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Posted By: AprechePosted By: lackofcheeseWhy? What's your reasoning behind this?The reasoning is thus.
This is why non-commercial piracy is not harmful. It's not actually taking any money from anyone. It's just giving enjoyment to people who would not have paid otherwise. I mean, how many people pirate Photoshop who could not possibly afford it? Yet, look at all the good that comes from these people becoming great artists because they were able to learn these tools early on due to piracy.As Timo pointed out in the other thread, your analysis here is flawed. If someone buys a bootleg copy for $5, we know that they were willing to pay some amount X, which is greater than or equal to $5. This could have been $20, $50, $200, or even $300. We can place minimum and maximum bounds on the amount "lost" - it is necessarily between $5 and $200. We may not be able to demonstrate what this amount is for an individual person, but we can demonstrate aggregates over a number of people. In the case where someone gets it for free, we know that the amount they would have paid for it is between $0 and $200. We can't prove that it's any more than zero, but it evidently is.
However, I did say that printing and selling Mickey Mouse T-Shirts is wrong. And this is why. Let's say I print some for myself. Ok, that's just personal use, and is fair use even now. You can't regulate what people do privately. But if they start to sell them, then there is no doubt that is taking money away from the rights-holder. If I burn up some copies of the latest video game, and sell them to people, that means those people were indeed willing to pay for that game. It also means that that money is going to me instead of the people it should be going to. By buying the game from me, the bootlegger, they have proven they were willing to pay for it. In this case, there is a demonstrable and quantifiable damage.
If I give someone a free copy of Windows 7, we can't assume they would have paid anything for it. If piracy were not possible, they probably would have continued using Windows XP or Ubuntu or whatever. But if I sell someone a copy of Windows 7 for $5. That means I have demonstrably "stolen" $5 from Microsoft.
You see, the way they do the math with copyright stuff is all backwards. Let's pretend the copy of Windows 7 that I sold would cost $200 at retail. I sold it for $5. Right now, they would argue that I stole $200 from Microsoft. That is bullshit. Those $200 don't actually exist. There is no proof that anyone was willing to give Microsoft $200, and did not do so. There is only proof that someone would have given Microsoft $5, if they had put their product at that price. I'm still wrong, because I stole $5 from Microsoft, but not $200 wrong. If I gave the copy away for free, I would count that as stealing $0 from Microsoft. There is no evidence to suggest that Microsoft would have sold an extra legitimate copy had my illegitimate copy not existed.
The assumption that every bootleg or pirated copy of something is equivalent to a lost legitimate sale needs to go away.
Posted By: TimoThe fact that there is no way to prove the loss of a sale in an individual transaction does not mean that there is no provable loss of sales due to piracy in general.In any case, Scott, you yourself have said that you don't wish to have a legal discussion, yet you resort to a strict burden of proof of loss of sale due to an individual as if you were trying to enact a law. I also think that in doing so, you're entirely missing the moral questions.