• archomrade [he/him]
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    5 months ago

    It doesn’t matter whose fault it is.

    ‘Piracy is stealing’ certainly seems to be a statement of fault, doesn’t it?

    What matters is that someone is being deprived of something by someone who found value in a thing that the person created.

    No, that someone is being deprived of something in the first instance by being made to justify their existence through their labor. That someone isn’t willing to pay for that labor is only depriving them in the second instance, and there are innumerable examples where essential labor is uncompensated in our market system.

    If you want people to make more of the things you like, you have to pay them for those things.

    That is not a given. I happen to think that by returning the time that was stolen from us (or some portion thereof) by coercing us into labor, we can all be free to create what we want. Forcing art to abide by the rules of the free market only serves to corrupt it, not enable it to sustain itself.

    Stealing has a definition. It means that you’re taking something from someone.

    Stealing actually has a bunch of definitions, and most of them depend upon the abstract concept of ‘property’.

    there’s no point in having a further discussion with you because you’re only pretending not to understand to justify behavior that benefits you.

    Finally something we can agree on.

    • Zoolander@lemmy.world
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      5 months ago

      I was saying that it doesn’t matter whose fault it is to your assertion that “it’s not the creators or the consumers” fault. Piracy does have a person that’s at fault and, logically, it’s the person getting something for free that is not being offered for free.

      I’m not talking about anyone justifying their existence through labor. You’re arguing a straw man. I’m stating that creators make something with the intent to get paid for that thing. Their motivation for why they’re doing so (whether it’s to participate in the system, “justify their existence”, personal gratification, or otherwise) is irrelevant to the argument being made. Having numerable instances where people are uncompensated doesn’t justify those situations anymore than it justifies this one.

      Everything else you said about artists is all well and good and entirely meaningless to the people who can’t afford to pay their bills because they have no choice but to live within the market that they do. Of course I’d be happy if we lived in a Star Trekian utopia where money doesn’t matter anymore but we don’t and pirating content that people make isn’t going to change that.

      All I’m arguing is that it’s dishonest to suggest that piracy is not stealing when the entire proposition of piracy is an entitlement to be able to consume something without paying for it. That is stealing by any stretch of the imagination. Whether you’re watching a movie without paying for it, using a website that someone built for you that you didn’t pay for, or having sex with a prostitute who you refuse to pay… it’s all stealing.

      • archomrade [he/him]
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        5 months ago

        I’m not talking about anyone justifying their existence through labor. You’re arguing a straw man. I’m stating that creators make something with the intent to get paid for that thing. Their motivation for why they’re doing so (whether it’s to participate in the system, ‘justify their existence’, personal gratification, or otherwise) is irrelevant to the argument being made. Having numerable instances where people are uncompensated doesn’t justify those situations anymore than it justifies this one.

        Everything else you said about artists is all well and good and entirely meaningless to the people who can’t afford to pay their bills because they have no choice but to live within the market that they do.

        Except it isn’t, because you’re arguing they deserve to be paid because otherwise they can’t afford to pay their bills. You’ve made it explicitly relevant.

        All I’m arguing is that it’s dishonest to suggest that piracy is not stealing when the entire proposition of piracy is an entitlement to be able to consume something without paying for it.

        And i’m saying it’s dishonest to suggest that piracy is stealing when the entire proposition of digital copyright is an entitlement to be able to extract currency from something that’s infinitely reproducible by denying access to it.

        That is stealing by any stretch of the imagination. Whether you’re watching a movie without paying for it, using a website that someone built for you that you didn’t pay for, or having sex with a prostitute who you refuse to pay… it’s all stealing.

