• Please keep all posts on the Rittenhouse verdict here: Rittenhouse Verdict. Note the moderator warnings in the thread. The thread will be heavily moderated with a zero tolerance policy for any baiting, flaming, trolling or other rule breaks. Stick to the topic and not the other posters. Thank you.
  • This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Torrenting Movies and games: Theft or no?

Is torrenting/file sharing theft?


  • Total voters
    50
  • Poll closed .

Renae

DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Messages
48,389
Reaction score
18,084
Location
San Antonio Texas
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Conservative
Greetings!

I was having a heated disagreement with a good friend over the issue of movies and games being torrented.

His position is basically that because movies and games are merely "ideas" and that digital products like movies, music and games can be replicated with no loss to the person in possession of said media thus there is no "theft", they have no value. You cannot "put a price" on ideas. He used the old tropes of "I wasn't going to buy it anyway, I wanted to test the game first so it's okay..."

I contend that Torrenting movies, music and games is inherently an immoral practice. You are in fact, stealing from the creators of the content. While I have very little pity for the A-List actors whose payout might suffer if their movies don't do so well at the box office due to torrents being released, it's still wrong. Often the "talent" isn't who suffers, it's the stage workers, construction teams, set designers and the like who get paid less. Who watch as productions move overseas for cheaper rates to help alleviate the cost of loss from file sharing theft.

What say you DP denizens?
 

Ikari

Moderator
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
82,190
Reaction score
50,564
Location
Colorado
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Left
It's likely a form of theft, I suppose.

One can try to rationalize it though. Say you were never going to go see a movie, but there's a torrent and you're like "fudge it, i'll just torrent it then". Was there "theft", in the sense that you downloaded a movie without paying for anything, but not in the sense that otherwise you would never have paid money or seen it.

Is file sharing really causing these massive losses of profit and driving movies to be filmed elsewhere? I don't buy it. I think it may have some affect, but aggregately it isn't that large. I think the real reason you see this is so that the movie companies can maximize profit and they would have moved the filming location or underpaid some workers regardless of people torrenting or not.
 

d0gbreath

Yellow Dog Democrat
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Messages
16,004
Reaction score
5,163
Location
There's my hat.
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Communist
I agree. Pirating copyrighted material is aganst the law.
 

Lutherf

DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 16, 2012
Messages
41,578
Reaction score
47,978
Location
Tucson, AZ
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Unless the artist allows the unrestricted redistribution of their product (The Grateful Dead, for example, have always allowed taping) then it's stealing.
 

Harry Guerrilla

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Messages
28,951
Reaction score
12,422
Location
Not affiliated with other libertarians.
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Greetings!

I was having a heated disagreement with a good friend over the issue of movies and games being torrented.

His position is basically that because movies and games are merely "ideas" and that digital products like movies, music and games can be replicated with no loss to the person in possession of said media thus there is no "theft", they have no value. You cannot "put a price" on ideas. He used the old tropes of "I wasn't going to buy it anyway, I wanted to test the game first so it's okay..."

I contend that Torrenting movies, music and games is inherently an immoral practice. You are in fact, stealing from the creators of the content. While I have very little pity for the A-List actors whose payout might suffer if their movies don't do so well at the box office due to torrents being released, it's still wrong. Often the "talent" isn't who suffers, it's the stage workers, construction teams, set designers and the like who get paid less. Who watch as productions move overseas for cheaper rates to help alleviate the cost of loss from file sharing theft.

What say you DP denizens?

Other.
I do not agree with current IP limits, since they were harmonized with the Bern convention and are not in tune with our Constitutional limits.

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8

"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

Copyright currently exceeds the limits which the Constitution allows.
If the copyright is for "limited times" and it is applied to "authors and inventors" but continues after their death, that is not Constitutional.
Right now, seeing that Hollywood and the Music industry have a stranglehold on Congress, I don't have a huge problem with it.

Is it theft, sorta, do I care, no.
 

americanwoman

dangerously addictive
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 21, 2005
Messages
28,900
Reaction score
23,066
Location
Somewhere over the rainbow
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Independent
I don't torrent movies and games but sometimes some music. Just like recording songs off the radio on a tape but newer way to do it.
 

