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Old 06-19-2002, 04:33 PM   #41
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Originally posted by kobayashi
in any case i fear we are being far too particular for it to matter. my only point was that in many cases the students are also considerably leaned on.
We probably ARE being too nit-picky on the subject; either way, I grant that going to school is usually a financially difficult thing to do - requiring aid to pay for tuition (and sometimes books) and often forcing students to "travel cheap," on foot or via public transportation.

That said, I don't believe the situation reduces to something like a VERY poor man - someone who cannot find a job - stealing bread to feed his family.

First of all, software theft presumes HARDWARE. In most cases, the ones who steal software already own personal computers, and it should not be surprising that the claims of personal poverty generally fall on deaf ears.

Second, it is typically driven by convenience rather than actual need: yes, it may be quite inconvenient and fairly difficult to walk to campus to do all your work, but it is NOT some sort of Herculean feat. Students are already expected to do the inconvenient tasks of getting to classes, keeping up with readings, and finishing assignments - and difficulty doesn't exonerate them from doing the work.

(Just as a difficult project doesn't justify cheating, a long commute doesn't justify immoral shortcuts: stealing someone else's bike would make the commute faster, just as stealing someone else's software may make the trip unnecessary. But neither act is justified.)

Third, buying specialized equipment is often assumed. When you study to become an architect, it is presumed that you will buy the drawing tools; a physics major will buy a graphing calculator and the huge reference manual; a music major presumably buys his musical instrument. A graphics student SHOULD expect to invest in the appropriate software - and is expected to do so legally, just as a music major should not steal someone else's flute.

Finally, we are talking about a college student, one who is presumably talented enough to get a job. Of course, students often face heavy demands on their time, but if a student is expected to buy something he cannot afford, there is nothing wrong in further expecting him to earn the necessary cash rather than stealing.

Everything you've mentioned... school costs, commuting difficulties... they're all excuses. They simply do not justify theft.

Let's look at a different scenario: let's say that the same busy, poor student doesn't "need" just the software package for his computer, but lacks BOTH the computer and the software.

It is, I hope, CLEARLY wrong for him to steal the computer, either from a roommate, someone down the hall, or even a Wal-Mart - some megacorporation who can afford the loss.

(If you don't see the clear immorality of the act, particularly if it's stealing from Wal-Mart, I remind you that it is property rights, including rights of the wealthy, that allows our system of capitalism to work so well. You might also want to keep in mind that you're not only hurting a corporation and its stockbrokers, but also its minimum wage employees - including one who may get fired over a missing computer. And, in the end, most moral codes make no distinction about who is robbed: "Thou shalt not steal," NOT "Thou shalt only steal from those who have more than you.")

If it's wrong to steal the computer, why is it okay to steal the software?

The ONLY difference is that you're making a copy: the orignal, rightful owner isn't missing his orginal software packwage. But copyright laws rightfully assert that it is immoral and illegal to copy sheet music or a published book. I believe that the law extends to digitally encoded music and software - that the ONLY difference between stealing hardware and software is an irrelevant difference.

Still theft. Still immoral.
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Old 06-19-2002, 05:41 PM   #42
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Originally posted by Achtung Bubba



It is, I hope, CLEARLY wrong for him to steal the computer, either from a roommate, someone down the hall, or even a Wal-Mart - some megacorporation who can afford the loss.

What if his room mate allows him to use his(the roommate's) computer is this immoral? No. I don't think so.

What if his room mate allows him to use his(the roommate's) software on his own computer is this immoral?


Stealing physical objects is different from copying software sure there are some seminaries (getting something for free) but in the case of copying software the loss to the owner (the software publisher) is much less tangible.

So in some cases I have no problem copying software. What I do have a problem with is paying for copied software, then someone is profiting from someone elseís work.
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Old 06-19-2002, 08:08 PM   #43
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What if his room mate allows him to use his(the roommate's) computer is this immoral? No. I don't think so.

What if his room mate allows him to use his(the roommate's) software on his own computer is this immoral?


Stealing physical objects is different from copying software sure there are some seminaries (getting something for free) but in the case of copying software the loss to the owner (the software publisher) is much less tangible.

So in some cases I have no problem copying software. What I do have a problem with is paying for copied software, then someone is profiting from someone elseís work.
A roommate allowing use of his computer is neither stealing nor immoral - and only legal wankers at Microsoft (license agreements, etc.) would suggest otherwise.

But the difference between that and a roommate letting you use his software on your machine is, I think, pretty clear: instead of two people time-sharing one copy, two copies of the same software can be used SIMULTANEOUSLY. For that reason, I believe that the second case - when it comes down to brass tacks - is actually immoral, even if it is still legal under the concept of "fair use."

(It shouldn't seem strange that an immoral act can be legal. After all, most "little white lies" are legal, unless you're advertising, agreeing to a contract, or taking an oath. And, in many parts of the world, sex outside of marriage is legal - though I still think the act immoral.)

That aside, certainly, the owner's loss through copying is less tangible. You can't find an indication of forced entry into a store or warehouse, and an inventory doesn't reveal any missing goods. Further, the distribution of a thousand illegal copies doesn't mean that the owner lost 1,000 customers; of those who stole, some would have bought the item, others would not - the owner probably lost as customers a significant fraction of that 1,000.

But does this intangibility make the act LESS immoral?

Let me again mention music publishing and book publishing. Let's say Mr. X makes a living writing sheet music (and for many such writers, it's not much of a living). He writes and sells the sheet music for money - and he estimates being able to sell 2,000 copies at $4 each: $8,000. Let's say that somebody then buys one copy, makes 1,000 copies of it, and sells each copy for 50 cents (making $5,000 with very little work - and NO creativity - involved). Let's be generous and assume that only half of those copies were bought by lost customers. Mr. X. then only sells 1,500 copies and makes $6,000. He makes $2,000 less than he would have.

I ask: how is that not stealing?

And let's say that the little theif doesn't sell the work, but gives it away. Mr. X. STILL loses around $2,000.

Again, I ask. How's that NOT stealing?


What's amusing in all this is that the arguments against my position seem to be little more than excuses: "I'm not very rich, and the software just costs too much. Besides, the losses are intangible, and Microsoft can afford the losses anyway."

There's a sense that everyone KNOWS this behavior is wrong, and that they're just trying to come up with scenarios in which their particular behavior is excused.

And what flimsy scenarios, too. This isn't the case of Jean Valjean stealing bread because he's hungry, or of Oskar Schindler lying to protect human lives from the barbarism of genocide.

This is the case of a few thousand people - most of them middle-class or richer, all of them rich enough to afford personal computers - stealing from others out of personal convenience.

There are no excuses.
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Old 06-19-2002, 08:30 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba
Still theft. Still immoral.
agreed. but again i have never made an attempt at justifying the actions of any person using unlicensed software. i have only attempted to point out the mitigating factors which might surround such use, of which we appear to have reached some consensus. i too am closely related to matters of intellectual property as a student of university, employment as policy analyst for a government scientific granting agency and having done some of my own freelance in the past and present.

personally i find it hard to place the blame on a person outright, without looking at the situational factors surrounding the incident. but that is a whole other matter of opinion
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Old 06-19-2002, 08:36 PM   #45
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Originally posted by Achtung Bubba



Of course, you're probably not in the music industry or in the software industry (I AM in software, by the way), so what the fuck do you care? You don't get hurt, so it's not immoral, right?

This quote really made me quite angry- you dont know me Bubba, you dont know what kind of person I am, what I do and what my personal morals are and to make a statement like that, well to me that just proves how insensitive you really are. I am in the music industry- I write and perform songs and play in a band here on the Sunshine Coast, but I really dont have to and am not going to spend the time justifying myself or my actions to someone as naieve as you.

I can accept that you have different opinions to me, we obviously live in very, very different worlds but I would not criticise you personally for your opinions and make assumptions on your character, without even knowing you- why dont you learn to think before you say something
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Old 06-19-2002, 09:13 PM   #46
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I apologize for the comment, noting that it was among the most harsh things I've said here in quite a while.

That said...

