Which Illegal Activities Get A Pass From You?

Whenever we write about things like cable TV, DRM and paywalls, we get numerous comments and e-mails from readers about various ways — almost all illegal — people beat the system and get TV shows, movies, video games, software, etc. for free. Which has got us to wondering where you draw the line on these and other matters.

Almost everyone reading this — and perhaps writing it, though I confess nothing — has at some point copied music illegally. Many of us drank alcohol before we were of age, or drove a car before we were licensed. Speaking of which, who among us hasn’t gone over the speed limit?

What about people who pay for admission to one movie at the multiplex and then hop to another screen to make it a double feature for the price of one.

Does stealing toilet paper or office supplies from the workplace really count as stealing?

Also, that office pool for March Madness might not be legal; same with that $50 buy-in poker game you and your pals have every Tuesday night.

Are you going to turn in your friend who figured out a way to vacation in Cuba last year? Or the couple on the third floor whose apartment reeks of pot?

And what about those bastards who jaywalk?

But seriously folks, there are a lot of illegal activities that we either participate in or turn a blind eye toward. We’d like to hear your thoughts on this, so please share them below…

Comments

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  1. Staceyotk says:

    wn…

  2. outshined says:

    Pot, speeding.

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      What a dichotomy…

      • evilrobot says:

        “Pot, ridiculously lengthy stopping distance.”

        there, fixed.

        • kabamm says:

          Myth. This is, of course, anecdotal, but a little pot makes me a *better* driver. I suppose I’m an exception in that I never answer or look at my phone in my car, and I don’t play the radio. She’s got a K20A3 motor and a manual transmission, why would I need music?

          Took my state road test *very stoned* – even backing around a corner to paralell park – and scored a 98. 200,000 miles of aggravating LA street and freeway driving and I’ve not scratch on the car. Well, one little ding from a parking lot, but nothing caused by me and I aim to keep it that way.

          Neither do I drive like grannie – you’d best get the frak out of my way and use your damn turn signals so I don’t have to guess where you might be going.

          Now, a stoned muggle might have a hard time with that extra-long stopping distance you mention – but I’m not putting anyone at extra risk by driving high.

          • Conformist138 says:

            Actually, people who smoke pot are shown to drive more cautiously. The paranoid effect being both afraid of getting hurt and afraid of getting caught make pot smokers very very careful. People like to equate drinking and weed, but they fail to realize that weed doesn’t effect your mind the same way at all.

    • Nisun says:

      Pot – Yes, if you do it at home, and your not hurting anybody.
      Speeding – No! Fatalities are shown to be more likely with the increase in speed.

    • Villnius says:

      I don’t think it’s possible to do both.

  3. NightSteel says:

    I believe in law and order, but I also believe there is far too much emphasis of victimless crimes in law enforcement. The problem with the idea “Don’t like the law? Vote for change.” is that it’s unrealistic. Hell, we have law enforcement organizations that don’t abide by changes in the law now, so even if we *could* get it changed (yeah right) the odds are about even that we would notice a difference in the real world anyway.

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      It’s going to continue being unrealistic until more than 50% of the voting population becomes mature enough to separate emotional response from rational thinking.

    • NightSteel says:

      There are a lot of people talking about copyright infringement and theft in this post. There’s something important being left out of these discussions, at least as far as I can see: When you steal something, you are depriving its rightful owners of that thing, and therefore depriving them of their right to do with it as they please. Copyright infringement does not deprive the original owner of the copyrighted work or prevent them from doing with it as they please.

      To me, this argument all comes down to ethics and morality. Ethically and morally, you should pay for content that you consume. However, I have very little sympathy for the larger purveyors of copyrighted works, who are ethically and morally bankrupt themselves. If I enjoy the work of a specific artist, then I want to reward that artist by purchasing their work. But why would I do that if 98% of the money I lay out for that work goes to middle-men upon middle-men, with only pennies making their way to the actual artist? Especially in the information age, when artists have little need for those middle-men and their creaking distribution networks?

      People with real talent should be dominating our culture with their works, with the prevalence of the Internet. But because of the content purveyors and their massive war chests used for lobbying, lawsuits and anti-competitive practices, instead we have Justin Bieber, Hannah Montana, M. Night Shamalamadingdong and Twilight, to name a few out of a very, very long list of crap with a much larger audience than it deserves. Given this, I can’t bring myself to raise my ire over copyright infringement. Just like the big banks, the big purveyors deserve to fail if they can’t keep up with the times, and I’m tired of things like the DMCA and ACTA resulting from their unethical and amoral practices.

      That turned into a bit more of a rant than I expected. It’s one of those subjects that just makes me angrier when I think about it.

      • axhandler1 says:

        This chart helps illustrate your point, I think. The majority of the money made from CD sales goes to the record label, not the artist. With the rise in broadband internet and music piracy from 2004-2008, you can see the revenue going to the record label tumble, while the revenue to artists only drops slightly.

        http://www.flickr.com/photos/52307971@N07/4866585075/

        • NightSteel says:

          Good find. I’d like to see the US version.

        • KishuT says:

          The music industry and record labels have only themselves to blame for the loss in revenue. If they wouldn’t have focused so hard on declaring war on people downloading music for free, and instead spent that time and money on developing ways to adapt with what was obviously the next evolution of how we get our music, they would have seen far less of a drop.

        • Sandaasu says:

          Yeah, that’s why I give a pass to music piracy. If the money actually went to the artists, I’d have an issue with it. As it is though, the money just goes to a very corrupt and abusive recording industry that, IMO, everyone would be better off without.

      • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

        This! Where were you when I was writing my paper on this topic?

      • knoxblox says:

        I was gonna say I can overlook a street artist or studio artist who vends his own work out in the streets, which kind of extends the same argument to those oppressed by neighborhood associations and/or city councils.

      • lim says:

        Question. I’m not trying to attack but rather I truly want to know where others stand.

        Would you pay for works by someone who has died? For example, Elvis Presley has an incredibly well managed estate but does that estate deserve additional money? What about John Denver’s or Billie Holiday’s? If the money goes to charity rather than a corporation what do you do? What about an original cast recording from the 50′s? Does whoever owns the rights to it 60 years later deserve to be paid for making it available to the mass market?

        • Akuma Matata says:

          absolutely not. If the copyright hasn’t expired already (and it probably hasn’t given the amount of lobbying for extending copyrights), it should immediately expire upon the death of the creator and the work should enter the public domain. If you have a spouse that needs caring for after your death, buy some damn life insurance.

          • Me - now with more humidity says:

            What a gigantic pantload throughout this thread! By your logic, the neighborhood should be able to take your house, your car and all your possessions when you croak. If you want your wife3 and kids to have a home, you should have bought life insurance. Some of us worked hard to create those songs, books and movies. And for a legally-specified amount of time, we should get paid for you using them.

            Stealing music and movies because you’re pissed off at the entertainment companies guarantees the artist gets nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nor do the shareholders of the music company (your grandparents perhaps). Nor the publisher. The songwriters. Nothing. To no one.

            It’s theft, pure and simple.

            It is not victimless. And any rationalization is just crap.

            It’s like saying you were justified in robbing your local Bank of America because the CEO makes too much money. Or that stealing a car is fine because you’re pissed off about the auto maker bailout.

            • LeoSolaris says:

              Here’s the economic and logical problems your line of thought is running into like a freight train into a brick wall…

              One: In the digital realm, i.e. the Internet, the costs of content production, distribution and advertizement is somewhere between insanely cheap (fractions of pennies) and zero, depending on how you choose to advertize. (Note that I only said advertize, as production and distribution online is free.) By production, I do mean producing copies, rather than initial production costs. With an literally infinite supply of the product thanks to the magic of the Copy function, no matter how great the demand, the price will fall to zero. It is an Econ 101 rule of a capitalist economy. People do not pay for something because it have value to the one selling it. People pay for things that have value. An unlimited supply of a good means that it has literally no value in the eyes of a consumer. It’s why mass produced toys are cheaper than hand crafted.

              Two: Theft, and all of the other extrapolations you made like the neighborhood getting the house and car after you die, and etc, only applies to physical or completely unique goods. On the Interne, the original is copied, not taken. By copying a friend’s CD I am not stealing the CD. I am not depriving him of his ability to listen to, resale or use that CD in any other way. That is why it is covered currently under copyright law rather than under laws against property theft. It is impossible to own an idea. An idea is not a physical thing, and while you may have certain rights over an idea, just having copyrights does not confer ownership.

              Three: Music given away for free online is simply handing out the plentiful good to entice the listener to purchase actually scare goods. There are many other ways to get customers out of music fans than just music sales. (You can substitute any number of digitally copyable goods for music by the way.) Even professional musicians and their recording company get very little out of music sales when it is compared sales of live concert tickets and merchandise sales. The music has always been the gateway drug. Now you can spread the gateway drug much much farther.

              I could go on and on about this, but nothing I saw is going to change your mind. I primarily wrote this response for those who have not already cemented their opinions.

          • somedave says:

            Oh no, the poor music company shareholders! Won’t someone please think of the shareholders!

      • David in Brasil says:

        I agree with you. Another thing that sticks in my craw is why should the ownership of information have different sets of rules, or the information producers enjoy different sets of rights just because the information is in digital form, rather than analog?

        And I would like to throw one more factor into the mix: When you buy entertainment (movie, music, etc.) in one format and wish to enjoy it in another. The information hasn’t changed – I’ve bought that disk. Now I wish to enjoy it on my new MP3 player. According the RIAA, I should have to fork out another $15 to enjoy it in digital form. No.

        • El_Red says:

          Oooh! Here in Canada we have a hidden tax (10$-15$ plus in the price, so and iPod is slightly more expensive here) on all mp3 players and blank CDs. To ”compensate” for Pirating. Supposedly, this money goes to artists. Since we are already paying a pirate tax, pirating music here becomes an interesting ethical/moral discussion. Why do you have to pay it if you’re honest? And does that incite MORE pirating?

      • p. observer says:

        just do what i do download it and then send a money order to the artist in question with a note that says something like “i downloaded your music so here’s the $**.** i would have payed in the store. more money for you less drm for me win-win”

    • jefeloco says:

      I’m a big supporter of decriminalizing victimless and consensual crimes. There is absolutely no reason to punish someone for hurting themselves or others that are willing participants.

      Now, that said, the same rules that apply to alcohol should apply to public intoxication/inebriation/etc while using any type of drugs. Decency laws should apply to cavorting antics as well but behind closed doors or on private land you should be able to do anything you (and willing participants) want to do.

      On a side note, I rarely speed, I always wear my seatbelt and I haven’t had more than 4 beers in a 24 hour time frame in over 6 years. I don’t do drugs either and have no inclination to cheat on my wife but if I did want to do any of those I should be “able” to.

    • wolf says:

      In most cases the will of the people is ignored .This has just filtered down from the federal government to the states and municipalities.

  4. MercuryPDX says:

    [Pleads the fifth]

    • sonneillon says:

      Any crime I commit gets a pass when I commit it.

    • Papa Midnight says:

      In the interest of avoiding self-incrimination, I shall exercise my right to silence and refusal to answer this query per my rights as defined in the fifth amendment to the Bill of Rights as they are included within the Constitution of the United States of America.

  5. iambeaker41 says:

    For me, downloading music, games, and movies, get a pass from me as long as the user does not profit from it. For example, Craigslist is full of people who sell bootlegged DVDs or “mods” to Xbox, PSP, etc… If you are going to pirate, it should be a private matter. If you download a song and place it on your MP3 player AND your friends, then you cross the line.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Aren’t you profiting from it though? Those 5 songs you illegally downloaded illegally is $5 you didn’t spend, and therefore profited. That video games you cracked? $50 you saved and thus earned profit.

      • sagodjur says:

        A penny not spent is not actually a penny earned. It’s just a penny not spent yet. That’s not profit.

        And what if you weren’t inclined to purchase the downloaded media? Can you profit from not spending money you wouldn’t have spent anyway?

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          Wait, isn’t the addage, “A penny saved is a penny earned?”

          So even Ben Franklin, a founding father of this country, clearly believes that stealing but not selling is still making a profit.

          You can’t argue with big Ben. He invented electricity for Christ’s sake!!

          • Demonpiggies says:

            Did… did you really just post “[Ben Franklin] invented electricity for Christ’s sake!!”? Please tell me i read that completely wrong… because i’m pretty sure, and I could be wrong here, that electricity was invented by… wait for it… electrons and for that matter nature. Now if Franklin invented for example lightning then why yes he did invent it… without taking any sides in this I’m invalidating everything you said/say because of this statement, and not reposting something about that…

        • corrie06 says:

          Don’t think of the profit in terms of money. Think of assests. When you download a song, game or movie, you are aquiring an asset for no cost.

          • pantheonoutcast says:

            Except those aren’t assets. Asset: Anything tangible or intangible that is capable of being owned or controlled to produce value and that is held to have positive economic value.

            Listening to a song on the radio for free is not an asset. Listening to it on my iPod after I downloaded it for free doesn’t magically make it an asset.

            Watching “The Simpsons” on Sunday night is not a an asset. Tivo-ing it to watch it on Monday afternoon is not an asset, either. How does downloading it from bit torrent somehow make it an asset?

            • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

              Is that a legal definition of assets? I do believe that music can, and is, capable of being owned.

              Which is why you can pay to own it, or not pay to steal it in order to own it. And since you can purchase it, it has value.

              So the argument stands – stealing is still gaining from it.

              • pantheonoutcast says:

                You artistically danced around my hypotheticals. Regardless of the context in which content is delivered, the content I have described is free. Anything provided for free is free no matter how it is provided.

                Here’s another one, in case you missed the first two “what ifs”:

                Breaking into the Metropolitan Opera and sitting in the front row without a ticket is stealing (as well as a bunch of other crimes). However: Sitting in the plaza listening to the Opera be simulcast over loudspeakers is not stealing. Watching PBS broadcast the very same opera the following night for free on TV (with no commercials) is not stealing. Tivo-ing PBS to watch that opera two nights later is not stealing. So how can you say that downloading a copy of that opera and watching it at your leisure is stealing? Doesn’t that violate a fundamental rule of logic?

                • Zeppelin462 says:

                  I have been reading your comments, and it seems you are trying as hard as possible to justify theft by any means necessary.