        Where to start with this one…

        • ‘watching a movie without paying for it’: like renting a movie from a library? sharing a dvd with a friend? time and format-shifting a dvd you’ve bought? plenty of legal examples here that are inconsistent with what you’re saying
        • ‘using a website that someone built for you that you didn’t pay for’: this is a weird one, since ‘using a website that someone built without paying for it’ is exactly how the internet works now… Unless you mean stiffing a contractor you had an agreement with?
        • ‘having sex with a prostitute who you refuse to pay’: another weird and grotesque example… but I think conceptually the same as the website example? Stiffing a contractor?
        • ‘That is stealing by any stretch of the imagination’: and it is quite a stretch (you’ve misused this turn-of-phrase)
        • Zoolander@lemmy.world
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          5 months ago

          No, that’s not what I’m arguing. I’m arguing that they deserve to be paid because they’re asking to be paid for their work rather than giving it away for free. Their reasons for wanting to get paid are irrelevant. They are not offering the product of their labor for free. Full stop. Why they’re doing that doesn’t matter.

          the entire proposition of digital copyright is an entitlement to be able to extract currency from something that’s infinitely reproducible by denying access to it.

          I’m not talking about copyright, though! Copyright is a legal concept defined by lawmakers. I’m not focusing on the legality of piracy at all. I don’t care if it’s legal or not and I don’t care about the copyright. I’m simply arguing that people create things and expect to get paid for them. They don’t create them to give them away for free unless they’ve explicitly decided to do that.

          watching a movie without paying for it’: like renting a movie from a library? sharing a dvd with a friend? time and format-shifting a dvd you’ve bought? plenty of legal examples here that are inconsistent with what you’re saying

          watching a movie without paying for it’: like renting a movie from a library? sharing a dvd with a friend? time and format-shifting a dvd you’ve bought? plenty of legal examples here that are inconsistent with what you’re saying

          Libraries have to get permission from creators to carry intangible goods. Libraries do not and cannot just buy media and offer it for consumption without permission, especially for digital media that is intangible. Sharing a DVD with a friend is a tangible good and therefore has physical limitations that intangible media does not so it is not the same. And, again, I’m not arguing about the legal implications of any of this so whether or not other things are legal or not is irrelevant.

          ‘using a website that someone built for you that you didn’t pay for’: this is a weird one, since ‘using a website that someone built without paying for it’ is exactly how the internet works now… Unless you mean stiffing a contractor you had an agreement with?

          Stiffing a contractor is exactly what I mean. The person that created your website. The person that created the intangible good that you seem to be arguing is just fine to copy indefinitely without paying that person for their time (again, unless they’ve explicitly granted its free use).

          ‘having sex with a prostitute who you refuse to pay’: another weird and grotesque example… but I think conceptually the same as the website example? Stiffing a contractor?

          Why is that a weird and/or grotesque example? Sex workers are people and provide a service. So, yes…stiffing a contractor.

          ‘That is stealing by any stretch of the imagination’: and it is quite a stretch (you’ve misused this turn-of-phrase)

          Ok? I don’t think I did but does that really matter? The point still stands whether I used the idiom correctly or not.

          • archomrade [he/him]
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            5 months ago

            they’re asking to be paid for their work rather than giving it away for free

            If I spend months intricately painting my car with the expectation of being paid, am i justified in asking to be paid for you looking at it? Am I justified in accusing you of theft if you take a picture of it as I drive by? If you share it with all your friends? If I post an elaborate tiktok and say, ‘if you viewed this please pay me $5’, can I accuse you of theft if you don’t?

            At what point does a desire to be paid for creative work become an obligation on the part of those who consume it? By what natural law is a creator granted exclusive right to the consumption and distribution of that intangible work?

            Them expecting to be paid has no bearing on the moral or ethical obligation for me to do so. They’re asking to be paid for something that is by nature freely available and infinitely sharable. That doesn’t make something theft, especially not legally (which I now understand is not your point)

            The most you could argue is for a social obligation (i.e. you ought to pay for things you benefit from), but that wouldn’t amount to fucking theft. If that’s the point you’re making, then it’s disingenuous to refer to piracy as stealing.

            And, again, I’m not arguing about the legal implications of any of this so whether or not other things are legal or not is irrelevant.

            Great, that simplifies things.

