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Razorback2 Servers Seized 365

An anonymous reader writes "Slyck is reporting that Belgian and Swiss authorities have raided and seized Razorback2's servers. From the article: 'Razorback2 was an eDonkey2000 indexing server - very different in nature from an indexing site such as ShareReactor. Unlike indexing sites, Razorback2's index was only available through an eDonkey2000 client such as eMule. While it does not host any actual files or multimedia material, it does index the location of such files on the eDonkey2000 network. The legality of such indexing remains questionable, however this has not deterred copyright enforcement actions.'"
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Razorback2 Servers Seized

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  • Arrest Me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lbmouse ( 473316 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @12:24PM (#14777142) Homepage
    Here's the address of a bank down the street that you can rob if you want:

    334 South Main

    Now come arrest me.
  • by neo ( 4625 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @12:25PM (#14777161)
    You can link to illegal content. You're pointing to it, you aren't hosting it. It's perfectly legal. What's wrong with these people ^h^h^h^h^h^h lawyers? Is this how the new administration uses it's "terrorist" powers to do what they like when they like to do it?


    But until we the people stand up for our rights, we wont have any.
  • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @12:34PM (#14777242)
    > > How come when the property of regular citizens is siezed for investigation of a piracy or drug-related crime, you always hear the term "raid."
    >That's because regular citizens "loot" these materials, while Microsoft "find" tax loopholes ;)

    I am erotic. You are kinky. They are perverts.
    We protect. Our allies enforce. Our enemies oppress.
    Congress appropriates. Microsoft lobbies. Citizens steal.

    With apologies to Calvin and Hobbes - if you think verbing weirds language, wait'll you try conjugation!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @12:34PM (#14777245)
    By shutting down Razorback2, the ease with which pirates can obtain illegal content online will slow dramatically

    ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaa! suuuure
  • ROFL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @12:37PM (#14777264)
    Just goes to show how clueless you are. I get excellent speeds with emule (often better than the torrents which are leeched to death lately), and often over a thousand sources. Downloading a 2 or 3 movies in a day is not uncommon at all.

    BT like NGs has the very latest stuff (telesync and such), but other than that it fucking sucks. To find stuff, you gotta look thru thousands of posts everyday - most of which are total crap and old shit. Quite a waste of time (the torrent search sites hardly help).

    On emule, search for ANYTHING - ANYTIME! It WILL be there basically. From old stuff like Louis de funes movies or Terence Hill and Bud Spencer, to TV episodes, to entire discographies zipped, endless GBs of ebooks of all kinds (IT, electronics, woodworking, cooking, etc), magazines, apps, games, anything! You name it, it's there! Anything you could ever want just one search away, no need to go thru websites with tons of crap posted everyday to find anything worth DL'ing. There's got to be about 100 trillion more times as much stuff on ed2k than BT. You'll easily find the very latest build of every app out there on ed2k as soon as it's out, whereas go to any common BT site like TPB, you'll see old crappy versions of everything being posted everyday - it's beyond ridiculous the amount of crap posted everyday (things like nero 6.0 when 6.6.x.x has been out for over a year, and even v7 has been out for ages, old insecure builds of winamp, etc).

    In fact, if you had been paying attention lately to news, you'd see it's becoming more popular than ever - more than BT, and for a reason. I couldn't care less if BT died, it may have been a good idea, but the thing sucks. Especially with the latest issues we see (overloaded trackers like TPB, some of the best clients banned, etc). Fuck BT, long live emule!
  • by amliebsch ( 724858 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @12:40PM (#14777286) Journal
    You can link to illegal content. You're pointing to it, you aren't hosting it. It's perfectly legal.

    I'm not an international lawyer or anything, but it occurs to me that the law might be different outside the U.S.

  • by igotmybfg ( 525391 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @12:41PM (#14777300) Homepage
    The servers were not in the US. This has nothing to do with the 'current administration'.
  • by NiteShaed ( 315799 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @12:44PM (#14777329)
    Swiss authorities arrested the site's operator at his residence in Switzerland this morning and searched his home.

    Searched his home? For what, burned copies of Spider Man 2 and illicit Metallica albums?

    By shutting down Razorback2, the ease with which pirates can obtain illegal content online will slow dramatically.

    Two comments about this part....

    One, I hate it when they make it seem like the main users of these systems are organized crime lords sitting in their pirate CD distribution warehouses. I guess that image is more dramatic than nerds looking for episodes of StarGate Atlantis though.

    Two, slow "piracy" down dramatically? Do they actually believe this? Taking down one ed2k server, however large it is, hardly strangles p2p file sharing....

  • by Spad ( 470073 ) <> on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @12:46PM (#14777344) Homepage
    The operators of this eDonkey site chose not to exercise control over files being traded by users which including those containing child pornography, bomb-making instructions and terrorist training videos.

    In other news, phone directories choose not to exercise control over people they list, which include paedophiles, bomb-making experts and terrorists.
  • Re:Interesting (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Overly Critical Guy ( 663429 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @12:50PM (#14777376)
    How come when the property of regular citizens is siezed for investigation of a piracy or drug-related crime, you always hear the term "raid."

    A raid is an ability the law provides for. Content creators have just as much rights to protection by the law as "regular citizens" do. It's silly to pretend the Razorback servers were being used for some grand, benign purpose. Everybody including the server owners knows what happens on the E2DK network.
  • by Tweekster ( 949766 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @01:02PM (#14777478)
    Who is this "we" you are talking about...

    in all honesty it would be OTHER people developing, you simply using it, and pretending you are part of something.
  • by AntiDragon ( 930097 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @01:06PM (#14777504)
    I find it somewhat worrying. It's an index, right? It's not the infringing content per se, but a list of where such content could be found. Morally, pointing the way to some of this content is wrong...but what law is it breaking?

    Look at it another way. Let's say I've learnt of someone who gives away burnt CDs. I don't have any myself but but I'm fully aware of how to contact this guy and get freebies. So in conversation I let other's know too. I'm not forcing anyone to do anything and although it may be immoral not to turn the guy in, I'm fully within my rights to share what I know. I'm basically indexing this guy's contact details for other people to obtain. How they use those details is beyond my control.

    Shakey analogy aside, where does protecting copyright end? Shall we go close down a library because a few of the books describe how to perform an illegal act (Shock! Horror! This book describes how someone murdered an innocent! No!)?

    Or am I just getting pissed off and ranting? Probably both to be honest...
  • Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slashdotwannabe ( 938257 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @01:11PM (#14777536)
    As long as companies like Adobe justify charging $700 for Photoshop, and rationalize it partially "to make up for the ten people who steal it", I will have no sympathy for companies who lose money to software piracy.

    As long as products like iTunes charge a reasonable price for a reasonable product (both reasonables debatable, but the point stands), I will happily plunk down my $.99 cents per song.

    In other words, don't make me feel like you're screwing me, and I won't feel like I have to screw you back.

  • Re:Ah... edonkey (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) <.Satanicpuppy. .at.> on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @01:14PM (#14777552) Journal
    It's not questionable. That's like saying the postal service is "questionable" because illegal things make it into the mail. Is the telephone network questionable because you can call criminals, or plan an illegal activity? Are fricking lightwaves questionable because you can see things you're not supposed to see?

    No, in fact, it's not questionable. Copyright infringement is illegal, therefore illegal stuff has made it into a perfectly normal information conduit. This is not the conduit's fault, it is the fault of the individuals who are putting the material on there.

    End of story.
  • They lose again! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by plasmacutter ( 901737 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @01:19PM (#14777589)
    So.. i read this and decided to kick on amule just to check things out.

    a search for "spiderman" in the absence of razorback is still producing results.. over a thousand and still going. Not that I want or like spiderman, but hey.. it still works you **AA klods, you missed a few thousand other servers.
  • by typical ( 886006 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @01:26PM (#14777642) Journal
    opensource community create a real completely decentralized p2p network?


    - It has to be truly decentralized. No main server. Whatsoever. Except websites to download clients. It has to be able to discover new clients/networks/etc...


    - Specs have to be open so anyone can implement a client.


    - It has to be secured. Using SSL for example.

    No. What would your goal be in using SSL?

    - It has to work from behind firewalls.

    Check (unless both people are behind firewalls, in which case they've chosen to cut themselves off from the real peer-to-peer Internet anyway).

    - It has to be secure enough to differentiate dups and fake files.

