Does software pirating break the second precept?

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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Malcolm » Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:57 pm

futerko wrote:Debating the technicalities of whether this is theft, or receiving stolen property, or not, strikes me as rather misplaced.

On the one side - of course corporate property laws designed for maximum profit and establishing a monopoly are suspect and bordering on the exploitative.

On the other - the demand for a steady stream of high production entertainment is also unhealthy for the individual and plays right into the hands of those corporations.

Clearly it is preferable for those individuals to break the cycle of addiction, however it is also desirable to break the corporate stranglehold on artistic content.


Ahem....it is generally the artists themselves that want these protections....

In any case we are not really taking about Metallica.

We are talking about whether or not it is theft/receiving stolen goods to download a pirated copy of say Logic Pro.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby padma norbu » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:11 pm

I generally only get stuff offline I know I would otherwise absolutely not buy. Spotify allows me to stream music for free, so I don't worry about that. I can't afford HBO since Time Warner has a monopoly and abuses it, so I don't feel bad to use their internet services to stream HBO shows. If it wasn't available to stream, I wouldn't pay for it, so either way, the creators are not losing money. Similarly, most of the time I only ever buy media second-hand (used) or borrow it from the library. Either way, the original creators aren't getting my money when I do so. But, as far as dharma books go, however, I often buy them new so the money will go to publishers.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby futerko » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:14 pm

Malcolm wrote:
futerko wrote:Debating the technicalities of whether this is theft, or receiving stolen property, or not, strikes me as rather misplaced.

On the one side - of course corporate property laws designed for maximum profit and establishing a monopoly are suspect and bordering on the exploitative.

On the other - the demand for a steady stream of high production entertainment is also unhealthy for the individual and plays right into the hands of those corporations.

Clearly it is preferable for those individuals to break the cycle of addiction, however it is also desirable to break the corporate stranglehold on artistic content.


Ahem....it is generally the artists themselves that want these protections....

In any case we are not really taking about Metallica.

We are talking about whether or not it is theft/receiving stolen goods to download a pirated copy of say Logic Pro.


Well, going back a few years, the Sex Pistols weren't too impressed with EMI, and more recently, pirating online has clearly shifted the balance of power and for a time had the corporations panicking, and as a result of that, a lot of artists are not getting exploited to the extent they once were.

I think we all know that a ripped copy of Logic Pro is going to be dodgy, so there's really no point looking for loopholes to try to justify that - if someone is looking for justifications then they know full well what they are doing - there is really no debate there.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Malcolm » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:32 pm

futerko wrote:
Well, going back a few years, the Sex Pistols weren't too impressed with EMI...


The Great Rock and Roll Swindle anyone?

http://sabotagetimes.com/reportage/the- ... l-swindle/
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Qing Tian » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:32 pm

Is there anything here to debate?

For downloaded software that is not freely given.
Users are expected to pay for a licence.
The OP (and others) think this doesn't apply to them.
The law says otherwise.

What other laws do the OP (and others) think doesn't apply?
Are there any restrictions on making such decisions?

The fact that people (here on DW) who pirate software know that it is illegal,
And yet still willingly engage in the piracy,
While claiming the basic ethical Buddhist practice of Right Action,
Is quite disturbing.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby dzogchungpa » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:56 pm

Malcolm wrote:We are talking about whether or not it is theft/receiving stolen goods to download a pirated copy of say Logic Pro.

I am not saying it is right to download a pirated copy of Logic Pro. However, in all seriousness, I'm not sure it is either theft or receiving stolen goods. It might be illegal, but I don't think it is an example of either of those, legally speaking, and I don't think it's an example of either of those in the ordinary sense of those words either. Buddhists can condemn that kind of thing, but I don't think there's any point in misusing language in our eagerness to do so.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby futerko » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:02 pm

Qing Tian wrote:Is there anything here to debate?

For downloaded software that is not freely given.
Users are expected to pay for a licence.
The OP (and others) think this doesn't apply to them.
The law says otherwise.

What other laws do the OP (and others) think doesn't apply?
Are there any restrictions on making such decisions?

The fact that people (here on DW) who pirate software know that it is illegal,
And yet still willingly engage in the piracy,
While claiming the basic ethical Buddhist practice of Right Action,
Is quite disturbing.

I can't find any claims to right action, nor evidence of "preening" as you said before, so I'm not sure what is causing your disturbance other than your own imagination.

I also think the thread is pretty clear on the consequences of various behaviours, in fact the whole existence of this thread is evidence of those consequences. No one is denying karma here.

Clearly the law applies, clearly there are consequences, and I would be surprised if anyone posting here did not have direct experience of them.

I personally find your relationship to rule-governed behaviour quite rigid, and your response to be in danger of producing more mental proliferation than the original transgression.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:03 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:We are talking about whether or not it is theft/receiving stolen goods to download a pirated copy of say Logic Pro.

