The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Sharing digital purchase? (10 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2~3 [Next]
andrea.corelli
View Profile
New user
Milano area, Italy
91 Posts

Profile of andrea.corelli
Hi all,
I hope this question is not upsetting any of you. I am still in the difficult process of understanding what I am really into and what I need to get better. This process includes surfing the web far and wide and I everyday come across stuff that looks brilliant to me and that I would love to have. Since I am not making my living out of magic (and I am not planning to either, at least for now), many times the investments are not small to my eyes. I enjoy paying for what I own so piracy is not an option obviously, but I have been thinking about the idea of sharing digital purchases with someone else. Would you consider it unethical to, for example, buy a subscription to a digital pdf magazine and share it with a friend for half the money?

Really interested in reading your thoughts.
Thanks,
Andrea
In the avatar... I am the one falling Smile
Wizard of Oz
View Profile
Inner circle
Most people wish I didn't have
4866 Posts

Profile of Wizard of Oz
Hi Andrea,
Thanks for asking, and yes, this is completely, 100% unethical. Magic creators like any other content developers make their money and pay for their time with the profits made from the sales of their work. For the work to be given to others (let's not use the word "share," as it softens the impact and harm of this crime), without them purchasing it is theft. Depending upon the nature of the act and where it is committed may even make it illegal.

If creators' works continue to be given away to others without purchase, new work will cease to be released, because what is the incentive? Then we all suffer.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
jimgerrish
View Profile
Inner circle
East Orange, NJ
2611 Posts

Profile of jimgerrish
If the digital pdf file has a copyright mark on it, it is also illegal because in order to share it you have to make a copy of it, and that's against the copyright law. You have NO RIGHT TO COPY the file UNLESS the copyright has expired and the file is then in the public domain.
davidpaul$
View Profile
Inner circle
Pittsburgh, Pa
2684 Posts

Profile of davidpaul$
Smile Smile Smile Smile

Thanks for asking and being upfront.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
Mr. Woolery
View Profile
Inner circle
Fairbanks, AK
1405 Posts

Profile of Mr. Woolery
It is a tricky situation. If you buy a paper book and decide it isn't for you, you can generally sell it for at least half what you paid. So, there's less risk to your money that way. If you buy a DVD, same thing. But if you buy electronic media, you don't have a physical item you can sell to someone else if it isn't to you liking. And that makes me less likely to buy something that is just electrons.

On the other hand, magic, and especially certain subsets of magic (mentalism, bizarre, certain types of tricks) is a specialized enough field that if there's a manuscript that has some really good material that only applies to a couple of hundred people, you can't really get a publisher interested in it. The creator could print up a bunch of copies and hope to sell them and recoup his expenses and make a profit, but that's a gamble. Selling it as an ebook or a video download becomes a much more feasible method. But then, what if the purchaser doesn't really have a use for it after all? The purchaser has only an electronic file that he is not ethically able to sell for part of his or her expenses.

I agree that sharing the PDFs of a magazine or book is a no-no. I wish there was some simple way to deal with this issue, but I can't think of one.

For now, I suggest looking for reviews of material you are interested in getting. I don't purchase much without either knowing I like a performer's work or reading a review that leads me to think I'm likely to benefit from the material.

Oh, and get on mailing lists for the folks who carry what you are interested in. Vanishing Inc, Magic Warehouse, and L&L have sales often enough that it is worth waiting for them. Often it is older material, but that means I can usually find plenty of reviews to decide whether it is worth getting. Much of the latest and greatest material can wait, as far as my wallet is concerned. I don't need to fork over $50 for an idea that has seven people plugging it and nobody willing to really explain where it is not appropriate.

-Patrick
andrea.corelli
View Profile
New user
Milano area, Italy
91 Posts

Profile of andrea.corelli
Hi guys, thanks for the very quick reply. What I had in mind is way closer to the concept "I share a subscription to the National Geographic (just an example) with a friend and when I am done with an issue I pass it on to him so that he can read it too". I understand this is not the case as you can easily fall in the temptation to make a copy of it rather than giving a pdf to your friend, which would be closer to the idea of xeroxing every National Geographic issue (a clear No-No) and, on the other hand being only one physical copy of the magazine it is clear only one of the two peers can have it at a time.