                  Whether or not you deprive someone of a physical object, whether or not you make an exact copy, you are stealing said item if you do not agree to pay for something that has been given a monetary value by the seller. It doesn’t matter what value you would give to the item. If it was as easy as going on to iTunes and seeing a song for a dollar that you value at zero, then downloading said song on another site (that is not authorized by a record label or others who have control over the sale of the item) for free, then everyone would be justified in never paying a dime for anything. Just because you do not give it any sort of value does not give you the right to take it for that “price.” You are depriving the seller of a potential sale, plain and simple. It doesn’t matter if the seller still has his/her product, he/she has lost a sale and potential earnings.

                  The reason why the free market has worked so well throughout history is because of agreements between buyers and sellers on a price to pay for goods. It is not a one-way street. If the buyer had the entire say, then sellers would leave the market and we would be deprived of goods in general.

                  If you do not plan on purchasing a good for what the seller determines it is worth, then you do not have the right to utilize it. Stop trying to justify theft just because you don’t like how the system works.

              • sagodjur says:

                You apparently haven’t been listening to the RIAA lawyers. They will tell you flat out that you don’t own the music – the record company does. If you buy a CD, you only own the CD. They’ll argue that you don’t have permission or the right to format shift that music into digital files or to transfer those digital files to your portable music player.

                The RIAA is inclined to think of it as a license, not ownership.

                Since we’re talking about digital files, you can’t consider them assets since you can’t sell them. There is no doctrine of first sale on digital files.

                Hypothetically, if you bought $30,000 worth of mp3s from iTunes, would you list that $30,000 in your net worth? Of course not. You can’t sell that music. You can only give it away or throw it away. You certainly can’t sell your used ipod for $200 + $30,000 for all the music on it.

            • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

              Regarding the Simpsons example. If you are paying for cable, which in turn allows you to watch a specific episode of the Simpsons, and you also torrent that to your computer. That is where I not consider it gaining an asset, or at least not enough to make a stink over.

              You paid a content provider to… well, provide content. I’d say once you’ve paid to view it, you shouldn’t need to pay to view it again… and again.

              • pantheonoutcast says:

                “or at least not enough to make a stink over.”

                So, if it fits within your relativistic and subjective parameters, it’s ok? Otherwise it’s theft and people who do it are criminals?

                Also, what about those people who use Pandora? They’re paying for an internet subscription, hence, they’ve paid a content provider who provides the music for free. And it’s really not free, since there are commercials. Using your line of thinking, since I have already paid for the internet connection, and “paid” for the songs by listening to the commercials, I have already paid for the song. Since, as you say, one should not have to pay multiple times to receive the same content over and over, downloading the song, logically, is not stealing either.

        • Coe-Stanza says:

          How about the Tastykake I slip into my pocket from my local Wawa?

        • obits3 says:

          Money is just something we use to measure value. Getting music for free is receiving something of value. For example:
          1. You don’t want to pay for a CD.
          2. Your friend buys the CD and gives it to you as a gift.
          3. You now enjoy the CD.
          4. You have profited.

          Conclusion: Even if you would not have bought the CD with your own money, you still gained value buy receiving it for free. Downloading music without paying for it has the same effect. You gain value.

          • sagodjur says:

            No, a CD is not the same as a digital file. A CD is a physical object which, if stolen from a music store, is one less copy that the store has to sell.

            If the friend buys you a CD you didn’t ask for, that changes the scenario. We’re talking about individuals downloading music for themselves. You can’t change the scenario in order to argue against it.

            It’s still not profit because you’re not investing anything and you’re not accumulating assets that you can resell. And for some people, the value of a digital file is inherent in it being free.

      • DariusC says:

        Profit: The positive gain from an investment or business operation after subtracting for all expenses. opposite of loss.

        You did not profit, you simply got something that someone else incurred no expenses for to copy… Wonder why digital sales never end? Why do songs never sell out when they are sold on Amazon? Because they can copy them infinitely. You cannot copy furniture without incurring an expense. Same goes for digital goods. Stop selling digital goods and I will buy the physical albums, movies, etc.

      • halcyon22 says:

        Getting something for free is not the same as profiting.

      • Southern says:

        So recording a song off the radio for your own personal use is perfectly legal (RE: the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992), but downloading that same some from the Internet is illegal.

        I don’t see the distinction, other than the government saying one is legal and the RIAA saying they’re BOTH really illegal (even though there’s a law to the contrary).

        (but then, I don’t really listen to music, either – either from mp3s OR radio. Talk Radio all the way for me.)

      • Judah says:

        Assigning a subjective price value to art never works. What if I listen to a song on the radio and don’t personally like it? Did I steal any ‘value’ there if the artist herself never gets money from radio plays due to her contract?

        Same situation… I download a song ‘illegally’ then listen to it once before either forgetting about it or deleting it. Did I steal value there? Does this situation change if the download was a free sample on Amazon, or wasn’t even a download but played as background for someone’s youtube video?

        But what if I do really like the song, and go out of my way to interlibrary loan a CD with it, so I don’t ‘download’ it illegally. Am I still illegal for making a personal copy of that *one* song from a public source.

        What happens if I’m musically inclined, and I can play the song myself. Is that stealing too? I don’t think so.

    • montusama says:

      I agree with you, as long as you aren’t selling it and/or making a profile. Also in your example of adding some mp3′s to your friends mp3 player. That can get annoying very quickly, they’ll never stop asking you to get it for them….

    • jiarby says:

      “as long as the user doesn’t profit from it”

      Well, the user DOES profit from it… they are profiting the money they are saving by not legally purchasing the product that they are stealing. Downloading something like Adobe CS5 is “profiting” the downloader upwards of $1000…serious folding jack. Ring up a buck for every song on your MP3 Player… cha-chiiing! So, you see, the illegal downloader IS PROFITING from their illegal activity.

      • jason in boston says:

        Someone still thinks copyright infringement = stealing. How quaint.

        And to be able to make a profit, one needs to sell that product. They don’t profit until they actually sell CS5.

        • jurupa says:

          Copyright infringement is basically stealing. Just look at the definition of it.

          • rekoil says:

            If copyright infringement == theft, then why aren’t the record companies calling the police? Unless the infringer sells illegitimate copies, it’s a civil matter, not theft.

            • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

              Simple reason: it is easier to prove someone liable (in a civil suit) than to prove someone guilty (in a criminal suit), at least in jurisdictions where one is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

        • Gramin says:

          How did you know I torrented CS5? WHO DO YOU WORK FOR!?

        • partofme says:

          If you download a copy of CS5 and use it to make a product that you turn around and sell, then it becomes obvious that you’re stealing. If you’re only using it for personal enjoyment, then you have to ask yourself how much of a utilitarian are you in your approach to economics and social welfare theory.

      • allstar3970 says:

        its entitlement. “I don’t want to pay for it, therefore I shouldnt have to”

    • joecoolest says:

      So if someone steals a Monet from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY and they just put it under their bed… since they didn’t fence it then by your logic it isn’t really theft?!?!!

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        Theft occurs when you have deprived someone else of the object. Think of it this way: Downloading a song is precisely the same as taking a picture of a Monet.

        The original is still there, and you have a copy. No one has been deprived. Not theft.

        • UltimateOutsider says:

          You could also define theft as the willful acquisition of something you aren’t supposed to have. Playing word games doesn’t make it right.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          But the picture of the Money was made by someone depending on the income from that sale to earn an income. You deprived that person of money, but saving the money you didn’t spend.

          Someone is always deprived.

          • pantheonoutcast says:

            That doesn’t make any sense, and you know it. People take non-flash pictures at the Met all the time of paintings that the gift shop sells reproductions and postcards of.

            All of those photographers are thieves who are depriving the museum of postcard sales? You’re going beyond logical fallacy and into the realm of ludicrousness.

            • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

              Actually, I have to apologize on that one. I interpreted “picture” of a Monet as a reproduction on a Monet. Like people go buy reproductions of Starry Night or the Mona Lisa. Someone produced those, costing them money, with the goal of selling it.

              Flash pictures of items is not stealing.

          • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

            While I normally pay for my media, when I do copy illegally, it is from a CD I checked out of the library. As much as I may like the music, I would most likely not buy it if I did not copy it. By making an illegal copy, I am simply copying something I wouldn’t have purchased either way, so no one is losing money.

            If I couldn’t copy CD’s to my computer, I would buy the few that I felt were essential (which is what I do now) and just check out CD’s over and over from the library. Since I copy them to my computer and return them quickly, more people are given the chance to enjoy the CD because I’m not checking it out over and over and over.

          • Jack Handy Manny says:

            Not if you wouldn’t buy the song anyway. If the song costs money…I don’t buy it. If it’s free…I’ll take it. Your argument doesn’t hold up.

        • joecoolest says:

          Now you are only attempting to obfuscate the subject. If you steal someones product that they distribute on a digital media my making an exact copy (clone) onto digital media you are essentially stealing something equivalent to the original. Your picture of painting analogy is just pathetic. For it to apply someone would have to be able to take a clone painting of the painting.

          • pantheonoutcast says:

            How about a photograph of a photograph? Does that analogy work for you?

            You’ve unintentionally ruined your own point, though. If something is able to be cloned, and the copy is indistinguishable from the original, and vice versa, where’s the theft? The original is sitting right there, untouched, unchanged, unmolested and still belonging to the original owner.

            Here’s the problem: Let’s say you have a CD I really like. I want a copy of it. So I borrow it from you and copy it to my computer. Theft? Not at all. You lent it to me with permission, and I returned it in its exact, original condition.

            Let’s say that I really like the music, but I can’t find anyone to borrow it from, so I steal it from the store. Theft? Of course. I am depriving the store owner of merchandise, and costing him money.

            Let’s say that you have the CD, but you live a thousand miles away. I can’t borrow it from you, so you open your computer network to allow me to download it to mine via a secure connection. Theft? No. It’s exactly the same scenario as the first example, only with a thousand miles in between. You still retain your copy.

            Now, let’s say that I don’t have any friends that own that CD. But I meet a guy online that does. He allows me to “borrow” it via download. He lent it to me with permission, still retains his copy in the original condition, and I have deprived no one of anything. How in the name of logic can you say that I have “stolen” anything?

            • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

              Here’s the problem: Let’s say you have a CD I really like. I want a copy of it. So I borrow it from you and copy it to my computer. Theft? Not at all. You lent it to me with permission, and I returned it in its exact, original condition.

              Except for one thing: the copy you made of it violated the licence agreement the purchaser of that CD had with whatever company published the CD. Buying a CD, DVD, iTunes song etc. enters you into an agreement with the company that produced/published the content. The agreement explicitly states you may not make more than ONE copy for back-up purposes, which may not be used simultaneously with the original copy. You are bound by it, so when the RIAA wants to sue you into oblivion, this will be the argument they’ll bring about. While you may not be technically stealing a physical object, you are (or, at least, the person you borrowed that CD from is) liable of breaking the terms set forth.

              At least, that’s my understanding of it. Trust me, IANAL.

              • pantheonoutcast says:

                Then I guess that’s the answer to the article’s underlying question. I vehemently deny the existence of any “license” regarding music, movies, TV shows, or anything else on CD or DVD. These media are not packaged or sold with such licenses, they are not made aware to the purchaser at the moment of purchase, and at no time does the purchaser sign anything indicating his acceptance of such a license. Obviously, I am not including software, as I fully realize that end-users “sign” a EULA when they install the program.

                My relationship with the producer of the album or movie ends when my money changes hands with the retailer. It’s my album, it’s my movie – I can do with it as I please. Same goes for the person “lending” it to me.

                • Me - now with more humidity says:

                  Wrong. But thanks for playing.

                  • zappo says:

                    There really needs to be some nationwide legislation on this issue. If I download a 1950′s movie that is out of copyright is this legal or not? Newer video’s may have a kind of EULA that will limit copies, but would this trump a federal law, am I bound by a contract just because I open the video box? It gets very confusing for us ordinary people so we need some legal guidance from the Feds on all of the types of media.

              • sagodjur says:

                Pantheonoutcast has already said it, but it bears repeating. There is no license. There has never been a license involved in the purchase of physical media as far as music is concerned. The music industry has said there is, but that doesn’t make it so. It wouldn’t stand up in court under contract law. The music industry wants it whatever way benefits them most and they’ll change the rules when the previous terms no longer benefit them. Not to mention, reporters have proven that the numbers the industry’s mouth pieces quote regarding the millions and billions of dollars they lose are completely made up.

            • XTC46 says:

              Except in your photo anology, you have devalued the photo becasue it is no longer a 1 of a kind (or 1 of however many legit prints were made) Supply and Demand set the price of an item, if you increase the supply of an item without authorization, you are lowering the value of the object.

              So yes, you are stealing. If an artist wants to sell his music for $1 per song, that is their right as the creator. Dont want to pay the dollar? then you dont get to enjoy his work. Saying you wouldnt pay the dollar so its not loss is crap, you obviously want the music, or you wouldnt waste the harddrive space, so its DOES have value. You are now stealing.

              • pantheonoutcast says:

                1) There is no inherent “value” to art. The value of a piece of art – whether it is a photo, a painting, a song, a film – is what the public is willing to spend, not what the seller is willing to charge. I’m willing to spend nothing. Hence, its value to me is nothing.

                2) The minute you use terms like “legit copies”, you have no argument. A copy is a copy is a copy, especially when we are talking about an album or a movie. There is no such thing as “the original”; unless the actors are willing to come to my house and re-enact scenes from the movie, everything is a copy. Did the DVD devalue their performance? No. If I borrow a film from my friend, did I somehow devalue the actor’s performance? No. If I watch the movie at a friend’s house, did I devalue the movie? No. If I watch the movie on HBO, did I devalue the movie? NO.

                If I rip a CD to my computer and listen to it through my MP3 player, is that not a legit copy? If I stream my DVD movie to a computer, is that not a legit copy?

                3) “Saying you wouldnt pay the dollar so its not loss is crap, you obviously want the music, or you wouldnt waste the harddrive space” That’s not a very good argument at all. I don’t spend any money when I listen to Pandora. Is that stealing? I don’t spend any money when I listen to the radio in my car – is that also stealing? There is no monetary value on a song when I hear it for free. There is no monetary value on a song on my hard drive, because I did not ascribe a value to it.

                Also, your comment about supply and demand is not relevant when it comes to digital media. There is an infinite supply of movies and music. Infinite. They can make identical copies until the end of time. My having one of those copies does absolutely nothing to the price of the music or movie.

