web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Copying is not theft

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, April 19th, 2010 - 24 comments
Categories: humour, interweb, music, youtube - Tags: , , ,

Here’s a catchy tune for all you pirates out there.

Get your kids to sing along!

24 comments on “Copying is not theft”

  1. lprent 1

    I was wondering if you’d move that post forward.

  2. felix 2

    Cute but simplistic. Works well as a cartoon though.

    • yes wonderfully simplistic. and catchy.

      • felix 2.1.1

        I was thinking more along the lines of “misleadingly simplistic”.

        • the sprout 2.1.1.1

          I would like to think of it more as ‘discussion initiatingly’ simplistic :)
          But yes… can’t deny it is very simplistic. Perhaps it’s aimed at pre-schoolers? Encourage them to think about what copyright is – can’t start these things too early, especially if they already have solid brand recognition of Macdonalds.
          The artwork reminds me of early Mickey Mouse.

          • Ted Appleby 2.1.1.1.1

            > can’t deny it is very simplistic.

            I expect it’s done to counter the typically equally simplistic (and factually incorrect) “copying is theft” (or words to that effect) propaganda packs being sent to your children’s schools. Okay maybe not your children’s schools in NZ as yet (I don’t know, not in NZ right now). In my experience today’s kids are quite cynical and intelligent enough to see straight through them, but still, not a bad video to show if they come home from school with one of the “educational” leaflets from the clearly-not-quite-dead-enough-yet-unfortunately record/movie industry.

  3. Misleadingly simplistic is right.

    “Copy­ing is not theft,’ you say?

    Well, if you’re copying someone else’s creations without permission, yes it is.

    My ideas are my prop­erty. Steal the form in which my ideas are expressed or made con­crete, and you’re a thief.

    Since creation is a livelihood for artists, writers and inventors, stealing the form in which their creations are made is theft of their intel­lec­tual prop­erty–which means a theft of their livelihood. And since intellectual property rightsare at the heart of all prop­erty rights, the pop­ulist attack on intel­lec­tual prop­erty rights is just the most fun­da­men­tal front in the attack on all prop­erty rights.

    Abol­ish­ing copy­right pro­tec­tion favours theft over thought.

    You say no-one is worse off if copy­ing is allowed?

    Well yes, we all are. We are worse off by the lack of new ideas pro­duced and made con­crete in the form of a book, or a CD, or a patentable invention.

    With­out copy­right pro­tec­tion, you load the cost of pro­duc­tion onto musi­cians, writ­ers, artists and inven­tors, while all the ben­e­fits that would have and should have accrued to these pro­duc­ers go to instead to the thieves.

    Copy my new kind of bicy­cle with­out my per­mis­sion, and you take away from me all the ben­e­fits I’d hoped to derive from the inven­tion of my new bicy­cle. Take away all the ben­e­fits that all the inven­tors of new bicy­cles hoped to derive from their inven­tion, and pretty soon you have no new types of bicycleand, if the process con­tin­ues across all fields of endeav­our, even­tu­ally no new inven­tion at all.

    Why would any­one con­tinue to pro­duce new music, write new books or invent new things under such a set-up? Why would any­one sup­port such a set-upunless they wished them­selves to steal?

    Lud­wig von Mises explained this point:

    [I]t is obvi­ous that hand­ing down knowl­edge to the ris­ing gen­er­a­tion and famil­iar­iz­ing the act­ing indi­vid­u­als with the amount of knowl­edge they need for the real­iza­tion of their plans require text­books, man­u­als, hand­books, and other non­fic­tion works. It is unlikely that peo­ple would under­take the labo­ri­ous task of writ­ing such pub­li­ca­tions if every­one were free to repro­duce them. This is still more man­i­fest in the field of tech­no­log­i­cal inven­tion and dis­cov­ery. The exten­sive exper­i­men­ta­tion nec­es­sary for such achieve­ments is often very expen­sive. It is very prob­a­ble that tech­no­log­i­cal progress would be seri­ously retarded if, for the inven­tor and for those who defray the expenses incurred by his exper­i­men­ta­tion, the results obtained were noth­ing but [gifting benefits to others while earning nothing oneself for one’s creations].’

