are you a software thief ?

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MotorMind
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RE: are you a software thief ? 2006/11/08 09:20:10 (permalink)

ORIGINAL: kilgoretrout

The arguement of whether you are stealing physical property is irrelevant. How much a company can resell that property is irrelevant.

If it is not yours and you take it, you have stolen it.


You don't own software you paid for either, though. You just pay for the right to use it.
#91
Sbax
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RE: are you a software thief ? 2006/11/08 09:33:08 (permalink)

ORIGINAL: HansDampf


ORIGINAL: Sbax

But the Chinese, Brazilians, Indians, South Africans and others --whose voices are never heard in these debates-- have very strong counter-arguments.


When they actually create valuable IP and lose money from the theft of that IP, then they will be just as aggressive as the US or whoever you mean in your statement. You can bet on that.


That was not his point. It is about the Western civilisation, that has exploited those continents and peoples over hundreds of years and was able to get ahead in cultural and economic terms because of that. Now that they are forced and/or willing to compete with the western economic, their only chance to make progress for themselves is to produce at a very low cost. To reach this they have to minimize their expenses on development and research (besides other even more dramatic things).


OK, yes, I see. But....they also have the added benefit of not having to go through the mistakes, work, pain, damage, and steps backward that the West did to get to wherever you want to say we are. That is quite an added benefit and advantage that the West never had. BTW, I have been to China, twice, on extended business stays so I have seen a part of it. The town I was in had very little Westerners there. The ones I met were working on an big electric power plant. I spoke with them about it. The easy transfer of modern technology to these countries actually puts them in a great position. It didn't take them 200 years to struggle through the Enlightenment stage. Then the Industrial Rev....blah, blah.. A lot's been given in many areas with expert on-site advice. Not too bad.

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#92
rchristiejr
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RE: are you a software thief ? 2006/11/08 09:36:03 (permalink)
Not me

Hammerhead what about you? Does your picture sum it up?
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HansDampf
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RE: are you a software thief ? 2006/11/08 10:00:52 (permalink)

ORIGINAL: Sbax


OK, yes, I see. But....they also have the added benefit of not having to go through the mistakes, work, pain, damage, and steps backward that the West did to get to wherever you want to say we are. That is quite an added benefit and advantage that the West never had. BTW, I have been to China, twice, on extended business stays so I have seen a part of it. The town I was in had very little Westerners there. The ones I met were working on an big electric power plant. I spoke with them about it. The easy transfer of modern technology to these countries actually puts them in a great position. It didn't take them 200 years to struggle through the Enlightenment stage. Then the Industrial Rev....blah, blah.. A lot's been given in many areas with expert on-site advice. Not too bad.


Good point! Without having much clue of Chinas history I assume that China is not the classical example for western imperialism. But your experience in China provides another interesting point: That western experts are making good money there by giving advice. So it is a give-and-take-situation at least right now: While we export our in-progress engineering-knowledge to those countries the products they manufacture are squeezing out many of the western industries. Hopefully this will never change to a winner-or-loser-situation.
post edited by HansDampf - 2006/11/08 10:17:55
#94
fooman
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RE: are you a software thief ? 2006/11/08 10:32:55 (permalink)
I enjoy these topics. Always new perspectives out there.

I pay for my software, although I DO try out software I need to try before putting down a $600 paycheck on when a demo will not help me decide. It's the same as taking a sportscar around the block with some of these demo's, it doesn't show you the features you are paying for. I know it's wrong, but I'm not rich enough to blow more than $100 on a piece of software that doesn't work as described by the manufacturer. Sure, all physical products have this problem but when you buy a physical product you can usually figure out when touching and holding it that it will or will not act as described for the most part. If the software companies had demo's available that allowed me to work on a full project and save it, continue on with it, then I would be able to really get into things and determine if it was worth my money.

Having said that, I have nothing illegal on my PC. I'm not saying I'm a saint for doing this, but I do have some values and I feel better when I get rid of software I don't own.

