Did you KNOW Ray and Cynthia or the legal copyright holder? Only a few maybe had limited contact.
Does everyone share the same strong conviction over pirated copies of the "Shepherd the Flock" elders' book?
I'd gladly breach a copyright law to expose an organization responsible to thousands of premature deaths due to an insanely dishonest blood doctrine. And, before you ask, there is no inconsistency in this in my case. I'd be willing to do the same thing in relation to anyone responsible for needless and preventable deaths. It would not matter who or what they are.
Having legit copies does improve and counteract piracy, it also improves and controls content and your digital rights. Its why you can buy movies in foreign countries legally. If you don't your more likely to expand piracy.
Nothing anyone really does will ever stop piracy. Your only trying to minimize it when you improve content distribution. People who think they can stop it completely are not being realistic to themselves, and the market. it happens get over it. But you encourage it if you have something people want, and you sit on it for some time. That is the business argument of this.
Myself, as I guess a newbie and not knowing the things of the last 15 years or so of the EXJW might be missing some key information, but the business side of me see(s):
1) Copyright - yes someone holds it and controls it.
2) Publishing - hasn't been done in some time, and is not available in digital format, has limited availability. (they didn't adapt the model for content distribution in an internet age, and copies are more rare than an HMV store or a blockbuster video)
3) How to get this legally into more hands for revenue of the copyright holder. Unless the copyright holder has some visions of this being a valuable rare book to sell at a later date.
That is pretty much it. It is not a debate over piracy, which was and is never going to be stopped. I thought the debate was over respecting the copyright and getting the book out, not whether or not we could stop piracy.
Well Marvin, your view has the virtue of consistency -but little else to recommend it.
The end justifies the means.
Say no more.
There's a copy at my public library. Don't other English-speaking countries have libraries?
I'd gladly breach a copyright law to expose an organization responsible to thousands of premature deaths due to an insanely dishonest blood doctrine.
As a last resort, I'd do the same. No matter who owns the copyright.
The end justifies the means.
Saving lives justifies breaching copyright of an organization who uses those very copyrights to conceal its misdeeds, which includes responsibility for premature death of countless children.
Need me to say more? Should I have even needed to say this much!!!?
Blondie makes a great comment that there are other good books around and Sparrowdown suggests we should make a list of those books..
Personally I don't know of any books that are better than Coc but I haven't read any others either. We all have reasons why Coc was important to us, however we shouldn't have to rely on one book . It is also a book that is getting old, there is now a whole generation of younger ones and we also agree that this religion is evolving into something different.
We have a pretty good idea of copyright laws and how far we can go in quoting other people'sworks, including the Wtbts'.
Instead of worrying about the availability of Coc how about we do something really proactive? We could write a book as a collective effort.
We could begin it on here, using the likes and dislikes to gauge direction and working on it Chapter by Chapter. We can include topics that Ray didn't want to discuss, like the handling of child abuse. That is, of course, with Simon's pemission.
It would take some time but we have an abundance of resources including JW Facts, Wickepedia, Coc and this forum. There are enough people who are very conscious on ensuring we stick to facts and who understand the JW mentality. There will be no reason to sensationalise matters, especially if we were to establish what our focus should be. As a collective effort it would be much more easier to avoid being over emotive which was something Ray was able to achieve on his own.
Blondie's points are well made and I agree with them.
I think some of the content of the other thread is unfortunate however there is a context.
The OP on the other thread firstly identified themselves as working with the new copyright holder and asked for comments related not only to the publication of Ray Franz's works but also to issues with a third party. To most posters' credit the latter was given short shrift as most seem to view it as a pretty tiresome subject.
As for the former, asking for comments is always going to illicit different opinions and responses. For the most part I think people tried to be be constructive. I personally want to see the works made available in an official manner and in as flexible a way as possible that supports copyright and the goodwill we all have towards Ray Franz. I think most are sympathetic to the realities of passing over the copyright and I am sure that there are a number of people who, if asked, would support the copyright holder as much as possible to to make the works available.
Bootlegging will go on regardless but these works can be made available in a way that generates revenue. I can't say what Ray Franz's views on PDF distribution really were as I never knew the man but I think it would be a shame if the works were never officially made available electronically when it is possible to do so and this is without doubt the most convenient way for many waking up to the religion, to access the books.
What I can say for sure is that I would NEVER have read the books if I had not been able to get them electronically. CoC especially was instrumental in me waking up. I would have and still would gladly pay for it but there has been, and remains, no way of doing this.
I am sure the vast majority of activists out there would point to an official source. Whilst electronic bootlegging will never stop I don't think any active promotion of this is due to some casual indifference to copyright but simply because there never has been a way of getting the books electronically. My gut is that the physical bootlegging would stop once an official channel becomes available but if not then that is a matter that can be pursued by the new copyright holder.
I am sure the OP on the other thread can take away the feedback they asked for and help the copyright holder to formulate the next steps. The bigger picture might be that these books are simply part of a raft of material that is available however I really hope they become officially available again as soon as possible, not only so that the work and stand taken by Ray Franz can be respected but also so that all of us that participate in whatever way in the exiting and exJW community (for want of a better word) can put our literal and metaphorical money where our mouth is.
Marvin, it is common for people to use the end result (I.e., saving lives and/or helping them see TTATT) to justify how that result is achieved ( I.e., illegal copying and distributing practices).
Which ever way you spin it, you ARE using the end to justify the means. Some people will agree with your justifications, others won't, and still others will be ambivalent.
I personally am ambivalent. I see the need for people to have access to perhaps the single most powerful work of nonfiction on jw organization (what a unique vantage point Ray Franz had!) Yet, at the same time, I am so aware of Ray's own expressed concerns about the need to maintain authorial control over how his books were published and distributed.