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Re: when did piracy/theft become expression of freedom
From: Valdis.Kletnieks () vt edu
Date: Sat, 28 Jan 2012 17:26:49 -0500

On Fri, 27 Jan 2012 19:02:09 PST, "Zach C." said:

If you buy an album used, the seller generally loses possession of it, you
gain possession of it at a reduced cost, and the original purchase still
gave the original seller and producer value.

Note that if I shoplift a CD that sucks and isn't worth the $14.99 sticker price, I
have deprived the producer of the ability to sell it to somebody else.  That's
the crucial point that underlies our social concept of "theft" - if I take it from
you, you don't have it anymore.

If I copy an album that isn't worth the sticker price, and which I would not
have purchased at that price, two things of note happen:

1) As much as the labels wish it were so, they can't count that as "lost
revenue" because it wouldn't have acccrued to them anyhow, any more than a car
dealership can legitimately call it "lost revenue" if I walk onto their lot,
tell the salescritter they're crazy if they think I'll pay $28K for a given
car, and walk off the lot. (Now, if they want to count the "Damn, we lost the
$4.99 that guy *would* have paid if we charged that instead of $14.99", they're
welcome to that. :)

2) More importantly, they still have the original bits and are free to look
for other suckers who *will* pay $14.99.

For the record, all my media is legitimately acquired, though a large portion
*was* obtained used and if the producers don't like that, they're welcome to go
re-read "first sale doctrine" ;)  Just trying to make people actually engage
their neurons - this stuff is *not* easy to sort out, because intellectual
property and digital information do *not* behave the same as cars and cows in
the physical world, and unintended consequences of policy decisions are all
*over* the place.  (DMCA anti-circumvention clause prohibiting me from fair-use
accessing my own media, I'm looking at you. :)

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