back to article 'Freetard ? more like advert programmed PAYTARDS!'

Readers aren't taking our use of the "Freetard" jibe lying down. The term was coined by Dan Lyons - (aka, Fake Steve Jobs - as a catch-all for F/OSS users. But it seems so much more apt for free content militants, who nobly refuse to pay creators for music, TV and film - as a point of principle. They're fighting back with an …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    The satire fits perfectly. And the Irony. Oh, it makes me laugh. Sap from the driptray. More like the sticky table...

    Marvellous...freetards precisely. Go Reg. Go FoTW (not FtoTW)

  2. David Simpson


    Oh Yes the irony..............................

  3. Insane Reindeer
    Thumb Up

    Insane by name...

    ....insane by nature! Because I am a mega PAYTARD!! And I have never been prouder of that fact!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    It's Friday night and I want to go home

    Better go out and nick a car then.

  5. Charles Manning

    Flamer has a point

    Once you take it off the charbroiler, the flamer's post is very insightful. In my experience, the freetards generally getting as good as or better than the paytards.

    Down at the mythical pub:

    * Freetards would be drinking fine brews served at an open bar, while the paytards would be limited to drinking Bud and have to pay royally.

    * At 7pm the paytards would have to chuck out their obsolete beer and buy a new one. However, wait until at least 7:30 because the first batch or two of the new brew is unfermented.

    * Freetards would be allowed to buy a pint and give half to their mate. Not so paytards. Paytards have to buy a two litre jug even if they're only going to drink a half pint.

    * The poker machines on the freetard side of the pub are crap and not worth playing.

    * The pickpockets stay on the paytard side of the pub.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Right on!

    He's right you paytard losers; I'll bet you even do actual work while you're at work instead of leeching off your employer by posting comments on 'The Register' instead!

    (we need a magnet icon so we can detect irony)

  7. Shaun Rolph

    Wring out the barmaid's apron

    "Freetards are welcome to join us"

    Oh dear. One more London pub, then, where you have to take your pint with you to the toilet.

  8. Karim Bourouba


    only this week, have I been introduced to the semi-politically correct NZ term, 'Tardo'

  9. Hans Mustermann

    Fits the pattern

    Actually, this fits exactly what I tried to post when the article appeared, but the posting option disappeared.

    I've seen exactly this kind of behaviour before, for example on various video games' chat rooms and forums. Invariably there'd be some... well, the most retarded kind of pirates, the kind which couldn't even find a crack on their own. So they'd come over with ridiculous excuses, like "I threw away the jewel case before installing the game", and ask that someone gives them a serial number.

    And invariably, if you cornered them before a moderator woke up and kicked them out, it boiled out to exactly the argument from this FOTW: you're all retarded to pay for something you could steal.

    The music freetards have long enjoyed a wider selection of strawmen in their arguments. It's a gift culture. (Sorry, I know about potlatch cultures, they don't work that way.) It's fighting the villainous publishers. It's a fight for freedom. (E.g., from DRM... on non-DRM-ed CDs.) It's creating a new, more efficient/democratic/fair/techno-utopian distribution model. Etc.

    But I always suspected that if you somehow managed to cut a pirate off at the pass and not let him use the canned strawmen, it would really boil down to the same fundamentally sociopathic attitude: if you can steal it, you'd have to be retarded to pay for it.

    I didn't think I'd see someone actually manage to counter those strawmen in my lifetime, but, lo, apparently it's possible. And the FOTW promptly came with the exact kind of argument I was expecting to hear.

  10. Andrew Tyler
    Paris Hilton


    I wish I had such a refined power of self-delusion that I could believe being a cheap bastard was somehow noble.

  11. Gannon (J.) Dick

    Hoist By Their Own PAYTARDS.

    Can't find a free beer until St. Patrick's Day?

    No wonder PAYTARDS are so cranky.

    -- a FREETARD and proud of it

  12. Anonymous Coward


    those who 'nobly' refuse to pay creators of media that demand payment or 'just compensation' might be labelled as 'freetards' but those of us who use Free Software or Open Source software can hardly be called 'freetards' or anything of the sort! - the authors and creators of such software have nobly allowed the creations to be copied freely, used freely etc. heck, I could even add new functions to such software if I need to (and sometimes have) - which then get fed back to the main program.

    sure. pay for your favourite word processor or OS - but if theres something you dont like about it, you'd better hope the core developers feel the same way or it'll never change. I can choose which desktop environment I want and how it works...I can also clearly remove any modules I dont want to run. No firewire on my system - and never will be due to removal of firewire in my kernel configuration/compilation - now if someone inserts a firewire card, my machine isnt compromised. pity about your Windows or MacOSX system.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Free Beer

    So if El Reg knew of a pub where the beer was free (as in "free beer") you wouldn't accept? If it means free beer, I'm with the freetards.

  14. Anonymous Coward


    damd freetards. i HATE them so much they should nto be given the time fo day you are just encoreging them stealing from people they are just theivs all of them. i hope that this guy is thrown out of the country probably polish or somthing stealing stuff and probably using linex and stuf.

    (I hope it that all fits within the flaiming rules :-) Although I do find it to get that angry about someone who is just an ideot)

    Oh, and AC, as you cant truly flame and then not do it AC, or do true FoTW contenders not think of that?

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Brewing Industry - Brainwashed

    Mmm - Beer..

  16. b166er

    DSoTW (Damp Squib)

    Recently, I had begun to think AO was on the payroll for the music industry; eating from the hand that feeds IT, so to speak ;0. But his most recent article, now seems to be downplaying the 'threat' from freetards endorsing a subscription based all-you-can-eat model, perhaps suggesting that there will always be a small percentage of freetards, but in fact, it's not the apocalypse the industries have been gloomily predicting.

    For the record, I'm mainly a PAYTARD, occasionally a FREETARD.

    Will this £10 a month of which was spake, include all the indies as well?

    How much for guilt free movie downloads too, especially the old ones you can't buy anymore? Are the P2P companies then going to start seeding everything, even stuff unavailable in shops? Are the general PAYTARD public going to finally get what they want?

  17. John Saunders

    FoTW, where are ye now?

    The BootNote resolved my puzzlement, since as flames go, the letter was, well ... .

    It's a shame that 'FoTW' has to be repurposed just to get some use out of it. What's happened to the Internet I used to know?

  18. Barry O'Driscoll

    Down with that sort of thing

    Did you see his lad father?

  19. Leo Maxwell

    Well, he has a point, in his own twisted way...

    Think about it,

    I make beautiful furniture.

    I sell a chair, it is a work of art.

    I don't get a payment every time someone sits in it, or lends it to a neighbour, or sells it to someone else.

    So why should I pay someone every time I listen to a piece of music, or look at a photograph, or read a book?

    And why should I still have to pay that for every copy until 70 years after the author is dead?

    My daughter is a painter, the same applies, she sells her paintings, some people have started collecting her work , because they think that they are good investments. If one of her paintings or sculptures fetches large sums of money in 20 years, she will not benefit.

    Why is the word, music, or photographic image different?

    Add to that the fact that the recording industry generally don't pay artists for downloaded music. Who is the Tard?

    The world is changing, art is changing, and the greedy are starting to lose out.

    Well, pardon me if I am not sorry for them.

    I personally do not think that Britney Spears or Elton John, for example, have earned their vast wealth, or the record company executives.

  20. Eddie Johnson
    Thumb Up

    @Charles Manning

    <= Says it all!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Forget the pub.

    I can't make it to the pub with you, I'll be getting my fill from raiding the freetards ice box. Don't worry, they won't mind my drinking all their homebrew?

    Paris because she is looking for a pub buddy.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Moral Problems

    Let me see if I understand this. Someone develops a FOSS application and willingly offers it to users free of charge. One user checks it out, finds it meets his needs/wants and takes the developer up on his offer. Another user chooses to pay another developer to use her proprietary application instead because he finds it meets his needs/wants. Why should either user be denigrated for his perfectly legitimate and perfectly legal choice? Okay, either user may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer fiscally speaking because he didn't consider total cost of ownership or because he never even considered alternatives. So? Oh, I know, let's belittle the very real victims of mental retardation by making their condition a joke and a derogatory thing. I've known some truly wonderful mentally retarded folks and I'm pretty sure Andrew Orlowski and the other fans of the terms "freetard" or "paytard" are nowhere near as wonderful. And by the way, Andrew, trying to redefine such terms such that they refer to people whose morals you despise doesn't magically disassociate you with belittling those whose medical condition you despise. Grow up already - it wasn't okay to yell "retard" at other kids on the playground and it still isn't. I generally enjoy the Reg's irreverent style, but this 'tard stuff makes me sick.

  23. Lloyd
    Thumb Down

    Two things

    Firstly, presumably the nice white jacket that does up at the back was a freebie?

    Secondly, how the feck do you type with it on?

    P.S. Does the nurse wipe your dribble away every so often?

  24. Highlander

    And there, ladies and gentlemen.... the perfect illustration of the problem that the content industry faces. According to the freetards people who pay for something are fools. And yet somewhere we seem to have lost the plot. For you see when I grew up, there was this thing I was taught about.

    Commonly called theft, it was something along the lines of taking without paying. I'm sure I remember it. There were even these things in stored, CDs. People actually paid for them. Apparently we must all have been under the impression that it cost money to record music, make a CD and ship it to the store and then sell it. Somewhere in there I seem to remember we also thought that the artists and other performers and technicians deserved to be paid for their work.

    Imagine that, paying for the product of someone else's labor. Wow.

    Now comes the freetard who thinks that paying for something that they can download for free is stupid. I guess it's not theft to them, where as it sure as hell looks like they're taking the product without paying for the product. Now, sure I agree that downloads are over priced poorly encoded mush compared to the full bit rate CD version, so they should be cheaper. But I do think that anyone who believe that because you can download it it should be free, probably doesn't need to be allowed out on their own.

  25. Shabble

    An idiot says what?

    'Abolish all private property.' - Karl Marx; philosopher, political scientist, Freetard.

    'There is no such thing as society.' - Margaret Thatcher; British Prime Minister, consumerism champion, Paytard.

    Then there's the rest of us in between. On the one hand, downloading music for free is not the same as stealing a car, no matter what the Paytards say. The price the market determines is not the same as the value to society of a thing. Adverts and marketing do manipulate the system, and Megacorps do put their own shareholders and pay bonuses above the good of the consumer and the quality of the products they sell.

    On the other hand, many people who download music for free and defend this on the basis of being ripped off by the record labels would steal a car if they thought they could get away with it. Trade and the free market does contribute to the common good and drives innovation and enables creativity. Pretty much all of those who complain about megacorps happily buy cheap stuff from China even though they are cheap because the Chinese have no H&S, workers rights etc.

    Terms like Freetard and Paytard are disingenuous because they polarise complex arguments full of difficult to defined moral concepts and difficult to defend ethical and practical 'certainties' into simple for or against standpoints. Very few of us would fit either of these new stereotypes - for example, I believe music should be free at the point of access, but refuse to buy cheap coffee because it screws the coffee growers and pickers. Also, I believe in being forced to pay for the full environmental impact of owning a car, but that congestion charging is unfair because it prevents poor people enjoying the great social benifits of driving.

    Questions like 'how should we pay for music' do not break down into the Freetard answer of 'I don't care' or the Paytard answer of 'music belongs to the companies that make it'. These are the two stupid answers. The real answer requires more intelligence.

  26. Trevor Watt

    @ Leo Maxwell

    Your argument is flawed:

    You make beautiful furniture. You sell a chair, it is a work of art.

    Two months later MFIkea are knocking out identical copies for a tenth of what you sell them for and they are selling like hot cakes.

    Yep, you would be pretty pissed off........

    And in any case your argument is a straw man as no-one pays every time they play a DVD or CD they have bought, or every time they boot up windows. You buy it once.

    I refer you back to Hans Mustermann's post further up the page.

  27. Andraž Levstik

    @Trevor Watt

    And in any case your argument is a straw man as no-one pays every time they play a DVD or CD they have bought, or every time they boot up windows. You buy it once.

    Erm... I think that should be "YET"

    Soon you will be expected to do so... What the music industry, microsoft and everybody else want is that you pay them royality EACH time you hear a song(no matter where), each time you use your system(recall that little thing called activation), each time you see a movie anywhere

    This is what they eventually want... And this is what most so called "free*" are fighting against...

    I'm a long time Nightwish fan but I never had the funds to buy any of their cd's(or any others) I did have them downloaded as mp3s or "borrowed" from friends... Now that I have the chance I'm actually buying them. And before ppl start with the crap insults I belive in paying for things that *I* like. If I don't like something I won't keep it around for a long time probably no more than a week.

    I don't download commercial music or movies and I also don't go to watch them or listen them anywhere...

    I download things people are willing to offer to me to download(creative commons licensed things from for example). The only stuff I do get from the net are TV shows but that is mainly due to the near to non-existant tv programing(even though a) I pay a TV license(yes the brits aren't the only one to have it, but atleast you lot get decent programing out of it) and b) cable subscription(so basicaly any show I download from the net will eventually be available on one of the 60+ chans) around here where the peak of the watching stuff are local craptastic shows or crap like big brother and similar which generaly kill all other shows off so that they can run as long as possible.

    Make TV stations cater to everyone, make it so that everyone can watch their tv show without needing to be superhuman or stay up till 0300 or need to be at the TV midday etc... and it would basicaly stop MOST net downloads...

    AS I can see current station aronud here have the same show each day at each hour. Instead why not have a different show each day at that same hour... One for each of your "classes of viewers" or such... Have some sci-fi, drama, crime, etc... etc... etc... once per week... that way you fit all groups and everyone is happy. I simply stopped watching most stations(other than cartoons and discovery chan) because they simply don't show anything worth watching...

    OK this seriously off-comment raw braindump is now over.

  28. Richard Kay


    Theft deprives the owner of what they had before and copying doesn't. The b'tards are those who want to turn others into slavetards by selling software that creates heroin-like dependencies upon a single supplier (1), and retards by selling software that the end user isn't allowed to study. I'll have mine free as in freedom thanks. Freedom to study, modify and redistribute.

    1. Bill Gates, speaking in 1998 at the University of Washington: "About 3 million computers get sold every year in China, but people don't pay for the software. Someday they will, though. As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade."

  29. Alex
    Thumb Down

    @Trevor Watt and The Reg

    How does a big business exploiting their advantage over small producers relate to the issue of whether you should be paid once for the work you do, or every time someone appreciates it? It's simple:

    Car mechanics get paid when they repair your car, not every time someone different wants to drive the car.

    Seed growers get paid for the seeds, not every time a new flower grows (although this may change if the big bio research companies get their way).

    Chair manufacturers get paid for the chair, not for every time someone different sits in it.

    Musicians should get paid for PLAYING music, not every time someone hears it.

    Artists should get paid for PAINTING pictures, not every time someone views it.

    Somewhere along the line, people started thinking being a musician automatically makes you deserve to be a millionaire. It doesn't. It's nothing special. If you're really that good, like Trent Raznor, then enough people will like your music that they'll actually give you what you deserve.

    It's sad that people are so brainwashed that they actually defend the people who are ripping them off.

    And I'm ashamed that The Reg is using the word "freetards". I guess I'll have to look elsewhere for news that doesn't share its ideology with Time Warner and the rest of the world's increasingly powerful corporate masters.

  30. spegru
    Gates Horns

    @ Trevor Watt

    Your argument is also flawed.

    So you make a nice chair

    But after that you can make copies of that chair - for nothing!

    MFIKea need to tool up and manufacture their copy - which will take a while

    In the interim, you can sell your free-to-make copies at massive profits

    In the end the copy is not quite the same anyway (so it cant be passed-off as yours). The snob value and your support costs for fixing / upgrading your chair (which isn't as good quality as you said it was) keep you in mega business - for eternity, because you pay the shops to suppress information about the MFIkea chair (just like PC World and OOO).

    Is that sensible?

    So Freetard of Paytard. The choice is yours!


  31. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: An idiot says what?

    Exactly, Shabble - thank you. This has been my working assumption for several years now.

    95+ per cent of people have nothing in common with either fringe. It's just that each group of extremists makes more noise than the rest of us, so they are over-represented by a clueless media.

    It's up to us to demand what the future looks like, rather than bleating about how unfair piracy is to our business models, or how unfair paying artists is. That debate is well and truly over.

    But if we're not involved in articulating what we want, we shouldn't complain when people impose a settlement on us that we don't like "for our own good".

  32. Eddy Ito
    Jobs Horns

    DRM Beer

    I think the Freetard Music (FM) movement, which has a problem with DRM, is different from the Freetard Why Pay (FWyP; pronounced f-wipe) movement.

    The mythical DRM beer scenario goes like this. You buy a DRM beer but you can't drink it straight from the bottle, you have to have a particular "blessed" glass to pour it in before you drink it. If you don't have that glass - no beer for you. Sure you can get another glass blessed but then the old glass won't work. You can give the beer to a friend but they can drink it only if you gave them the blessed glass also. Also, you can't swill your beer from a mug because that isn't a glass and it can't be blessed. Tankards are strictly out of the question and only used by unenlightened heathens and nobody would bless a tankard, so don't bother asking.

    The FM folks just want their damn beer any way the like it. The FWyPs figure why bother paying for the beer at all if there are kegs broken open on the parked delivery truck, errr, I mean lorry. As always, about 95% of the broken kegs contain crap beer anyway.

    For me, life is just to short to drink crap beer.

  33. greg

    So many different arguments

    What about people who "steal" music for free because :

    1 It's possible

    2 If it wasn't, they wouldn't buy it anyway.

    Can you even count those as a sale loss ? Barely...

    Now, those people wouldn't steal a car if it was possible without getting caught :

    They would steal a copy of the car. But remember, they are people that wouldn't buy the real car if stealing the copy wasn't possible anyway...

    The day we know exactly how much the industry lose is far, but we today know what they earn...

    Me myself don't even download anything, nor for pay, nor for free, so I'm out of both categories...

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    If you dont like people ripping off your media then make it quality of quantity

    How many time have you been to see a film at the cinema only to be sadly disapointed that it doesnt come up to the hype. I can understand downloading films off torrent then if they are any good buying the DVD when it comes out. I am perfectly willing to pay for a product software music film etc if it is as good as they say it is but how can I tell when the advertising tell lies.

    I understand the arguement that making a film for instance is very costly however how much of the costs are for production i.e. actors, writers, artists, craftsmen. If they were asking a fair profit on the costs of production that would be fine. However as the productors are quite willing to loose money on 3 films out of 5 we have to pay for their backing of the wrong horse.

    There is no accounting for taste, I will admit but how about the times when you are watching a film and recognise the plot from some earlier work.They just keep reusing the same old tired plots so that watching a film for 15 minutes is sufficent to know how it will end up. Why should I be expected to pay for something ripped off by the media corporations themeselves. If they come up with something novel they get my money, if it is just a pretty version of some story I already read then I should be able to pay what I think it is worth.

    Its the same across the board, books, music, films you name it, why should we be expected to pay over the odds for Pap

  35. steogede
    Dead Vulture

    @Trevor Watt

    Yeah, cos MFIkea can mass produce the same sort of high quality artistic chair that Leo makes.

    BTW, can you mention one thing which MFIkea produce which isn't a cheap copy of a Habitat product?

    >> And in any case your argument is a straw man as no-one pays every time they play a DVD or CD they have bought, or every time they boot up windows. You buy it once.

    Yep it's a straw man because a single point of his argument isn't 100% watertight - and besides, if MS/MPAA/RIAA had their way you would pay every time you played it or booted your PC.

    Going back to Hans Mustermann's post and the original article:

    >> So they'd come over with ridiculous excuses, like "I threw away the jewel case before installing the game", and ask that someone gives them a serial number.

    In what way does the above relate to Linux users bypassing the weak BBC security measures in order to get the same service as their fellow licence payers? In what way does using legitimately aquired Free software to play media you have legitimately paid a licence for make you a freet*rd? All the freet*rds will have been using iPlayer on their pirate copies of Windows for months.

  36. Gannon (J.) Dick

    Sad to say ...

    PAYTARDS bemoan the soft US Dollar because it takes more dollars to buy toilet tissue.

    FREETARDS know that making the US Dollar both softer and *more absorbent* also solves the problem.

    Art is what you see in it. The value of Art is what someone else sees in it.

  37. Highlander

    @Richard Kay

    WTF? What the hell is wrong with you? I don't give a sh1t is people want to write open source software and give it away, hey more power to you. Ditto is someone wants to record music and hand it out on a website in MP3 format for free. Fine, no problem. The problem is freetards who think that because open source software is a workable concept that every form of digital content ought to be free of charge.

    That is simply never going to work. There is no possible libertarian future where professional musicians are simply going to give away the fruits of their labor for free. Nor should they. The same goes for software engineers and anyone else producing digital content. If you believe otherwise then you're a fool.

    Free open source software is a world of difference away from music, movies and other digital content.

    Honestly, some of the open source community really make me want to shoot a stuffed penguin out of pure frustration. You know I'm about as tired of Microsoft as anyone, but I'm equally tired of people who try to distract from the issue. Bill Gates and Microsoft do not present an ever valid excuse for people to bitch, whine and moan about pay content online. Nor does Microsoft's abuse of its' market power provide a complete argument against the commercial software model. Once again if you believe otherwise you're a fool.

    I'm going to take it from your comments that you would consider yourself a freetard. The article is very clear and concise, so I guess you'll be enjoying the drip tray.

  38. Highlander

    Beer analogy

    DRM for beer.

    Bottled beer that requires an opener. You can only get the opener from the bar tender. Without the opener it's no beer for you. Once you open the beer it must be consumed before it gets too warm and the fizz fades.

    The freetards who think why pay simply find an unattended keg and help themselves. The freetards who are taking a principled stand against DRM have their own opener which has allows them to open their beer whenever they like, they can open you beer for you too. Most of the time this is fine because you bought the beer so does it matter if it was the bar tender that opened it? The trouble is that ever now and again one of the opener possessing freetards starts taking bottles without paying and cracking the DRM with their opener. Thus ruining the party for everyone when the brewery changes the bottle top and opener in response to the rogue openers.

    Copyright infringement has zilch to do with open source software, the two arguments are not one and the same, people should stop treating them like they are. If we confine this to software alone and Linux vs Windows then there still is no argument. Microsoft have a product that they sell at a price, we can all complain it's too expensive and crap, but we have no right to expect them to give the software away. Linux is free and you can download it anywhere. That doesn't make Microsoft inherently bad, nor does it make Linux inherently superior. Microsoft or any other company selling their software does not restrict people's choice, people can choose Linux if they wish, or they can choose to pay. Microsoft's bullying tactics is not justification for copying Windows or Office from some website and using it without paying. There is no valid argument based in the merits of open source software that makes that theft alright. I'm tired of people who say that there is, because in the end it always comes down to some dogmatic ideology that claims that Microsoft is evil and open source is good therefore it's OK to steal from Microsoft since they're just big bad bullies anyway. If it's wrong to steal from the nice guys, it's just as wrong to steal from the bad guys.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Freetards, and the Piracy Myth,

    Seems to me that the media industry is living in a dream world. They seem to think that if they can stop piracy the will magically increase their profits by huge amounts.

    Wrong.... most people who download are not going to pay for it if they can no longer download... End of story.

    They seem to think that their products are indispensable.. That people wont be able to live with out them....

    Wrong.... people do not need movies, music, art or software to live. They need food, fuel, water and shelter to live.

    The first thing to go in my home when the next depression comes along will be the internet, shortly followed by spending of entertainment (Cable TV, CD/DVD purchases etc).

    Wake up all.... Freetards/Paytards don't really exist.... People will pay for what they can afford or get it free if they don't think they will get in trouble or LIVE WITHOUT!.

    Very simple concept which appears to have been forgotten by so many on this planet.

    I think MS are living in a dream world if they think subscription software will fly while GNU/Linux is about. Who here would honestly pay a fee every time they used the PC? No one would...

    I think the Movie industry could do well with subscription Downloads... Video rental has been very successful. But they need to market it properly an charge a fair rental price. This will work because you only watch a movie once or twice.

    Subscription music is in a middle ground... Some may pay per listen if its a couple cents per play.... But charge to much and it will be a failure.

    Wheather MS, RIAA et. al like it or not they can not shape the market to give them everything they wont. Its still the customers choice and if the customer doesn't like the product they really don't have to buy it.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Fucking BBC

    I HAVE paid for the material - as a TV licence payer, I am part of the sole source of the income the BBC has, without us it wouldn't be able to operate its business.

    WE HAVE PAID ..... are you listening .....WE HAVE PAID

  41. Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear god.

    I had a dream the other night. I found myself in a dark alleyway, wedging a slimjim down the door of a black mercedes 280e, when I heard a voice from behind me say 'you wouldn't steal a car'. Next thing you know, I'm running down the street with a crappy old 20" crt tv, the kind you'd see in a $40 a night discount motel chain on the side of interstate 80. You're damn right I wouldn't steal one of those. After all, someone who owns a tv like that has obviously been crapped on by life way too much already. Suddenly I was downloading a movie, except the BitTorrent interface was all messed up, so I hit cancel, grabbed my stolen handbag and ran screaming from the room.

    My point is, well I forget. But I think we can all agree that trying to ram your opinion down other peoples throats by using analogies is pretty fscking pointless?

  42. Leo Maxwell

    @Trevor Watt

    Let's look at it another way.

    A photographer took a photograph of one of my chairs.

    He sold it to an image bank for $50

    If I wanted a copy, I would have to buy it.

    The image bank owns that image for an (estimated) 150 years.

    Neither I or the photographer have any rights over a copy of my work, which I did not give permission for.

    I don't mind paying the artist.

    I object to paying a business again and again for the same piece of art ( or poor copies) on CD, VHS, DVD, Bluray.

    And when you listen somebody pays, the radio station, the bar, the supermarket, but the money very rarely gets back to the artist.

    Radiohead made more money by offering one album on the internet, for "whatever you want to pay" than they have made from any other downloaded music ,ever.

    It seems that if you download it from iTunes or whatever, the artist gets nothing.

    So who are you stealing from if you get it off Bittorrent?

    Not the artist, but the record companies that are already stealing it from the artists, that's who.

    Its the one with the anti-stab back.

  43. Adrian Challinor

    @Leo Maxwell

    Mod +1 Inciteful.

    Well said sir.

    Big Ade. (Somewhere between Free and Paid. May be a faidtard)

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Hiretards rise up

    No more will we be downtrodden by the Frees and the Pays in this world.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    but it is usually the "freetards" that complain the loudest...

    when someone takes something from them without paying

  46. Magilla
    Thumb Down

    Re: @ Leo Maxwell (By Trevor Watt)

    Fail. BIG EPIC FAIL.

    Firstly, ever heard of a cover band? If not, they are bands who play other peoples songs, often get paid for it, but don't pay royalties. In effect, there are your cheap MFIkea knock-offs.

    Secondly, if Leo discovers that his design of chair is a hit, he can't just bung it on the photocopier to make more. It takes more skill, time, materials, and tools. He can't send the original away and get back a box a week later with 2000 more in it that are exactly the same. Every time he sells a chair, it represents more investment is what he does.

    Musical artists, on the other hand, can spend a year writing an album, two weeks recording it, and then will get money every time a copy is sold for the rest of their lives.

    I have spent two hours today writing code that could be used for the next five years or more. It's a creative, if not artistic work. I will get paid for two hours labour for it, and not a penny more. If that code is still running in 5 years, or has been shared with other companies worldwide, I won't get a cent more for it.

    Disclaimer: I am also a non-recording musical artist.

  47. Huw Davies
    Thumb Down


    "Firstly, ever heard of a cover band? If not, they are bands who play other peoples songs, often get paid for it, but don't pay royalties. In effect, there are your cheap MFIkea knock-offs."

    Not so. In the UK, the venue must have a PRS license. The fee paid by the venue to the PRS pays the royalties. The venue gets paid by the cover band through their cut on door take/ticket money whatever.

    If the cover band wishes to record their covers professionally, then they must also pay the MCPS before any pressings can be made.

    I am a gigging musician in a cover band.

    And here's a good one for you... If you as a non-recording artist suddenly decided that you want to record your work, you'll have to register with MCPS to make sure that you get paid if someone else covers your work - and you'll have to pay them when you get your CDs made, because you're recording the work of an artist on their books - even though it's your OWN work.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Got bored...

    .. so skipped to here to give my 2p

    First, by your definition, I am a freetard. I have 2 points to make, though.

    WRT software, why should i not use FOSS? My choice to use a superior, free, open, modifiable system. End of.

    And on the subject of music/films, yes I download them. But I would not buy any more CDs/DVDs than I do anyway. Music-wise, I pay for the music I like. I download the music that other people want to hear at parties. Why should I pay for something that will be played at most once at a party on random with all the other generic, mass produced shite that is coming out at the moment?

    I also do pay for music from small, unsigned artists and bands, often even if I do not particularly like it myself, just appreciate it.

    I would probably pay for downloads, too, if I could get decent quality FLACs with album art, rather than DRM-locked low-bitrate MP3s/WMAs.

    Films are another matter, in that I rarely watch anything but TV, and that only rarely. If I d/l a film, I will generaly watch it once then not again. If I like it enough to watch it again I will buy it, although the DVD will probably just be stored in the loft and I will watch the copy I downloaded (I dont like having shelves full of DVDs, they are messy, bulky, and difficult to find when you have a lot).

    So yes, you can call me a freetard. And many freetards would call me a paytard. In reality I am somewhere in between, and if someone thinks what I do is morally wrong, or retarded coz I could get all of it for free, then go screw yourselves. I am happy with my system. If the record companies/film studios take away my ability to do this, I probably won't be buying from them again (party time I would say "Bring your own fecking cds if you want that shite on!", and films would be watched on TV)

  49. Shakje

    The chair analogy is massively flawed.

    It makes perfect sense, if you put your time and resources into making a chair you deserve recompense and payment for it. Downloading music is like this, if someone buys one of your chairs, and has figured out a way to make a copy of the chair, exactly the same, but without costing them anything, instead of just copying the chair and selling it, they give it away free to all their friends. Their friends wouldn't have bought the chair even if they'd seen it, but since their mate is giving it away free they might as well take it and put it in their living room. Why would you be pissed off that someone is giving away free copies of your chair to their mates? You're not losing money from it, in fact, more people are finding out that they actually like your furniture. Now, if someone is selling copies of your chair that they can make for cheaper you have every right to be annoyed, they're passing off your stuff as their own, and doing it with inferior goods. And because they're selling it they're targetting people who would only buy it if they liked it, so they're grabbing potential customers from you. This is obviously wrong, and is akin to stealing someone's ideas.

    Now, let's extend it a bit with some hypothetical situation where you distribute the chair through Ikea, where you receive next to nothing per chair sold. You make the real money through people paying to sit on the chair at live events. Now, do you really care about people giving free copies of the chair to their friends? Especially if it gets people interested enough to pay to try the better live experience?

  50. Anonymous Coward


    Touche. Seems fair enough to me. Conversely Andrew you feel you are doing something `noble` by lining the pockets of those media whores and their minions? IF I could give the money direct to an artist who was making a living (and not exorbitant) from his or her art I would feel obliged to do so, as a fellow human being. Unfortunately this is not the world that has been created by the very industries you seem to defend so keenly. Who gets pushed to the surface in this mass media propoganda circus and who doesn't.... mostly those who I _would_ like to pay for their efforts are not those who are promoted by the mediawhores.

    Dont think for a moment that I go out and work to make money to actually PAY for 99% of the shit I look at, because it's just that - shit, mostly. Superficial, generic entertainment into which little effort has been invested by any one artist or creator. And even then many of the releases rake in millions. But that's not enough is it. "Waaah, we want more money, waahhh we spent millions advertising,wahhh what about our rights to all this money" Where someone has worked hard and developed a quality piece of work that I like and respect I will pay THEM for it. Not the parasitic leeches who collectively make an exorbitant living from pimping the talents of others. Anyway, doesn't one of those new 7 Sins cover this? Something to do with it being a sin to be `obscenely wealthy` - see where I'm going with this?

    I have purchased every `quality` game and piece of music/album which I wanted and enjoyed. Anything else I may have ever `obtained` from the internet I would absolutely catagorically never ever have paid money for anyway. I have not deprived anyone of anything.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Leo Maxwell

    "My daughter is a painter, the same applies, she sells her paintings, some people have started collecting her work , because they think that they are good investments. If one of her paintings or sculptures fetches large sums of money in 20 years, she will not benefit."

    Similarly if I resell an original first-pressing copy of the Beatles' White Album, the band and their estates make no more money.

    But if anyone wants to make another copy of your daughter's paintings (say for a book on 21st century art, or perhaps for use in a newspaper advert) it is your daughter who gets paid: the buyer owns the physical copy, not the copyright. Just like a CD.

    As to your comparison of carpentry and music.

    Are all your chairs of completely different designs? How long does it take you to plan a new chair design? What are your set up costs for a new design (new jigs and templates, setting up your tools etc)? Your reasoning on CD/DVD costs would, if applied to carpentry, suggest that the setup costs (design time, jig construction etc) should be added as a cost to the first chair of that design that you sell. I'd bet good money that you *don't* do this: you spread the cost over all the chairs and assume that you'll sell enough to cover it.

    The major differences between carpentry and music:

    * in music, costs are heavily loaded towards setup, with minimal physical unit costs.

    * the setup costs of carpentry will be incurred by anyone attempting to copy the product (even though the design phase will now be a matter of measuring rather than planning), whereas someone copying a CD does not involve any further studio work. Counterfeit chairs have only a small cost advantage, where counterfeit CDs have a huge cost advantage to originals.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh, look...

    >>"Anything else I may have ever `obtained` from the internet I would absolutely catagorically never ever have paid money for anyway. I have not deprived anyone of anything." <<

    ... a flying pig!

    Your nose just grew an inch, too.

    >> It seems that if you download it from iTunes or whatever, the artist gets nothing. <<

    It seems that you're deluding yourself, just so you can ask the question:

    >> So who are you stealing from if you get it off Bittorrent? <<


    So either people insist that they never, EVER download P2P. Or they say they download but it's morally justified, and no harm is caused.

    I'm not surprised the "freetard" jibe has stuck - it fits idiots so well.

  53. Shakje

    Re: @Leo Maxwell (by AC)

    "the setup costs of carpentry will be incurred by anyone attempting to copy the product (even though the design phase will now be a matter of measuring rather than planning), whereas someone copying a CD does not involve any further studio work."

    The cost of producing it is still there but much reduced, ie, power supply for your PC, cost of a disc if you're burning it and selling it, cost of net if you're not.

    Someone could take a fine redwood chair design, make it out of balsa and paint it red. It's the same relative cost difference if not a far greater difference, so the chair analogy works.

    The reason that your own argument about the painting falls over is because the only reason for a person to pay royalties for a copy of a picture is if they are using it for commercial gain. While some galleries stop people from taking pictures, you don't see anyone throwing a hissy fit over someone photographing paintings do you?

    Say if I walk into someone's house and take a photo of a painting above the piano, is the painter going to sue me for stealing copyright? No, unless the painter is the RIAA.

  54. Steve

    If only...

    If only the 'paytards' could understand the difference between depriving and merely copying.....but then again they are only paytards :c)

    My coat is the replica

  55. Anonymous Coward

    Freetard and Proud

    I'm listening to Cliffy (I love wimin) Richards out of copyright stuff now and loving every minute :)

    Something is worth what some idiot is prepared to pay for it.

  56. DR


    well for what it's worth to chip in...

    I think the beer anaology is as such

    *paytard* beer is a lovely glass of premium quality bitter, pumped from the taps of your local, you gives yer money ans you sit down and enjoy.

    *freetard* beer is more like homebrew. You have to have a slight startup cost, (buying the brewing kit, or getting a computer).

    you wait a while (for it to brew/download) then you get to drink your pint. somewhere you feel the sense of achievement because you brewed it yourself/ripped of a corrupt industry. but after th initial sense of achievement wears off ou realise, it's just not as good dammit, and I want the real thing.

    @poster above

    However as the productors are quite willing to loose money on 3 films out of 5 we have to pay for their backing of the wrong horse.

    and that's the big problem here, that's one reason why the freetards exist.

    I *don't want* to pay for someone else's mistake.

    _IF_ record execs choose a lemon, then they should get a better team.

    I frankly don't give a crap about shite music, I won't buy it, and don't want to subsidise it in my legal paytard persuits of good music.

    I do buy CD's but it annoys me to now that the money I paid for a good record, (lets say of a now dead artist) is not going to the artist, (s/he's dead), it's not even going to the estate of the artist in a lot of cases, it's going to subsidise the elevation of the next big thing that never works out. or it's going to payout the rest of the development contract that the next latest greatest shite massivly marketable, yet equally unskilled artist.

    somewhere in the middle seems to me to be the best idea...

    i.e. if artists really want to be artists, then they should strive for public acceptance first, by releasig thier stuff for free for download.

    then if there is public interests then by all means a record company can come in and see what they can do to further elevate/profit from said artist.

    but surely you get annoyed knowing that the money you paid for your SonyBMG released CD is going to be used to prop up the second CD sales of last years (now forgotten about) [popidol/americal idol/reality TV show] winner, rather than the profits of it going to the artist.

    @Leo Maxwell

    And when you listen somebody pays, the radio station, the bar, the supermarket, but the money very rarely gets back to the artist.

    ummm... wrong. go look at if a radiostation/tv are playing music by artists they have to be registerd here, they note what they play and the artists are given royalties, there are even fixed percentages, for guest performers on records, recording artists, session musicians etc...

    in short you're wrong. the money does get back to the artists.

    @Magilla -EPIC fail (ha, ha, actualy your response was the epic fail)

    Firstly, ever heard of a cover band? If not, they are bands who play other peoples songs, often get paid for it, but don't pay royalties. In effect, there are your cheap MFIkea knock-offs.

    most cover bands play in pubs and clubs, certainly in the UK there is a PRS fee for playing live or recorded music. so yes, the artists do get a percentage. even if that percentage is paid to them before they've done any work when the recording company are laying out money so they can record their first album.

    (e.g. a pub might loop a single song each day, but the band won't get paid for everytime that song is played, however the recording companys will get a fixed fee for allowing their music to be played in places signed up with the sceme, this money (or a percentage of it) will end up back with the artist

    @poster above


    Q, I pay for the music i like, but down load shit music to play at parties -why should I pay

    A, because you and your friends are still getting enjoyment out of it. if you don't like it, don't get it. tell your guests to bring CD's of music that they like.

    I love that whole, I steal because I support the artists crap, because it is just crap.

    the recording company pay the artist and like any other business

    no money in = no money out.

    if you seal from the recording company you are not suporting the artist, even if you think that by going to a show you've shown more support you've still chosen not to pay them.

    that said, I do support the try before you buy theory of downloading.

  57. Mike VandeVelde


    Well, I don't feel bad at all about p2p downloading. Like people rightly say, its actually copyright infringement, nothing to do with stealing. Beyond that though, the whole idea of copyright was just a temporary compromise made necessary by the scarcity of physical media for transmitting intellectual property. That compromise is now in its "last throes", to borrow a phrase. Not fading quietly into that goodnight, but definitely not forcing a rout any time soon. It will mean an end to the golden age of ridiculously expensive production, but in trade off a return to the ridiculous variety of real culture we used to have. Talentless hacks will be free to make their attempts, but there will be no mountain of money to prop them up and make them seem popular. They will have to make a living or not based on their performance.

    While I don't feel bad at all about p2p downloading, I almost never do. I have a subscription to emusic, and have pruchased from blip in the past. DRM free digital files. I see this as the only hope for "labels" in the future. I don't consider it paying for the "product". I think artists belittle themselves by pointing at a shiny disc and trying to say that's where the value is. The value is in the artist, not a recording of a performance by the artist. I consider it paying for the service of having music that I might enjoy nicely organized with standardized quality, something sorely lacking with p2p. I pay for the service of not having to mess around.

    I also go to shows as much as I can. That's the only way I believe an artist really earns money, is by performing. If they don't get the money they need at the original performance, then they won't get any sympathy from me when they come begging at any point after the fact.

    Plus I still buy CDs. I'm a collector. How about this analogy. Would a stamp collector be proud to show you his collection of photocopies of stamps? That's about what a collection of mp3s amounts to. People will still want CDs. And they won't steal them out of stores. And the people who would be happy with cheap knockoffs are the ones who will be happy with mp3s from p2p - the real pirates probably lose more money from this than the official labels do.

    That's by 2 bits. Call me a freetard if you want, I won't feel offended by it. Even though I don't take everything for free, and I don't think I'm retarded, I still don't see any real problem with digital copyright infringement and so would rather be categorized as a freetard than whatever you might label yourself. We're in different camps. My money is on your camp going the way of the dinosaur / buggy whip manufacturers. There's only one real way to find out, so let it roll...

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