    Make no mis­take, copy­ing with­out the per­mis­sion of the owner is theftno mat­ter how many sappy sugar-coated dit­ties you hear to the contrary.

    • I’m not saying saying that Peter, the video is.
      The points you make are valid and eloquently made.

      There are also the issues raised in lynn’s post next to this one.
      http://www.thestandard.org.nz/bogus-bullshit-on-the-costs-of-copy-and-counterfeit/

      I also think some of the ACTA proposals cloaked in copyright protection rhetoric are trojan horses that aren’t really about small scale non-commercial copyright violation.

      • Hi Sprout,

        Yes, I understand it was the video, not you. Just thought opposition to it should be made explicit.

        That said, yes, you’re right that the way ACTA proposes protecting intellectual property–by going through people’s bags at airports; by holding ISPs responsible for what their customers do; etc.–is hardly in accordance with the principle of property rights they purport to be upholding.

        • Ted Appleby 3.1.1.1

          > is hardly in accordance with the principle of property rights they purport to be upholding.

          Shrug. Imaginary “property” monopolies are known to be fundamentally incompatible with actual property rights. They have been dressed up in pseudocapitalistic rhetoric, to make people think they’re similar when in fact they stand in direct opposition and amount to misappropriation of everyone’s physical property. Sadly, a lot of people still fall for it.

          See Stefan Kinsella or Boldrin and Levine

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      What if you still got all the benefits?

      Yes, this can be done. What you won’t have, though, is people able to benefit from others work and ideas while paying them SFA if anything.

      Why would any­one con­tinue to pro­duce new music, write new books or invent new things under such a set-up?

      Because otherwise they’d be bored?

    • Jono 3.3

      It is unfortunate I read your post. Now my ideas have been copied to my brain without your express permission. I guess I’m a thief.

      Seriously though. You believe your ideas are your property?

      And Ludwig von Mises sounds like the kind of person who wouldn’t share a subway seat without getting paid to do it. Is she seriously not going to raise her children because it wouldn’t be cost effective? Is money the only motivation to create something new? Most creators, artists & scientists included, don’t do it for the money.

      Ideas are worthless. It is someones blood and effort in realising that idea which makes it valuable. If others also deem it valuable they will pay. I totally agree that people should be compensated for the effort they put into their work but anyone who says “copying is theft” is dead wrong. Copying is not theft. Copying is a natural human act (children do it all the time – it’s how they learn). Copying is how human knowledge is transmitted to our young. You seriously want to hinder that? You want to live in a world deprive of music, literature? All in the name of greed?

      Disgusting!

  4. Pundit X 4

    So let’s hear some coherent argument about about how creative professionals can live and work in a society that steals their ideas and work with impunity… A lot of them are not major corporations who overcharge for their products but people like you who make the world a better place with their music, art and photography. You have the floor…

    • Bill 4.1

      Creative professionals cannot live and work in a society that steals their ideas and work with impunity…if that society is wedded to a market economy.

      But if the market (ie the ‘beggar thy neighbour or starve’) economy is abolished and creative professionals get rewarded for their contributions to society rather than the market. if they do not have to, as is usually the case, prostitute their talent to the advertising ( or other) industry in an attempt to make a buck from it…or relegate the pursuit of their passion to that of a hobby…. or abandon their passion altogether, then maybe the blatant theft of ideas and creativity becomes a historic curiosity.

      Theft of ideas, of creativity only makes sense when the thief can profit from it in some way, say by saving on purchase price or by selling for profit under false pretences etc. But if the market economy is abandoned, then the seeking of competitive advantage…the desperate and endless doing in of all and sundry by all and sundry on an increasingly individualistic basis ceases.

      And that relief of pressure would also free up time for us all to be more creative and so less needy of others’ art and creativity. Perhaps.

      I’m working on the premise that most of our time spent in jobs is unnecessary as far as societies production needs are concerned and that our jobs are largely a waste of time geared to simply generate profit and power for others.

      • James 4.1.1

        Well that is a nice fantasy world that you have conjured up in your mind.

        Now how about answering the question that was posed, this time in the context of reality.

        • uke 4.1.1.1

          “…most of our time spent in jobs is unnecessary as far as societies production needs are concerned and… our jobs are largely a waste of time geared to simply generate profit and power for others.”