NeverTrump

Exposing GOP since 2015
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 21, 2013
Messages
25,357
Reaction score
11,555
Location
Post-Trump America
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
Greetings!

I was having a heated disagreement with a good friend over the issue of movies and games being torrented.

His position is basically that because movies and games are merely "ideas" and that digital products like movies, music and games can be replicated with no loss to the person in possession of said media thus there is no "theft", they have no value. You cannot "put a price" on ideas. He used the old tropes of "I wasn't going to buy it anyway, I wanted to test the game first so it's okay..."

I contend that Torrenting movies, music and games is inherently an immoral practice. You are in fact, stealing from the creators of the content. While I have very little pity for the A-List actors whose payout might suffer if their movies don't do so well at the box office due to torrents being released, it's still wrong. Often the "talent" isn't who suffers, it's the stage workers, construction teams, set designers and the like who get paid less. Who watch as productions move overseas for cheaper rates to help alleviate the cost of loss from file sharing theft.

What say you DP denizens?

It's a grey area. For most users of torrents, the government and Hollywood don't even care. Some movies get more popular due to torrents. However, it is still illegal and really bad for you to operate a hosting site personally.
 

RabidAlpaca

Engineer
Suspended
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 4, 2012
Messages
22,725
Reaction score
29,748
Location
American Refugee in Europe
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Greetings!

I was having a heated disagreement with a good friend over the issue of movies and games being torrented.

His position is basically that because movies and games are merely "ideas" and that digital products like movies, music and games can be replicated with no loss to the person in possession of said media thus there is no "theft", they have no value. You cannot "put a price" on ideas. He used the old tropes of "I wasn't going to buy it anyway, I wanted to test the game first so it's okay..."

I contend that Torrenting movies, music and games is inherently an immoral practice. You are in fact, stealing from the creators of the content. While I have very little pity for the A-List actors whose payout might suffer if their movies don't do so well at the box office due to torrents being released, it's still wrong. Often the "talent" isn't who suffers, it's the stage workers, construction teams, set designers and the like who get paid less. Who watch as productions move overseas for cheaper rates to help alleviate the cost of loss from file sharing theft.

What say you DP denizens?

I think in a lot of ways it can be a gray area and I do it a lot myself. Is it really stealing if I watch American shows I can't legally buy in Germany? What about shows that are shown free or on basic cable that I can't get here?

I'm a subscriber to Netflix and Amazon Prime, but for a lot of content you just can't get it legally because the studios don't want to let go of old business models. I can't even get most of the Netflix content because I'm physically located in the wrong geographic region. I'd pay a lot of money for a service that let me watch most things, but they'd rather force me to go through Comcast or Cox. Content producers need to get with the times or this **** is going to continue to happen. I haven't pirated any music at all since I got Spotify.
 
Last edited:

Henrin

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 3, 2010
Messages
60,458
Reaction score
12,357
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Do they lose anything? No? Then it's not theft. In order for it to be theft they have to deprived of something, but since the act doesn't cause them to be deprived of anything, it's not theft.

Theft is when you take something that belongs to someone else and deprive them of it, while copying(which is what is happening) is making something identical to it and depriving no one of anything. The end result of theft is that I have your stuff, while the end result of copying is that now we both have a copy.
 
Last edited:

FreedomFromAll

Post Political parties
DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
16,821
Reaction score
4,768
Location
New Mexico USA
Gender
Male
Greetings!

I was having a heated disagreement with a good friend over the issue of movies and games being torrented.

His position is basically that because movies and games are merely "ideas" and that digital products like movies, music and games can be replicated with no loss to the person in possession of said media thus there is no "theft", they have no value. You cannot "put a price" on ideas. He used the old tropes of "I wasn't going to buy it anyway, I wanted to test the game first so it's okay..."

I contend that Torrenting movies, music and games is inherently an immoral practice. You are in fact, stealing from the creators of the content. While I have very little pity for the A-List actors whose payout might suffer if their movies don't do so well at the box office due to torrents being released, it's still wrong. Often the "talent" isn't who suffers, it's the stage workers, construction teams, set designers and the like who get paid less. Who watch as productions move overseas for cheaper rates to help alleviate the cost of loss from file sharing theft.

What say you DP denizens?

Not all of the things that you can download are being stolen. The act of using bit torrents is not immoral in itself.

And videotape recordings didnt kill the movie industry. Nor did cassettes kill the music industry.

ANd have you tried downloading a new game? They are huge. I have a game that is over 40 gb's. ANd they can barely give away older games these days.

Downloading isnt as big of a impact as you think.
 

Cephus

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 15, 2007
Messages
31,034
Reaction score
11,932
Location
CA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
Sure, it's theft in theory, but in practice, it really doesn't hurt anyone. Most of the people who do this wouldn't pay for it regardless, if it wasn't available for free, they'd simply do without, therefore there is absolutely no money being lost because there was never any money there to begin with. And since it is all digital, the copyright owners don't even lose anything demonstrably valuable. There's no "product" that they are losing the ability to sell for a profit. A million people can download their game or movie and they haven't demonstrably lost a thing.
 

Cephus

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 15, 2007
Messages
31,034
Reaction score
11,932
Location
CA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
I agree. Pirating copyrighted material is aganst the law.

Mostly because the industries have massive lobbies in Washington to make sure it stays that way,
 

Harshaw

Filmmaker ● Lawyer ● Patriot
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 1, 2005
Messages
38,750
Reaction score
13,832
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
Yes, it's thievery, and yes, it hurts.

Sure, it's theft in theory, but in practice, it really doesn't hurt anyone. Most of the people who do this wouldn't pay for it regardless, if it wasn't available for free, they'd simply do without, therefore there is absolutely no money being lost because there was never any money there to begin with. And since it is all digital, the copyright owners don't even lose anything demonstrably valuable. There's no "product" that they are losing the ability to sell for a profit. A million people can download their game or movie and they haven't demonstrably lost a thing.

Easy to say when you're not creating content that's being stolen.

I, however, do. Sales go down when torrents and pirated downloads proliferate. After whacking those down, sales go up again.

People won't buy if there's a free option. But if they want it, they'll pay for it when there isn't.
 

ARealConservative

cookies crumble
Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2006
Messages
14,518
Reaction score
3,438
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
it isn't theft, but it is still wrong.
 

Henrin

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 3, 2010
Messages
60,458
Reaction score
12,357
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Yes, it's thievery, and yes, it hurts.

When are they deprived of their copy? If I buy a copy of their copy, upload a copy of my copy up to the internet, and people download the copy of my copy to make a copy of their own, is the original owner deprived of their copy?
 

Harshaw

Filmmaker ● Lawyer ● Patriot
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 1, 2005
Messages
38,750
Reaction score
13,832
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
When are they deprived of their copy? If I buy a copy of their copy, upload a copy of my copy up to the internet, and people download the copy of my copy to make a copy of their own, is the original owner deprived of their copy?

They are deprived of the fruits of their labor. People have taken their labor without their consent and without compensation.
 

Henrin

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 3, 2010
Messages
60,458
Reaction score
12,357
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
They are deprived of the fruits of their labor. People have taken their labor without their consent and without compensation.

How are they deprived of the fruits of their labor? It's not theft to deprive people of future sales since they don't have those sales at the current time. It's just a mere potential, not something that actually happened or something that is possible for them to benefit from at the current time.
 

Lutherf

DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 16, 2012
Messages
41,578
Reaction score
47,978
Location
Tucson, AZ
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Not all of the things that you can download are being stolen. The act of using bit torrents is not immoral in itself.

And videotape recordings didnt kill the movie industry. Nor did cassettes kill the music industry.

ANd have you tried downloading a new game? They are huge. I have a game that is over 40 gb's. ANd they can barely give away older games these days.

Downloading isnt as big of a impact as you think.

Yeah. I don't really have much of a problem with the older stuff. A lot of it is already on Youtube for free.
 

Harshaw

Filmmaker ● Lawyer ● Patriot
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 1, 2005
Messages
38,750
Reaction score
13,832
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
How are they deprived of the fruits of their labor? It's not theft to deprive people of future sales since they don't have those sales at the current time. It's just a mere potential, not something that actually happened or something that is possible for them to benefit from at the current time.