I download music. I also own a boatload of (300+) cds. I'd say I've bought around 15 cd's per year. $300/year in cd sales isn't that bad I'd say from a single person. I download a few tunes and buy the cd if it has impressed me. The wonders of the internet allow me to weed out any bands/artists that I think should not make another record. If you say this is wrong, then ask yourself this: Am I tired of the record industry hyping artists just because they are in a current trend? If so, realize that I download just to weed that kind of thing out. I will go out and buy a CD from many artists without worrying about the trendiness or whatever, but obviously some newer artists need to be listened to before I pay $20 for a cd. I'm not worried about that disrupting my local record shop's business because I know I'll be there with cash if the songs are any good.
As for those who argue about CD-duplication or burning tunes to a CD, I disagree because cassette's have done the duplication and 'ripoff' for a long time with absolutely NO way to stop it.

That's me babbling. I know many will not agree, but I am just in a position where I can't waste my money based on hype. The internet allows hype to be dismantled as well as built up. I feel it is ok to dismantle it as long as you have the right idea in mind and then follow through.
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StormAngel
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RE: are you a software thief ? 2006/11/08 13:14:32 (permalink)
Wow! Interesting thread...many good points, especially from one particular person. Do you, have you, would you? What does it really matter (that's rhetorical btw - for which enumerable arguments will surely unfold as they have thus far)?

P2P programs...deceitful folly? Absolute rubbish! I lay down some tracks: a couple guitars, bass and drums. Typically, I record at 24/96, so my compressed buns are approximately 250megs for just over 4 minutes of music. My singer's in Florida, where I will soon be, but 'til then, he surely can't be here to record his vocals.

A number of years back, when I lived in Chicago, a good friend of mine (who is also a regeistered Cake user, but who still lives in New York) wanted to collaborate. He turned me onto to the whole Cake thingy. He called me and said, "I just picked up this really nice program, you should visit their website and check it out! The prices are reasonable and they make a really nice product." So I bought my first cakewalk product back in 1999. So we both had the software (registered) and we both ended up buying Smart Loops (which at the time - was "Drag and Drop Drummer"). So here we are, miles apart and want to collaborate.

We both purchased Cake's MP3 encoder and zipped our mixes to each other, which were only a couple megs. When one of us got done, we'd mix it down to MP3, zip it and send it off via Messenger. We had some nice stuff and it was almost like playing together again. As time went on..and our needs grew, and technology boomed!, he had Aardvark and I had Motu and we both used Sonar (registered)! The only thing, as time passed we realized that to truly get a decent mix, we had to send each other our project files, which meant snail mail!

Now, if there's anyone out there like me, no one receives b-day cards or anything from me unless my girlfriend sends'em out, I really mean to, I just never seem to get around to it. It's never been really practical - for some odd reason - to ever make it to a post office, unless a matter of dire necessity! So what's the option?

We tried Messenger...the files were so huge (even zipped), we never got anything transfered due to time-outs. Fortunately, we found a nice program called eMule! People used it for music, movies, porn, software, what have you... But, we put it to proper use! Since P2P is all about naming schemas, all we had to do was come up with a naming schema that was unique to our purpose so "NO ONE" would get their hands on our stuff!! ;-) And that's what we did to transfer our projects back and forth to each other.

Now'a'days, my singer - in Florida - simply pops open his program before bedtime and I pop open mine. He types in the search I tell him and voila! By the time he wakes - or vice verse - the project is sitting nicely on his hard drive - right there - waiting for him as he sucks down his first cup of coffee! So, as he's sluggin' his cup'o'joe, he's listening to everything I've been working on. Why should "we" pay for a postal service or some type of file transfer program when there's P2P!?

Everyone I collaborate with across 2 continents does the same! Not only do we not have to worry about the cost of postage or someone not making it to the post office by a deadline, but no matter where in the world you are, all you need do is simply file transfer via P2P and it's all there waiting for you in relatively the same amout of time, which is faster than snail mail and, mostly, cost effective - it's free! :-)

Most certainly we'll take advantage of that bandwidth! Bootleggin'...we simply ain't got the time for it! Well, at least, I know I don't. I have my software, I have my hardware, I have my music...and everything I have I've paid my hard earned money for. Although I will say this, "I am glad it's out there!"