          Sounds like reality to me.

      • Jono 4.1.2

        Oh the dream. Wouldn’t it be wonderful it our society was set up in such a way as to reward somebody for what they loved doing, regardless of what it is they love doing? Rewards for intangible benefits to society, not just the tangible ones…

        This is typically called a service business. Hint, there’s something about technology that is quickly making what was once tangible goods into intangibles. Hmm…

    • Kerry Thomas 4.2

      Hi
      This is actually not about protecting creative people, but large recording companies who have made me pay for the same piece of music many times in different formats. If you create a new design or idea you find the rights you have expire after a certain number of years. Not so with music. Now I am having to spend time hacking DRM on CD’s I own so I can make a compilation for my car of music I have paid for at least once. Some several times as it has come out in different formats from tape,records, CD’s and Mobile phone.
      I am not sure how we protect creatives as I have had a blatant rip off of one of my designs subject by another to a US patent.
      However increasing state surveillance on individuals to suit large American corporates whose business model is outdated is not the answer.

  5. Descendant Of Smith 5

    You could take advantage of internet models for payment.

    I have a mate who started putting up MP3 files of his hypnosis sessions on to the internet and selling them that way. He has recently released a small selection on iTunes and is making further sales using that model.

    He gleefully talks about working only a few hours per week now. He has however taken many years and much effort to reach that point and it isn’t a quick fix.

    We’ve seen artists release their music online in various ways and be quite successful. Sometimes cause it’s good, sometimes cause it’s clever marketing.

    With music it was pretty hard to get a recording contract anyway.

    There’s new opportunities with music such as music for games – course if you see this as a sell out then you’ll never make money from it but it’s an emerging source of income. Gaming now is bigger than the movie industry in terms of turnover.

    Music traditionally meant a lot of live work and that probably still hasn’t changed that much.

    Sell your music on MP3 sticks rather than on a CD.

    There are art opportunities in web-design or gaming as well.

    There’s the ability to sell over the internet from little towns in New Zealand.

    With writing there are new roles in supporting web design, in scripting for gaming – anyone who has recently played Mass Effect or Dragon Age Origins will tell you how great the scripting is in those games – a little corny at time but great story lines with drama and humour and plot twists.

    There’s the opportunity for added value art products – TShirts, playing cards, prints.

    I was in Sydney recently and came across a shop that had employed an artist to design limited runs of T-Shirts. The designs were great and they had no shortage of sales at very reasonable prices.

    You can argue that these opportunities are limited but they didn’t exist until recently. Some people take advantage of them to generate income – others do not and simply moan about how the Internet has ruined their traditional income streams.

    I’m not at all artistic but would love to be to take advantage of some of these new opportunities.

  6. Descendant Of Smith 6

    Couldn’t resist this creative opportunity:

    I’d be interested too in whether you consider corporate theft as larger or smaller than citizen theft.

    There’s plenty of stories of artists who made very little from their works and die in poverty while the corporates made and continue to make plenty.

  7. Pundit X 7

    Most of the evidence is anecdotal and speculative. The large music corporations claim falling sales which could just as easily be down to an overpriced product as to consumers file sharing. I do know of significant numbers of photographers who have been ripped of by corporations, SME’s and bloggers who simply want to liven up the page. By ripped of I mean having the work used without permission being sought when it was possible to contact the photographer. The UK government under pressure from publishers such as Rupert Murdoch came close to codifying corporate theft into law with Clause 43 the just passed Digital Economy Bill. It would have enabled the use of orphan works without payment to the photographer. An orphan work is a photograph that cannot be attributed to an author. For example any image uploaded to Facebook automatically becomes an orphan work because Facebook automatically stripped out any meta data identifying the author. Only a vigorous and concerted campaign by editorial photographers prevented that section of the bill becoming law. http://www.stop43.org.uk

    • James 7.1

      You have no idea what you are talking about.

      Please stop doling out such dangerously incorrect information.

  8. Song writers only have one form of income, artists may have varies ways of an income, but songwriters dont, they are the ones that miss out when people illegally copy cd’s, if your a fan or an artist you wouldnt copy their cds.

