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Old 02-27-2007, 12:20 PM   #15
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When I mentioned to the fellow who was working very, very hard to be able to connect to free Wifi from anybody, private homes particularly, that it was, in essence, stealing, his reply was "there's no law against it." And then there's "the Coast Guard isn't going to search your boat for pirated" [software, CDs, etc.]. That doesn't make what the person does right, it just means he probably isn't going to get caught. This thread is about the moral thing to do, not about whether you're going to get caught.

I don't worry that a magazine is going to "catch" me reproducing an article for my Cruiser's Dictionary, but I request permission, and I always give credit to the original source. It's the moral thing to do. You might say that my ego is too inflated to take credit for somebody else's product, and you would probably be right.

It's easy for your computer to latch onto a Wifi signal that is strong and open over the Wifi signal that is set up specifically for the marina's, or mooring field's, customers. I've latched onto those occasionally, too. But I don't have a Vonage telephone system hooked up to my computer to talk for half an hour or so to the Caribbean or UK. That is taking all the bandwidth that the average household has. This fellow actually refused to pay for his Wifi connection, even when that option was available to him. That, my friend, is wrong no matter how you look at it.

There is a difference between a book being shared, or a CD being given to, or sold on to, somebody else, and that same book or CD copied and passed on, so now two people are using two copies of a product that has benefitted the publisher and author only once. The creator's pocketbook is directly affected by these acts of "piracy". Suppose you earned your living by driving long-distance freight hauling truck, paid by the cubic foot of goods you carried. If half the trailer's volume was taken up by goods that had been stuffed in there by non-paying people who felt "you're going there anyway, may as well take my stuff, too - and I'm too poor to pay for it to be shipped, so what's your problem?" Your income is impacted by this. You can throw the stuff off your truck easily, compared to the less obvious pirating of intellectual products.

In one of the ports we found ourselves, probably in Malaysia, one of the boats in the anchorage wanted to buy the navigation and charting software, The Cap'n. It is very expensive, so he went around to the various boats in the anchorage with a proposal. He would buy the software and make copies of it for anybody willing to ante up an equal share of the cost of the original program. I believe that four other boats agreed to this. How can anybody consider this fair or equitable to the company who put this program and chart package together? It is illegal. It is also immoral.

If you cannot afford these fancy bells and whistles, you don't have to buy them. You're not going to run aground because you don't have them, you're not going to go hungry because you don't have them. The only justification I've heard is that you won't get caught. Pah!

Okay, Jeanne, time to step off your soapbox.

Sorry for the rant. Can you tell I feel strongly about this?

Fair winds
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Old 02-27-2007, 01:56 PM   #16
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No, the Coast Guard may not catch you but we cruisers are also visited by the customs and excise services and they will certainly be interested in pirate software they come accross.

However, the bottom line (for me) is that I do not do it because I may be caught but because it is wrong.

People who illegally copy software actually hike up the prices for those of us who buy licensed software. Not only are they stealing from the copyright holder but from me too!!! And that makes me livid.

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Old 02-27-2007, 03:22 PM   #17
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So, what did the people who took the Capt'n's software think of themselves and of the fellow offering to split the cost? How did others look at them? Maybe we're not supposed to live to please others, but I don't want to lose my effectiveness as an ambassador: whether it's as an ambassador for the global community of sailors, for my country, for my faith, for myself: I want my word to be taken as valuable, which means I must, to the best of my ability, keep my word. And that, to me, means living to the best of my ability within the laws of the land (or sea) and within the code of ethics that says we must treat others as we would wish to be treated. Even if I think something is exobitant or beyond my means, I cannot justify stealing it or pirating it just so I can have it. Whatever the "it" is. Doing without isn't so bad. Really.

My ex-husband is one of the finest painters I know. Someone asked him to copy a Monet so they could hang it in their home. He decided this would be challenging, so he did it: BUT he made the copy off-size and then signed it, "Monet by Milton." Everyone was happy, he hadn't tried to forge Monet's work--which he had the skills to do as a painting conservator--and no one in future generations would wonder if it were anything other than what it was. (Because of his expertise, he was often called to verify a painting's authenticity--imagine what his word would have been worth if he'd devalued it by fudging--even for fun.)

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Old 02-27-2007, 04:52 PM   #18
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JeanneP,

Thanks for the clarification about the WiFi Pirate. That is a differant situation, that person is of a differant fabric, lacking morales, values, and ethics. He simply refuses to pay for a service, as his standard operating procedure.

I agree with you.

The person conspiring to buy one copy of the CPT'n software, and pro-rate the cost amongst others is stealing, as are those being party to it.

SeaVenture, - Monet by Milton

Even though it was an original work in his own hand, with ethics he did not try to conterfit and pass it off as the original.

