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August 31, 2013


In another Doctor Who related point, my wife is a big Who fan and watches all the new ones. We have BBC America so, in theory, Bob's you're uncle, no piracy required.

In point of fact, however, the BBCA versions have several minutes cut out of their running time for extra commercials. So, one of my marital duties is to download new episodes of Who so she can watch them complete and uncut.

This is how we watch almost all the BBCA shows these days, including the very excellent Broadchurch.

As an owner of a Nook myself, I sympathize.

If you need to share some Lend Me books, I've got several. Even the ones I haven't self-published :)

Your best bet IS to get a tablet device: iPad maybe, but getting the tablet version of Nook HD or Kindle Fire would work just as well (and probably cheaper, DAMN YOU STEVE JOBS). If you get a non-book retailer tablet (iPad, Galaxy, ASUS thingee, etc) you can get the reader apps for Nook FREE and keep your existing Nook collection. Another thing you'll want to do is get the Overdrive Media Console app (FREE) and check out ebooks via your public library system.

Seriously though, if you can find it in your heart to purchase the ebook version of Strangely Funny, a humor-horror anthology, and see about leaving a nice review for it on the retailer site, please and thanks!

My rule of thumb is that "piracy" by customers indicates a market failure, specifically that the seller has failed to correctly determine the free market price of their product, or has failed to meet the demand.

This argument is known as "blaming the victim".

People who take things without paying for them are criminals. They belong in prison.

Which doesn't change the fact that content creators and providers are leaving 100's of millions of dollars on the table by not adapting to a changing world.

I prefer e-ink too. I think it reduces eye stain compared to backlit LCD screens.

Go Kobo: Maybe the Kobo Aura when it comes out. The newer, hi-res e-ink screens really are great. And at least the Kobo readers use the Adobe standard DRM system instead of the Nook, for which Barnes & Noble just diddled the bits a little to encrypt their ePubs. Then again, if you've got a lot of Barnes & Noble Nook books you want want to stick with their reader and download the books you own to the be reader.

But seriously, use the tools originally specified on the i(heart)cabbages site to remove the DRM from the books *you bought* and read them on any ePub reader you like. There are plug-ins for Calibre that can do it.


This depends entirely on how you define "theft". If "theft" is defined as a taking which permanently deprives the owner the use and benefit of the item (and some legal codes do), then IP theft is not theft. Which isn't to say that it can't or even shouldn't be construed as theft, but it is very much to say that it's not as cut and dry as you would suggest. Physical theft and IP theft have far more in common in their spelling than in their nature.

If I took the content of Doctor Science's post and put it on my blog and tried to pass it off as my own, no one would have a problem calling it theft. Plagiarism is theft. Taking content that someone offers for sale without paying for it is theft.

We all understand that rich educated people consider the crimes they commit to be justifiable compared to the crimes that poor uneducated people commit.

But theft is theft.

If you take something, pay for it.

Also, agree that e-ink is the way to go, especially if you want to read outdoors.

Case 1: if my friend and I each buy a different copyrighted e-book, each read ours, then lend each other our reader so we can read the other's book. Case 2: if we both read our book, then make a copy for the other to read, read said copy, then delete it. In neither case is the author paid twice. In both cases the readers have use of the other's e-book for long enough to read once, and no more. The outcomes are identical from the perspectives of the readers and the author. Case 2 is IP theft, but case 1 isn't.

IP theft generally has more in common with breach of contract than it does with physical theft. Just as plagiarism has more in common with fraud than it does with physical theft.

No it isn't "IP theft" its just theft.

You think that the thefts that you commit are OK. They're not.

Sure you are a rich dude, that's fine. That doesn't mean that it is OK for you to commit theft. I don't care how much money you make, theft is still a crime. If you steal from people, you are still a criminal even if you make a lot of money.

Real books float, for awhile.

I stole two books from my college library several million years ago.

C. S. Lewis' Surprised By Joy, of all things, which I returned furtively to the shelves on a visit several years ago, and on a subsequent visit the volume was removed so on I'm on pins and needles that some sort of forensic detective, Dewey Paige Turner, is on the scent.

