June 26, 2003

It's still Stealing

The Net Pirate says

I know what I am doing is illegal, but I feel it is no more illegal or threatening to the music industry, than my videotaping of programmes from TV is threatening to broadcasters.
You know, though, it is illegal and it is theft. Perhaps if you stuck with copying mix tapes onto your CD from the radio you could say that you are analogous to the timeshifting folks do with vidotaped tv programs (which is not illegal).

This person is right that the industry is changing, that the recording industry wants to maintain control, etc. And, yes, the industry needs to come up with new models to sell the product. Still, I can't quite figure out any reason why he shouldn't be fined or go to jail for theft.

Oh, many performers approve the recording and trading of their live performances. This is legal. What the pirate is doing is not no matter how broken the distribution model.

On a related note, the RIAA, better get busy making the changes to their business model. There are some things on the horizon that will make their lives even more interesting:
An international team set new Internet2 Land Speed Records using next generation Internet Protocols (IPv6) by achieving 983 megabits-per-second with a single IPv6 stream for more than an hour across a distance of 7,067 kilometers (more than 4,000 miles) from Geneva, Switzerland to Chicago, Ill. The record is comparative to transferring the equivalent of approximately one feature-length DVD-quality movie every 36 seconds, or more than 3,500 times faster than the typical home broadband connection.
36 seconds to download a movie!! Wahooooo!! Well, almost. It will be a while before many of us get true broadband at our homes (and I certainly don't consider the definition used above, 280 Kilobits-per-second, to be broadband).

Posted by Steve on June 26, 2003

It's not stealing, it's copyright infringement. You're a moron. If it was theft, people could be charged with theft, *but it's not*.

It's not even piracy. Piracy implies that the copyright infringement is done for profit.

Posted by b at June 27, 2003 6:43 PM

Anonymous 'b' (from u of oregon?) didn't agree.

I'm sure the "You're a moron." argument has been successful for b in many discussions.

"It's not stealing, it's copyright infringement"

Sure, Blackman, in the 1985 Dowling decision, said that the stolen property section of the criminal code did not apply. But that is simply a statutory interpretation. And, the 1997 'No Electronic Theft Act' corrected that shortcoming ( PUBLIC LAW 105-147 [H.R. 2265]) so it does appear that these folks could be prosecuted on criminal charges as well as civil.

But that was not my point. What these folks are doing walks, talks and smells like taking something that does not belong to them and making use of it. That sure seams like stealing to me no matter what the legal system says. So what is it about this aspect of copyright infringement that you do not consider stealing.

>"It's not even piracy. Piracy implies that the copyright infringement is done for profit."

Well, Merriam-Webster online tells us that one meaning of piracy is:

3 : the unauthorized use of another's production, invention, or conception especially in infringement of a copyright

Posted by Steve at June 28, 2003 3:17 PM

I like your points and thoughts about this subject. But do your really think file traders should be heavily fined and even jailed? Seems a like a good way to keep growing government, growing jails, and deminishing the common man.

Posted by Tatoe at June 28, 2003 9:37 PM
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