  9. Mike Simpson 9

    Rand was wrong on this one. You can rightly assume that what resides in your own brain is your property, whether or not you’re an inventor, composer, or author—just as the rest of your body is your property. Clearly, someone would have to trespass on your property and do a coercive brain scan in order to gather this decidedly private information. But only by keeping information to oneself, that is, in private form and shielded from the marketplace can one declare conceptual information to be one’s own.

    The notion of property of the intellect existing in the marketplace, however, is basically a contradiction in terms. Property is something that’s claimed, used, and possessed as an extension of self-ownership. Property rights ultimately mean the freedom of action to use and/or dispose of certain owned items and to do various things in relation to them. Property rights do not mean the freedom to prevent others from duplicating what you own, unless that duplication creates conflict of usage and possession of your property, as in identity theft.

    When intellectual information that’s manifested in tangible items and processes makes it to the marketplace, such as a story or song or even mining processes or the sequencing and use of particular genes, it’s quite obviously no longer for the creator’s eyes only, and no longer in the creator’s possession. Others are then exposed to this information via these items and their innumerable uses. One would have to initiate force to dictate to others what they can and cannot do with the intellectual information that’s now in their brains. In other words, because what’s claimed to be intellectual property is simply a pattern of information manifested in a tangible thing—specifically information that can be reproduced by others without conflict—one can’t enforce the terms of its replication and dissemination once it reaches the marketplace, that is, once information has been duplicated by other brains and transformed into tangible expression by them. That would essentially be trying to control the property of others.

    To put it another way, after a person exposes ideas, products, and services to the marketplace, he or she has no right to prevent others from reproducing or duplicating those same things—even if that person was the one who truly created or discovered them. One only has the right to control one’s own particular products and services in which that information is embodied, that is, one’s own capital resources and inventory (rightful property).

    When other minds become aware of information, it basically goes from being private property (because trespass would be required to glean it) to being in the public domain, or marketplace. That’s the way a free market works. No force is initiated by either buyers or sellers. Both realize that property rights apply to all aspects of tangible items they own and the various uses they choose to employ with them.

    Patents, copyrights and trademarks only help to retard the course of progress and human flourishing. Are these needed in order for knowledge to be disseminated? Not in the least: type “wikipedia.org” in your address bar and then type “encyclopedia britannica” and see for yourself.

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Taxpayers not suckers when it comes to casino lemon
    The Government should not be asking New Zealanders to stump up extra cash to bail out John Key and Steven Joyce’s dodgy SkyCity convention centre deal, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. "A deal is a deal is a deal. SkyCity… ...
    5 days ago
  • Supreme Court decision an early Christmas present
    Women on low pay in New Zealand have been given an early Christmas present with yesterday’s decision by  the Supreme Court not to intervene in a decision of the Court of Appeal, says Labour's Spokesperson for Women's Affairs, Sue Moroney. … ...
    5 days ago
  • Dunedin Hospital needs more than drip feed
    An ongoing and embarrassing pattern of major building leaks and equipment failures at Dunedin Public Hospital has been revealed in papers released under the Official Information Act, Dunedin North MP David Clark says. “Documents released under the Official Information Act… ...
    6 days ago
  • Dunedin Hospital needs more than drip feed
    An ongoing and embarrassing pattern of major building leaks and equipment failures at Dunedin Public Hospital has been revealed in papers released under the Official Information Act, Dunedin North MP David Clark says. “Documents released under the Official Information Act… ...
    6 days ago
  • 17 too young for teens to be shown the door
    Laws which see young people under the care of CYFS abandoned once they turn 17 will mean at least a dozen young Kiwis will be left to fend for themselves over the December festive season, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda  Ardern… ...
    6 days ago
  • 17 too young for teens to be shown the door
    Laws which see young people under the care of CYFS abandoned once they turn 17 will mean at least a dozen young Kiwis will be left to fend for themselves over the December festive season, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda  Ardern… ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s albatross, taxpayers’ curse
    Government consideration of further corporate welfare hand-outs to SkyCity for its convention centre shows just how weak the original contract was, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “Taxpayers will be appalled to hear that on top of the humiliating… ...
    6 days ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    1 week ago
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    1 week ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    1 week ago
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki… ...
    1 week ago
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It… ...
    1 week ago
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems… ...
    GreensBy James Shaw MP
    2 weeks ago
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere