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AuthorTopic: Opening the piracy can of worms.  (Read 11847 times)

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Offline Wayne

Opening the piracy can of worms.
« on: October 21, 2006, 05:04:09 PM »
Hi guys,

After the recent rash of stupidity from a couple of now-gone posters (trolls), I wanted to write this post as a bit of explanation.

This site's stance on software piracy is as follows;

Quote
Do not post links or requests for warez.
Warez in our definition is illegal software up to and including "abandonware". The exception is if the person is KNOWN to have the legal right to distribute said software. This is not debatable.
Source : Posting Guidelines

Quote
The following types of posts or comments are subject to automatic moderation or deletion without question:
{snip}
9. Any post or comment involving or advocating the distribution of warez in any way.
Source : Moderation Policy

There is a lot of well, just plain wrong thought out there as to why these rules and statements exist.  Without malice aforethought, whether or not you understand them or agree to them is pretty much irrelevant, since we ALL agreed to the terms of service for this site upon joining.

So...  Let's get this out in the open and on the record...

Officially speaking

Amiga.org cannot and will not tolerate any conversations advocating piracy of software in any way, shape, or form.  This is to include what you guys may consider abandonware.

Why?

Simply put, the discussion of piracy is THE most slippery slope out there, and if there's a proverbial inch given, some of you guys will try to take a mile.  

If we allow discussions advocating piracy, soon someone will get the idea that it's OK to send links to pirate sites via PM.  Soon afterwards, they would start posting them publicly.

Soon after that, someone would think it's ok to start uploading pirated files somewhere and linking them here

One of the authors would get upset and complain.  If not to us, then to the DCMA to get us shut down.  It DOES NOT MATTER WHERE WE ARE HOSTED.  IF THE DCMA DOES NOT GET ACTION, THEY GO TO ICANN (A US-based organization) TO KILL THE DOMAIN.

The posted rules regarding advocating piracy were written in some cases, 4 years ago.  They won't be changing any time soon.

The reason

Amiga Inc still exists.  This is not about any fear of them.  This is about the fact that they're still trying to do something for the classic platform.  Even if they pull a rabbit out of their arse with the hardware and OS, how can they possibly succeed in bringing software to the platform if even the core support sites are in support of telling everyone to "go ahead and pirate whatever you need"??  They can't.  End of story.

UNofficially speaking

With the demonstrated exception of a few, we're all adults here.  I am not your mother, nor am I some holier-than-thou Jiminy cricket conscience sitting on your shoulder.  I *know* that despite your desire to register shareware, sometimes it is impossible to do in light of an absent author.  

I'll never understand why the authors simply disappear when they could just sit there collecting free money, but I digress.  I suppose after all the lies and drama from Amiga Inc and other "companies" in this arena, said authors just want to move on with their lives.  If they take your money now, you would still expect them to be developing for a platform that -- in most cases -- they don't even own any more.

In short, with the classic Amiga platform, I do clearly understand why such piracy exists.  What you guys do on your own time, with your own computers is none of my business.

I just cannot condone the idea that Amiga.org would be a resource of such things, when there's still even a speck of hope for a future of the platform, even if it's PPC and moving in the wrong direction (IMHO).

If Amiga Inc or the platform truly dies (as in no development on the future desktop platform whatsoever), then we'll talk.

To that end, a compromise

I understand the importance of discussion, and the ideals of learning from our mistakes.  I just don't know how a discussion of piracy could be undertaken without two sides.  Those who are against it, and those in favor of it.  Those in favor of it obviously will tend to break the rules regarding ADVOCATING software piracy.  See the conundrum?

Re-reading the site's guidelines, I am mentally refreshed as to my original intent.  In my mind, a very clear and razor sharp line needs to be drawn between the "discussion" and the "advocacy" of piracy.

I -- as the site's owner and principle administrator -- will try to be a little more lenient towards honest discussion as long as it does not advocate stealing another's work.  If you advocate piracy, perhaps this is not the place for you.

What YOU as a user must understand

1 - Everything is still 100% at the discretion of the moderators and staff who will work in the best interests of the site, and the Amiga platform. Whether you agree with them cannot be helped.

2 - Also, if a thread starts which contains links, or blatently advocates stealing and piracy, YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND that it is RARELY possible to delete the offending post (especially if it's an early one in the thread) without affecting one or more of the following posts.  

Xoops (the software running this site) basically offers the option to "delete this post and it's child posts" or "cancel".  There is no "delete just this post" or "delete this post and all that quote from it" or any such ability.

If you are in a thread which advocates piracy, and your post  which may be innocent suddenly disappears, PLEASE don't get your proverbial knickers in a knot, it's probably just the way it is due to limitations in the software.

Later versions of Xoops fix this problem, but as you are well aware by our last attempt, later versions of Xoops are incompatible with most older (read:Amiga) browsers which precludes us from using it.

Please feel free to comment, but understand that there are still rules, and if you want to take part in the discussions here, everyone, including you and me must abide by them.