              • Ken V says:

                So, say I had a magic cloning machine. Looks like a big photocopier, only it makes things. I take it to HMV and make my magic duplicates, 1:1, exactly like the original CDs. I have not stolen the CD, I have not devalued it, but I have taken one other thing: I have taken the sale away, the transaction. While no value has been lost, the store owner has lost the sale. Arguing semantics here, I’ll put it this way: I stole the sale, not the CD. The store owner does not stock the CD to look at it, but to sell it, so I have taken value away from the store.

                I go visit the Mona-Lisa, I make my magic copy, 1:1, I have not de-valued the Mona, I have not stolen it, I just have a copy with every brushstroke intact. But the question is, what do I do with the copy? If I put it on display, it’s like seeding a torrent or placing it online – at which point I really HAVE de-valued it, because now other people are not going to view the original. If I keep it to myself for private viewing, I really haven’t de-valued it that much.

                It’s a messy, complicated analogy because the mona-lisa is a legendary piece of art and there is no magic copy-machine.

                As per the copies not having value, they do have value. Like ThinkSMarter said, or you wouldn’t have copied them. I place no value on rap, I personally think it takes no talent, I don’t download it. But for music you might download, I just think the value is far less than they’re willing to charge. A digital copy of a song, according to itunes is about $1. The music industry wanted something like $2.50 before steve-o put the kaibash on it. So clearly, the value has swing. I personally would buy digital music if it was unlocked (available for all my devices) not tied to specific players, and was priced more fairly at $0.25 or even $0.15. Any losses that they have would be covered by the tax the music industry placed on hard-drives (assuming anyone with a HD is a pirate).

        • Zeppelin462 says:

          I have been reading your comments, and it seems you are trying as hard as possible to justify theft by any means necessary.

          Whether or not you deprive someone of a physical object, whether or not you make an exact copy, you are stealing said item if you do not agree to pay for something that has been given a monetary value by the seller. It doesn’t matter what value you would give to the item. If it was as easy as going on to iTunes and seeing a song for a dollar that you value at zero, then downloading said song on another site (that is not authorized by a record label or others who have control over the sale of the item) for free, then everyone would be justified in never paying a dime for anything. Just because you do not give it any sort of value does not give you the right to take it for that “price.” You are depriving the seller of a potential sale, plain and simple. It doesn’t matter if the seller still has his/her product, he/she has lost a sale and potential earnings.

          The reason why the free market has worked so well throughout history is because of agreements between buyers and sellers on a price to pay for goods. It is not a one-way street. If the buyer had the entire say, then sellers would leave the market and we would be deprived of goods in general.

          If you do not plan on purchasing a good for what the seller determines it is worth, then you do not have the right to utilize it. Stop trying to justify theft just because you don’t like how the system works.

    • jurupa says:

      And people wonder or more cry about when companies put DRM on their digital products. Its because of people like you iambeaker41 who have no problem committing copyright infringement (which is basically stealing).

      • obits3 says:

        Here’s one for ya: You buy $1,000 of songs from iTunes. Because of DRM issues, all of your songs are erased. Has Apple destroyed your property?

        If yes, then why don’t they pay?
        If no, then is downloading free copies really stealing?

        Just a thought…

        • Griking says:

          Here’s a thought, you purcahse a HP laptop. Because of bad NVIDIA display adapters your laptop no loner works so you walk into Best Buy and take another off the shelf when nobody is looking is it really stealing?

          Just because you think that you’re entitled to another copy doesn’t make it legal to just take another without paying for it or having having it given to you.

          • sagodjur says:

            So it’s okay for a megacorporation to screw over the consumer but not okay for the consumer to make things right?

            The laptop should be under warranty if you bought it recently and the laptop is not a digital file and so stealing a new one deprives the manufacturer of a tangible object that cannot be sold to someone else.

          • pantheonoutcast says:

            Yes, because your theft of the laptop deprives the store of a piece of merchandise to sell, and thereby costs them money.

            Re-downloading a song doesn’t cost anybody anything. Nothing.

            The equating of stealing a physical object to making a copy of a digitized song is getting ridiculously stupid. It’s not just you, but if you can’t see the fundamental differences between the two, you’re either being intentionally obstinate, or unintentionally dumb.

          • obits3 says:

            I think you missed the point of what I was saying. I will use your example:

            1. You buy an HP laptop.
            2. HP intentionally “bricks” your laptop.
            3. Has HP destroyed your property?

            The answer is yes. HP owes you another laptop.

            However, if Apple’s bad DRM destroys your songs, they won’t pay you or make you whole (i.e. give you the songs their DRM destroyed). Thus, by their own actions, Apple is making a distinction between physical property and intellectual property.

            If a company will not pay for destroying the songs you bought from them, they are essentially saying that the songs have no value. If you copy that which has no value (by admission of the company’s actions), have you really infringed?

            I am speaking in ethical terms.

            • SteveZim1017 says:

              although at any point you had the ability to burn your collection to CDs and back them up just in case something should happen to the songs you “rent” from apple (according to their agreement)

          • Munchie says:

            Thats the different between theft and infringement. Theft deprives someone of property.

          • partofme says:

            Physical property has an expectation of material failure. There is inherent risk in any transaction involving a physical object with mechanical or electrical forms of operation. Things get old and break. However, this is not inherent with strings of ones and zeros. There is no reason to expect them to break… unless, of course, their unnecessary DRM scheme acts up and destroys your property.

          • GearheadGeek says:

            That’s a very poor analogy to what obits3 stated. However, in the case obits3 stated, Apple owes you new copies of what they destroyed (or at best equivalent credit in the iTunes store) not actual monetary compensation.

          • ajlei says:

            Ugh, I wouldn’t risk theft for another HP. I wouldn’t even take one for free. Goddamn garbage.

          • Alys Brangwin says:

            Uh, that’s why laptops have warranties.

          • coren says:

            Everyone else kind of jumped on it, but your action hurts Best Buy in this case, who, for once, is an innocent party.

            Now, if you went to HP’s laptop factory and took one, you’d be closer to on point, but still wrong.

      • xxmichaelxx says:

        “And people wonder or more cry about when companies put DRM on their digital products. Its because of people like you”

        Actually, it’s not because of people like him at all. The only people DRM affects are already law-abiding people. Pirates aren’t even slowed down by it, because all of it has been cracked, and all of it will continue to be cracked.

        As a wise man said: Trying to make digital files uncopy-able is like trying to make water unwet.

        • Mike says:

          “As a wise man said: Trying to make digital files uncopy-able is like trying to make water unwet.”

          Well it doesn’t seem to stop companies from trying. Seriously from the beginning I have told people that the key to all this is not trying to fight the pirates, but make the music easier to access for everyone. DRM killed iTunes for me early on, so I never used it. I use Amazon for the most part. But I lived in Canada for several years where downloading is perfectly legal, I just had to pay a tax on media that I could burn on. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_sharing_in_Canada

        • jurupa says:

          And yet iambeaker41 is encouraging copyright infringement. Which will only encourage companies to put DRM on their products as long as people encourage such illegal behavior. Companies are just going to put more difficult DRM’s on their products making it harder for the pirates to crack it. Its a never ending cycle really with companies loosing millions of dollars in sales.

      • Munchie says:

        I have problems with opinions like yours. In the past the invention of movable type and the printing press were dangerous to those in power and were outlawed. Eventually technology destroyed the artificial obstacles. This is just history repeating itself. Those with power denying the reality of technology destroying their power. The future will look back on these times and laugh at the laws e are making now.

        • jurupa says:

          Your argument more applies to the RIAA than anything else, which in case I do very much agree with you. I agree that companies, especially those that belong to the RIAA need to get their act together and start delivering their products online.

    • crash357 says:

      So it’s privateering?

    • Dyscord says:

      I agree with the notion that downloading a digital copy is different than stealing a physical copy. It also doesn’t help that the music industry has an image of being incredibly greedy. The RIAA hasn’t helped matters any either. Not to mention that everyone knows that the actual artists make jack and shit compared to the labels.

      Also it says something when people are willing to pay when they know it supports the artists. Remember Radiohead’s experiment? They put their album up and told people to pay whatever they felt it was worth. They made a hell of a lot of money off of that. The music labels, meanwhile, try to tell us what we can do with the music that we pay for and make it hard to do even the simplest stuff. Ever try to take music OFF of an ipod? There’s a reason Apple makes it so damn hard.

      • Shmoodog says:

        You said: “I agree with the notion that downloading a digital copy is different than stealing a physical copy.”

        I completely disagree. What does ownership mean to you? We live in the information age, where incorporeal knowledge is just as important as physical objects, and sometimes more so.

        If someone is selling their work, whether a painting or a song, if you take it without paying, it is stealing. If you sneak into a rock concert, you are stealing. It’s that simple. Doesn’t matter how you frame it in perspective, taking something without paying for it is stealing.

        If you’d like to question the whole Free Market concept and the idea of ownership, that’s a completely different animal, and has nothing to do with Internet piracy.

        That being said, I have enjoyed free music in the past, and will do so in the future. If I could pay for everything I wanted, I probably still wouldn’t. I enjoy free stuff too much.

      • Shmoodog says:

        You said: “I agree with the notion that downloading a digital copy is different than stealing a physical copy.”

        I completely disagree. What does ownership mean to you? We live in the information age, where incorporeal knowledge is just as important as physical objects, and sometimes more so.

        If someone is selling their work, whether a painting or a song, if you take it without paying, it is stealing. If you sneak into a rock concert, you are stealing. It’s that simple. Doesn’t matter how you frame it in perspective, taking something without paying for it is stealing.

        If you’d like to question the whole Free Market concept and the idea of ownership, that’s a completely different animal, and has nothing to do with Internet piracy.

        That being said, I have enjoyed free music in the past, and will do so in the future. If I could pay for everything I wanted, I probably still wouldn’t. I enjoy free stuff too much.

    • Red Cat Linux says:

      I used to have no patience for people who ran into problems with pirated software. Don’t come to me for help – I’ll help you with any other problem on your system, but if you’re running jacked software I’ve got nothing for you.

      I bought my software retail, and had no problems. Recently, though the measures of DRM used by software publishers has risen to the ranks of criminal: That is, I buy software occasionally that, because of their piracy countermeasures, does not work. One game I bought did not state anywhere on it that you had to be logged in to the internet at all times to play it, and sometimes I am travelling, and have no ‘net access.

      Tech support is useless. Companies will not take opened software back. Yet I bought software that will not work as intended through no fault of my own, or my PC.

      I will download cracked versions, and not think twice about it. WTF. People downloading pirate copies are completely un-encumbered by the DRM bullshit, but I, paying my $60 per title, AM.

    • mystery79 says:

      I tend to give teens and college kids a break on the pirated stuff although I would still tell those people that it is theft – just because it’s easy and hard to catch you it’s still theft. It’s also 1 thing to download an mp3 valued at 99 cents and another to download a $50 or $60 video game. I used to download music – sometimes I still think “man I like this song, I should download it” but I don’t. If I don’t want to pay for it then I just don’t want or need it that badly. It took a little bit of maturity for me to come to that conclusion, which is why I tend to give the younger folks a bit of a pass.

      I know some people in their 30s and 40s who talk about downloading video games and pirating their game consoles. My manager who makes a lot more money than me does this and was trying to tell me how to do the “twilight princess” hack on my Wii. I just looked at him and told him no thanks. If I can afford to pay for games I want, he certainly can. It’s just this idea of entitlement and idea that it is “no big deal” that annoys me. Game developers are getting laid off and dev houses are closing. But those people who think it’s “no biggie” won’t get that or ever accept that their behavior is partly responsible for it.

      • Me - now with more humidity says:

        Amen.

      • Jerkface says:

        I get your point, and I’m not asking you to change your opinion about it, but please stop calling it theft. It is not theft. Theft is a criminal matter. This is copyright infringement, which is a civil matter. Only when the copyright infringement exceeds a certain dollar value does it become a criminal offense.

        • jivesukka says:

          Does it make you feel more guilty to have it called theft? I find theft just to be a blanket term referring to taking anything that you don’t own or didn’t pay for. Yes, legally it is copyright infringement, but morally or ethically it is theft.

  6. dolemite says:

    Basically…just speeding. Many speed limit laws are outdated. They were designed when we had gas shortages, and cars were deathtraps. Today, cars have antilock brakes, electronic stability control, airbags, etc, and can safely travel at a higher speed than in the 60s and 70s.

    • Genocidicbunny says:

      In a lot of residential areas, the speed limits arent entirely for your safety. Ive noticed around this area there are a lot of places where you cannot reasonably stop in time if you’re going at the speed limit without endangering yourself (namely getting rear ended)

      I agree that highways need speed limits bumped up, but the slower streets are for the most part fine as they are.

    • weestrom says:

      No, 55 MPH Interstate speed limits were when we had a gas shortage. They were raised to 75 ish (varies widely nationwide) in the 90s when gas was dirt cheap. Get the facts straight. Many cars (and drivers for that matter) cannot safely travel above 75, especially at night.

      • apierion says:

        It’s not the speed of an individual car that makes interstate travel dangerous, it’s the difference between the speed of two different cars.

        If everyone is going 75, it’s all good. It’s when you have some old lady doing 40 in the middle lane that problems start to arrive.

        • suedehead4 says:

          What about when two cars each traveling at 75 mph collide head-on? By your logic, the results won’t be any worse than if the cars were both doing 15 mph.

          • Salty Johnson says:

            But that doesn’t happen on a freeway, because directions are separated by concrete walls and K-rails.

            • Papa Midnight says:

              The hell it doesn’t. People like to cross those “emergency vehicle only” openings all the time. I’ve seen some jump clean across to off-ramps while driving through traffic.

              Or they hop the embankments (See: I-95)

          • asherchang2 says:

            He said interstate travel. I’m pretty sure a head-on collision would require something unusual happening beforehand to be possible on the highway. Like, crossing the 3-foot high medians.

            One car going 76 MPH rear-ending another going 76 MPH in the same direction will experience practically the same stopping forces as a pair of cars going about 35 MPH. Unless they’re headed straight for a wall, in which case they’re screwed.

    • jurupa says:

      Just because cars themselves can be safer to drive at higher speeds, does not meant people behind the wheel can drive a car at faster speed. There is a reason why you need a special drivers licenses to drive on the autobahn in Germany.

      • JRules says:

        A special drivers license to drive on the autobahn? Where did you read that nonsense?

        • GearheadGeek says:

          Well, you need a special license to DRIVE in Germany, as a citizen at least. Tourists with an int’l driving permit and their home-country license are allowed, but you actually have to learn something and prove you know it to get a license in Germany, unlike the ones that come out of vending machines here in the US.

      • jnads says:

        No special license required.

        The autobahn works because:
        1. Everyone needs drivers education in Germany. No “exempt over 18″. It costs a lot (>$1000), and takes 3-6 months IIRC.
        2. They have very strictly enforced rules about tailgating and staying in the left (passing lane) too long. In fact, if you get rear ended changing lanes into the passing lane, it’s your fault.
        3. All fines are proportional to your yearly wage.
        4. Drinking responsibly is taught at a early age, and there is zero tolerance in the legal system for DUI.

        All these things combined make them very disciplined drivers.

        • myCatCracksMeUp says:

          Now you’re just making me weep with the sad knowledge that these things will never happen here in the US.

        • lisalouise37 says:

          Maybe this is just Michigan, but I needed to take a written test and drive with an instructor before I could get my license at 21. I have seizures and had to go 5 years without having one before I could even think about getting a license. I don’t remember if that part is a state law or a “family” law. I didn’t have to take a class or anything but had to have the knowledge to pass those tests (my parents spent hours teaching me in parking lots and back country roads).

        • SalParadise says:

          No, the autobahn works because gasoline in Germany is over $4 a gallon. If you want to go fast, you pay the price for it.

          Given a choice, most people choose to drive slower and increase their mileage. Those who can afford to (or who want to) can zoom around. But they pay a price for it.

          The taxes go towards subsidizing mass transit.

          It’s a good idea, and we should adopt it over here. Put a “floating” federal tax on gas, so that it is $4 or $5 a gallon nationwide, irrespective of the market price of gasoline. At the same time, raise the speed limits on the interstates. If you want to go fast, knock yourself out. The tax money raised can go towards maintaining our crumbling infrastructure and (dare I say it?) reducing the national debt.

    • JRules says:

      My 10 speeding tickets completely agree. I hate these slow speed limits.

    • Joewithay says:

      I think 60s and 70s are good safe limits. What’s your rush? Since this is Consumerist, driving around 60 mph is where most cars are most efficient thus can save a lot of $$$ in the long run.

      • Kingeryck says:

        I think they mean the limits were set in the 1960s and 1970s.

      • myCatCracksMeUp says:

        On any decent limited access highway, unless there is heavy traffic, I can safely drive my car 90+ mph. I usually won’t go more than 80 here in VA because that’s where they (stupidly) charge reckless driving.

      • Papa Midnight says:

        Frankly, if I’m in a rush, I’m going to have a significant dislike for a 55mph limit on the interstate. I’ve been known to hit 80mph on surface streets, and yes, I do pass slower drivers. If you’re going the limit, I’ll give you quarter. But if the limit is 40 and you’re doing 30, you will be passed if it is reasonably safe to do so (aka: No on-coming vehicles within viewing distance (straight or downhill. Will not do this going up hill) and you likely won’t see my vehicle again. I know the roads I travel, I know what speeds are safe… and most importantly, I know where cops sit. Frankly, most speed limits were designed in the ’70s and are significantly in need of an update.

        By the way, the “60 mph golden rule” is an archaic and outdated guideline that is frankly moot. My 11 year old Second-Generation Altima gets it’s best mileage cruising at 70-75 mph and at 2500RPM. I do not use Overdrive. By the way, Overdrive is not the “K.I.T.T.! TURBO BOOST!!!” button as some people seem to mistakenly believe.

        And for the record, yes I have tested that theory with regards to best mph to gas mileage (expensively with regards to gas cost).

        Your mileage is based on numerous factors including but not limited to: Wind Speed, Wind Direction, Distance to the vehicle behind you, size and distance to the vehicle in front of you, the vehicle to your left, the vehicle to your right, your vehicle size, rpm ranges used when accelerating, time spent reaching a speed, time spent at that speed, braking, shifting, air conditioning, windows, number of persons in a vehicle, total vehicle weight, tire inflation, tire condition, road conditions, weather conditions, humidity, heat, temperate at the time you placed the fuel into your vehicle, etc. I can do this all day.

    • hansolo247 says:

      Speed limits should be based on an inverse formula of vehicle weight and stopping distance.

      Namely, I would get to go fast. Anyone in an SUV has to go slow.

    • Sandaasu says:

      They are, yes. Especially on the long stretches of interstate out in the middle of nowhere. If I want to do 100+ mph out in the middle of nowhere with no traffic, the law shouldn’t care one bit.

      Even on highways in populated areas, they seem rather low, and many times, unnecessary.

      In the end, I’d say that given he retirements on their construction (particularly with barriers between traffic going in opposite directions), the interstates shouldn’t have any speed limits expect in spots where there are specific safety concerns due to tricky traffic patterns and low visibility.

  7. Wargazm says:

    Simple: Are you hurting anyone? No? Go nuts.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Physical harm? Emotional? Financial?

    • dragonfire81 says:

      Ok let’s say there’s an up and coming band I really like but instead of buying their CD (or downloading it), I download it illegally, costing them money they would have otherwise made if I had bought it. That hurts them. A band can only survive if they sell enough albums and generate enough revenue to survive.

      • the_didgers says:

        If you really like them, you’ll buy the CD.

        I once had a huge collection of Jackie Chan movies on my hard drive, but not anymore. When I was able to, I gradually bought them on DVD.

        • veronykah says:

          If you really like them, you’ll go to the show and buy some merch. That’s how they make $$$.

      • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

        Alas, about 99% of any “upcoming” band signed with a major label would get butkis when you bought their CD or iTunes/amazon/Walmart (delete as required) track. The way you really support these bands is by going to their concerts and buying live recordings whilst there. Record company gets zero. Band gets 100%, unless they were stupid enough to relinquish the copyright to the song they’re performing to the record company, as opposed to the recording that’s on the CD/itunes/whatever the record company’s selling.

      • coren says:

        Selling albums is not required for bands to survive. Touring and merchandise are both bigger sources of revenue

      • nsv says:

        I know a few musicians with record deals they can’t stand, and they’ve told me the same thing: steal our music, then come to the shows and buy merchandise.

        It makes it easier for them to get out of unfair deals (who wants to keep a musician who isn’t selling any CDs?), I get to hear their music, I get to see them play live, which really is the essence of music, I get t-shirts and stuff, and they make money. They even do better on CDs sold at the show. At least they get a buck or so.

        Hell, before I moved I was often the one at the merch table, selling their stuff. I never accepted anything for doing that–I always paid for my merchandise. But you wouldn’t believe the people who would try to talk me out of free stuff. “But I’ll be writing a review! Don’t you want me to have a t-shirt?”

      • kujospam says:

        I agree, we need to force people to like people’s music and pay for it. Extreme opposite is fun. Seriously, if you don’t feel the band is worth that much money you are not going to pay for it, even if you have the money. It’s called market price. The idea that one thing costs the same to everybody is insane. Which is why prices lower and raise based on an average of hopefully accurate demand.

      • Conformist138 says:

        I am starting a class called “Loss vs Unmade Profit” The key thing to note when trying to decide if an unmade profit can even count as a loss is if the profit ever had the possibility of existing. If I download a pirated album, the band didn’t lose anything. Why? My bank account is drained after rent, utilities, groceries, and a bus pass. The money never existed, they couldn’t have it no matter how much I wanted to give it to them.

        The band never lost anything. Not making all of your potential profit doesn’t mean you lost anything, it was never yours to begin with.

    • WorkingDad says:

      I’d hate to think what would happen if I brought up my kids that way.

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        They’d grow up and join the Libertarian Party, depriving Republicans of votes in key states?

      • Moriarty says:

        Do you not distinguish between parenting and legislating?

      • Conformist138 says:

        Of course, you’re right, why didn’t I think of this before?

        Dear Government,

        In order to be sure all of us are living the life of WorkingDad’s lovely children, we, The People of The United States of America, hereby request the following to be made law, effective immediately:

        1. All citizens shall report for bedtime at precisely 9pm on work nights (9:30 on the weekends).
        2. Ice cream must be sold with broccoli; the broccoli must be consumed before the ice cream is allowed to leave the store.
        3. Adult-proof caps must be on any and all medication- if we can open it, we might hurt ourselves.
        4. Indoor helmets

        Sincerely,
        The OH GOD THINK OF THE CHILDREN! foundation

    • Kissyboots says:

      This. Nothing else is really anyone’s business. I don’t get all the vitriol spewed on the internet towards people who smoke pot or download songs.

  8. pop top says:

    I’m the kind of person that is cool with a lot of stuff, as long as it doesn’t actually hurt or harm other people. I’m definitely not against pot, or most narcotics for that matter. I’ve downloaded music before, but that actually led me to spend money on artists that I wouldn’t have heard of otherwise (thank you old-school Napster users for listing anything out of Germany as Rammstein).

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Physical harm? Emotional? Financial? There does the line get drawn?

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        Downloading a song causes none of those. Come off it.

        • AI says:

          What about the theoretical unproven financial harm? Hmm?

          • kyle says:

            To Loias and Airintake, having worked closely with people in the music industry I can assure you the vast majority of bands aren’t the ones affected by illegal downloading. there are some exceptions such as Metallica and Kiss as these bands own and operate themselves, therefore they directly lose from having these downloads. However, these bands have already earned themselves so much money that it really is insignificant. honestly illegal downloading is like a free marketing campaign. 90 percent of the indie bands out there are so greatful for P2P because it makes their music so much more accesible and well known. The problem is that the RIAA doesn’t care about the bands, it cares about the labels and their fat paychecks. ask the average musician how much of the money from merchandising and CD’s and downloads on itunes actually goes to them… thats what I thought

          • Fidget says:

            It might hurt feelings?

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          That’s why I said financial. Lack of sales causes a financial harm.

          Will your single song download kill Amazon? No. will your 100 downloaded songs kill Amazon? No. But everyone stealing all the music would.

          And just because 99% of us pay for it doesn’t mean it gives you permission to not pay for it simply because the act doesn’t put Amazon out of business. That’s just assinine thinking.

          • pantheonoutcast says:

            Justin Bieber, an “artist” that could not possibly have existed before digital music, has two albums that went platinum in 9 countries.

            The “illegal downloads causes a plummet in sales” hypothesis is a myth perpetuated by the RIAA. If an androgynous fetus can sell millions upon millions of albums to a fan base of people who have no jobs or credit cards, then a real musician with talent and an audience with disposable income should be able to do the same.

            If he can’t, then he’s either lacking talent or a gimmick.

            But if I turned around and downloaded both of Justin Beiber’s “cleverly” titled albums right now, he wouldn’t lose one cent. Not one. Nor would his overall sales go down.

            It’s a myth and a fallacy to think that illegal downloads hurt the artists in any way, shape or form.

          • coren says:

            Simple, if it comes down to it, either I download or I go without – no financial loss there, is there?

      • Firethorn says:

        Physical harm – pretty easy: if it’s non-consensual, deliberate, and takes more than a day to heal, misdemeanor. If it involves loss of life, limb, stay in the hosptial(exempting a checkup), felony.
        Emotional: Requires a sustained deliberate effort. Single episodes causing people to break down and cry garner my ‘grow a pair’ response.
        Financial: Again, damages should be pretty easy to prove. Should aslo be direct – If you open up your own store and suck profits away from competitors because you’re better; then you win. You steal from their registers, you lose.

    • vegwalker says:

      A lot of innocent people, not just the drug dealers, getting murdered down in Mexico right now, and moving pot into the US market is the root cause.

    • Bativac says:

      Yeah, I’ve spent a couple hundred bucks on Roy Orbison music that I never would have spent, had I not “stolen” a few Orbison tunes from Napster way-back-when.

      Yeah, I said it, Roy Orbison. So I have an old soul. And a penchant for operatic pop music.

    • DorsalRootGanglion says:

      Hey….it’s Garrus. He was always my favorite, what with that stick up his ass.

    • Papa Midnight says:

      Not as bad as everyone listing anything that was a parody as “Weird Al”, yet the man has never used profanity in any song he’s done.

  9. Zowzers says:

    Yeah, I love the 5th amendment.

    otherwise, this thread is probably going to be filled with posts from people who really should watch the “why you don’t talk to the police with out your lawyer present” videos.

    • CRCError1970 says:

      I hear that.. My dad and uncle were cops… They made sure I knew if a cop ever asks me a question to keep my trap shut.

      I have to say, I’ve had my share of cops pulling me over and writing me a warning even though I refuse to play 20 questions with them. You don’t increase your chance of a ticket at all by being smart.

  10. DarksSideMoon says:

    Paying for one admission and seeing two movies is flat out stealing. It costs a significant amount of money to run projectors. It’d be like hopping onto another flight you don’t have a ticket for while you’re at the airport.

    • Big Mama Pain says:

      Well, I could see that if the second movie you went to was packed and you potentially “stole” a seat a paying customer could have. But the movie is running whether you paid for the ticket or not, so….it’s not really losing the theater money.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      I waffle on this. If it is a movie you would not have paid to see but just saw it while you were there to kill an afternoon, it doesn’t seem like anyone loses anything. I would think that if you purchased extra snack bar items and the theater wasn’t crowded, the theater might actually profit from theater hopping.

      But, then there are the people who see multiple movies they might have paid to see otherwise who don’t buy snacks. That is where the profit loss comes in.

      Either way, while I wouldn’t theater hop my self, I wouldn’t even notice someone else doing it. There are lots of things I wouldn’t do that I don’t get morally outraged by other people doing.

    • janeslogin says:

      “Paying for one admission and seeing two movies is flat out stealing.” I don’t follow. They are going to play the other movie anyway. One has not taken anything from them so how can it be stealing?

  11. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Regarding those March Madness and poker night pools: In most states, this is legal as long as no one makes a cut off the top. In other words, as long as all the money put into the pool will be paid out as winnings, you’re okay. So no finder’s fees, etc.

    Other stipulations usually also include things like a cap on the amount gambled, and the situation in which it is gambled such as in-home or office pools.

    You state websites usually will provide guidance.

  12. Skeetz says:

    I stole your heart, Chris.

  13. Genocidicbunny says:

    The drinking alcohol thing varies by state. Its illegal to purchase alcohol if you’re under 21, but there are a variety of exceptions to actually consuming it. In a lot of places, minors can consume alcohol as long as their parent/guardian is around.

    Heck, CA here has little to no restrictions on underage consumption. You just cant buy the stuff if you’re under 21.

    As for what Ill give a pass on? Some drugs in reasonable amounts, speeding, also within reason. Breaking DRM to make copies of software or media that you’re legally entitled to.

    • damaskus says:

      The laws used to say that it was OK for minors to drink at restaurants/public places if their parents were there, but I think most states have disallowed it for the most part. I know New Mexico and Florida have, for sure. New Mexico routinely hands out “minor in possession” citations when a minor is even *at* a party where there’s alcohol, regardless of why they’re there — DD, little sister of the host, whatever, and the citation includes a mandatory court date and goes on your record. Florida just kinda slaps minors on the wrist and tells them to go home to their mothers.

    • JMILLER says:

      Not so much. The law says if a child consumes alcohol in their home only, AND their blood alcohol does not reach 0.05% it is not a crime. The other part that kills your, “CA here has little to no restrictions on underage consumption. You just cant buy the stuff if you’re under 21.” is that the person who provides the alcohol is guilty of the crime. The assumption a court would make, is either, the minor purchased it, or it was provided by somebody who was of age. All bets are off if you are in public.
      By your “reasoning”, I could walk into a bar, buy a drink and give it to an 18 year old. (illegal). OR, you could pay a 21 year old, to go to the store for you, buy the alcohol and deliver it to your home and there would be no crime. You might need to learn the law before you try that one.

      By the way, I think any person over the age of 16 should be allowed to drink anything they want. I think anybody who drives under the influence of alcohol, no matter what age should lose their driving privledges for a minimum of 1 year. If there is any accident involved it should be 5 years, and if it causes injury 10 years, and if it causes death you should never be allowed to drive again.

      • Genocidicbunny says:

        I didnt even mention purchasing alcohol for minors because I assumed we all knew that was a big no-no. Thats the fun thing about the law, a minor can consume alcohol at home with their guardians around, but technically the minor’s guardians are then furnishing alcohol to the minor.
        Its a big legal clusterfuck.

  14. EarthAngel says:

    Almost everybody I know talks about torrents or burning DVDs.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      This. Its so true, I was at a family picnic and guess what the talk was about? I almost didn’t believe it was happening, but it was.

  15. mugwump says:

    bah, i must be a total frak, as i’ve done all of the above

  16. yellowwallpaper says:

    I will ride my bike on the sidewalk if there is no bike lane and there aren’t pedestrians out on the sidewalks

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Frankly, this should standard law. If bicyclists can’t obey ALL traffic laws, they shouldn’t be allowed on the road at all. And when they do break traffic laws, no one prosecutes. They are considered “pedestrians” yet get full use of the road.

      Complete hypocracy.

      • dolemite says:

        I always marvel when I am traveling down the road at 35-50 mph, and there is a bike rider. Cars are swerving into the turn lane, slamming on the brakes, because he’s doing 1/3 of the speed limit. If you aren’t able to perform at the level a car can go, you need to ride somewhere else.

        • SuperSnackTime says:

          Why does a car have a god-given right to the road a bike doesn’t? Would it kill you to, you know, slow down, until you can pass easily and safely? Or would that possibly inconvenience you by 15 seconds?

          • pantheonoutcast says:

            Because car owners pay for the roads in part via license fees, registration fees and inspection fees. Bike owners pay for nothing, so they get nothing.

            I think it should be equitable – if you want to drive your toy on the street surrounded by 2000-pound hunks of metal, then you should have to take a cycling road test, purchase insurance and pay a “road use” fee. If you’re not going to help pay for the roads, then go bike in the park somewhere.

            • EarthAngel says:

              Your assuming that bicyclists don’t also pay for vehicle taxes. I own two registered cars, which means I should be able to ride my bike anywhere. Right?

              • pantheonoutcast says:

                No. That doesn’t make sense. You have two registered cars, so you can drive them on the roads. Until your bicycle is also registered, licensed and insured (remember, you want the same rights as a car driver), then it it can stay in the garage, or you can bring it to the park or something. Back in the day, I had a Yamaha YZ125 which I could not legally ride on the roads, despite it being as safe or safer than a bicycle. There is no earthly reason why a cyclist should be able to equally share the roads with a car without some sort of assurances that his toy is insured, he is licensed, and knows the rules of the road.

                No license, no registration, no insurance should = no roads. Maybe I should start a grassroots movement here….

                • cosmic.charlie says:

                  I am glad to pay a proportional amount of fees to maintain roads. When my bike does as much damage to the road as your two and a half ton automobile, let me know.

              • XTC46 says:

                No, you can ride your car anywhere. Gas taxes are what pay for most road costs here. That way, those you use the road the most, generally pay the most. We also have a lot of bike paths, also paid for by car drivers.

        • Chmeeee says:

          Bikes have a legal right to use the road. It is the faster driver’s responsibility to accommodate the slower moving vehicles as long as there isn’t a minimum speed limit. The speed limit is just that, a maximum limit.

        • halcyon22 says:

          The speed limit is just that: a limit. The max speed at which a vehicle can legally travel on the road. Do you have the same attitude about a car being driven at 1/2 the speed limit?
          I dislike getting stuck behind someone on a bike as much as the next organic life form, but I’ve learned to share the road.

          • pantheonoutcast says:

            You realize that there are minimum speeds that a car must travel as well, right? You can’t drive 20 miles an hour on I-95.

            • thewildboo says:

              You can’t drive a bike on I-95 either. Regular town/city streets don’t have minimums.

              • xxmichaelxx says:

                False. People are regularly ticketed for “obstructing traffic” here in Reno when driving too slow. It can also be “Creating an unsafe condition”.

            • chargernj says:

              bikes aren’t allowed on the interstate, at least not where I come from

              • SwoonOMatic says:

                There are places in the Desert Southwest where the only way to get between two points is via interstate highway. In those places bicycles are allowed to ride in the interstate. I believe I-40 between Albuquerque and Flagstaff allows bicycles.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        That actually is the law where I live. The only place you can’t ride your bike on the sidewalks here is downtown and only then because the sidewalks are too narrow and there’s too much pedestrian traffic for that to be safe.

      • Snockered says:

        By definition, a pedestrian is someone traveling by foot. Bicyclists are NOT pedestrians and they don’t belong on the sidewalk. I don’t mind if a cyclist rides on a sidewalk where there are no pedestrians, but it’s annoying and dangerous if they’re in a busy shopping or residential area.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          That is why I said “pedestrians” not, pedestrians. For most states, cyclists in all situation have the right of way against a motor vehicle, just like a pedestrian, no matter how assinine and stupid the cyclist may be, nor how illegal his actions may be in relation to traffic law.

          If a cyclist hits my car, does his insurance pay for my car’s damages? If I have to swerve to avoid a cyclist doing something that violates the rules of the road and hurt myself or other, does his insurance cover that? Are cyclists even required to to have insurance?! Not in my state they don’t. And if you don’t have insurance, you shoudn’t be driving on the road.

          • Snockered says:

            No they don’t. Cyclists are supposed to stop at stop signs, red lights, cross walks, etc, just like cars. If a bike pulls up to a 4-way stop sign after a car, the car gets to go first.
            I get that many cyclists don’t obey these rules and that makes it dangerous for everyone. They should obey laws just like cars are supposed to.

            I don’t know where you live, but I ride my bike a lot, both in the city and in the suburbs, and have never been on a road where a driver has had to wait more than a few seconds to pass me.

            It seems like biking is more becoming more and more popular. Hopefully more places will provide bike lanes and make an effort to enforce the law, both for cyclists and drivers. Because I like riding my bike. It’s environmentally friendly and keeps me from getting all tubby.

          • pantheonoutcast says:

            I see we can agree on something :)

            There is no “bicycle insurance” here in NY. They don’t have plates, they don’t have registrations, they don’t have inspections. Yet, I’m supposed to treat them as pedestrians AND cars simultaneously? Yeah, I don’t think so.

            If a cyclist hits my car, and does damage, I’m going home with his bike.

        • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

          It’s even more annoying in busy traffic when they are riding on the road and you can’t pass them so you spend the next 10 minutes riding behind one at 10 MPH. We have a wide and long path of bike trails that go everywhere. There is nothing that pisses me off more than being right next to the bike trail and having cyclists still taking up the road and blocking traffic.

      • 44Wadeable says:

        If I’ve been waiting for five minutes at a traffic light that’s tipped off by weight when there are no cars present, I’m going to run it. If I were in a car, it would have turned green by now. Otherwise, I generally agree with you on cyclists abiding traffic laws. Usually I can get from A to B as fast or nearly as fast as a car (include, say, the time it would take a driver to find a parking space) whilst following traffic laws.

    • Thyme for an edit button says:

      I’ll ride on the sidewalk even if there are pedestrians. In my neighborhood, we have wide bike lanes and it is great. Downtown, the bike lanes disappear and cars zip by without paying attention at turns and what not. I’d rather risk getting a ticket for riding on the sidewalk than get hit by a car.

      I always use a bell when coming up behind pedestrians though because it annoys/startles me when I am walking on the sidewalk and a cyclist suddenly goes past.

      • bunglewaltz says:

        There’s no way in hell I’m going to ride my bike on a 2 lane road with no turn lane or shoulder during rush hour when there’s a perfectly good sidewalk. I’d rather get a ticket than lose my life. I’ve almost hit too many bikers myself in that situation to take the risk. Call me a hypocrite, call me what you will, but I’d rather feel safe than obey the law. Like the people calling bikers hypocrites have never broken any driving laws. Gimmie a break.

    • Chmeeee says:

      Riding on the sidewalk is unsafe for the bicyclists too. Cars pulling out of intersections and driveways are not looking for something going 10-25 mph on the sidewalk, so you’re likely to get taken out. They’ll stop and look (well, usually) before pulling out into the road, so that’s where you should be riding.

      • bennilynn says:

        Yep, yep. I almost plowed over some guy on a bicycle the other day when I was making a left into my apartment parking lot. I did not expect him to be going the opposite way of traffic on the sidewalk. He was breaking two traffic laws and was very nearly street pizza because of it. Had the nerve to flip me off, too, when my tires squealed after I slammed on my brakes.

        • somedave says:

          In a lot of places you’re allowed to ride on the sidewalk, and if you’d made him a road pizza would be in a heap of trouble. You still have to pay attention to what you’re driving into.

          • bennilynn says:

            It’s illegal here. And, the point is, if they break the laws and/or do something unexpected, then accidents can occur.

      • jefeloco says:

        That’s why I stopped riding my motorcycle on the sidewalks.

  17. dotyoureyes says:

    Lemonade stands.

  18. Harry_Greek says:

    Pen caps. Not pens,… just pen caps.

  19. jcota says:

    As long as your aren’t hurting someone or their physical property its fair game.

    • WorkingDad says:

      For those who say it’s ok if it doesn’t hurt anyone, that would mean spamming is OK, right?

      Or how about if I call your mother an expletive expletive. That’s ok right? – since I didn’t really hurt anyone.

  20. Nuc says:

    I took the tags off my mattress. I’m still on the run.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      It’s only illegal for the original seller to remove the tags. Once it has been bought it’s fine to take them off.

    • Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

      We’ve pinpointed your location and we’re calling in the Special Mattress Forces. Don’t leave town.

  21. pantheonoutcast says:

    The ones for which we don’t get caught, of course.

  22. lupis42 says:

    Was anyone hurt who did not could not consent? If not, you’re good.

  23. jason in boston says:

    Breaking DRM, torrenting only because there is no other way to get the content.

    Using open wi-fi for personal uses when in a bind.

    • jurupa says:

      “Breaking DRM, torrenting only because there is no other way to get the content.”

      Only those that don’t want to pay the price tag will say something like this.

    • UltimateOutsider says:

      I have torrented films and TV shows that were otherwise unavailble in the States due to DVD region encoding and distribution agreements. For years only the first season of the Larry Sanders show (an American show) was available on Region 1 DVD, while all the subsequent seasons were only sold overseas.

      I think that DVD region encoding is completely bogus. It’s a world economy, and content providers need to acknowledge that.

      I also believe in breaking DRM in order to make copies of content that you own. I like to rip our kid DVDs to store on our personal network storage device for streaming in the home. It’s technically illegal to do that (even in light of the recent concession made for ripping small portions of content), but if I paid for it, I want to be able to use it how I see fit.

      • jurupa says:

        Why can’t you buy a US dvd player? I am sure someone will import one for you.

        • hansolo247 says:

          Why should he have to buy another DVD player to play a DVD when he already has a DVD player???

        • Atalanta says:

          Or a multiregion player. There are simple cracks out there for a lot of brands of DVD player that just involve hitting a few buttons in a certain sequence on your remote, and then it’ll play DVDs from anywhere.

  24. Sky75 says:

    My policy on downloading is, if I can easily, legally, get the content, I do. If I can’t, then I view that as a failure on the part of the content maker/provider and I download it. Between Netflix and iTunes there is no reason I shouldn’t be able to watch any movie I want immediately (once it’s out of the theaters). Same goes for music, but when they pull bullsh*t like making the best track only available if you buy the entire album (i.e. B.O.B’s “Airplanes” – you can only get the Eminem version if you buy the entire thing, but the rest of the songs are available as single downloads), well, then I’m heading to bittorrent.

    • jason in boston says:

      Great minds :)

    • EllenRose says:

      There is much in what you say.

    • JMILLER says:

      So the content maker has to go by YOUR rules? Wow. So if buying a car was to hard for you to do, you would steal it because the dealership is too far, or takes too much time, or asks for your DL and SS#?

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        Stealing a $20K car and depriving the owner of said car = theft

        Downloading a digital copy of song they play on the radio for free =/= theft.

        Unless we can all agree to this very basic, logical, and legal definition, then there can be no intelligent debate.

      • Sky75 says:

        I would hardly say these are MY rules. If it were up to me there would be no expiration date on rented movies, I could play my iTunes content on every computer, and I’d be able to download stuff from Netflix rather than have to stream it through them. But those are the rules the content makers have and as a consumer I’m willing enough to abide by them. However when THEY choose to break the rules because they think they can get more money out of me (i.e. the song example in my original post-the ONLY REASON that particular song is not available to download is to force people to pay for the entire album), then it forces me to do 1 of 2 things: not consume that particular media (which is a route I sometimes choose) or download it. Either way results in the exact same consequence – they don’t get my money for whatever it was I wanted in the first place.

  25. AI says:

    Americans can vacation in Cuba legally…..as long as they don’t spend any money. It’s a trade embargo, not a travel embargo. I suggest going to Cuba with your Canadian friends, just have them buy it for you as a gift.

  26. wjstone says:

    music piracy

  27. DariusC says:

    In regards to piracy, I would say that the reason piracy is a problem is because developers are copying something that takes very little energy and sells them for millions of dollars (music, games, movies, etc). I am not talking about physical items.

    Of course people will argue that someone’s intillectual property is still property, which I don’t believe is true. I am completely against digital sales (paying for copies of data) no matter how convenient it is. That is why many people pirate.

    Also… pot, speeding, prostitution, or anything else that is immoral or illegal without it actually hurting someone else.

    My only exception… drug dealing… drug dealer prices are so high, it is seriously criminal…

    • jason in boston says:

      Agreed, both legal and illegal drugs :(

    • paul says:

      If you think creating “music, games, movies” takes very little effort, I’m guessing you’re not in the business of making music, games or movies.

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        I don’t know if I agree with the movies or games part of the argument, but have you listened to modern, mainstream “music” lately? It sounds like someone pressed all the “Demo” buttons in the synthesizer section of Sam Ash at the same time.

        • XTC46 says:

          If it sounds that bad, you have no reason to download it at all. If you are downloading it, you want it, and if you want it, you should pay for it.

          • pantheonoutcast says:

            Using that logic, I can see what side of the prostitution debate you are on. That’s cool – consenting adults and all that…

      • Ken V says:

        Why do we not then pay firefighters, police, coal miners, frontline troops, ect ect millions of dollars? Comparatively, making music is pretty easy and the money that can be made is mindblowing. I say this less so for games because it doesn’t take millions of dollars to write a song, and the people who design (good) games have to be smart and know there way around some pretty complex electronics, logic and scale.

        The music industry could cut the cost of songs down to 1/10th of their current cost, then aside from increased business, they would ‘only’ be making hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

      In regards to piracy, I would say that the reason piracy is a problem is because developers are copying something that takes very little energy and sells them for millions of dollars (music, games, movies, etc). I am not talking about physical items.

      I’m guessing the people that created that content you feel “takes very little energy” have a much different opinion than yours. You’re not paying for a CD/BluRay/DVD with a bunch of pits burned into it, you’re paying for the way those pits are burned into it. It takes a lot of effort to arrange those bits. Get it? Got it? Good.

      • DariusC says:

        Except for the fact that I mean that it takes little energy to copy something (CTRL + C / CTRL + V). I realize some of them may work hard, but unless they shell out cash for the CD/case/artwork/shipping/retail cut, they do not deserve my money. It is called spending cash to make cash.

  28. Coe-Stanza says:

    “same with that $50 buy-in poker game you and your pals have every Tuesday night.”

    Is this really illegal? I would think there’s a certain limit you could stay under (Perhaps $500 or $1000) to where you can do this freely.

    • Im Just Saying says:

      In many states the home poker game is legal as long as there’s no rake to the “house.”

    • Kibit says:

      And technically you should report and pay taxes on your winnings

    • XTC46 says:

      not in my state. As long as its not in a business, and all the buy ins are paid out in winnings (i.e. no rake) house games are considered “friendly” and legal. And this is in a state where gambling as a whole is illegal, we dont even have a lottery.

  29. tweeder82o says:

    in some states, some oral sexual acts are illegal

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      Then I am in big trouble.

    • JMILLER says:

      Nope, that was struck down in Lawrence V Texas in 2003. Oral sex fell under sodomy laws and is legal in all 50 states. It also means you can put it in his or her ass too.
      The funny part is, you could have gone to prison for sodomy, where you would promptly partake in more sodomy than a gay bath house.

      • Jerkface says:

        I guess the logic was that if you’re the kind of person who LIKES sodomy, then you’re the kind of person who would like prison! Welcome home!

  30. luftmenschPhil says:

    Covering up dog poop with grass cuttings rather than picking it up. (ok, come get me…)

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      That is where I draw the line. Snort coke on your patio or front porch for all I care, but not picking up after your animal and me getting it on my shoe? Hell.To. Pay

  31. rookie says:

    I am an amateur wikileaker, smoking a joint whilst jaywalking…

    naked…

    • Im Just Saying says:

      Taking a wikileak while smoking pot is not recommended. You’ll get wiki all over your pant leg.

      • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

        How could he get wikileaks all over his pant leg? He did say he was naked, after all.

  32. Big Mama Pain says:

    I’ve definitely have had to go to some shady lengths to get my car inspected in the past. In fact, I haven’t even had an inspection in a few years because I moved to a state that doesn’t really care. I’ve been pulled over a couple of times and they’ve never noticed. So yeah, thumbs up to mechanics who are willing to just slap a sticker on there.

    • axhandler1 says:

      I’ve actually been late to work in recent months more than once because police will block off a main road during morning rush hour and channel all the cars into one lane.This is so they can see if your inspection sticker is current, and if it’s not, they wave you over and give you a ticket. It’s such an annoyance.

      • paul says:

        Where I live, you only need an inspection to get/renew your license plates. No stickers or roadblocks needed. No inspection, no plates, which makes it fairly obvious to the cops. :)

  33. Hoss says:

    Is Chris engaged too? When Ben started using softball questions instead of informational posts he announced a love interest. Maybe he has a new puppy?

  34. EllenRose says:

    Well, everybody is a felon. There are even books about it — Three Felonies A Day by Harvey A. Silverglate is one. I’m sure I’ve committed even more felonies than I know about.

  35. axhandler1 says:

    “In the future, new technology will allow police to solve 100% of all crimes. The bad news is that we’ll realize 100% of the population are criminals, including the police.”

    I’m fine with speeding, as long as it’s not reckless, like the morons who race each other on the highway while weaving in and out of traffic.

  36. techstar25 says:

    Marijuana.
    Just like tobacco, it harms your lungs, and just like alcohol it impairs your judgment, yet NOT to the extent that either of them do. Both of those things are legal and are billion dollar industries. It’s one law that just makes no sense from a rational, intelligent, scientific standpoint.

  37. Rachacha says:

    “Almost everyone reading this …has at some point copied music illegally. Many of us drank alcohol before we were of age, or drove a car before we were licensed…”

    I can honestly say that I never have done any of those things (unless you include the teeny tiny sips of beer my dad used to give me when I was 18mos old…hey it was the 1970′s). As I have never done any of these illegal activities, I am unable and inelligable to run for a political office! See kids, every decision you make can have an impact on your life.

  38. brianisthegreatest says:

    I don’t think it’s very wise to post one’s downloading history on here, but I would like to say there was a time in life where I was not bothered by this activity. Movies, music, games, and applications, whatever I thought I wanted or could use. (it was free) Currently, I no longer participate in these activities.

    There are a lot of spoofed numbers and boilerplate complaints about copyright infringements stifling innovation and creativity. I no longer wish to provide these companies with an excuse. I am not impressed with the process in which these companies produce and create content, and the level at which it is consumed or tied so closely into society. For instance, pop artists, film reboots, remakes, poorly scripted and written films recycled and repeatedly pushed into people’s heads.

    That said, I am not a tinfoil hat wearer. I just think that stuff makes you stupid. (when I downloaded, it was much more independent in origin with a bit of a different creative process used to create the content) The majority of people just gobble this stuff up, it’s sickening.

    Yes, I have sped. Yes, I have done some jaywalking. (not waiting to get to the cross walk to cross the street) I understand those rules are put into place for safety. For these, punishment is understandable. There is no difference in intent catching someone going 5 over or 30 over. The person doing 5 over could have just been slowing down, or they could feel free to go faster as the grow comfortable. Social control is something to be desired.

    Breaking the law without a potential victim sits ok in my book. Not something that causes loss of control of your mental stability, because then it can introduce a victim. (speeding can potentially create a victim) (jay walking you can die from being hit by a car)

    Aside from these things, I will take an ignorant stance: It’s not breaking the law if you don’t get caught.

  39. anonymousjoseph says:

    I don’t have much of a problem with piracy, but stealing office supplies and drugs are a definite no-no, and anything that endangers a human life (like speeding) is definitely on my naughty list.

  40. Bob Lu says:

    There are many not-so-legal behaviors I don’t think are too big deals.

    However there is only one illegal thing I feel that is totally fine and the law that banning it is simply wrong: copying/cracking any copyright material that you legally own. In other words, go hell DMCA.

  41. Firethorn says:

    I’m a libertarian, so I’d say ‘Victimless crimes’, where the only people harmed are informed consenting adults. Prostitution, drug use, etc…

    Now, do something where there’s identifiable victims and I’ll eagerly help nail your hide to the wall.

  42. Caveat Emptor! says:

    Stealing is stealing, whether it be software, music or cable tv. These items and services are the product of another persons labor.

    An adult ingesting drugs does not bother me. My body is my business.

    This is a moral question of right and wrong. I’m of the mind that, if it adversely affects another person, it’s wrong.

  43. paul says:

    Nice try “Consumerist”, if that’s your real name. I’m not falling for it.

  44. Joe Gamer says:

    Traffic violations(not DUI) and downloading copyrighted materials, I couldn’t care less if people want to engage in either one of these. Also stealing cable or satellite is OK with me.

    unfortunately the letter of the law is often taken more seriously than the spirit of the law.

    Also, any law where the primary purpose is generating revenue for the state/county/city etc..

  45. oldtaku says:

    Anything to do with the DMCA or drugs (though I don’t really even like anything but beer). Most speed limits are just there for revenue enhancement.

    Really, ethics and legality have nothing to do with each other. A lot of the laws are there because the real criminals got them in place to keep out any amateur competition. Einstein said, “Nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced,” and Churchill said “If you have ten thousand regulations, you destroy all respect for the law.”

    Hell I live in California, the land of the stupid laws passed by bought off legislators, and I have no respect for the law at all other than the realization that they’re organized and have all the guns. And that’s the way they want it.

  46. opticnrv says:

    Almost everything is illegal someplace on Earth. Why should your physical position on this planet govern what you can and can’t do? Morals can also be somewhat nebulous except for the most extreme circumstances. So, yeah, I’m gonna have to go with the ‘is it hurting someone else’ test. Seems like the most straightforward, even if it is open to a bit of interpretation. Honestly, isn’t that what most of us learned in school was the reason for laws to exist in the first place?

  47. Mike says:

    Circumventing copyright protection to backup your dvd collection should be legal. It is absurd that it is even illegal to do. http://www.zeropaid.com/news/86356/mpaa-says-making-even-one-copy-of-a-dvd-is-illegal/

    Speeding is not the end of the world, especially when done in places where there is nobody around. I live in Texas and I often live in Canada, I can drive on long stretches of road and not see anyone for miles sometimes.

    Selling used CDs and DVDs should not be illegal. People forget that the RIAA had gone after used CD resellers before Napster distracted them.

    Marijuana. I never have smoked it, never will, but if you gave me the choice between having people drink alcohol or smoke weed, give me the weed every time. Alcohol seems to bring violence out in people, weed seems to calm them more. I have never heard of a guy smoking weed then beating his wife, but plenty of drunk guys get mean and far too often violent.

    • Dalsnsetters says:

      Mike,
      I have the same take as you on alcohol vs. pot. My analogy is this: take two pot smokers and have them get into a fender bender. Take two drinkers and have them get into a fender bender. I’ll give you 99.99999% odds that the accident with the drinkers turns violent–blood will be shed, the cops will be called, someone will probably go to jail. The accident with the two pot smokers will probably end up with both of them sitting on a curb, not calling the cops, looking at the damage and trying to figure out how they can both make some pocket money off the accident. No blood, no cops, no jail, just two stoned people going “Fuuuuuhhhhhh…..”

      Then, they will go burn one and laugh at the two drinkers in the drunk tank.

    • Kibit says:

      I agree with you on alcohol vs pot. Now I rarely drink because I am very sensitive to alcohol (three sips and I start to feel buzzed) and I have never tried pot. However, it amazes me that alcohol is legal and marijuana isn’t!

  48. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    I’m a contractor. Occasionally, free snacks are put out, but only for full time employees of the company. But I’ll snag a cookie or bagel anyway!!!!!
    Mwahahahahahahaha!

  49. Tallanvor says:

    None of these are admissions of guilt, merely what I think isn’t really wrong:

    Downloading copies of TV episodes that have aired. –It’s no different from a friend recording it and letting you have a copy.

    If you download a movie that you’ve already paid to see, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. And let’s be honest, there are some movies that you’d never be willing to pay for anyway.

    Music if you want to see if something is any good. Actually, I’ll admit to downloading a CD and then buying it because I liked it that much.

    In general if something isn’t actually available for you to buy due to regional restrictions, Screw it and download it or otherwise obtain it.

    Speeding – as long as it’s not too much over the limit. Going 50 in a 20? That’s no good.

  50. Ken V says:

    When it comes to software, I pay for good software, but I always trial a test copy of the software first, and not the ‘half the options are blanked out’ kind. If the software is good, I buy the full blown version or through the vendors website. I know that if I bought every game I trailed, I would have spent at least $600 on terrible, horrible games. But if I find a really good game, I tend to buy multiple copies for my closest friends – meaning people who develop the good stuff get the support they deserve.I also refuse to pay for companies that charge incredible amounts for their software. Generally, my rule for Windows is that, for every computer I buy with windows pre-installed, I have the right to download Windows for backup purposes, or if I plan to uninstall it from one computer and put it on another. I use Linux, Microsoft has forced me to pay their tax, so if Microsoft refuses to refund me (which they routinely do) I have the right to use that copy on whichever computer I choose.

    I bought a legit copy of Windows Vista right before the reviews hit while everyone thought the software would revolutionize the world. Vista was so unusable I reverted to XP. Nowadays I use Linux for my computing, but I do have a ‘legged copy of Windows 7 exclusively for games because, honestly, I paid for it though Vista.

    I also make software backups of everything I buy, ‘legal’ or not. It’s my right to have a backup, if the dog chews the CD then should I really pay $60 for a stamped disc? The way I view it, I don’t pay $60 for a disc, I pay $2 for packaging and $58 for effort. If I already paid for the effort, why should I pay twice?

    Otherwise, I don’t actually commit too many ‘crimes’. I’ll download music, but because I invest so much money in Hard-Drives, CDs and thumbdrives all the time (Legit business), the music industry has actually taxed all these devices with the assumption that I was going to pirate with them; So if they treat me like a criminal, I’ll act like one – to me I’ve already paid through their paranoid taxes.

    … And I bring my own candy into the theatre.

  51. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    I am adamantly against murder, rape, robbery, child abuse and molestation, assault, battery, fraud, vandalizing, theft of any kind, road rage, DUI of ANYTHING.