I tell ya what! Back about 26 years ago, when I first started playing guitar...just after 8 tracks (LOL) started to phase out, I'd go and buy my influences! I'd get back home: I'd play, rewind, play, rewind, play, rewind, play, rewind, play, rewind, etc., til I had the song down! I mean, as far as I know, there aren't too many guitarists I know out there that can just listen to Land of the Midnight Sun by Di Meola, or Passion Warfare by Via, or Rising Force by Malmsteen, and get the songs down in one fail swoop! By the time I was done, learning an album (cassette), the thing was absolutely worthless to me or anyone! I'd have to go back out and buy it again! What kind of $--t! is that? - I think now - but there was no other options availale, it was "par for the course", it was the way things worked, and I still have all those cassettes that I bought then (in a dresser that's doing nothing but collecting dust! Why? Cause technology dictates otherwise).

So a couple years ago, I'm sitting around and I'm thinking, man how'd that song go...? as I'm noodling away on my guitar, so I pop open my trusty P2P and proceed to download the entire album! Can you believe it! Why not!? I paid for it! And that's what I did. I figure, if I paid for it, I should be able to download it! Which brings us to a new quandry...if you paid for it, can you download it? I mean, say you go buy a new CD and because God has a great sense of humor, your dogs decide to attempt to learn soccer (football) with it all over the floor...you pick it up - it ain't no good anymore...you paid for it, shouldn't you be able to download the songs - they're paid for - well, I think you should! But that's just me...as long as its paid for!
#96
kilgoretrout
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RE: are you a software thief ? 2006/11/08 13:43:52 (permalink)
So
I bet a bunch of people use samples here.

Ice Ice Baby, or Under Pressure? Can't touch this or Super Freak?

How are illegally used samples any different than illegally used software. Software is a tangible item. You may not be able to touch it or sit on it, but it is very different than possibly infringing on a patent.

Take this arguement to the extreme. Why not simply have Cakewalk rename itself into the following divisoins? Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, and Microsoft.

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StormAngel
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RE: are you a software thief ? 2006/11/08 13:48:40 (permalink)

ORIGINAL: kilgoretrout
Take this arguement to the extreme. Why not simply have Cakewalk rename itself into the following divisoins? Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, and Microsoft.


This is non-sequitur.
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kilgoretrout
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RE: are you a software thief ? 2006/11/08 16:10:15 (permalink)
And this is a sequitur

http://www.tiggy****.com/ProPics/Jerusalem/Sequitur.jpg

The ignorance of intellectual property rights, whether patents, software or music is the same as trademarked names.

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#99
sms
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RE: are you a software thief ? 2006/11/08 16:27:12 (permalink)

ORIGINAL: Sbax

OK, yes, I see. But....they also have the added benefit of not having to go through the mistakes, work, pain, damage, and steps backward that the West did to get to wherever you want to say we are. That is quite an added benefit and advantage that the West never had.

BTW, I have been to China, twice, on extended business stays so I have seen a part of it. The town I was in had very little Westerners there. The ones I met were working on an big electric power plant. I spoke with them about it. The easy transfer of modern technology to these countries actually puts them in a great position.



A great position to consume, buy, finance and go into debt for Western products, sure!

Just follow the money trail and you'll see who's really benefitting and who really has the advantage.

Sure, a village with electric light thanks to a Siemens generator (paid for by their government with bonds, possibly) is better off than they were with candles. But Siemens is even better off thanks to the deal. And when the village starts getting cheap TVs they'll be even better off than they were when they had to deal with their wives and kids all evening after work . But the TV manufacturer is raking in hundreds of millions on such sales.

And these ordinary peopla are still most likely working to, in some way or another, extract and export raw materials which are sold for a pittance to the West... which in turn turns them into very high-value goods and sells them back to these villagers and the like at a huge gain.

Just look at the political uproar that a trade deficit with China can cause in the US! US economists and politicians know that the scenario depicted above (people buying [normally cheap] goods from other countries) is a recipe for economic disaster. Otherwise they'd be pushing hard and publicly for offshore outsourcing, corporation flight, and the freeing of IP in order to insure consumers get their goods at the lowest possible price.

But they're not doing that, are they? That's because they know where the real money is made, and where real economic power comes from, and they sure ain't about to share it if they can help it!

Cheers,
Scott

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sms
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RE: are you a software thief ? 2006/11/08 16:49:43 (permalink)

ORIGINAL: HansDampf


ORIGINAL: Sbax
OK, yes, I see. But....they also have the added benefit of not having to go through the mistakes, work, pain, damage, and steps backward that the West did to get to wherever you want to say we are. That is quite an added benefit and advantage that the West never had. BTW, I have been to China, twice.....



Good point! Without having much clue of Chinas history I assume that China is not the classical example for western imperialism. But your experience in China provides another interesting point: That western experts are making good money there by giving advice. So it is a give-and-take-situation at least right now: While we export our in-progress engineering-knowledge to those countries the products they manufacture are squeezing out many of the western industries. Hopefully this will never change to a winner-or-loser-situation.


But why are these cheap products cheap? The Chinese pay the same for most raw materials as everyone else. And IP doesn't even enter into the equation for the most part -- most Chinese products likely to be bought in the West are based on public-domain technology (textiles, shoes, radio and TV parts, etc.), so there are no royalties they pay that others don't have to.

These products are cheap because your average Chinese worker is paid in a year what you make in a week.

With these technology joint ventures (Western companies with IP setting up in China to use their cheap labor) Western companies certainly win -- they make a lot higher profit margin. And the Chinese government certainly pulls in its share of money. And Western consumers also win, getting higher quality goods at lower prices.

But who loses? The Chinese workers, because while the JV factory workers will probably make double what they made before, the rest of the country's workers (the vast, vast majority) will be making the same as always. And Western workers lose, too, as they see their jobs disappear or wages drop.

I think the lesson here --and in many other cases-- is that you shouldn't lump ordinary people (in the North or the South) in with corporations and governments. The former and the latter are affected by a given action in vastly different ways.

A good example of this is Chile, where I happen to live -- the minimum wage works out to about a buck an hour, yet the country has tons of foreign investment and among the best macro-economic and other indicators (among the lowest corruption index in the world, for example) you can find anywhere. You'd think all the money flowing in (and per-capita, it's LOT more than China sees from Western joint ventures and investment) would somehow benefit ordinary people, but for the most part it doesn't. A ultra-rich elite becomes mega-ultra-rich... Western corporations take home a tidy profit... and the minimum wage is still below starvation level for a family of three (it's really not enough to do more than feed and partially house a single person, for that matter, and that's if they're shacked up with relatives).

Again, follow the money trail...

Cheers,
Scott


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HansDampf
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RE: are you a software thief ? 2006/11/08 17:45:13 (permalink)

ORIGINAL: sms

But why are these cheap products cheap? The Chinese pay the same for most raw materials as everyone else. And IP doesn't even enter into the equation for the most part -- most Chinese products likely to be bought in the West are based on public-domain technology (textiles, shoes, radio and TV parts, etc.), so there are no royalties they pay that others don't have to.

These products are cheap because your average Chinese worker is paid in a year what you make in a week.

With these technology joint ventures (Western companies with IP setting up in China to use their cheap labor) Western companies certainly win -- they make a lot higher profit margin. And the Chinese government certainly pulls in its share of money. And Western consumers also win, getting higher quality goods at lower prices.

But who loses? The Chinese workers, because while the JV factory workers will probably make double what they made before, the rest of the country's workers (the vast, vast majority) will be making the same as always. And Western workers lose, too, as they see their jobs disappear or wages drop.

I think the lesson here --and in many other cases-- is that you shouldn't lump ordinary people (in the North or the South) in with corporations and governments. The former and the latter are affected by a given action in vastly different ways.

A good example of this is Chile, where I happen to live -- the minimum wage works out to about a buck an hour, yet the country has tons of foreign investment and among the best macro-economic and other indicators (among the lowest corruption index in the world, for example) you can find anywhere. You'd think all the money flowing in (and per-capita, it's LOT more than China sees from Western joint ventures and investment) would somehow benefit ordinary people, but for the most part it doesn't. A ultra-rich elite becomes mega-ultra-rich... Western corporations take home a tidy profit... and the minimum wage is still below starvation level for a family of three (it's really not enough to do more than feed and partially house a single person, for that matter, and that's if they're shacked up with relatives).



Scott, you`re my guy
The other readers may forgive us our off-topic discussion....
What is very interesting to me is, that I was once in south america in my life, to be precise I was for three weeks in Chile six years ago and I know how parted your people still is about what has happened in the 70s. Anyway, what you described about the economic situation in China (as an example) is exactly what I meant with "even more dramatic things". We musicians are a good, yet not very important example of how things are changing at the actual situation. On the one hand we lose jobs at manufacturing equipment in western countries, on the other hand we can get high-quality equipment for way less money than in former centuries.
UnderTow
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RE: are you a software thief ? 2006/11/08 18:20:49 (permalink)
SMS, thanks for injecting some sanity into this thread.

