Possibilities for commercial software?

David Schlesinger David.Schlesinger at palmsource.com
Fri Jan 26 18:11:42 CET 2007

>But copying isn't stealing.

Sure it is, or at least it can be. Make a hundred copies of Stephen King's latest book and try to give them all away in front of your local major bookstore. See whether you get charged with something like theft (or infringement of copyright, which is tantamount to theft...)

>If I shoplift some food from my local
>store, no one else can buy it. But when I copy software, no one loses
>it and another person gets it. There's no ethical problem.

Um, wow.

There's no ethical problem, perhaps, as long as the author's agreed that you can give away copies of his work. Otherwise, there's a very large ethical problem, which you seem to be inexplicably unaware of, somehow.

If it's not the author's wish that the software be freely copy-able, which is certainly a desire the author's quite entitled to have, you simply have no right whatsoever to make (i.e. "publish") copies of a copyrighted work and give them away. It's illegal. I'm astounded that breaking the law this way presents no "ethical problem" for you.

If you copy software (music, books, other media, etc.) without permission of the author, there most certainly _is_ an ethical problem: you're stealing the possibility of selling a properly paid-for copy from the author.

Or do you believe that it's "unethical" for an author to a) want to be paid for his work and/or b) be able to set the terms under which his work is made available...?

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