I guess the more far we go with less paper and more digital, the easier it will be to have a clear (phylosophical) answer to the topic.

For the time being the replies I got so far as a rookie, are golden to me and I would add the above information to the first sticky post in this section.

Andrea
In the avatar... I am the one falling Smile
rboyd
View Profile
New user
Devon
81 Posts

Profile of rboyd
This makes me think of the shall I share my Netflix dilemma. My wife won't get anything pirates but she will allow her mother to share our Netflix and Now TV accounts.

There does need to be a way to share digital purchases or transfer ownership, I'm sure as technology develops this will become an option. After all we can share books and DVDs. This is mainly the reason why I try and avoid purchasing digital only when I can.
andrea.corelli
View Profile
New user
Milano area, Italy
91 Posts

Profile of andrea.corelli
Quote:
On Jan 29, 2018, rboyd wrote:
This makes me think of the shall I share my Netflix dilemma. My wife won't get anything pirates but she will allow her mother to share our Netflix and Now TV accounts.

There does need to be a way to share digital purchases or transfer ownership, I'm sure as technology develops this will become an option. After all we can share books and DVDs. This is mainly the reason why I try and avoid purchasing digital only when I can.


You got my point 100%
In the avatar... I am the one falling Smile
rboyd
View Profile
New user
Devon
81 Posts

Profile of rboyd
Totally. Ethically there is a big difference between two friends sharing a digital video (like they would a DVD) and pirating, torrenting etc.

For me the debate is not ethics rather than limits of the technology. DRM management needs to adapt and I'm sure it will at some point. Until then you might have to buy a kindle fire, download the content to that and then share the device between each other 😇
andrea.corelli
View Profile
New user
Milano area, Italy
91 Posts

Profile of andrea.corelli
Quote:
On Jan 29, 2018, rboyd wrote:
Until then you might have to buy a kindle fire, download the content to that and then share the device between each other 😇


Ahaha. It would make sense if it was a kindle fire with ONLY that content inside Smile
In the avatar... I am the one falling Smile
kcbeave
View Profile
New user
24 Posts

Profile of kcbeave
As far as the netflix goes, you can pay for extra connections. I have 3 and my family uses them and it is not pirating or cheating netflix. If 3 connections are in use then when someone else tries to watch, it will not let them until 1 of the 3 have signed off.
LarryD
View Profile
New user
32 Posts

Profile of LarryD
Interesting topic! Like Andrea, I've bought a number of magic effects that intrigued me only to find that they were either beyond my capabilities to perform or just didn't fit very well with my performing style. For example, I've purchased a number of effects that have to do with "mind reading;" but I've decided this branch of magic/mentalism doesn't really suit my personality....since I perform primarily for family and friends it would be difficult to be convincing to them! Does this mean that, for example, if I've purchased Menny Lindenfeld's "Occultatum" that it would be unethical for me to sell the material to someone else at my magic club, including a copy of the download on a separate flash drive?
jimgerrish
View Profile
Inner circle
East Orange, NJ
2611 Posts

Profile of jimgerrish
Copy - right. The right to make a copy. You buy something with a copy right notice on it, that tells you that the RIGHT to COPY the material is restricted for a certain number of years. The moment you make a copy that is not for your own personal use before that time limit is up, you are breaking the law.

LarryD wrote: "Does this mean that, for example, if I've purchased Menny Lindenfeld's "Occultatum" that it would be unethical for me to sell the material to someone else at my magic club, including a copy of the download on a separate flash drive?"

You have answered your own question, Larry. The only way you could pass it on was to "make a copy" and you do NOT have a RIGHT to COPY that material. You are not only breaking the copyright law in that case, but encouraging someone else to buy your copy and to also break the copyright law. What is to stop that other lawbreaker from continuing to break the law by making a copy of the unlawful copy of yours and selling it to yet another person - ad infinitum?