When someone takes it without paying for it, they are depriving the creator (or owner) of the fruits of the labor.

If you want to sell or give away the copy you purchased, then there's no problem with that as long as you don't retain a copy for yourself. But making copies to sell or distribute to others not only deprives the creator of sales they would have had, it makes you an incredible dick. It means that you know someone's work is valuable, and that others would want it, but you're purposely depriving the creator of revenue.
 

Cephus

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 15, 2007
Messages
31,034
Reaction score
11,932
Location
CA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
Yes, it's thievery, and yes, it hurts.



Easy to say when you're not creating content that's being stolen.

I, however, do. Sales go down when torrents and pirated downloads proliferate. After whacking those down, sales go up again.

People won't buy if there's a free option. But if they want it, they'll pay for it when there isn't.

The most fundamental job of any producer is to make a product the public wants to buy at a price they want to pay. If you cannot do so, then you don't deserve to be in business.
 

Henrin

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 3, 2010
Messages
60,458
Reaction score
12,357
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
When someone takes it without paying for it, they are depriving the creator (or owner) of the fruits of the labor.

That's like saying I deprive wal-mart of sales because I buy from Target or vice versa. You're can't be deprived of something that you never had.

If you want to sell or give away the copy you purchased, then there's no problem with that as long as you don't retain a copy for yourself. But making copies to sell or distribute to others not only deprives the creator of sales they would have had, it makes you an incredible dick. It means that you know someone's work is valuable, and that others would want it, but you're purposely depriving the creator of revenue.

How does it make me a dick to share my own property? I bought the copy and the copy is mine, so I fail to understand how making a copy of it makes me a dick. It is also only a possibility that people would have bought the product from an establishment that would benefit the original owner, not a sure thing.
 

ocean515

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 26, 2013
Messages
36,760
Reaction score
15,464
Location
Southern California
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Greetings!

I was having a heated disagreement with a good friend over the issue of movies and games being torrented.

His position is basically that because movies and games are merely "ideas" and that digital products like movies, music and games can be replicated with no loss to the person in possession of said media thus there is no "theft", they have no value. You cannot "put a price" on ideas. He used the old tropes of "I wasn't going to buy it anyway, I wanted to test the game first so it's okay..."

I contend that Torrenting movies, music and games is inherently an immoral practice. You are in fact, stealing from the creators of the content. While I have very little pity for the A-List actors whose payout might suffer if their movies don't do so well at the box office due to torrents being released, it's still wrong. Often the "talent" isn't who suffers, it's the stage workers, construction teams, set designers and the like who get paid less. Who watch as productions move overseas for cheaper rates to help alleviate the cost of loss from file sharing theft.

What say you DP denizens?

Agreed. Total theft. No different than what China has become famous for. Those who steal like this are harming the creators, and no different than any other person who steals money from people.
 

Harshaw

Filmmaker ● Lawyer ● Patriot
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 1, 2005
Messages
38,750
Reaction score
13,832
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
The most fundamental job of any producer is to make a product the public wants to buy at a price they want to pay. If you cannot do so, then you don't deserve to be in business.

Right. Is there anything, anything at all, that you would pay for if you had the option to take it for free?

Of course there isn't. The only reason you'd do it is charity, which isn't "business."
 

WillyPete

The sound of one chao mooing.
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Sep 17, 2013
Messages
4,695
Reaction score
2,404
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
It's not theft in the normal sense, but I do feel a bit bad when it's an small indie developer versus a big brand charging $60 (!) for a new game.

That said, I know of instances where content was pirated and the reviews from the pirate convinced other to legitimately purchase. No bad publicity, and all that.

Additionally, I think there is something to the idea that the content creator should secure their products if they want them to be secure. There are game that are effectively immune from this as they depend on Internet servers to run properly. Pirates sometime set up pirate-only servers to get around this, but they don't get the full experience that way.

Utility programs often include schemes where you have continuing maintenance costs or you lose out on support/upgrades.

And my final argument is that all of these industries (comic books being a possible exception) are booming. Piracy isn't hurting them overall.
 
Top Bottom