"Piracy" ...

Answers to your qestions about moving to, and living in, Peru,
Sharon
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"Piracy" ...

Postby Sharon » Sun Aug 20, 2006 2:29 pm

To: JG <[email protected]>
From: Sharon Stevenson <[email protected]>
Subject: [Expatriate] Re: Piracy comments

Jodie,

EXCELLENT!! Well roared, Lion! I would only add that my too many years here have convinced me that a large part of "underdevelopment" is the lack of the firm conviction that the Golden Rule is a major key to progress. The Bible version was most elegant: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And I would add: for the good of us all.

But here in Peru it's expressed in the negative. Don't do to others what you don't want done to you. I tell my Peruvian friends that means if you see an old lady trying to cross the street, you're not going to push her into traffic. But the European/prostestant version, i.e. the positive version, demands that you help the oldster, because when you're old and in that situaton, you've going to want someone to help you. This attitude helped to make European and American cultures great, imho. I really feel a great deal of Peruvian woes are inflicted because the great majority of the people, just don't have any idea that this is the way that one should live in order for everyone to progress.

The negative corollary I would say should be: don't impede others, which here is certainly almost unknown on the streets, and is justified in other spheres by the attitude, what's good for me, is good. If someone else has to move aside or make way for me, en buena hora. Period. I think it takes a tremendous hidden toll, whether it's the gasoline/wear & tear/time lost when you have to slow down when someone forces you to break on the highway, or ignores stop signs, etc., or when someone makes you wait because they're late, perhaps habitually, for an appointment. Etc.etc.

And re piracy it's clear. Do you want people to steal and deny you revenues for something that you produced and should be paid for? No. So don't do it to others. Period.

Again, Jodie. Very well stated!
ss



Dear All,

I felt it necessary to put my two cents in here, as I made a personal choice a long time ago not to support anything that was pirated, and I want to explain why.

This situation is not a question of costs. It is a question of rights and responsibilities.

Since when is it anyone's RIGHT to watch a movie without paying for it?
Since when is it MY RIGHT to steal something, just because I may not have the money to buy it legally?
Since when has the RIGHT to have consumable goods that one wants but can't pay for, existed?

We are not talking about food or medicine here, although some people have mentioned medicine and implied that it is two sides of the same coin. But two wrongs don't make a right! If the pharmaceutical companies 'stole' from the people of the jungle, then we must ensure everything possible is done to have them PAY for what they have taken. Not steal from them in return!

And anyway, we are talking about movies, computer games and the like. Hardly things which are necessary for a healthy life!

They are entertainment consumables. And since when did having them become a right? Until I could afford these things, I just didn't have them. Did I feel hard done by? Of course! Did I steal from people to get them? Of course NOT!

Because stealing is stealing. Just as integrity is integrity.

One cannot steal only a little and think that one can avoid being called a thief. One cannot forget ones integrity while witnessing or doing something wrong and then still think that one still has any! Integrity isn't a jumper that one can put on and take off at will.

A person either has it or doesn't. The size of their paycheck (or lack thereof) is rarely relevant to this situation.

The major purchasers of pirated videos etc are not poor people who are struggling to buy food and pay rent. They are people with disposable income who are choosing how to dispose of it. They are choosing to have 5 pirated movies for the cost of one real one.

It is a choice and a conscious choice.

I will never knowingly support pirated material of any kind. Not because I agree with what the big corporations are doing, but because I know that fighting what they are doing cannot be truly achieved by stealing from them. It gives them the moral highground.

I therefore have the RESPONSIBILITY to make wise choices about how I use my disposable income.
I have the RESPONSIBILITY to always act with integrity.
I must do everything I can to stop those who try to steal from others, and I must acknowlege that I am RESPONSIBLE for allowing them to do so if I do not speak out against them.

Please think about these comments the next time someone tries to tell you that it is the right of everyone to watch a recently released movie or play the new playstation game in a pirated format, just because they don't have the money to buy the original.

Jodie Garrett


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Postby Jonathan » Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:12 am

What is your insight on books and software that costs double and triple the costs in the States?
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Postby Allards » Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:47 am

Well Sharon i agree with you that theft is not ok, but duplicating files doesn't fit the definition of theft for me:

"A person is guilty of theft, if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it".

While collecting taxes fit the description and thus is theft!

Making profit out of selling duplicated goods is also theft, if no royalties are payed to the owner, because that money should belong to the owner of the rights.