Copyright and Trademark Infringements always remind me of my tour in Korea. One could buy name brand tennis shoes like Nike or Rebok, that cost $65 - $75 in stores in the US, for $5 - $10 there. One proprietor even ask me, "What name on your shoe? No exra charge, I put any name U wann on shoe." Yes I bought some shoes cheap. They looked like the real thing, but were not. They were feet wreckers! I shipped them home, wore them once or twice, and tossed them. Not a good deal, a conterfit, a big rip off. Never again.
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Old 02-27-2007, 06:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaVenture View Post
So, what did the people who took the Capt'n's software think of themselves and of the fellow offering to split the cost? How did others look at them? Maybe we're not supposed to live to please others, but I don't want to lose my effectiveness as an ambassador: whether it's as an ambassador for the global community of sailors, for my country, for my faith, for myself: I want my word to be taken as valuable, which means I must, to the best of my ability, keep my word. And that, to me, means living to the best of my ability within the laws of the land (or sea) and within the code of ethics that says we must treat others as we would wish to be treated.
I think that's why I brought it up. The people who chipped in to pirate the software and charts congratulated themselves on their cleverness. The others who passed, I don't recall their saying anything, though I can't blame them - the pirates knew what they were doing was wrong, nothing anybody said was going to change their mind.

Peter is extremely honest, but he doesn't understand computers and software, etc., and it didn't occur to him that what they were doing was wrong. I think that for many cruisers back then, they just didn't think about the morality of it. Though lots of people were photocopying the newly-published Red Sea cruising guide rather than pay for it, and I can't believe they didn't realize it was dishonest.

We're all human, with feet of clay, and I don't want to set myself or anybody else up as a paragon of virtue. That's for saints and myths. I want to conduct myself in as honorable a manner as possible, and sometimes that means having the honorable course pointed out to me. I'm not interested in castigating anybody, but I would hope that discussions such as this could raise people's awareness of behavior that is less than moral or ethical. It's not always easy to know.
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Old 02-27-2007, 08:57 PM   #20
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Thank you all for contributing to this topic. Addressing moral issues is always a value judgement and perhaps as a justification for erring toward the immoral, we often impose degrees of morality. I suppose this is what has allowed me to copy music, but prevents me from using stolen electronic software.

I am both a musician and journalist. I am not a sufficiently good musician for anyone to want to steal my work, but I have felt professionally mugged on several occasions after discovering my written works appearing with only minor changes, under another person's byline.

When discussing this issue yesterday, I was astounded to hear from a visiting cruiser that he and several others, were offered full charting software by a taxi driver in Gove (On the eastern side of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Australia) for $200 per set.

I promise I will stop copying music CD's....But I will gladly pass on my mother's recipes for parkin, for anyone who likes ginger cakes.

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Old 02-27-2007, 09:26 PM   #21
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This certainly is a lively topic. I wanted to say, "Well Debated", but there is not much debate leaning to justification of theft, stealing, piracy and the like. Instead, I think the discussion of marginal issues is good. Marginal meaning sometimes one is not certain, or has to think about and consider laws, morals, values, ethics, and the impact they may have on others.

I think we know right from wrong, and left from right, (although some are confused by port and starboard).

Should we wrong our neighbor? How do we live with that? Seems a few find a way to. It is I that looks at I in the mirror when I awaken, or see my reflection in the water. ~ For me, I like to have a good feeling when I see that.

One (**) of the 20th century US Presidents was quoted as saying, "When in doubt, do the right thing". I try to let that quote guide me in life. Temptation is always and ever present. Rise above it. Be the better person. It will reward you. Maybe in time, or after the end here.

There is some irony in my words. From this guy that suggests the concept of building flame throwers to ward off very rare (***) but potential pirates.

** I do not want to misstate which one, and I do not have the reference handy at the moment.

*** Very Rare - 1) Not encounter frequently. Rarely. 2) "Roasted by the Flames of Improvised Protective Devices", but slightly, "pink in the middle".

~ ~ ~

In other words ~ The sea terms of past:

ARRGH MATE: Doest thou have a desire to walk the plank, and be bound and confined to Davey Jones' Locker for an eternity? Than, you Scoundrel! Stead your course and thee shall run ah-GROUND!

~ ~ ~

OR, if an action is questionable, why is that?

We, you and I, KNOW the answer.

The wrong answer always has a justification, and a lot of associated words and extensive explanations. The correct choice stands on its' own.
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Old 02-27-2007, 11:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auzzee View Post
....But I will gladly pass on my mother's recipes for parkin, for anyone who likes ginger cakes.

David.
Sounds lovely. Please do!

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Old 02-28-2007, 02:26 AM   #23
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Recipe posted under "Poop Deck". Scroll down below crewfinders on the forum's content page.

David
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Old 02-28-2007, 05:46 AM   #24
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Hello.

We can analyse this problem a bit more.

1. Copying intelectual property is not stealing. It is copyright violation. The difference is, that original owner of the item (book, CD etc.) doesn't loose its belonging.

