You can get as high handed as you want to about this, but the fact is, the internet used to be a free forum where people shared things. The music and publishing industry turned it's nose up at it and refused to acknowledge that it's content had a place there. When the distributors discovered that they were actually losing money to this grand social experiment, they decided to change the rules, much as Bill Gates did when he discovered that there really WAS a reason for people to have more than 640kb on a personal computer, and there really WAS money to be made in web pages (after Yahoo and Google ran away with it)
Now the music and publishing industry is faced with the dreadful task of convincing people that it really didn't mean it when it said that it didn't care what people did on the internet. They are trying to convince people that their content is worth money, while they are busy giving it away to attract people to their sites! They are going to win this eventually, but there is really no reason to get officious over this. The distributors made their own bed when they decided to be short sighted and forgo jumping on the bandwagon when it first took off. Now, they are forced to play catchup, and no amount of moralizing is going to change that. They are also wringing their hands over the fact that over three hundred thousand books in the public domain are lost to them forever because they did not figure out a way to make money off of them fast enough. Would you like us to feel bad for them over that as well?
J. K. Rowling specifically stated that she would not allow the seventh Harry Potter book to be published electronically. That leaves several million potential readers with palm pilots and e-book readers out in the cold. How is that fair to them? She has a right to do this by the way, but if she does, and she does not realize the consequences, then whoever is advising her is a complete fool! If you are sick and tired of having your work stolen, put it online for a reasonable price. (taking into consideration that there are no stocking fees, no material fees, and nothing more than the website to sustain, (which means that the e-book doesn't have to cost as much as the hardcover or paperback) Then you will have the moral high ground. Until then, please refrain from preaching and ask a question!
P.S. before you even check, all of my posts lists sources that are in the public domain. If anything on the website fails that litmus test, it is the web designer's responsibility to take the offending material down, and as soon as you notify them, I am sure they will be happy to comply. Many even say it on the home page of their sites. There is a vast difference between sharing material in the public domain, and illegally uploading copy written material and every I.S.P. in America is already supposed to be on guard against it. When and if you see anything that goes against those guidelines, report it, as we all do, instead of trying to act like the internet F.B.I. and scare us all into submission!
Response to Divinatum! We happen to own a perfectly legitimate copy of Mrs. Rowling's latest opus, ($17.00 ) as we do the other six. If she wants to know who is going to turn the scofflaws in, obviously it is her and maybe even you. That question was asked after the fact however, and my point concerning the original diatribe stands, silly creature!
(This is getting fun) I don't believe your luggage manufacturers ever declined to sell their luggage and ignore the buying public as the publishing industry obviously did. The issue was not the "price" but the availability! If your luggage manufacturers decided to stop selling the luggage to train passengers for instance, do you think for a moment, that they would simply pack their belongings in cardboard boxes? When a segment of the market is ignored, something will replace the sucking black hole which is the vacuum which ensues! I do not begrudge anyone their thirty pieces of silver, render unto Caesar and all of that. It is when they say "Never Mind" and then come back and say "Oops, we didn't mean it" that I cease to exude sympathy!
I have a large collection of legal books, Records Cd's, legitimate software, and legal connections to both my cable television and broadband internet. I am as legal as you can get. If you want me to show sympathy for an abused ignored market base that has just recently begun to wake up to the fact that it was dead wrong however, you are sadly mistaken!
By the way, if stealing is wrong, isn't unfair restriction of trade (refusing to sell to the E-book industry) and antitrust a crime as well? You said - "If you can't afford a book - use the library." Back in the good old days (When I was neither good nor old) I used to borrow books from friends. I suppose this is no longer legal either? Oh, and how about the internet libraries? I suppose they should all dry up and blow away as well? Why not make it possible to pay the author their royalty, and cut out the distributor altogether! That would be legal right? But I don't suppose the industry would look too kindly toward that solution either!
The difference between borrowing and stealing is that when you borrow from an individual, it is a one on one transaction. When you steal the material and sell it for profit (such as they do in swap meets and even legitimate businesses - want to bet I can find knockoffs of your louie V. Luggage?) it is stealing. When people ask for a way to purchase something legitimately and the publishing company says "NO!" that is restriction of trade. When the publishing companies get together and say that they will sell in print but not in electronic media, that is collusion which falls by definition into the antitrust area of the house. I noticed that you are ignoring my other challenge as well.
What is the difference between asking a question and using Yahoo answers as a soapbox to vent your frustrations, rant, or otherwise violate the question and answer format?
Since this is still here, I will add one thought. Ethics aside, how do you account for the fact that in every study in which file sharing was encouraged, the author's / composer's sales figures actually went up? Audiogalaxy actually refused to share my silly little MP3 files for free, because they claimed that the RIAA prohibited them from doing so, even though I was the composer / author and gave them permission. I now share my silly little MP3s on Soundclick.com. I am not vain enough to presume that I could actually sell my silly little MP3s and make a profit from them, but I am a little put off by the idea that a regulating agency would restrict my legal right to share them!
Since you brought up the do's and don'ts, let me remind you of a couple that you've violated:
5. Ask clearly. Keep your questions succinct and descriptive, and check your spelling and grammar - it helps people find your questions, and you'll also get better answers.
1. Use Yahoo! Answers as a soapbox to vent your frustrations, rant, or otherwise violate the question and answer format. If you prefer to have discussions or chat with others, please use one of Yahoo!'s other community services, such as Yahoo! Groups or Yahoo! Messenger Chat Rooms.
I copied and pasted them so as not to be accused of modifying their content in any way. If you would like to engage in a battle of guidelines, please follow your own advice and politely remove the soapbox!
It has been two days since I posted this. Apparently ethics and morality only apply when money is involved. You do not seem to follow your own rules, or the rules of your host. Why do you expect anyone to pay any attention to your posturing when you set such a contradictory example. I would like to point out to you that all of my queries have been polite, to the point, and largely ignored!
Let me be a bit more direct. If you have any respect for yourself and the authors you claim to represent, remove the rant, follow the rules, and start setting the example rather than just being a "Bad Example!"