    Check (via add-on systems like Bitzi).

    - Searches have to be decentralized, but cached, and verified for integrity.

    Check to decentralized and cached (at least people have talked about it...not sure whether it's actually done). What does "verified for integrity" mean?

    - Of course, it has to be ad-free/spyware-free.

    Well, there has to be such a servent, yes.

    - It has to be built upon security, safety/integrity of the files and users in mind.

    What do you mean by this?

    - Most of all, it has to be thought off as a legal project with legal uses so it can't be stopped.


    Use Gnutella recently?
  • Legal schmegal (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @01:28PM (#14777654)
    The legality of such indexing remains questionable, however this has not deterred copyright enforcement actions.

    Well, think of it this way - the content industry claims billions in annual losses. Getting sued over the confiscated servers, even for treble damages, after getting the government to do your dirty work for you is a drop in the bucket compared to that.

  • Re:Sucks... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @01:31PM (#14777676)
    Excuse my ignorance,

    I thought KADEMLIA did not use a server. Sure, extra users will create extra overhead to be shared out across the network, but the increased network size will mean that each user still bears the same burden?
  • by typical ( 886006 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @01:51PM (#14777845) Journal
    The indexing servers are there to directly facilitate piracy and connect users to other users.



    P2P filesharing does one major thing that previous mechanisms *did not do*. It spreads the costs of distribution out over all the users. That means that the original content publisher need not spend lots of money to distribute his content.

    Sure, Paramount doesn't like this, because Paramount has an *existing* business model that has been developed and can address the costs of distribution. It provides no benefit to Paramount.

    A lot of our legal publication channels have evolved to deal with (and even rely on) a system where distribution is the primary cost. Book authors get money from publishers, who perform the task of publication and distribution.

    If I run out and make a cool movie or a Linux distro or *anything*, *anything* at all that's large and that a lot of people would like, I have to offload distribution costs. There are a couple ways to do this.

    (a) Get someone like sourceforge to pay distribution costs.

    (b) Offload costs to all users.

    (c) Other approaches that haven't seem to have caught on much.

    (a) works okay for some content. However, (b) is not illegal or criminal or anything else along those lines.

    The reason that there is so much copyright infringement on P2P filesharing systems is simply because there is a lot of demand for infringing content, and the main barrier was cost of distribution. I can't print up thirty thousand copies of Stephen King's latest novel and send them out to people who want infringing content for free. P2P filesharing cuts the cost of distribution down to so low a level that this barrier goes away.

    Now, I happen to get a lot more good out of noninfringing content that is given away freely than infringing content. I use a huge amount of entirely free software every day, whereas my infringing content is the occasional ebook or movie, plus a couple CDs worth of audio that I listen to on loop. The fact that I can write a bunch of high-resolution textures for Quake II and distribute them over a P2P filesharing system at little cost to myself is phenomenal. Maybe this isn't true of everyone -- I don't know.

    All I want to point out is that shutting down of P2P servers as "criminal" is absolutely absurd. If you are *not* content-neutral, if you are doing something like "download the latest and greatest movies here" on your main webpage, then there might be an issue. However, if you are doing nothing other than providing content-neutral services, then you are simply providing a service that changes (in a good way) the costs of distribution. The fact that this conflicts with the systems that we've built up to fund content creators, which are currently adapted to a different set of costs, is simply an unfortunate quirk.

    I can understand maybe shutting down Napster, because it was definitely not content-neutral -- searching for the year of someone's album seems to be very likely to be intended for copyright infringement. But ed2k servers are content-neutral. Shutting one down simply *because* distributed distribution costs lend themselves well to infringement and because they are thus often used to infringe is simply unacceptable, in my view.
  • More info? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @01:58PM (#14777898)
    Will you give me:
    * The floorplans to the bank?
    * The hours of the guards?
    * Details on the type of security, and escape routes?
    * Instruction for nerve agents to attack the staff with?

    At some point you would be going to far.

    You Imply that the address is not enough, well fine, its not. But there is a line, it can be crossed, and it won't get clarified by bad analogies on slashdot.
  • Re:Hmm (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @02:21PM (#14778072)
    yes but with adobe it's pretty much a monopoly.

