Author Topic: "no reason" and no rights  (Read 10828 times)

ROBOKiTTY

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Re: "no reason" and no rights
« Reply #80 on: October 14, 2012, 07:56:15 AM »
It should be noted that copyright is not necessary to prevent plagiarism. Academia and journalism maintain fairly high standards without help from legislation. Copyright only concerns the form an idea takes, rather than the idea itself, so it's a much lower standard than the broader notion of plagiarism. In reality, the copyright industry and academic integrity are sometimes at odds, because copyright only cares about who owns a particular manner of presentation (rather than who came up with it), while copying a work out of copyright (or even a work you created/own) is still plagiarism.

At my university, there was a year-long copyright dispute between textbook publishers and the school, where the publishers wanted to raise fees, and the school refused. The deadlock led to periods of textbook shortage, and a few of the faculty on the sly resorted to making photocopies and lending out their own free copies from the publishers. Both of those activities were technically illegal, because Canada didn't recognize education as a valid case of fair dealing. Most professors, being law-abiding citizens, had to find ways of coping without breaking the law. Schedules got shifted; students got shafted.

Talk about copyright law being harmful.

As much as US copyright law gets (deservedly) slammed, it did two things better than Canada.

1) Anything produced by the US federal government is automatically public domain. Compare with crown copyright in Commonwealth countries. So rife for abuse that Australia indeed abuses it to cover up information. Canada just tells you, "Nope, couldn't find it."

2) Fair use. Fair dealing has recently become less of a joke in Canada, but the passing of Bill C-11 this year means Canada and the US are now in sync on DRM legislation. Digital millennium indeed.
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Segev

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Re: "no reason" and no rights
« Reply #81 on: October 14, 2012, 06:36:41 PM »
One thing to remember about "fair price" for goods and "fair compensation" for services is that there is no such thing. Okay, that's not quite true, but I need to set the stage for my point. There's no agency, no organization, no review board or collective of experts that can truly say "this is the definitive value of that thing."

The "fair price" for something is, when not lied to nor deceived about what it is they're getting, whatever a person will pay for it. That is the fairest measure of something's worth: how much of a measure of their past work's worth others gave them they are willing to part with for it.

I bring this up because it is crucial to some of the "copyright should be changed, and writers get fair pay for their work and all" discussions. I'm not saying anybody was advocating price controls or the like, but I want to be sure that, in any model one considers, one remembers that truth: a writer's work is worth exactly as much as somebody will pay for the privilege of reading it.

TimtheEnchanter

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Re: "no reason" and no rights
« Reply #82 on: October 14, 2012, 06:44:39 PM »
The "fair price" for something is, when not lied to nor deceived about what it is they're getting, whatever a person will pay for it. That is the fairest measure of something's worth: how much of a measure of their past work's worth others gave them they are willing to part with for it.

The trouble with this is, particularly, when you're dealing with a commodity that people can't live without, the most obvious one being food. (and yeah I know there's a LOT there, including shelter or heat or electricity, but I mean 'reasonably' live without). When companies know they have something people absolutely need, things get ugly, prices become outrageously higher than what the products are actually worth, and you have companies that are essentially holding people hostage. And that moves things even beyond the "Take it or leave it" business mentality I mentioned before, to "Pay me what I want, or die." And despite that it has been often believed that this would make things BETTER for consumers, competitive pricing has done NOTHING to quell the prices of the essentials. Though maybe that's more of a global problem then a local one, because on a global scale, the price of goods sits on a ridiculously vast spectrum. I can't imagine what it must be like to be in a 3rd world country, where people can afford to live on 5 cents per day, and be able to sell to the 1st world where 5 cents can't even buy you a stick of gum.

If that playing field ever gets leveled, maybe this problem would go away, or at least be less extreme. But I doubt that will ever happen. There's too many powerful people who have everything to lose if they sit idly by and let that happen.

Segev

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Re: "no reason" and no rights
« Reply #83 on: October 14, 2012, 06:53:37 PM »
Define "what they're actually worth."

Note that food is not exorbitant, generally. (Gas prices currently are driving it up, and yet people still can afford it even if not as well as before.)

The reason is that there IS so much of it. In fact, a justification for certain government money-giveaway programs is to discourage farmers from making more because there are arguments that food costs too little. (I happen to think such arguments are utter nonsense, but the fact anybody even makes them is support for my point.) If something is crucial to life, and in short supply, it will be astronomical in cost as those who have, over the past time, been deemed of "most worth" to their fellows (by virtue of those fellows giving them money for their goods and services) will offer sufficient that they get first dibs.

Mercifully, this is not quite the case. Food and shelter have market rates that fluctuate but generally are more affordable now than at any time in the past. Medicine is also more plentiful and affordable - not less expensive necessarily, but more affordable and available - than ever before. Because companies that do come up with life-saving drugs can charge an arm and a leg for them to recoup their losses on dead end research and the like, making it worth their while to DO the research. And eventually, those patents do wear out, and "generics" become available.

