Possibilities for commercial software?

David Schlesinger David.Schlesinger at palmsource.com
Fri Jan 26 20:11:55 CET 2007

On 1/26/07 10:33 AM, "Dave Crossland" <dave at lab6.com> wrote:
> The original point was: It doesn't make sense to equate copying
> digital information with stealing physical objects.

No...? If you were to come into possession tomorrow of a copy of the
yet-to-be-published seventh Harry Potter book, and you reposted it on the
web, would _that_ be equivalent to stealing a physical object? Or would it
be _worse_?

> Of course, if you have an agreement not to copy, it is wrong to break
> that agreement. But it is more wrong to not share with your friends.
> Most people have an intuitive understanding of this, and share
> unauthorised copies.

So, if I've paid $500 for a media asset management package, it's "more
wrong" for me to tell a friend, "I'm sorry, you have to buy your own copy"
than it is for me to steal $500 from the author of the package, is that what
you're saying?

> The agreement not to copy is based on copyright law, and this was
> originally created to benefit the public when they could not make
> their own copies. Now that we can make our own copies, a law
> prohibiting copying does not benefit us, so we break it. Most people
> have an intuitive understanding of this.

What? How did copyright law _ever_ "benefit the public when they could not
make their own copies"? Uncontrolled copying would have "benefited the
public" by making more copies available, and more cheaply, but at a cost of
bankruptng authors who would never get paid for illegitimate copies.
Copyright law has _always_ been about protecting authors, i.e. creators,
from the undesirable economics effects of uncontrolled copying of their
work. Period.

Your statements on copyright law are completely contrary to actual fact.

> How can we escape this moral dilemma, where we are being unethical
> with either choice?

How is respecting an author's wishes regarding his own work "unethical"?

To quote Inigo Montoya in "The Princess Bride", "You keep using that word,
but I do not think it means what you think it does."

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