            Stiffing a contractor is exactly what I mean. The person that created your website. The person that created the intangible good that you seem to be arguing is just fine to copy indefinitely without paying that person for their time (again, unless they’ve explicitly granted its free use).

            You’re talking about selling labor under contract, not consuming or sharing an intangible good freely. By the quote I shared, an idea [or intangible work] is exclusively yours until you decide to divulge it. Once you share it, it is no longer yours. A better example is if I pay you for your time to make me a website, and then someone else copies the HTML from the site after I publish it (as with most piracy, the person you’re hurting isn’t the creator but the IP owner, which is usually not the creator). Your time has been paid for already, and trying to limit access to that work after the fact is simply an abuse of some abstract ownership over something that can’t really be stolen. Anyone is free to support the work they enjoy, but saying that it’s an ethical obligation that amounts to theft if ignored is simply not a given.

            It’s the same with the sex worker, except there’s no intangible product of the work a prostitute does that’s infinitely reproducible… that example seems to have been included specifically for the emotional weight that work elicits, since it doesn’t appear to be relevant to your point.

            The problem is that in our current system, absent being paid for your labor or exclusive ownership to goods or capital needed by others, you can’t sustain yourself. That’s a relevant condition to what I think about someone copying the work I produce, not an irrelevant deflection. Additionally, the motivation to do the work changes how someone might feel about it being shared: if you only have to do work you like to do and believe in, and not for any financial obligation, doesn’t it change the emotional appeal you’re making from the point of view of the creator? And the collective benefit for making those creations freely available would outweigh any concern about obligatory compensation or abstract ownership.

            Absent those conditions, the ethical conclusion you’re trying to make wouldn’t be applicable by any stretch of the imagination.

            • Zoolander@lemmy.world
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              5 months ago

              This is all a nonsense argument.

              If I spend months intricately painting my car with the expectation of being paid

              You cannot force someone to pay for something that is displayed in public. If you took that car that you intricately painted and locked it in a garage and charged an admission fee to look at it, then, yes, you are justified. If you are driving it in public, everything else about what you say is invalidated - no, you are not justified in accusing someone of theft regardless of what happens after that. You gave up the right to that when you drove it publicly.

              At what point does a desire to be paid for creative work become an obligation on the part of those who consume it?

              At the point of its creation. Otherwise, you’re making the argument that everyone is entitled to anything anyone creates from the moment it’s created.

              They’re asking to be paid for something that is by nature freely available and infinitely sharable.

              This is the flaw in this argument. It is not freely available unless the creator is giving it to people freely. Most creators who make their content do not give it away freely.

              You’re talking about selling labor under contract, not consuming or sharing an intangible good freely. By the quote I shared, an idea [or intangible work] is exclusively yours until you decide to divulge it. Once you share it, it is no longer yours.

              Then, to be clear, you’re ok with someone stealing the work someone else made instead of paying you to do it at your job? If you’re a programmer, you’re ok with your boss just stealing someone else’s work if it does the job you’re being asked to do?

              there’s no intangible product of the work a prostitute does

              This is not true. The prostitute loses nothing that he/she had when they started the work and can continue to provide that same product to any number of people after they are done providing it to you. To borrow from your descriptions of pirated content, her product is infinitely reproducible and freely available (so long as she’s been paid for it, right?).

              The problem is that in our current system

              …and then you continue to make a claim for a situation that is not possible in our current system which makes it irrelevant.

              Yes, in a fantasy Star Trekian utopia where money doesn’t matter and people don’t need money to survive, I would love for creators to make art just because that’s what they’re passionate about. I’m not arguing that fantasy, I’m arguing reality.

              • archomrade [he/him]
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                5 months ago

                At the point of its creation. Otherwise, you’re making the argument that everyone is entitled to anything anyone creates from the moment it’s created.

                Nope, i’m making the argument that ownership ends when a work is shared publicly, not when it’s created.

                This is the flaw in this argument. It is not freely available unless the creator is giving it to people freely. Most creators who make their content do not give it away freely.