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RE: are you a software thief ? 2006/11/08 20:29:54 (permalink)

ORIGINAL: sms

But why are these cheap products cheap? The Chinese pay the same for most raw materials as everyone else. And IP doesn't even enter into the equation for the most part -- most Chinese products likely to be bought in the West are based on public-domain technology (textiles, shoes, radio and TV parts, etc.), so there are no royalties they pay that others don't have to.

These products are cheap because your average Chinese worker is paid in a year what you make in a week.


Hi Scott,

While your overall point is good, in my experience some of the points above are not always true. My company is a large supplier to China as well as a competitor to many Chinese companies.

1. Raw materials are cheaper in China. To the great credit of the Chinese people they have developed a world class supply chain aggregation system and due to the volumes they purchase in they get the lowest prices in the world. We sell parts to companies in China for lower than we sell to customers across the street here in the US. (Not really germane to the topic, but I think it's interesting anyway.)

2. We design, develop and manufacture semiconductors. We have had our parts counterfeited in China. We have had competitors in China manufacture parts using our patents without license. We have had competitors in China manufacture parts using other patents that we license legally and pay royalties on. Sometimes if legal action is taken they close up, move down the street and start up under another name two weeks later.

3. I have worked for companies where the engineers wanted expensive CAD or CAM programs to make designs more efficient. Management has turned them down since these programs can cost $50K to $1M. They are available in China for the cost of the DVDs that they are distributed on plus a few dollars for the seller. They don't have to amortize the cost of any software into their products.

Now of course not all Chinese companies are doing bad things, but what if the attitude was world wide? Who would spend years and millions of dollars to develop those CAD programs to make cutting edge engineering possible? You want hydrogen power, hybrid cars, quad core processors, energy efficient appliances, CAT and PET scanners, an AIDS vaccine, a quick way to stop disease epidemics? The people in these businesses and the people who write the huge software packages to support their efforts had better be able to make a living at it. If anyone could just take the product of their years of development and manufacture it as they like they probably wouldn't get into the business in the first place.

Of course you can make the case that the Chinese worker is exploited. No argument. And I agree that corporations often exploit IP without proper compensation to the actual artist or inventor. Both those things should be changed but you can't use that as an excuse to say "They're bad, so I can steal from them.". (In my opinion, anyway.)

Regards,

John

PS- Me gustaria visitar Chile algun dia. Conozco el Peru, pero nunca he estado en Chile.

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sms
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RE: are you a software thief ? 2006/11/08 21:49:43 (permalink)
Hey John,


ORIGINAL: CoteRotie

ORIGINAL: sms

But why are these cheap products cheap? The Chinese pay the same for most raw materials as everyone else. And IP doesn't even enter into the equation for the most part -- most Chinese products likely to be bought in the West are based on public-domain technology (textiles, shoes, radio and TV parts, etc.), so there are no royalties they pay that others don't have to.

These products are cheap because your average Chinese worker is paid in a year what you make in a week.



2. We design, develop and manufacture semiconductors. We have had our parts counterfeited in China. We have had competitors in China manufacture parts using our patents without license. We have had competitors in China manufacture parts using other patents that we license legally and pay royalties on. Sometimes if legal action is taken they close up, move down the street and start up under another name two weeks later.


No doubt. I know of several cases of this, and am absolutely certain that there are many, many more. From my days as an IT / Telecoms reporter I could make a long list of such cases I was told about by top execs (though strictly off-the-record) who were suffering the consequences first-hand. And China's only the most egregious example. It goes on all over the developing world.

The point is how we view this. Those who are losing money as a result of such actions are of course strongly opposed to them. They consider these IP infringements to be evil, dishonest, unethical, immoral, and so on.

But look at it from the other side - from the viewpoint of developing countries. They're third-class citizens of the world community, they're at the mercy of international organizations such as the World Bank and the IMF (controlled and routinely ignored by the US, as Stiglitz points out in one of his books), their economies for the most part are so weak and precarious that any sort of trade sanctions could topple the current government, and yet... they want to live normal, modern lives, just like the rest of us. (China is THE big exception to this, but not every country can be a nuclear power, have a huge economy, and field an army big enough to march straight to Bombay if they felt like it).