The second was the complete works of Arthur Rimbaud, which I'm not done with it yet, because I was put off by the Sylvester Stallone film interpretations.

RImbaud and Lewis? An unlikely pair, like Martin and Lewis.

I had a chance to shoplift Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book years ago, but I rebelled against his rebellion, figuring the bookseller needed his proletarian cut.

So prosecute me.

I would buy an e-ink tablet. In fact, I own a Nook Simple Touch myself, and have used the hell out of it. That said, I would wait to buy anything.

Kobo has just come out with their new models, and it seems that within the next two months or less, we'll be seeing new models out of Amazon and B&N.

The iPad is a walled garden, and many $s will be spent behind those walls. Plus, I just don't like Apple products. If Apple actually put in some work on iTunes so that it worked a lot better under Windows, I might change my tune. That said, I will not hold my breath for that to happen.

As to arguments about piracy and whether or not it is theft, that is too complex to argue, especially here.

As regards to piracy and customers, it really only hurts their customers while the pirates seem to have no trouble at all defeating the DRM and distributing as many copies as they wish.

And that really should be the death knell of DRM. It doesn't work, it does not stop the pirates, and it really only hobbles the users that actually paid for the product.

No it isn't "IP theft" its just theft.

You don't know what you're talking about.

Note that one can violate IP laws simply by singing Happy Birthday without paying royalties or imagining a film that one has watched with a different actor playing one of the roles. IP is an extremely complex network of legal obligations that are often incoherent and inconsistent.

No it isn't "IP theft" its just theft.

1. In a formal, legal sense - you're wrong. IANAL, but I doubt you will find the phrase 'copyright theft'* in many legal documents. Infringement of a copyright monopoly is just that, copyright infringement. The statutes, definition, mechanism of harm, penalties, etc. are really completely different. Nombrilisme's observation that it is probably more akin to breach of contract than anything else (let alone 'theft') is perfectly correct.

2. In an informal sense, it's perhaps marginally more debatable, but...you're still wrong. Nothing has been stolen. "But you are depriving the monopoly holder of her rightful revenues!" you reply. Well, maybe - but obviously not every instance of economic loss is necessarily an instance of theft. Examples abound. Indeed, Copyright monopoly infringement is very literally a type of competition. An unlawful form, at least under the current regime, to be sure, but nevertheless we are getting pretty abstract far afield from 'theft' - e.g., breaking in and taking your TV set.

This is leaving aside the question of whether infringement such as file sharing represents economic loss at all. Certainly the copyright industry's own data has been shown to be, at best, pure fabrication. And there are independent studies showing that the largest infringers are also the biggest spenders, that sharing has a large word-of-mouth type promotional value, etc.

So it may well be that the copyright industry is really just shooting itself in the foot. Which leaves you arguing that infringing on the industry's right to harm themselves with their own bad business decisions is...theft?

3. In a rhetorical sense, you're...well, at least pretty misguided. Repeating "IP theft" over and over again is adding exactly as much to this debate as somebody repeatedly bleating "mari-huana is the devil weed" would be to a drug decriminalization debate. It's not even an actual argument.

And there IS a legitimate debate to be had, both a practical and moral one, over the proper extent of copyright monopoly regulations and what sort would be maximally beneficial to the greatest number.

4. In a practical sense - and this is clearly the actual topic of the OP - you're, well, again, not even wrong. Clearly, file sharing is happening. Period. You can impugn all kinds of nasty motives and moral failings to those engaging in it, and it might make you feel superior somehow, but it's not actually going to affect a thing (especially since it's not very convincing, see points 2 and 3).

As a practical matter, ignoring the question of the whether strong copyright is well-advised in the first place, the thing to do is to figure out what policy measures or business decisions might be made to alter behavior and reduce the level of infringement.

That would be decisions like, oh I don't know, pricing material at a reasonable and appropriate level, or remembering that you're releasing material into a connected global market and laying your distribution plans accordingly...

* Nevermind 'IP theft', whatever it is you think that means. Please, please, let's avoid the ludicrously overbroad 'IP' here - trademark infringement (e.g., selling fake Crest (tm) toothpaste or using the word Xerox to refer to a photocopy) has as little to do with patent infringment (Apple putting some unlicensed bit of tech in a new phone) as either do with the copyright infringement involved in file sharing - which for that matter, is actually a very different from more 'classical' infringement, e.g., making and distributing counterfeit DVDs.

Repeating "IP theft" over and over again is adding exactly as much to this debate as somebody repeatedly bleating "mari-huana is the devil weed" would be to a drug decriminalization debate

You get caught with large quantities of drugs, you're going to do serious time. Whine about it all you want. I don't care.

You steal people's IP, maybe something is going to happen to you.

Again, I don't care. You're a thief, you get busted for stealing, then you whine.

The world doesn't want to hear you whine.

You get caught with large quantities of drugs, you're going to do serious time. Whine about it all you want. I don't care.

Certainly still true most places (especially with the "large quantities" caveat), yet in a number of jurisdictions (Spain, Netherlands, Washington state), drug law and enforcement is notably more lenient than it was a couple of decades ago.

In most cases, that has resulted in an improvement in public health outcomes, public resource outlay, etc.

You may not care, but others who do have been out having a real debate and changing the world -- and the law -- to make it a better place.

You steal people's IP, maybe something is going to happen to you.

I'm not sure what that has to do with supporting your argument that copyright infringement is theft. Something is (maybe) going to happen to you, ergo theft?

Do you think you just proved that the aforementioned marijuana smoking is also theft? Because something is going to happen to you?

Are you saying that institutions which cause "something to maybe happen to you" should never be questioned, debated or altered...because?

This is incoherent. Maybe not EVEN incoherent.

I suggest you either say something to address the actual topic the OP and others here are discussing, or don't say anything at all.

So. I'm fairly certain the first person to create a fire got jobbed out of their IP royalties.

At that point, lacking all copyright protection, the incentive to create disappeared. All innovation ceased forthwith.

And that's how we got here.

Humans probably started using fire before they learned how to create it. So, the guy with the local fire monopoly...

German law has 'removal' as the primary characteristic of theft, so unlicenced copying of data while leaving the origial behind is not theft in the legal sense of the word. It could be debated whether it could be, if the original data got deleted in the process. That does not mean that it is legal. Law had to deal with similar questions before the computer age, e.g. siphoning off electricity. This is in common terms called theft but the penal code had to come up with special §§ for that because it did not fit the strict definition of theft. Law has to be precise (or it would have to deal with broken hearts and stolen kisses too), everyday language not so much.
Interestingly, identity theft has on occasion fitted the definition, although the results tended to be absurd enough to become fodder for popular culture. E.g. a living person got legally declared dead because the thief of his identity card got killed. Legally being dead he had no standing to get his identity back. I can't say whether it is true or an urban legend that he had by highest decree to be issued a new birth certificate (that he had to wait two decades again to become legally adult afterwards is an ivention for sure). That's what you get when a person's existence officially is reduced to a government database.


I didn't know that about BBCA. Are the "Britminutes" included when you watch the streams on bbcamerica.com? Or are they *only* available to "cheaters"?

I think this is a classic example of Not Recognizing What Market You're In, which (as Mike Masnick explains) is fatal when an economics of scarcity turns into an economics of abundance.

The danger for BBCAmerica is particularly acute, because in the UK the audience is their customer, while in the US the audience is the *product*, their customers are the advertizers.

My response to entertainment that isn't available on reasonable terms (whether those have to do with price or DRM) is to enjoy something else instead. It's not like there's any shortage of good books, movies, and TV shows to enjoy.

This normally doesn't enrich the seller any more than my not buying it does, but I feel better about doing that, for a number of reasons, that I would about pirating things.

And sometimes terms change, and the folks I didn't buy from before eventually get my money. Around where I am, for instance, the Key To Time was originally being sold for $100, and I passed it up. When the price on Amazon dropped to $50 for a while this summer, when I was looking for some DVDs to entertain the family during an offline vacation, I bit. Everyone enjoyed it, and the BBC got some money they probably wouldn't have if they kept the price high.

