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Google Boots Transdroid From Android Market 276

fysdt writes with a TorrentFreak story that starts: "Google has pulled one of the most popular torrent download managers from the Android Market because of policy violations. Before Google booted the application, Transdroid had been available for two years and amassed 400,000 users during that time. Thus far Google hasn't specified what the exact nature of Transdoid's violations are, but it's not unlikely that they relate to copyright infringement."
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Google Boots Transdroid From Android Market

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  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @06:21PM (#36578864)

    You know, I have always held out like many others that torrenting was not theft, that purely virtual copies harmed no one.

    But I have to admit feeling some kind of line is crossed with a system that can (as the article stated) scan a physical barcode of something in front of you and start fetching it in moments.

    It's still not really theft but frankly, from a moral standpoint it's so close to theft I have trouble distinguishing the difference.

    My own take on the matter has always been if I cannot buy something in some other way, I have no problems acquiring it; so the ability to do exactly the opposite, acquiring something when the physical presence of it exists right in front of you, just seems very wrong.

    It's obviously that anyone with technical knowledge could easily set up something similar but I have to say I don't really have a problem with any company saying they do not wish to implicitly support something like this and thus banning an application from a store. I doubt this app will be appearing in an Android store either.

    The really bad things about apps like this is that it appears rather like theft not just to me, but to the people that make laws, who will over time seek to make illegal that which should not be, using this as a basis.

  • by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @06:42PM (#36578972)

    Well, if it then vaporized the item in front of it, it might be analogous to theft I guess. Theft is really more about depriving something from someone else than gaining it for yourself; in this case, the outlet still has the physical item.

    The problem is people seem to think that if it's not theft, it's not "bad". The accurate description for this activity is "copyright infringement". It opens you to civil liability. It can in some circumstances be a criminal offense. Saying something is copyright infringement isn't saying "this is good, go do it", it's an accurate description of the action.

  • by im_thatoneguy ( 819432 ) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @06:48PM (#36578990)

    You got your morality issues ass-backwards. Imaginary property rights are immoral. Furthermore the world would be a better, wealthier, and more equitable place if immaginary property rights were completely abolished.

    Imaginary property takes real time and money to create.

    It baffles me how *GEEKS* of all people are so antagonistic against their own beliefs out of small scale greed.

    Geeks are the kings of intellectual property. We don't weld things together. We don't tend to work in assembly lines. We don't forge steel or mine for ore. We Think. The geek creed is that intellect and creativity are at least as valuable as physical might.

    But when it comes time to being payed for the products of our minds we dismiss its value as just "imaginary property".

    The product of my mind is as valuable as the product of someone's hand. If you don't want to pay for it then you can't have it. If you don't want it, then you don't have to have it.

    People *WANT* movies, television, software, books etc... they *VALUE* movies, television, software and books. But unlike other things of value which were created from the industry of the hand you want to destroy any economy from industry of the mind.

    Well, Fuck You. I want to make a living off of my creativity and intellect. I work long, often 14+ hour days to create what you want to have. If imaginary property has no value and requires no input of resources go fucking do it yourself. But no, you won't (and you probably can't even if you wanted to).

    I'm not saying that I think piracy is equivalent to stealing. I would say it's more akin to not putting a few cents in the parking meter and hoping you don't get caught. And I think the fines should be comparable. Get caught for downloading a $1.00 show then pay a $30 fine. And I'm certainly guilty just this week of failing to pay for parking and downloading torrents. But I also do buy a lot of media and I also do usually pay for parking and I think that tenuous balance between respecting the law but also ignoring it when practical is a fair and workable solution.

    There were plenty of parking spaces on the street open but I certainly denied the city a little revenue by not paying and running into grab a smoothie. So by your standards a parking space is "imaginary property". After all, it didn't cost the city anything directly for me to be parking there.

  • by sqrt(2) ( 786011 ) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @06:51PM (#36579004) Journal

    I agree, but you then have to accept that there is an entire separate conversation society should be having; is copyright in its current form an ethical social contract? We're seeing three or four different bodies of laws rolled into one nebulous and overreaching concept called "intellectual property" which is in reality a power-play by big business to handcuff culture and make sure nothing ever enters public domain again.

    The current copyright system is broken, it's ethically bankrupt, so we no longer have an obligation to hold up our end of the social contract.

  • Re:Try again.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 ) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @06:53PM (#36579026)

    Until the next OS upgrade perhaps?

    When we get to that point, then sound the alarm. As it is, we're not there yet.

  • by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @06:58PM (#36579054)

    I totally agree - the fact that the government has unilaterally "altered the agreement" so that copyright extends to such ludicrous lengths does amount to theft. By my reckoning, they've stolen about a hundred years worth of art from the public domain, and hence, from the public.

    But that's totally aside from the point, which is that copyright infringement and theft are two different things, and need to be discussed separately.

  • by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @07:17PM (#36579206) Homepage Journal

    "It baffles me how *GEEKS* of all people are so antagonistic against their own beliefs out of small scale greed."

    [sarcasm] Of course geeks should control their small scale greed, in deference to corporate macro greed! [/sarcasm]

    Come on, imaginary property is imaginary property. Who should know better than the geeks? They have plenty of it!

  • by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @07:24PM (#36579250) Homepage

    Well, if it then vaporized the item in front of it, it might be analogous to theft I guess. Theft is really more about depriving something from someone else than gaining it for yourself; in this case, the outlet still has the physical item.

    Nonetheless, I think almost everybody understands on a gut level that this sort of thing is ethically wrong.

    A lot of people, if they found an envelope full of money, would keep the money. At the same time, if the envelope had someone's name written on it, I think a great many people would try to think of a way to get that money back to the named person before they just walked off with it.

    Similarly, I think a great many people make a distinction between downloading something using BitTorrent from their computer at home and actually walking into a CD store, spending a half hour browsing the new releases, and then using a magic wand to download all of the ones they like without paying the store a dime. For the first one, I think a lot of people might not think they're doing anything wrong at all. But I think most of us recognize that doing the second one just kind of makes you a dick.

    When I first heard about this app, I, like a lot of people I'm sure, said, "Wow awesome! I totally want to try this out!" But when I imagined this scenario in my mind, I was imagining walking into someplace like a Best Buy or a Wal-Mart and fucking them over, while at the same time snickering about how high-tech and clever I was. I wasn't imagining walking into Aquarius Records or some other independent record store and using it to save myself some money.

    To give another example, if you go to sci-fi conventions or other places where celebrities make appearances, often times they will charge you some money to pose for a photograph. Often it's actually more money than the cost of a typical CD, which on the face of it sounds crazy. And hell, you could easily stand in front of their table with your thumb up and have your friend shoot the picture and walk away. (You'd even own the copyright on that photo!) But most of us understand that this kind of thing makes you a dick. You can walk away thinking, "I can't believe that has-been so-and-so charges so much for a photo," but you don't just screw them over while they're sitting right there -- even though you're not technically "stealing" anything.

    It all comes down to what makes your own moral Geiger counter start clicking. I think most of us know when we're straying into the darker areas, in general. So I don't really think it's necessary to draw this hard-line distinction between "theft" and "copyright infringement." Maybe it's more honest to talk about right and wrong, and then think about the best way to define laws around that.

  • by t2t10 ( 1909766 ) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @07:30PM (#36579288)

    Well, Fuck You. I want to make a living off of my creativity and intellect. I work long, often 14+ hour days to create what you want to have. If imaginary property has no value and requires no input of resources go fucking do it yourself. But no, you won't (and you probably can't even if you wanted to).

    (1) Many geeks don't get more than a salary from their intellectual creations. They'd likely get the same salary if copyright didn't exist. In fact, copyright and patents often make work harder and less pleasant for geeks.

    (2) Just because something takes work to create doesn't mean there should be laws that ensure you get paid for it. It's a cost/benefit tradeoff. If copyrights and patents didn't exist, some content might not get created, and other content that doesn't get created now would get created. It's far from obvious that we'd be worse off.

    From the way you describe your work and your attitudes towards it, I have my doubts that we'd be worse off without your creations.

    And I'm certainly guilty just this week of failing to pay for parking and downloading torrents.

    Well, I'm not. Sounds like you really have a problem with moral behavior, which is probably why you complain so loudly about other people's torrents and then insist on immoral intellectual property laws.

  • Re:Nah (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jrumney ( 197329 ) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @08:32PM (#36579666)

    And I've feel extremely guilty even paying for a theater.

    Free healthcare is a good thing, but isn't this a bit off topic with the rest of your post?

  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @08:59PM (#36579836) Journal

    No, most geeks trade fractions of their lives for money. A very, very small set of geeks actually benefit from the IP system, and most of that benefit is a relatively small fraction of the benefit which is gained by early investors with actual cash.

    Geeks are pissed because other people are making money off of the stuff they - or those like them - do without actually putting in much of the actual brain power to pull it off. It's not surprising at all, actually.

  • by t2t10 ( 1909766 ) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @09:39PM (#36580020)

    Many geeks work for companies who sell intellectual property. If there was no protection for intellectual property then there would be no employer to provide them a salary.

    Many people get paid to create without intellectual property protection. I'm not just talking open source developers and academics, but also really big industries like fashion: []

    The movie and TV industries are insignificant in comparison, both in the degree of creativity (barely existent) and in their economic significance (small).

    In the case of TV and Film you would probably have none of the films or TV shows you've seen in the last few years.

    Maybe we'd get some decent content again instead of that low-quality, derivative commercial crap. Maybe people would enter the industry again who do it because they care about the product instead of fame and fortune. Maybe live theater would start doing better again. Altogether, there's a good chance that performing arts would greatly improve if we got rid of the legal basis under which Hollywood and the TV studios have gotten big and usurped our culture.

    If you're an author

    Nobody is forcing you to be an author now, and nobody would be forcing you to be an author if we curtail or abolish copyright.

    And that's ignoring just the morality of it.

    What morality? Copyrights and patents are a utilitarian deal: we give you this opportunity for profit in order to encourage you to create something. And as a society, we can change the deal, and if you don't like it, just don't create anything and become a plumber instead. The world doesn't owe you a job as a writer or movie maker.

    ALL PROPERTY IS IMAGINARY PROPERTY. Your house is wood. Who says you get to own that wood and brick and concrete? A piece of paper, if that. There is no special property to material goods which imbues it with moral worth.

    Wow, are you really that dim that you don't understand the difference between something physical and something non-physical?

    Furthermore, copyrights and patents are temporary, artificial grants of monopolies, something that is legally and practically quite distinct from property.

  • by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @09:43PM (#36580044)

    Alternate scenario:

    Creator Creates Product.
    Creator sells 100x products each to VendorA and VendorB for 1Currency per item
    VendorA marks product to 1.5C. VendorB sets up shop next door and marks product to 1.25C
    100 buyer purchase products from VendorB
    As far as that vendor is concerned they had 150C worth of product that is now worthless and they're out 100C in inventory which while not physically vaporized has had the demand vaporized and is essentially worth $0.

    Again, not theft. Devaluing something isn't stealing. It's devaluing. Use the right word for the right thing. Just the same as splashing a bucket of paint on a picture isn't stealing - it's destruction of property. And yes, graffiti is damage. No it's not theft. I never said the copyright infringement didn't do any damage, I said it wasn't theft.

  • by NeutronCowboy ( 896098 ) on Sunday June 26, 2011 @10:43PM (#36580280)

    I want to make a living off of my creativity and intellect. I work long, often 14+ hour days to create what you want to have.

    Fair enough. Let's make one assumption clear though: you think you create something from nothing. Not true. You create something by taking what you have learned so far, and apply it to a problem and (hopefully) generate something new.
    Let's take software, for example. A very, very large number of technologies that go into creating software are available for free. HTML is just one example. C/C++ is another. Furthermore, every single piece of software out there builds on the software that came before it.

    This line of thinking works for every type of intellectual work. From books to movies, everything has been done before. You're just adding a small twist to it. Disney is the single biggest example of it: nearly their entire catalog of classics is a near-exact rip-off of existing stories. If you think you're creating something from scratch, you're deluding yourself. You're taking advantage of a whole set of knowledge that you are free to use as you wish. If you couldn't, your creative endeavors would amount to nothing, as you'd have to pay so much to other creators that there wouldn't be anything left for you.

    I work in the software industry. I know exactly how much I profit from the fact that I can leverage what I know without having to pay everyone every time I use that knowledge that they gave me.As a matter of fact, I know that I basically would not be able to make a living if I would have to pay everyone.

    That is the problem with the concept of intellectual property: if applied consequently in all instances, innovation would basically stop.

  • Re:Try again.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fuzi719 ( 1107665 ) on Monday June 27, 2011 @09:04AM (#36582570)

    You need to root/jailbreak BOTH OSs, the difference is that if you don't want to root/JB your device (you know, you bought a phone and want it to just work), iOS kicks the crap out of Android.

    You don't have to root an Android phone in order to sideload applications (unless you bought it from AT&T, but that's your carrier's fault, not Android)

    Having recently gone from an iPhone 4 to an HTC Desire S... well, I'm really thinking about going back to iOS due to how terrible HTC Android is. Tethering problems, network stack crashes, and general failures all over the place. If this is what "one of the best Android devices" (according to many reviews) is like, well, I don't want any of that horrible shit.

    If you're having those kinds of problems, you've either done something really stupid to the hardware or OS, or it is just your bad luck to get a defective piece of hardware. Those kinds of issues are not common. I suspect USER ERROR.

    I know it's just the HTC Desire S rom, but I don't want to root the device, I don't want to fuck around with it. If I want to fuck around with an Android device, I'll buy one for that. My phone is my phone, if I screw it, I lose money.

    My Android phone (also HTC) is my only phone. I've had no issues, it works for me every time, night and day, home or away. I have no tethering problems (wired or Wi-Fi), no network stack crashes, no general failures. And it is more than just a screen full of app icons, I have very useful widgets that give me valuable info at a glance of the screen. Can't do that on IOS.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers