Do we have the right to share everything on the internet?

Pirate Bay serverPeter Sunde from the file-sharing website Pirate Bay was on the show in July and he’s on the phone to Tom from WHYS now as I write. He’s not sure if he can speak to you later as he’s just been sentenced to prison for a year. He said call and try at the start of the show and we will. But what about the issues this throws up?

Has the internet changed the nature of ownership? Do we now have the right to share everything we can online?

74 Responses to “Do we have the right to share everything on the internet?”

  1. 1 steve
    April 17, 2009 at 13:53

    of course not. Only someone with childish entitlement issues would think they are entitled to anything, let alone share things that they didn’t pay for. Do I have the right to break into your house and take your TV? What kind of question is that?

  2. 2 Andy
    April 17, 2009 at 14:13

    What is not mentioned is that not all files shared are copyrighted material. Many trackers have strict rules about not allowing any commercially released material to be traded through their sites. Outlawing all file sharing sites, or the technology to share files, punishes those who use file sharing in a way that takes money away from no one.

  3. 3 Robert
    April 17, 2009 at 14:45

    The internet will mean more things are shared on the internet for free. That much is beyond doubt. However the decision to do this always rests with the copyright holder. The internet does not give any body the right to give aways something that is not theirs for free.

  4. 4 Bakari Roberson
    April 17, 2009 at 14:48

    Yes, if I have something, that I want to share with the internet community, whether it be movies, software, games, movies, etc, I have that right. It will be impossible to stop P2P. This will only drive file sharing, underground to a more/ true P2P or personal level. The other sites, will just go to countries, who won’t enforce it. It is the record and movie industries fault, for not being innovative enough to put their media on a device, that is not copiable. I can buy a cd or dvd right now, rip to my PC, and put on the web for all the world to share, and other more sofisticated torrent sites, have memberships or invatations from other peers, to the keep the authorities away. I see the future of torrent sites, like private clubs, by invitation only.

  5. 5 mandie in cape coral
    April 17, 2009 at 14:52

    everything will eventually be on the internet and available for free, weather a person says it can be there or not. people have shared information since the dawn of time and will always do so. most people, if they like the information enough, will buy what ever it is they are looking at, but they do not want to be forced to pay for the preview. just think about it like the internet is one big library. it’s free as well.

  6. 6 Matt Roberts
    April 17, 2009 at 14:56

    I think no one has the right to everything posted on the internet, unless you pay for everything you download that owners expect to be paid for. Some things are meant to be freely distributed, so fair game. At the other end of the spectrum, it is usually quite obvious which items the owners expect to be paid for. If you are circumventing this expectation, you are guilty of (at least) receiving (downloading) stolen goods. Laws about ownership and rights concerning such material, it seems, have yet to completely catch up with world-wide-web reality, but the concept of being prosecutable for receiving stolen goods is well recognised in other areas. No one should be amazed or dismayed when those laws do catch up. Pirates are on borrowed time, as this story illustrates.

  7. 7 Ron S. from Ft Myers Florida
    April 17, 2009 at 15:13

    When file sharing boomed the way it has, everyone tried to slap lawsuit after lawsuit on everyone who did it (even 8 year old kids trying to find a children’s song).

    I wonder if those against it ever borrowed an album from a friend, made a copy on a tape, gave the album bacl to their friend, and never once thought anything of it? If they did, then they are hypocrites. Rather than fight the technology, work WITH it. I am a musician, and I never once expected to be so-called “rich” from it, because I wanted everyone to enjoy the work I did. I have found my work on P2P’s, and it doesn’t bother me in the least.

    And don’t be fooled…those who rally against sharing (recording industry, TV, movies,etc) are making far more money than you are led on to believe….they just need to SHARE it more with their clients.

  8. 8 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    April 17, 2009 at 15:14

    Libraries share books, CD’s and DVD’s for free. I really don’t see the difference here.

  9. April 17, 2009 at 15:15

    Yes! Of course.
    That what it was designed for.
    Sharing information.

    Ask Sir Tim…

    Don’t ‘ch just luv it?!

  10. 10 Ana Milena, Colombia
    April 17, 2009 at 15:22

    Hello! 🙂
    In my opinion, not everything can be shared on the Internet. One of the reasons that led these guys to do what they’ve done is the high cost of items such as movies, music and software. A smart strategy from companies to fight piracy would be to lessen costs, something they’re unlikely to do – they’re greedy. It doesn’t justify, however, the free distributiion of copyrighted material in any way – either hosting the file or providing directories or addresses. They’re messing around with other people’s work and effort!

