Does software pirating break the second precept?

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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Mouse Soldier » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:29 pm

Malcolm wrote: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

The copyright law doesn't have to go anywhere for it to become archaic. They'll simply artificially create other industries in order for us to circumvent them.

https://mega.co.nz/#

Qing Tian wrote: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.


This is true, but I feel my point still stands. If people can easily pirate your software instead of paying large amounts for it they will, and if you have to shut down your business because it's unsustainable in the modern world then you'll do just that. If people really needed software similar to yours, someone will come along and fill that need freely, or cheaply. Your software can be supplanted if you stop producing it, so it's not like we need you and your bloated company :P
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Qing Tian » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:37 pm

I hear you (futerko), but the difference is that the software producer, by restrictively licencing his product, is not denying you something that you already had free access to.

Mouse Soldier wrote:
If people can easily pirate your software instead of paying large amounts for it they will, and if you have to shut down your business because it's unsustainable in the modern world then you'll do just that. If people really needed software similar to yours, someone will come along and fill that need freely, or cheaply. Your software can be supplanted if you stop producing it, so it's not like we need you and your bloated company


This is true, however, the fact that people are willing to transgress the law does not mean they a right in doing so. Which was kind of the point I was making. Also, the second part of your statement here is a departure from your original 'scribe' example. What you are now talking about is totally acceptable. If someone else designs software that does the job better than my software (without infringing my patents) then yes, my customers will shift their loyalties. That is how markets work. Which is why there are lots of similar products doing almost the same thing in slightly different ways. There is nothing wrong with this, and if I do not change/adapt my business will decline.
Last edited by Qing Tian on Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Karma Dorje » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:42 pm

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


You can get a lot of downloadable modules for Audacity, and i'm sure sutdio freeware will only continue to improve.

I still maintain Logic Pro is an absolute 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:)


That's why PreSonus has shaken up the DAW market. DAWs were getting ridiculously bloated and the workflows byzantine.I don't know many pro shops that use Logic Pro for mixing and recording. It's great as a composing tool and really cheap for what you get, but it's really a consumer software. For consumer software, I would prefer to use something with VST support and most audio interfaces come with a lite version of a DAW for free that does more than enough whether it's Sonar or Studio One 2.

This may be off-topic but I have a feeling that opinions are so entrenched on the OP there is not much point in debating its fine points.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby futerko » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:48 pm

Qing Tian wrote:I hear you (futerko), but the difference is that the software producer, by restrictively licencing his product, is not denying you something that you already had free access to.


Right, I think that people are quite willing to pay for the stuff they receive. Then the issue is more about what would be a fair price and some resentment about monopolization and price fixing to maximize profit.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Malcolm » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:48 pm

futerko wrote:
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.


Again, while I do not happen to agree with it, the notion of natural right of ownership is, in European law since Locke, superseded by the principle that the right to a resource belongs to that person who can best utilize it. John Winthrop writes in 1629, an attitude in whole derived from Locke:

That which lies common, and has never been replenished or subdued, is free to any that possess and improve it; for God hath given to the sons of men a double right to the earth — there is a natural right and a civil right. The first right was natural when men held the earth in common, every man sowing and feeding where he pleased. Then as men and their cattle increased, they appropriated certain parcels of ground by enclosing and peculiar cultivation, and this in time got them a civil right — such is the right which Ephron the Hittite had in the field of Mackpelah, wherein Abraham could not bury a dead corpse without leave, though for the out parts of the country he dwelt upon them and took the fruit of them at his pleasure. The like did Jacob, who fed his cattle as boldly in Hamor's land (for he is said to be Lord of the country) and in other places where he came, as the native inhabitants themselves. And in those times and places, that men accounted nothing their own but that which they had appropriated by their own industry, appears plainly by this — that Abimileck's servants in their own country, when they oft contended with Isaac's servants about wells which they had dug, yet never strove for the land wherein they were. So like between Jacob and Laban, he would not take a goat of Laban's without special contract, but he makes no bargain with them for the land where they fed, and it is very probable that, had the land not been as free for Jacob as for Laban, that covetous wretch would have made his advantage of it, and would have upbraided Jacob with it as he did with his cattle. As for the natives in New England, they enclose no land, neither have they any settled habitation, nor any tame cattle to improve the land by, and so have no other but a natural right to those countries. So if we leave them sufficient for their own use, we may lawfully take the rest, there being more than enough for them and for us.

But we all know how this ended...
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Malcolm » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:51 pm

Mouse Soldier wrote:The copyright law doesn't have to go anywhere for it to become archaic. They'll simply artificially create other industries in order for us to circumvent them.



Usually what happens is that when young people like you begin to develop a life, your attitudes change drastically depending on what you have at stake.

When your livelihood seems threatened by people who don't respect your rights, I am quite sure you will be the first one in court.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Karma Dorje » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:56 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Mouse Soldier wrote:The copyright law doesn't have to go anywhere for it to become archaic. They'll simply artificially create other industries in order for us to circumvent them.


Usually what happens is that when young people like you begin to develop a life, your attitudes change drastically depending on what you have at stake.

When your livelihood seems threatened by people who don't respect your rights, I am quite sure you will be the first one in court.


On the contrary, I think kids these days are smart enough not to sell water by the river. They come up with innovative new ways of monetizing their pursuits. Litigiousness is a poor business model.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Mouse Soldier » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:57 pm

Qing Tian wrote:This is true, however, the fact that people are willing to transgress the law does not mean they a right in doing so. Which was kind of the point I was making. Also, the second part of your statement here is a departure from your original 'scribe' example. What you are now talking about is totally acceptable. If someone else designs software that does the job better than my software (without infringing my patents) then yes, my customers will shift their loyalties. That is how markets work. Which is why there are lots of similar products doing almost the same thing in slightly different ways. There is nothing wrong with this, and if I do not change/adapt my business will decline.


Law breaking happens when we discover we no longer have a use for certain laws. It's one of the steps involved in the process of social change.

And our governments should lead by example. The credibility of such laws come into question when the governments no longer heed them, and the United States was recently caught red-handed. Change is in the air :P
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Mouse Soldier » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:01 am

Malcolm wrote:
Mouse Soldier wrote:The copyright law doesn't have to go anywhere for it to become archaic. They'll simply artificially create other industries in order for us to circumvent them.



Usually what happens is that when young people like you begin to develop a life, your attitudes change drastically depending on what you have at stake.

When your livelihood seems threatened by people who don't respect your rights, I am quite sure you will be the first one in court.

And when that happens, the young people of the future will be there to introduce and force the social progress that I am opposed to. Such is human nature.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Qing Tian » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:24 am

futerko wrote:
Right, I think that people are quite willing to pay for the stuff they receive. Then the issue is more about what would be a fair price and some resentment about monopolization and price fixing to maximize profit.


In a free market the value of a product is measured by the desire to purchase it. How that desire is managed is another matter. (EDIT: talking about non-essential products here)


Mouse Soldier wrote:
Law breaking happens when we discover we no longer have a use for certain laws. It's one of the steps involved in the process of social change.


At the level of the individual I believe this is an over-idealisation of what really goes on.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Karma Dorje » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:39 am

Qing Tian wrote:
futerko wrote:
Right, I think that people are quite willing to pay for the stuff they receive. Then the issue is more about what would be a fair price and some resentment about monopolization and price fixing to maximize profit.


In a free market the value of a product is measured by the desire to purchase it. How that desire is managed is another matter. (EDIT: talking about non-essential products here)


Artificial monopolies preclude a genuine free market. IP law creates artificial scarcity enforced by government mandate. It is far more onerous and destructive at the level of patent law than what we are discussing, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry. IP law props up social constructs that foster individual greed at the expense of society. It is one element in an incredibly caustic process.

If all that a company can make is 5% profit and that's all your competition makes, they still have incentive. When rapacious excess exceeds excess, even 100% profit is not enough and the executives of these companies complain about not having an incentive to "innovate" if they are restrained by laws aiming for the public good. Our business models must change. The only thing that grows exponentially is cancer.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby pemachophel » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:25 am

Breech of copyright is most definitely "taking what is not given freely." If an author doesn't care about their intellectual property, they can specifically state that it is for free use. However, if they put a price on their product and offer it for sale, then taking it without paying for it is stealing.

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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:45 am

pemachophel wrote:Breech of copyright is most definitely "taking what is not given freely."

The oracle has spoken!

However, not everyone agrees with you:
In this paper, I examine the modern concepts of intellectual property and account for their significance in monastic law and culture of early Buddhism. As a result, I have come to the following conclusions: (1) the infringement of copyrights, patents, and trademarks does not amount to theft as far as Theravādin Vinaya is concerned ...

See: http://blogs.dickinson.edu/buddhistethics/2012/10/04/intellectual-property-in-early-buddhism/
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Malcolm » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:23 am

dzogchungpa wrote:
pemachophel wrote:Breech of copyright is most definitely "taking what is not given freely."

The oracle has spoken!

However, not everyone agrees with you:
In this paper, I examine the modern concepts of intellectual property and account for their significance in monastic law and culture of early Buddhism. As a result, I have come to the following conclusions: (1) the infringement of copyrights, patents, and trademarks does not amount to theft as far as Theravādin Vinaya is concerned ...

See: http://blogs.dickinson.edu/buddhistethics/2012/10/04/intellectual-property-in-early-buddhism/



Apparently the author does not believe his own paper:

Copyright Notice: Digital copies of this work may be made and distributed provided no change is made and no alteration is made to the content. Re-production in any other format, with the exception of a single copy for pri-vate study, requires the written permission of the author.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby dzogchungpa » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:28 am

Malcolm wrote:Apparently the author does not believe his own paper:

Copyright Notice: Digital copies of this work may be made and distributed provided no change is made and no alteration is made to the content. Re-production in any other format, with the exception of a single copy for pri-vate study, requires the written permission of the author.

:shrug:

What a hypocrite!

:smile:
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby duckfiasco » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:59 am

If you have to justify something so it's not a violation of one of the Five Precepts, it's probably less grey than you think.
At least that's my approach. I love trying to talk myself into "small" harms for temporary gain, so I have to keep an eye out. I suspect others are similar.
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Norwegian » Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:06 pm

And in related news:

"Norway To Digitize All Norwegian Books, Allowing Domestic IP Addresses To Read All Of Them, Irrespective Of Copyright Status

Here's a pretty amazing story from Norway:
The National Library of Norway is planning to digitize all the books by the mid 2020s. Yes. All. The. Books. In Norwegian, at least. Hundreds of thousands of them. Every book in the library's holdings.
"

read more:
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201312 ... atus.shtml
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Mouse Soldier » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:36 pm

Norway is one of the top countries when it comes to social progress. Maybe even #1. Thanks for leading the way; you guys rock! :)
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby dzogchungpa » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:00 pm

Norwegian wrote:And in related news:

"Norway To Digitize All Norwegian Books, Allowing Domestic IP Addresses To Read All Of Them, Irrespective Of Copyright Status...

What a bunch of thieves and pirates!

:smile:
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Re: Does software pirating break the second precept?

Postby Sue » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:07 pm

Norwegian wrote:And in related news:

"Norway To Digitize All Norwegian Books, Allowing Domestic IP Addresses To Read All Of Them, Irrespective Of Copyright Status


http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/12/norway-decided-to-digitize-all-the-norwegian-books/282008/

Wow, that's cool! (No pun intended.) What an incredible act of generosity.
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