets credit etc.? I know to many it probably does...

 

Yes, modding is indeed about making a game better and enhancing your experience whilst playing it. However, if that was *all* it was about, all mods would exist exclusively on the hard drives of the people who made them. If modders couldn't care less what anyone thought about ourselves or our mods, what reason would we have for actually releasing our mods to the public?

 

It's hard to be inspired to create something that's going to be played by other people, if you know many of your potential audience are not only going to have no absolutely respect for either you or what you went through to create it, but are fully entitled to spit all over your valuable time and effort by modifying your work without permission, claiming it to be their own, etc. In such an instance, many people would decide to make their mods simply for themselves and close, trusted friends. In other words, bruising someone's ego also bruises their creativity :).

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Who said anything about legalizing pirated material?? I'm at a loss... I only meant that most of the people who e.g. download a game for free would not buy it for 50 euros should only legal means of obtaining it existed. Thus losses to publishers due to piracy are not as high as they claim...

 

Orion_Stardom did. He's saying that certain aspects of copyright, such as the part which gives the copyright holder the exclusive right to publish, sell and distribute his material (unless he relinquishes the right) was entirely unintentioned by the people who created copyright law, and that it's morally questionable because it gives the author/publisher them too much power over the user.

Oh, Ok. I've really got lost in this discussion :) .

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While i'm pro free software (in both senses), and i write GemRB under the GPL which allows reselling, I would not develop game content under a similar condition.

It would not do me any good if people get my mod for free and then resell it for profit.

While distributing GemRB might well inspire more people to do mods I will like. (And the GPL will also enforce people to contribute code back to me).

For a game content it is much harder to assimilate additions (while it seems easy to resell it without changes).

If you don't like mods that don't let you rip their original authors off, don't download them.

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By the way, about distributing and selling mods: did I mention that I accidentally bought a copy of TDD together with TOB, and paid the same money for both CD's, over three years ago? They both had pretty pictures on their boxes and everything...

 

Only after I started to play these I learned that TOB was an official expansion, and TDD was actually a mod.

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By the way, about distributing and selling mods: did I mention that I accidentally bought a copy of TDD together with TOB, and paid the same money for both CD's, over three years ago? They both had pretty pictures on their boxes and everything...

 

Only after I started to play these I learned that TOB was an official expansion, and TDD was actually a mod.

Nice. That might be actually considered a kinda complement towards TDD. BTW does it mean you have a pirated copy of TOB? :)

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Yeah, I suppose so. For a long time, it was nearly impossible to buy licensed CD's in Russia at all - or very difficult to find. Now the situation has changed, of course.

 

I've managed to buy a licensed Diablo II, however. :) Though, considering that average wages in my home town(not Moscow) are 200$ per month, and a licensed game costs 30$... well, you get the idea.

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I respectfully submit that you've been letting the dogma you're tossing at us blind you as to what is and is not actually a problem. It's not even all especially compatible in the same discussion--as far as I can tell, those "Scratchware" people (an uglier technology term I have not seen until "blog" caught on) are very much interested in "conventional" copyright, they just want to develop and distribute commercial software outside of the typical model and traditional market but still get filthy rich doing so. And nothing's stopping modders from participating in the "scratchware" market or the conventional retail software market.

 

While there are plenty of good arguments to be made for freely reusable code, we keep telling you that it's already happening every day. (It's Ghareth, incidentally, and not Kelsey, who seems to end up as the framework for a lot of NPC development--which suits me just fine.) Never mind the fact that many modders have contributed completely unencumbered tutorials and how-tos.

 

As for the creative/content side of the equation, it has yet to be made clear to me that, let's say, a novel written in totally open wiki-style is of greater benefit to authors and society than one written by a closed, copyright-protected individual or team. Maybe Stallman would get off on it, but I remain unconvinced.

 

There are, of course, some limited examples of real-world applications of this thinking which have led to new creations. I happen to like Art of Noise, but that doesn't mean I think all creative content should be readily available for any mix-and-match you please. And, again, you haven't provided a compelling argument as to why it should, except for that it makes us big meanies. But I can sleep at night imposing that much on your rights.

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