• Zoolander
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    -36 months ago

    Everyone arguing that it’s not stealing is making the claim that it has no value.

    Why does it matter? I would consider it moral and ethical but have no care whether it’s a legal one. I’m not disputing the legality of anything here (since I believe that the subject of the OP is also illegal - “Buying” something denotes ownership and, therefore, taking it away is also stealing).

    Additionally, I do not have objections against piracy and think there are many legitimate reasons for it. I am only arguing against the mischaracterization and dishonesty of claiming that it is not stealing.

    • archomrade [he/him]
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      26 months ago

      Everyone arguing that it’s not stealing is making the claim that it has no value.

      Are you trying to conflate ‘value’ with ‘extractive market value’? There are lots of things that have innate value but have no or very little market value.

      Why does it matter? I would consider it moral and ethical but have no care whether it’s a legal one.

      It matters if anyone cares to understand what you’re actually asserting, since you’ve again claimed ‘I am only arguing against the mischaracterization and dishonesty of claiming that it is not stealing’. How can anyone understand what you mean without knowing what you take ‘stealing’ to mean, and why it matters?

      Most people here would argue that a system that relies on exclusive ownership of ideas/digitally reproducible data in order to support those who do that labor (that we all benefit from) is one that is broken. In which case ‘stealing’ would be misplacing both to whom the harm being done and the party doing the harm, because it isn’t the fault of the artist or the consumer that the system withholds the means of living from those who are unable to justify their existence through labor.

      • Zoolander
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        -16 months ago

        That’s all irrelevant. I’m not making some hypothetical point. Whether you agree with “the system” or not, it is the system within which we live and operate and within which people need to make a living. It doesn’t matter whose fault it is. What matters is that someone is being deprived of something by someone who found value in a thing that the person created. If we accept that and attempt to justify as anything other than theft, then those people will cease to create themselves or will have to work further into the system that you’re arguing against as they will be unable to sustain themselves by creating things within that system.

        If you want people to make more of the things you like, you have to pay them for those things. All the straw man arguments about DRM and corporations that attempt to justify piracy only further reinforce the current system rather than some imagined system.

        Stealing has a definition. It means that you’re taking something from someone. If you can’t understand ‘stealing’ in its most basic form, then 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.

        • archomrade [he/him]
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          36 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
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            06 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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              16 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
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                -16 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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                  16 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
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                    06 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.

                • @[email protected]
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                  06 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.

                  • Zoolander
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                    -26 months ago

                    You seemed to grasp the point so, no, it doesn’t really matter.