Re: [SLUG] Novell's CTO Blog - new entry

From: Jason Boxman (
Date: Mon Apr 24 2006 - 14:36:24 EDT

steve szmidt wrote:
> Taking something which is not yours is still theft, just not as bad as other
> crimes. Haha. Not calling it theft is just plain silly. Many other people
> like to alter the name to try to lessen their crime. But theft is still
> theft
> whatever you call it.

Not really. Depriving another individual of a physical object is a very
different scenario. Allowing copyright infrigement to be labeled theft
makes it easier to assign ridiculous criminal punishments and a heightened
sense of urgency.

1. The act or an instance of stealing; larceny.
2. Obsolete. Something stolen.

While theft -> stealing,

v. intr.
1. To commit theft.

I'll argue further that you cannot deprive the copyright holder of
intellectual property itself, the knowledge that comprises that which you're
buying a license to experience, so it still is not theft.

The real argument surrounding theft -- unsurprisingly -- is whether or not
the copyright holder is actually being deprived of potential revenue from
copyright infrigement. But that's an entirely different discussion.

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