                By it’s nature, digital media is unrestricted, it costs nothing to reproduce and so cannot be ‘stolen’ from someone because doing so doesn’t take it away from them. That was Thomas Jefferson’s point; ideas have no natural property of exclusive ownership because they can spread and propagate at no cost. Different from labor, which is finite since it’s limited by time. Digital media is only restricted as an artificial means of extracting value from that limitation. But even then, there’s no reasonable expectation of control once that work is shared publicly because there are no physical boundaries that encapsulate it, no means to control its propagation once it departs from its origin. That’s what I mean by ‘it’s nature is freely accessible and infinitely reproducible’.

                Then, to be clear, you’re ok with someone stealing the work someone else made instead of paying you to do it at your job? If you’re a programmer, you’re ok with your boss just stealing someone else’s work if it does the job you’re being asked to do?

                As a matter of principle, absolutely. I don’t blame someone from reusing my creative work, I blame those who own and restrict my means of living from me in the first place, and I blame the people who take ownership of that creative work and restrict access to it in order to produce a profit that they withhold from me and those that labor to produce it. It would be far more efficient if we didn’t require problems to be solved over and over again, and far more efficient if the accumulation of capital didn’t further alienate creators from their work. It is exactly the concept of ownership that limits creative work, not piracy.

                The prostitute loses nothing that he/she had when they started the work and can continue to provide that same product to any number of people after they are done providing it to you.

                THAT ISN’T TRUE. They loose their TIME and that time is finite and discrete. The work they do in that time isn’t something that can be copied. You’re intentionally conflating labor and ownership and copyright (I am very explicitly using copyright here because that is what we are discussing, which is the RIGHT TO RESTRICT COPIES of a given work by the owner of the copyright). I paint a piece of art; the act of painting is the labor, the piece of art is the product. A prostitute is a service worker, they don’t produce a tangible product, THEIR LABOR IS THE PRODUCT. Every time the work is copied their time and effort are lost. Once digital media is produced, that media can be copied indefinitely at NO MATERIAL COST TO THE CREATOR.

                Yes, in a fantasy Star Trekian utopia where money doesn’t matter and people don’t need money to survive, I would love for creators to make art just because that’s what they’re passionate about. I’m not arguing that fantasy, I’m arguing reality.

                UBI isn’t a star trek fantasy. Public domain isn’t fantasy. You can close your eyes to what already exists all you want, but you can’t insist ‘piracy is stealing’ without confronting the reality that it depends on the illusion of ownership.

                • Zoolander@lemmy.world
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                  5 months ago

                  is shared publicly

                  Here’s the flaw in this. It’s not shared publicly. It’s only shared to the people who have paid for it. That’s why we have these stupid situations where distributors fall back on “licenses”.

                  ideas have no natural property of exclusive ownership because they can spread and propagate at no cost.

                  This is the flaw in this part. Digital media is not simply an idea. It is the manifestation of an idea. It took real people real time and real work to create it. Just because it’s intangible doesn’t mean that it is an idea.

                  Different from labor, which is finite since it’s limited by time.

                  If intangible media requires labor in order to be created then the media itself is, by extension, finite because it can’t be created without the tangible labor in order to move it from being an idea into being a product or manifestation of that idea. The fact that the time of the creators is finite and has value is what transfers that value to the end product.

                  that work is shared publicly

                  Again, a misrepresentation of how it is being shared. The argument you’re advocating for is that people who create digital media should only allow people to pay for temporary, physical access to that media in the same way that museums limit physical access to artwork. They shouldn’t release their content online, they should only allow access to it in a limited fashion where people have to go to a physical location to view it so as to ensure that they get paid for their work.

                  I blame those who own and restrict my means of living from me in the first place

                  So your argument is basically that we should live in a fantasy world where this isn’t the case?

                  It would be far more efficient if we didn’t require problems to be solved over and over again, and far more efficient if the accumulation of capital didn’t further alienate creators from their work.

                  It would. 100%. We don’t live in that world or on that planet.

