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Post Reply Pirating off the market Goods - Ethics
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25 / M / Fredericton, NB
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Posted 8/3/15 , edited 8/3/15
Absolutely nothing wrong with it at all. If the item is no longer produced, those who deserve the profit for creating that are no longer party of the situation, then copyright is essentially null and void and it serves no purpose anymore.

A big example I can think of is Nintendo and how they handle copyright, which is rather intense nowadays, mostly because they are able to sell virtual copies indefinitely. For the longest time though, Chrono Trigger was traded almost like an actual investment, it was that valuable of a collectors item. MiB of course, it went for several hundred, $1200-2000 at one point iirc. It isn't hurting collectors either as the value mostly lies in the physical product, which isn't being re-produced.
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13 / F / California
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Posted 8/3/15

BlueOni wrote:

This is actually a multifaceted question, but I'll offer my thinking on but one angle for now.

There is to consider whether the copyright holder is not currently exercising their right because they have actually ceased to exist. A video game production company may technically hold the rights to a game from the early 1990s, but they can't exactly enforce their exclusive right to produce copies and strike down violators thereof if they went belly up by the mid-1990s. Presumably they'd have sold the rights to the property in order to settle whatever their costs for closing out their business may have been, but this doesn't always happen and properties have been known to fall into a sort of limbo until they're picked up again (if ever). Considering it isn't technically possible to violate the rights of a nonexistent entity one would think that violation of copyrights without holders is ethical, but there is perhaps a stronger argument than this to be made.

The entire purpose of copyrights is to grant rights holders a reasonable opportunity to extract profit from their works as a way to provide an incentive to continue producing works, and society is promised that it will stand to gain more works if it only surrenders the power to use and adapt them as it sees fit for a limited amount of time as they come out. It simply isn't possible for a rights holder which no longer exists to actually fulfill the purpose of a copyright, and so society loses its incentive to continue enforcing that copyright. The institution stops serving anyone since both the rights holder's ability to extract profit and society's prospect of further works from the rights holder are lost, but it continues to limit society's ability to make use of the works they have gotten. Under such circumstances copyright is no longer the grease that keeps the gears turning; it's a wedge which prevents them from turning. One might argue that given no one stands to gain anything from the right's continued enforcement, and further that everyone stands to lose out from its continued enforcement, the right ought to be considered forfeit if it cannot be successfully transferred during the holder's dissolution.



Or you get that clusterfuck known as the Harmony Gold/Macross dispute that has been going on for 30 years.



Buy it legally, fuck over the creators.
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