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Comment Robbery commited at sea (Score 1) 806

Do you mean stealing, as in shoplifting game boxes from a store?

Then I'd guess you're right.

But I think you're referring to unauthorized copies, i.e. copyright law infringement.

My take is that the use of the term piracy was a successful marketing feat of the pro-IP lobbies. In order to associate copyright law infringement with the negative views on the violence and cruelty depicted in popular culture and commonly associated with robbery committed at sea.

Such associations have the hidden intent to liken copyright law infringement with the infringement of natural law rights (the right to life and to property - although the right to property can be debated).

The effect is that copyright and patent law are increasingly deemed as natural law: The authors and inventors must be rewarded. We owe them so. They deserve protection.

In fact, some little research will show that copyright and patent law were created not so long ago as incentives (even called privileges in some countries). Before these laws were created, the natural law was to copy what was useful with the means available at the time.

I'd say that continuing to use the term piracy, instead of copyright or patent law infringement, is to inadvertently cave in to marketing tactics of industries that have established and maintained themselves mainly because of the human created systems of state granted privileges (and not necessarily the value of their work).

Not to say that I'm against the granting of temporary and limited privileges, when they are actual incentives to the production of something useful, that wouldn't be produced otherwise.

But I'm surely against the granting of disproportionate privileges without regards to their actual need as incentives and the disincentives they weigh, curbing innovation in many ways.

The main trouble the pro-IP industries now face is that the means to copy are nowadays much more generally accessible. The "natural law" or "natural ways" of copying what is useful or pleasing is increasingly more accessible. With such, the industries that maintain themselves mainly because of the privileges they were granted, instead of the value they create, are being challenged. It's the case of old business models.

It really is time to think of exchanging patent and copyright law for more effective and proportionate incentives: such as temporary tax exemptions instead of monopolies and artificial controls on the common and natural ability to copy, modify and distribute.



IBM Adds Videogame Console Chips to Mainframes 103

GoIBMPS3 writes "Soon the powerful 'Cell' microprocessor that fuels Sony's PlayStation 3 console will be available in IBM mainframe computers. The intent is to allow high-performance machines to run complex online games and virtual worlds. 'The integration initially will be accomplished by networking the mainframe with IBM's Cell blades, but eventually the Cells will be plugged more directly into the mainframes via PCI adapter cards, IBM said. It's the latest twist in IBM's years-long effort to keep mainframes not only relevant but also cutting-edge. IBM is touting the partnership as an example of hybrid computing--a trend sweeping the high-performance computing industry as companies augment general-purpose servers with special-purpose chips that to accelerate particular tasks.'"

FTC To Investigate 'Viral Marketing' Practices 299

mcflaherty writes "The Federal Trade Commission has stated that it is going to investigate the use of 'Viral Marketing' by corporations. This is the type of advertising that seeks to start a word of mouth campaign for the product via consumers themselves. Previously, consumers themselves set the buzz. But lately advertisement firms are stepping up to the plate themselves, seeding the market with buzz that looks independent of the company, but is in fact funded by them. The crew at Penny Arcade contend that corporate generated buzz is not Viral Marketing, and perhaps Guerrilla Marketing would be a more apt term. Either way, it appears to be a profitable advertising model."

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