[LINK] Copyright Infringement as Stealing: Pfft!

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Tue Oct 28 07:01:42 EST 2008


"Identity theft" is a meaningless contrivance. "Fraud" provides a more
accurate description of both the activity and its impact.

Scott's point is very important, because the extension of concepts of
physical property to intangibles involves very significant infringements
into other intangibles such as freedom and liberty. In one direction,
the copyright stazi would like to see you buy one copy of a recording
for every device you own, would like to prevent anybody from carrying
books or recordings across borders without their franchise, and happily
revoke rights over stuff you thought you owned. In the other direction,
people selling physical property - stuff you thought you really owned -
are increasingly looking to borrow copyright-style licensing to prevent
any and all forms of tinkering.

Now. As to your appeal to people who have "had their identity 'stolen'".
If someone defrauds me, I remain who I am - admittedly poorer, and
definitely seeking redress. As with copyright, I suspect that the
emergence of the expression "identity theft" has been picked up by
corporate spin-doctors because it shifts the emphasis towards victims
and perpetrators, and away from the weak security that enables the fraud.

So my contention is that both "copyright as property" and "identity
theft" are, among other things, tools of vested interests, and should be
avoided, given that more accurate descriptions exist for both.

Richard C

Scott Howard wrote:
> So, by definition, "identity theft" doesn't exist either?  I'm sure all of
> those that have had their identity "stolen" will be glad to hear that!
>   Scott.
> On Mon, Oct 27, 2008 at 4:01 AM, Brendan Scott
> <brendansweb at optusnet.com.au>wrote:
>> Copyright Infringement as Stealing: Pfft!
>> http://brendanscott.wordpress.com/2008/10/27/copyright-infringement-as-stealing-pfft/
>> Summary
>> Infringement does not appear to fit the meaning of stealing or theft
>> because an infringement does not involve either a taking or a deprivation.
>>  Further, intangible rights seem almost impossible to steal by definition.
>>  To use the infringement-as-stealing meme demonstrates something of a lack
>> of respect for language and consequently a lack of respect for the people to
>> whom you are speaking.
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