Consuming (music, video, games) is something different because nothing is taking away, nothing was stolen and there was and will not be a transaction. Besides that the (right)owners should be more careful with there material, preventing others from consuming it so easy without any limitation.
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Postby Sharon » Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:50 pm

Jonathan,

One always has the choice of not buying if the cost is too high. Obviously, if enough people register their opinion in that way, then eventually the owners/producers would at least have to think about changing the price. Again, I can believe that the cost of a brand-new Honda is too high, but I've no right to steal one to reinforce my point.

Or am I missing what you're saying?

And Allards, I don't consider collecting taxes as dishonest. You said, "Consuming (music, video, games) is something different because nothing is taking away, nothing was stolen and there was and will not be a transaction." But then I should not have to pay for going into a movie, no?

Sharon
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Postby Jonathan » Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:36 pm

I bought my wife the Da Vinci Code, paid more then 30 dollars for a paperback at a book store. The next book Angels and Demons she bought for a few dollars on th street. Is it integrity (¨doing the right thing¨) paying 30 dollars for a book when in the US you know it only cost 5 dollars. Or is that stupidity on my part?

JWL
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Postby javi » Mon Aug 21, 2006 9:19 pm

Plus Dan Brown has already made his $100,000,000 this year. I don't think he's going to miss the $1 he would make off a book sale in Peru.
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Postby Allards » Tue Aug 22, 2006 3:08 am

Sharon wrote:
And Allards, I don't consider collecting taxes as dishonest. You said, "Consuming (music, video, games) is something different because nothing is taking away, nothing was stolen and there was and will not be a transaction." But then I should not have to pay for going into a movie, no?

Sharon


A strange moral people have if it comes to people paying taxes! If you don’t consider it dishonest, it seems you agree that the mob of the majority can force others to pay money to them at gunpoint?! That money we call tax, it’s nothing less then stealing the fruits of someone’s labor partly enslaving him / her. How can you defend piracy as an immoral act and as theft, while you consider taxing of people to be honest!?

And of course you can’t go to a cinema without paying unless you want to trespass.

Instead of fighting piracy it would be better for the entertainment industry to embrace it, developing new business models instead of keeping on doing the same old thing.

Tell me, where can i buy quick and cheap a collection of 100 of my favorite 70’s songs ? Not at I-Tunes, even I found them it would cost me 100$ 99cent per old song, (I expected modern technology to make things cheaper fi 0.05 cent per song and not more expensive) Even if I could get them, the songs where compared to a cd crippled, I only could copy it a limited number of times to my ipod and only play them on my pc because of the “fairplay” DRM crap.

Running a business is about studying the needs of your potential customers and serving them well according to those needs. This is where the entertainment industry is failing, there is too much of the same poop, it’s too expensive and these days it’s distributed in a form many customers don’t want / use it anymore. That industry is too focused on themselves and there profits, even following there customers till the grave to enforce there “rights” while they should use that energy to renew themselves!

I simply would like to select what I want to see or listen too, where and when and in what format. I simply prefer a Youtube, Myspace business model enabling broadband to achieve a merger between all the traditional models giving customers entertainment a there fingertips. Internet is going to replace most of the old media, fighting that is simply stupid….wake up!
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Postby johnstar » Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:03 pm

Well i disagree actually, yeah sure theft is wrong and artists deserve all the credit and as much of the retail money as possible, but on the other hand the publishers and record/software companies shouldnt charge such ridiculous amounts of money and also i believe everyone is entitled to learn for free, so if i want to learn Spanish in the short time i have then i'll find anything that can help and use it to my advantage.

John
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Postby David » Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:25 pm

johnstar wrote:Well i disagree actually, yeah sure theft is wrong and artists deserve all the credit and as much of the retail money as possible, but on the other hand the publishers and record/software companies shouldnt charge such ridiculous amounts of money and also i believe everyone is entitled to learn for free, so if i want to learn Spanish in the short time i have then i'll find anything that can help and use it to my advantage.

John


I must disagree with your argument.

While I am guilty of duplicating recordings in order to save money when I was a kid, it is still someone’s hard work that went onto producing the product.

If you want to learn Spanish for "cheap" you can buy a Spanish/English dictionary. If you want it for free you can go to the library.

But other then that someone has put both time and effort into making the process easier for you to learn it. That has a value.

Granted it only has the value someone is willing to pay for it but that does not mean you have the right to take it because you feel the price is to dear.

If all out there felt the price was to costly the product would soon be marked down and placed in the discount rack, for you to buy at a more reasonable rate.
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Postby Arroz con Pollo » Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:42 pm

Can somone please point me to the store in Lima that sells a wide selection of legit DVDs? I'm still searching...
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Postby johnstar » Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:45 pm

Well you are quite right that someones hard work deserves its rewards and shouldnt be taken for granted, in other words downloaded or sold for nothing, however i have paid for Oxford Spanish dictionaries at a cost of 30 pounds and other helpful literature to accompany and i think the best solution is to make things more affordable....