    On the other hand, they’re also defending their own interests. In my country, piracy and smuggling are very popular, and no matter how many reasons they present to justify what they do, it’s just a wrong action because they’re irrespecting companies and their work, that’s selfish! Unless they’re meant to be free, no one must dare to think your rights are more prioritary than the creators’. They also spend time and effort when creating software, movies and music!

    If you can’t buy it, just don’t fancy it. I my case, I used to share files before, but it doesn’t feel fine 😦 … I gave up, and I’ve got nothing to regret when I think that even info in the web has its own owner!

  11. 11 Calem
    April 17, 2009 at 15:24

    Oficial distributors of DVD movies in Mexico (and I guess in all 3rd World) like to publish original wide-screen, 5.1. sound movies squeezed into full-screen 2.0 stereo format, so they are able to use low capacity dvd’s for their masive business. These companies enjoy the licence distribution, however they deliver a deformed product to the final consumer. These companies practice oficial piracy and their distribution monopoly dwarf Pirate Bay lads to insignificance. Ask the Harry Potter copy right owners how do they feel about their movies being officialy distributed in Mexico in full-screen format, while you can order it from Amazon.com in the original wide-screen version, so you don’t miss a third of the action?

  12. 12 Roy, Washington DC
    April 17, 2009 at 15:33

    @ steve

    Copyright infringement isn’t directly comparable with theft of a physical item. If I steal your TV, you no longer have it. If, on the other hand, I copy an MP3 from you, you still have your copy. One could argue that the manufacturer/artist is still deprived of income, but that assumes a 1:1 ratio between pirated copies and lost sales, which isn’t always the case.

    (I’m not trying to defend copyright infringement here, incidentally.)

  13. 13 lisa
    April 17, 2009 at 16:12

    Notice that they aren’t being forced to pay damages to smaller recording and publishing companies, only the largest are getting reparations. If this is really about the music industry and artists losing money because of file sharing, then surely the smaller companies should not only be getting a share, but a larger share.
    This is just companies forcing legislators and judges’ hands in setting policies.

  14. 14 gary
    April 17, 2009 at 17:36

    File sharing is just a nice way of saying file theft. Allowing such file sharing initiates a chain of crime. A person can not make a gift of that which they do not own. This remains true whether the object carries a clear ownership (copyright) mark, or if it does not. Ignorance of true ownership does not allow a declaration of ownership…ever. (Many world problems can be traced to disregard of this simple fact.). The ease with which theft of intellectual property crimes are committed, or the great numbers of people committing them in concert, in no way reduces their gravity. If you do it; you are a thief.

  15. April 17, 2009 at 17:37

    Personally, I have benefited from file sharing sites and I cannot hang Peter Sunde for making those expensive videos and software available to me.
    Thanks for everything Peter!

  16. 16 JT, Gainesville FL
    April 17, 2009 at 17:37

    File sharing enables us to view content not available anywhere else. We have
    cheered when Real Madrid scored and held our breath when the Scilly Boys
    overturned in their row across the Atlantic. Even listening to the radio on the
    internet is sharing content you could not get locally or at the time you want it. If
    restrictions are successful on file sharing, the world will become a little more
    separated – not a good thing.

  17. 17 Jim (USA)
    April 17, 2009 at 17:41

    Every other profession has to create new products on a daily basis. When I produce a blueprint and give it to my client they have the right to share that with anyone they want. It is unfair to everyone else that content creators can create 1 hit song or 1 hit movie and expect to collect royalties on it for the rest of their lives. Artists should have to remain creative and relevent every day for the rest of their lives or go get a job. It is right to compensate them for their work, but it is not right for them to expect to sit on their laurels forever because of a few good ideas. When there is an actual negotiation between content creators and content consumers then file sharing will no longer be necessary.

  18. 18 Anthony
    April 17, 2009 at 17:42

    @ Ana Milena, Colombia

    The price has gone DOWN because of this. Go on iTunes, and you’ll see how much albums cost. Look at DVDs and you get more extras now, plus lower prices. Thanks bootlegging for making my stuff cheaper :).

    @ steve

    A bunch of 1’s and 0’s is not the same as a T.V. I’m sure poor Lars from Metalica is upset that he has to wait another month for his new gold plated toilet though.

    @ Roy

    You are correct. They say that ratio is 1:1….there are SO many artists that I would have NEVER listened to, but did because of the internet, and I still will by a CD if I REALLY like the artist. I have gone to more concerts because of this.

    @ all

    These media companies are just mad because they have been ripping stupid people off for years and years, and finally, the field is a little more level thanks to this. Remember when the price was 16.99 or more for an album?

    Also, have you ever bought some kinda of media, used it, just to find out the commercials had lied to you and it was false advertising/absolute garbage? Yeah, but they can do that legaly.

    Thank the heavens for the INTERNET!!! 🙂

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  19. 19 saad , Jaffrabad Pakistan
    April 17, 2009 at 18:11

    Of course.Everyone can share everything on internet because internet does not belong to any particular person .

  20. 20 Steve
    April 17, 2009 at 18:12

    Torrent file sharing sites have enriched my life. Movies, TV Shows , audio Books, software and more.

  21. 21 sulayman Dauda
    April 17, 2009 at 18:16

    in this dangerous world where injustice and greed are been legitimize?

  22. 22 steve
    April 17, 2009 at 18:18

    The library and book examples are poor, as the other guest stated, because at the library, the library owns the book, the book was purchased, and the person reads it, then returns it, without making a duplication. Photocopying the entire book would violate copyright laws, and that’s the only way you could duplicate it unless you scanned it, which would also violate copyright laws as well.

    Back when I was in university, we used to have “coursepacks” which were basically hundreds of pages of phocopied articles from newspapers, magazines, or journal entries, and when I was there one of the producers of them in town (Michigan Document Services) was sued in a suit for royalties. They lost, and those coursepacks became a LOT more expensive as a result.

  23. 23 steve
    April 17, 2009 at 18:25

    It’s lost royalties and profit, Roy. They’re not physically missing the song, but they also weren’t able to make a royalty or profit if you copy it vs. buying it. Hence they are deprived or stolen of their profit.

    It’s like if you invented something, but I saw your plans and photocopied them, and them came out with the product first. Have you not been deprived of something? There are TONS of intangible things that we value, all the time. Why treat this any differently?

  24. 24 dave white
    April 17, 2009 at 18:25

    I don’t know why there is all the fuss concerning free music downloads. One can go to Google and type in any song they wish and hear it for free at MySpace or YouTube or directly from the singer’s website.
    Dave White San Francisco

  25. 25 Patti in Cape Coral, FL
    April 17, 2009 at 18:26

    If music CDs and DVDs weren’t so ridiculously expensive, people wouldn’t resort to file sharing.. I take that back, I think when it comes to music, movies, etc. it is human nature to share. I have a hard time feeling sorry for the artists, knowing the lavish lifestyles they lead, don’t they have enough money? Wouldn’t it make an artist more popular if they just let everyone have their work? If they were particularly talented, wouldn’t people pay to see them in concert, or in live broadway shows?

  26. 26 Derek
    April 17, 2009 at 18:29

    United States

    Of course not. If this were allowed, no one who produced a song, software program, or video game would get the compensation they deserve for their work. The Pirate Bay founders deserved their verdict. They set up the site with the intent to help users steal copyrighted material.

  27. 27 Dan, DC
    April 17, 2009 at 18:32

    The principle behind libraries is not the same as the principle behind filesharing. There is a pay structure in place for publishers to send material to libraries. Furthermore there is always a lag time for new media to be housed in a library so booksellers can make money off the product.

  28. 28 steve
    April 17, 2009 at 18:32

    @ Steve

    Yes, torrents might have enriched your life with music movies, and books, but I could also enrich my life if I broke into your house or robbed a bank becuase I could steal things I didn’t already have.

  29. 29 Anthony
    April 17, 2009 at 18:34

    I remember someone told me the end of “the village”, that they were actually in the present day, WHAT A TWIST!!! After that I didn’t have to (nor did I really want to) watch it. Maybe the movie studio should sue people for telling the endings of movies too.

    I remember my friend let me read “The DaVinci Code”, it sucked and I didn’t even finish it, nor did I buy it, maybe the publishers should sue people like that.

    My friend let me borrow an Outcast CD a few years back. It was nothing special, and I gave it back and didn’t need to buy one after figuing out it was horrible, maybe the Music Studios should sue people like this.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  30. 30 saad , Jaffrabad Pakistan
    April 17, 2009 at 18:36

    Jailing Mr Tom will be substantial damage to internet. Internet should be free at all. I think it is censorship of internet indeed.

  31. 31 Byron
    April 17, 2009 at 18:36

    Copyright law originally put a limit of 27 years on an author’s right to his/her creative work. The idea was that government would protect the creator’s rights for a period of time in exchange for the public’s right to use the work after that period expired. This use by the public is known as the ‘public domain’.

    In the century or more since then, the aggregation of the power and aggressive lobbying by publishers and media distributors has resulted in the extension of these creative rights to over a century. This is an unfair skewing of the original agreement in favor of the publishers and media distributors at the expense of the public domain.

