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 4320 times)

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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 #30 on: March 30, 2019, 02:27:19 AM »
Find a way to let me buy your content. If you can't do that I won't buy your content.  I might still watch it though.

I make ice cream, your government wont let me sell it to you because I am using the wrong font in my logo or something and I don't want to change it, I would rather not sell it to you there but you can come over here and have some.

Are you saying that you then steal and eat my ice cream and I get nothing?
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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 #31 on: March 30, 2019, 02:54:06 AM »
Give me what I want, when I want it, in a format I want and let me pay for it. Charge me the extra you all like to slug Aussies with because we are so far away. I'll pay it.
Just don't fuck us Aussies over with delays, limited options just because you can.

Your government wont let me sell you my TV show because of your classification and material laws (is that the correct term?). I would have to go back in and edit out several scenes to be in compliance. This would ruin the viewing experience as i intended and I cant afford to do re-shoots to make the censored parts make any sense.  I would rather not sell it to you there but you can come over here and watch it or better yet change your classification and material laws.

Based on your earlier comments I am guessing that you pirate my work and watch it anyway, Am I wrong?
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Offline Tassie Dave

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #32 on: March 30, 2019, 03:20:11 AM »
Give me what I want, when I want it, in a format I want and let me pay for it. Charge me the extra you all like to slug Aussies with because we are so far away. I'll pay it.
Just don't fuck us Aussies over with delays, limited options just because you can.

Your government wont let me sell you my TV show because of your classification and material laws (is that the correct term?). I would have to go back in and edit out several scenes to be in compliance. This would ruin the viewing experience as i intended and I cant afford to do re-shoots to make the censored parts make any sense.  I would rather not sell it to you there but you can come over here and watch it or better yet change your classification and material laws.

Based on your earlier comments I am guessing that you pirate my work and watch it anyway, Am I wrong?

Our government doesn't censor TV shows. They may change the rating, but anything goes on TV here. I've seen full penetration sex on movies shown on free to air TV channels.

But to take your point, it did happen with Video games. Games I wanted to play, that weren't allowed to be sold here could be bought, legally, from overseas. Which is what I did with Playstation games in the 90s and early 2000s. Which is why I chipped my machine. This made games more than double the price to get them where I live.

So to answer your question, if media TV, Movies, Games, Books are not available here, I would buy them from overseas.

If a TV show that is shown here was to be censored (For arguments sake) then yes I would pay for the censored version here, and pirate the uncensored version. You would get your royalties.

Offline brilligtove

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #33 on: March 30, 2019, 08:47:15 AM »
Find a way to let me buy your content. If you can't do that I won't buy your content.  I might still watch it though.

I make ice cream, your government wont let me sell it to you because I am using the wrong font in my logo or something and I don't want to change it, I would rather not sell it to you there but you can come over here and have some.

Are you saying that you then steal and eat my ice cream and I get nothing?

Digital goods are not the same as physical goods. That makes analogies to physical objects problematic at best. Maybe if you used constantly reproducing yeast instead? Regardless, here's the scenario:

1. You make a product that is pure information.
An information product or intellectual property - IP in either case.

2. I want to buy your information product. You want to sell it to me.
See the parts below about Purchased vs Licenced for more fun baked into the word 'sell'.

3. Your IP is not accessible for purchase.
There are a variety of ways this happens, but the two we have been on about seem to be some restiction on your ability to sell, or some extortionate cost to the consumer.

3a. You can not sell me your information.
There are a host of reasons for #3. Many of these have a long legacy that has been invalidated by the advent of the internet. I'm not saying they don't exist. I'm saying that restrictions like region locking are no longer coherent in this phase of the Information Age.

