sourmìlk wrote:Nowhere did I say that a denied opportunity in and of itself equates to theft.
It was a rather important part of what you said however. If we go with your exact quote:
sourmìlk wrote:Piracy is immoral because it deprives a vendor of the opportunity to profit off of his work while still using that work without his permission,
The deprivation of opportunity is half of your definition, with the other half being use of that work. How does that fit with the situations in the second paragraph of my reply? No opportunity is lost.
sourmìlk wrote:bentheimmigrant wrote:Because people ignore things like this.
I'm aware of the legal classification of copyright infringement.
The legal classification was created based on the logic that they aren't the same thing. Courts don't make arbitrary decisions- they ruled that it wasn't theft because they aren't equatable actions. Or, to use their own words:
The United States Supreme Court wrote: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.
They conclude that the effects and results of copyright infringement have a very different impact on property rights- notably that at no point do they deny the owner the use of the object in question, which is something that theft does.
Actually, this brings to mind a point: your definition of theft doesn't make sense here. You are trying to give theft an overly broad definition beyond its scope. I would feel rather strongly agree with the court's logic- theft requires the owner to be denied the use of an object. Limiting or denying the ability to profit off of an object through copyright infringement might reduce the utility of an object, especially an object made with the intent for sale, but it can still be used and accessed by its owners with zero additional restrictions. They are still free to sell it, if they can find a buyer, or implement it into other products, or use it directly, or many myriad options. When something is stolen, you can't do anything with it, because it has been denied to you.
EDIT: Whoops, left a sentence incomplete there.