    While I don’t favor piracy, I see the current digital-piracy movement as, in part, a reaction to this imbalance. The sooner copyright laws are reformed to more fairly balance the rights of the public domain with the rights of content creators, the sooner this problem will be resolved.

  32. 32 steve
    April 17, 2009 at 18:41

    @ Patti

    Artists don’t want fame, they want your MONEY, hence they want you to PAY. I can’t afford to buy a BMW, so should I go to a dealership and steal one? Or to do a copying argument, I can’t afford to pay an architecht to design a house, so should I be able to photocopy the fruits of his labor and get the plans for someone else’s design that I want? Do you see how their being deprived of the reward for their efforts?

    It sounds like people feel entitled to have what they want, and now it’s an entitlement to not even have to pay for it.

  33. 33 Vijay
    April 17, 2009 at 18:50

    Do we have the right to share everything on the internet?

    No,Of course not.

    The internet should not be outside the law ,it has to be regulated

    The present situation encourages criminal behaviour ,the spread of terrorist ideology and terrorist techniques.

  34. 34 Anthony
    April 17, 2009 at 18:51

    @ steve and Patti

    I personally know quite a few artists who don’t care about money, as long as people enjoy their art they are happy. Of course they would love to get loads of cash for it, but happy none the less.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  35. 35 Ogola Benard
    April 17, 2009 at 18:58

    Understanding the internet is so tricky – There are a lot of technology improvements here and there? for example i once got my firewall turned off. I don’t know how?

  36. April 17, 2009 at 19:03

    Hi everybody,
    I think one can share anything on the net and if the people who download the files aren’t happy about what’s being shared, they just don’t have to watch it. They can filter what they want to watch or read or see. One can do that on the net and we are free and grown-ups to know if what we select is good or bad.
    We know the risks we meet if we download some things like music or other stuff which are forbidden by laws and if we decide to take risks then we assume the consequences.
    I think the net is a great tool, we can learn so many things, communicate all over the world and give our opinion like I just do now.
    We all know what we’re doing if not we’re not worthy of being called adult and responsible.
    I think where we must be careful is for our children, let them know what is dangerous or forbid them to go on some sites.
    I was very happy to be able to give my views on the question.

    Kindly Kappiness

  37. 37 Robert in Indianapolis (USA)
    April 17, 2009 at 19:07

    If it was originally understood that anything on the internet was up for grabs it would still be a wasteland. Art, creative writing, photography, and even oppinion would be held back under the knowelge that anybody could be printing off your product without YOUR right to make them stop.

    Taking things not intended to be shared and putting it out there is bad enough. And that’s what the people jailed for the pirating site are a party to. Imagine a guy claiming that all he did was rent rooms by the hour only to prostitutes? I think that’s a pimp.

  38. April 17, 2009 at 19:15

    If I stand on a street corner and read aloud for the world to hear from a copy protected book, I am probably committing a crime, but I doubt anyone will come after me. Should we prosecute the owner of the book store where I bought the book, who thus made this crime possible? Or maybe the woodland owner who grew the wood I might use for my small wooden podium that I might stand on? Or what about the car company that produced the car I might use as my get-away after this terrible crime? Where does it end?
    The world has changed, and internet file sharing is here to stay. When enough people in a democracy undertake a certain action it can hardly be called a crime any longer. Artists can always make a living by performing live – far better for an audience than to listen to any recording – and performers used to do so before the age of mass media. Seems to me the only ones “suffering” from file sharing are fat cat international media companies – tough.

  39. 39 Kelvind Kao
    April 17, 2009 at 21:01

    When you buy a cd or vcd, it is categorically stated on the product that its sale to you is subject to your agreeing not to copy or distribute it by, among other means, electronically. If you choose to do otherwise, you are breaching your side of the sales agreement. No copyright owners would agree to sell you a copy of their work if you tell them outfront about your intention to duplicate it for free for others to own.

    The distribution of books and printed materials (by lending them) to members of the public by libraries cannot be compared to the distribution of such materials (for free) electronically on the internet via computers for the following two primary reasons:

    Firstly, it is a matter of cost. Take for an example the popular novels of Harry Potter by Mrs J.K. Rowling, These books were sold in their tens of millions of copies each. There is no library in the world which would be willing to loan millions of such books on Harry Potter to the public. Even if there is one library that does it, Mrs Rowling, the copyright owner, would still be paid her loyalty for her works as that library would still have to pay her for each and every copy of the book it owned. But this is not the case with electronic copying online. Every book of Harry Potter novels could be copied and owned free-of-cost, (and even printed later into hard copies), with Mrs Rowling losing hundreds of millions of dollars in loyalties for her books.