3b. Paid access to your information is much more costly than the value of that information to me.
An example is Star Trek: Discovery. I'd like to watch the show. Unfortunately there is no way for me to do so legally without purchasing a cable package. (I cut the cord 5 or 6 years ago.) If I could pay $20 for a season on Google Play (or perhaps another service) I'd have done so already. There is no chance in hell, heaven, or Houston that I'm paying $120 a month to watch 18 minutes of commercials per hour for a single show. Even if I defray the cost across 3 or 4 shows (add in The Expanse, Dr. Who, and Magicians) the cost is still absurdly high. 'Cost' can also be a question of time or effort. I didn't watch Dr. Who this season because it was too hard to figure out how to watch it. When it came out on Google Play I bought the season immediately.

Up to this point you have untapped markets of customers who are willing and able to pay for your IP, but are unable to do so. Add the internet to this...

4. I have easy access to your information for free.
When rules are contradicted by reality - whether they are ethical, legal, regulatory, or something else - the rules lose. Abortions happen no matter what the law and religion say, for example. Today I learned I could use a VPN to watch Magicians from Canada, since it is available on the US service (I'm in NY right now). I feel no more moral unease about doing this than I do about driving at a speed that is appropriate to the road conditions (e.g. speeding or going below the limit as dictated by safety).

As a consumer I don't give a rats ass about the labyrinthine machinations that happen behind the scenes in TV, movie, or music production. (There might be interesting, but they have no bearing on my purchasing decisions.) Having a fucked up business model that no longer works because technology has changed is a problem that the people with that business model need to fix. I can't do anything about that.

I do care about having timely, convenient access to the information product, and at a reasonable price. Most consumers are happy to buy IP it is convenient, timely, and affordable. When they are denied the option to make a convenient, timely, affordable purchase, many consumers are comfortable with the convenient, timely, affordable access that piracy offers.

Purchased vs Licenced
Part of the problem with the ice cream analogy you used is related to whether I have purchased a product that is mine to do with as I please, or whether I have licenced access to your product with restrictions and limitations to my rights over that product. Remeber when Amazon erased a version of 1984 from people's accounts a few years back? We all thought we'd bought a book, not paid a licencing fee for access to a block of data.

When I pay Google for YouTube Premium I am well aware that I am paying for a licence to access information (videos, music) without ads. I can listen to millions of songs, but I don't own them. If I stop paying my subscription those songs go away.

Of course I can also pay for songs or albums and 'add them to my collection'. This is independent of my subscription. But have I purchased the song? Or is it still just a licence? As a consumer, I am quite sure I have bought a product for my personal use, and I should have basically no restrictions on how I interact with that information in that context. (I recognize that there are still IP rights for creators that can and should limit commercial use of that IP). If I want to will my music collection to my kid, ownership (for personal use) should transfer to my kid when I die. If I want to listen to my music on my tablet or phone or computer or watch or AR earpiece or brain implant or whatever, that product is mine to use as I see fit.

Conclusion: Am I A Thief?
I can't answer because it's the wrong question: it is too narrow to have meaningful responses. A more obvious example of an inappropriately narrow question is: "Yes or no: have you stopped abusing children?"

Answerable questions might include:
  • To what extent are the rights of consumers, creators, and distributors of IP in conflict?
  • What elements of existing laws and regulations support or enforce business models that are broken by the internet?
  • How do consumer rights over IP purchased for personal use differ from consumer rights over physical products purchased for personal use? (E.g., I buy an MP3 of a song, I buy a car. I can sell my car, but not my copy of the song. Why? What makes these different?)
There are deep structural problems with the way that TV and movies are distributed and made (in)accessible today. Consumers don't care about these problems, nor should they. Those are things for the industry to sort out. As a consumer, I want the money I pay for IP to go to the artists and all the people who support those artists in their creative endeavours. To the extent that I can do that, I will.
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Offline Belgarath

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #34 on: March 30, 2019, 09:00:57 AM »
You're really stretching with those, Carb Shark.  I know you won't back down, you'll just throw more links at me, using a VPN to location shift is not defeating a copyright.  There's no difference between using a VPN to location shift and ACTUALLY LOCATION SHIFTING.  By your reading of those laws (if you really read them and didn't just throw links) If I travel to London to watch Star Trek: Discovery, I'm violating copyright protection.


