Ask Lovecraft: Piracy

In which we set sail for debate!

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In which celebrated and dead author HP Lovecraft offers his advice on such diverse topics as love, finance, cooking, and personal hygiene.

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24 Comments on "Ask Lovecraft: Piracy"

Tim Rutlidge
Guest

It’s my belief that Piracy is wrong, say like stealing movies and books from a store, but there are some corporations *cough* Viacom *cough* that take the definition way too far that it inhibits free speech. All in all, it comes down to the use of the pirated material. Really, if you want free books and movies, go to a library.

TopHatWooper
Guest

Call me old-fashioned, but I persoanlly only consider something as piracy if a product is stolen/duplicated and then sold on for profit. When something is provided for free, I don’t consider it piracy. I just consider it illegitamte shairng.

Besides, I think copyright laws are ridiculous as they stand today. Any copyright should last no longer than two decades – we must encourage artists to keep producing content, not hold onto their old ideas forever. Mickey Mouse and the classical Disney and Looney toons all should have fallen into the public domain long ago.

nikolis
Guest
except your not sharing. if i borrowed a toy from my friend when i was a kid i didn’t get to keep it forever and call it my own. same with a library. you don’t check out a book and say well they shared it with me it’s mine forever. you got an item from an individual or site that you plan on now owning. you could say well i’m not planning on keeping it forever after i’m done i’ll delete it. so if i borrow your toy and decide i’m now bored with it and throw it away are… Read more »
TheSKARD1
Guest
I’m okay with piracy and I think the arguments on both sides are flawed. Publishers tend to complain about lost sales but if people don’t have the money or the interest to buy something then a sale wouldn’t have been made anyway. They don’t actually lose money because they didn’t have that money to begin with. On the other side of the argument people say it’s no different from lending a book or a CD to friend. Except publishers want to put a stop to that as well. I think piracy should be treated as a market indicator. There are… Read more »
B-Navigator
Guest

Actually as far as Lovecraft’s stories goes, haven’t they passed into the Public Domain?

TragicGuineaPig
Guest

You are correct, sir. There are at least two websites I have found that distribute Mr. Lovecraft’s works electronically for free, and it is legal for them to do so, with the notable exception for those works with which Mr. Lovecraft shares the writing credit with other authors whose estates do not permit electronic distribution.

Sadly, this means Mr. Lovecraft gets no reimbursement for any of his works published today, whether in hard copy or in digital format, for price or for free. ALL THE MORE REASON TO SUPPORT HIS PATREON.

graphicnovelguy
Guest
I’ve done a lot of research on this. Not only are H.P Lovecrafts works in the Public Domain, but they are all there because he insisted that they be put there, and that everyone could build on his works/mythology. I’ve written many essays on the subject of copyright and Public Domain, and while I believe that works should be copyrighted when they first appear, it should only be for a LIMITED time. Originally, copyright was only supposed to last 14 years with the ability to renew the work for another 14 years. The length of copyright was occasionally expended since… Read more »
leviadragon99
Guest
As always, context is everything. If the artist is long-deceased and no longer receiving royalties for their work, then one must ask “Cui Bono” or “Who profits” and how deserving of those profits they are. If the artist still lives but has been removed from the process by… somewhat disagreeable (but still legal) corporate machinations, then what good does it help the artist to continue rewarding the corporate overlord for their sins? I can think of many such examples across many different media. Of course many of these variables are opaque to the public (some might suggest by design) so… Read more »
ToonaFish
Guest
I am all for conscious and informed piracy. Downloading a movie or a book or a music album off the Internet or copying it from a friend is NOT stealing, in the sense that NOTHING gets taken away from anybody and nobody gets damaged. For details on those theories, see Richard Stallman, but in essence, copying a movie and SHARING it with a friend does NOT damage anybody. Need a reassurance? OK: does Ford have a fit when we carpool because that means we’ll buy less cars? No! Does Sony go bonkers when we use the same TV because that… Read more »
E.Buzz Miller
Guest
I agree with all this, particularly the rewarding the creator somehow. It’s the only part of the piracy idea I find irksome, because the creators DO need compensation. Sure art for art’s sake is a noble idea, but an artist can’t live on noble ideals. Similarly the creative industry has always seemed off-base labelling it ‘theft’, it’s really not. No one is taking a five finger discount from a store, it’s more like making a mixtape for someone-you get the content, usually in a lesser quality format, and if you like it enough you want a top-notch version go buy… Read more »
Aze66
Guest
My belief is that the entities (pirates and corporation) need to exist together because of the very nature of humans. It’s a kind of unofficial checks and balances so that the corporation doesn’t become so monolithic and so that the people get what is/was/will be denied to them for some various reason whether a product is too old or ‘outdated’ or doesn’t exist in the official databank anymore(an example of this is Crash Bandicoot and Spyro series since Activision now owns the rights and Sony doesn’t) That being said, copyright and drm things that exist to combat piracy are taking… Read more »
ToonaFish
Guest
I have a long reply to this. It’s not a reply to you. It’s stuff I’ve had on my mind for a long time. I’ll just leave it here. Don’t read if it’s too long, I just entirely agree with you and here’s why: Here is why piracy should be allowed, and why not allowing people to BORROW atuff is WRONG. I am an engineer, and have been working for several engineering company, creating reasonably original and “good” products. Engineering work can be viewed pretty much like making a movie – you have a group of talented individuals collaborating to… Read more »
ToonaFish
Guest
oh and to correct the injustice, aside of artistic copyright one more industry has the same policy – the software industy. So both George Miller and the Immortan (I… really love that guy. Such an amazing character! And such design! I could stare at that mask all day!!) could make a car that, on their wiki, is described as “made from scratch” even if it’s 2 production line vehicles pieced together (yeah and many other things, I know) but if they took Windows or Facebook and added or removed something from it… …yeah, poor Immortan Joe. No, I love him… Read more »
Mayhem66
Guest

The difference is that, with the case of the car, or a book or other item, it is a single physical object that can only be owned or used by one person at a time. When you make a copy of a file for a friend, you are producing a new unit of the product. You have gone from being a consumer/owner to being a manufacturer. It doesn’t matter if it’s a physical copy or a digital one. That’s a big difference from simply giving something you own away, where you will no longer have access to it.

Ninhursag
Guest
I tend to be the kind of person who pirates stuff and then buys it down the line. I never pirated books though, I think books should be bought straight away, especially since the classics (Lovecraft”s works included) can be found in libraries almost in all countries. Comics and mangas I tend to download most often, because until recently I couldn’t buy them in libraries in my country and I prefer not to pay for transport, especially on comics from amazon, which means it delivers from other countries and it’s expensive. As for mangas, there are some who haven’t even… Read more »
TragicGuineaPig
Guest

To address the originator of the question, unless I am mistaken, the collected works of Mr. Lovecraft are actually considered public domain at this point, and the vast majority of his works are available digitally legitimately for free. The only works not available are those with which he shares writing credit with other authors whose estates do not permit them to be distributed digitally.

Either way, Mr. Lovecraft doesn’t receive any funds for any of his writings, whether purchased or acquired electronically. Which Is All The More Reason To Support His PATREON!

neytari
Guest

My brief thoughts… Downloading an MP3 of a Madonna song is not the same as downloading a Voltaire song since he’s an independent artist who lives off his art. They might both be stealing and both be wrong, but there’s an extra level of wrong to ripping off Voltaire. This can be expanded to small indy films vs Transformers 69, indy games vs Movie Tie In Cash Grab Shovel Ware 2015 and so on.

And please please support your local library! Wonderful magical places full of books free for the borrowing!

TragicGuineaPig
Guest
My personal thoughts on piracy: I don’t get into the details about whether the bulk of the money goes to the publisher or to the artist. Without publishers, the artists would never get the chance they deserve to make their art known. So while I don’t like the idea that a publisher might get more of the royalties than the artist, I also recognize that publishers are, in this instance, a necessary evil. I personally believe that there are only a very few circumstances in which piracy is a legitimately ethical option: 1. If the work in question is no… Read more »
akaki
Guest

I believe that Art should be shared and enjoyed by all, but you should pay for comfort and quality! The message in the book should be free, but not the book itself.
when i go to the movies i pay not to watch the film, but to watch it early, on a huge screen and great sound!

Leviathanapsu
Guest
As a writer, I suppose I should say piracy is always wrong, but life is rarely black and white. There is nuance. Book piracy is functionally meaningless in some cases. I am rare in that I try to keep a copy of every book I have read. Most people I know read a book and then get rid of it. If someone isn’t going to pay for a book, they just aren’t. They will hit the library or a digital library. It’s only when someone has something they want to revisit regularly (a great story, reference books, etc) that it… Read more »
RoboBlue
Guest

Piracy can be viewed as a problem of supply not meeting demand, in some ways. If the government were to provide free downloads of public domain items (which our taxes paid to defend when they were under copyright), as well as set sane time limits on copyrights (let’s say fifteen years or until the death of the author, whichever comes sooner), downloading illegal roms would be a niche practice.

Brian D Reed
Guest
This video only addresses one of the three forms of piracy. We have a tendency to regard the one as not being piracy, but by copyright law it is technically. And the third I mention is the REAL piracy threat. 1) It is technically against copyright law to sell used books, CDs, DVDs, Games, etc. However this is such an established part of our culture that no one enforces it, and there is little chance anyone who prosecutes a small bookstore, CD shop, etc. is actually going to get in trouble. (However he did mention something about Amazon and I… Read more »
BrokenEye
Guest
Technically it’s impossible to pirate something that’s in the public domain. You want free Lovecraft, or other public domain literature, check out Project Gutenberg. It’s just e-books, sure, but physical books still have printing costs and what have ye, so giving those away for free as soon as they enter the public domain simply isn’t feasible—unless, of course, you’re a Gideon. You know, I once read a conspiracy theory that the Gideon were actually a front for the CIA and that the Bibles they leave everywhere are secretly audio surveillance devices disguised as Bibles. Of course, this is ridiculous seeing… Read more »
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