Got A Message from Comcast about abuse violations

John_Berger

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Hollywood is turning my 65" HD TV into a paper weight because of this stupid behavior.
I thought that Marc and everybody else who has ever fired up a P2P client was to blame!


Sorry, guys. Insanity like this, particularly the way in which it was presented, was aching for a response.
 

John_Berger

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Bad example. Speeding is a matter of degree: if you're going 55, it doesn't really matter if you go 56, although technically, you could get a ticket.But the cops rightly don't bother with splitting hairs there.
THANK YOU!!

THANK YOU for proving and even demonstrating the hypocrisy in the "It's the law" argument.

Well, it's SPEEDING! Oh, THAT'S relative. And cops are expected to not pull us over for something like that!.

Sorry, Ken, but IT'S THE LAW! The speed limit is a set limit on the speed at which our vehicle can travel in a certain area and it is NOT flexible. Regardless of whether or not an officer decides to enforce it, IT IS THE LAW.

And don't tell me it's not because my stepmother-in-law is a Director for the PA State Police and my father-in-law is a retired seargent from the PA State Police.

If you go 66 in a 65 zone, you are BREAKING THE LAW! Period! No ifs, ands, or buts; and officers are 100% within their right to pull you over if you go one mile over the limit!

But yet, "the cops rightly don't bother with splitting hairs there".

(And do you want to make a bet on that? I know several people who got ticketed because of going one mile over the limit.)

But, movies, software, and music? No, no, no. That's not relative! That's very solid and unwavering! You do something on a P2P network that you shouldn't be doing and we're going to JUSTIFIABLY nail your keester to the wall! It's the law, damn it! And don't you break that law even if you plan on giving restitution later!

Oh, but the laws are flexible for speed limits.

No, they're not, Ken.


So, tell me. Why is it acceptable for you to drive one mile over the speed limit and expect the police to leave you alone, but I am expected to be riddled with guilt for breaking the law by downloading a movie that I already own or will be buying when available?
 

Andy Olivera

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I think we're talking about dollar value, here. Dollar value is relative and changes day to day, but it's set by the market for the item.

Have you checked the prices on some of the OOP Criterions? They weren't worth that much when they were first sold and certainly didn't cost that much to produce, so why the outrageous price? Because that's what people are willing to pay for them.

When bootlegs start appearing the value for the genuine article drops. Why? Because some, but definitely not all, people really just want the product and don't care about the value associated with it. These people buy the bootlegs, meaning one less potential buyer for the genuine article. When the supply:demand ratio shrinks the item's value usually does, as well.

From the company angle, when they stop selling an item, then there's no money for them to lose, so they're completely out of the picture. If they're doing this to increase it's value(like Disney does) then they do so at their own risk. If supply doesn't meet demand, yet supply can still be created, it will be created. Now, that doesn't help people who want the genuine article, but it does help those who just want the product.

That's how value is determined; it's most definitely not intangible. Now, when you're dealing with a product that can be duplicated and transfered infinitely at no cost the value does become intangible, simply because there's no physical product. Value essentially becomes zero. When you're dealing with a product that exists, or can exist, in both realms value also becomes intangible. It varies significantly from person to person based on any number of factors, since the supply:demand ratio is equal(value = zero).

Just thought I'd clear that up for you, John.


This post brought to you by an avid file-sharer/pirate/unethical bastard(whichever term you prefer).
 

Marc_E

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I agree my reply was nuts. Totally honest I I make no apologies for it.

Understand this: I have NEVER and will NEVER 'fire up' a P2P! I buy all my DVD legitimately. I buy all my CDs legitimately. I listen to clips of CD tracks on CDnow and decide if I want it. I read reviews and decide if I want the DVD. The law is the law. You don't like it? Lobby to change it. Ignoring is not your legal right.

Marc
 

Patrick Sun

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Actions are black and white.

Intentions are grey.

Regardless of your personal feeling of the illegality of distributing copyrighted material via P2P, or otherwise, the HTF does not condone such illegal activities, and there really isn't much to debate on that point, so please spare us all of the "grey" examples that basically amount to a person's convenience/pocketbook being the driving force for bootlegging copyrighted material. That point of view is not welcomed here.

Don't kid yourselves, if a person puts copyrighted material in a shared folder for P2P distribution and is connected via a broadband/high speed internet connection, that person has taken action to engage in illegal distribution of the material. Otherwise, if that person truly wanted to "store" the material, the person would not store it in a "shared" P2P directory. Case closed. Move along.

Please keep calm in your responses to each other. It's imperative that we respect each other, regardless of their views on this topic. Otherwise, if this thread goes much more south, this thread will be toast.
 

AjayM

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Let's change our outlook.

If you were in an aspiring band with a bright future ahead, yet your lively hood depends on how many records you sell. How would you feel if you logged onto any of the P2P and did a search on your own music and got back thousands of hits, and that's off of just one server (out of tens/hundreds of thousands). How would you feel, truly?

Andrew
 

Marc_E

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I apologize only for the small obscenity in my post.

Thanks Patric. I 100% agree with you and the law. Artist are due their reimbursement for their art.

Marc(yes I am a MAJOR Metallica fan and Yes I support their view on Napster).
 

Chad Ellinger

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So, tell me. Why is it acceptable for you to drive one mile over the speed limit and expect the police to leave you alone, but I am expected to be riddled with guilt for breaking the law by downloading a movie that I already own or will be buying when available?
I have downloaded mp3s from P2P networks and I have yet to have my ISP or the record industry banging down my door and arresting me. I have driven over the speed limit on the highway without getting pulled over. Cops on the freeway can't possibly enforce the speed limit everywhere, but they are constantly trying to improve enforcement techniques. The record industry and file sharing is no different. If you straddle that fine line of legality long enough, you are bound to get caught.

The issue is that consumers can freely create a copy of copyrighted product that is more convenient and usable than the original. Stopping this practice all together may not be the answer, but ignoring the issue isn't the answer either.
 

MikeAlletto

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If you were in an aspiring band with a bright future ahead, yet your lively hood depends on how many records you sell. How would you feel if you logged onto any of the P2P and did a search on your own music and got back thousands of hits, and that's off of just one server (out of tens/hundreds of thousands). How would you feel, truly?
But bands don't make hardly any money off cd sales, studios do. Its all from touring for the musician. CD's are basically just there to get the word out about the musician. And if I was in a band and found out that my tracks were trading like hotcakes on p2p systems I would be completely happy about that because it means people like it and will be willing to shell out the big bucks to see me in concert which is where I make the most of my money. I bet the majority of musicians would tove to get more people exposed to their music whatever way they can. But when asked about it I'm sure they are under horrible pressure from their labels to say "downloading bad...buy cd good".
 

Glenn Overholt

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So, this post started with just a 'warning' instead of a fine. Has anyone ever heard of anyone being fined on an individual basis? If they are so sure that it was a violation, what are they waiting for? Or can a lawyer get you out of it?

Also, and I think this hasn't been brought up yet, but there is a question of timing on all of this. What would you do if the day before the next Matrix movie comes out, you ended up in the hospital for two weeks?

Oh, would that one suck the big one!

You're going to have to wait until the DVD comes out. Just how high would the temptation be? Oh, and what if you ended up after discharge as a shut-in? Meaning you can't go out at all. What would the court argument look like? The movie is not available in any shape at all for about 6 months. I'll argue that grey point now.

Which leads me to asking, who wouldn't be willing to pay $20 for a downloaded movie from the studio, along with a number that you could submit for $20. off when it come out on the market? What are they waiting for?

Glenn
 

Shayne Lebrun

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If it's 'right' or 'wrong' isn't the issue here; it's illegal. If you don't agree that it should be illegal, you try to get the laws changed. Illegally copying works isn't 'civil disobedience' on a level with Rosa Parks; it's breaking the law, and playing right into the hands of the people who make said stupid laws.

And yes, the laws are stupid, not to mention muddled. Depending on which ones you read, you're allowed to copy, not allowed to copy, allowed to distribute, not allowed to distribute. Hell, up here in Canada, where we pay a levy on CD-Rs and the like, it can be interpreted that we then have permission to copy, ipso facto.

But the point is, he had a copy of a movie, and was *advertising* it for public download. That's illegal. And, in this case, it's wrong. Yes, if it was an out of print movie or something, that would be morally different. I personally don't agree, for example, with Disney's constant lengthening of copyright terms; hell, I wrote a scathing article in a local newspaper about it.

But if somebody relases something, legitimately, with the expectation that if you want a copy, you pay for it, then you don't pay for it, you don't get a copy. If Disney doesn't want to sell Toy Story any more, that's their business. You are not entitled to a copy. Snow White? Well, that's a bit trickier; it should be in public domain by now. But PD's been extended, so legally, it's still theirs. Should it be? No, I don't think so. I think that such laws are ultimately bad for society. They are, however, laws. Bad laws should be changed, not ignored.

John, you've got all sorts of copyright notices on your website; how would you like it if I copied your website, took your name off of it, and posted it at a different URL? Or even if I didn't take your name off of it? Simply posted it somewhere else, in total? I'm not depriving you of anything, am I? I haven't stolen anything, have I? You've still got all of your data and what not, right? More people get to see your website, right? It's all good, then, right?
 

John_Berger

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If you were in an aspiring band with a bright future ahead, yet your lively hood depends on how many records you sell. How would you feel if you logged onto any of the P2P and did a search on your own music and got back thousands of hits, and that's off of just one server (out of tens/hundreds of thousands). How would you feel, truly?
No, no. Don't misunderstand my position on this! I understand fully that P2P is used by a lot of people to replace the need to purchase the real thing. That's wrong. If you like the CD or DVD, then just go and buy the damned thing. I'm in no way encouraging people to do otherwise.

My position is that, contrary to popular opinion, there is a grey area, regardless of who says there's not, where things like this can be used for legitimate reasons that are not meant to defraud the copyright owners. But it seems that the fervent copyright supports are painting everyone with this massive brush that if you download you're intentionally stealing potential revenue from the copyright holder. I reject that notion wholeheartedly, which is what prompted me to get started in this thread.
 

John_Berger

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Stopping this practice all together may not be the answer, but ignoring the issue isn't the answer either.
I never said that it would, but right now the current attitude among the RIAA, MPAA, and die-hard supporters is that stopping it is the only answer. It's not. It's not going to work. As was mentioned earlier, they are throwing tons of money into something that they can't stop with an attitude that all downloads are lost revenue. As a result, even those with genuine fair use intentions are criminalized. I have a massive problem with that belief.
 

John_Berger

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John, you've got all sorts of copyright notices on your website; how would you like it if I copied your website, took your name off of it, and posted it at a different URL? Or even if I didn't take your name off of it? Simply posted it somewhere else, in total? I'm not depriving you of anything, am I? I haven't stolen anything, have I? You've still got all of your data and what not, right? More people get to see your website, right? It's all good, then, right?
Sorry, but I don't see that as a good analogy on your part. The difference in what you describe and what I'm talking about is that you clearly would be doing so with malicious intent. There is absolutely no reason for you do to that EXCEPT with the expressed intention of taking traffic away from my site and stealing the credit for my work. There is nothing that can convince me that there was something other than malicious intent involved in your decision to do that.

My point is that not all downloads are done with malicious intent. A majority? Perhaps, but there is no way to get accurate numbers. The general attitude, however, appears to be that every download is done maliciously and with desire to do financial harm. Again, I reject that blanket statement, even though that apparently puts me at odds with the rest of the thread. (Makes for good reading, though.
)

Is it a fine line? Perhaps. But intention must be a factor, and the general attitude is that intention is irrelevant.

Consider also that MP3s are illegal because they are not exact duplicates of the original CD that are used exclusively for archival purposes as allowed by U.S. copyright law. According to U.S. copyright code (and even the unconstitutional DMCA) anyone who has an MP3 on their hard drive without written permission of the copyright owners is breaking the law. Just ask Damin. He'll tell you.


Where's the cry to make MP3s illegal? There is none because the intention is not to steal money but to provide a convenience for us to listen to CDs that we already own. Oh, that's fair use.

But downloading an MP3 or a movie that I already own is not? { scratching head }
 

Steve Bjorg

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John,

If one were to follow through with your line of reasoning, modern society as it stands today would not exist. Either you're joking and haven't let anyone in on it, or you're quite a step away from reality.

The reason that 'fair' use is being trampled on in P2P networks is because of pirates, not people trying to protect copyrights. Heck, there wouldn't be any enforcers if everyone followed the law. The matter of fact is -- and I'm outraged that anyone would admit to it without shame -- that most P2P users steal protected works. Also, if it's not available in a format that you can consume the product in, tough luck. You're not entitled to it. I would be very pained to see if studios simply didn't care about OOP bootlegged titles, because they don't make profit of it anymore, anyway. The value for a collector is still going down the hill.

If you want to get access to material you already own, you have to go through official channels. Just send the studios some emails/letters/faxes educating them on the merits of making their material available in electronic form. Then tell them you don't want to be limited in viewing it on a single machine or requiring a subscription to continue consuming it. Mold the product into the shape you want it to be in with your own money (by buying the product or creating the service). But don't believe for a second that you're entitled to anything as long as it isn't in the public domain.
 

John_Berger

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The value for a collector is still going down the hill.
However, the flaw as is common in this thread is that it is still perceived value which is 100% relative and subjective. A purchased item is only worth what someone else is willing to pay, and in the realm of collectors it still has nothing to do with the studios but how much collectors will pay each other. There is zero profit in either value or cold, hard cash for the studios when collectors sell between each other.

A major flaw in your argument, however, is that you're trying to tell me that downloading a Divx rip in some way devalues the real DVD when it comes to collectors. I thought that I was the one that was a step away from reality.
No true collector would possibly accept a DIVX file as opposed to a real DVD. Even I wouldn't do that! True collectors will always want the real thing, and true collectors will always be willing to pay for the real thing regardless of how many times the movie was downloaded or traded on-line. Regardless, trading between collectors still has no profit/loss on the copyright holders, which is the crux of the anti-P2P argument, as they have no part in the exchange process between collectors.
 

Shayne Lebrun

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The difference in what you describe and what I'm talking about is that you clearly would be doing so with malicious intent.
And therein lies the rub. You are not capable of determening one's 'intent.' Nor am I. Nor is anybody, really. That's why 'intent' doesn't really enter into law; it can't.

And even if somebody's intentions are good, should that enter into it? No. Why not? Because one's definition of 'good' enters into it.
 

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