Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 22nd May 2012 09:51 UTC
In the News "Over half of PC users worldwide have admitted to using pirate software last year, according to a study by the trade group Business Software Alliance. BSA's ninth annual Global Software Piracy Study has shown a sharp increase in software piracy, especially among emerging economies. In the UK, more than one in four programs users installed in 2011 were unlicensed." If people decide en masse not to adhere to a law, said law is worth about as much as the paper it's written on. Laws become functional not because of the Queen's signature, but because the people decide to adhere to it. It's becoming ever clearer that as far as digital goods go, the law is not functional - for better or worse.
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RE: Comment by Alex Hitech
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 22nd May 2012 11:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by Alex Hitech"
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Overall, laws are good. If they don't suit, they can be changed - in legal ways. But while a law is in action, citizens absolutely must adhere to it.

This is a flawed assumption, because it is based on the premise that the people can change laws. The reality of the matter is that they cannot. Not everybody is created equal in a democracy, and we see this every day - companies with large amounts of money and experience in Washington/The Hague/Brussels/etc. wield far more influence than the people do, to the point of the people's power being negligible.

The most powerful tool of the people when it comes to influence is to simply ignore bad laws. It happened with soft drugs in The Netherlands, it happened with segregation in the US, it happened with gay rights in The Netherlands, and god knows how many other things.

This ability to ignore laws is the most powerful tool the people has at its disposal. Claiming the people must always adhere to a law just because it is a law is a very dangerous and scary thought indeed.

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