There are all kinds of government programs that do work. Just try not paying your taxes, for example, or read up on Al Capone. And in this case of online piracy I don't believe it's been a real priority on a federal level yet. (FYI, I'm not advocating just a hammer, but it's a start.)
Hey, I'm Canadian, we believe in government programs more than most countries.
And we believe in a few that don't work, too.
I just think we should have learned more from music. Now, people are buying a lot of music online (maybe more recordedmusic than has ever been bought).
I've just made a deal with my publisher to offer my first two books as e-books for $1.99. Sure, some people will still download pirate versions and not pay the two bucks, but I feel this is the best way to fight piracy.
That's a poor analogy because it's a different scenario than the one I'm talking about. Yeah, I guess you can always go into a bookstore and steal a book. But we're talking about digital downloads here. If it were not possible to obtain a book online without paying for it, some people would just do without.
Your argument is also a straw man because I'm not arguing morals, I'm arguing impact. The moral issue is clear: downloading books without paying for them is wrong. But the impact on sales, on the industry, on authors, is not clear. So I'm arguing for more evidence. Just because it is wrong to download a book does not mean it is financially hurting anyone. It could mean that, but we just don't have enough information yet to know. If it turns out that it doesn't hurt anyone financially, and actually benefits, then maybe people will release more books for free. Paulo Coelho and Cory Doctorow are two authors who have had success doing that. But to determine whether or not giving away books is a good strategy, we need more information.
I don't know why you bring up the Attributor report again, as I have already read it, all six pages of it, and have already commented on why that report, even by its own admission, doesn't conclude anything meaningful. I've linked to my comment below. You've even commented on my comment.
The online world is very Marxist, one of the reasons I like it. It's all about what's "best for all," and how "information wants to be free," to each according to his need from each according to his ability.
It would maybe be better if the people most often involved in this debate realized how Marxist they are - removing the exchange of money from the "marketplace," wow, even Marx may not have taken it that far but he'd sure be happy about where it's going.
It's the opposite of Ayn Rand, it's a world where the creator has no power over their creations, the "leaches" (really, I've only seen the movies based on her books so I take a lot of this from the hilarious speech in The Fountainhead) can do with the creations what they want.
All we have to do is start saying "intellectual property is theft."
Still, I hve to say, I really like e-books and I think the benefits they bring writers (and reders) far outweigh any worries about piracy.
My position, John, is we better provide morality online or misfortune will ultimately follow. The recent economic crisis was essentially caused by the deregulation of the financial sector. Capitalism has no morality either unless it's infused from without.
I agree about the causes of the financial crises, but those things can't be fixed by moral arguments: laws, regulation, and enforcement are what has to be used. Someone willing to submit to a moral/ethical argument wouldn't have done those things in the first place.
We need to write good piracy laws and enforce them as well as we can. That will never eradicate the problem--crooks are creative bastards--but it will minimize its effects, and dissuade those who were on the fence about whether to participate in an illegal activity.
In my view governmental regulations are the imposition of communal morals and ethics upon individuals. Now we've got the same wild west attitude towards the virtual world that got us into trouble in the real world.
"Capitalism has no morality either unless it's infused from without."
Capitalism is much more than Goldman Sachs and Wall Street, Eric. Nine out of ten small businessmen -- I've met thousands -- work hard to be good guys to their employees, customers, and the community. They do so because it's good business and because they're good people.