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Author Topic: Intellectual Property - In All Fairness!  (Read 51653 times)
Hawker
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September 02, 2011, 08:21:32 PM
 #201

Copyright; well I'm a programmer and see no reason to work for free.  Without copyright, I can't have a website selling my software as it will be available for free on download.com  So I'm biased.  But I don't know of anyone that thinks they are disadvantaged by copyright law.

I'm a programmer too. I've made over a million dollars in the last few years alone selling my software. Piracy hurts me deeply in that narrow sense but I still think copyright laws should be abolished. I was a libertarian first and went into examining the issue, hoping I could make it fit with my libertarian ideology but I couldn't. In the end, my principles won. I still think that using software without paying what it's worth to you is immoral but it shouldn't be illegal.

So you know the issue; in my case, I'd have to fire people.  I don't care about cracks as thats part of Internet life.  But I do think that the guys who replace the auth and sell against you are thieves.  You may feel its OK but I see no reason why I should be firing decent guys so a scammer can make money.  What really annoys me is that they send their customers to me for service so not only do I lose the sale but my support guys can be diverted from legit customers if they don't check properly.

Anyway, as I said, I am biased :p but its not a big deal because I don't know of anyone who is disadvantaged by copyright law.  If you think its wrong, at least its victimless.

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September 02, 2011, 09:41:13 PM
 #202

I don't know of anyone who is disadvantaged by copyright law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance

So you don't think that people would benefit by being able to access academic papers or textbooks? What about artists that want to use previous works and derive new content from them? What about people that can't afford software but could make a living off of it and eventually afford to support it later? What about the people that have been sued into poverty because they shared some music?
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September 02, 2011, 09:50:02 PM
 #203

I don't know of anyone who is disadvantaged by copyright law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance

So you don't think that people would benefit by being able to access academic papers or textbooks? What about artists that want to use previous works and derive new content from them? What about people that can't afford software but could make a living off of it and eventually afford to support it later? What about the people that have been sued into poverty because they shared some music?

Its a free market and if they can't get the starting capital, well, thats how capitalism works.  IP law is designed to encourage production not freeloading.  However, let me rephrase my statement.  I don't know of anyone who is disadvantaged by copyright law who deserves anything better.

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September 02, 2011, 10:46:34 PM
 #204

Its a free market and if they can't get the starting capital, well, thats how capitalism works.

Well at least you're finally willing to admit that you aren't concerned about letting people suffer when it suites you.

I don't know of anyone who is disadvantaged by copyright law who deserves anything better.

That's your opinion. I think people deserve to be allowed to freely share information such as academic research and textbooks as well as make new art based on previous works. I also think that if your software is worth supporting, it will be supported, if it's not, well that's a real free market and that's just too bad.
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September 03, 2011, 06:52:00 AM
 #205

Its a free market and if they can't get the starting capital, well, thats how capitalism works.

Well at least you're finally willing to admit that you aren't concerned about letting people suffer when it suites you.

I don't know of anyone who is disadvantaged by copyright law who deserves anything better.

That's your opinion. I think people deserve to be allowed to freely share information such as academic research and textbooks as well as make new art based on previous works. I also think that if your software is worth supporting, it will be supported, if it's not, well that's a real free market and that's just too bad.

Correct.  And you have yours.  And I'm perfectly happy to agree that we disagree as to what is the best way to run a society rather than the tiresome "I am oppressed and a slave if I can't sell my own Coca-Cola" stuff you saw people posting earlier in a chain.

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September 03, 2011, 08:57:20 AM
 #206

I have a great amount of respect for people who are willing to go out on a limb and try new things.  I'm sure people thought the open source movement was doomed to failure, but look at Linux!  Also, Cory Doctorrow's take on copyright laws is enlightening and gutsy.  I've never paid for his material but am determined to do so in the future once I am more financially secure as I really like his writing and value it.  Also, I constantly talk him up to my friends because I like his attitude and appreciate his writing.  It will be interesting to see how people like Doctorrow actually fare and if it becomes a trend that catches on.  Probably the only way of actually changing copyright laws (if you disagree with them) is to make them irrelevant. 
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September 03, 2011, 01:27:31 PM
 #207

hashman you are confusing 2 issues; namely ownership and enforcement.

