When did theft become okay and even acceptable?

sbjsbj

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Have you factored into your argument the upfront costs of developing software?
I did of course. I am not argueing about that developers shouldn't get compensated, of course they should.

No one could ever recoup those costs or realize a profit if they could only sell one of each software product
Well, I believe the system in the society must change. Developers should be compensated and at the same time their software should be free for non-commercial use. If someone makes profit out of someone else's work, there I draw the line. As I said, it is a very complex topic which has so many details to consider when talking about this. To make a system for the society which both helps the developer and the people is damn hard.


Remember too, companies have the cost of ongoing support for those software copies, often years after the initial sale.
Sure.


upload_2019-6-2_22-20-52.png

This just proves my point. Specially considering that Microsoft Windows is probably the most pirated software in the world, since the age of internet. Yet they are in 2019 the biggest company in the world. As you see piracy didn't stop them from becoming Nr.1.
Another point for my view.

I'm struggling to understand what about providing products people want and need for profit is unethical. Perhaps you may disagree with the amounts of revenue that some popular software can generate? I can understand that, though it is still far more ethical than taking someone else's work without paying for it.
The unethical part is not the providing products or the need for profit.
The unethical part is how the system works in favor for digital products as they can be duplicated indefinitely without a cost. So the system which we live in is flawed, that has to change. Do you think it is a coincidence that the graph above shows that 7 of the top 10 companies are IT companies?
Imagine how the graph would be like for a top 100 or top 1000 list. There is something wrong in the system, when 1 thing dominates anything else. And in my opinion it is because those people sell duplicated bits and bytes. I am not saying they shouldn't profit but I just feel that information should be free. And bits are bytes are information. However at the same time one shouldn't make profit from someone else's information without a permission and the devs also must get compensated etc. So very problematic thing. But I don't want to dive in this topic further. This is off-topic and I don't have the time to write detailed arguements about each aspect. Because I am sure you will question some of the stuff I said and I don't have the time to respond, sorry.
 
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Nev_Dull

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I understand. However I would be interested in a more in-depth discussion on this, when you have the time. I think there are some serious flaws in what you've just said, but I'd love to have you lay out your philosophy more completely.
 

sbjsbj

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I understand. However I would be interested in a more in-depth discussion on this, when you have the time. I think there are some serious flaws in what you've just said, but I'd love to have you lay out your philosophy more completely.
Yeah, well. As I said, it is a controversial opinion and in every aspect it needs to be discussed with details, so no misunderstandings can happen.
Otherwise it turns into a discussion which goes nowhere. And I had enough share of controversial topics here on this forum. Don't need another one. It takes too much time to respond every time trying to correct the misunderstandings and giving counter arguments to points.
It is not worth my time.
The underlying message is this: copying ≠ stealing
 

MagicalAzareal

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Market cap doesn't represent profit.

It's just what the investors think it's worth or what it's potential worth will be.
You can be a billion dollar company without making a single cent, as-long as the investors keep pumping money in. Many start-ups make this their business model.
 

mysiteguy

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Look, my problem here is that at one point we need to move on. Chewing the same thing over and over is just bullying at one point. I am not saying the person we talk about acted perfectly, he did mistakes, but again, move on please.

Do you see the irony that you made a post calling him out for calling someone else out? Plus telling him to move on, when you haven't done so likewise, by continuing to hammer your points multiple times, instead of making it and moving on.
 

sbjsbj

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Do you see the irony that you made a post calling him out for calling someone else out? Plus telling him to move on, when you haven't done so likewise, by continuing to hammer your points multiple times, instead of making it and moving on.
Because he keeps comming back to the same thing, and I reply to that. I just don't like to leave a counter-point on the table. But you are right. Let's move on.
 

Anton Chigurh

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Look, my problem here is that at one point we need to move on.
You're free to do so.
Well, I believe the system in the society must change.
A new thread by you on your philosophies might be a darned good one.
No offense, but since when do rational people think that a majority of some vague "internet community" gets to decide what is right and wrong?
I was speaking metaphorically, referencing "the court of public opinion" rather than any legal standard. The "public" in this case being, net denizens.

But hey, the original argument that goes "you're a hypocrite if you use an avatar then call someone out for theft" means that the preacher of same would never report his stuff being stolen out of his house, or call 911 if he saw a carjacking, etc. Because it's much more important for there to be honor among thieves, (it's never existed) than for there to be honor among website admins. Which, we used to have a good degree of.

Thieves of the level I talked about in starting this thread, need to be called out for it. So it was back in the day, so it should be for all time.
Chewing the same thing over and over is just bullying at one point.
It's actually not "bullying" at all, it's re-stating the facts to correct lies about same. It's not "bullying" when the facts are laid out and are indisputable, then the accused party instead of just admitting the malfeasance, lies about it again and again, and refuses to take responsibility, and continues to lie about it in other venues, and is answered. Answers to lies and correction of the record isn't in any way, shape or form, "bullying."
If someone makes profit out of someone else's work, there I draw the line.
The perp in question is monetizing the site now.... Just as an aside.
 

Nev_Dull

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So you can get paid for your work for concerts. Live music is how artists should earn their money in case of music. Just like any other normal worker, you have to be physically there to earn your living. Not make 1 recording and sell to millions of people from the couch in your livingroom.
The input -> output is unbalanced, when copying bits and bytes is involved.
Software companies are made up of normal workers producing stuff (code, digital assets, etc.). Assuming you are one of those normal workers, would you be willing to accept a much lower wage to make up for the company's income loss because of people using copies of their products without payment?

I assume too, you know for every Microsoft, there are thousands of software companies struggling to keep the lights on, even with the "free money" they make selling copies of their bits and bytes.
 

DaveL

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It's quite apt this thread! I just got challenged on Xenforo via PM as I posted a screenshot of my forum asking how to do something.
Was asked what theme I was running as looked very similar to the one they sell.

Was a bit taken back, but can understand why they asked. I could have lied though and they would have been none the wiser!
 

Anton Chigurh

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Then a bit later on:

lolirony2.1.jpg


Yeah, the only "support issue" the puke had with Russ was, Russ is the one who initially busted the thief on his ripped style!

There are people actually defending this titmouse?
 
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sbjsbj

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Citing lawyers about ethics is somewhat of an oxymoron.
That may be true, on the other hand, there are lawyers and lawyers. Some do the client thing, some do have to come up with laws, which means years of studying ethics and principals to put the fairest laws and regulations. Those people spend their lifes reading texts about ethics, but anyway. My point wasn't that we should trust lawyers about ethical principles. My point is, that even lawyers, who stand for laws, find piracy in certain circumstances okay. And not just some lawyers, from Harvard. Take it for what it is but the case of copying/stealing we are talking about is not black and white as it seems to be.
 
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mysiteguy

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The headline of that article is misleading at best.

Take for example, if they scored assault. Punching someone might score a 3.5, while putting a knife in them would score a 2. That doesn't mean punching someone is acceptable at all, it only means it's not as unacceptable.
 

sbjsbj

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I agree, that is why I quoted:

We find that digital file sharing ranks relatively high in terms of ethical acceptability among our population of lawyers

So relatively high acceptable, not directly acceptable. As I said, it is not black and white, it is a gray area.
 

Nev_Dull

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There are some serious issues with that article.
  • It erroneously conflates the opinions of law students with ethical behaviour. This is an obvious "appeal to authority" fallacy, trying to say lawyers opinions are superior to other people.
  • It quotes the average scores of this small sample study, rather than the actuals, which may or may not be misleading. There's also little information about how the study methodology.
  • It notes that nearly all respondents either have illegally downloaded media, or have friends who do. People generally find their own behaviours (and those of their friends) more acceptable than behaviours of others.
While the article tells us the type of questions, it doesn't spell out the scenarios. I expect the reaction by these lawyers would be somewhat different to a question about other people copying the lawyers' content.
 

Casmic

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Some cultures have a different idea of what property is than western cultures; ideas, land, creative works, those things aren't entirely tangible. You can't hold them in your hand and you can't directly take them away from someone. When we talk about these things stolen, what is missing? What's taken away? It's lost opportunity, but how do you measure that. Is a 14 year old kid who pirates Photoshop a lost sales opportunity? Kind of but not really. And here we get into weird moral territory. The laws are clear, but different countries have different laws. And laws aren't the same thing as morality. We all have a different code of ethics but personally I only point the moral finger when I can identify the harm that was done. In many cases of IP theft, yes, we can identify the harm. In some cases, I dunno. I'm sure someone can but for every case, I personally can't.

To be clear, I pay for what I use, and my recommendation is to pay for everything you use. If you don't like it, then use a free or open source alternative. Gosh knows there are plenty of those and often they're better. They're definitely freer. I'm a coder and I don't like IP restrictions on code. I know they're necessary but I'm open sourcing any work of mine that I can, because freedom is better than authoritarianism, be it public or private.

To the question of when did "theft" become considered okay by many -- I'd say the moment that people started claiming ownership over possessions that are intangible.
 

Anton Chigurh

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use a free or open source alternative. Gosh knows there are plenty of those
DING! The thief could easily have done that and modified it to his/her tastes. Chose theft of a paid custom style instead.
people started claiming ownership over possessions that are intangible.
Feel free to name those. I'd like to see a list. Paid custom xenforo styles shouldn't be on that list.

Muddying the waters is fun, but it's also deflection.
 

Casmic

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DING! The thief could easily have done that and modified it to his/her tastes. Chose theft of a paid custom style instead.

Feel free to name those. I'd like to see a list. Paid custom xenforo styles shouldn't be on that list.

Muddying the waters is fun, but it's also deflection.
I can't hold a premium xenForo theme in my hand so it isn't tangible property.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intangible_property

It's still protected under copyright law, it's just not a physical object. More a creative work, and this is where we get into the moral questions of whether or not it's property and how long you can own it. In 100 years that skin is going to be public domain under copyright law. But how did they come up with ~100 years as the length of time that the theme maker gets exclusive control over the theme? It's an agreement in our society to make commerce work. But I'm not going to conflate that with morality, even though it is essential to our society.
 
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