Hay guys, to what extent do you think it's okay to steal/copy stuff?
I'm really undecided about many of these issues myself, so I made myself a wee questionaire and filled it in with my opinions.
Keep in mind I'm not a lawyer, and don't really care about what the actual laws are.
Do you think it's okay to pirate software, movies, music and books?
I support piracy because I see it as free advertising and believe that most people who would have paid for it still will.
I make a point to buy stuff I really like, though I'm more likely to support poorer developers or projects that just didn't pay off.
How about pirating really old stuff (NES games, The Beatles etc)?
It really bothers me how Nintendo are still trying to sell their old games, but then again they'd lose sales on their new games if they gave away those old ones for free. So *shrugs*. I've never felt bad about not paying for old stuff though, it's more important to support those who are actually still producing content.
Do you think it's okay to create or even sell fan-works (fanart, fangames etc) without the original author's permission?
Not sure about this one! I know most companies don't care about fanart being sold, as it's not really competing with their products, but they can be a bit sensitive to stuff like games or even parody animations being distributed for free.
Do you think it's okay to trace artwork or animations if you make a reasonable amount of changes to them?
This seems to offend a lot of people on deviant art. I have no idea what an acceptable amount of changes would be, but personally tracing in artwork doesn't really bother me. I've even seen some decent commercial games that were blatant ripoffs of others, and I didn't hold that against them either. As long as all of the work involved is re-done and not directly ripped, then I guess it's fine. Parodies seem to be alright as well, but where do you draw the line between parody and theft?
Do you think it's okay to show "Let's Play"s or other videos that show a large portion of a product online without the original author's permission?
I really don't see anything wrong with this at all, because it's showing someone using the product, rather than giving it away. Regardless, some Let's Plays have been taken off YouTube.
Do you think it's okay to use media that you don't own and don't have permission to use in non-commercial or educational projects (using copyrighted music in an animation etc)?
I don't have a problem with this, and most copyright owners will at worst ask you to take your work down or edit it, but I can see why a lot of websites don't want to host that kind of content, just in case.
Do you think massive companies should be able to sue eachother over trivial similarities in their products and infringment of a few patents (like using Apple's slide-to-unlock feature)?
To me this seems retarded and very harmful to the consumer... If someone can improve an existing idea or sell it for cheaper then they should be allowed to do so. Just feels like big companies are trying to monopoloize the market and cut down any challengers by any means possible. How about, you know, just making your product better than the competition?
Do you think maybe patents should be abolished altogether in some cases?
Large companies protect themselves by patenting potential competing technologies that could be cheaper or more effective than what is currently available. I hear fuel companies hold patents for batteries and stuff like that, making development of cleaner technologies difficult. Pharmaceutical companies patent their medicine and then sell it for massive amounts, because no one else is allowed to reproduce it. Evil much?