Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Moral Roots Behind Our Positions on Copybots and Other Essential VW Questions

It's easy to demonize those who disagree with us or to perceive them as immoral. Researchers have found that the differences between conservative and liberal positions on issues actually stem from a different balance of moral priorities:
  • Harm/care
  • Fairness/reciprocity
  • Ingroup/loyalty
  • Authority/respect
  • Purity/sanctity
This lecture by researcher Jonathan Haidt is a good introduction to the finding of research in this area and is great food for thought.

You can test your own priorities at the research site and then think about how they relate to the question of copybots and virtual property. Here are my results:


Unknown said...

Actually, it's ok to demonize those who steal and the act of stealing because it's wrong.

There aren't cultures in history or in the world today that somehow don't recognize the concept of stealing, no matter how primitive, no matter how liberated and sophisticated.

The axis that better explains this is ideology, communism versus capitalism, and the various positions along that continuum.

You can dress it up but you can't disguise the fact that all the new-media mumbo jumbo of your media here is really about that.

Anonymous said...

Except breach of copyright is not the same thing as stealing, it's breach of copyright.

Az Afterthought said...

Interesting post - so am I right in thinking that what you're saying is, piracy isn't a question of absolute morality, but a question of tradeoffs? That when it comes down to it, we're just as moral as one another, we just vary on how we decide to spread it around - with piracy being a consequence of certain decisions?

...or have I just read too much into it :S

Botgirl Questi said...

As William Patry wrote in "Moral Panics and The Copyright Wars", I think the use of words such as "stealing" and "piracy" in relation to intellectual property law is both inaccurate and counter-productive to constructive discussion.

Although I believe the way we think about these issues is usually based on our perception of morality, the questions are really more related to economics and business models.

That said, I am NOT advocating copying items one has not paid for, nor sharing or selling digital property without the permission of the IP owners. What I am suggesting is that we should have the ability to protect our access to the virtual goods we purchase and use them on whatever platforms we choose.

Az Afterthought said...

I just use piracy for lack of a better term, it's more accurate than stealing in this context, and I certainly don't mean it in a negative sense. Sorry if it came across that way, if I'm honest I don't really have a strong position on the subject either way.

I'd disagree with this issue being one of economics, business, or even morality though. I think it's more a question of design, and how poor design by Linden has pushed people into taking steps that some find undesirable (I wrote a vague post about that here).

Sowa Mai's dog said...

I find myself returning to this video a lot in light of my attempt to initiate participation in the Carleon Networked Collaboration Collaboration. As one who has actually watched the video i am intrigued by the notion of punishment as a tool to gain the participation of the more conservative thinkers. (I'm thinking right brain/left brain might be the core axis)

The problem in networked collaboration is the anonymity of participants. We take for granted and place expectations on who we see as artists but if everyone is trying on a role we are way off base. Suppose the Caerleoners are a bunch of Conservative Christian, right wing Republican, straight, white, American males. We may have all the artists voices were gonna get by asking, fetch, please. It may be time to take the bull by the horns and realize we are dealing with Gay bashin’, black fearin’, poor fightin’, tree killin’, regional leaders of sales
Frat housin’, keg tappin’, shirt tuckin’, back slappin’ haters of hippies like me.(thanks to Todd Snider)

So what do we do now? How can we punish or shame the members of our group who share the benefit of Carleon lands thereby declaring intention to participate in to providing a 9 second sound file?