With regard to the other discussion.  Artists deserve to be fairly compensated for their work.  For example, I wouldn't ever use bittorrent to download and watch Star Trek Discovery.  When I was younger, I did use Napster to download music, If I liked the music I heard, I went and bought the CD.  If I didn't like it, I deleted it. 

Tassie Dave has it correct, location shifting with a VPN is definitely against the Netflix TOS, it didn't used to be.  I understand that Netflix could cancel my service and ban me from their platform, I do take that risk, but even the most avid copyright proponent calls the practice 'murky'

You don't need to call the practice out in your TOS if it's illegal.  It's just illegal.  When you hit someone with your car, they don't come after you for violating the lease agreement. 



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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #35 on: March 30, 2019, 10:02:52 AM »
Regional distribution schemes allow creators and distributors to maximize their revenue by licensing their content under different terms in different regions. While it may not seem fair, licensees in poorer countries may pay significantly less than those in wealthier countries for the same content. This allows end users in such countries access to content which otherwise might be prohibitively expensive, and it give content-producers and distributors revenue that might otherwise be lost to piracy or simply to the inability of consumers to pay.

As part of this scheme, distributors negotiate the best terms they can for the release of their content in each region. Sometimes that means a network television deal, other times it may mean streaming. And that will differ between regions.

When we bypass the regional distribution system to view it under the terms of another region's distribution license, it is true that content providers receive royalties for that viewing. But they are probably not receiving compensation in the same amount that they would under our own region's terms.  Moreover, by bypassing our own regional distributor, we are devaluing the license in our own region; the knowledge that a certain percentage of consumers in their region will use VPN's to view under foreign licenses lowers the amount that those distributors can pay, which does affect the bottom line of content providers.

Finally, with something like Star Trek: Discovery, the content creator is the one distributing it locally over CBS All Access.  They have judged that that is the best way to profit from their creation in the United States, but they have also decided that they can make additional revenue by licensing it to Netflix in other countries. But the amount of revenue they receive from Netflix certainly pales by comparison to the revenue they receive from subscriptions to their own streaming service. If I wanted to watch Star Trek: Discovery I would have to pay CBS $5.99/mo. to do so; that's part of the terms under which they are willing to grant me that license. If instead I choose to bypass region restrictions to view it under a license that's only available in other countries, they are surely receiving just pennies.  Through my action in violating their license, I am directly depriving them of significant revenue.

What the ethics of the practice are, and whether it should be called stealing, I will leave to you. Personally, I choose not to pay for CBS All Access to view ST: Discovery and choose not to use workarounds to avoid the license. On the other hand, I have purchased DVD's encoded for Region 2 that were not available in Region 1 and converted them to formats I could view. I think that is within the limits of fair use. Everyone has to find their own line.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 10:08:26 AM by The Latinist »
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Offline Belgarath

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #36 on: March 30, 2019, 10:06:03 AM »
Presumably you feel the same way about people going to Canada for cheaper prescription drugs too?


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Offline CarbShark

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #37 on: March 30, 2019, 10:10:09 AM »
You're really stretching with those, Carb Shark.  I know you won't back down, you'll just throw more links at me, using a VPN to location shift is not defeating a copyright.  There's no difference between using a VPN to location shift and ACTUALLY LOCATION SHIFTING.  By your reading of those laws (if you really read them and didn't just throw links) If I travel to London to watch Star Trek: Discovery, I'm violating copyright protection.



That’s not my reading of the law.

If you use technology (a VPN, spoofing) to doable the content management you are in violation. If you travel to a region you’re allowed to view it then you’re not.



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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #38 on: March 30, 2019, 10:16:09 AM »
Presumably you feel the same way about people going to Canada for cheaper prescription drugs too?