2. However pirating goes under copyright law, it is quite different then publishing someone else work under my name (old school copyright violation). As a pirate I don't want to say, that I am an author of the given software/music/movie.

2. It is much closer to manufacturing patented designs, or using trademark without permission. The original author sufferes because potential customers buy pirate version instead original. It is the case if we speek about music or movies, but not so in case of software. Software is more like a tool than piece of art. If program is very popular, it becomes standard, and in world of software only standard programs survive (i.e. MS Windows, Office). It is possible, that pirating accually helps software companies in the same way, as "free samples" boost sallary. It is easy to count how much illegal programs cost, and assume, that all this would be paid to the authors if there was no piracy, but it is clearly false assumption. Most of illegal programs would never be bought legally.

3. However pirating is illegal in many countries, it doesn't mean, that it is immoral. Those are two different things. For example, according to Immanuel Kant, moral thing is to do to others, what we would like to be a general rule. If I'd like to share my intelectual work for free, and I want world without software corporations, I'm morally fair pirating. If I'd like other people pirating my work, I do no evil pirating myself.

4. If we assume, that evil is what harm others, then we must proof, that copying given program harmed it's authors, to say that pirating is evil. I can imagine situation, where I can't afford given program. In this case I wouldn't pay any money to the authors anyway, so they don't loose anything, if I copy their program. Even more: the authors don't loose and I gain, so total utility increases and thus, according to utilitarian philosophy, this deed is morally good. The question remains, when I can't afford something. I could take a loan, or save for couple of years...

If I can afford the program, but instead of buying I copy CD, I do harm to authors, but even then, if my gain is bigger, then theirs loss, I'm still moral, according to utilitarians.

Copying original, and giving illegal copy as a present is in my opinion not very elegant. It's better to give the original and save a copy. This way giver is the only person breaking the law. And if we don't have the original, maybe bottle of wine is better gift...

philosophy...
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Old 02-28-2007, 09:56 AM   #25
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Im sorry piotrec,

Your argument is elegant, but not logical.

For sure, moral values differ by culture, location but most importantly, by circumstance.

If there was no way to survive other than to steal food (and there usually is but lets just say in the one circumstance there is not) then stealing food to feed self and family would, IMHO, be morally OK.

But get real. 'Cruisers' are not poor.

They choose their lifestyle and whilst most are not flush - each surely does not expect thie rchosen lifestyle to be subsidised by being allowed to duplicate property that actually belongs to others?

Most cruisers have the werewithall to afford the products the need. In some cases it might mean they'd dip into their kitty - or have to do some work to get the funds. They have 'relatively easy' alternates to stealing.

You also try to argue that it is morally right to be able to make a judgement that one can take that property - simply because you think the author is no worse off?

On this basis - you'd obviously not be upset if someone coming upon your yacht securely moored up for the day, took it out for a sail? Surely no loss to you - ergo he has the moral right?

Tosh.

And finally as I've said before, there is no doubt manufacturers are having to invest in more complex security mechanisms to halt people who think as you do. And all the other 'suckers' like us who pay the asking price, end up paying for that.

What moral right do you actually think you have to increase the costs of products others want to buy?

IMHO pure and simple - philosophy does not rule on this - morally it is wrong.

Cheers

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Old 02-28-2007, 10:47 AM   #26
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Many years ago, when my brain was quicker and computers were simpler, I wrote the first program accepted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for electronically submitting to the state invoices for services rendered.

Big deal. But it is a big deal in that until my program came along, a lot of small service providers had no choice but to do without what turned out to be a significant benefit to the operation of their business - getting paid promptly and correctly!

Of course I was entitled to be paid by anyone who used my program! If they didn't want to pay for it, why should they use it and obtain the benefits that it offered? They had a choice: pay and reap benefits, or not pay and go on as they had before my tinkering work came along.

If they didn't want to pay for my program, but wanted the benefits it offered, they could bloody well write their own program! If they didn't have the knowledge or skills to write a program similar to mine, how can they justify stealing mine? Because the WANT it?

Bah! Illegal. Immoral. yecccccchhhh.
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:14 AM   #27
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If you buy something:

CD/record/tape -You can make a copy for yourself as backup.

Software - you can make a copy for yourself as a backup.

Charts - you can make a copy for yourself.

Legally, if a copy is found (if ever) you could be called upon to have to prove that you bought an ORIGINAL. Legally, you CANNOT make copies to give away, sell, donate to any third party. You are as guilty of an offence as the party in possession of a copy as well as the copyshop or duplicator.

This is extremely difficult to police BUT that is the law! Morally - wrong. Buying/selling copies is a huge offence covered by various laws - worldwide.
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Old 02-28-2007, 01:07 PM   #28
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World Wide, NO. Most countries, yes!!

This is where we get into problems. China is one of them that does not have copywrites. Anybody can take your stuff, make copies and sell it. I think that we will see this as a major problem in the future because China is buying so many companies.

Some other countries as well.
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