OT Re: Copyright vs. theft (was: [Israel.pm] Safari review)

roiem at actcom.co.il roiem at actcom.co.il
Wed Mar 24 12:42:06 PST 2004

> To: Perl in Israel <perl at perl.org.il>
> Message-ID: <406185F3.202 at motorola.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed
> > No, you just deprive him of the earnings. It's not stealing because copyright 
> > law is not something that is defined as a criminal law. So it does not mean 
> > you can equate the illegal copying of copyrighted material to stealing.
> You're talking law. I'm talking morality. So is the GNU site (though 
> they and I disagree).
> I certainly can equate illegal copying with stealing, even if the law 
> doesn't. Try and stop me! :-b
> I believe that a man has the right to the value of the product of his 
> labor, should he want it, and that benefiting from that labor without 
> permission is morally a form of theft. I intend to continue to call it that.

(May I please enter this discussion? :-))

First of all, since you've obviously thought about this before talking
(and not just repeated what most people are saying), I believe I must
respect your opinion, though I disagree. However, I'd like to tell you
why I disagree.

For one thing, you claim that a person has the right to benefit from his
labor. Does that mean he deserves to be paid again and again for
performing a job (writing a book, computer program, drawing a painting)

Second thing, an electrician came to my house a year ago and installed a
new telephone socket. Is it now immoral (or "morally a form of theft")
for me to benefit from his labor by connecting to the Internet and
sending this email via that telephone socket?

Not trying to attack you, but I do want to know how people who think
like you (that is, most people) reconcile these ideas.

- Roie Marianer

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