    That would be like saying "the city water system charges a fixed amount for water, if you dont like it dont use it, but dont "steal" from them by collecting rain in buckets"
  • Re:Hmm (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @02:24PM (#14778092)
    iTunes charge a reasonable price

    iTunes screws you. charges ~$10/GByte or roughly 10 times less than Apple and you choose format and bit rate. no DRM.

  • Re:More info? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @02:53PM (#14778358)
    Hello world, there's a guy who apparently is...

    So your not giving the information, only where to find it, right?

    Well, what the information *is* makes a difference. Is it army positions, or apple pie recipes?

    To find the balance of whats right means considering many things: what information - what motive for sharing it - what method of sharing (its effectiveness) - what effect it has on: people | society | business...

    "Common carrier" is meant to be a *legal* definition to clarify the issues, not a *moral* judgement about what it's OK to do.

    ps - we're just going to change the laws if the practical situation does not change to the moral line they decide to strive for
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @03:29PM (#14778681)
    There was no practical reason for taking down Razorback.
    The only reason, it was well known.
    If you want make a show. You don't take down a small
    Site that no one every heard of you attack the more popular one.

    Did this affect the donkey network? No.
    My emule client made a beep when that server dropped off the net. 10 second later it reconnects to one of the 100's of real servers out there and restarts my download. lia []

    The internet and internet applications are tuff and by design were made to work around disruptions. It was designed to work even if segmented after a nuclear war.

    So I'm sure it's more than a match for the MPAA.

  • Re:Sucks... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @03:30PM (#14778688)
    How much do you send to public radio stations? You aren't stealing their hard work are you? When you fix someone's computer and they give you their old monitor in exchange, you list that as a barter sale on your income tax don't you? Hope you aren't a hypocrite.
  • by worb ( 935866 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @03:36PM (#14778736)
    Razorback2 never gave anyone anything. It was simply a server which passed on information others sent to each other. From the press release:
    "The operators of this eDonkey site chose not to exercise control over files being traded by users which including those containing child pornography, bomb-making instructions and terrorist training videos."
    They chose not to exercise control just like common carriers choose not to exercise control. Would we punish phone companies for not screening all calls for terrorist threats? Of course not. They have no control over what kind of calls people make, just like Razorback2 has no control over what kind of content passes through the server. Well actually, the "content" is more like links to content...

    If you were to be used in an equivalent example, you would be a phone company which chose to let others freely place calls on their phone network.

  • Re:More info? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Maggott ( 849849 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @03:44PM (#14778817) Homepage
    It's dangerous to treat potential as the actual event.

    For example, say you hand me a nuclear weapon with a big red button on it, then drop me in the center of Manhattan.

    Does that make you guilty of aiding a terrorist attack?

    If you thought yes, then no offense, but you're being a dumbass.


    Because if you handed me a nuke and dropped me off in Manhattan, I'd hitch a ride on the bus, go home, throw the nuke in a closet and spend the rest of the day playing Castlevania, that's why.

    Now, in the case of an indexing service, you can point to the fact that people did proceed to download copyrighted material. But it's totally inappropriate to assume that providing the information alone is enough to presume guilt.

    If the guy walks in and gasses the clerks at the bank, you might have a point. On the other hand, if he looks at your plans and uses them to decide on the strategic placement of gas masks and changing guard schedules in order to reinforce the bank's security, am I still justified in throwing you in jail for giving out that information?

    Everything we do publicly aids both good and bad things. When we stop Dr. Evil from destroying the Earth, we're also saving the lives of every child molester on Earth. When we publish phone books, we're providing great convenience and utility to some people while providing ready-made lists of potential scam targets to others.

    It's bad policy to say that making information publicly available constitutes aiding the people who misuse it.
  • Re:Decentralize (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PFI_Optix ( 936301 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @03:53PM (#14778870) Journal
    If I buy a CD, which I buy often enough, if I want to share with people, I should be able to.

    As a musician, I'm going to say you're dead wrong there. Either the label or the artist themselves has invested a great deal of time and money in creating and recording the music. Because they made the investment, they should have the right to control distribution of the music.

    Loan the CD out all you want. Make all the copies you want for your own personal use. But every time you give that song away to someone else, you inhibit their ability to recover their investment.

