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The worldwide attempted crackdown on illegal file sharing continues in Europe

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the European equivalent of the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA), has filed 2,000 lawsuits in 10 countries against alleged file sharers.  Users targeted reside all over Europe:  Finland, Portugal, Germany, the Czech Republic and Italy are examples of nations that have alleged file sharers that are being targeted.  The IFPI claims that the people targeted are users that make large amounts of files available for others to download over the Internet.  Portugal has been one of the hardest hit countries in Europe -- the country reportedly had a 40 percent decrease in the number of CD sales over the past several years.  The BBC reports:

"Clunky software, difficulty in finding tracks and over zealous protection limiting where customers can play music they've bought are continuing to fuel file-sharing," said Greig Harper, founder of XTN Data.

The British Phonographic Institute (BPI) also claims that file sharing has cost the British music industry £1.1 billion -- even though legal file sharing programs have started to become popular in the UK.

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By cgrecu77 on 4/5/2006 12:19:24 PM , Rating: 2
RIAA and all the others are just dumb ... they don't realize that most americans spend anything they have ANYWAY, anything they save from piracy they spend on a bigger tv screen anyway, or they buy a house or a car thus supporting the economy, generating jobs and so on. Nobody is going to spend hundreds of dollars on movies, so without pirating they will probably sell a little more but not by much - and other market segments will experience a decrease to compensate. The amount on money we have is limited and latests statistics show that americans have a total level of debt that exceeds their total equity - so it's not like we stockpile our money in banks - we spend everything we have.

Let's this example: I spend about 50 dollars a month renting movies from both online and a small corner store near my building. This allows me to rent about 20 dvds per month. I copy all of them and then I probably watch about 12-13 of them and the other I just keep. I've been doing this for the past year and I've yet to view a movie for the second time. My friend does the same thing and we usually share the movies, sometimes we overlap and we both get the same one but on average we swap about 10 dvds per month.
Now, can any RIAA advocate explain to me how am I causing any lost revenues to the industry? If I didn't copy these movies I would probably spend even less on rentals since I would limit myself only to movies I have time to watch. I am not willing to spend more than $50 (in addition to 20 dollars for the cable movie channels). In order to watch the movies properly I purchased a plasma tv for another 100$ per month for the next 3 years and a home theatre system for another $30 for the next 3 years.

All in all I bleed $200 per month for audio-video entertainment. And I'm to blame for the decline of the movie industry? Maybe there's a reason why I almost never rent new releases and I stick to older movies?

By masher2 (blog) on 4/5/2006 12:38:05 PM , Rating: 2
> "they don't realize that most americans spend anything they have ANYWAY, anything they save from piracy they spend on a bigger tv screen anyway..."

Err, obviously they realize just this-- which is why they want to prevent piracy. They make a profit from selling music , not from you buying a "bigger TV".

> "Now, can any RIAA advocate explain to me how am I causing any lost revenues to the industry?"

Very easily. By your own admission, you are watching 22-23 movies per month, but only paying to watch 20 of them. You're also lending your friend 10 movies a month, none of which he's paid for either. This is-- whether or not you wish to admit it--

Now, you can claim you are tightly budgeted and will never spend more than the allotted $50/month on movies. But come some night when you have $5 in your pocket and no new movie to watch, at least some of the time, you'll go out and exceed your budget. Your friend will as well.

Furthermore, think five years down the road, when your collection of copied movies has grown dramatically. You'll rewatch some of those at some point, and lend some of them multiple times, to multiple people. Thereby harming the media owners still further.

In short, you're a thief. And all your justifications are just that-- an excuse to steal, without having to feel guilty over it.

By fsardis on 4/5/2006 2:39:38 PM , Rating: 2
There are two sides to every coin.
of course downloading music and movies is illegal and it does reduce the profits of publishers.
the other side of the coin however is about ethics. you got two theories for ethics. one is Kants theory, and the other is Consequentialism. Kants theory states that if an action is wrong then it should not be done no matter if the results from it are good or bad. Consequentialism theory states that a bad action can be justified if the end result is something that benefits the community.
with music and movies downloads one can argue that some people get the chance to see and hear things that might never have before. some albums released in europe or in the states for example that are not available anywhere else. so if we say downloading helps other people broaden their minds and their experiences then inevitably downloading files is ethical according to consequentialism, although it remains illegal. Kants theory of course states that its wrong because its theft and it shouldnt be done at all.

what i am trying to say is that downloading movies and music is illegal but one can argue that ethically it is correct and it helps humanity. for example, how many japanese bands will anyone in europe get the chance to see and hear perform? so downloading those songs will allow some people to experience another culture through music.

the sad side of the story of course is that people wont buy movies/music after they have downloaded them which inevitably leads to a slow financial death for artists. but again, think about specific music cultures with loyal audience. metal music is a good example. people will buy the cd because they know the band has put some effort into it. the types of music that have suffered the most by piracy are the pop varieties which are untalented and heavily reliant on electronic music rather than talent.

in short i am trying to say that some laws have to be revised to determine what is legal and what is illegal. if the album is available in your area its illegal to download. if not then its beneficial for you to download it since the record label is not harmed anyway.
i am also trying to say that the people who create the fuss about downloading are the untalented cheap pop artists and their producers that care about money rather than music itself.
a real musician/artist/movie producer, would never complain about their work spreading throughout the world as long as they can make a living out of it. and lets face it those guys are more wealthy than the entire downloading community together.

this is my take on the matter

By masher2 (blog) on 4/5/2006 3:48:48 PM , Rating: 2
> "Consequentialism theory states that a bad action can be justified..."

I'd avoid that path-- therein lies the madness of moral relativism.

Furthermore, your basic premise is incorrect. Pirating music and videos does not benefit the community, as can easily be proven by extension. If everyone engaged in unlimited downloading, the profit motive for creating new content would vanish entirely, and thus no content would ever be created. Net result: less people viewing less music and videos.

Finally, if you want to broaden your mind for free, go to a library and read something worthwhile. I seriously doublt that pirating a copy of "The Shaggy Dog" is going to "expand your horizons".

> "the types of music that have suffered the most by piracy are the pop varieties which are untalented..."

This is a thinly veiled attempt to justify piracy with the "they deserved it" excuse. Face facts: piracy hurts ALL art. The good and the bad.

By fsardis on 4/5/2006 5:51:35 PM , Rating: 2
Consequentialism is an old and qualified theory that works in practice and doesnt lead anywhere near madness. Death sentence is one example of the consequentialism theory. Maybe not acceptable for you, but perfectly acceptable to others. Deal with it.

Believe it or not, music and movies do show alot about a culture to people who are not part of that culture, so yea, a movie and a song will tell alot. a book is definitely a way of broadening your mind and i am not arguing over this. i am saying that music and movies do that too to some extent.

i didnt use the "they deserve it " excuse. the example i gave was not meant to serve that purpose. I am saying however that those who are walking on a very thin line are the ones who complain the most.

im only breaking down the topic into smaller parts so people can comment on different individual issues of piracy. If you notice carefully, i have not stated my allegiance in this argument.

By masher2 (blog) on 4/5/2006 7:56:32 PM , Rating: 3
> "Consequentialism is an old and qualified theory"

Qualified? By whom? No legal or moral system in practice anywhere in the real world admits to pure Consequentialism. Its never once been put in practice in the real world. Furthermore, its a theory heavily criticized by greats such Betrand Russell, G.E. Moore, and many others, all who point out that its fatally flawed.

Its not an "old" theory either, in fact the term has only come about in the past fifty years or philosophical terms, that's not even the blink of an eye. Its roots are in older concepts such as Utilitarianism...but then if you meant that, you should have used the term.

> "Death sentence is one example of the consequentialism theory"

You misunderstand the theory. Capital punishment is not consequentialism. Punishing criminals is inherently moral, regardless of the effect it has on society.

Killing anyone who is physically or mentally handicapped-- now thats an example of consequentialism. It benefits society, so it must be moral.

> "I am saying however that those who are walking on a very thin line are the ones who complain the most"

What "thin line" are pop music publishers walking? They make a product that people want...and by its very definition, is more "popular" than other genres. If you wish to judge it as less artistic, feel free...but that has no bearing whatsoever on the subject at hand.

Bad Art or Good, its still property...and entitled to the full protection of our legal system.

> "If you notice carefully, i have not stated my allegiance in this argument. "

You must certainly have. Anyone claiming that piracy is "good for society" certainly has staked their claim.

By The Cheeba on 4/6/2006 1:31:23 AM , Rating: 2
Masher is arguably the most intelligent forum poster i have ever had the pleasure of virtually meeting. Its an odd thing to say but I seriously mean it. He always has insanely strong comments about everything he writes about.

When do we get to see

By fsardis on 4/6/2006 4:47:16 PM , Rating: 2
where exactly did you see a strong argument in what he said? it was a bunch of crap. he has no idea what he is talking about. he googles for stuff and throws some info around to sound like a smart guy. he doesnt have an understanding of what he is talking about.
he is just insanelly good at googling. You can tell it by the way he posts around here, pretending to know everything about everything.

By masher2 (blog) on 4/7/2006 8:27:39 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks...actually Kris has asked me to field a blog here, which I'm considering doing.

By fsardis on 4/6/2006 4:38:43 PM , Rating: 2
and this is where you start falling flat on your face and bleed cause you just posted a bunch of crap.

Consequentialism is not qualified? Are you kidding me? No legal or moral system admits to consequentialims? what kind of crap is that? a police officer taking down a suspect by force is consequentialism in practice. its bad to hit someone and harm them physically according to Kant's theory. the officer still does it and he is allowed to in case the suspect resists. How is that for example of consequentialism in practice and endorsed by law? Dont even try to argue about it cause you abviously have no clue about ethical theories and practical applications of them.

Death sentence is wrong clearly and should not be commited according to Kants theory because you are harming another person and such an action is ethically wrong so you shouldnt do it anyway. It is good for the society however which is what the law follows in this case and endorses it. Another brigh example of consequentialism. Punishing criminals by killing them is unethical because killing is unethical. Kants theory states that you should not harm the criminal. Killing someone who is handicapped is also an example of consequentialism no arguments there.

Obviously you didnt catch what i meant by "thin line" so i will leave it at that. try harder and maybe you will get it

You jump into conclusions by saying i have decalred my allegiance. i said clearly that i was trying to break down the topic into parts so people can discuss them individually. FYI, I dont endorse illegal file sharing and i dont do it because it is "illegal". flat in your face once more.

From the little arguments you give here and there i can tell that you are the type of guy that will go and google on a topic to find some relevant info and then go into a forum and start throwing information bits here and there and pretend to be the smart guy. Just a bubble ready to burst. You have very poor understand of the topic. Just the fact you said that the consequentialism theory is fatally flawed shows the level of ignorance you have on the matter. There are only two standing ethics theories and you just called one of the fataly flawed. Any guy who has ever studied psychology would be rolling on the floor laughing at you now.

By masher2 (blog) on 4/6/2006 6:17:00 PM , Rating: 2
>"Death sentence is wrong clearly and should not be commited according to Kants theory ..."

I got a nice chuckle out of this, inasmuch as Kant himself stated, "whoever has committed murder, must die". Kant goes to great lengths to explain why a society has a right to punish criminals.

You have some serious misconceptions about ethical theories. I suggest you may want to actually read one of Kants works before arguing his views.

> "Just the fact you said that the consequentialism theory is fatally flawed shows the level of ignorance you have on the matter..."

You misread. It wasn't I who called the theory fatally flawed, it was G.E. Moore...arguably the most influential philosopher of the 20th Century. Bertrand Russell also had sharp words for Consequentualism...surely you've heard of him?