    Secondly, it is a matter of availability and convenience. Copyrighted materials can be accessed and copied instantly and conveniently online in your own living room if it is made available for free on the internet It saves you from the hustles of travelling and the time you need to take to commute kilometres to your nearest library to borrow (and later to return) just a copy of the book that you wishto read. These are two main reasons why lending by libraries of copyrighted materials to members of the public do not pose a threat to copyright owners, be it a book, a musical cd or a movie vcd or dvd or others. This is because the lendings by libraries do not affect the overall sales and revenue of the copyright owners.

  40. 40 Mercedes G.
    April 17, 2009 at 22:19

    Why would any artist – musician, actor, director, writer, whatever – bother to produce anything if it is just stolen from him or her? Downloading without paying for it is stealing, no matter what you call it.

  41. 41 Joanne
    April 18, 2009 at 13:58

    Personally, I believe in freedom of information.

    I think somewhere along the line those in the music and movie industry (not that these are the sole industries affected by P2P sharing) became overly interested in the profits, and the quality of the music has suffered greatly. In a way, this is the consumers response; the consumer is refusing to actually pay and show financial approval (if you will) for the stuff that’s being produced. However, they/we still want to know what’s going on in the world of pop culture – why buy it, since its such poor quality material – when I can share it?

    Beyond that, I genuinely do believe that the affected industries are failing to fully grasp and adapt to internet sharing, and are failing to come up with innovative ways to deal with this situation.

    Finally – how many people were prosecuted back in the day for having copied their mate’s cd’s and the likes?

  42. 42 quixotic-cynic
    April 18, 2009 at 14:38

    “You want your invention to yourself? Then keep it to yourself.” — Benjamin Tucker

  43. 43 Jim Platt
    April 18, 2009 at 16:38

    What difference does the lawsuit make? I’ve downloaded 1000’s of movies using Pirate Bay. Anyone can still go to Pirate Bay and download movies. The lawsuit didn’t stop it. Just today I’ve downloaded 16 movies using Pirate Bay and have another 23 movies in the process of being downloaded. I used to go to the public library and get movies, but I don’t want to waste the time. Let the lawyers sue Pirate Bay. That will have the same effect as lawyers suing mosquitoes to get rid of mosquitoes.

  44. 44 bola(Nigeria)
    April 18, 2009 at 20:11

    it depends on what’s being shared, if it will better the lives of people, why not!
    but what shld be shared must not be injurious to the mind.

  45. 45 kpellyhezekiah
    April 19, 2009 at 00:07

    tough one here. I buy a cd so it becomes my property with all that is on it. Now I’m being prevented from sharing with all my friends whom I’d love to hear/see the contents of the cd in an easy way without any cost again to them. What do we do here?

  46. 46 yadvinder
    April 19, 2009 at 00:36

    Yes,if it isgood for humanity.No if it is not.

  47. April 19, 2009 at 03:14

    Do not censor the internet. It would be an act of total fascism to do so! Certain websites have been censored here.

  48. April 19, 2009 at 16:32

    It depends what one wants to share and which may be shared without breaking the law.
    Privately owned or created intellectual property may be shared provided no harm is done to any third party’s reputation or character. Slander or defamation or spreading false rumour may not be shared.
    Copyrighted property may not be shared. That is clear. Be they music, architecture, blue prints etc.
    Sharing such material undermines the principle of profit as an incentive to creation.
    Cheers Ros.

  49. 49 Arthur
    April 19, 2009 at 20:46

    Will now anyone reciting poetry or quoting literary quotes and metaphors be prosecuted for copyright infringment?

    Are works of art now only to be enjoyed by the buyer? Will the buyer not be allowed to share the emotions they invoke with others?

    The powerful Internet has changed the concepts of ownership, archiving and distribution of information.

    This social medium is continuously expanding and evolving so rapidly that it leaves the media distribution companies no option but to re-invent themselves, create new ways of doing business or become a thing of the past. Entertainment artists may soon discover that they can reach a direct ‘cyberdience’ much more effectively and profitably by doing away with the media distribution system as it stands now.

    The companies may win the occassional legal skirmish but they lost their war years back, for they are not fighting against people but concepts and concept know no bounds and are not subject to judgments. They can only be overcome by more creative and progressive ideas

  50. 50 brian
    April 19, 2009 at 21:51

    I read a book that impresses me. I recommend it. It is available from the library. Anyone can access it and that is a social good paid for by general taxation for the enhancement of public culture. The author becomes more celebrated (or less according to taste) and more or less are lent or sold. So what’s different about songs or films? If what is purveyed is only to be considered in terms of its market value, how will that then affect its cultural message and value (if any)?

