Ghostbear wrote: Randomizer wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:I feel it's a very important distinction between them- theft is taking something from someone that they have, piracy is not. The severity and impact of the actions is quite different, and calling piracy theft is hiding it behind a worse crime to make it seem more horrible, and more necessary to eliminate.
"Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea.
Wrong definition of piracy- it has at least two definitions in modern English, and you know this (else you'd be very confused in this discussion). If somebody says "I'm going to pirate this movie", nobody is going to imagine them boarding a cargo freighter and taking copies of it with the crew at gunpoint.
Actually, the intent is
to evoke that sort of imagery. Not to make others think that they're actually doing that, but that they're as "cool" as real pirates and what they do is as "cool" as what real pirates do. It's a deliberate association.
But I'll concede that maybe the term has been around long enough and become popular enough that not all people who infringe copyright are pretending to be pirates when they talk about software/music/etc. piracy, and are just using the term as slang these days.
There is intellectual dishonestly when people equate piracy to being equivalent to theft.
I think it's just easier for someone to say, "Stop stealing music!" than "Stop breaking copyright law by making unauthorized duplications of copyrighted musical works!" I know what the difference is between "stealing music" by downloading it and someone grabbing a CD off the shelf of a record store without paying, and I presume the person I'm talking to does as well, so I don't see the big deal in someone calling it stealing when it's technically copyright infringement. The "You wouldn't steal a car..." ads, though, sure those are being deliberately dishonest, but they're easily ignorable (or mockable). Maybe it would be right to take a company to task for that, but in everyday conversation? Meh.
Malice wrote:So in your example, it would be immoral for more than one person to read the same copy of a book at a time (say, out loud, or over a shoulder, or on a projector), but it would not be immoral for the same copy to be resold 50 times to a used bookstore and read by 50 people one at a time; nor would it be immoral for the same copy to be donated to a library to be checked out and read 500 times by 500 people one at a time. Yes?
Is your point that copyright is insufficient to protect a creator's interest in their work, or are you splitting hairs? I'd say you can read a book to your friend, but you can't make an audiobook and distribute that. Copyright protects the creator's right to be the only one to make copies, that's about it. (Well, that and public performance, but I'm not going to speculate on exactly how many people one has to read a book to at once or under what circumstances before it's officially a performance.) There's a difference between a kindergarten teacher reading Strega Nona to her class, and the school making thirty copies of the work so that thirty teachers can read it to thirty classes while only paying for one legitimate copy. If you want thirty classes to have the book, either buy thirty copies or go to the trouble of passing your one copy back and forth.
The point I'm trying to get at is essentially the same one as Dream was before, which is: why exactly does your moral system rest on the artist's right to determine the precise number of extant copies of their work? Isn't that simply a legal fiction whose design is based on a moral framework resting more naturally on the artist's financial security?
I don't see it strictly as a matter of financial security. If I write a bunch of embarrassing poems or keep a diary, and decide I don't want anyone to read that, ever, that's my prerogative. I have the right to prevent others from copying my work. I doubt that's the intent of copyright law, but I value that aspect. After I'm dead I won't have much say in the matter (unless I've burned my writings) and it'll be up to my heirs as to what to do with it, at least until copyright expires.
Now, if someone is publishing, attempting to publish, or planning to eventually publish their work, odds are they do want it to be seen and it's (mostly) a financial matter, yes. Someone doing research for a university might be paid a salary while the research itself is, after review, released into the public domain. That's fine, that's what they signed up for. Someone writing a book is paid by how many copies are sold (and perhaps also an advance by the publisher). If a lot of people like the book and want to buy it, he should be rewarded. If no one wants to buy it, well, better luck next time.
On the other side you have people who purchase the work. They've spent money on a product, and have an interest in the money they spent not being thrown into the fire. And of course there's the idea of preserving knowledge and culture, which setting fire to a CD after you listened to it would run counter to. People not being allowed to make copies protects the creator's interests, and people being able to pass around, read more than once, etc. something they bought protects their and society as a whole's interests. Is there some reason to draw the line between those interests somewhere other than copying rights?