Wayne

{Edit 5/20/09 to reflect change from Xoops to vBulletin -- no other content changed}
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Offline redrumloa

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Re: Opening the piracy can of worms.
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2006, 05:18:35 PM »
Good post, I hope that clears up the confusion. I personally fully understand people wanting to use abandonware on their platform they feel is orphaned. I understand it may be impossible to get legal copies of some software. While in practice the platform may feel orphaned, in technical terms it is not. Amiga.org simply has to walk a fine line if it wants to continue to provide its services to the Amiga community.
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Offline bhmrichard

Re: Opening the piracy can of worms.
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2006, 05:25:32 PM »
I'm pretty new here, but the discussion of "abandonware" and piracy is certainly not a new topic..  A couple of random thoughts.

Quote
One of the authors would get upset and complain. If not to us, then to the DCMA to get us shut down. It DOES NOT MATTER WHERE WE ARE HOSTED. IF THE DCMA DOES NOT GET ACTION, THEY GO TO ICANN (A US-based organization) TO KILL THE DOMAIN.


ICANN, under threat of possible u.s. court order to shut down the Spamhaus domain, has made it unilaterally known they that do not have authority to shut down a domain. Only the domain registrar can do that.

Quote
Do not post links or requests for warez.
Warez in our definition is illegal software up to and including "abandonware". The exception is if the person is KNOWN to have the legal right to distribute said software. This is not debatable.


Frankly, I love this rule here. I'm not an advocate of piracy. Having said that, I think there's one GREAT reason to be able to obtain software however.

1. You own a legal, licensed copy of the game/program/utility, and your disk is bad (after all these disks are YEARS old now).

I think this is the only reason I'd ever be interested in obtaining a program through non-traditional channels.

 

  • Guest
Re: Opening the piracy can of worms.
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2006, 05:31:06 PM »
Quote
Only the domain registrar can do that.


True, and false.  

As an employee of an ICANN-Accredited registrar and someone who spends 1/3 of his time on this planet dealing with complaints forwarded to us by ICANN, I can unequivocably state that most registrars have terms of service in place which allow them to kill (at will) any domain name which receives a complaint about illegal activities (in this case piracy).

Will they?  Maybe, maybe not.  It's a case by case basis, but I have personally acted as the "sword of the Internet Gods" where domain names are concerned on a daily basis, hence my cautionary stance on the matter.

Better not to discuss it at all than not be able to discuss anything at all.

Wayne
 

Offline redrumloa

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Re: Opening the piracy can of worms.
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2006, 05:34:40 PM »
Quote

bhmrichard wrote:
1. You own a legal, licensed copy of the game/program/utility, and your disk is bad (after all these disks are YEARS old now).

I think this is the only reason I'd ever be interested in obtaining a program through non-traditional channels.


Good point. What I have done personally in the past is have people mail me the faulty disk for verification and I would return it to them with a backup copy. I don't think genuine discussion about obtaining legit backups for owned software falls into the piracy category. As long as dicussion stays legal. Unfortunately in the past these legit discussions have been derailed by someone posting a link to pirate softwate.
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Offline TjLaZer

Re: Opening the piracy can of worms.
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2006, 07:03:11 PM »
Thats why if you wish to do these kinds of things just go on over to EAB!  ;)
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Offline pedro7

Re: Opening the piracy can of worms.
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2006, 07:36:36 PM »
I'd like to ask something.
What is the site's position on pieces of software that were free for download but have now been removed from aminet due to concerns over the legality of the software. eg harddrive installers for commercial games and also clones of old arcade games. Is requesting and posting links to these prohibited?
 

Offline TjLaZer

Re: Opening the piracy can of worms.
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2006, 07:44:59 PM »
Not allowed!!  Goto English Amiga Board...
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Offline redrumloa

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Re: Opening the piracy can of worms.
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2006, 08:42:04 PM »
Quote

pedro7 wrote:
I'd like to ask something.
What is the site's position on pieces of software that were free for download but have now been removed from aminet due to concerns over the legality of the software. eg harddrive installers for commercial games and also clones of old arcade games. Is requesting and posting links to these prohibited?


Wayne can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't see any problem with HD installers.

@TjLaZer

Oh be nice  :-P
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  • Guest
Re: Opening the piracy can of worms.
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2006, 11:29:44 PM »
@pedro7

You've answered your own question.  If Aminet "removed [them] due to concerns of legality", what makes you believe this would be an appropriate place for such items?

Wayne
 

Offline odin

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Re: Opening the piracy can of worms.
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2006, 12:53:01 AM »
So.....er....asking for an ADF of Worms isn't allowed?  :angel:

Offline iamaboringperson

Re: Opening the piracy can of worms.
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2006, 01:20:05 AM »
AMEN to all of that!


For piracy discussion, there are other sites, anyway.

Let's keep this one clean.
 

Offline redrumloa

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Re: Opening the piracy can of worms.
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2006, 01:29:38 AM »
Quote

odin wrote:
So.....er....asking for an ADF of Worms isn't allowed?  :angel:


Negative, Batman.
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Offline K7HTH

Re: Opening the piracy can of worms.
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2006, 02:05:51 AM »
Wow, to think that there is a taboo discussion here that can wreck havoc on this site is akin to the taboo discussion of Cuban cigars on U.S.-based cigar advocate sites. I suppose there are tabo subjects for all genres that would threaten the life of the respective sponsoring website.
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Offline redrumloa

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Re: Opening the piracy can of worms.
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2006, 02:14:24 AM »
@K7HTH

You live in Huntsville?
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