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Thread: Piracy & Karma

  1. #1
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    Piracy & Karma

    Namaste,

    Welcome to the realm of digital Karma. This has always been a very interesting topic to me. We live in a day and age [especially to the tech-savvy generation] where piracy is like second-nature. One does not think twice about it. People do not think of it as ''theft''. One would see taking a book from a store as theft, but not downloading a eBook without paying the price for its digital counterpart as theft. Regardless of whether it is reasonably priced, the company is ethical or not, and so on. Theft is theft, right? Well that is what I want to explore on this topic.

    It is common to stream and download commercial movies, books, software, and digital media/merchandise/product without considering it ''theft'' or ''wrong''. As I said it is like a second-nature to all of us in the era of the internet. So common in fact I have observed many otherwise wise, righteous and upstanding individuals for e.x. streaming a show online - in a place where it is not permitted. Half of the problem is some of the population isn't aware of what they are doing, and the other half is not sure whether it is wrong.

    Everyone has their own opinion on this, for example with Torrents, there certainly is no question that we should enjoy the right to share content with each other - but whether commercial content should be shared without permission is questionable. When I was younger (around the age of 12-14) and I first got started with ''downloading things'' I was part of a forum that dealt with Piracy and Torrents. As such I learned about the intricacies of how these servers, sites, and communities are run and what the views of people that lie within form. Why pay 1000+$ for Adobe software when you can pirate it for free, right? Many people in this community have elaborate views on piracy and why it is not ''bad''. Despite personally being against Piracy I still indulge in it with certain things. For example, I watch a Japanese show on a streaming site. It isn't available in the UK. Am I taking money away from the broadcaster by doing so and not perhaps waiting for them to make a distribution deal for a DVD-set? I sometimes pirate eBooks for university when I can't afford the hard copies. Or if I share episodes of Mahabharata from StarPlus online so viewers need not consider starplus; whatever the example may be.

    The most fascinating part to me about this whole issue is how little people think about it. It is literally second nature; and I've seen no one question it. We love our free things I suppose.

    From a astrological POV, I have observed charts of some Acquaintances who are heavily into piracy. From what I can deduce it seems like Ketu and the house it sits in becomes considerably damaged due to piracy. This is by no means scientific; simply a small observation - that could be wholly incorrect. I am not a scholar, simply a curious soul.

    So what do you think? Is it right? Is it wrong? If there is a grey area, what is it?
    Last edited by satay; 30 August 2015 at 11:27 PM.

  2. #2

    Re: Piracy & Karma

    Namaste Icy

    You have brought up very good points. Ketu or not. piracy is piracy and it is wrong, unrighteous.
    The problem however is those who allow it by literally handing and dishing out the goods to you - like You Tube which I will address in a minute.

    1. I have never priated software. I would not call downloading free and open software (like from FSF) as pirating.
    2. As a student I have received distribution of software for learning purpose only, which I fortunately never ended up using anyway. Certainly not commercially.
    3. You speak of Adobe, I am a yearly-monthly subscriber to Adobe merely for enabling writable PDF that I have used at very rare occasions - only 2 times in 2 yrs
    3. I have downloaded PDFs of dharmic and spiritual content from sites that put them up free. A PDF file is not an e-book.
    4. Other than this I do not download anything (why waste space on your computer or phone?) , but I do listen to spiritual bhajan music and watch spiritual & dharmic videos that people have uploaded on You Tube. This I do via my legitimate paid (monthly) subscription to an internet provider company.

    Ah, the You Tube syndrome. Why does You Tube exist? You Tube is very different from Facebook I believe, although both could be made for promotional purspose. I have zero interest in Facebook but it seems the world puts up their family photos and connects with friends worldwide daily thru it. free.

    What is the difference between pasting a hyperlink from You Tube and embedding the link as a video here? If the latter is piracy, I am sorry, and will convert each of those videos I embedded to a hyperlink.
    However, what is the real value difference ? An http link versus embedding ? In either case, people I share it with have to have a legitimate subscription to an Internet Provider Company where they pay for the internet connection. That is how they come to this site and click on that link and watch what a 3rd person uploaded.

    So, is it a crime or piracy to type in your Web browser "http://www.youtube.com" ?
    It is like a newspaper whose cost is covered by the advertisements. It is a different story that you never buy those silly goods that pop up on the top right corner.

    I am a passive user of You Tube. For this you need not have a You Tube account which is also given for free anyway.
    Then there are active users of You Tube who use their account to upload bhajans, and old movies.

    Old spiritual movies and videos related to Krishna. Like more than 10 years old. Who uploads them? Are they pirates or gopa-gopis? What do they gain in profit?
    Just as these videos are amrut for me that keep me hydrated and functioning, I am sure there is commercial movie and entertainment content that is uploaded there (which I am oblivious to) for which others are thristy.

    The question is -- is the uploader uploading songs that were meant for a packaged album sale? If yes, then that is piracy, not advertisement unless it is uploaded by the music company as promotion.

    In that case, are we sharing in the piracy karma by "watching" ? Perhaps.
    When we watch a bhajan on You Tube, we think "KRshNa made the internet for devotees!" Do we really think of the source of that bhajan and whether we are snatching away someone's "roji roti" (main source of income) by doing so by reducing the sale?

    I have thought about this, but most of the bhajans I watch or share here are video-taped from sanskAr channel or ammateur video-taped from a bhAgvat kathA or a kirtan satsang somewhere. Non-commercial.

    * However, careful! Some of these may well be intended album content for sale as a DVD or CD! If so, the source of the content
    is not evident. If it is spiritual, however, the producer will receive blessings, grace and mercy if not money.

    Like a curious child I discovered You Tube some 7-8 years ago. I have only watched bhajans and occasionally spiritual movies and serials.

    My question is: WHY do the movie makers themselves upload these on You Tube if we are not supposed to watch?
    Last edited by smaranam; 21 September 2015 at 01:00 PM.
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

  3. #3

    Re: Piracy & Karma

    P.S. Slightly off-topic: Have you learned, gained information or shared it from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia?
    Then please donate to the Wikipedia project when you can and spread the word.
    Same with free software.
    Last edited by smaranam; 30 August 2015 at 08:24 PM.
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

  4. #4
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    Re: Piracy & Karma

    Namaste Smaranam,

    WHY do the movie makers themselves upload these on You Tube if we are not supposed to watch?

    Let me explain your last question.

    There are several account types on YouTube. Certain broadcasters and movie distributors have the ability to sell directly through YouTubes in-house infrastructure. This isn't a very popular feature but it exists. Other broadcasters or companies who have normal accounts are usually verified and join a partnership program either based on views or clicks. This helps in two ways. First; short clips, or episodes of shows serve as promotional material and create a ''buzz''. The companies are aware of the TVs fate in face of the internet and are trying to interlink the two as much as possible. Secondly YouTube has various types of adverts; the most popular being inlay (video adverts within video) and the static rectangle and square banners that are placed over the video and besides the video respectively. The channel either has a scheme where they are paid based on how many people view the video (i.e. 'X' amount of money for 'Y' views) per video; or how many times an advert is clicked (i.e. 'X' amount of money for 'Y' clicks). Of course clicks yield more money (as its harder to do) but many large channels opt for the view-based program since they still make more money through it in the long run.

    The internet is dynamic and YouTube is no longer the platform of choice for movie pirates. Ever since Google acquired YT it has been a terrible service - everything is automated and for genuine problems there is no human customer service. This may not seem like an issue for us but these days there are many people making there bread and butter on YouTube. To cover their own ass YouTube released a poorly implemented content-match system so that nobody can sue them. It's simply a pawn to avoid lawsuits. This hurts genuine people, but it does help remove illicit material. Usually movies are immediately removed (especially newer ones) and so pirates upload videos leading to other sites (often fake, spammed with surveys, in order to make money).

    HOW on earth do the other uploaders get the content to upload on You Tube? There has to be an original source.

    It isn't hard at all. There exist many capture devices on the market; that rip content from any device. Television box, games console, so on and so on.



  5. #5
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    Re: Piracy & Karma

    Quote Originally Posted by smaranam View Post
    P.S. Slightly off-topic: Have you learned, gained information or shared it from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia?
    Then please donate to the Wikipedia project when you can and spread the word.
    Same with free software. e.g. Tortoise-SVN - anyone? I donated to there website in appreciation of the hard-working developers who brought it to us.
    I have learned most of this through personal experience. Although I certainly use it a lot for various other things. I will donate.

  6. #6

    Re: Piracy & Karma

    Thanks Icy. Of Course, the famous PAY-PER-CLICK - a slippery slope where thousands spend thousands as a "marketing must"
    This whole internet commercial marketing spider-web ... anyway I would rather not comment, but thanks for bringing up the subject.
    Now I know why I prefer the books and CDs on my shelf (wholesome khichaDi)
    and KRshNa in the Heart (mAkhan-mishrI)

    Last edited by smaranam; 30 August 2015 at 07:46 PM.
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

  7. #7

    Re: Piracy & Karma

    A note: I was talking about our use of Wikipedia in general and using the term "you" to address everyone, not IcyCosmic
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

  8. #8

    Re: Piracy & Karma

    As a final conclusion I do not regret the mAkhan (butter) that KRshNa allowed me to steal from (i.e. watch on) You Tube so far in the form of His glories and stories , but going forward I will find and collect my favourites from a brick and mortar shop at best and an e-store at worst. They will be useful on a rainy day when Atyantik pralay takes place.
    Last edited by smaranam; 30 August 2015 at 05:30 PM.
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

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