I am not saying it is right to download a pirated copy of Logic Pro. However, in all seriousness, I'm not sure it is either theft or receiving stolen goods. It might be illegal, but I don't think it is an example of either of those, legally speaking, and I don't think it's an example of either of those in the ordinary sense of those words either. Buddhists can condemn that kind of thing, but I don't think there's any point in misusing language in our eagerness to do so.



The right thing to do is download Audacity instead heh, and circumvent the whole ethical issue, as well as supporting people who want to make recording software for free, instead of people who ask $200 for abig box of cute bells and whistles;)
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Mouse Soldier » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:29 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:The right thing to do is download Audacity instead heh, and circumvent the whole ethical issue, as well as supporting people who want to make recording software for free, instead of people who ask $200 for abig box of cute bells and whistles;)

Yes, this is the way to go. I don't have much need for fancy software at this point in my life, but I certainly opt to use Open Office for schoolwork over paying for (or pirating) Microsoft Office.

To be clear, on a personal level I haven't pirated any software that required a license in a few years. I used the word "software" in the title more as a general discussion point. My pirating these days is all media, and that may be a different can of worms.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Qing Tian » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:51 pm

Futerko, I felt that the claim was implicit.

As for...
I personally find your relationship to rule-governed behaviour quite rigid


That's a fair point, although it is also an assumption. If people diligently followed the 8FP then I guess the 'rules' would not be required... but they don't and so they are.
Discarding rules in a cavalier fashion without recourse to an acceptable ethical framework is likely to result in further suffering.

I realise that my position is unpopular, but I have yet to hear a convincing argument to support piracy.
You going to provide one?
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby futerko » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:59 pm

Qing Tian wrote:Futerko, I felt that the claim was implicit.

As for...
I personally find your relationship to rule-governed behaviour quite rigid


That's a fair point, although it is also an assumption. If people diligently followed the 8FP then I guess the 'rules' would not be required... but they don't and so they are.
Discarding rules in a cavalier fashion without recourse to an acceptable ethical framework is likely to result in further suffering.

I realise that my position is unpopular, but I have yet to hear a convincing argument to support piracy.
You going to provide one?


Let's say that corporations claim ownership of the air. Are you still going to insist on legality, or will you challenge the validity of the law?
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Malcolm » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:04 pm

futerko wrote:
Qing Tian wrote:Futerko, I felt that the claim was implicit.

As for...
I personally find your relationship to rule-governed behaviour quite rigid


That's a fair point, although it is also an assumption. If people diligently followed the 8FP then I guess the 'rules' would not be required... but they don't and so they are.
Discarding rules in a cavalier fashion without recourse to an acceptable ethical framework is likely to result in further suffering.

I realise that my position is unpopular, but I have yet to hear a convincing argument to support piracy.
You going to provide one?


Let's say that corporations claim ownership of the air. Are you still going to insist on legality, or will you challenge the validity of the law?


The can't claim ownership, they license bandwidth.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Mouse Soldier » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:04 pm

Qing Tian wrote:I realise that my position is unpopular, but I have yet to hear a convincing argument to support piracy.


I felt that my post, and the comparison to the invention of the printing press was somewhat apt. File sharing is a simple fact of life these days because it's so easy and the copyright laws concerning intellectual property are quickly becoming archaic. The printing press put many scribes out of work, but it brought with it wonderful new industries and opportunity for human development. In this analogy the printing press is the internet, and the scribes are corporations wanting to hold onto the old methods of doing things because the modern applications of the internet put their business model in jeopardy.

The biggest difference is that unlike the scribes, these corporations have a lot of money and power that they use to hold back the world from change, in the forms of copyright law and DRM technologies. Progress is inevitable, but they're certainly capable of gumming up the process some and continuing to profit from their arguably artificial means of remaining relevant. For now.

EDIT:

And using the same analogy, declaring piracy as immoral because it causes indirect harm to producers of software and media would be akin to declaring the purchase of books made by the printing presses to be immoral because of the indirect harm it brought to the scribes.
Last edited by Mouse Soldier on Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Malcolm » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:05 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:We are talking about whether or not it is theft/receiving stolen goods to download a pirated copy of say Logic Pro.

I am not saying it is right to download a pirated copy of Logic Pro. However, in all seriousness, I'm not sure it is either theft or receiving stolen goods. It might be illegal, but I don't think it is an example of either of those, legally speaking, and I don't think it's an example of either of those in the ordinary sense of those words either. Buddhists can condemn that kind of thing, but I don't think there's any point in misusing language in our eagerness to do so.