I do agree with these esteemed gentlemen, however. The theory is flawed. But until you actually understand what it states, you'll have difficulty understanding this.

> "Any guy who has ever studied psychology would be rolling on the floor laughing"

Ethical theory lies not in the field of psychology, but in philosophy. There is a sharp distinction between the two fields.

> "There are only two standing ethics theories..."

Sorry, but this isn't correct either. Philosophers divide up ethical theories differently, but-- at least when I was in college-- the prevailing distinction was into three main theories: Consequentialism, Deontology, and Aristoteleanism.

Seriously, learn a bit about ethical theory. Its really a fascinating subject.

By fsardis on 4/7/2006 4:50:16 AM , Rating: 2
Kant's theory is only a couple of sentences. In that theory he never mentions anything about killing criminals being justified. the fact that he talked about it doesnt make it part of his theory.

As for consequentialism being fataly flawed, i leave that to the eyes of those who know. You have no idea what you are talking about.

You can bet that people who study phychology as well as sociology study ethical theories too.

Of course you have Aristotelianism and you also have Utilitarianism, etc et but all of them fall under the two main theories. Kantianism and Consequentialism.

I should study ethics eh? Maybe you should go to University instead of college. I have an inside tip the university is a a better educational institution.

By masher2 (blog) on 4/7/2006 8:23:47 AM , Rating: 2
> "Kant's theory is only a couple of sentences"

Just because some introductory Psych class summarized "Kant's theory" to make the subject more palatable to bored freshmen doesn't make it correct. Kant wrote extensively on ethics, and he certainly never attempted to summarize his theories in a sentence or two.

His ethical views are primarily contained in Critique of Practical Reason and Metaphics of Morals. In the latter, he devotes much of the work to justifying the punishment of criminals and states explicitly that ethics demands capital punishment. In Kantian ethics, crime requires punishment. Period. Face facts; you're simply incorrect here.

Furthermore, your very perspective on the argument is wrong. The defining factor in different ethical systems is not what specific acts they believe are moral, but why they believe them to be so. A Kantist and a Consequentialist may both believe in capital punishment...but for very different reasons. In fact, many Consequentialists don't support capital punishment...but they are still firm Consequentialists.

Conversely, there are many Teleologists (of which Kantianism is just one branch) who don't believe in the death penalty..but because their REASONS for doing so are identical to those of a Kantist, they stil belong to that ethical camp.

> "you have Aristotelianism and you also have Utilitarianism, etc et but all of them fall under the two main theories. Kantianism and Consequentialism"

Once again-- incorrect. Simplistic introductions to ethics often divide ethics into two main theories- Deontological and Teleological. This makes Kantianism a division of the former, and Consequentialism part of the latter.

But this simplified version ignores Aristoteleanism entirely-- it belongs to neither. That's fine for an introductory class, as Virtue Theory isn't exactly influential today. But it doesn't mean there are "only two ethical theories".

> "Maybe you should go to University..."

Good advice. I followed it long ago...I'm a failed doctoral candidate actually (though not in philosophy).

> "You have no idea what you are talking about."

I'm sure those reading this thread are able to reach the proper conclusions.

By fsardis on 4/7/2006 3:53:17 PM , Rating: 1
i agree with everything you said on this last post. Maybe i shouldnt have tried to simplify the topic but i did anyway in order to keep it simple.

you are forgetting one thing. everyone is innocent until proven guilty. thus, abusing a suspect is immoral according to Kant. However we do it cause its OK according to Consequentialism.

Failed PhD candidate? two posts above you mentioned you were in college not university. You got my number there mate. oh wait a sec, i dont recall failling mine.

By masher2 (blog) on 4/7/2006 4:11:53 PM , Rating: 2
> "i agree with everything you said on this last post..."

Unfortunately, that contradicts your earlier remarks quite sharply.

> "However we [abuse suspects] cause its OK according to Consequentialism...."

