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Re: "My dad is a pirate."

From: El Tux
Subject: Re: "My dad is a pirate."
Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2008 15:42:07 -0000
User-agent: Pan/0.132 (Waxed in Black)

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:


> 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.

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