As you say, a company would be idiotic to make a lawsuit over someone copying a sheet of music or a single song file.  The enforcement cost would exceed the value.  But someone were to make many photocopies of many sheets and start selling the copies, it might be worth it.  Thats an enforcement question - the ownership is not in doubt.

Right now, Bioware is investing $150 million in a game called Star Wars: The Old Republic.  If you are into gaming, its launch may well the the gaming event of the decade.  Could they make that investment if there was no Star Wars brand that people love and no way to protect themselves from illegal copies after they launch?

Yes, and it would have been cheaper to do so.  People love star wars for the story and charachters, etc., not because LucasFilms LLC paid the government a fee.  Also, they are in no way "protected" from copies being made after launch.  They still plan to make a profit. 


I would content they need that intellectual property protection in order to have a viable business model.  And people like it...branded goods make people happy.  An abstract freedom to make copies of other people's creations won't make many people feel half as good.


Sorry but that is simply untrue.   Entertainment can make money by bringing it to people easier than the people getting themselves for free, by selling value-added memberships, subscriptions, virtual items, etc..  add-ons..  advertisements and merchandise.. the list goes on and on.  I don't think IP lawsuits will be the big money maker for this game.   Futher, many far better spoken and educated economists have contended that so-called "piracy" actually benefits the bottom line of software companies.   More people use it, there is more demand, more buzz, more sales. 

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September 03, 2011, 01:50:57 PM
 #208

hashman you are confusing 2 issues; namely ownership and enforcement.

As you say, a company would be idiotic to make a lawsuit over someone copying a sheet of music or a single song file.  The enforcement cost would exceed the value.  But someone were to make many photocopies of many sheets and start selling the copies, it might be worth it.  Thats an enforcement question - the ownership is not in doubt.

Right now, Bioware is investing $150 million in a game called Star Wars: The Old Republic.  If you are into gaming, its launch may well the the gaming event of the decade.  Could they make that investment if there was no Star Wars brand that people love and no way to protect themselves from illegal copies after they launch?

Yes, and it would have been cheaper to do so.  People love star wars for the story and charachters, etc., not because LucasFilms LLC paid the government a fee.  Also, they are in no way "protected" from copies being made after launch.  They still plan to make a profit.  


I would content they need that intellectual property protection in order to have a viable business model.  And people like it...branded goods make people happy.  An abstract freedom to make copies of other people's creations won't make many people feel half as good.


Sorry but that is simply untrue.   Entertainment can make money by bringing it to people easier than the people getting themselves for free, by selling value-added memberships, subscriptions, virtual items, etc..  add-ons..  advertisements and merchandise.. the list goes on and on.  I don't think IP lawsuits will be the big money maker for this game.   Futher, many far better spoken and educated economists have contended that so-called "piracy" actually benefits the bottom line of software companies.   More people use it, there is more demand, more buzz, more sales.  



Wrong.  Stars Wars was made to be shown in movie theaters.  Copyright law means the owners of movie theatres have to pay Lucas for each ticket sold.  Absent copyright law, the owners of the movie theaters would pocket the money.  So Lucas would have lost every cent he paid to make the film.  But Lucas is not a fool - if there were no copyright law, he would not have made Star Wars.  The whole value chain depends on copyright.

I like your idea that there can be other ways to make entertainment profitable but really, if the film maker does not get paid by the owner of the movie theater, there will be no films. You may not care but a lot of people like their weekly trip to the cinema to see a Hollywood blockbuster and you have no reason to try to take that away from them.

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September 03, 2011, 08:04:23 PM
 #209

hashman you are confusing 2 issues; namely ownership and enforcement.