    But hey, give away all the music you want to. Encourage the people you give it to, to do the same. When they stop producing the kind of music you like because it's not profitable and yet another fake blonde with surgically enhanced curves tops the charts with soulless, mindless music cut straight from a corporate "one hit wonder" template, you'd better not complain. If you don't want people buying good music, don't expect artists and labels to invest what it takes to get it to you.

    Disclaimer: upon reading this post, I realize the language can come across as rather antogonistic. Understand that this is something that affects me and my friends personally, and it really bothers me to see people who are apparently ignorant not only of the law, but of what their actions do. Consequences are ignored all too often in this nation, especially when they only impact others. I've no love of the RIAA and their goon squad tactics, but two wrongs most certainly do not make a right...and music piracy is wrong.

  • by metroplex ( 883298 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @04:01PM (#14778928) Homepage
    I am Swiss, and I recall having read on the local newspapers that the authorities would "stop toleranting file-sharing" starting in the first quarter of the year 2006. This looks like a demonstration of that intention. It's possible that the "raid" just served as an example for other big networks. Everybody knows, however, that shutting down a server will certainly not stop the network it belonged from being active, and on the contrary it may well push people to find new, better, more anonym ways of indexing and sharing files. (see the shutting down of and the rising of decentralised tracking for bittorrent)
  • by FatSean ( 18753 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @04:26PM (#14779163) Homepage Journal
    Check what these kids are is all mainstream poppy shit that they want because advertisments, MTV and their MTV advertiement watching peers all say you should like it.

    If we keep pirating and make music distribution less profitable, perhaps that bland BS will go away.

    The Music I like was released on tiny little labels, and I'm sure there isn't much profit there to begin with. People who make 'real music' in my opinion, would be doing it even if they couldn't make a cent.

    They do it because they want to do it, not out of any expectation of profit. I'd even argue that the opportunity for profit is what attracts people to the field to create crap 'corporate' music.
  • Re:Decentralize (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mjm1231 ( 751545 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @04:35PM (#14779217)
    Not to mention, it ignores the people who download stuff that they already bought. There are lots of reasons an *cough* hypothetical person would do that. Their CD might be too scratched to rip, or maybe it's something they own on record or tape and can't conveniently rip it themself.

    The biggest incentive to me for purchasing new music in digital format would be that I never have to pay for that song or album again. Why should I pay every time a new medium comes along? When I bought albums in the 70's, it wasn't because I liked round pieces of vinyl. I was paying for the content.

  • by vertinox ( 846076 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @04:39PM (#14779253)
    I'm not an international lawyer or anything, but it occurs to me that the law might be different outside the U.S.

    That is what biased extradition laws and CIA kidnappings are for. ;)
  • Re:Decentralize (Score:2, Insightful)

    by yourlord ( 473099 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @05:57PM (#14779951) Homepage
    Of course you should always keep in mind that your profit motive does not extend to all musicians. I consider it a compliment for someone to listen to my music, and if they like it enough to pass it on I'm grateful. I'd rather have 10 million people hear my music and 10 people pay me for it than 100 people paying me and only them hearing it.

    The money will come with exposure. If you have enough people who like your music then even if only 2% contribute to the cause you're going to make out just fine.

    If someone likes my music, but not enough to pay for it, I'd rather they be able to listen to it than to assault them with lawyers. If they like it and want more then I'm willing to trust that they will put $5 in the pot to fund the next album. If they don't, oh well. I spent a ton of money on gear and computers. I would be recording this stuff even if no one ever paid me a dime so every cent I get is just a nice side effect of something I enjoy doing.

  • PFI_Optix, please pass this along to your friends too... Simply telling people not to share music is a losing battle. What you and the rest of the music industry need to do is look at the causes of piracy, and work on the reasons people do it, not the effects (same goes for movies/games/etc). Ask yourself, why would someone pirate your music? If you talk with people who download music on a regular basis, it's almost always the same responces, A. I just wanted to listen to it to see if I liked it, B. I didn't want the whole album, just this one song, C. I don't think this CD's worth $20 and/or I'm too poor to buy music, I can barely pay my bills, D. "The money's just gonna go to the giant corporations who dominate the industry, the actual musician only gets a little tiny slice, so who cares?"

    So let's look at each one. With A, a very large portion of the time, people like to "try before they buy" and then they say they will go out and actually buy the CD or whatever if they end up liking it. The problem is that once they have it on their machine, it can be much more tempting not to bother with buying it or they didn't think it was worth their money, but they decided to keep it anyway.... This is a problem with supply and demand... people want to hear your music, but everyone makes it so difficult for them, that just downloading an illegal copy of it is the easiest way to check it out usually. If artists offered they're entire albums online, at a lowerer quality bitrate probably, then people could try out your music without the downfalls... If the samples are streamed and/or a lower than adequet compression level, they'll still need to go out and buy a high quality copy.

    B. Online music stores like iTunes (even though I hate them for their misuse of DRM) are fixing this problem as people can get the songs they want and not the ones they don't. However, with most current solutions, the music files usually have so many restrictions on them that people can't use them very easily, so this still may end up backfiring.

    C. This one's pretty simple. The music industry has pushed the limits on what people feel is a fair price for a full album, so if people feel that you are ripping them off, then they'll have no problem ripping you off in return. And as for people who can't afford to buy CDs (like all the college kids who make up the majority of file-sharers), they wouldn't have bought your CD in the first place.

    D. This one's a little confusing, but the common perception of mainstream music is that the artist get a very small cut of the profits, so what do they care anyway? Now of course, not all musicians are on major labels, and some actually get a decent royalty, but as someone has already pointed out, the more mainstream music is, the more likely it is to be pirated, and vice versa. I don't really know how to deal with peoples perceptions, but if you are an independent artist who will actually be making some worthwhile profit from your albums, then try your best to let people know your situation, people feel alot worse about stealing from someone who are struggling to get by than someone who goes on Mtv showing off all their money. And then again if you are one of those people, you've probably got so much money it doesn't really matter....damn I still hate Lars :P

    The point is, treat people right, and they'll usually treat you the same in return...unfortunately the music industry is doing just the opposite, so it will only get worse unless they change.
  • Re:Decentralize (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JesseMcDonald ( 536341 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2006 @07:25PM (#14780720) Homepage
    Loan the CD out all you want. Make all the copies you want for your own personal use. But every time you give that song away to someone else, you inhibit their ability to recover their investment.

    Minor dispute: Giving someone my recording of a song (you can't actually "give" the song itself) is only copyright infringement if I happen to keep a copy for myself in the process. You may not like people getting used CDs from others (since it makes it unnecessary to order new copies of the CDs), but that doesn't make it illegal, immoral, or unethical to do so.

    Primary dispute: The value in an artist's work (whether musical, visual, literary, ...) is in the release (initial publication) of the art itself. Up to the point at which the art is released the producer has complete control. Someone else might create and publish something similar (possibly even identical), but only the producer can choose whether or not to release what he/she created. At the point of release, the work has been expended, the costs have all been paid, and it is up to the producer to find a buyer. If he/she invested wisely, and created something that others value in excess of your costs, then he/she will make a profit from his/her work. If the producer invested badly then he/she will lose money. There is no guarantee that a producer will make back his/her costs; that is an investment risk inherent in any production.

    Similarly, once the terms have been agreed upon, and the work has been released, the creator ought to forfeit any rights to control the use or distribution of the work, just as any other producer would. It is up to the producers to ensure that their investments earn a suitable profit; that responsibility cannot belong to anyone else, much less to society as a whole. If the investments do not earn a profit, that is the fault of the investors (the creators/producers), who did not accurately predict the marketability of the work, or (as is typically the case here) who chose a business model unsuitable for the realities of the market (the impossibility of controlling the distribution of data).

    Lastly, the value of a good (such as a book or CD) depends not only on its immediate value to the buyer, but also in the rights which accompany that good. Those rights typically include direct use, resale, rent, transformation, reverse-engineering, etc. When you strip away these rights, you reduce the value of the item you're selling. Someone who might be willing to buy a CD (with the right to make copies) for e.g $500, knowing that the demand for the CD will lead to a profit in its distribution, would hardly be willing to pay the same for CD suitable only for personal use.

    Copyright, and patents, and their accompanying technological restrictions (DRM), do not create value; they can only serve to create artificial scarcity by controlling distribution. As any economist would tell you, limiting distribution inevitably leads to a poorer society. That, and not a desire for "free stuff", is why I oppose the concept of "intellectual property".

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!