Quote:
Originally posted by OzAurora
This quote really made me quite angry- you dont know me Bubba, you dont know what kind of person I am, what I do and what my personal morals are and to make a statement like that, well to me that just proves how insensitive you really are.
Insensitive I may be, but I really don't know what your personal morals are? I QUOTE:

I have absolutely no problem with using pirated software and do not think of it as being a form of 'stealing', if you were to steal from the poor, ok then this is stealing but to use software that is so easily pirated from a company who are worth millions, more fool them I think.....

In other words, you believe that stealing is morally permissible, as long as you steal from the rich.

More fool them, right?

I QUOTE AGAIN:

in my opinion this is all the same to some degree and like I said initially I would have no problem in paying for un-pirated software if it were cheaper, but hell no am I going to pay 500 bucks for office and add to Gates' empire when I can get a copy for free and sorry but I do see a difference in the notion of breaking into ones house and stealing all of their personal belongings compared to using pirated software, these are two very different forms of 'stealing' in my opinion and again just my two cents

You seem to believe that stealing is morally permissible as long as you think the item stolen is overpriced - and again, you think it's just fine to steal from the rich (e.g., Gates' empire - despite the fact that Adobe is not even owned by Bill Gates).

So I do know SOMETHING about your morality: you think it's fine to steal expensive things from those who can afford it.


Quote:
I am in the music industry- I write and perform songs and play in a band here on the Sunshine Coast, but I really dont have to and am not going to spend the time justifying myself or my actions to someone as naieve as you.
I apologize for assuming you didn't work in the music industry. I wonder, then, how you would react to someone stealing the music you write - in the form of sheet music or recordings.

If you have no problem with it, great. There are those in the creative world (writers, musicians, and even the ogres in software development) who would like to hold on to their intellectual property rights and use those rights to make a living; please don't get in our way.

And if you DO object to people doing to you what you do to others, I would like to mention that hypocrisy doesn't make theft any less immoral.

Quote:
I can accept that you have different opinions to me, we obviously live in very, very different worlds but I would not criticise you personally for your opinions and make assumptions on your character, without even knowing you- why dont you learn to think before you say something
You wouldn't criticize me personally? So, what exactly is calling me insensitive and niave? and how are those comments any better than mine?

...and above all that, do you not have ANY response to the actual arguments I've presented?

Bubba
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Old 06-19-2002, 10:04 PM   #47
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I dont know why I am going to do this- ususally I would not waste my time- but you are lucky Bubba as I am having a rather slow day at work and have a lot of time to waste, so ok, here goes,

In reply to this quote:

Quote:
I apologize for assuming you didn't work in the music industry. I wonder, then, how you would react to someone stealing the music you write - in the form of sheet music or recordings.
I would have no problems with someone else singing or using any of my songs, I really do see music (well my music) as something to be shared and admired and part of the way to do this is by using my music- bringing it to a wider audience and appreciating it as I am sure that there are people who can perform my songs heaps better than me and I would be very flattered by this.




Quote:
You seem to believe that stealing is morally permissible as long as you think the item stolen is overpriced - and again, you think it's just fine to steal from the rich (e.g., Gates' empire - despite the fact that Adobe is not even owned by Bill Gates).
In reply to this I do not think that stealing is morally permissable if it is overpriced as I do not see that the 'burnt' software I have as stolen- this notion does not even enter into my head if anybody is wrong it is the companies who can condone such exuberant prices for such software from those who are poor such as I was at the time when I was a student- I was lucky enugh to have my two and a half thousand dollar computer bought for me by my Grandparents, however when one is a student you really do not have any spare money- I have lived out of home since I was 18- therefore always having to pay rent, phone and electricity bills, having to pay for the running of a car, becasue where I live the idea of public transport does not exist and the university was a long way away and then by the time you buy a little bit of food and pay for your expenses at univeristy one would be lucky if they had a spare twenty dollars left over out of there $300 a fortnight they got from the government as a student- so no I dont feel bad that I have a pirated version of Photoshop on my computer which came in handy for me when I was doing graphic design at university- I would love to own a legit copy of the software, but if I was to have waited and saved all of my spare money to do so, well I would still be saving for that piece of software and I hear you say, 'well why didnt you get a part time job'- well if you knew the Sunshine Coast you would realise that everyone wants to live here and as such jobs are so hard to come by and then try and get a job that will work around your uni hours- practically impossible! as the boss can get someone else who is not working or studying and therefore extremely flexible..........so to put all of that into light I do not see what I did was stealing- I know morally that if I could of afforded the proper version I would of got it, however my circumstances did not allow for that and I know that I would not go and break into ones house and steal their belongings, just becase I think that they are rich- this really is being stupid and I am not one who is into doing this all the time- I really am not that interested in computers however at the time I was into graphics and my copy of photoshop enabled me to be able to do my work from home instead of having to fight over a computer at uni.


Quote:
If you have no problem with it, great. There are those in the creative world (writers, musicians, and even the ogres in software development) who would like to hold on to their intellectual property rights and use those rights to make a living; please don't get in our way.
I am not going to stand in your way- that would require to much energy and quite frankly I have better things to do with my time and I think that there will always be companies like who is it, the RIAA who will always champion such causes and fight for what they think is subjectively just!

now I am tired of replying, had enough- see ya!
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Old 06-19-2002, 10:43 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally posted by OzAurora


I am not going to stand in your way- that would require to much energy and quite frankly I have better things to do with my time
'Better Things to Do'.. Hahaha.. This is Funny... It's just like this huuuge scream synonymous for 'Let me Get the F#ck Out Of Here'....

Mug like's to tack on 'with your dignity'... But I like it simple and leaving a bit up for the people to figure out... for some reason I am thinking he's tearing up at your posts though Oz...

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Old 06-19-2002, 11:00 PM   #49
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Bubba, it scares the absolute SHIT out of me when we agree.
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Old 06-19-2002, 11:30 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lemonite


for some reason I am thinking he's tearing up at your posts though Oz...

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hmmmm- go for it I dont care, really, I dont
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Old 06-20-2002, 12:08 AM   #51
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HAHAHAHA...morals!
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Old 06-20-2002, 02:47 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally posted by OzAurora
In reply to this I do not think that stealing is morally permissable if it is overpriced as I do not see that the 'burnt' software I have as stolen- this notion does not even enter into my head if anybody is wrong it is the companies who can condone such exuberant prices for such software from those who are poor such as I was at the time when I was a student
Who decides when something is overpriced? And why did you not look for alternatives instead of stealing (copying) the software? Why did you not look for/buy the program from a competitor?
You argue that stealing is OK when the product is overpriced, so it is OK to steal a Ferrari or a Rolex watch?

Earlier on I mentioned some free (ie. not costing anything) software programs, among which a perfect alternative to MS Office, so stealing when you consider something overpriced has become even less of an argument.

C ya!
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Old 06-20-2002, 09:39 AM   #53
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I would never buy pirated software, but if I can get some copies (from family or friends) , it's okay. What do you think I'm using right now!
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Old 06-20-2002, 05:00 PM   #54
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Ah yes, the inevitable backlash from our uber-capitalists.

What you don't realize is that the much of the entire evolution of PCs is from that seedy underground of hackers. Many of the C.E.O.'s of multi-billion dollar computer corporations spent their days in the late 1970s and early 1980s picking apart Altair systems and updating technology. Computer monitors? Created not by a legit company, but by one of these early hackers. P2P sharing clients? Not created by legit companies, but by hackers. Do we see a trend here?

Companies are not interested in accessibility nor evolution of technology, but money; the various similarly flawed flavors of Microsoft Windows of the last decade is enough evidence of that. Quite honestly, the hackers of today will be the innovators of tomorrow--who will, like their predecessors, grow fat and rich and oppressive. In turn, though, with their wealth, they will purchase legitimate software.

Pirated software, in too many respects, is "free advertising." Those 18 year old college kids of today downloading free software will grow up hopefully as professional in whatever field they're training for, whether it is digital media arts or programming. Once grown up, the brand loyalty will remain, and, especially when dealing with a company, the software will be purchased and upgraded.

Quite honestly, most hacked software does NOT hurt the software industry, if only because most users cannot remotely afford legitimate copies. Hence, even if all pirated software was stopped and destroyed, these people would not be rushing to the store to buy real copies, because that involves money they do not have. Hence, you are talking about users that do not affect the economy of software anyway.

Thoughts?

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Old 06-20-2002, 07:44 PM   #55
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Fuck, i couldnt say it better melon. I totally agree with what ur proposeing!!! Great Post!!!
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Old 06-20-2002, 09:11 PM   #56
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From April 11, 2002 (emphasis mine):

Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba
Fine.

If/when I return to regular posting, I WILL avoid Melon, and I hope he does the same. If another fight breaks out, I would like three things to be noted:

1) Who started it this time - and it wasn't me.

2) Who will have started it next time; that is, which one of us ultimately breaks the agreement to avoid each other, because I can pretty much guarantee it's NOT going to be me.

3) Who has actually apologized for his behavior and who would rather just claim to be "bigger than this."

My behavior WAS uncalled for. I again sincerely apologize, but my greivances were real. Melon DID attack me after I went on vacation, and DID go to a lengthy attack while simultaneously asserting to be too busy to explain why the "Nazi" shoe fits conservatives like me.

He has long since stooped to this level. He could at least acknowledge the fact, if not apologize for it. But I have long since learned that that simply won't happen. However, if Melon just stops doing what he did in that other thread and stays away from me upon my return, I will be deliriously happy.

I WILL leave Melon alone if he will simply do the same for me.
Quote:
Originally posted by SicilianGoddess
Alright then.

Melon?
Quote:
Originally posted by melon
Wish granted.

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Old 06-20-2002, 09:52 PM   #57
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ummm, Bubba, hate to break it to ya, but it sure didn't look like melon was engaging in direct fighting with you...merely participating in the larger discussion.
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Old 06-20-2002, 09:59 PM   #58
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it was great reading your posts melon. you add a lot to discussions. but you can no longer post! sorry!

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Old 06-20-2002, 10:12 PM   #59
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I grant that melon may not have been trying to pick a fight with that comment, yet the facts remain:


A) He is, I believe, referring to me. He may have been referring to a group of people with his "uber-capitalist" remark (martha and Lemonite in particular), but I believe it's naive that I did not number among this group.

If I'm wrong, fine. My last post becomes a simple reminder of what has already been promised.

B) Just over two months ago, I asked melon to leave me alone.

C) He agreed.


I have no problem whatsoever with Melon and I posting in the same thread, provided we both ignore what the other posts.

I have promised to ignore melon; he promised to follow suit; I expect these promises will be kept.

If everyone is willing to continue the discussion about software privacy, let's do so.

Bubba
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Old 06-21-2002, 11:12 AM   #60
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ugh.

back to the discussion.....


Quote:
Originally posted by melon
Companies are not interested in accessibility nor evolution of technology, but money; the various similarly flawed flavors of Microsoft Windows of the last decade is enough evidence of that. Quite honestly, the hackers of today will be the innovators of tomorrow--who will, like their predecessors, grow fat and rich and oppressive. In turn, though, with their wealth, they will purchase legitimate software.

Pirated software, in too many respects, is "free advertising." Those 18 year old college kids of today downloading free software will grow up hopefully as professional in whatever field they're training for, whether it is digital media arts or programming. Once grown up, the brand loyalty will remain, and, especially when dealing with a company, the software will be purchased and upgraded.
melon, I agree 100% with all these statements. But, for me, it still doesn't justify stealing software. Software companies are idiots for not showing more interest in evolution of technology and innovation, and pricing their software out of the range of young, innovative, talented users (potential hackers), but I say that's their problem. The answer is not to steal from them, any more than it would have been for me to steal a few million dollars from Gary Coleman in 1988 since he was gonna squander it all anyway.

Quote:
Quite honestly, most hacked software does NOT hurt the software industry, if only because most users cannot remotely afford legitimate copies....Hence, you are talking about users that do not affect the economy of software anyway.
I disagree. I think there are many more people copying software instead of buying it than you think. Of course that's just my guess. True, it probably doesn't have a huge impact on Microsoft's bottom-line, but I think it does cost software companies sales. Either way, for me personally, I try to ask myself, "what if everybody did what I'm doing?" In this case, a lot of people would lose a ton of money. So I don't do it, and I ask others not to.

aside: melon, can you give me the scoop on that frightening picture in your sig and the identity of your avatar? muchas gracias.
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