Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 31st Aug 2010 22:09 UTC
Legal Despite doing what I think are some great things for the American people, the Obama administration has a dark side. Joe Biden and many others on staff come straight from the RIAA camp, and it shows. Today, the Obama administration disregarded every US law relating to theft and copyright by stating that piracy is "flat, unadulterated theft".
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nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

You are taking the hard work of others without paying for it.

Sneaking into a concert is also theft even though you didn't leave with anything material.

I could care less about what any president or court says. When you take the work of others without payment you are stealing. The fact that reproduction costs are nil is irrelevant. That's simply the nature of the product.

Edited 2010-09-01 08:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: -4

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Sneaking into a concert is also theft even though you didn't leave with anything material.


Sneaking into a concert is breaking and entering, not theft. If you stand outside ArenA stadium in Amsterdam during a concert, you can hear the music - without paying. Is that theft too?

If you'd walk past my house now, you could hear me playing The Velvet Underground's "Heroin". Is that theft too?

If I open my window while driving, people can hear me playing albums. Is that theft?

Edited 2010-09-01 08:26 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 11

Arawn Member since:
2005-07-13

Well, in the UK you can't even do that, it would be at least "copyright infringement":

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/7029...

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090202/0128383597.shtml

Bloody ridiculous!! ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

LighthouseJ Member since:
2009-06-18

The act of sneaking in the B&E is one thing, but recording a performance without permission is a different matter once you get inside. I'm thinking wiretapping-related laws in the US, YMMV in Netherlands.

Bands and other acts know that music will leak out from the venue, but you're paying to visually seeing the band up close (relative to your tickets), seeing the stage performance (lighting, etc...) and music in high quality, rather than hearing muffled sounds in the distance.

Edited 2010-09-01 12:21 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


Sneaking into a concert is breaking and entering, not theft.


Yes it is theft just like skipping out on a taxi cab or a massage session. Sneaking into a movie theater is also theft.

You're taking a service without paying for it.

Not sure why you were voted a 10. It's called theft of services and every Western country has a statute for it.


If you stand outside ArenA stadium in Amsterdam during a concert, you can hear the music - without paying. Is that theft too?


No because they are charging to get into the concert.

Do you really not see the difference?

Reply Parent Score: 1

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I could care less about what any president or court says


I could care less about what any scientist or astronaut says, the word is definitely flat.

You see, it's easy to believe your opinions as fact if you disregard what the professionals tell you. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Sneaking in to a concert doesn't involve any taking, so by your own definition it's not stealing.

You say that "When you take the work of others without payment you are stealing" bur this definition is obviously overly-broad: Many things are given away without payment and if I take them I am not stealing. I don't mean to be pedantic here but if you cannot even define theft in a way which doesn't trip over lawful actions that you probably agree with then how can it possibly be a correct definition? If you wish to dispute the legality of taking things without payment for which no payment was requested or desired then we can have a different discussion, but I will presume that you have the sense not to come out against libraries or free samples.

Stealing is when you have something and I take it FROM you. "Stealing" of information is a misnomer. In the USA theft is normally defined at the state level, so let's look at what California says about it (since we may presume that many recording artists and movie studios are based out of California).

California Penal Code § 484:

(a)Every person who shall feloniously steal, take, carry, lead, or drive away the personal property of another, or who shall fraudulently appropriate property which has been entrusted to him or her, or who shall knowingly and designedly, by any false or fraudulent representation or pretense, defraud any other person of money, labor or real or personal property, or who causes or procures others to report falsely of his or her wealth or mercantile character and by thus imposing upon any person, obtains credit and thereby fraudulently gets or obtains possession of money, or property or obtains the labor or service of another, is guilty of theft.


I have taken the liberty of placing in bold the relevant portions, as I understand it. The portions about fraudulent representation and pretense don't seem to apply to copyright infringement and look like they're intended to make cheating and conning fall under theft.

So far it looks like your definition is not very good, and my off-the-cuff definition is holding up. Dare we press on? The rest of section 484 concerns renting, leasing and card fraud so without objection I'll skip on a bit.

§ 485 is similarly unrelated to copyright infringement, dealing with lost property. § 486 and 487 divide theft into grand and petty and specifies what counts as grand theft. In all cases the language does not allow for non-physical items to be included.

§ 488:
Theft in other cases is petty theft.

So even if you're right then "piracy" is "petty theft."

§ 489 and 490 talk about punishment, prison terms and so forth. It also goes in to a few specifics which do not apply, including recording films in a movie theater. In this case it's clear that the crime is "interfering with and obstructing those attempting to carry on a lawful business" and not theft.

I could go on but by now I think my point stands:

Copyright infringement != theft.

Or, in other words, you're wrong.

Reply Parent Score: 6

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

I'll just note, to clarify, that the reason I mentioned petty theft is that the california code mostly defines grand theft as beginning at things valued $100 or $400, depending on the type of item. This suggests that multi-thousand dollar damages for "theft" of an MP3 would be inappropriate since an MP3 is not included in any of the things indicated as being grand theft.

Reply Parent Score: 3

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Sneaking in to a concert doesn't involve any taking, so by your own definition it's not stealing.


It's called theft of services, look it up. You took their time and effort without compensating them. It's theft.

It's just as much theft as going to a therapist for an hour and then skipping out on the bill. Just because there was no of transfer physical property does not mean that theft did not occur.


Many things are given away without payment and if I take them I am not stealing.


Yes some people give away things for free. Not sure how that negates anything I have said.


Copyright infringement != theft.

Or, in other words, you're wrong.


I already stated that my belief is based in principle, not law. By showing me a bunch of penal codes you only show that you missed the point.

Just because Cuba legalized theft when they seized private property does not mean that their actions were principled or that theft did not occur.

Piracy can be just as destructive to a producer as theft, or do you deny this?

You're taking the intellectual property of others without payment, and that is theft. I could care less about how some state classifies it. It's just as unprincipled as material theft.

My position is based on principle and as such you cannot tell me I am wrong. You can only disagree with me and explain why.

I don't make a moral distinction between theft of material property or intellectual property. Both can destroy a business and both involve taking without permission. I could care less about any legal distinction anymore than I care about legal distinctions between theft and larceny. It's all the same area of unethical activity: theft.

Reply Parent Score: 2

m_abs Member since:
2005-07-06

You are taking the hard work of others without paying for it.

No taken something implies that something has been removed. Illegal copying takes nothing.

When you take the work of others without payment you are stealing.

Good thing that illegal copying is not taking anything from anyone.

That's simply the nature of the product.

With the nature of the product theft is impossible, unless the medium it's stored on is stolen.

Reply Parent Score: 2