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Piracy / Linkage (Read 62559 times)
MrMagoo
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Re: Piracy / Linkage
Reply #60 - Aug 14th, 2008 at 6:38pm
 
El_Pescador wrote on Aug 14th, 2008 at 5:17pm:
SAFE Quote:
"... I know I will never convince people of your persuasion in these matters of this..."

Thanks for trying to help but, I'm not taking issue with the exact words he used to phrase it.  I considered the possibility I was reading his post with a different tone than he wrote it, and was still a little offended. 

I'm taking issue with the fact that he is seemingly lumping me in with pirates and fanatics when I have taken pains to have a discussion on the topic rather than just repeat some mantra I read somewhere.  Your 'safe quotes' still imply a lumping with some group Nigel has a distaste for (and understandably so) rather than respecting my viewpoint as an educated consumer. 

I've been trying to discuss the issue with him consumer to developer - as someone with a strong point of view on the other side of the fence.  His comment that I'm 'one of them' indicates to me that he doesn't see the discussion the same way - that he feels like he is trying to preach ('lecture' in his words) to the immoral pirate masses in his posts to this thread.  I don't intend to represent those crowds and don't intend to continue the discussion under those assumptions.
 
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Nigel Bree
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Re: Piracy / Linkage
Reply #61 - Aug 14th, 2008 at 7:19pm
 
Cheers, Pesky. You're right, I shouldn't have said that. Unfortunately, this endless repeating of "DRM bad" really annoys me because it's so intellectually dishonest; it's purely a political statement, not one based on economics, or actual human behaviour, or looking at the question of how to improve things for everyone. Everyone is allowed to make such statements of their own views, of course, but as with Stallman's "arguments" that the world would be magically better without evil money-making companies it's not really advancing a viable alternative to anything.

The real problem is how to address the problem that DRM is trying to solve, if not via DRM; in a world with perfect, immediate digital distribution, in a world where any attempts to encode ethical, socially responsible behaviour in law face determined opposition (even in countries like New Zealand or Sweden with open governments, no corruption, and long traditions of legislation for socially beneficial outcomes), how is it possible for any creator or person with a new idea to prosper?

Right now, no-one has any answer. Societies have not provided creators or publishers any other tools beyond legal restrictions on copying which are largely framed in terms of pre-electronic physical objects. So, when we are faced with piracy that involves physical distribution of counterfeit product it's at least usually possible to deal with it in the existing legal and enforcement framework. For personal copying the asymmetries producers face are insane - it's just not economically viable to pursue enforcement, and now that things have got as bad as they have it probably won't ever be.

All the traditional tools of societies for addressing such problems are problematic in the digital age, especially in an environment like the current one where truly mass piracy has been made so easy. As more and more consumers adopt the idea that whatever they want should be available on demand whenever they want it, doing anything via the law to address this form of market failure becomes harder and harder.

So, markets will simply have to adapt to a new equilibrium, built around those same four islands where the business models are not being too disrupted - embedded software made by hardware manufacturers (who have physical product they can protect), software for business (businesses must obey the law, after all, and the incentives for medium and larger business to do so are strong), services to consumers which rely on advertising (the newspaper/television business model), and the games/movies entertainment businesses which rely on recouping more and more money in a shorter and shorter time until their product falls into the advertising-supported bin.

The online services one is the most interesting, because it's the only one of these which doesn't impose really significant challenges to new business (next easiest for new entrants is business software, but it has some real challenges) and thus be a source of major innovation, and it's the only which offers access to consumer markets other than the hardware-vendor publishing platforms like the Sony/Microsoft/Apple/... ones. But right now there's still no good alternative way to monetise those in a way which lets people really capture the rewards from innovation. Well, beyond advertising.

And creators of new services have to struggle with the same problems; because barriers to entry are low, and their ideas are not able to be protected (they can only protect their implementations), they only have limited ways to protect themselves from competition. The only real differentiator in a world where services are being priced at zero and supported by advertising is quality of experience, but that quality of experience takes investment. And where does that investment come from? Existing large businesses can sustain that kind of thing, but are the doors open enough for new business and ideas?

 
 
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MrMagoo
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Re: Piracy / Linkage
Reply #62 - Aug 14th, 2008 at 7:56pm
 
Quote:
The real problem is how to address the problem that DRM is trying to solve, if not via DRM

...And I suppose people who don't have suggestions on how to improve the situation shouldn't complain about the status quo too loudly.  The 'Slashdot crowd' is definitely guilty of that.

The thing is, hearing an admission that DRM is not the ideal fix for piracy from the very people implementing it brings a breath of relief that we are all at least thinking about the common goal of improving customer experience.  The response of "I know it can be a pain, but DRM is a necessary evil" is much easier to swallow as a consumer than "Stop being a greedy pirate and give us your money."  It may sound silly when put that way, but that's how people hear it, and that is what leads to the emotional nature of it.

Quote:
And creators of new services have to struggle with the same problems; because barriers to entry are low, and their ideas are not able to be protected (they can only protect their implementations), they only have limited ways to protect themselves from competition. The only real differentiator in a world where services are being priced at zero and supported by advertising is quality of experience, but that quality of experience takes investment. And where does that investment come from? Existing large businesses can sustain that kind of thing, but are the doors open enough for new business and ideas?

This hits home for me.  I've been cooking together a decent idea for an entertainment product, but my fear is that it will be quickly copied and run over by companies with much more resources than I have.  I think that Open Source actually helps to some extent on this front.  Writing an entire operating system is far beyond my capabilities, but adding new features to a Linux operating system to provide a unique customer experience is doable.  Essentially, Open Source allows the community to do much of the ground work of creating a quality experience for the consumer, leaving the final details to the innovator. It's not a perfect system, but it may, as you say, lead to new equilibriums. 

I don't have the answers, but I think respectful discussion of the issues are going to have to take place between smart people from all sides - business, consumer, law makers, and law enforcers - before progress can be made.  Unfortunately, it seems like those discussions are getting more and more difficult to have due to the rising tensions.
 
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Re: Piracy / Linkage
Reply #63 - Sep 26th, 2009 at 6:22am
 
Rad wrote on Jul 16th, 2008 at 8:01pm:
Checking in.

Killer thread. Very interesting.

Readers of this thread would be interested in this article that contrasts 'standard' EULA's against Open-Source Licences (GPL/BSD-type licenses). Based on a suit in France, favoring the GPL-camp:
http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2009/09/big-gpl-copyright-enforcement-wi...

He then goes on to give an overview/contrast between the various types of licenses, in a manner understandable to general folk, without much of legal jargon (unlike some parts of this post).


Quote:
... And this brings me to the difference between an End User License Agreement and open source licenses like the GPL or the BSD licenses. I will try to explain it as clearly as I can by using a number of simple diagrams to illustrate what, exactly, it is that these documents do.

 
 
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Re: Piracy / Linkage
Reply #64 - Sep 26th, 2009 at 7:25am
 
zmdmw wrote on Sep 26th, 2009 at 6:22am:
Readers of this thread would be interested in this article that contrasts 'standard' EULA's against Open-Source Licences (GPL/BSD-type licenses). Based on a suit in France, favoring the GPL-camp:
http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2009/09/big-gpl-copyright-enforcement-wi...

 
 
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