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  #1  
Old Jun 9, '12, 9:43 am
michael_k michael_k is offline
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Default Intellectual property and illegally downloading television shows

The notion of intellectual property is one that bothers me. I can understand why we might create such a construct for the purpose of rewarding and promoting creativity and innovation, but I don't think one can say that intellectual property and physical property are the same thing, and that any violation of intellectual property rights constitutes theft.

A few questions - Why do copyright and patents have an expiration date? Does physical property cease to be your property after 50 years? Why are only certain ideas worthy of copyright? Can only complex physical objects be owned? What if two people come up with the same idea at the same time - who gets the patent? Don't both technically have equal rights to the idea? Why does "fair use" exist? Is there an equivalent doctrine in law for physical objects?

All of these questions reveal that intellectual property is not the same as physical property. It's clear that you can't really have completely exclusive rights to an idea - therefore, intellectual property rights should not be absolute, but linked to whatever would be just compensation for the idea. Therefore, stealing intellectual property isn't theft, if you have already received just compensation for that intellectual property. Unfortunately, our current laws on intellectual property have been strongly influenced by the media and entertainment industry, and are therefore unjust in making these rights go beyond ensuring just compensation.

Which brings me to my main question. There's a television show that I download illegally. But I own a cable subscription, and the show has been on for the past 10 years - I've just never watched it. Since I've already compensated the company indirectly though my subscription, aren't I justified in watching my television show without going out and buying an expensive DVD collection for shows I only want to watch once, or waiting (possibly a long time) before it shows up on TV again?
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  #2  
Old Jun 9, '12, 3:29 pm
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Default Re: Intellectual property and illegally downloading television shows

The answers are easy. The only problem is turning off the constant 'noise' in the background. The people that say that patents and copyrights are unjust for a number of frankly, illogical reasons. First, most people don't understand Intellectual Property, but that doesn't stop many of the same people from accusing the owners of Intellectual Property from physically harming them and their creativity. You could transfer all your rights to another company or individual for nothing. You don't even have to file. Nobody's stopping you. But I suspect, going all the way to the Beats (Beatniks) of the 1950s, that protest is in their blood. They are compelled to protest and assume that the IP owner is the villain 110 times out of 100.

Copyright just means you, nobody else, has the right to copy your work, unless they pay you a fee. So, every time an old TV show appears on TV, the owner gets paid. But how can you watch it for free? Because everyone involved in making that show, including the actors, got paid by the station running commercials every time it gets shown. But let's get answers to your questions from the U.S, Copyright Office.

Copyright - How long does it last?

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/fa....html#duration


Additional answers:

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/fa...l.html#protect


Is it legal to download works from peer-to-peer networks and if not, what is the penalty for doing so?
"Uploading or downloading works protected by copyright without the authority of the copyright owner is an infringement of the copyright owner's exclusive rights of reproduction and/or distribution. Anyone found to have infringed a copyrighted work may be liable for statutory damages up to $30,000 for each work infringed and, if willful infringement is proven by the copyright owner, that amount may be increased up to $150,000 for each work infringed. In addition, an infringer of a work may also be liable for the attorney's fees incurred by the copyright owner to enforce his or her rights.
"Whether or not a particular work is being made available under the authority of the copyright owner is a question of fact. But since any original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium (including a computer file) is protected by federal copyright law upon creation, in the absence of clear information to the contrary, most works may be assumed to be protected by federal copyright law.
"Since the files distributed over peer-to-peer networks are primarily copyrighted works, there is a risk of liability for downloading material from these networks. To avoid these risks, there are currently many "authorized" services on the Internet that allow consumers to purchase copyrighted works online, whether music, ebooks, or motion pictures. By purchasing works through authorized services, consumers can avoid the risks of infringement liability and can limit their exposure to other potential risks, e.g., viruses, unexpected material, or spyware.
"For more information on this issue, see the Register of Copyrights' testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. "


continued....
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  #3  
Old Jun 9, '12, 3:36 pm
michael_k michael_k is offline
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Default Re: Intellectual property and illegally downloading television shows

That doesn't address whether those laws are just or true to the purpose of intellectual property rights, though.
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  #4  
Old Jun 9, '12, 3:43 pm
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Default Re: Intellectual property and illegally downloading television shows

Patents and simultaneous invention?


"At that same time, in England, Guglielmo Marconi was working on a device for wireless telegraphy that he patented in 1896. Marconi set up a demonstration a little later, using a Tesla oscillator to transmit his signals across the English Channel.

"Tesla finally filed his radio patent applications in 1897, but they weren’t granted until 1900. Marconi’s first American patent was filed in November of 1900 and turned down. For three years Marconi continued to try again and again, but in 1903, the patent office, turning it down commented:

“Many of the claims are not patentable over Tesla patent numbers 645,576 and 649,621, of record, the amendment to overcome said references as well as Marconi's pretended ignorance of the nature of a "Tesla oscillator" being little short of absurd... the term "Tesla oscillator" has become a household word on both continents [Europe and North America].”

"Both Thomas Edison and Andrew Carnegie, invested in Marconi and Edison became a consulting engineer of “American Marconi” and in December of 1901, Marconi successfully transmitted and received radio signals across the Atlantic Ocean.

"An engineer working for Tesla commented: “Looks as if Marconi got the jump on you.” Tesla replied: “Marconi is a good fellow. Let him continue. He is using seventeen of my patents.”

"Reversing its decision in 1904, the patent office did finally give Marconi a patent for the invention of the radio without an explanation. It’s speculated that the powerful financial backing that Marconi received in the US was a catalyst for this reversal.

"Marconi was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1911; Tesla was livid, but he had been dealing with too many distracting problems up to that point. He did sue the Marconi company in 1915 for infringement, but wasn’t in the financial position to continue litigation

"Throughout his lifetime, he was granted more than 100 patents and still had many unpatented inventions upon his death on January 7, 1943. A few months after his death, the U.S. Supreme Court did uphold Tesla's radio patent number 645,576. Supposedly the US Patent Office was being sued by the Marconi Company, at that time, for the use of its patents during World War I. Restoring the patent rights back to Tesla allowed the Supreme Court to avoid the Marconi lawsuit."




Peace,
Ed
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  #5  
Old Jun 9, '12, 3:48 pm
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Default Re: Intellectual property and illegally downloading television shows

Quote:
Originally Posted by michael_k View Post
That doesn't address whether those laws are just or true to the purpose of intellectual property rights, though.



Well then, let's hear your version.






Peace,
Ed
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  #6  
Old Jun 9, '12, 4:05 pm
michael_k michael_k is offline
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Default Re: Intellectual property and illegally downloading television shows

I'm not certain, in all honesty. I am sure, though, that our current laws do not adequately respect consumer rights, and I can provide isolated cases where this is quite clear.

Take anti-circumvention measures. In the United States, it is illegal to copy media protected with DRM, even for backup purposes or interoperability between different devices (e.g. transfer a movie from a DVD to my iPod for personal, non-commercial use). This seems unjust - are we morally obligated to follow the law anyways?
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  #7  
Old Jun 9, '12, 4:11 pm
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Default Re: Intellectual property and illegally downloading television shows

Quote:
Originally Posted by michael_k View Post
I'm not certain, in all honesty. I am sure, though, that our current laws do not adequately respect consumer rights, and I can provide isolated cases where this is quite clear.

Take anti-circumvention measures. In the United States, it is illegal to copy media protected with DRM, even for backup purposes or interoperability between different devices (e.g. transfer a movie from a DVD to my iPod for personal, non-commercial use). This seems unjust - are we morally obligated to follow the law anyways?


Well, we can't discuss the subject unless you can tell me, or anyone else, what consumer rights you are referring to. For something to be technically, unjust, you must be able to prove damages. In other words, if you order a book, movie or song to be played on one device and it is copy protected, have you been deprived of the product you paid for? It appears not.

If I'm missing something, please let me know.



peace,
Ed
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  #8  
Old Jun 9, '12, 4:17 pm
michael_k michael_k is offline
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Default Re: Intellectual property and illegally downloading television shows

Quote:
Originally Posted by edwest2 View Post
Well, we can't discuss the subject unless you can tell me, or anyone else, what consumer rights you are referring to. For something to be technically, unjust, you must be able to prove damages. In other words, if you order a book, movie or song to be played on one device and it is copy protected, have you been deprived of the product you paid for? It appears not.

If I'm missing something, please let me know.



peace,
Ed
I paid for the right to use the product for my personal, non-commerical use. That should include the right to make backup copies or to transfer the media to another device.
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  #9  
Old Jun 9, '12, 4:32 pm
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Default Re: Intellectual property and illegally downloading television shows

Quote:
Originally Posted by michael_k View Post
I paid for the right to use the product for my personal, non-commerical use. That should include the right to make backup copies or to transfer the media to another device.


If the company that paid a lot of money to make that song, movie or TV show puts copy protection on it, how are you harmed? You got the product you paid for.

If this were to go to court. The first questions from the Judge to the Plaintiff will be:

"Did you get the product you paid for?"

If yes.


"Was it defective in any way?"

If no.


"Then if the owner of the work put copy protection on it so that it could not be duplicated or transferred to any other device, tell me how you were harmed."

If "it's unjust."


"Then tell me why the maker of the product is not within his rights to distribute it as he sees fit. And how it harms you."





Peace,
Ed
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  #10  
Old Jun 9, '12, 4:36 pm
michael_k michael_k is offline
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Default Re: Intellectual property and illegally downloading television shows

Content producers can add copy protection if they want. The issue is that it is illegal to break that protection, if need be.
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  #11  
Old Jun 9, '12, 4:41 pm
Cristiano Cristiano is offline
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Default Re: Intellectual property and illegally downloading television shows

Quote:
Originally Posted by michael_k View Post
The notion of intellectual property is one that bothers me. I can understand why we might create such a construct for the purpose of rewarding and promoting creativity and innovation, but I don't think one can say that intellectual property and physical property are the same thing, and that any violation of intellectual property rights constitutes theft.

A few questions - Why do copyright and patents have an expiration date? Does physical property cease to be your property after 50 years? Why are only certain ideas worthy of copyright? Can only complex physical objects be owned? What if two people come up with the same idea at the same time - who gets the patent? Don't both technically have equal rights to the idea? Why does "fair use" exist? Is there an equivalent doctrine in law for physical objects?

All of these questions reveal that intellectual property is not the same as physical property. It's clear that you can't really have completely exclusive rights to an idea - therefore, intellectual property rights should not be absolute, but linked to whatever would be just compensation for the idea. Therefore, stealing intellectual property isn't theft, if you have already received just compensation for that intellectual property. Unfortunately, our current laws on intellectual property have been strongly influenced by the media and entertainment industry, and are therefore unjust in making these rights go beyond ensuring just compensation.

Which brings me to my main question. There's a television show that I download illegally. But I own a cable subscription, and the show has been on for the past 10 years - I've just never watched it. Since I've already compensated the company indirectly though my subscription, aren't I justified in watching my television show without going out and buying an expensive DVD collection for shows I only want to watch once, or waiting (possibly a long time) before it shows up on TV again?
Sins are immoral behaviors. For a moral behavior you must have proper intent, proper or morally neutral act, and proper or morally neutral circumstances. Do you meet the three conditions in the case that you are describing?
__________________
"Domine, ad quem ibimus? Verba vitae aeternae habes. Et nos credimus, et cognovimus, quia tu es Christus Filius Dei."
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  #12  
Old Jun 9, '12, 9:54 pm
phatrat1982 phatrat1982 is offline
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Default Re: Intellectual property and illegally downloading television shows

I can help here, I am a broadcasting major and a political science minor so I have some knowledge of US copyright laws and how they work.


Ok lets take this argument apart piece by piece.

You went from asking is it ok to download a TV show that airs on the cable but you fail to catch on the air. Well here is the long answer. Suppose the TV show is produced by Studio 1 and they have to pay writers to write the script, camera operators to film the show, technicians to light the stage, actors to re-enact the acts of the script and so on down the line. They then sell the show to ABC for airing on primetime and ABC has to pay the creators of the show enough money for them to cover their cost of producing the show, the folks who created the show deserve to get paid for work performed otherwise they become unpaid workers (slaves) and that is not fair to them now is it?


Ok so then ABC has to make money off the show they purchased to they sell advertising space to Coke, Ford, Apple, Pizza Hut, etc, and they show commercials during the show in exchange for a fee. Then when the viewing public tunes into watch the show they see an ad for Pizza Hut, it makes them hungry and they order a pizza. Pizza hut gets their money from the ad, ABC gets their money for airing the show and the underpaid lighting tech gets to go home and stress about not making enough money to pay the bills.


Well then the cable company you subscribe to has to pay ABC for the rights to pick up their feed of the station and send that signal to your house either via coaxial cable or fiber optic cable, which costs them money to do, so you pay a subscription to the cable company. You do not PAY the cable company for that one show, you pay for ACCESS to the entire list of networks the cable company offers.


Now the show airs on say Friday night and you miss it, well the US Supreme Court already ruled all the way back in 1983 that you HAVE a right to use a device called a Video Cassette Recorder for the purpose of "time shifting" so you can watch your show on your own schedule, commercials and all. Times changed technology advanced and low and behold the cable company, knowing your not likely still using our "VCR" decides to offer you a machine that does the same thing, they call it a DVR. Now under the LAW *YOU* have a legal right to set your DVR/VCR to record your show "for time shifting" purposes and watch it when you miss it "commercials and all" you do NOT have a right to make COPIES of that recording and once you view it, technically, you are supposed to erase it and move on to the next show.


Now as a courtesy to their customers, and to prevent this illegal activity from happening in the first place, the major networks offer this additional service called On Demand, what that means is you can go to their company web site, abc.com, etc, and watch their same shows that air on the tv FOR FREE and there you have it your legal rights to view television shows.


If you do not want to do that and you hate commercials, you have another option, that would be to go to the store in your area that sells dvd discs and buy the show that way, commercial free and usually with bonus features that also cost someone money to make.


As for the right to make back ups, you DO have that right under the DMCA, as long as you do not break the copy protection. Why is that an issue? Because people like to rip their dvd and upload it to the internet for others to steal. If the case was true that you were making a "back up" then you would not need to download a digital file in the first place. Except if your DVD gets scratched or breaks because of your own negligence there is nothing that says your entitled to a free replacement. If the studio selling the DVD forgets to apply DRM or flat out refuses to, then you DO have a legal right to RIP that dvd to your hard driver and your good to go.


As for buying the DVD and not playing it on your ipod, I can address that also.


Your DVD is encoded using MPEG 2 video at a bitrate of between 6mbps and 8mbps depending on the title. Your ipod can read movies that are MP4 encoded at a MAX of 1.5 mbps. Your ipod uses proprietary software that Apple owns a patent and copyrights to, your DVD player uses proprietary software that the DVD Forum owns the rights to, the DVD forum licenses their software for playback on machines that are DVD compliant, Apple licenses software to be played back on their machines that are NOT dvd compliant.


If you download a movie from itunes it is ILLEGAL to use Apples proprietary software to illegally encode a DVD that is compatible with DVD forum patented device without the permission of the DVD forum who spent BILLIONS of dollars developing the DVD over the course of THIRTY YEARS. That said all parties involved had to spend money paying technicians, scientists, engineers, sales people etc to bring their products to the market and to get that money back they have to charge a fee for every unit sold. YOU could argue they make enough money they can afford a loss here and there, but when they lose money due to piracy they lay off their workforce, which puts hard working regular joes in the unemployment line unable to feed their babies and pay their rent.


Do you see now why copyrights are to protect the inventors and that without them nobody would have any incentive to invent DVD players and Ipods in the first place if they could not make money doing so.


If your a cheap skate and do not want to pay to watch the tv show but you still want to watch it on your own time, you have plenty of legal options, a set the dvr to record it and watch at your leisure, b, buy a VCR and record to a blank tape, c, go to their website and watch it online for free (if your downloading you must have internet) or D, watch something else and don't steal.



if you go to the store and buy a hotdog and then decide you really felt like a hamburger you can't go back to the store and trade in your hot dog for a hamburger, your stuck with the hotdog eat it as intended and enjoy and when your ready for a hamburger go back and BUY a hamburger. Same thing with DVD, you BOUGHT the dvd to play it on a TV set using a set top box, when your ready to watch it on the go, either buy a digital copy from itunes if your dvd did not come with it, or watch it on your laptop which is already portable to begin with and stop pretending like your a victim when the real victim is that guy who went to school for four years to get that job lighting tv sets and he gets laid off because the studio can't make money because of pirates.



sorry it was late i wrote stupid meant to write studio.
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