Not quite. Under Consequentialism, "abusing a suspect" is ethical only if it has a beneficial effect on society. Many people believe such acts are ultimately harmful to the social fabric, and thus even if they were good Utilitarians, they'd still view it as immoral.

To further my original point, nearly all modern nations have laws against abusing suspects...and they don't base those laws upon Consequentialist views, but rather the Kantian belief that such acts are inherently immoral.

Read my post above where I explain the distinction in the two theories. Its based primarily on the "why", not the "what" of ethics.

> "two posts above you mentioned you were in college not university."

You're having a bit of a language issue. I posted "when I was in college", not that I was currently attending. And in US English, the terms 'college' and 'university' are nearly interchangeable. No one but a Brit would say "when I was at University".

By fsardis on 4/8/2006 8:28:11 AM , Rating: 1
yea, cause in britain a college is inferior to university. as for the other posts. you are wrong in ever single comment you made.

firs of all stop taking me quotes out of context and replying to them. you are replying to whatever suits you and not to the meaning of what i said. when i said i agree with you with everything you said. i had another sentence next to it saying exactly what i was agreeing with.

next time try to argue against the meaning of my posts and not sentences taken out of context. Thats how educated people like to argue, let alone those with a PhD or at least tried for a PhD.

see you in some other thread, where you will be a physics expert or something. Keep googling mate.
like it or not abusing a suspect is ultimately good for society cause a suspect might be a criminal. Too bad you are too stubborn to understand what is right infront of you. I cant be bothered explaining things to someone who doesnt want to learn. its a typical atribute all the people who try to play smart but they dont really know a topic in depth.

By masher2 (blog) on 4/8/2006 10:16:34 AM , Rating: 2
> "you are wrong in ever single comment you made."

I've already demonstrated otherwise quite clearly. Anyone who believes Kantian ethics bars the punishment of criminals doesn't understand philosophy, plain and simple.

> "i had another sentence next to it saying exactly what i was agreeing with."

Your next sentence was "maybe I shouldn't have tried to simplify the topic." However, you not only simplified it, you got all the key points wrong.

> "next time try to argue against the meaning of my posts "

I've addressed the "meaning" of all your posts. That Kantianism is against capital punishment (false). That Kant's theories are "only a couple of sentences" (false). That there are only two primary ethical theories (false).

That Consequentialism is an old theory. (false). That Consequentialism allows for capital punishment (partly false). That "the people who know" Ethics best don't consider Consequentialism flawed. (partly false). That Consequentialism is commonly used in legal systems today (false).

You're racking up quite a score. If I missed any of your points, please inform me and I'll address them as well.

Oh, I did miss one. Let me address it now.

> "You can bet that people who study phychology as well as sociology study ethical theories too."

Yes, and people who study English Lit also are forced to take a Chemistry class as well. But when you want a question answered on the subject, you ask a Chemist, not a Lit major.

> "see you in some other thread, where you will be a physics expert or something"

That's more likely than philosophy, given my undergraduate degree is in physics.

By fsardis on 4/8/2006 2:47:33 PM , Rating: 1
my friend you go around saying my comments are wrong but you dont say why they are wrong.

you say this is false, that is false, this is partly false, that is partly right. then you throw in a couple of sentences that generalise the theories (yea you did it as much as i did it) and call it an argument.

by the way, english lit and chemistry are far off from psychology and ethics. you see, ethics is a major part in psychology while chemistry is minor in enlish lit. thats just made you look stupid

By masher2 (blog) on 4/8/2006 4:52:43 PM , Rating: 2
> "my friend you go around saying my comments are wrong but you dont say why they are wrong."

Can you not read plain English? I explained clearly and precisely why each was wrong in previous posts. My last posting was merely the executive summary.

Look, its obvious you've realized you were incorrect. I know, you know it...and I know you know it. Since no one else is still reading this thread, why play games? Just show some character, and either admit it, or drop it and move on.

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