Sure, folks in the developing world may consider IP violations to be unethical or even illegal, but many of the same people also consider that there is a greater good involved -- moving their countries into the 20th or even 21st century, with all the medical, sanitary, technological and other benefits that entails. And next to that, as you can imagine, the IP of transnational mega-corporations is a moot point.

An example of this, which involves two continents, is the telecommunications industry. As everyone in the industry knows (though few will ever go on record about this), Huawei is copying just about every component necessary to set up world-class wireless networks (with utter perfection), and not paying a cent in royalties to anyone. If I remember correctly, they were even talking of moving into the last sector of the market they hadn't yet gotten involved in -- handsets. And as a result of this, they are absolutely trouncing long-established players like Nokia, Qualcomm and Sony-Ericsson when it comes to winning mobile network infrastructure contracts throughout Latin America.

The Latin American countries involved know about Huawei's reputation --their competitors make sure of that-- but when the law requires you to select the lowest bid, the lowest bidder wins the contract. And so thanks to Huawei (and a few other Chinese companies) wireless networks are being set up throughout a non-trivial part of Latin America at a fraction of what they would otherwise cost, thereby allowing millions of dollars to be invested in other, desperately needed, things. And this generally contributes to the development of the countries involved.

And to anticipate a possible objection: mobile (wireless) networks are anything but a luxury in a lot of the developing world -- they're often the only way to bring any sort of communications to rural areas, since landline networks cost many, many times more. And without communications, you can't even call the regional or national government to tell them there's been a natural disaster in your area, for example.

So thanks to Chinese companies violating First World IP, some parts of Latin America are slowly creeping toward development. Pharmaceutical IP violations save millions of lives. Software IP violations allow vast numbers of children to acquire skills that might just take them out of poverty (or into less-severe poverty) some day. Publishing IP violations are simply the only way for many, many students to be able to get their education (the concept of the university book store is utterly foreign everywhere in Latin America that I'm familiar with -- students borrow the books they need from the library or their professors [because often not even the library can afford them] and photocopy them en masse). And so on. It's pretty darned hard to see IP as the law above all other laws in the majority of the countries of the planet.

So often, the choice is between healthcare, education and development, on the one hand, and respecting the abstract IP rights of mega-rich corporations on the other. Not much room for doubt or debate there.

There's also the argument (which I briefly mentioned above) that the world's rich nations got that way in large part due to outright theft, plunder, murder and genocide. And now they claim the moral high ground against those who are neither stealing, pillaging, killing or exterminating anyone, but simply copying ideas. Spain stole so much silver from just one mine in Bolivia (Potosí) that --according to one calculation I read-- if they had to pay it back with just 1% interest they'd need more money than currently exists in the entire world (and if you remeber Ben Franklin's advice about compound interest, you'll see this is quite possible). The US came into existence and grew largely by exterminating the occupants of the land it currently calls its own and taking it for itself (there were also a few wars that helped quite a bit, and even a purchase or two). And now the same country wants the rest of the world to respect the IP it was able to develop largely thanks to the wealth it acquired this way (to make a long story short: you need to reach a certain level of development before you can produce anything but raw materials and susbsistence goods; you can't design semi-conductors when you have to spend all your country's money just keeping the people fed).


Now of course not all Chinese companies are doing bad things, but what if the attitude was world wide? Who would spend years and millions of dollars to develop those CAD programs to make cutting edge engineering possible? You want hydrogen power, hybrid cars, quad core processors, energy efficient appliances, CAT and PET scanners, an AIDS vaccine, a quick way to stop disease epidemics? The people in these businesses and the people who write the huge software packages to support their efforts had better be able to make a living at it. If anyone could just take the product of their years of development and manufacture it as they like they probably wouldn't get into the business in the first place.


There an interesting proposal for dealing with this issue, while at the same time redressing historical wrongs and allowing the developing world to increase its living standards to a more humane level: a 50- or 100-year moratorium on IP enforcement in the developing world, with the proviso that no products or services created as a result of this be offered to or in First World countries.

This would allow the Third World to improve its lot (which often means dealing with death by starvation, lack of medicine, lack of infrastructure to distribute vital goods, etc.) while assuring the First World a decent income on its IP creation (you can make a ton of money just selling to the US, Western Europe, and the other First World countries).


Another interesting idea is to go back to handling IP the way it was meant to be -- as a temporary monopoly that would allow inventors and researchers to recoup their investments and give them incentives to continue inventing. As things stand, IP protection has become, for all intents and purposes, perpetual. A 17-year drug patent is routinely extended another 17 years because the pharmaceutical company that made the drug gets it officially approved for a new use in year 16 of its patent. Laws protecting copyright in the US have been extended over and over again to the point that things written or composed or whatever 70 years ago are still not in the public domain. And so on.


Yet another proposal (which I'm sure will incite heartfelt cheers around here) would ban software patents altogether, and reduce software copyright protection to 3-5 years. That would certainly spur invention and innovation, while at the same time making monopolies and quasi-monopolies less advantageous.

Anyway, more food for thought (getting gorged here, eh?).

Cheers,
Scott

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UnderTow
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RE: are you a software thief ? 2006/11/08 22:57:21 (permalink)
Scott, you bring up an interesting point. It was mentioned by someone that alot of scientific and technological developement came about since the patent laws have been in effect. It was implied that there is a causal relationship between these two that I fail to agree with.

I am more inclined to believe that the patent laws and their implementation as they stand only serve to slow down developement. I believe that developement speed would greatly increase if the IP was available to piggy back on and spawn further developement. I think companies should survive on the merit of constant developement and always being one step ahead of the competition.

Of course there should to be a grace period to recoupe R&D investement but I think that even 17 years is way too much. Five years tops seems reasonable to me. This would not only benefit developement in the second and third world countries but in the first world too. It would also benefit the consumer who would have more competition to choose from.

You also mention the historical exploitation of large parts of the world by the western world. I would say that in many parts of the world, notably Africa, this exploitation is still going strong in the form of western corporations. Although there is alot to say for those countries being responsable for their own development, I feel we, in the western world, have a responsability for the way our corporations behave in other countries. Just as there is a ban in most western countries to import animals or animal products from endangerd species, it might not be a bad idea to have laws in place that govern the way western corporations act in foreign countries.

If the corrupt politicians running some of those countries didn't have the aid and funding of unscrupulous western corporations, they wouldn't remain in power very long. This is something that the western world can change and regulate (to a certain degree). Right now there doesn't seem to be much will to change the way things are going because it would also affect the price of cheap raw materials and cheap consumer goods. My view is that, on the long term, there is much more profit to be made for everyone if the markets that companies can sell to are greatly increased. It is hard to sell a plasma TV to someone that is starving to death ...

Of course this means that we have to accept fierce competition from newcomers on the market from countries that are now still decades behind us in develeopement but I don't see that as a bad thing. Competition will increase the development speed and should reduce the price of products for the end consumer.

All that being said, we have to wonder about the sanity of such a consumeristic society to start with. Global climate changes are starting to be a problem and will get much worse unless drastic measures are taken. World population is increasing while resources are running out. There is a major energy and a water cricis on the horizon while few people and governments seem to be taking notice.

There are much bigger problems in the world than some warezed software or downloaded MP3s. Problems that will affect everyone of us and/or our children.

UnderTow
Yubin
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RE: are you a software thief ? 2006/11/09 01:30:16 (permalink)
Scott, Wow a fellow Chileno!!!. I was born in Santiago.
Interesting to see the passion and emotion that runs on this topic. Me my self cant deny using hacked software at one time or another. Now being an adult proffesional with the means to purchase my toys, cant see using illegal software, anymore than walking out of a liquor store with a pack of gum in pocket without paying for it.. Its just not in the thought proccess.
Not everyone can afford to put down $700 bucks for the latest sequencer and the temptation and ease of downloading makes it all to simple. My experience is that the problem here among Americans is much more exagerated than reality.

My cousin who just migrated to HAwaii from Chile arrived here with his entire cd, dvd and playstation games entirely hacked. Not a single legit disk. I was amazed at the quality and diversity of his stuff. Apperantly its common place for that there. Illegal as it may be its common to sell hacked material on the Street sidewalk. This holds true to my cousins that live in Israel as well. The problem stems from outside countries making it so available for us here to do it. Cant say that I've ever been to a friends home here where the stuff we listen to is on bootleged CD's. Serchthe web and looks who's selling or downloading this stuff. Russia and Eastern countries.

Software piracy is stealing anyway you look at it. World economics or whatever, if its being sold and you dont pay for it is not yours to begin with. I know the great feeling I get when opening that new box and popping that disk in.

Pay for it I say... We all benefit in the end

Aloha,
Yubin


CoteRotie
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RE: are you a software thief ? 2006/11/09 02:05:44 (permalink)

There an interesting proposal for dealing with this issue, while at the same time redressing historical wrongs and allowing the developing world to increase its living standards to a more humane level: a 50- or 100-year moratorium on IP enforcement in the developing world, with the proviso that no products or services created as a result of this be offered to or in First World countries.

This would allow the Third World to improve its lot (which often means dealing with death by starvation, lack of medicine, lack of infrastructure to distribute vital goods, etc.) while assuring the First World a decent income on its IP creation (you can make a ton of money just selling to the US, Western Europe, and the other First World countries).


Another interesting idea is to go back to handling IP the way it was meant to be -- as a temporary monopoly that would allow inventors and researchers to recoup their investments and give them incentives to continue inventing. As things stand, IP protection has become, for all intents and purposes, perpetual. A 17-year drug patent is routinely extended another 17 years because the pharmaceutical company that made the drug gets it officially approved for a new use in year 16 of its patent. Laws protecting copyright in the US have been extended over and over again to the point that things written or composed or whatever 70 years ago are still not in the public domain. And so on.


Yet another proposal (which I'm sure will incite heartfelt cheers around here) would ban software patents altogether, and reduce software copyright protection to 3-5 years. That would certainly spur invention and innovation, while at the same time making monopolies and quasi-monopolies less advantageous.


Hey, Scott,

De acuerdo, they sound like reasonable proposals. There could be some debate about the specifics, but I wouldn't argue with giving the developing world a grace period to spur some growth.

Great ideas, thanks,

John




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Sbax
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RE: are you a software thief ? 2006/11/09 07:55:52 (permalink)

ORIGINAL: CoteRotie

Of course you can make the case that the Chinese worker is exploited.


I'm sure sure about your first hand experience about workers in China but I can give mine. They are exploited. But it's worse than that. Most of ones I saw were young, say 16-20. They lived in what looked like cheap (but not bad) college dorm buildings. These were new buildings. There was a "company store" there too. The whole plant was a Taiwan company that was setting up shop in China. So basically, I was helping a Taiwanese company set up in China because we sell some stuff to the Taiwan company. This Taiwan company is a major world supplier of circuit boards. And, this was a big operation, lots of workers, almost all "kids" from the farm. I was quite shocked about all those kids not in school. The older people in the town (or surrounding area) did not seem to work much. The mid-age people had various jobs in stores and restaurants but the factory work was all kids. It was not a bad factory though. In many ways it was better than most US factories in the same field because it was new (just like new hotels are better than old hotels). The kids looked very healthy and happy but I wanted to tell them they should be in school. No one (Taiwan or Chineses bosses) saw the situation as The exploitation of the kids is by everyone from China and Taiwan to the US stockholder of that Taiwan company. And, the tragic exploitation is the end of the kid's education and future oppurtunities.

ORIGINAL: sms

There's also the argument (which I briefly mentioned above) that the world's rich nations got that way in large part due to outright theft, plunder, murder and genocide. And now they claim the moral high ground against those who are neither stealing, pillaging, killing or exterminating anyone, but simply copying ideas.


Yep, that's for sure. But, one time I told my wife, who was born and raised in Thailand, "if it wasn't for the US, you would be speaking Japanese right now". My point is that exploitation is a human trait, not a Western European trait and since Third World countries have humans they are certainly capable of doing as much damage as the West has. And, that education is needed to help end all this exploiting. And, if education were expanded, and done properly, it would benefit the world as a whole significantly more than disabling the Western IP system. That IP disabling on pharms is an interesting idea, and I think that obviously has lots of emergency merit, but I fail to see how disabling the IP of a DAW plugin helps.



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Sbax
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RE: are you a software thief ? 2006/11/09 09:43:00 (permalink)
Oh, BTW, here is some marketing data that just came in.

China Circuit Board Production 2005
Company Ownership Nationality

Taiwan 35%
HK 30%
Japan 12%
USA 11%
China 9%
ROW 3%

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