Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 9th Jun 2011 18:51 UTC
Internet & Networking It's official now. The signs had been there for a while now. While the west bangs on about the importance of freedom and democracy, they don't actually want anyone to have too much of it. The US, France, and the UK have jointly pretty much declared war on freedom on the web.
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What is stolen is something of value to me. Because you are depriving me of the ability to make money off of my own creations.

But someone who does IP infringement is not depriving you from the ability to make money off your creations. You can still make them, people can still buy them.

What that someone is doing is acting as if he had, like you, the right to distribute copies of your product, and thus to distribute copies of your product too. Which is the very definition of counterfeiting, at least where I live.

Btw, what would you call illegally downloading copyrighted content then?

Counterfeiting. You make a copy of the protected content, as if you were its owner, except you're not.

Surely you would not call it "piracy", since the definition piracy is theft on the high seas. So if you call it piracy, you've not only engaged in another semantic error by your own logic. But you've also created a circular definition. So if it's not theft, and it's not piracy, what would you call it?

Counterfeiting, or IP infringement. You're right that piracy is a terrible word for this, using it in the context of intellectual property violation is stupid and confusing. Thanks for pointing it out, I really have to use it less.

I'm really not going to continue this semantic argument with you. The law clearly states that copyright infringement is a form of theft. So quite frankly, you are the one that is semantically wrong here.

Where I live, law describes it as a form of counterfeiting, which is different from theft, is treated by different laws, and is subject to different punishments. That could be where the confusion comes from. In that case, it seems we've reached a dead-end, since what each of us calls "the law" is a different object which handles the same matters in different ways.

The legal definition of theft does NOT require that original physical property be taken. It really is that simple.

Again, here the definition of theft is... "Taking, appropriating itself something that is someone else's property through tricks or force"

EDIT : For the legalese version, I'll try to translate it roughly...

"Any publication of written, musical, sketched, painted, or otherwise partly or fully printed or etched document, in violation of laws and regulations concerning the authors' property, is counterfeiting, and counterfeiting is a misdemeanour.

Counterfeiting in France such matters, be they edited in France or abroad, is punished by a three years jail sentence and a fine of 300 000 euros.
Is also counterfeiting any reproduction or diffusion, by any mean, of a creation of the spirit in violation of the author's rights as defined and regulated by the law."

(Some specifics about software and cinema follow)

Edited 2011-06-10 17:58 UTC

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