Was this addressed to me? I do not believe I expressed an ethical position on the question or stated how I "feel" about people doing anything. My post was primarily factual, aimed at making clear the purposes and effects of regional licensing is. At the end I merely stated my own personal choice regarding ST:Discovery and regional-encoded DVD's. Any feelings you detect in response to my post are on you, not me.

I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline Belgarath

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #39 on: March 30, 2019, 10:18:20 AM »
You're really stretching with those, Carb Shark.  I know you won't back down, you'll just throw more links at me, using a VPN to location shift is not defeating a copyright.  There's no difference between using a VPN to location shift and ACTUALLY LOCATION SHIFTING.  By your reading of those laws (if you really read them and didn't just throw links) If I travel to London to watch Star Trek: Discovery, I'm violating copyright protection.



That’s not my reading of the law.

If you use technology (a VPN, spoofing) to doable the content management you are in violation. If you travel to a region you’re allowed to view it then you’re not.



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Don't take legal advice from a web forum.... I have yet to find an actual attorney saying it's anything other than a violation of TOS.  Expertise still does mean something.

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Online 2397

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #40 on: March 30, 2019, 10:18:32 AM »
I personally don't use VPN to access these sites because I don't want to support them having a policy that requires using VPN to circumvent.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 10:22:26 AM by 2397 »

Offline Belgarath

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #41 on: March 30, 2019, 10:28:56 AM »
I personally don't use VPN to access these sites because I don't want to support them having a policy that requires having to use VPN to circumvent.

That's a reasonable approach.

By the way, I went and found the ACTUAL Netflix TOS.  I don't think I'm even violating the TOS by using the VPN.  The relevant language reads:

Quote
4.3. You may view Netflix content primarily within the country in which you have established your account and only in geographic locations where we offer our service and have licensed such content. The content that may be available to watch will vary by geographic location and will change from time to time. The number of devices on which you may simultaneously watch depends on your chosen subscription plan and is specified on the "Account" page.

I primarily view content from where I live.  I OCCASIONALLY view content from another geographic location.  I NEVER view content from a geographic location where they do NOT offer service.

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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #42 on: March 30, 2019, 10:37:20 AM »
By the way, I went and found the ACTUAL Netflix TOS.  I don't think I'm even violating the TOS by using the VPN.  The relevant language reads:

Quote
4.3. You may view Netflix content primarily within the country in which you have established your account and only in geographic locations where we offer our service and have licensed such content. The content that may be available to watch will vary by geographic location and will change from time to time. The number of devices on which you may simultaneously watch depends on your chosen subscription plan and is specified on the "Account" page.

I primarily view content from where I live.  I OCCASIONALLY view content from another geographic location.  I NEVER view content from a geographic location where they do NOT offer service.

But do you always view content only "in geographic locations where we ... have licensed such content"? Remember that they have not licensed ST:Discovery in the United States.

Again, the ethical implications are for you to judge; I'm just talking about the TOS, which I think are clear.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline Belgarath

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #43 on: March 30, 2019, 10:48:41 AM »
I guess I read the TOS differently, so I think it's clear too.

I am viewing it in a region where they have licensed such content and not in a region where they have not licensed such content.  As an example, CBS licenses Discovery to Netflix in Great Britain, but not Russia.  I wouldn't VPN to Russia to try to view Discovery.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Is Piracy justified when you do it to get around region coding?
« Reply #44 on: March 30, 2019, 11:00:36 AM »
Find a way to let me buy your content. If you can't do that I won't buy your content.  I might still watch it though.

I make ice cream, your government wont let me sell it to you because I am using the wrong font in my logo or something and I don't want to change it, I would rather not sell it to you there but you can come over here and have some.

Are you saying that you then steal and eat my ice cream and I get nothing?

No. He's saying that he can get a friend to BUY your ice cream and mail it to him via FedEx instantaneous-delivery service. You lose nothing because you are not selling it in his country at all, even if you could have charged more for it in his country.

Consuming intellectual property without paying is theft. A few people here have admitted to doing that in the past, but nobody here is claiming it is other than theft, and nobody here is saying they do it now.
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