For example a music CD here sells for £11 which is totally outrageous (based upon the fact it costs around £1 to produce the CD's and artwork) and if the record labels would stop being greedy and reduce the price to between £5 and £7 a lot of people including myself would consider this a fair price and prefer to buy it in stores over downloading....

When speaking about "courses" including "multiple cds/dvds" sometimes including books and literature, i personally would be more inclined to go out to a store and purchase these too simply because the effort and information in the package justifies the price.

I have also bought legal albums online (via download) for 3 dollars in the past because its easy and affordable and gives something back to the artists.
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Postby americorps » Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:58 pm

While I agree in principle with the post, I see another angle as well. We are applying privelaged first world values and standards to impoverished third world culture. I do not expect the Culture of Peru to have the same priorities and values as to what parts of right and wrong they enforce.

There are many things we tolerate or accept in the USA that are not quite right all the time, so what makes our issues more acceptable than those of the Peruvians.

I have a very good friend in California who is a write, just went back to work from the strike. He only makes about 60 thousand a year, and with a wife and 2 kids in the LA area, that is not much more than a living wage. Most of his steady income comes from residuals, so it is not lost on me that he looses some money when people pirate and that isn't right.

But music and movies are art too, and why should art be limited to the wealthy? A movie could easily cost a week or more in wages here. I think respect for copyright will become a value here when it is the apropriate time for the culture.

Is it wrong, yes..but is wrong a black and white simple question...No.
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Postby David » Thu Feb 14, 2008 6:30 pm

johnstar wrote:Well you are quite right that someones hard work deserves its rewards and shouldnt be taken for granted, in other words downloaded or sold for nothing, however i have paid for Oxford Spanish dictionaries at a cost of 30 pounds and other helpful literature to accompany and i think the best solution is to make things more affordable....

For example a music CD here sells for £11 which is totally outrageous (based upon the fact it costs around £1 to produce the CD's and artwork) and if the record labels would stop being greedy and reduce the price to between £5 and £7 a lot of people including myself would consider this a fair price and prefer to buy it in stores over downloading....

When speaking about "courses" including "multiple cds/dvds" sometimes including books and literature, i personally would be more inclined to go out to a store and purchase these too simply because the effort and information in the package justifies the price.

I have also bought legal albums online (via download) for 3 dollars in the past because its easy and affordable and gives something back to the artists.


When it is said that it only costs X to produce a CD or DVD are you taking into consideration all the money invested into failed ventures and artists?

Music scouts, makeup artists, management, office buildings, state of the art recording equipment, lighting and so on voice and acting coaches?

Just curious
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Postby johnstar » Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:24 am

Well there has been some documentaries and reports here stating how little it costs record companies to produce "CD Albums" which wouldnt include recording equipment, studios etc in the price, only the CD album itself but again i think that depends on the record label, if a company has some of the worlds best artists then they can afford to provide the lush studios, equipment and so on because of the successful sales from those artists, but the lesser known companies obviously cant afford to upgrade their studios etc to the same level so i think the companies support their artists as best they can financially but that doesnt get away from the fact that it costs all labels very little to produce just one album and sell that one copy for TEN times its value and that is why im personally a bit disappointed with their lack of fairness in lowering costs which would encourage more to go and buy the originals from stores and not buy from the street markets or download.

And even though i disagree with the price, i still have my favourite artists and will go and buy copies of their albums in stores purely because they are the original and its part of a collection.
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Postby Canadian Eh! » Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:17 pm

It is ironic that some people are condemning the record companies or even Dan Brown for making money yet so many complain about the wages, taxis, etc. here in Peru. We have all made a choice why we are here, many reasons and many choices. I was one of the first distributors of movies in Canada when they came out in Vhs and Beta form and was on the ground floor of Dvd's. It is the responsibility of the government here in Peru to enforce piracy laws yet they do little if anything about the situation.
Saying all that, do I buy pirated movies, I do ,however I know it is wrong, but I also go to the cinema through the front door, jaja. So if you are begrudging the corporate sector for making profits, sometimes too excessively I agree, then either record a song or star in a movie and when your royalties stop remember your condemnation of corporate profits.
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Postby Allards » Sat Feb 16, 2008 6:43 am

Americorps wrote:

Is it wrong, yes..but is wrong a black and white simple question...No.


I agree with that; and the Paradigm is changing, it’s not about stealing or committing crimes. It’s the fact that technology allows us to consume these products differently.

There are some differences:

Not being able to afford
The products with western prices are too expensive to afford for average people in developing countries. Trough commercials and other media they are pursued to want those products; the only alternative at the moments are the “pirated” products. Those products are being consumed in the “traditional” way through a player.

New forms of consuming
The internet, modern pc’s and portable digital players create the opportunity to skip the usage of “traditional” medium completely. All needed are the files , the Internet makes the distribution of those files very easy and cheap.

Simply trying to keep on distributing those products as like in the past isn’t going to work anymore. Media companies know this and are changing their business modals (slowly). Good examples are Itunes, Apple tv, the Xbox360 and of course many other online forms of distribution.

Since those pirated products are easy and cheap to distribute they are devaluated, we don’t want to pay the same price for a product while we know that there is an decrease in the costs of the distribution chain. Like that the (fairly earned) profits of those companies would increase a lot but the consumers are getting less product thus value for their money.

Pirated stuff and p2p downloads are an example of today’s consumers who don’t want to buy the products for the proposed price, it’s an silent protest!!

The solutions is too find new business models, looking at companies like Google we all know there are great possibilities. Movies and games could be financed trough advertisements, while musicians use there cd’s as advertisements,earning money with concerts and merchandise. That’s the reason why some big artists are moving away from records companies looking for 360 deals elsewhere.

Until things change this struggle will continue, it will go on until all p2p traffic, and computers containing downloaded material are going to be fully encrypted, the only way to stop it then is forbidding encryption and or killing the Internet.

Turning the World into a police state, only to protect the profits of the ones who refuse to innovate……………
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Postby slrguy » Sun Feb 17, 2008 2:06 pm

The situational ethics in this thread are amazing! 1st world, 3rd world, big corporations, artists, etc. How can anyone convince themselves that individual situations define what is/isn't theft???? Where I grew up, right and wrong were/are pretty clear cut concepts, no matter if one speaks of listening to music, learning another language, or reading a best-selling book by a rich author. What- there is some limit as to rewards, beyond which it's ok to steal from people? Puhlease.
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Postby markr » Sun Feb 17, 2008 3:21 pm

I'd be interested to hear comments about pirated books and other educational material.
Take the situation of the many very intelligent students out there, who due to financial circumstances could never afford to progress in their chosen careers without access to such material. Never becoming doctors, nurses, dentists, lawyers. teachers etc etc, professions which are vital to the future development of the country.
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Postby slrguy » Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:08 pm

markr wrote:I'd be interested to hear comments about pirated books and other educational material.
Take the situation of the many very intelligent students out there, who due to financial circumstances could never afford to progress in their chosen careers without access to such material. Never becoming doctors, nurses, dentists, lawyers. teachers etc etc, professions which are vital to the future development of the country.


I'd be interested to hear about cases where bright students were unable to achieve their dreams over the price of books. Tuitions? maybe. But who doesn't attend institutions of higher learning because textbooks are price prohibitive?
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Postby David » Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:48 pm

slrguy wrote:The situational ethics in this thread are amazing! 1st world, 3rd world, big corporations, artists, etc. How can anyone convince themselves that individual situations define what is/isn't theft???? Where I grew up, right and wrong were/are pretty clear cut concepts, no matter if one speaks of listening to music, learning another language, or reading a best-selling book by a rich author. What- there is some limit as to rewards, beyond which it's ok to steal from people? Puhlease.


Stealing a loaf of bread because your hungry, is still stealing.

I'm not saying that I would not steal if I felt there were no alternative, just that I realize it is still stealing. And would hope that the judge/jury would have mercy.

However the world is based upon one taking from another if they cannot get it through reasonable means.

Countries negotiate over what they want or need, and often settle on a "fair market" price. When a "fair market" price can not be negotiated the country with the need/greed will start coming up with plan "B", in order to get what it is they have set there sights on. (Iraq)

The U.S. made Mexico an offer for the south western part of North America. When that offer was refused we took it, proclaiming "manifest destiny."

So does that justify stealing? Is it fair to say, our leadership does it, so it must be O.K. for us?

These answers and more you will find in your own moral makeup. I think it is one of those unanswerable questions in life. At what point does stealing/taking/using something become O.K.?
David

Postby David » Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:58 pm

slrguy wrote:
markr wrote:I'd be interested to hear comments about pirated books and other educational material.
Take the situation of the many very intelligent students out there, who due to financial circumstances could never afford to progress in their chosen careers without access to such material. Never becoming doctors, nurses, dentists, lawyers. teachers etc etc, professions which are vital to the future development of the country.


I'd be interested to hear about cases where bright students were unable to achieve their dreams over the price of books. Tuitions? maybe. But who doesn't attend institutions of higher learning because textbooks are price prohibitive?


Where do we draw the line?

A good student in a bad public school cannot quite make the grades to get accepted into a good college.

It could be argued that if that same student could have afforded a better school system he/she may have made it into that good college.

So why not let the parents steal the tuition needed to advance that student?

Where I live there is no mass transportation available to take me to work. I have limited skills so I earn a limited income. I cannot afford a good used car so I can just steal one, right?
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Postby slrguy » Sun Feb 17, 2008 5:16 pm

David wrote:
slrguy wrote:
markr wrote:I'd be interested to hear comments about pirated books and other educational material.
Take the situation of the many very intelligent students out there, who due to financial circumstances could never afford to progress in their chosen careers without access to such material. Never becoming doctors, nurses, dentists, lawyers. teachers etc etc, professions which are vital to the future development of the country.


I'd be interested to hear about cases where bright students were unable to achieve their dreams over the price of books. Tuitions? maybe. But who doesn't attend institutions of higher learning because textbooks are price prohibitive?


Where do we draw the line?


A good student in a bad public school cannot quite make the grades to get accepted into a good college.

It could be argued that if that same student could have afforded a better school system he/she may have made it into that good college.

So why not let the parents steal the tuition needed to advance that student?

Where I live there is no mass transportation available to take me to work. I have limited skills so I earn a limited income. I cannot afford a good used car so I can just steal one, right?


EXACTLY my point. Thank you.
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Postby americorps » Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:39 am

slrguy,

From what you are saying, you are suggesting that you have never broken a rule or a low, or looked the other way when someone else did? I can not believe that. I take exception that anything is black or white, as the world is always been shades of gray.

Ms. Rosa Parks broke the law when she refused to move to the back of the bus, is she just a common criminal who did not know right from wrong?

How about the man with starving children, for whatever reason, who asked for help and was denied, then stole a loaf of bread for his children to eat...is he just a common criminal who did not know right from wrong?

In the USA there are millions of times when people realize it is a moment to bend or break rules and laws. Sometimes they suffer consequences, sometimes not, sometimes it is justifiable, sometimes not.

We have to have the ability to reason, question, defy and define our own priorities, and no where did anyone say pirating is not wrong, but when priorities clash, or other priorities have far greater importance, I find it difficult to sit in my ivory tower of privelege and judge those as simply wrong without any reason...it is not black and white.

Murder is wrong? what about the death penalty or self defense or war? Abortion maybe? Rape..incest..the life of the mother? No, there is not such thing as black and white.

I realize that grey CAN be used as an excuse, and that is not tolerable, but to deny it is there is simply pretending
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Postby markr » Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:15 am

Americorps,
thanks for a response to the question that I actually posed, that being. "I'd be interested to hear comments"
When I first visited Peru 12 months ago I was amazed at the amount of blatent piracy, infact I went to purchase some rosary beads as a gift from a church in Magdelena one afternoon and nearly dropped when I saw on open display a whole library of religious based DVDs ranging from Papel interviews to films about mother Teresa.
I was equally amazed when, whilst visiting one of the top universities in Lima to find none origional copies of books for sale on the campus, hence my interest in people buying educational material rather than just the latest blockbuster movie or top 10 CD.
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Postby slrguy » Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:28 pm

Interesting reaction.

I've reviewed my comments, and I'm fairly certain they were limited to copyright/artistic protections. And I stand by them. Excusing purchases of pirated goods under the guise of "otherwise I can't afford them" is a pretty weak argument in my book. Pretty much tosses moral behavior out the window, in favor of rationalizations.

What I did NOT address was murder, abortion, etc. Situational ethics in life/death conflicts are, of course, an entirely different matter. Amazingly enough, I'm adult enough to realize that not everything about life and death is black and white.

But I'm not certain how my disapproval of stealing books, or videos, or music CDs applies to life and death, unless one has a SERIOUS jones for the Stones, or Tom Cruise. If one feels that living without a pirated copy of Pirates of the Caribbean or maybe Sinatra's Duets is life threatening, then there are issues involved beyond my capacity to judge. But these weren't the things I commented on. I merely said that stealing things (and pirated copies of artistic/literary works IS stealing, no matter if the creator is the Dalai Llama, Mick Jagger or JK Rowling!) is morally wrong despite any rationalizations to the contrary.

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