Poll

Is file piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?

No, all piracy is theft
4 (13.8%)
No, but I do it anyway
2 (6.9%)
Yes, but only shows that are not available in my country
4 (13.8%)
Yes, it is NOT theft
11 (37.9%)
I don't know or have a different opinion
8 (27.6%)

Total Members Voted: 29

Author Topic: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?  (Read 3777 times)

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Offline Captain Video

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Some people on this forum are justifying themselves with piracy because of region coding. I maintain that this is still piracy and that they are stealing. (as do the owners of the content)
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Offline Calinthalus

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2019, 12:52:18 PM »
I'm not positive using a VPN to view Netflix in a different region qualifies as piracy.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2019, 12:55:28 PM »
In my opinion, buying a disc from a licensed dealer and paying for it and then watching it in a player that has been jiggered to think it's in a different region, thereby bypassing the region coding, is not piracy, because you paid for it.

Using region coding as an excuse to buy a disc that a pirate has illegally copied, is piracy, and it is stealing.

The crux of the matter is whether you are paying a licensed dealer who has paid the proper royalties, or getting it from a source that has not paid royalties. Circumventing region coding is not in itself piracy, though it is commonly one aspect of a pirated disc.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2019, 01:01:08 PM »
I'm not positive using a VPN to view Netflix in a different region qualifies as piracy.

If you are logged into your own NetFlix account when you watch, then NetFlix is counting the view and paying the appropriate royalties. Using a VPN to make it appear you are in a different country is morally no different than traveling to that country to watch. Either way, the content owner is being paid the royalty.

If, however, you spoof the log-in credentials to watch on an account that is not yours and you are not paying for, then you are stealing from NetFlix. The content owner is still getting their royalties because NetFlix thinks a legitimate member is watching. It's still piracy, but the victim is NetFlix, not the content owner.
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Offline Billzbub

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2019, 01:21:40 PM »
I don't understand how the region coding thing works.  I mean, if one region is paying more to get the content earlier, then someone in another region is cheating someone by bypassing it.  However, I find it hard to imagine that is how it works.  If I say I'm in a different region just so I can actually pay for content, it seems that it is the opposite of piracy.  It is bypassing a stupid system so that I could actually purchase the thing instead of stealing it.

I'm not saying Captain Video is wrong, just that I don't understand what he is saying.  Is my understanding that getting around region coding merely allows more consumers to actually purchase the products wrong?

Okay, let me try to look at it this way.  Maybe a subscription to Netflix in Australia costs less than a subscription in America specifically because shows are delayed.  But then, if I spoofed my region and had to subscribed at the higher American cost, I would still be paying for the better service.

Nope, I just don't see how getting around region coding could be seen as stealing or as harming the film/video industry. It sounds like it actually helps.
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Offline PANTS!

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2019, 01:28:43 PM »
I'm sorry, but if I have a disc that I can't play because it is region encoded, then getting around that coding is A-OK, no matter if the "content owners" want to call it piracy, DMC violation, or whatever.  Copyright law has swung WAY to far against consumers, and there is no relief in sight.
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Offline Captain Video

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2019, 01:29:33 PM »
I don't understand how the region coding thing works.  I mean, if one region is paying more to get the content earlier, then someone in another region is cheating someone by bypassing it.  However, I find it hard to imagine that is how it works.  If I say I'm in a different region just so I can actually pay for content, it seems that it is the opposite of piracy.  It is bypassing a stupid system so that I could actually purchase the thing instead of stealing it.

I'm not saying Captain Video is wrong, just that I don't understand what he is saying.  Is my understanding that getting around region coding merely allows more consumers to actually purchase the products wrong?

Okay, let me try to look at it this way.  Maybe a subscription to Netflix in Australia costs less than a subscription in America specifically because shows are delayed.  But then, if I spoofed my region and had to subscribed at the higher American cost, I would still be paying for the better service.

Nope, I just don't see how getting around region coding could be seen as stealing or as harming the film/video industry. It sounds like it actually helps.

Is it ok to break the law because you don't agree with it?
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Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2019, 01:36:01 PM »
Disclaimer: I'm completely unfamiliar with how the industry works

Could we ever minimize distribution altogether?  Content producers release directly to a global Steam-like platform who then sells everywhere?  The middle-men between producers and consumers is just some paper thin internet platform.

This comes to mind because I've read that convenience is a major driver of piracy, especially as relates to region issues.
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Offline Billzbub

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2019, 01:42:05 PM »
I don't understand how the region coding thing works.  I mean, if one region is paying more to get the content earlier, then someone in another region is cheating someone by bypassing it.  However, I find it hard to imagine that is how it works.  If I say I'm in a different region just so I can actually pay for content, it seems that it is the opposite of piracy.  It is bypassing a stupid system so that I could actually purchase the thing instead of stealing it.

I'm not saying Captain Video is wrong, just that I don't understand what he is saying.  Is my understanding that getting around region coding merely allows more consumers to actually purchase the products wrong?

Okay, let me try to look at it this way.  Maybe a subscription to Netflix in Australia costs less than a subscription in America specifically because shows are delayed.  But then, if I spoofed my region and had to subscribed at the higher American cost, I would still be paying for the better service.

Nope, I just don't see how getting around region coding could be seen as stealing or as harming the film/video industry. It sounds like it actually helps.

Is it ok to break the law because you don't agree with it?

No.  The lawfulness of the practice is a separate issue than whether it is piracy or not.  It is breaking the law, and the right-or-wrongfulness of it based on that is up to the individual.  However, it is not piracy because nobody is taking anything from someone else.  If someone said they were going to torrent a movie because they didn't feel like using a VPN, then THAT is piracy.

To answer your actual question, though...I might break that law even though it is wrong to do so.  I don't know enough about why there is region coding to decide.  If it is just because some lobbyists somewhere got the government to pass some ridiculous law, then yeah, I wouldn't feel too bad.  However, if there's a legitimate reason, I might not do it.  I mean, I drive 5 to 8 miles an hour over the speed limit almost all the time, which I know is breaking the law.  But, I don't pirate movies and I lecture people I know who do because there's a person on the other end of that crime.
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Offline Captain Video

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2019, 01:47:21 PM »
Disclaimer: I'm completely unfamiliar with how the industry works

Could we ever minimize distribution altogether?  Content producers release directly to a global Steam-like platform who then sells everywhere?  The middle-men between producers and consumers is just some paper thin internet platform.

This comes to mind because I've read that convenience is a major driver of piracy, especially as relates to region issues.

Yea I do believe it will eventually go away as it has done for the majority of the music industry. Platforms like Spotify have made music piracy irrelevant because of convenience. 

I think people think that because they are paying for a service that everyone automatically gets paid and that is not the case, with a service its based on how many times that show is viewed. Same with spotify and pandora which is why they go dark after inactivity. Pandora does not want to pay for music played while nobody is listening. It even says that when it goes dark. 
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Offline Calinthalus

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2019, 01:58:12 PM »

But in the VPN/Netflix scenario the show was viewed by a customer of Netflix.  The VPN doesn't block Netflix from knowing about the view, just knowing where the viewer actually was.  So the view was counted, so the people who worked on the show still get credited for the view.


It's illegal (probably), but not piracy.




Also
Is it ok to break the law because you don't agree with it?


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Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2019, 01:59:25 PM »
I thought geo-locking was obvious.

Contracts for content distribution exist.  These contracts are not braindead simple "here you go, you can distribute my show to anyone you like anywhere in the world".  They are long and complicated, and include things like "you can distribute my show in this country, but not that other country - someone else that we made a deal with gets to distribute it in that other country."


Something like Doctor Who.  The specifics are probably a year or two out of date, but were correct at some point in the last 5 years.  Doctor Who is made by the BBC.  BBC Canada is a thing that exists.  The network that owns the Canadian distribution rights to Doctor Who is (or was) called "Space"  A subscriber to BBC Canada has not paid for Doctor Who.  A subscriber to Space has only paid for the episodes that Space has decided to broadcast, at the times in which they choose to make them available.  This person is a paid subscriber to "Space and it's offered programming", and not "Doctor Who whenever I feel like it".  If Space decides to delay the offering of an episode by a few days, their subscribers are not entitled to the programming at an earlier time.


As a media customer, you are paying for two things - the actual content, and time over which it is made available to you.  The former is obvious - you are contributing to the production of the content.  The latter is less in-your-face - paying for the licensing, data storage, bandwidth, communications infrastructure, etc.

Stealing content is an obvious moral choice you are making one way of the other, but "stealing" time is just as much stealing.  If you're fine with both, cool for you I guess.. If you're only fine with one, then it's a curious case of hypocrisy.
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Offline Captain Video

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2019, 02:00:02 PM »
I'm sorry, but if I have a disc that I can't play because it is region encoded, then getting around that coding is A-OK, no matter if the "content owners" want to call it piracy, DMC violation, or whatever.  Copyright law has swung WAY to far against consumers, and there is no relief in sight.

I'm not in complete disagreement with you in this situation. The disk was paid for, the proper royalties were paid.

Here is the caveat If you purchase a disk in the UK that is also available in the US those from the UK are getting paid their royalty deal and the US distributor is screwed. This trickles on down the line, an actor mite have a deal to get residuals for US sales only or make less in other countries.

All of this effects the bottom line which in turn effects how much work is available.
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Offline Captain Video

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2019, 02:08:58 PM »

But in the VPN/Netflix scenario the show was viewed by a customer of Netflix.  The VPN doesn't block Netflix from knowing about the view, just knowing where the viewer actually was.  So the view was counted, so the people who worked on the show still get credited for the view.


It's illegal (probably), but not piracy.




Also
Is it ok to break the law because you don't agree with it?


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Yes and almost never if I can avoid it, its dangerous to others so stop.

I'm not taking a moral ground with the legal comments, I asked Billz a question and that was it. I'm not saying I am better than anyone, I'm just stunned that people still think this is ok, I used to be a pirate, I'm sorry I did it and I learned from my mistakes.
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Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2019, 02:12:58 PM »
Stealing content is an obvious moral choice you are making one way of the other, but "stealing" time is just as much stealing.  If you're fine with both, cool for you I guess.. If you're only fine with one, then it's a curious case of hypocrisy.

To put a bow on the "stealing time" angle - it is easy to imagine a distribution deal that charges individual distributors more for more timely rights to programming - maybe Space pays top dollar for same-day broadcasting of episodes, but another regional partner pays a smaller amount for a 1 week delay, and a third even smaller regional partner pays an even smaller amount for a 1 season delay.  Someone from one of those regions claiming "I've paid for my content, so if it's not available I don't feel bad about pirating it from somewhere else, they are still gettting their money from me" is absolutely taking money from the hands of the content producers, who would have been paid more for their immediate access than they are currently being paid for their delayed access.
Big Mike
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