The right thing to do is download Audacity instead heh, and circumvent the whole ethical issue, as well as supporting people who want to make recording software for free, instead of people who ask $200 for abig box of cute bells and whistles;)


Audacity does not have all the bells and whistles. Its great for what it does. But Logic Pro infinitely more useful.
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there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby futerko » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:11 pm

Malcolm wrote:The can't claim ownership, they license bandwidth.


Of course, all you need to do is find a way to put a fence around it in order to claim distribution rights.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Malcolm » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:14 pm

Mouse Soldier wrote:
Qing Tian wrote:I realise that my position is unpopular, but I have yet to hear a convincing argument to support piracy.


I felt that my post, and the comparison to the invention of the printing press was somewhat apt. File sharing is a simple fact of life these days because it's so easy and the copyright laws concerning intellectual property are quickly becoming archaic. The printing press put many scribes out of work, but it brought with it wonderful new industries and opportunity for human development. In this analogy the printing press is the internet, and the scribes are corporations wanting to hold onto the old methods of doing things because the modern applications of the internet put their business model in jeopardy.

The biggest difference is that unlike the scribes, these corporations have a lot of money and power that they use to hold back the world from change, in the forms of copyright law and DRM technologies. Progress is inevitable, but they're certainly capable of gumming up the process some and continuing to profit from their arguably artificial means of remaining relevant. For now.


You are missing one tiny little fact in your analysis. Copyright laws are not going anywhere, since they are based on extremely ancient and deeply embedded principles of property rights that can be traced directly back to Roman Law:

...Roman law regulated the legal protection of property and the equality of legal subjects and their wills, and because it prescribed the possibility that the legal subjects could dispose their property through testament.

In US law, specifically copyright law is intended to ensure:

"...the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."
Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, US Constitution.

Anything I write, be it code, music, etc., is protected by this law. This is why in the US, at any rate, it is quite illegal to download software that has been broken, DRM encryptions and so on. It is theft under US Law. Of course, if an author/artist wishes to relinquish this right, they may do so, hence Copyleft, and other alternate intellectual property schemes have been introduced.

M
Last edited by Malcolm on Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Malcolm » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:15 pm

futerko wrote:
Malcolm wrote:The can't claim ownership, they license bandwidth.


Of course, all you need to do is find a way to put a fence around it in order to claim distribution rights.


If you broadcast on someone else's bandwidth, you will be shutdown pretty fast.

M
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Qing Tian » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:18 pm

Futerko wrote:
Let's say that corporations claim ownership of the air. Are you still going to insist on legality, or will you challenge the validity of the law?


Really? I was talking about a product that has been created for the purpose of sale and you are talking about claiming ownership of something that is freely available to start with.

Mouse Soldier:
I felt that my post, and the comparison to the invention of the printing press was somewhat apt. File sharing is a simple fact of life these days because it's so easy and the copyright laws concerning intellectual property are quickly becoming archaic. The printing press put many scribes out of work, but it brought with it wonderful new industries and opportunity for human development. In this analogy the printing press is the internet, and the scribes are corporations wanting to hold onto the old methods of doing things because the modern applications of the internet put their business model in jeopardy.

The biggest difference is that unlike the scribes, these corporations have a lot of money and power that they use to hold back the world from change, in the forms of copyright law and DRM technologies. Progress is inevitable, but they're certainly capable of gumming up the process some and continuing to profit from their arguably artificial means of remaining relevant. For now.


The comparison is not appropriate. The advent of scribes serviced a need. The advent of the printing press serviced this need in a more efficient way. The one supplanted the other. This is not the same as me giving you sole permission to use my software and then you going and disseminating that software to people who do not have my permission to use it. There is a categorical difference.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby futerko » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:22 pm

Qing Tian wrote:Futerko wrote:
Let's say that corporations claim ownership of the air. Are you still going to insist on legality, or will you challenge the validity of the law?


Really? I was talking about a product that has been created for the purpose of sale and you are talking about claiming ownership of something that is freely available to start with.


Tell that to the native populations of colonized lands.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:25 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Audacity does not have all the bells and whistles. Its great for what it does. But Logic Pro infinitely more useful.


Yeah, that's the prevalent opinion.

You can get a lot of downloadable modules for Audacity, and i'm sure studio freeware will only continue to improve. To do what Audacity does even 15 years ago would have required a crazy expenditure of money - and likely hardware assembly for most people who are amateur home recording types.

I still maintain Logic Pro is a rip off, i'm flabbergasted by what people will pay for today when a simple book on mixing and recording could eliminate the need for at least half those bells and whistles, so many are for post processing out mistakes.. Bloatware in the extreme:)

The relevancy? Just appreciating what is available without even needing to either pay 200$, or to worry about comprising your ethics. Personally, for me it's worth the loss of bells and whistles to get that. Audacity may do more stuff, but is it $200 worth of stuff? Not even remotely close from my perspective.
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