  51. April 20, 2009 at 04:58

    What is this RIDICULOUS notion that someone who writes a song should earn millions and the Money Machines that are Sony, BMG etc. earn BILLIONS themselves… for nothing!!??

    to warrant that kind of return when little, unknown artists are HAPPY to have thousands of people download their material?

    The Music media moguls speak of “educating” people about the “immorality” of downloading. I see this – what I call “brainwashing” – is working very well.

    Free access to so-called “intellectual property” WILL be legal sooner or later. The music-industry equivalent of Madoff, Lehmann Bros., AIG, RBS et al are just squeezing a dry sponge for every last drop before the ground shifts irremediably against them.

    …this from a well-off composer/songwriter and member and beneficiary of a major musicians’ rights organisation

  52. 52 globalcomedy
    April 20, 2009 at 05:08

    Millions of people fileshare. Max Keiser (formerly of BBC-TV’s “The Oracle”) says that copyrights are a repressive corporate system that needs to end.

    Filesharing will never end for two reasons. One, to enforce this it means monitoring EVERYONE on line 24/7. Everything you do online goes into a master database. The U.K. has a program like this now. The U.S. also has a secret database. If these are so effective, why aren’t the U.K. and U.S. govts. sharing this data with movie studios and record labels?

    If they don’t share this data, it means ISP’s and these media corporations spending the money. And in this global meltdown where they’re making lots of people redundant, who’s got the money to do this? Nobody does. So it’s all just corporate and political pressure on the consumer.

    Capitalism 101. If your company doesn’t adapt to the market, you go out of business.

  53. 53 Stanley Okoye
    April 20, 2009 at 05:53

    If I collect a book from the library on loan, do I have the right to share it or the information therein with a friend? Then If I buy a movie or music CD, do I have the right to give it to one or more friends to enjoy freely without monetary gains? The Internet is considered a public domain, and, as such, any Internet compliant product is open to the public. It is either Internet is abolished, or music and movie makers should go more brain cracking to find ways of building in security in their DVD’s, CD to prevent them being shared in the Internet. Other software owners do so.

  54. 54 Stanley Okoye
    April 20, 2009 at 06:07

    Gay men look unto the church, the law for acceptance before showing off elsewhere.

  55. 55 Daniel
    April 20, 2009 at 09:02

    Very often when I’m looking for a little-known movie or CD the only place that I can easily and quickly find it is on a file sharing web site. Similarly, file sharing allows me to test products properly – I download music and then buy the material on CD if I’m happy with it, especially off-beat artists who I know nothing about, otherwise I just delete it.
    If legitimate websites were more user-friendly and flexible I’m sure more people would do the right thing. Downloading through P2P is time consuming and the quality can be less then satisfactory. For me, the only advantage of P2P downlaoding is those mentioned above. There are some good sites about but they only seem to cater to mainstream demands.

  56. 56 Jasna
    April 20, 2009 at 09:27

    Think about what it takes for someone to break the law by a) producing pirate / sharing website and b) using it.

    The fact that there was a take up of the “product” to the extent witnessed, in spite of it being banned, speaks volumes about how overpriced the original product is.

    Internet is just the latest medium enabling this and to a larger extent than any previous technology (tape recorders, photocopiers, etc)

  57. 57 Ibrahim in UK
    April 20, 2009 at 12:16

    Long ago, before the internet, it was illegal to make a copy of software or a music tape or a film and give it to a friend. There were 2 things “protecting” me at the time:
    1. It was very difficult for the authorities to know I had done made a copy, and
    2. hardly cost-effective to prosecute me even if they did know ($30 for a CD? no real big loss).

    The internet now means I can make a copy and give this software to a million other people. The law regarding this has not changed, but the protection has:
    1. My online presence draws attention to who I and my illegal activity
    2. The scale of my illegal activity makes it cost-effective to prosecute. (even assuming only 10% of those 1 million would have bought the software, that makes it $3million)

    The law, and common sense are clear: You can’t share something if it doesn’t belong to you, and the owner doesn’t want to share it. Will that stop us from doing it? Probably not until we as low-level file-sharing individuals are at risk of prosecution.

  58. 58 Andy G
    April 20, 2009 at 13:35

    Your arguments are flawed. Of course you should not break into someone’s house and steal a tv or steal a BMW from a car dealer, but you should be able make exact copies of each using your own material. For example you could buy either one or have a friend grant you permission to access his/her property and use the information to create copies.