                  Once digital media is produced,

                  Again, the flaw in your argument is here. Their labor and time are limited, in the exact same way as the other examples, in order to create the work in question. If they’re not compensated for that work, they can’t continue to create more of it.

                  NO MATERIAL COST TO THE CREATOR.

                  …only if you ignore the material cost to the creator to make it in the first place.

                  without confronting the reality that it depends on the illusion of ownership.

                  It does not rely on that. It relies on the idea that, regardless of whether a good is tangible or intangible, the people creating it deserve to be paid for it by the people who consume it. Public domain can only apply after something has already been created.

                  • archomrade [he/him]
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                    5 months ago

                    This is the flaw in this part. Digital media is not simply an idea. It is the manifestation of an idea.

                    Digital media has no natural property of exclusive ownership because they can spread and propagate at no cost. An idea is also manifested when it is divulged, and it requires mental labor the same as digital media.

                    If intangible media requires labor in order to be created then the media itself is, by extension, finite because it can’t be created without the tangible labor in order to move it from being an idea into being a product or manifestation of that idea

                    Wrong. There is the labor, and there is the media. The one is limited and the other is not. I didn’t take you for a proponent of the labor theory of value.

                    The creation of new media requires labor, but the product of that labor is infinite.

                    The argument you’re advocating for is that people who create digital media should only allow people to pay for temporary, physical access to that media in the same way that museums limit physical access to artwork

                    No, i’m saying it is the nature of the work that it requires no additional labor to copy a digital work. A limited digital stream is a copy of a work. That it expires is an arbitrary limitation that is imposed by the distributor (be it a corporation or the artists themselves) to extract a price, one that does not reflect an actual limit to the supply. That there is no other way you can think of to compensate people who produce media is really a reflection of your own lack of understanding than a reflection of ‘reality’.

                    It would. 100%. We don’t live in that world or on that planet.

                    “It is the way it is”. Doesn’t make piracy theft, it just serves as further proof that our system needs changing.

                    Again, the flaw in your argument is here. Their labor and time are limited, in the exact same way as the other examples, in order to create the work in question. If they’re not compensated for that work, they can’t continue to create more of it.

                    It’s not a flaw, it’s a feature. Conversely, if we consider every new work of media as singularly owned and distributed, the value of a corpus of media will grow indefinitely (e.g. a corporation that owns an exclusive library of work can charge whatever they want for that work, then produce and buy more exclusive work, and charge more for that work, ad infinitum; see Disney). The market as it is cannot continue indefinitely and will lead to the outcome you’re whining about here (artists not being being paid enough to eat). That is why there are dwindling production houses in media because exclusive ownership begets more exclusive ownership.

                    The only way to ensure artists are paid is to distribute surplus universally so they are free to produce art for its own sake (and not for the sake of the market leaders’ profit).

                    …only if you ignore the material cost to the creator to make it in the first place.

                    I’m not ignoring it, i’m assigning that value to the work itself and not the product of that work. Don’t be dense.

                    It does not rely on that. It relies on the idea that, regardless of whether a good is tangible or intangible, the people creating it deserve to be paid for it by the people who consume it.

                    It most certainly does rely on ownership, if you’re advocating for artists to be paid via ownership of the rights to access the work. It may be true that the people who consume physical goods deserve to pay for those goods (because their consuming it lessens the supply for others), it does not follow that people who ‘consume’ copies of digital works ‘deserve’ to pay for that consumption. Once again, a copy of a work does not make any the less by the act of copying.

                    Public domain can only apply after something has already been created.

                    Right, so… you’re in favor of pirating then, since you can only pirate works that have already been created…?

          • M0oP0o@mander.xyz
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            5 months ago

            Ok? I don’t think I did but does that really matter? The point still stands whether I used the idiom correctly or not.

            Yes, that does matter. That would be the whole point of the idiom.

            For example if I tried to argue a king can command the tide, and then used King Canute and the tide to prove my point, I would not only be not making my point stand but also confusing the crap out of everyone.