Similarly, I bit on buying Redshirts in ebook form when its publisher, Tor, made it their first DRM-free offering. Enough other people bought it, and liked it, that it won the Hugo last night. I don't know how much the DRM-free nature helped it (at least one of the other titles, _Captain Vorpatril's Alliance_, was sold DRM-free as well, I believe), but I suspect it didn't hurt.

Doctor Science:

I believe that the full and uncut versions are available via video stream, although I'm not 100% sure.

The think with BBCA is that I' m both customer and product. Some pennies out of my enormous monthly cable bill go to them to pay for my subscription but they also have to show me ads to pay for running the channel.

If you're a fan of UK show, IP violations are always there to tempt you. I download the full versions of shows that have been hacked up by BBCA. My co-worker's wife watches shows streamed from the BBC site using Ex Pat Shield, although she actually is an ex-pat, for what's that's worth. Heck, I have some R2 Doctor Who DVDs that my wife bought off of Amazon.co.uk back before my cable company carried BBCA. A lot of TV execs would call watching those on my region free DVD player "theft" of some kind or another.

This seems appropriate.


Might I suggest a 7" android device instead of an ereader? I use my android phone for ebooks, and couldn't be happier with it, but it is a bit on the small side. A 7" device is roughly book size, and the android platform has readers for virtually all ebook formats, plus Nook and Kindle apps. Plus all the goodies that go with being a multi-function computer, rather than a single purpose device.

Also: copyright infringement, not theft. :-)

You steal people's IP, maybe something is going to happen to you.

Well, yes, _something_ of some sort may always happen to you.

With _theft_, what generally happens is you're arrested. At least, that's what I'm assuming you're referring to.

And, of course, copyright infringement is a _civil_ infraction, not a crime. So you cannot be arrested for it. You can only be sued by the copyright holder.

(Certain very very specific forms of copyright infringement are crimes. In this discussion, however, we are talking about people pirating ebooks, and the only way that can trigger a crime, as far as I can tell, is if you distribute more than $2,500 of them in six months. We were not talking about that.)

And, of course, it's not 'theft' in _any_ sense, but that's been adequately explained above by jack lecou. It's not the crime of theft and it's not the general definition of the word theft either.

Although he failed to point out that theft is a crime, and copyright violation of the sort we're talking about is _not_ a crime.

Saying 'Copyright violation is theft' isn't like saying 'Assault is theft'. Those are, at least, both crimes and the analogy could sorta make sense.

It's more like you're saying 'The landlord failing to repair my radiator is theft'. Uh, no. It's something that could be sued over, in fact, the law specifically provides grounds to sue over that, but that's not even vaguely 'theft', or even a _crime_. The police will not come out and arrest your landlord for that, and neither will they arrest someone for violating copyright. (Actually, this is a bad analogy, because landlords, in some places, actually _can_ be arrested for being slumlords if they persistently refuse to maintain their properties.)

There are some very cheap Android tablets around, and a 7 inch Android tablet makes the perfect e book reader for me, when combined with Moon Reader Free (from the Android Market). Lots of customisable control options. Lovely.
I find the bigger tablets unwieldy after a short time, but the 7 inch tablets are perfect.

I know you've probably already tried this, but there are two (related) possibilities here:

1) Your Nook needs charging. Don't charge it via a computer; charge it via a wall outlet. So far as I have been able to tell, charging can be done via any uUSB cord. Give it a goodly while to charge, and then hold the button in the back. Hopefully, this will give you a soft reset.

2) Your uUSB cord that is plugged into the computer is deficient in some small way that means that your computer just will not freaking recognize it. If the Nook is still under warranty (take it into a store and have them check), you can get a new cord for free. If it's not, then you may want to invest in a new (stupid frakking proprietary!) uUSB Nook cord.

I've had both of these issues occur with my GlowTouch, so don't give up the ship yet!

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