The solution: put all the copyright material you own into digital storage, with all the dates and copyright information intact. When the time limit of the individual copyrights are reached, the material is then in the public domain and you are then only ethically bound (as a magician) to make sure that the creator gets proper credit from other members of the magic family. You or your heirs can sell it or give it away at that time.
andrea.corelli
View Profile
New user
Milano area, Italy
91 Posts

Profile of andrea.corelli
Quote:
On Jun 25, 2018, jimgerrish wrote:
The solution: put all the copyright material you own into digital storage, with all the dates and copyright information intact. When the time limit of the individual copyrights are reached, the material is then in the public domain and you are then only ethically bound (as a magician) to make sure that the creator gets proper credit from other members of the magic family. You or your heirs can sell it or give it away at that time.


Thanks for sharing your view Jim. While this is a bit of an overkill (I strongly doubt that the copyright of the digital downloads can expire in a reasonable time - that is less than 50 years - and thus in 50+ years the formats will have changed significantly), I totally agree it is technically and formally correct.

When I first asked the question, though, my intent was to open more of an ethical dilemma, than a technical one.

As much as if I buy a book or a DVD (or a balloon or anything else) and I share the cost with a friend and we physically share the object, I feel that if we don't make a copy of it, and we just share it, it shall be equally acceptable to do so.

I know this can be a neverending thread, and I am sorry about it. I just asked the question to have a bit of a feeling of the vibe in the community Smile.

Cheers!
Andrea
In the avatar... I am the one falling Smile
jimgerrish
View Profile
Inner circle
East Orange, NJ
2611 Posts

Profile of jimgerrish
If you are serious about hanging onto digital material, you have to be aware of the state of progress in storage. Over my lifetime, I have had to update my storage of magic notes and ideas from print to magnetic tape, to floppy disks, to hard disks, to USB flash drives, and currently to microchips. When the next thing comes along, if I am still in my right mind, I will have to make yet another digital transfer to the new medium, or my heirs will, if they care about preserving my collection. But this is not changing ownership of the digital material, nor sharing it, just preserving it for my own personal use whatever that may be according to the copyright laws at the time.
jimgerrish
View Profile
Inner circle
East Orange, NJ
2611 Posts

Profile of jimgerrish
Quote:
On Jun 26, 2018, andrea.corelli wrote:
..."if I buy a book or a DVD (or a balloon or anything else) and I share the cost with a friend and we physically share the object, I feel that if we don't make a copy of it, and we just share it, it shall be equally acceptable to do so."
Andrea


The problem is that in most cases you CAN'T share digital material without copying it to perform the transfer. If you physically pass your laptops back and forth, you can share digital content legally in that manner, but once you make a COPY (which you have no RIGHT to do under the law) you are in violation of the law even if no one knows about it except you and the person with whom you share it. It's like playing golf, a game in which you hold yourself accountable to play against yourself with honor and honesty. If you are going to cheat at golf, you might as well give up the game... you don't understand it. As a magician, you have an obligation which the readers of non-magic books don't have... at some point in your life, when you became a magician you made a promise to NOT tell (or share) magic secrets. Only YOU know if you are violating that promise to yourself and to those other magicians with whom you associate.
andrea.corelli
View Profile
New user
Milano area, Italy
91 Posts

Profile of andrea.corelli
Quote:
On Jun 26, 2018, jimgerrish wrote:
If you are serious about hanging onto digital material, you have to be aware of the state of progress in storage. Over my lifetime, I have had to update my storage of magic notes and ideas from print to magnetic tape, to floppy disks, to hard disks, to USB flash drives, and currently to microchips. When the next thing comes along, if I am still in my right mind, I will have to make yet another digital transfer to the new medium, or my heirs will, if they care about preserving my collection. But this is not changing ownership of the digital material, nor sharing it, just preserving it for my own personal use whatever that may be according to the copyright laws at the time.


Thanks for taking your time to enjoy this conversation with me Jim. If we want to move the thread back to the technical level what you postulate here is not completely correct. With the term "copyright" any use is defined by the original authors (and publishers, but this would be even more complicated, so let's avoid it for now). One of the rights that the authors reserve, among the rest, is the change of media. So if you want to be strict about observing the law, changing the medium is not one of your rights. And there is a common misconception that entitles the licensee (yes, you don't own the file, you barely licensed it from the authors) to make backup copies for personal use.

Now this takes it back to the ethical level, rather than the strict laws level, which reverts back to my original question. Is it ethical or buy a digital download, MOVE it to a USB key, for example, and then keep it for even months, and giving it for odd months to your friend, who paid 50% of the cost. To be even more precise, if you download the file directly on your USB key, by law you are fully entitled to share the object as no co-buying is prohibited (and can't be).

Hope my point is clearer now. Smile

Best,
Andrea
In the avatar... I am the one falling Smile
Ed_Millis
View Profile
Inner circle
Yuma, AZ
2281 Posts

Profile of Ed_Millis
Jim, as a worthy creator of note, likely has a fount of knowledge on this topic. And while I do support Jim (I have bought several wonderful things from him and the other creators he supports), I do admit to a certain amount of confusion.

I thought that, as long as I paid for the digital item, I had the right to make my own copy, as was previously mentioned, for moving to a different storage location. It's impossible to move a digital file from a drive to a CD or thumb drive - or even migrating your site to a new server - without making a copy of the file. I was under the impression that, long as it stays within the possession of the original purchaser, this type of copying was okay. Otherwise, I can't back up my hard drive!

This would seem pretty straightforward. What would make it "interesting" is if two or more people "go in together" to make a digital purchase. If it's a physical purchase - a thumb tip or deck of cards - only one person can "possess" the item at a time. The digital world is full of its own gotchas!

Ed
andrea.corelli
View Profile
New user
Milano area, Italy
91 Posts

Profile of andrea.corelli
Quote:
Jim, as a worthy creator of note, likely has a fount of knowledge on this topic. And while I do support Jim (I have bought several wonderful things from him and the other creators he supports), I do admit to a certain amount of confusion.


I was not meaning to be disrispetful to Jim in any way. If I gave this impression, my humble excuses, it must be my poor english.

Quote:
I thought that, as long as I paid for the digital item, I had the right to make my own copy, as was previously mentioned, for moving to a different storage location. It's impossible to move a digital file from a drive to a CD or thumb drive - or even migrating your site to a new server - without making a copy of the file. I was under the impression that, long as it stays within the possession of the original purchaser, this type of copying was okay. Otherwise, I can't back up my hard drive!


The key of the backup issue is that you are entitled to backyup your own data, and when you buy a song, a video or any other digital content, you are not buying the content itself, which remains owned by the so called "master owner" or "repertoire owner", while you have the right to own that specific copy you bought "copy-right", on that specific media. This mean you would be fully entitled to backup your text documents, pictures or video, or even music that you wrote and recorded. There is one exception that is commonly acceptable for non commercial stuff, which is when you sing a song written by someone else. In that specific case you are entitled to keep it and do what you like about it unless you get money out of it. But this is a very specific case, I guess, similar to the text I have been seeing lately on some magic that are being sold as video files and do not include the TV performance rights in the sale.

Quote:
What would make it "interesting" is if two or more people "go in together" to make a digital purchase. If it's a physical purchase - a thumb tip or deck of cards - only one person can "possess" the item at a time.


That is exactly the point where I wanted to bring the discussion. While if you co-buy a DVD only one of the buyers can "possess" the object at a given time, in the digital world this would be a bit trickier, but my feeling is that it shall be, at least ethically, acceptable.

Looking forward to hear more opinions, especially from those worthy people, like Jim, that are directly involved in the creation/distribution of magic material.

As a side note, just to validate my "technical" comments, I wanted to clarify that I am proficient in the matter as I am working in the entetainment business, namely in content licensing and distribution, so I have been handling rights (both physical and digital, on artistic intellectual properties) management every day since 1999 Smile

Cheers!
Andrea
In the avatar... I am the one falling Smile
danaruns
View Profile
Special user
The City of Angels
579 Posts

Profile of danaruns
The answer is easy: No!

All this parsing and trying to balance digital angels on the head of a pin does not defeat the fact that you are selling (sharing cost = selling) someone's copyrighted work, thereby depriving the creator of a possibility of a separate sale. It's unethical. It's immoral. You cannot "share" digital media the way you can a physical book, and those analogies break down in both legal and ethical terms.

You're performing gymnastics to get to some sort of "yes," when the straightforward and obvious ETHICAL answer is "no." Ethical answers don't usually require a lot of mental gymnastics.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Sharing digital purchase? (10 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2~3 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2018 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.37 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL