I'm uncomfortable when people ask to copy my stuff

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Okay, so my wife and i have seasons 1-3 of the "Gilmore Girls." We love the program, but that's not really my point now. One of our friends borrowed the first season and copied the whole thing without telling us until after the fact. Not wanting to cause a stir, I didn't give any indication that there was a problem. Now, she asked for seasons 2 & 3 so she could copy them (she was up-front with this, she didn't ask to 'borrow' them).



This makes me really uncomfortable. I mean, I know lots of people have a thing or two that they don't own the copyright to, and it isn't something I lose sleep over or really care that much about, heck I have a half-dozen illegal DVDs (legal ones can't really be purchased in this country). What is really bothering me is that when I say no to this girl, I will come off as somehow unreasonable or on some kind of copyright crusade. I HATE that I am made to feel uncomfortable by refusing to activily participate in something illegal. I hate that it is seen as a "thing I have.." or whatever.



Just thought I'd rant. Can anyone relate? Does my ownership of a couple illegal DVDs obligate me to participate in future copyright breaches or make me some sort of hypocrite?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 144
    This is where this issue ultimately leads. To a personal choice. In my opinion, go with your gut. Tell the person. I have been an artist in various mediums, and have always been uncomfortable with file sharing. Although the net is an amazing marketing tool, by pirating you are making the choice for the artist of what they want to share.
  • Reply 2 of 144
    mac voyermac voyer Posts: 1,292member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by progmac

    Does my ownership of a couple illegal DVDs obligate me to participate in future copyright breaches or make me some sort of hypocrite?



    Yes!



    Furthermore, you already know it. In your heart, this is the answer you wanted to hear. Otherwise, you would never have confessed to the illegal DVDs you own. But I think you want more than confession. You want absolution. You want to know why it's OK even though everyone is telling you that it is wrong. You're a good, decent human being and you don't want to feel like a crook. I can help.



    In the days of dual tape decks, no one ever thought twice about it. They would copy music from the radio and give copies to their friends. That, they could do with a single tape deck. The dual tape deck allowed them to copy store bought Albums and give a copy to their friends. This was quite natural because their friends would reciprocate. I'll sample your music. You sample mine. It was purchased. No one said anything about pirating until MP3s hit the scene. This, in conjunction with file sharing technology, made it possible to share your music with people you didn't know, and a lot of them.



    This is where it gets interesting. If one purchased copy of an album can be distributed to a million people, then that can affect the bottom line. Pirating has never been about copying or about listening to media you didn?t pay for. It has always been about affecting the bottom line of fat cat studio execs. Let?s be clear about this. We are not talking about artist rights. We are talking about the equivalent of protecting organized crime bosses. I don?t want to get too far into how entertainers get paid. For now, I will just say it is a mess. The issue is very much unsettled. If we leave things just as they are, the real talent behind the entertainment you enjoy gets screwed anyway. It is not entertainers who have a problem with file sharing. It?s the Mob.



    There was a time when entertainers got paid for working. Now they expect to get paid every time you think of them. If you hum a tune while walking down the street, you might be running afoul of performance rights. Most of the laws regarding copyrighted material are so outdated, it is all but impossible to ferret out the real intent behind them. We can simply do things today that the makers of current law never considered. You are not a criminal simply because some record label and their Mob lawyer says you are. One country just recently declared file sharing to be perfectly legal. Others are still working on it. Technology is ahead of the law. It will take years before it all sorted out.



    There is no moral prohibition against sharing your illegal DVDs with close friends. They watched the shows on TV for free, didn?t they? Ad revenue has already paid for the show, hasn?t it? And none of the actors were paid by your purchase of the illegal DVD, were they? You have no right to look down your nose at your friend who wants to make a copy, do you? Perhaps you would feel better if you sold your friend a copy. Then, they would be breaking the same law that you don?t seem to mind breaking when it suits you, wouldn?t they.



    Don?t try and turn this into a moral issue. Still, if you insist on viewing it that way, perhaps you should extend the same grace to your friend as you have to yourself.
  • Reply 3 of 144
    progmacprogmac Posts: 1,850member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mac Voyer

    Yes!



    Furthermore, you already know it. In your heart, this is the answer you wanted to hear. Otherwise, you would never have confessed to the illegal DVDs you own. But I think you want more than confession. You want absolution. You want to know why it's OK even though everyone is telling you that it is wrong. You're a good, decent human being and you don't want to feel like a crook. I can help.

    You have no right to look down your nose at your friend who wants to make a copy, do you? Perhaps you would feel better if you sold your friend a copy. Then, they would be breaking the same law that you don?t seem to mind breaking when it suits you, wouldn?t they.



    Don?t try and turn this into a moral issue. Still, if you insist on viewing it that way, perhaps you should extend the same grace to your friend as you have to yourself.




    Wow, you sure painted me a million colors. In fact, your response sort of signifies what i hate the most...that I am supposed to feel bad because I am uncomfortable participating in something illegal. I guess that is what is bothering me most about all this digital rights business. I HATE that other people view it as an opportunity to judge one another (you mentioned me 'looking down my nose' at my friend), when it is more a simple matter of gut/being uncomfortable.



    I find it interesting that Mac Voyer believes that owning even one song for which you do not own the copyright OBLIGATES you to pony up anytime anyone asks for a copy of a CD or anything that you own. Do others feel this way?



    This all has sort of left me thinking that I should absolve myself of the handful of copied DVDs I have, but then I feel like it will appear that I am on some kind of crusade, which is another thing I want to avoid. And where does it end? If my friends upstairs who have literally hundreds of copied DVDs ask if i want to borrow something, I should say, "uh...no....THOSE are coopied?" what's more judgemental than that? plus, if I were a citizen of the country where I live now, where legal DVDs and CDs cost twice what they do in the US and salaries are 1/6 or less, it's hard for me to say that I wouldn't do the same thing.



    Most Mac users use mostly legal software, but still plenty don't. After you bought the latest OS X were you comfortable passing it around to all your friends so that they could install it too?
  • Reply 4 of 144
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    While I would refrain from letting them borrow any thing in the future, you are in the clear, you didnt know they were copying it, and once the DVDs left your home you couldnt really stop them.

    If they just want to copy stuff, send 'em to Blockbuster, at least then the artist gets some money.



    {edit}

    on the "passing arround OSX" thing:



    I think it is moraly unacceptable to pass around software, but since I cant see or agree to the EULA before purchase I question the legality of it, I cant return software if I disagree with the EULA, but I cant use it either, that is IMHO a setup just screaming for a good lawer, failure to provide promised product or service anyone?
  • Reply 5 of 144
    gene cleangene clean Posts: 3,481member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by progmac

    Wow, you sure painted me a million colors. In fact, your response sort of signifies what i hate the most...that I am supposed to feel bad because I am uncomfortable participating in something illegal.



    How do you know it's illegal? US jurisdiction ends in US, and US laws are obligatory only if you're in US soil.



    It is not illegal to break the encryption in Macedonia, therefore it is not illegal to make a copy.
  • Reply 6 of 144
    mac voyermac voyer Posts: 1,292member
    Hey friend, and I call you friend because I've been where you are, just not on this issue. Hypocrisy is a terrible burden to bear and you're bearing it right now. You don't want your friends to help you do illegal things. Yet you want someone else to do illegal things by providing you boot-leg DVDs. You want us to feel your pain. You live in a country where it is difficult to get legit movies at a reasonable price. Fine. Who says you have to own the movie in the first place. If your gut is telling you to do the right thing with your friend, then you have to get rid of your own illegal stash. All they want to do is exactly what you've done. Why not make a clean start of it. Just give your illegal movies to your friend. That way, they have what they want and your conscience is clear. But you really can't have it both ways. Listen to yourself. You are all twisted in knots over sharing stolen material. The lesser of the crimes is to let your friend copy it. The real crime is your knowingly buying an illegally copied DVD. To put it another way, you feel uncomfortable giving away for free what you paid someone to steal. Sorry, no sympathy here. Personally, I don't care what you decide about digital rights laws. Just be consistent. Good luck.
  • Reply 7 of 144
    tekmatetekmate Posts: 134member
    I'm with MacVoyer you can't have your cake and eat it too, either you are against breaking the law which means you need to pony up and pay for the real DVD you stole or you don't mind breaking the law so why should you care if your friend does it?



    This issue is not grey you can rationalize stealing all you want but the bottom line is the law as written says it's wrong you can lobby to change the law but until then you are wrong.
  • Reply 8 of 144
    Just say that you're uncomfortable that people are making copies of your disc. Don't make this a black & white argument of ideals. Yltimately you have to be the better man and take a stand, even if you're guilty.



    It's like saying "I've already smoked cigarettes in my life, so I can't tell other people not to smoke, even though I don't really smoke anymore and don't like the idea of smoking." In other words, the argument of the anti-copyright crowd is a ludicrous and contrived one meant for self-justification of an illegal habit.



    Just buy the discs for the half dozen pirated copies you have, and then you're vindicated. If you can't get copies in this country, I think that's a fair enough argument in your favor.
  • Reply 9 of 144
    progmacprogmac Posts: 1,850member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mac Voyer

    Hey friend, and I call you friend because I've been where you are, just not on this issue. Hypocrisy is a terrible burden to bear and you're bearing it right now. ...Good luck.



    I'm not sure i would consider any of this a 'terrible burden.' more of an annoyance. spline model summed up my thoughts pretty well in his post above this one.



    what about renting pirated copies? there are no rental stores with anything other than pirated copie, so if i want to rent a movie, a copyright law has to be broken. i'm not asking for sympathy, only saying i too don't see this as a black-and-white issue.
  • Reply 10 of 144
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    progmac:



    This is a very interesting question.



    You pay money for this and someone is going to get it from you for free. You still have it, but they get it for nothing.



    Here's the thing:

    Would you feel uncomfortable with her borrowing just to watch once and give back to you (no pirating)?

    And if no, what is the difference?



    You are not obligated to let anyone borrow anything ever. You don't even have to justify any of it. You could even say "I'll only let you borrow discs 1 and 4 of the 4 disc set." and that's fine because it is your stuff.



    I'm not going to try and break you down psychologically, but think about why you feel uncomfortable with it.



    Me? I have some DVDs that friends like to copy. I have The Office BBC series which friends just can't get enough of, so I actually make copies of it for them so they can have it for themselves. And if they make copies for people they know, whatever.





    splinemodel:



    Quote:

    In other words, the argument of the anti-copyright crowd is a ludicrous and contrived one meant for self-justification of an illegal habit.



    You do know that's an idiotic thing you just said, isn't it? You act like everyone who pirates is a 13-year-old l33t kid.



    Very few people feel strongly about the proper enforcement of copyright law. Few people know anything at all about it except "OH NO BAD!"



    What it boils down to is (1) availability and (2) fear. If someone has (1) their moral outrage is going to sink through the ground. If someone has (2) then (1) doesn't matter so much.



    All it is is copying digital bits; there is no tangible harm, only perceived harm. I know that there has been no real negative impact on the music or movie industries from piracy. Many people don't, so they feel guilty.



    Quote:

    ...an illegal habit...



    This phrase is supposed to be weighty but it is actually completely meaningless. Legality has absolutely no causal relationship to moral propriety. Laws can follow moral propriety, but often (and in the case of copyright law especially), they are designed 100% to protect the investments of the wealthy, not respect the dignity or work of the artist or individual.



    If I could show you a safe way to download high-quality rips of every song and movie ever made you would fill up your hard drive and burn DVDs faster than you think. All of you.



    But not all of us would rape if we had the chance.

    We wouldn't kill people for the hell of it.

    We wouldn't steal a car or a wallet or a watch.



    There is a difference, and to pretend there isn't is just ignorant.
  • Reply 11 of 144
    tekmatetekmate Posts: 134member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by groverat



    If I could show you a safe way to download high-quality rips of every song and movie ever made you would fill up your hard drive and burn DVDs faster than you think. All of you.



    No sorry that is just a way to justify it to yourself. It's just like it's OK to speed providing the cops aren't around to see it, sorry it's still illegal whether you get caught or not and please don't say well I would steal if I could get away with it therefore so would everyone else that is a crock most people will do the right thing.
  • Reply 12 of 144
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    I love it when people don't read my posts but feel the need to respond to them anyway.
  • Reply 13 of 144
    mac voyermac voyer Posts: 1,292member
    It's all been said pretty well, I think. I see you keep going back to the point of your circumstances. You can't get legal copies therefore you have to get the illegal ones. Sorry. That is not a justification for breaking the law. If you want the privilege of purchasing cheap, legal DVDs, move to a country where you can do it. Otherwise, your since of morality shouldn't allow you to buy illegal ones. Just don't buy movies. Owning movies is not a necessity. Can't rent them legally? Too bad! Go to the theatre. Can't go to the theatre? Too bad! Find a legal way to entertain yourself. When you take that stand, then you can earn the right to be queazy about aiding and abetting someone else. Clearly, breaking copyright law is not a moral problem for you. Therefore, I don't understand why you are being so stingy with your friend. They must not be much of a friend. Perhaps there is more to the story you have not shared. What am I missing?
  • Reply 14 of 144
    elixirelixir Posts: 782member
    i think it all comes down to respect.



    if you respect the product, software, music/movie, you are buying or listening to then you would want to give that entertainer, studio, etc support.



    even if i could rip the best quality sound of music from my fav band i'd never do that. i would want to support them for what they do. especially since i listen to music that is not mainstream









    however PROGmac i'd still call you a wanker.
  • Reply 15 of 144
    progmacprogmac Posts: 1,850member
    Groverat, interesting post. Definitely more thought-provoking than the usual response. The difference between borrowing and copying? I guess to me, these things...DVDs, books, software, music, whatever, they have value. When I see people with a spindle of 200 copied DVDs or a computer in someone's bedroom with every Adobe product on it and a 200GB of music, I feel like they are stripping all of the value from these things. As though the time and culture and everything put into them are totally worthless. I think part of it is being constantly surrounded with piracy: exclusively illegal software in every public and private office, no one ever having any music or movie that they own the copyright permission to, etc. I feel like there is this attitude of, "why on earth would we ever PAY for something that we can get for free?!"



    And I guess this is what bothers me, it's not so much friends borrowing stuff. But, it's hard for me to separate these feelings out...it would be hard for me to let anyone who wants copy anything I own without me feeling like I am declaring that anything that can be put on a CD is worthless. I think these feelings are driven a lot by my situation, though, perhaps something of a backlash.
  • Reply 16 of 144
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    Everybody sets his own standarts, it is never total law obedience, it is never total disregard of it either. Even when I worked in the drug/prostitution milieu of Copenhagen everybody had a ethical or moral limit ("at least I don´t sell to minors"/"I would never kiss the customer"). It may be on a completely different level than that of others but it was still there. The limit will always be completely random to others but they are yours.
  • Reply 17 of 144
    progmacprogmac Posts: 1,850member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mac Voyer

    Therefore, I don't understand why you are being so stingy with your friend. They must not be much of a friend. Perhaps there is more to the story you have not shared. What am I missing?



    Well, I didn't really think it was relevent (sp?), but this person isn't the greatest friend. In fact, she asked a friend to ask me, which bothered me more than a little. Plus, the friend she had ask me, asked me in a room full of people, which made me really uncomfortable...although chances are the friend had no idea it would be a big deal at all, since most everyone is so casual about this stuff.
  • Reply 18 of 144
    progmacprogmac Posts: 1,850member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Elixir



    however PROGmac i'd still call you a wanker.




    hahaha



    if you're referencing my nickname, its root came about before I was even old enough to use a computer.
  • Reply 19 of 144
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    It's an interesting subject once you get past the idiots ("IT'S AGAINST THE LAW SO IT'S BAD!" & "I LIKE WAREZ SO SHUT UP!").



    Quote:

    Originally posted by progmacI feel like there is this attitude of, "why on earth would we ever PAY for something that we can get for free?!"



    But it is not the fact that these things cost money that makes you value them. It is your personal connection to them that makes them valuable to you. So when someone gets something from you and makes that copy it isn't about them not paying money, it's about your feeling that the thing you value is being lessened.



    I suggest turning the thinking around. You like the Gilmore Girls, by letting people copy it you are simply making the thing you like more available. You find value in that show, you find it enjoyable, you find it entertaining. Would you like it if a friend got the same things you did out of it?



    From my perspective, the proliferation (legal or otherwise) of digital media increases its value, not the other way around.



    There is also the problem of giving stuff to a philistine who doesn't appreciate it, who simply hordes burned DVDs like plastic jewels. The bad feeling associated with them isn't disdain for their aversion to spending money, but for their lack of appreciation for good music or good film.



    The real backlash against piracy comes from the inability for many (especially many in the content promotion industries) to adjust to changing realities. They want to force old business models into places where they don't fit and many people choose not to accept that.
  • Reply 20 of 144
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    It's interesting to me how some people are such puritans about this. People break the law in minor ways all the time: We speed on the roads, we smoke some pot, fudge our taxes a bit, commit sodomy in the state of Georgia, etc. Letting a friend copy a disc seems to me to be about on the scale of going 40 in a 35 zone - not right, not legal, but hardly a capital offense. Copying a disc and going to China and selling it by the millions is a different story.
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