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Re: "My dad is a pirate."

From: Billy Ray Balzak
Subject: Re: "My dad is a pirate."
Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2008 10:51:29 -0500

"El Tux" <nope@spamsucks.invalid> wrote in message">
> On Fri, 22 Feb 2008 07:56:01 -0500, Clyde Wrinkle wrote:
>> "Ignoramus23193" <ignoramus23193@NOSPAM.23193.invalid> wrote in message
>>> Here's another great article on the subject, coming from LA Times
>>> (hardly a bastion of extremism).
>>> From the Los Angeles Times
>>> File ~sharing~ or ~stealing~?
>>> The semantic debate over whether copyright infringement is theft. By
>>> Jon Healey
>>> February 18, 2008
>>> A few days ago I came across an Op-Ed submission that called for file
>>> sharing to be decriminalized. The editors here decided not to run it,
>>> but it intrigued me for a couple of reasons. First, the author, Karl
>>> Sigfrid, is a member of the Swedish Parliament from the Moderate party
>>> ~ a pro-business party that's akin to this country's Libertarians
>>> (except in Sweden they're more than just a fringe group). Second,
>>> although he covered much of the same ground earlier this year in a
>>> Swedish paper, Sigfrid's new piece added another provocative
>>> contention: that unauthorized downloading isn't actually theft. Here's
>>> an excerpt:
> <SNIP>
>> And your example basically says that pirating movies/music is wrong and
>> illegal but it leads to debate. Perhaps in your zeal to defend your
>> piracy and theft you missed this part?
>> [quote]
>> So what's the right metaphor? Unauthorized downloading may not be
>> larceny, but it still seems to fit under the broad notion of theft. Even
>> though the copies cost nothing to produce, the data in them has value.
>> Downloaders acquire that value without paying for it. Some say they're
>> not causing any real losses because they buy new copies of the
>> downloaded files they like. But that rationalization wasn't persuasive
>> to Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, who flatly declared in his
>> concurring opinion in MGM vs. Grokster, "Deliberate unlawful copying is
>> no less an unlawful taking of property than garden-variety theft."
> On the other hand, we have the majority opinion of the USSC in Dowling
> v The United States:
> <>
>    ...Since the statutorily defined property rights of a copyright
>    holder have a character distinct from the possessory interest of the
>    owner of simple "goods, wares, [or] merchandise," interference with
>    copyright does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud. The
>    infringer of a copyright does not assume physical control over the
>    copyright nor wholly deprive its owner of its use. Infringement
>    implicates a more complex set of property interests than does
>    run-of-the-mill theft, conversion, or fraud.

You do realize that this ruling is from 1985. It's nearly a quarter of a 
century old.

And you also realize that this ruling was made before the internet as we 
know it today existed and before the ability and technology to physically 
and electronically copy music and CDs existed. Hell... when this ruling was 
made the "standard desktop computer" was a IBM-PC with a 5.25" floppy and 
128k or RAM. There was no MP3, MP4, no internet, the DVD hadn't been 
invented yet. The ability to record/burn a CD or DVD didn't existed and 
there was no internet or way to illegally download music or videos. Fact is 
that at that time there was no video/music to pirate.

So the ruling that was made back in 1985 is outside of the context of the 
world as it exists today. Clearly the world has changed and laws had to 
change to reflect this.

That's how I see these things.

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