  59. 59 bozo
    April 20, 2009 at 14:07

    Is that the right question? Do we have the right to share everything on the internet?
    Isn’t the right question : ” Can we share …. ?” or “Why wouldn’t we … ?”

  60. 60 Jennifer
    April 20, 2009 at 15:40

    I think we should be allowed to share things such as music, dvds, etc. online IF we purchase the material. If I choose to make a copy of say, songs in cd form for a friend, I should be able to do that because I have paid for those songs.

    However, I think that something does need to be done about newspapers. They are going under. We have lost one here because it can no longer afford to bring papers here. Since we have online news newspapers are pretty much obsolete. That is kind of scary because some of the “news” online is not really legitimate or credible.

    My suggestion all around is if you want to control rogue cd makers and dvd smugglers, do that but also do something about the news/newspapers which are being highjacked.

  61. 61 Bernard Okello
    April 20, 2009 at 15:50

    to me copyright works in the west not Africa where there are limited resources. You cant expect me to find money to put food on my table and also buy software that is not possible how will i survive if its like that????????.Thanx
    Ben in Juba

  62. 62 scoogsy
    April 20, 2009 at 16:01

    Simply put, No.

    A capitalist society is based around the principles of people creating things, and based on demand and the quality of a product, setting a price for the item.

    We tend to forget that just because something is sitting there, anonymously as a link we can click on and download, that somehow we are entitled to it?

    Ask yourself this question though, would you be happy to do that if the owner of that material was sitting right next to you?

    Alternatively, the argument that nothing is actually being ‘stolen’ as no one is deprived from anything often comes up. You steal a car, the owner no longer has use of their car. A car is a tangible entity and is in the garage of the person who stole it, not the person who owns it. This type of traditional theft makes it very obvious that a wrong doing has occurred.

    In the case of the painter who spent a week painting your walls, why should you pay them for their labor? Sure, you’ll pay for the paint, petrol they used on driving to get materials, paint brushes etc. But if you don’t pay them for the time they actually spent painting the walls, who cares. You aren’t actually stealing anything. You can’t see that ‘time’, you don’t own that ‘time’ after the painting has been finished. The customer only sees the result of that time.

    You see the result of someone (or several peoples) time with software. That’s all. It’s exactly the same thing.

  63. 63 scoogsy
    April 20, 2009 at 16:13

    Furthermore, I find the arguments that; ‘because software companies or music labels don’t protect their product well enough thus this entitles theft’ completely ridiculous?

    If someone absent mind-idly left their car unlocked as they ducked into the supermarket, are you entitled to hop in, hot-wire it and drive off? In the case of software developers and music companies it’s even further than this. What pirates do is equivalent of jumping the fence of the next door neighbor, smashing their front door down, cracking the safe in the basement, stealing the keys to the neighbors car and driving away.

    Companies are trying hard to protect their product. Even if they weren’t, it doesn’t make it right to use it without their permission.

  64. 64 scoogsy
    April 20, 2009 at 16:20

    Arthur, many of the concepts you talk about have been discussed decades before the Internet as I’m sure you are well aware. I understand soon after the public radio was invented and music was played over it, the act of whistling those songs was questioned as copyright infringement.

    Of course a balance must be struck, between humming a tune to yourself and mass producing CDs in a lab and selling them on the black market.

    Sharing ideas and emotions on a work of art is one thing, breaking into the Museum of Fine Arts and flogging paintings is another.

  65. 65 Claudio Aliaga
    April 20, 2009 at 16:49

    I think that it is not a crime or against the law to share things on the internet at all!..Because piracy is seen every day here at least in my country, in cd’s dvd’s..etc i think this is more “punishable” than doing it on the netm because these people makes money through them..and the most part of us who share media through the internet have no purpose of making any profit..just to “see” o “hear” .
    I think the most interested part of stopping this, is the companies and big corporations…and not the actual brains who do it (composers..etc)
    Long life to the internet and free content!!

    Claudio, Chile

  66. April 21, 2009 at 08:42

    We can only listen to / watch X hours of music/movies a day. If I have 1000 titles in my mp3 collection, I will never be able to listen to most of them and the ones I do listen to, I will listen to once, or maybe even just for a minute, so all those downloads will definitely not have taken any bread from anyone else’s mouths.

    It is just the excessive greed on the part of the music biz corporations that is prolonging this debate – they will scrape the bottom of the barrel until it no longer holds water.

  67. April 21, 2009 at 09:13

    Let’s get one thing straight up-front.

    Copyright infringement is *not* theft, no matter how you try and twist the meaning. It should never be a criminal matter like theft is, and should be dealt with in civil courts.