As you say, a company would be idiotic to make a lawsuit over someone copying a sheet of music or a single song file.  The enforcement cost would exceed the value.  But someone were to make many photocopies of many sheets and start selling the copies, it might be worth it.  Thats an enforcement question - the ownership is not in doubt.

Right now, Bioware is investing $150 million in a game called Star Wars: The Old Republic.  If you are into gaming, its launch may well the the gaming event of the decade.  Could they make that investment if there was no Star Wars brand that people love and no way to protect themselves from illegal copies after they launch?

Yes, and it would have been cheaper to do so.  People love star wars for the story and charachters, etc., not because LucasFilms LLC paid the government a fee.  Also, they are in no way "protected" from copies being made after launch.  They still plan to make a profit.  


I would content they need that intellectual property protection in order to have a viable business model.  And people like it...branded goods make people happy.  An abstract freedom to make copies of other people's creations won't make many people feel half as good.


Sorry but that is simply untrue.   Entertainment can make money by bringing it to people easier than the people getting themselves for free, by selling value-added memberships, subscriptions, virtual items, etc..  add-ons..  advertisements and merchandise.. the list goes on and on.  I don't think IP lawsuits will be the big money maker for this game.   Futher, many far better spoken and educated economists have contended that so-called "piracy" actually benefits the bottom line of software companies.   More people use it, there is more demand, more buzz, more sales.  



Wrong.  Stars Wars was made to be shown in movie theaters.  Copyright law means the owners of movie theatres have to pay Lucas for each ticket sold.  Absent copyright law, the owners of the movie theaters would pocket the money.  So Lucas would have lost every cent he paid to make the film.  But Lucas is not a fool - if there were no copyright law, he would not have made Star Wars.  The whole value chain depends on copyright.

I like your idea that there can be other ways to make entertainment profitable but really, if the film maker does not get paid by the owner of the movie theater, there will be no films. You may not care but a lot of people like their weekly trip to the cinema to see a Hollywood blockbuster and you have no reason to try to take that away from them.


You're right that the movie industry represents an interesting case, perhaps more affected by IP laws the the other examples mentioned so far in this thread.  It will be interesting to see how it plays out as IP laws collapse and distribution methods change drastically.  Already we are seeing more and more advertising and merchandising and related spinoffs, as well as more streaming and other distribution methods.  Pre-pay by theatres to get new content is also emerging and "pay per view" type arrangements.   I don't know the industry at all but I suspect holly/bollywood budgets could come down as the industry is forced into an emerging free market economy.     

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September 03, 2011, 08:44:45 PM
 #210

Somehow, without copyright laws we still got great works of art, Beethoven, Shakespeare, etc. In fact, Shakespeare borrowed heavily from earlier fictional works which, under today's copyright laws, would have gotten his work sued into oblivion and we'd have a pretty huge loss on our hands. Artists produce art mostly for the enjoyment of the art itself. The average salary for an actor is something like $16,000 a year and that's including the megastars like Brad Pitt, Harrison Ford, etc into that figure. If you ignore the outliers, the average drops way down. The point is, there will always be great works of art and people to perform it. You might have to go see a play instead of a movie but at least we will be respecting the right of people to share information freely.
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September 04, 2011, 03:23:24 PM
 #211

Somehow, without copyright laws we still got great works of art, Beethoven, Shakespeare, etc. In fact, Shakespeare borrowed heavily from earlier fictional works which, under today's copyright laws, would have gotten his work sued into oblivion and we'd have a pretty huge loss on our hands. Artists produce art mostly for the enjoyment of the art itself. The average salary for an actor is something like $16,000 a year and that's including the megastars like Brad Pitt, Harrison Ford, etc into that figure. If you ignore the outliers, the average drops way down. The point is, there will always be great works of art and people to perform it. You might have to go see a play instead of a movie but at least we will be respecting the right of people to share information freely.

Thats the point.  Creations that costs many millions of dollars, such as movies and computer games, do need some kind of way to recover those millions of dollars.  Remove the IP protection and the whole business model disappears. 

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September 04, 2011, 04:26:08 PM
 #212

Somehow, without copyright laws we still got great works of art, Beethoven, Shakespeare, etc. In fact, Shakespeare borrowed heavily from earlier fictional works which, under today's copyright laws, would have gotten his work sued into oblivion and we'd have a pretty huge loss on our hands. Artists produce art mostly for the enjoyment of the art itself. The average salary for an actor is something like $16,000 a year and that's including the megastars like Brad Pitt, Harrison Ford, etc into that figure. If you ignore the outliers, the average drops way down. The point is, there will always be great works of art and people to perform it. You might have to go see a play instead of a movie but at least we will be respecting the right of people to share information freely.

Thats the point.  Creations that costs many millions of dollars, such as movies and computer games, do need some kind of way to recover those millions of dollars.  Remove the IP protection and the whole business model disappears. 

So if i invest there needs to be some law that guarantees i recover my investment? That is bullshit. How about they start investing in ways to protect their investment instead of lobbyists. And how about they start investing in educating people why they need to pay for their creation instead of advertising? I can tell you this : If piracy didn't exist , the majority of people around the globe that use computers never would of used windows. Most just can't afford it. They downloaded it through torrents and that actually helped the companies , the same goes for music , and movies. I would like to see this great , genius , wonderful , creative , everything good in society , etc. companies to invest in something useful like a way to protect themselves from pirates , because that can only mean people won't be able to download their great creations and go with what will be available , like open source software , and real artists.
So no they don't need a law to guarantee they recover those millions of dollars. They need to prove that what they provide is worth paying for and people will pay.

And pirates aren't thieves because they don't deprive anybody of anything.
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September 04, 2011, 04:56:22 PM
 #213

Somehow, without copyright laws we still got great works of art, Beethoven, Shakespeare, etc. In fact, Shakespeare borrowed heavily from earlier fictional works which, under today's copyright laws, would have gotten his work sued into oblivion and we'd have a pretty huge loss on our hands. Artists produce art mostly for the enjoyment of the art itself. The average salary for an actor is something like $16,000 a year and that's including the megastars like Brad Pitt, Harrison Ford, etc into that figure. If you ignore the outliers, the average drops way down. The point is, there will always be great works of art and people to perform it. You might have to go see a play instead of a movie but at least we will be respecting the right of people to share information freely.

Thats the point.  Creations that costs many millions of dollars, such as movies and computer games, do need some kind of way to recover those millions of dollars.  Remove the IP protection and the whole business model disappears. 

So if i invest there needs to be some law that guarantees i recover my investment? That is bullshit. How about they start investing in ways to protect their investment instead of lobbyists. And how about they start investing in educating people why they need to pay for their creation instead of advertising? I can tell you this : If piracy didn't exist , the majority of people around the globe that use computers never would of used windows. Most just can't afford it. They downloaded it through torrents and that actually helped the companies , the same goes for music , and movies. I would like to see this great , genius , wonderful , creative , everything good in society , etc. companies to invest in something useful like a way to protect themselves from pirates , because that can only mean people won't be able to download their great creations and go with what will be available , like open source software , and real artists.
So no they don't need a law to guarantee they recover those millions of dollars. They need to prove that what they provide is worth paying for and people will pay.

And pirates aren't thieves because they don't deprive anybody of anything.

You miss the point.  If you want to make a movie, you need a way to get paid for people seeing it.  Right now, the way you get the money back is have the cinema owner pay you for each ticket sold.  But, if the cinema owners don't have to pay, they won't.  Under those circumstances, you will not be investing millions of dollars to make a move; why would you?  It would be easier to have the money put into bags and set on fire.

So, if we want entertaining movies, we have to have intellectual property laws.  Luckily we do Smiley 

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September 04, 2011, 05:28:46 PM
 #214

Under those circumstances, you will not be investing millions of dollars to make a move; why would you?

You don't need to invest millions to make a movie.

So, if we want entertaining movies, we have to have intellectual property laws.

No, we don't. As I mentioned, you don't need millions of dollars to make a movie. You need a camera, some lights, a microphone and some actors. The movie Clerks was made on a budget of $27,575 dollars and has a significantly higher audience rating than does the most expensive film ever made, the $300,000,000 dollar Pirates of the Caribbean 3. You must have also heard about the Sundance and Cannes film festivals. There are lots of ways for independent movies to make money and if they are truly good, they will make that money back.
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September 04, 2011, 05:54:02 PM
 #215

No i didn't miss the point. The point was that IP laws protect a business model. I'm against this kind of practice. No business model needs to be preserved. If a business model fails it should be left to fail.

You kind of miss the point. The IP (INTELECTUAL PROPERTY) laws is said to be about property , (infinite property , because , dam it , it can be copied infinitely) , and they should ensure that the inventor/artist/investor/ is the one that gets rewarded for that "creation" and can create a business model based on that property or not. The business model here is selling a copy of a property (movie) in a theater . So you are telling me that this is what we should protect? Or we should reward the creation of movies?

I'm sorry but do you really think that by preserving a business model you are ensuring progress? I actually don't .



Actually . Thank you . You just made a good point. IP LAWS ARE ABOUT PRESERVING THE ESTABLISHED BUSINESS MODEL. I'm against that.
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September 04, 2011, 06:16:15 PM
 #216

Under those circumstances, you will not be investing millions of dollars to make a move; why would you?

You don't need to invest millions to make a movie.

So, if we want entertaining movies, we have to have intellectual property laws.

No, we don't. As I mentioned, you don't need millions of dollars to make a movie. You need a camera, some lights, a microphone and some actors. The movie Clerks was made on a budget of $27,575 dollars and has a significantly higher audience rating than does the most expensive film ever made, the $300,000,000 dollar Pirates of the Caribbean 3. You must have also heard about the Sundance and Cannes film festivals. There are lots of ways for independent movies to make money and if they are truly good, they will make that money back.

How?  If they can't get paid for seats in movie theatres or for DVD sales, how do they get paid?

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September 04, 2011, 06:26:47 PM
 #217

No i didn't miss the point. The point was that IP laws protect a business model. I'm against this kind of practice. No business model needs to be preserved. If a business model fails it should be left to fail.

You kind of miss the point. The IP (INTELECTUAL PROPERTY) laws is said to be about property , (infinite property , because , dam it , it can be copied infinitely) , and they should ensure that the inventor/artist/investor/ is the one that gets rewarded for that "creation" and can create a business model based on that property or not. The business model here is selling a copy of a property (movie) in a theater . So you are telling me that this is what we should protect? Or we should reward the creation of movies?

I'm sorry but do you really think that by preserving a business model you are ensuring progress? I actually don't .



Actually . Thank you . You just made a good point. IP LAWS ARE ABOUT PRESERVING THE ESTABLISHED BUSINESS MODEL. I'm against that.

Yes we are in agreement Smiley  We may disagree about whether its a good thing to have movies but at least we agree that if you want to have a movie industry, you need IP law.  Bitcoin2coin and myself came to the same conclusion about branded goods like Coca-Cola, though again we didn't agree as to whether they were a good idea, only that you need IP protection to have consumer brands.

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September 04, 2011, 06:33:55 PM
 #218

How?  If they can't get paid for seats in movie theatres or for DVD sales, how do they get paid?

Fans are people that aren't necessarily cheap when it comes to things they love. One of my favorite bands is Nine Inch Nails. They digitally released their latest album for free two weeks before it was released on CD. After the CD was released, even in the age of iPods and piracy, the CD has sold about ~100,000 copies. Do the math, $20 dollars * 100,000 = $2,000,000 dollars. A paltry $27,575 dollars to be recouped from DVD sales is easily possible for a highly rated movie. Make it a limited edition, add special features, autopen an autograph on it and specifically tell the fans that this is how they can help make future movies possible and it will sell. Also, even if you never made a cent from DVD sales, simply having millions of people watch your films can open doors for you. You can charge for speaking engagements, commercial endorsements, etc. There are lots of ancillary services you can provide to pay for your true passion.
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September 04, 2011, 06:59:11 PM
 #219

How?  If they can't get paid for seats in movie theatres or for DVD sales, how do they get paid?

Fans are people that aren't necessarily cheap when it comes to things they love. One of my favorite bands is Nine Inch Nails. They digitally released their latest album for free two weeks before it was released on CD. After the CD was released, even in the age of iPods and piracy, the CD has sold about ~100,000 copies. Do the math, $20 dollars * 100,000 = $2,000,000 dollars. A paltry $27,575 dollars to be recouped from DVD sales is easily possible for a highly rated movie. Make it a limited edition, add special features, autopen an autograph on it and specifically tell the fans that this is how they can help make future movies possible and it will sell. Also, even if you never made a cent from DVD sales, simply having millions of people watch your films can open doors for you. You can charge for speaking engagements, commercial endorsements, etc. There are lots of ancillary services you can provide to pay for your true passion.

Nine Inch Nails is a brand and even though it was released for free, its copyrighted.  If your ideal world, there would be 1000 bands called Nine Inch Nails and all of them would have websites offering that same album for download.

The bigger issue is that they are artists and even if there were zero reward, they would still make the music as its beautiful.  Its their nature.  Making movies and computer games is a long labor intensive process with lots of work that is deadly dull.  If you don't pay people to do it, not much of it will happen.  

EDIT: to make it clear I looked up the production budget for the 1977 Star Wars.  It was $11 million in 1977 dollars.  http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=starwars4.htm  It would be silly to argue that the movie could ever have been made if there were no way to recover that investment.

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September 04, 2011, 07:30:50 PM
 #220

If your ideal world, there would be 1000 bands called Nine Inch Nails and all of them would have websites offering that same album for download.

There is only one Trent Reznor and a video of him saying "if you want to support me, buy it from my website which is nineinchnails.com". Of course, I anticipate you saying that domain names wouldn't be possible either to which I will simply point at NameCoin, Tor hidden services and Freenet as refutations of that claim.

The bigger issue is that they are artists and even if there were zero reward, they would still make the music as its beautiful.  Its their nature.  Making movies and computer games is a long labor intensive process with lots of work that is deadly dull.  If you don't pay people to do it, not much of it will happen.

First of all, writing a song is fun but recording a song is not. Doing 20 takes of the same section because there is string noise, one note is slightly off-tempo or some random string rings out slightly, isn't fun at all. Recording an album is a grueling and tedious process, especially when you consider that each successive take tends to get worse, not better, due to tiring out. You have to take regular breaks just to get energized which makes the process take even longer. I have a recording studio and I've recorded bands before so I know this personally. I would much rather program because it's not as demanding. For the most part, programming is fun, for me at least. Just having someone enjoy my work and compliment me is enough. I won't be offering much support or updates beyond what I feel like doing but that's where money comes in, charging people for extras.

I've also done a little acting so I can say that it is quite fun. You get to be someone else. It's a very unique experience and I'd highly recommend it. From the few independent films I've had experience with, it's actually rather unusual for non-union actors to get paid anything at all. Most of them actually spend money bringing their own wardrobe, buying their own food, gas money etc. Also, many union actors work for scale, even big names do it some time. Vin Diesel will be working for scale on the next Riddick movie, which I can't wait to see.

In summary, you've already admitted that we don't need copyrights for music because "they are artists and even if there were zero reward, they would still make the music as its beautiful" but you failed to apply that same rationale to films and games where it applies equally as well.
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