    For the most part, I don’t care about too much else. If someone wants to snort coke, smoke weed, or huff their own air conditioner freon in the comfort of their home, I don’t care. If someone speeds and isn’t acting like a fool and putting everyone in danger, fine. I don’t care about illegal downloading etc… especially since many people I know wouldn’t buy it if they had to pay for it. If I hook a coax up to the cable jack and something comes out for free, tough for the cable company.

    I guess the gist of my whole rant is that if it isn’t hurting anyone else, I don’t care. It’s trusting people enough to decide what constitutes hurting someone else that is scary for me.

  52. Andrew360 says:

    They all get a pass. The only friend I know that wants to go to Cuba is a UK citizen. It’s not a problem for him.

  53. captadam says:

    Actually, stealing office supplies DOES bother me.

  54. TVGenius says:

    Trust me, I donate more to work than goes home with me.

    And the only music/TV etc I’ll download through ‘non-traditional’ means is stuff that is not available through traditional means. For instance, F/X: The Series ran two seasons about ten years ago, but has never been released in Region 1. I torrented season two, and was working on season one when I found out that it is finally being released next month in Canada, so I’ll just buy it then. Same for two if it ever comes out on DVD, since the torrents are terrible quality.

  55. hansolo247 says:

    If DRM prevents me from using software, music, or movies, I have made the determination that I have a perpetual right to enjoy that content and to download it from wherever at no cost to me.

    Bittorrent provides that, and at no marginal cost to the distributor (they already go their money).

    I really, really hope one of these goes to trial in front of a judge that is not a RIAA/MPAA/BSA fan.

  56. houstonspace says:

    How about using software to archive your own DVDs for personal use? DMCA says software to rip a CD is OK, but software for ripping a DVD is illegal? That is absurd.

  57. Nighthawke says:

    There is a fuzzy line between laws that can be enforced, and laws that NEED to be enforced. This varies from community to community, state to state.

    Someone mentioned jaywalking. In a quiet community where traffic is light and slow, can be winked at.
    But in a location where traffic is moving fast and unimpeded, then the citation may be applied as object lesson not to walk against traffic that can kill you in a heartbeat, causing a massive chain reaction down the highway.

    Moonshine manufacture, is a federal law preventing untaxed liquor from being made and sold.above a certain quantity. This law the Revenue Collection Department of the IRS takes a vested interest in. They know it needs to be enforced so the nation can receive the tax on it. This law can be labeled an unconditional enforcement by the federals.

    There is a massive number of laws on the books that are either being ignored, bent or broken and not enforced due to either financial, logistical, or the local environment.

    So take your pick and consider the locale where the law is applied.

  58. Munchie says:

    I have problems with opinions like yours. In the past the invention of movable type and the printing press were dangerous to those in power and were outlawed. Eventually technology destroyed the artificial obstacles. This is just history repeating itself. Those with power denying the reality of technology destroying their power. The future will look back on these times and laugh at the laws e are making now.

  59. madanthony says:

    I like to speed while listening to music I downloaded off bittorrent.

  60. Noadi says:

    My test is: is there a victim? If not, then I don’t care and it probably shouldn’t be illegal. Pot smoking, drinking underage (that’s the parents’ problem as long as they aren’t driving), prostitution (assuming everyone is above the age of consent), gambling, speeding on an empty stretch of road, etc.

    Once you do something that harms another, I take issue with it.

  61. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

    What do you mean by “get a pass”? I’m not calling the cops for any of the stuff mentioned, but I also do not do most of those things. My confession is kinda short:

    Speeding by 10%
    $5 office supplies per year.

    I reserve the right to screw any government or corporation that screws with me though. I’m grandfathering myself in before the new laws were written, like the section of the DCMA that forbids decrypting. I’d feel perfectly fine decrypting any frakken radio transmission the shoot through my property / home / body. I used to crack video games but never played them or distributed them. The real fun was hacking the encryption, the games were a bore.

    There is a guy at work who steals filtered water from work, several gallon jugs per day. When I go to get a drink it’s warm. He pisses me off.

  62. Pax says:

    None. The Rule of Law is important to me; if I think a Law is wrong, I will work to CHANGE that law … and until then, obey it, and expect those around me to do so as well.

    • JMILLER says:

      Based on your post, slavery would still be in existence and the US would never have been. It would be ILLEGAL to take up arms against Great Britain. Blindly following a law because it is a law, is a major fail.

      • Pax says:

        Actually, there _were_ those who worked to change the law – they were called Abolitionists. And I would have been one of them.

        As for the Revolution: that was undertaken not, initially, because the Colonies wanted to be a separate nation, but because they wanted to ENFORCE the laws and rights the Magna Carta had reserved for them. Declaring our independance did not come for OVER A YEAR after the famous “shot heard ’round the world”:

        > The Battle of Lexington Green occurred on 19 April 1775.

        > The Declaration of Independance was not signed until 4 July 1776.

        Those two dates are separated by over fourteen months. And indeed, several of the then-colonies had instructed their delegates to the Second continental Congress _not_ to seek or support any separation from the British Empire. The first colony to actually and explicitly authorise it’s delegates to act in support of a move to independance from the British Empire was North Carolina, and these instructions were not given until 12 April, 1776 … almost one full year to the day, after the Battle of Lexington green.

        Until May of 1776, in fact, the entire point of the Revolution was not to gain independance, not to defy British Law and authority. No, it was to throw off ONLY the Parliament, which the “rebels” honestly felt HAD NO JURISDICTION OVER THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. They honestly believed that Parliament was for the British Isles, and ONLY for the British Isles; their tie to the Empire was through the King, not Parliament.

        Perhaps you should STUDY history more closely, before trying to make a point with it?

        • IronPhoenix says:

          Yeah too bad you’re still wrong. Not all abolitionists used “politically” correct or legal methods to change the law. They disobeyed the law, they fought against the law by illegally aiding slaves and by illegally spreading abolitionist propaganda (not that there was anything wrong with that morally). They also did a lot of things illegal to the laws of that time, prior to the Confederacy. Of course, that just goes to show you that things that may be deemed illegal one day can be deemed legal the next, but often it is not those that simply “talk” about changing the law that influence that, but those that take action. People can talk and say all the shit they want, but it’s not going to change the law. It takes the right combination of taking action and talking. Unfortunately, I think you would simply talk… and be too much of a sissy to actually do anything real abolitionists did.

          Also, moving away from abolitionism, even what you said about the British Empire and the Declaration of Independence supports the idea that action is what causes change, not simply talking. The colonists could have sat on their ass all day and say “Damn the British Empire sucks, their laws suck… we should really talk to them and get them to change it,” and the moment they talk about it nothing would happen. It took a declaration of war to cause a change.

          People disobeying laws and showing their stupidity are the ones who make the change. People like you who say “obey the law” and simply talk do nothing. If African Americans had “obeyed” the law prior to the 1960′s etc. they would never have brought out strong examples for the talkers (and also disobey-ers of laws) to point to and show how the laws were wrong. Like I said earlier, it takes the right amount of action and the right amount of talk to change things.

    • FrankReality says:

      I agree, Pax. If you don’t like the law, constructively work to get it changed.

      Another alternative for unjust laws would be to disobey them publicly, but willingly accept the punishment without complaint. Dr. Martin Luther King argued in his Letter from Birmingham Jail that it was our moral responsibility to do precisely that.

      Links below included for the education of those interested.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_from_Birmingham_Jail
      http://abacus.bates.edu/admin/offices/dos/mlk/letter.html

      • Pax says:

        Exactly … but I wouldn’t say “without complaint”, I would say “with yoru complaint directed at convincing others to join you in working to effect a change in the law”.. IOW, use your (intentionally sought) punishment as a PULPIT, from which to preach the virtues of change. :)

        But of course, accepting the penalties ascribed by that unjust law … is still obeying it, in a fashion. Certainly, far moreso than tying to “get away with” the proscribed action.

  63. JMILLER says:

    Any victim-less crime is ok in my book. Gambling, prostitutes, drugs, are all ok by me. I believe in regulating them to make them safe and bringing down the crime rate. Criminals make their money on these items BECAUSE they are illegal. In fact, proof is that the porn industry is hurting because their product is readily available for free of cheaper on the internet. If prostitutes were readily available, and you want to see one, then so be it. If you want to smoke a joint, good for you, it is the safest drug known to man. Safer than alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine.

  64. JPM says:

    I have never been involved personally but prostitution
    To quote the great Doug Stanhope

    A guy who really needs a bl0#-job meets a girl who just really needs forty bucks; you’d think perfect couple, but no …

  65. Bohemian says:

    Downloading media for personal use, I could care less if people do that. The media industry has only themselves to blame for not evolving and then trying to bully people into following their outdated model. Pot or most drinking age laws within reason are just legislated morality, I am more worried about the actual possible public safety issues and think those should be addressed as they come up. IE: don’t raise the drinking age because some 21 year old moron does something stupid. Arrest the 21 year old for his stupid action and be done with it. Blue laws should all be repealed, if you can’t find a public safety justification it should be gone.

    The Cuban embargo is outdated and doing more harm than good so I don’t care if people want to go there. So most of where I turn a blind eye is on laws for victimless crimes that are outdated and pointless laws to begin with.

    We should make all state legislatures and Congress have to repeal one law a year, maybe we could get some of the pointless laws off the books.

  66. Amy Alkon says:

    Poker night is a bunch of consenting adults deciding to gamble. Your boss doesn’t consent to you taking toilet paper. That’s stealing. But, ask to take one home (if you work for me) and I’ll give it to you. I give my part-time assistant stamps when she needs them, buy her lunch when she’s here, bring her bags of chopped bacon from Costco…no need to steal in my workplace.

    Illegal downloading is also stealing. That song belongs to somebody, and they can choose to charge as much as they want for it, and you can choose to not pay that amount, but to download it, no matter how easy it is, is stealing.

    Pot smoking is illegal per the government, but the government actually has no business telling you what you can and can’t put in your body, unless you plan to explode your body and take a bunch of people with you.

    Jaywalking? Well, if you’re a grownup who can get across an empty street when no cars are coming, the government should stay out of it. But, jaywalkers sometimes cause car accidents. I always live in terror that some oblivious nitwit on a cell phone will leap in front of my car in my neighborhood — and drive accordingly (eagle eyes out for idiots). Even if it’s that person’s fault, I don’t want to injure another person with my car.

    In my early 30s, I committed to being an ethical person. This makes it easy when ethics questions arise. For example, I recently had a plumbing problem. I rent, but this was not something that just happened because I live in an old house, but because I’m a clumsy twit who was editing a book chapter on the pot. Somebody told me to call my landlord (for the plumber to come over — as in, the plumber paid by my landlord). Well, this isn’t one of those things that my landlord should pay for, but I did decide to call my landlord — and ask him if, when he sent the plumber over to fix my kitchen sink, he could also have him do the toilet, and I would pay for that part. I’d get to take advantage of the cheaper costs he pays for plumbing, and be able to live knowing that I’m not a sleazy scumbag. That’s worth a lot.

    (Ultimately, my boyfriend went way above and beyond the call of boyfriend and came over with something called an “augur” and retrieved the pen from the “trap,” so no landlord, no plumber needed.)

  67. JulesWinnfield says:

    Shooting people who think Marcellus Wallace is a bitch

  68. Tvhargon says:

    Steal software from a small developer, shame on you! Steal software from a huge company, shame on the big company.

  69. frankbooth says:

    Home poker games are perfectly legal as long as the host does not “rake” the wagers. That is, the host may not take a percentage of the wagers or charge admission to the players.

    There is no limit to the amounts that may be wagered.
    However, the IRS is interested in your income form gambling. But you can write off your losses against your winnings. You do get receipts don;t you?

  70. Saltpork says:

    I’d tell you but then I’d have to kill you.

    Seriously though, I do very little wrong. *shifty eyes*

    Most of my views have already been addressed by those smarter than myself.

  71. XTREME TOW says:

    The Ancient Romans already solved this moral dilemma.
    “It’s not a ‘Crime’ until You get CAUGHT!”

    • CookiePuss says:

      It ain’t a crime if ya don’t get caught
      It ain’t a sale if it don’t get bought
      It ain’t a show if I don’t get paid
      She ain’t a ho if ya don’t get laid

      Said by:
      –Some guy who knew a Roman

  72. sasquatch28 says:

    I love the people that comment on what they think should get a pass and the 10+ others that reply on how wrong it is to feel that way.I think everyone is missing the point of this story.

    Also I think seat belt laws are a joke. I’m not hurting anyone else besides myself for not wearing one . it’s just an excuse to pull you over to see if you are drinking, have a suspended license etc.

  73. VeganPixels says:

    Possession and cultivation of cannabis for personal, in-home, medicinal/recreational use. Monetary/tangible property exchanges for sex between consenting adults. Removing DRM from content one legally purchases. Expatriation to escape compulsory military service for war conducted outside a formal Congressional declaration.

  74. coren says:

    Anything on a network that I get for free (ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS) I have absolutely no problem downloading – I don’t pay to get them, and if I were to watch on my tv it’d either be via dvr or me tuning out commercials – they won’t make money off of me either way.

    Anything on a foreign network that doesn’t get broadcast over here. (LOVE the new Sherlock Holmes). I’ll probably buy the box set anyway, but even if not, I can’t watch without the internet.

    Anything I already own – sometimes it’s just more convenient to have a digital copy than any other option.

    As for non-cyber crime

    I don’t smoke pot or do any other drugs. I think that anyone who does should only suffer penalties in the same way someone who uses alcohol would. Being under the influence in public and causing trouble (drunk and disorderly) or driving while under the influence (DUI) and that sort of thing. If you mug me to get money for crack, well that’s different. Also, prostitution.

    “The only part of the conduct of anyone, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns him, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign”

  75. jaimystery says:

    The next time you’re driving (and speeding) watch how you and the other speeders treat people who are obeying the law and driving at or near the posted speed limit.

    Do you tail gate?
    Do you rev your engine when “trapped” behind slower vehicles at red lights?
    Do you pass slower cars and then cut them off as “punishment” for impeding your progress?
    Do you bully other cars out of your way?
    Do you drive as if you’re the most important person out there?
    Do you scare the crap out of other drivers?
    Do you still think speeding is a victimless crime?

    • Sparkstalker says:

      “Do you tail gate?”
      No
      “Do you rev your engine when “trapped” behind slower vehicles at red lights?”
      No
      “Do you pass slower cars and then cut them off as “punishment” for impeding your progress?”
      No
      “Do you bully other cars out of your way?”
      No
      “Do you drive as if you’re the most important person out there?”
      No
      “Do you scare the crap out of other drivers?”
      No
      “Do you still think speeding is a victimless crime?”
      Yes, because what you described isn’t speeding, but reckless/agressive driving and road rage.

  76. BrooklynKnight says:

    If it hurts a major billion dollar corporation or business then I don’t really care. Those businesses victimize thousands of people everyday with their policies and greed.

    If a crime hurts an actual person then I think it crosses the line.

    Marijuana, Speeding, Running Red Lights at 3am after coming to a complete stop (treating them as stop signs or flashing reds). Not at the same time mind you!

  77. morsecoderain says:

    If there’s a bat in my house I’m supposed to call a guy to help remove it because all bats in my state are endangered. But my tennis racket is free. As my dad once said, “Endangered? They’re endangered if they’re in MY house.”

  78. Buzz says:

    At some distant point in the future the ancient concept of “intellectual property” will be considered absurd.

  79. Duckula22 says:

    Prostitution. What you do with your bolt or your nut is your problem, and if you don’t like it, then don’t offer/supply. It could also mean a nice needed revenue stream for cities all throughout the US.

    Speeding. I am a kickass driver, should not have a limit impossed on me just because most people suck at this game.

  80. gnimsh says:

    Watching TV shows online: No different than taping a show, but this way without commercials and I can watch things when I want, even shows I wouldn’t normally be able to watch since I don’t own a TV and my parents don’t have pay networks (True Blood, Weeds, etc).

    ebooks: If I can go to the library and get any book I want for free, and do the same on the internet it only removes one step and the author does not lose anything because I would have read the book for free anyway. I have no problem buying ebooks if I cannot get them anywhere else, but I always remove the DRM to make sure I own the books I buy instead of merely renting them until removed from my library.

    Music and movies: convenience and selection. The DVD player in my computer is dying and I have had difficulties playing several redbox DVDs in it. Also important is that I am a linux user and have several OTHER DVDs have not even worked due to DRM incompatible with my operating system.

    Speeding: 5-7 MPH over isn’t bad in most cases, but only on the highways. In town I stick pretty close to the speed limits.

  81. Dr.Wang says:

    very rural Indiana, 2am, on my way home from work. Totally dark. Approach a 4-way stop. no cars seen in any direction for a mile or more. It gets a rolling stop. And when I ride my bicycle at night because it was too hot during the day, I also blow off traffic lights if nobody is within a half mile. I was surprised to see how many car drivers do this at traffic lights at 2-4am, no traffic? they blow the light. I don’t do that.

  82. Chaosium says:

    “people beat the system and get TV shows, movies, video games, software, etc. for free”

    We need a la carte Cable service. I would pay for HBO, but not Fox, CNN, ESPN, Disney, and all that other crap.

  83. XTC46 says:

    “Also, that office pool for March Madness might not be legal; same with that $50 buy-in poker game you and your pals have every Tuesday night.”

    Actually, in my state that poker game is legal. “House Games” are 100% legal here, as long as the house desnt take a rake, and all buy ins are paid out as prizes.

    I like to use my ethics as a guidline for judging others who break the law. Are they hurting somone? Then yea, Id recomend they stop or turn them in. Im sure I break laws every day, but I like to hope I am following the spirit of the law. Many are in place to protect the dumbest of the dumb, so as long as Im not affecting anyone else, then I dont mind not following a rule. Speed limits for instance are a rule I do follow. I can probabaly drive at double the speed limit in many places and be safe, but dont, becasue others around me wont be expecting me driving double the speed limit and it may endanger them if I make an error.

  84. JamieSueAustin says:

    hook’n and pimp’n… cause they ain’t easy

  85. sykl0ps says:

    fireworks, the good kind.
    urinating outdoors. (when I see this I always turn and look away)

  86. Sardis says:

    I don’t pay British TV taxes, cause if I did then my ancestors fought a war for nothing.

  87. sopmodm14 says:

    regarding the music industry, all artists should hold tours so that true fans pay to hear their work, then peddle their cd’s so fans can purchase and support them truely

  88. clearway says:

    if you are not hurting anyone, except yourself, if you are not taking something without agreeing on the return, not putting anyone or someone elses property in danger, and it feels good, do it. if all parties agree, do it again. the age of reason is the question.

  89. Firevine says:

    It’s illegal to buy vibrators here in GA. Lots of crimes get a pass from me. The list is far too long. If its victimless then frankly I don’t care if you’re doing it. That said, I am very anti drug, due to the associated crimes where there are victims.

  90. Science is for girls! says:

    Gummy bear theft. Age: 5. I was caught and the memory still stings a little. Superego let me go!

  91. FrankReality says:

    Very rarely do I do something deliberately illegal when driving such as passing in a yellow zone or going over the speed limit a bit to make a pass. For example, passing a slow moving farm tractor in a long no passing zone, or speeding a couple over to pass a person doing 40 in a 55 zone after waiting 10 miles for an opportunity to pass. Otherwise, I do drive the speed limit unless doing so is unsafe.

    Occasionally, I’ll do something unintentionally such as come home with post-it notes or a pen in my pocket, but they usually go back the next day. I’ve made errors on taxes, but they weren’t deliberate and one was actually in the state’s favor. But when I make a mistake, I correct it and pay the proper penalties ASAP.

    Occasionally, I’ll take some junk home from work that was in the scrap bins such as short pieces of wire for my shop, but nothing electronic that actually works such as an old PC or printer – no rule or policy disallows that.

    I do confess that I ‘ve cheated twice in my life, but only twice – and one of those I admitted. Both instances are badly burned into my mind – enough such that I don’t ever want to do it again.

    One time I was shopping in a store and once I got home realized the checkout missed a jug of antifreeze. I took it back the next day and paid for it (yes, I know that’s unusual).

    So yes, I play it as straight as I can on everything.

  92. mulch says:

    I’d encourage the couple who’s apartment reeks of pot to get a vaporizor. A vape is much healthier, and you can use the vape weed for cooking. Portable vapes, such as The Magic Flight Launch Box, are quite reasonably priced. I would expect a nice pan of brownies for this useful advice.

  93. Zany Crazy Guy says:

    Shareaza for MP3 downloads and AnyDVD for DVD archival copies(of course!)

  94. Zany Crazy Guy says:

    Shareaza for MP3 downloads and AnyDVD for DVD archival copies(of course!)

  95. Ebriosa says:

    I think it’s simply sad that pretty much everyone in the states and Canada has broken the law at some point. It really doesn’t make sense to have the kind of laws where everyone is a criminal.

  96. wolf says:

    Due to the nature of your question. The only people that I would turn to authorities is the people that mess with dope (any kind) This has deteriorated more of our lives than anything else..Riaa is a rip off of the music industry and should be abolished . DRM,cable companies, and pay walls
    are just greedy companies that need to be worked around.

  97. Jesse in Japan says:

    All the fun stuff is either illegal, immoral or fattening.

  98. Dyscord says:

    The biggest thing I do is download tv shows when I miss them and forget to set the DVR. I usually delete it afterward, so I don’t see the point in paying. And if I like a show a lot, chance are I’m gonna by the DVD set.

  99. xjeyne says:

    Weed should be decriminalized. That’s all I’m saying.

  100. scurvycapn says:

    I find it sad the number of people who don’t mind pirating music and games. I especially hate the “Well, I wouldn’t have paid for it anyway,” excuse. If you wouldn’t have paid for it, you wouldn’t have had access to listen to it at will, so don’t download it. “But it’s a file. It’s not a physical copy!” Yeah, well if that file wouldn’t have been available for you to download, you’d have had to buy a copy, wouldn’t you?

  101. 1hooverville says:

    Believe these ten commandment and try to keep them.

    The Ten Commandments

    1Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Other “gods” can include possessions, power or prominence.)
    2Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
    3Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
    4Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
    5Honour thy father and thy mother.
    6Thou shalt not kill.
    7Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    8Thou shalt not steal.
    9Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
    10Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

  102. Choco says:

    Cannabis, piracy when poor, stable underage relationships (I’m in one and have been for over two years), minor traffic violations like running stops when no one is stopping with me, etc. I don’t like other people, even if it’s 51% of the vote, telling me what to do. I’m an individual, and I demand to be treated that way until it changes and I’m swallowed up by some corporation or another.

  103. dennis says:

    oral sex in Texas

  104. Yorick says:

    I subscribe to the George Carlin Code of Legality: Cop didn’t see it, I didn’t do it.

  105. Draw2much says:

    Fan Art. Technically it’s illegal, but most companies and creators turn a blind to it. I wish the copyright law would allow for fan art, as long as it’s not for profit. Fan art is a compliment and free advertising. Why it’s not legal by now is beyond me.

    Fan Scanlations of manga not currently released in the US. There’s lots of manga that never makes it over to the states. And the reason for this is because there’s not a big enough audience for it to sell well and make a profit. Many manga would never be known at all stateside if not for scanlations.

    My favorite mangaka of all time (Hikawa Kyoko), I found online through a fan scanlation. She’s not one of those mangaka who’s super popular, or puts out a lot of “gold” hits. She’s not even all that well known in Japan. But all her stories are great. Yet if not for the scanlations that ONE website put up, I’d never have known about her at all.

    And I’ll go so far as to say that VIZ would never have noticed her either, if they hadn’t noticed how well liked her stuff was online. Everyone was very surprised when VIZ licensed her stuff and brought it over.

    I bought every single manga VIZ released. They only released one of her stories, From Far Away. I have all 14 volumes at home. I read them several times a year. I tell everyone how great her stuff is and encourage others to buy it. If they ever bother to publish the rest of her stuff, I’ll buy that too. (Doubtful with how poor the American manga publishers are doing right now, but here’s to the dream!)

    Not all scanlations are bad. Yes some groups scanlate licensed stuff and even try to make a profit for it. But they are a minority. Most scanlate unlicensed stuff that will never make it into the US for free.

  106. Difdi says:

    I am pretty law abiding, I consider it my duty as a citizen. But what gets a pass from me is breaking one law to uphold another. For example, the copyright act allows limited copying by a consumer for specific purposes. DRM prevents all copying, whether the consumer has a legal right to or not. The DMCA forbids circumventing DRM. I give people a pass if they violate the DMCA to exercise their rights guaranteed by laws that have not been repealed. If similar situations arise, I tend to overlook lawbreaking in those areas as well.

    • Difdi says:

      We need an edit button. Another example of where I’ll give people a pass on breaking the law is situations like selling someone a game, then DRM prevents them from using it at all. I fully support people downloading cracked/pirated versions of things they already own (such as a DVD) that doesn’t have all the crap the regular version has.

  107. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I speed a little and copy CDs for people sometimes. That’s about it. I don’t do dope or stuff like that, because whether I agreed or not that it’s fine (FTR I don’t), I’m not going to get in trouble for it. Don’t need that kind of aggravation. If I’m around and people are doing it, I leave. Besides, sitting around with high or really drunk people is incredibly boring. It’s like trying to have a conversation with an insane two-year-old.

  108. shepd says:

    US small dish satellite TV piracy, because where I am it’s illegal to pay for it anyways. Seems mighty unfair to punish people for pirating something with no value to start with.

  109. Trireme32 says:

    If a law is in place, it is our responsibilities as citizens to follow said law. If we believe that a law is in place that is unjust, it is our responsibilities as citizens to have that law revoked and/or overturned. We are able to do this by electing officials at various community, city, state, and national levels, either directly or indirectly, who will attempt to make changes, or not, depending on what we want and expect.

    A law may be silly, but it is still a law. Disobeying a law is not a form of civil disobedience. Smoking pot in your apartment will not get it’s illegality overturned. Disobeying a law is an invitation for law enforcement / the judicial branch of our government, as applicable to individual situations, to fine / incarcerate / execute / do nothing as is seen fit in accordance with the Constitution of the United States, the nation in which you live freely and without restriction.

    Don’t like it? Move to Canadia, eh!

  110. Cantras says:

    I write stories with friends and I have one character who points out that morals are great; laws are stupid. There’s a lot of people in prison, she says, (and she would know) who, if you asked them why a person shouldn’t steal a loaf of bread, will answer “because it’s a month in prison,” not “because it’s someone else’s bread.”

    My parents always raised us with Don’t do X because Y. Don’t do B because A. Very, very rarely was something “because I said so” or “Because I’m your mother, that’s why.”
    I want to know the reason for a rule before I follow it, and if it’s a stupid reason, I may or may not toe the line. I don’t really see it as being “civil disobedience,” is why I’m not out smoking in a protest, speeding by cop cars. It’s more like, the reasons against this are not based in anyone being harmed (smoking with friends, speeding down empty stretches of road), so how exactly would they catch me?

  111. BytheSea says:

    If you don’t hurt any people or animals or natural wildlife.

    Corporations are not any of those things.

  112. Juhgail says:

    Jay walking is an ART in NYC. Cant live without that!

  113. dilbert69 says:

    Anything victimless, assuming all participants are consenting adults. Speeding, media piracy.

  114. JonBoy470 says:

    The **AA have spent alot of time/money building up the idea in the public consciousness that copyright infringement equates to stealing a tangible object. This line of reasoning is littered with logical fallacies.

    A large business is based on selling shiny plastic discs for thousands of percent beyond their manufacturing cost. That business is threatened because illegal downloads obviate the need to buy the discs. The **AA is fuxored, because the content that comprises the entire value of the disc can be reproduced for free, because it is intangible.

    The other part of the argument, that “stealing” the content deprives the copyright owner of income they rightfully deserve, begs the question of whether pirates would unfailingly buy the shiny disc, absent the piracy option. In the interest of brevity, I leave that logical exercise to the reader.

  115. JonBoy470 says:

    The **AA have spent alot of time/money building up the idea in the public consciousness that copyright infringement equates to stealing a tangible object. This line of reasoning is littered with logical fallacies.

    A large business is based on selling shiny plastic discs for thousands of percent beyond their manufacturing cost. That business is threatened because illegal downloads obviate the need to buy the discs. The **AA is fuxored, because the content that comprises the entire value of the disc can be reproduced for free, because it is intangible.

    The other part of the argument, that “stealing” the content deprives the copyright owner of income they rightfully deserve, begs the question of whether pirates would unfailingly buy the shiny disc, absent the piracy option. In the interest of brevity, I leave that logical exercise to the reader.

  116. thistle172 says:

    Weed