    The Internet has fundamentally changed the nature of how people can obtain works like music or video, once something is digitised it is trivial to make as many copies as you like – and the cost of making a copy is minimal. The established music industry has been fighting against these changes since computers first started to peek into the mainstream – remember Apple Corp. (Beatles label) versus Apple Computer. The wrangling there prevented heavy investment in computer-based music technology by Apple Computer – and the dispute reared its ugly head again when the iPod was released.

    I’ve used legal services like iTunes, and I’ve used ‘illegal’ services like peer-to-peer. With the former, I need to know what I’m buying – and I really object to DRM lock-in; prices are equivalent to CD or single costs, but the actual cost of production and distribution is a fraction of the cost of a physical disk. The latter, well, without it I would not have seen the Doctor Who Easter special. I get BBC One and BBC two on my TV here, but as I’m not in the UK I’m blocked from the iPlayer.

    I totally agree with those who highlight the unbelievable terms copyright has crept up to, life plus 70 years? C’mon! Writing a couple of catch pop tunes shouldn’t support you, your children, and your grandchildren forever. The music industry plays on people’s sympathy to petition for term extensions – Betty Hogg of the Open Rights Group described to me UK attempts to extend performer’s rights as, “Cliff Richard’s pension”. Does he *need* a pension?

  68. 68 jim
    April 21, 2009 at 11:07

    remember, sex and software…best when free
    that’s all I have to say…

  69. 69 Jeff Minter
    April 21, 2009 at 13:46

    “Libraries share books, CD’s and DVD’s for free. I really don’t see the difference here”

    The difference is that libraries pay a premium regularly to the publishers/authors, and some also have a time delay from the book’s release to when the library can stock it. This allows the books to actually sell en masse before the sales dip, which isn’t done with internet piracy, where you can get material usually days before release.

  70. 70 paul tominac
    April 22, 2009 at 01:05

    I’m against the “Free” mindset as I feel that artists, the Creative Class, deserve to make a good living from their talents. Yet, the entertainment conglomerates are so incompetent in taking advantage of the New Media, specifically the online opportunities, and are so backward in trying to protect their old fashioned outlets that I now feel that entertainment “piracy” is a civic responsibility of all good citizens (and subjects…).

    I don’t see the point in owning a tv, at least not until it merges with the computer. At the same time, I’m missing a lot of sports and entertainment, thanks to the limited thinking of the networks and entertainment conglomerates.

    Why are our governments protecting corporations that can’t figure out how to make a profit? Why is it a crime to access content in a way the provider was too timid to think of allowing? If the provider wants to make money, why can’t he build the gates with which to collect the tolls? What’s the problem? Yes, the taxpayers of Britain are paying for the BBC, but if I want to watch a BBC show, why can’t I download it, and pay as I go? If you want to watch some show on the US’ ABC, why can’t you? Why is it “US access only”? If these corporations are too lazy or too stupid to figure it out, why are our governments protecting them? If the businessmen can’t figure out how to make a profit, then they should be forced to stand by and watch their content sift away like sand through their fingers. Quit rewarding incompetence.

  71. 71 Billy
    April 22, 2009 at 10:09

    Intellectual Property laws are just involuntary contracts imposed on the rest of society. i.e. you can’t develop this device/sequence of notes/words since a specified date while beforehand you would have been able to do so if you wanted. All IP is assuming that no one would have that particular idea in the future. Hence IP is giving others control over your own physical property in that there is one more thing you can’t shape it into. If people want to keep ideas to themselves they are entitled to but unless someone else agrees to a contract stating otherwise they should be able to use information imparted to them as they wish provided they don’t infringe on anothers physical property.

  72. 72 Lauren
    April 23, 2009 at 15:01

    I believe that anyone not wanting their personal information stored must submit that media piracy is illegal. Anyone that says different is a hypocrit.

  73. 73 Billy
    April 25, 2009 at 14:05

    April 23, 2009 at 15:01

    I believe that anyone not wanting their personal information stored must submit that media piracy is illegal. Anyone that says different is a hypocrit.

    That’s what contracts are for. If you choose to disclose information outside of a contract then it’s your own tough luck if the next person chooses to share that information. It’s a different story if your confident/bank/employer e.t.c. agrees to keep your information private.

    For example I never signed a contract to the effect that I would not share information on CDs that I own and thus should not be bound against my will to do so.

  74. 74 Dennis Junior
    April 27, 2009 at 03:38

    NO…We don’t have the right to share everything on the internet, but most people will do it anyway with the knowledge of the risk!

    ~Dennis Junior~

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