So, yes. A thing still is worth only what somebody will pay to get it.

TimtheEnchanter

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Re: "no reason" and no rights
« Reply #84 on: October 14, 2012, 07:22:08 PM »
I deem, what the product is actually worth, by the labor and the cost of the materials. Anything above which is profit, which everyone is permitted to have of course. But there has to be such a thing as "reasonable" profit, and a way to avoid the shiny dog turd phenomenon. In short, NOBODY should ever be getting paid gold prices for lead bricks, no matter what the demand for lead is.

And while yes, the more prestigious can take advantage of their infinite pockets to buy things that are in short supply, usually, those consumers aren't the ones who are causing fluctuations. Sadly, that falls into the hands of the fools and the suckers. The people who shell out tons of cash because they don't know they're being ripped off. And it is a very sad society that can actually say it's the fools who get to dictate things like this. They're ultimately the ones who give power to the "elite" who are sucking us dry. Same goes for politics.

While yes, the people who are making unfair changes to the world, politically or economically, are responsible; the ones who let them have that power in the first place, are the fools.

Segev

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Re: "no reason" and no rights
« Reply #85 on: October 14, 2012, 08:30:55 PM »
So, if I take a gold statue crafted by an ancient sculptor in the likeness of a cultural icon that was dug up in India, melt it down using a standing-bike-powered furnace that stores electricity until I build up enough to power the smelter long enough to perform the melting, mix in lead, and then pour it onto a beach in Hawaii, that beach's value has improved by the value of the gold, plus the lead, plus the hours and hours of labor I put into pumping that bicycle?

TimtheEnchanter

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Re: "no reason" and no rights
« Reply #86 on: October 14, 2012, 08:44:32 PM »
I guess that all depends on whether or not playing on a gold beach is worth getting lead poisoning. Or are you classifying that as part of the "price" of the beach, as a way of getting me to accidentally say demand is more important than literal value? Or maybe I'm trying to see a metaphor that isn't even supposed to be there.


Segev

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Re: "no reason" and no rights
« Reply #87 on: October 14, 2012, 09:20:04 PM »
No metaphor. My point is that there is no literal value. If people did not value gold for its rarity and aesthetics, it would have been a nearly worthless material until we discovered electricity. But rarity and aesthetic preference made for scarcity and desirability, making it valuable.

There is no literal value. The labor you put in adds to what you consider the worth of the work to be, but it matters not a whit to the person who buys the result from you; he only cares about the result. This push and pull between whether you're willing to put in the labor in exchange for what he's offering, and whether he's willing to offer what you ask in exchange for the product of your labor, is the only value your labor has.

In fact, most of what people count as "profit" is actually the labor. It's the part that is "above" the "material cost." And the material cost is yet defined as "what it cost the manufacturer to acquire the materials." This price, too, fluctuates based on scarcity of the material and the amount of labor the material-acquisition service was willing to put forth for X amount of profit above THEIR material/overhead costs (whatever those may be).

Demand is all that matters. Not "demand for the product" alone, mind, but demand for the product vs. demand for the currency. Remember that "money" is just a fungible abstract representation of goods and services bartered back and forth. It has no intrinsic value other than whatever material it's made of, and even that is inconstant because...well, let's say that we had "gold standard" currency for a moment: if $1 bought .01 oz of gold because it was literally a receipt saying you owned .01 oz of gold, and suddenly somebody found a way to produce gold out of thin air with practically no effort nor material input at all, the value of the currency would plummet instantly as everybody could get gold trivially.

Supply and Demand are the only things that determine value. Supply by dictating how much there is to go around, and demand by dictating how much somebody would part with in order to get part of the supply. This includes labor. Labor is something that is in supply and in demand. How badly it is in demand vs. how much of it is in supply determines how much somebody will pay for it and how much somebody will TAKE for it.

Victoria Victrix

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Re: "no reason" and no rights
« Reply #88 on: October 14, 2012, 11:18:10 PM »
Just to chime in on DRM however...

I am and always will be anti-DRM.  I strongly object to being treated like a thief, and being restricted from doing what I want (short of "reasonable" illegality) with the property I have bought and paid for.
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Segev

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Re: "no reason" and no rights
« Reply #89 on: October 15, 2012, 03:50:47 AM »
Given that, while the number of pirated things is higher with non-DRM enforced games, the actual profits don't seem to be generally impacted, I think DRM has proven itself to be a waste of time and money.

And yes, it IS offensive to force people who pay for a ticket to the movie to go through TSA while the back door to the theater is unlocked and everybody can grab the 3D glasses for free from the back alley.

ROBOKiTTY

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Re: "no reason" and no rights
« Reply #90 on: October 15, 2012, 05:42:47 AM »
There are several aspects to the paying-farmers-not-to-produce issue, which is a bit more complicated. In the US, it's a holdover from post-Depression subsidies. The explosion in agricultural production from mechanization is generally regarded as one of the causes of the Great Depression. Falling food prices forced farmers off their land, and contributed to a chain of events leading to, in the end, people being unable to afford food.

The world today is a great deal more globalized than the early 20th century, so flooding world markets with cheap first-world exports can threaten to bankrupt small farmers in developing countries. On the other hand, when independent farmers go out of business, multinational megacorporations are going to step in and grab their land.

Much of the world uses farming subsidies to encourage overproduction, e.g. in Europe and Africa (and also in the US, oddly enough). This also has environmental ramifications, namely soil erosion and desertification.
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Noyjitat

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Re: "no reason" and no rights
« Reply #91 on: October 15, 2012, 06:05:35 AM »


How much would it cost to run? Probably about 1/10th of what it does right now, BUT how many people will stick around? Would it be worthwhile? For the players yes, but how many would actually stay around and pay every single month? How long could the game stick around in that state?

We'll since the game was making way more money from the paragon market than it was from subscriptions it wouldn't matter. They could simply leave the paragon market running and still continue to make money from that without adding anything new to it. Because you know more and more people over the next few years would continue to try the game out and buy items from the store. The market had tons and tons of items. If someone spends 5$ a week at the store that normally wouldn't pay a subscription fee to begin with that's extra money. And that's what they hope for when they do free to play. Get that one person that won't buy a subscription but will occasionally throw money at them.

I was both a subcriber and buyer on the paragon market. I had 3 paid accounts one was tier9 vip with over 90 reward tokens from the amount of points I had purchased  and the other 2 had between 15 and 20 tokens from both purchases and earned. My brother had a subscription account with 20+ tokens. That alot of cash coming from just 2 people.

TimtheEnchanter

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Re: "no reason" and no rights
« Reply #92 on: October 15, 2012, 05:15:08 PM »
Supply and Demand are the only things that determine value. Supply by dictating how much there is to go around, and demand by dictating how much somebody would part with in order to get part of the supply. This includes labor. Labor is something that is in supply and in demand. How badly it is in demand vs. how much of it is in supply determines how much somebody will pay for it and how much somebody will TAKE for it.

Heh, well I know it happens, but it's just stupid, and I can't say that any other way. It's simply a bad way to run a society, since it guarantees poverty by its very nature. And that includes the value of labor. For example, I always found it fascinating that when I was doing heavy labor jobs, I got paid in peanuts, but clerical jobs paid twice or three times as much. While it was logical because my labor jobs required the mental capacity of a chimpanzee to do, it also seemed backwards, because my cost of living was HIGHER when I was doing the labor jobs. Why? Because I had to eat healthier and more often to keep up with the labor job.

The other problem with supply/demand is that it's so easily manipulated. It's a common phenomenon, that systems work best in our world before we understand how the systems work. Once we figure it out, we start hacking it, and the system begins to fail. Take college degrees, for instance. I firmly believe, that the push to encourage EVERYONE to go to college was never for the benefit of the workers. Quite the opposite. I think it's being done to eliminate the value of the degree, and remove from the job market what was once a bargaining chip for the little guy. Even society's nearly zealous obsession with having families may exist for the same reason. Exponentially adding to the workforce to reduce the value of individual workers.

It's just bad. Bad enough that there are some people who are in positions where they can name any price they want for a service or a product, but even worse that we live in a world where there are jobs that don't pay enough to keep the thriftiest person alive.

Segev

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Re: "no reason" and no rights
« Reply #93 on: October 15, 2012, 05:29:42 PM »
It is more that getting educated to the point to do clerical work well cost those people - or somebody - significant sums. Greater than it cost to get you to the point of being able to do manual labor. Thus, there are fewer people capable of doing the clerical work. Shorter supply.

If they never offered anybody enough to cover their CoL on labor jobs, then labor would truly die off and there would be nobody to do them. Thus, supply would go down, demand remain constant, and wages for labor jobs would rise. Right now, for instance, plumbers in the US can make six figures because so few people go to vocational schools anymore. Constant or increasing demand, diminishing supply of the labor force.

Supply and demand do NOT create poverty by definition. In fact, allowing people to put their own worth on the goods and services they provide and acquire is the only way to encourage wealth-creation. The old adage of a rising tide elevating all boats is true. The US conception of "poverty" typically includes 3 square meals a day and cable HDTV and internet, these days. And we've only started losing that as the higher quality-of-lifestyle types have been hammered at to "bring them down" to fairness levels. All a "regulated" economy, taht tries to find "fair" prices and enforce them based on some governing body's whim, can ever do is hammer down the nails that rise too high; it can't actually pull up the ones that are lower. That happens when the rising nails find they need to pull up more in order to get more support to rise even higher.