When did theft become okay and even acceptable?

Discussion in 'Internet and Technology' started by Anton Chigurh, May 24, 2019.

  1. Anton Chigurh

    Anton Chigurh Ultimate Badass

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    Back when I started in the web and for 15 years thereon, people who would use nulled software or rip custom styles, or use nulled paid addons, were universally vilified and called out for what they are - lowlife thieves. But recent events here and there seem to be calling that into question.

    Case in point - recently an entity (could be male or female, who really knows) with the mentality of an elementary school attendee who can't take the least bit of negativity, and expects to be coddled and praised for everything, stole someone's paid custom skin and tried to pass it off as his/her own. The thief was rightly called out for this and all hell broke loose, goofballs mostly noobs came out of the woodwork either outright defending the slug or making lame excuses for the theft - even saying moronic crap like "it's not really theft."

    When the victim was informed by the designer of the skin, the victim took pity on the thief and allowed it to use the skin as long as he gave credit for it with a disclaimer and a linkback to the victim site.

    Keep in mind the thief never contacted the victim, never apologized, and later claimed it talked with the victim and everything was okay, in a way that made it sound like the permission came before use of the skin.

    Meanwhile of course, denying any theft ever happened. Still had defenders, and managed to get the truth wiped from the original site, then on a second one where he/she seemed to be claiming the theft never happened because there was prior permission.

    Then later from another infantile entity, came a question thread asking how people "get away" with using nulled styles and/or addons. Turns out it was NOT "get away" without being caught, but "get away" with using them without getting infected with malware!

    Like, theft is okay, how do we do it without getting hacked! I kid you not.

    Not kidding at all - the second entity allowed how in his dull skull, theft was okay so long as "maybe if they do it because they are broke ... maybe they end up buying the license when they grow."

    So, theft is okay if you're broke!

    When cornered by a poster asking if he/she wanted to know how they get away with theft just out of curiosity or for educational/training purposes, this entity equated the questioner's use of a public fair use avatar, with theft of software and addons by use of nulled scripts! There's no way to make this up!

    There seems to be a culture growing where theft is perfectly okay and it's disturbing. How did this happen, where did it start? Is it just the younger, noob crowd or is it erosion of another kind. Webmasters used to be an honorable breed, and the thieves were usually always the spammer type, the "brown hat" type. (I call them 'brown hat' because they haven't the skills to be black hats.)

    Which brings me back to the second entity - and no I'm not kidding on this either. It started its thread by saying, "so i was browsing trying to find out forums i can spam my link and found this (nulled software) site."

    Another bottom feeding lowlife, the link spammer. Did this suddenly become okay too?

    Anyhow, discuss.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  2. Anton Chigurh

    Anton Chigurh Ultimate Badass

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    Another entity, hit myself and a partner up on my partner's board, asking would we please give him/her our style. The answer was a very polite no, but thank you for asking instead of just stealing it. The entity enthusiastically thanked us for our stand against theft, and allowed as how it would NEVER do such a thing.

    Then three days later, all fired up and proud, replies to the private thread linking a test page of it's site, saying, "Hi, I have succeeded your style! it took me a while, my I got there!" Like we would congratulate it for stealing our style! After three more posts of it insisting it wasn't theft, I explained, "You STOLE the style, after we made it clear we weren't giving it. You did NOT have permission to take it. That's THEFT."

    It then said, "ok I delete it then" but still hasn't.

    Of course there's nothing we can do, but it is yet another recent example of this culture of theft I'm seeing.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  3. MagicalAzareal

    MagicalAzareal Magical Developer

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    I can sympathise with it slightly, if someone is absolutely broke (particularly someone young who may not have the means to move funds to buy a thing, even if they have the money to do so), but they're hardly on the moral high-ground.

    The shamelessness depicted here is just outright bizarre.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  4. Anton Chigurh

    Anton Chigurh Ultimate Badass

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    "The stories you have read are true. The names were omitted to keep the thread from being deleted."
     
  5. Anton Chigurh

    Anton Chigurh Ultimate Badass

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    I could sympathize with it slightly if it were food because you're hungry, or clothes because you're homeless and cold - but this is software, custom skins and addons, created by people using their time talent and effort, that the thief doesn't actually need... It wants. Like a child.

    It wants to play like the Big Boys but doesn't want to pay like the Big Boys. It can't bring itself to use any freeware or free skins and addons, it has to steal others' work or purchased work and pass it off as its own.

    Then when caught, reports posts, whines to the staff, insisting innocence and these mean people are LYING. And the dupe staff dutifully removes the offending thread even when they KNOW the posts were factual and no rules were broken.

    Protecting the thief.
     
  6. MagicalAzareal

    MagicalAzareal Magical Developer

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    I'm not familiar with the situation, but it can be difficult for third party staff members to really get a good view of the situation, and often times, deeply investigating the matter is outside their area of responsibility.
     
  7. Anton Chigurh

    Anton Chigurh Ultimate Badass

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    In both instances the thief admitted what it did, but insisted it didn't consider it to be theft. There wasn't any reasonable question, the designer of the skin even identified unique custom code used.

    Maybe I answered my question - the theft culture gets emboldened by staffs who want to protect snowflakes and if they're lowlife thieves as well, so be it. Can't have them villified and have their feelings hurt. Can't have the facts stand, to be linked back to when questions or denials come back up. Can't expose these suckfish.
     
  8. PoetJC

    PoetJC ⚧ Jacquii: Black Kween of Transition ⚧

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    Well... My past with vBulletin is a bit .... shady. I started my very first board on a nulled version of vBulletin ... Because I was broke. Did I think it was okay? Nope. But I did it anyway, with the mentality of I'm trying it before I buy it. And I've done that on quite a few occasions actually. And 90% of the time that mentality held true and I did end up more than supporting the scripts through paid licenses, renewals, branding free options and the like. So... I can't pass judgement, 'less someone call me all kinds of hypocrites LOL. I could - but eh... So... Yeah - I have a wee bit of empathy as far as used of nulled scripts are concerned.

    There's been many a discussion on this exact topic at TAZ. And ... IDK... My mentality has someone matured a bit. Instead of 90% of the time - it's more like 100% of the time if I continue to use a product that I've 'tried before buying' (as far as XF scripts and add-ons) I will more than happily support the developer, because as a designer who has been ripped off by a few clients in my time - I can also empathize with the creator of original works.

    That being said = I know which circumstance you're speaking about Anton ChigurhAnton Chigurh. I read the thread and was somewhat perplexed as to what the argument was. There was no argument really. There was no 'try before you buy' type mentality. It was a complete rip. And then dude became defense as **** (usually an indication of guilt) when called out about it. That was theft. It was intentional. And I 41 wouldn't appreciate it if someone did that with any of my custom designs. I'd be pissed.

    In fact - I was once on TAZ's moderating team. A member (who incidentally reintroduced herself to the TAZ community a few days ago) hired me to design for her and refused to pay the balance owed after I'd spent hours customizing a theme with all-custom images for her. I cussed her ass out without hesitation. She complained. I was told it was unbecoming of a representative of TAZ to use such language even in a private setting and was summarily dismissed from TAZ staff. I feel some vindication because I filed a DMCA takedown with her host - and they obliged the request. I've never received an apology from the girl. In fact - she laughed at me while probably flipping me several dead birds.. But whatever... **** happens.

    So yeah... Empathy for being broke. But try to make things right if at all possible.
    Or like I do when I'm in Walmart wanting the $50 bottle of wine when I only have $2 in my pocket = Buy the cheap, waiting-for-payday beer and call it a day. LOL

    J.
     
  9. Anton Chigurh

    Anton Chigurh Ultimate Badass

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    But if busted, I bet you would have owned up to it and even apologized. And I bet you NEVER tried to pass of work by others, as your own.

    When I started out money was sparse, I could pay for dirt cheap hosting but that was it. So I started with phpbb and went from there.

    Since then I have created, built up then sold four big boards - made a buttload of money on it but it took me a few years to figure out that's where the money in this is.
     
  10. PoetJC

    PoetJC ⚧ Jacquii: Black Kween of Transition ⚧

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    In fact someone reported me to vBulletin's anti-piracy - I forget exactly what it was called.

    So yeah. I did own up to it. I had to. And I purchased the license. But that was my intention all along, because I'd fallen in love with the software. vB 3.5.6 if you can believe it... And I'd since purchase many additional licenses and sent dozens of clients vBulletin's and Xenforo's way. So ... I think I've made up for it quite well at anyrate LOL - not to excuse the theft. But yeah... I have done some sketchy things in my time. We all have. So ... IDK ... I probably should hush and call it a day. Nite all :)

    J.
     
  11. Anton Chigurh

    Anton Chigurh Ultimate Badass

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    Well. I don't hold this type of theft against someone if they own up to it and apologize. Then when they made amends too, that's bonus. Proves their "try before buy" intent.

    Which really was the point of the first instance - all the puke needed to do was man-up, admit what he/she did and apologize. Making amends by not using the stolen skin anymore would have been the bonus that proves its claimed intent. Contrition of some sort. Instead of infantile deflection, crying to mommy, ( the staff) and snotty denials and even worse - claiming prior permission!

    The entity in question is a shameless soulless piece of titmouse dung.
     
  12. PoetJC

    PoetJC ⚧ Jacquii: Black Kween of Transition ⚧

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    boop.jpg

    ??????? :anonymous_pigeon::shameful_pigeon::watching_you2_pigeon:
     
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  13. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

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    I'd say this kind of theft has probably been around since the dawn of the photocopier. In the UK photocopying without the owner's permission is illegal in most circumstances. Roll on to the 80's and the same applies to taping music from the radio.

    I suspect many people do it ignorant of the law while others do it because a) they know there won't be a penalty and b) there's that perennial argument that nothing physical has been stolen and/or they wouldn't have paid for it anyway so nothing has been lost... I expect to see that argument put forward in this thread.
     
  14. Paul M

    Paul M Limeade Addict

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    Well nothing physical has been stolen and/or they wouldn't have paid for it anyway so nothing has been lost... :D
     
  15. overcast

    overcast Enthusiast

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    I think such type of stuff is pretty common to an extent that many developers, IP owners consider this type of scenario in their document too and they do anticipate something like this affecting their business.
     
  16. TrixieTang

    TrixieTang Politically Incorrect

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    I still want names so I know to avoid this so-called "entity" douche.
     
  17. haqzore

    haqzore Habitué

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    Just Only Yesterday, Frogs Really Entertained All Kids.
     
  18. Kevin

    Kevin Oooh, something shiny!

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    If you're an XF forum regular there are two that should stand out, one was also a TAZ member who posted a 'showcase' thread with the site using the ripped theme. They're easy enough to figure out who, I don't think naming explicit names would do anybody any good.
     
  19. TrixieTang

    TrixieTang Politically Incorrect

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    Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my ragtime gal!
     
  20. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Opinionated asshat

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    Well, embarrassment of the individual should not be considered "unfair". Joy Freak should be held responsible for his/her own actions and should be called out on it.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
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