Beefy Boxes and Bandwidth Generously Provided by pair Networks
There's more than one way to do things

Re: Re: Re: Re: Software piracy- what would you do?

by buckaduck (Chaplain)
on Jun 05, 2001 at 02:56 UTC ( #85651=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: Re: Re: Software piracy- what would you do?
in thread Software piracy- what would you do?

It would be nice if you didn't compare apples to oranges. My analogy compared online theft to a physical burglary.

Your example compares theft to a misdemeanor. Why didn't you just compare theft to jaywalking, if you wanted to be inane about it?

For a closer analogy, let's just say this. If the guy was smoking my joint without my permission, I'd be pretty darned mad. Okay?


  • Comment on Re: Re: Re: Re: Software piracy- what would you do?

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
(tye)Re: Software piracy- what would you do?
by tye (Sage) on Jun 05, 2001 at 08:38 UTC

    I'll just note that using a term like "online theft" shows your bias. I doubt you'll agree as it has become a pervasive bias. The term "intellectual property" is another example of the bias. Nothing was "stolen". A student violated the contract that they entered into when they purchased that CD (presumably). That is not "theft".

    Assuming that the analogy between property and (so called) "intellectual property" is a strong one really closes your mind to a lot of ways of thinking about the situation. Talking somebody out of buying a car isn't the same thing as stealing a car from the manufacturor. Loaning someone your car isn't the same as talking somebody out of buying a car. Go ahead, make a copy of your car and see if anyone acuses you of stealing a car from the manufacturor because now you have two cars but you only bought one.

    The reasons for copyright are much different than the reasons for making theft illegal.

    Now, I'm not at all trying to argue that "it isn't really stealing, so there is nothing wrong with it". There are plenty of things that aren't stealing that are plenty wrong. But if you can't think of this in terms other than "stealing", then there just isn't much point in discussing it.

    Here is an interesting talk on the subject.

            - tye (but my friends call me "Tye")
      If we can step away from the legalese for a bit, and technical words like 'felony' and 'misdemeano(u)r', which seem to belong chiefly to the US justice system, we may get some clarity.

      The non-lawyer understands by 'theft' the attempt by one party to deprive another of what is rightfully theirs.

      Merlyn's income from sales of his work is certainly rightfully his. There are contracts to say so.

      Therefore, if anyone comes into possession of his work (that cost money to buy) by not paying for it, they have stolen from him (and his associates) the revenue from the sale of an equivalent product. Just because the physical object has not been stolen does not mean that the author has not been deprived of what is rightfully his.

      Thank you.


        I never said "felony". "Theft" is not legalese, and it means taking someone's personal property (go look it up in a simple, English, non-legalese dictionary). Depriving someone of income is not "theft". Violating copyright is not necessarilly depriving someone of income.

        So violating copyright is quite a bit removed from "theft". But you have so missed the point of my note that I doubt you'll be able to understand what I'm talking about here either.

        And, again, I'm not advocating the violation of copyrights. I just find even discussing the concept of copyright pointless if we can't get passed the (mistaken) idea that the information is "property", much less getting passed the idea that copying it is "theft".

                - tye (but my friends call me "Tye")
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Software piracy- what would you do?
by MeowChow (Vicar) on Jun 05, 2001 at 03:10 UTC
    Fine, if you'd prefer a felony, how about selling marijuana? My point is that you are already comparing apples and oranges. "Online theft" (as you call it) is not comparable to physical burglary, despite what Metallica would like you to believe.

    "Officer, he stole my joint!" :-)

                   s aamecha.s a..a\u$&owag.print
      > > > "Officer, he stole my joint!"

      Hee hee.

      > > > "Online theft" (as you call it) is not comparable to physical burglary, despite what Metallica would like you to believe.

      Intellectual property can (and does) translate directly into food on the table as well as free time to work on fun projects. Reducing somebody's ability to earn income from their work is equivalent to taking their cash or their time. As an author, you probably wouldn't miss the $0.50 from one particular sale. But as you said, it isn't a tangible stereo, it's intangible data; the value depends entirely on what people are willing to pay for it.

      If there is an attitude that your work is not respected, including your wishes for how it's shared, the existing trust (that you the author will be able to continue making a living as an author; that others will not copy your work and call it their own) will go out the window.

      These ideas are bastardized from The Cathedral and the Bazaar which you can (and should) read at the above link. This part is particularly relevant to the discussion of trust among programmers.


        Officer, he stole my joint!
        Hee hee.
        I know some people, who in the 70's grew pot in their back yard, not for selling, just for personal use. One day they go out back to find the plant missing, and a set of very obvious drag marks from where the pot was in their yard, to the back neighbor's back door. -Ted

Log In?

What's my password?
Create A New User
Node Status?
node history
Node Type: note [id://85651]
and all is quiet...

How do I use this? | Other CB clients
Other Users?
Others scrutinizing the Monastery: (6)
As of 2018-06-23 17:59 GMT
Find Nodes?
    Voting Booth?
    Should cpanminus be part of the standard Perl release?

    Results (125 votes). Check out past polls.