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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KLU9
Member since:
2006-12-06

Did your extensive research of legal references find even ONE case of someone who infringed copyright being charged with *theft*? Let alone being convicted of it?

Did it also reveal some immutable law of nature that rendered it impossible for grandstanding politicians to give a law whatever name they felt like? Just because a politician could name a law "Copying is Theft Law 2005" or "Internet Users Are All Paedophiles Whose Every Instance of Masturbation Kills Kittens Act 2011" doesn't make the words in the title a reality.

Reply Parent Score: 2

pantheraleo Member since:
2007-03-07

Did your extensive research of legal references find even ONE case of someone who infringed copyright being charged with *theft*? Let alone being convicted of it?


The most famous case is one I didn't even have to look up because it is very well known in software IP case law. I'm surprised you aren't aware of it.

United States of America v. Sergey Aleynikov, who was indicted and convicted of one count of theft of trade secrets, and one count of transportation of stolen property for stealing source code from Goldman Sachs for a high frequency trading system while he was an employee there. As you probably know, trade secrets are a form of intellectual property.

So now only is there legal precedent that taking intellectual property without permission is theft, but also that it is considered property which can be "transported" through an electronic medium. And that such transport can be considered transportation of stolen property.

Granted, in this case he stole the code with the intent of giving it to his new employer. So the prosecutors took it very seriously. But it is a legal example that taking IP without authorization is a form of theft, and that IP is also considered property, which if transported without authorization, is considered transportation of stolen property.

Edited 2011-06-10 22:35 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

KLU9 Member since:
2006-12-06

He took something in the possession of Goldman Sachs withOUT their permission or copied something in the possession of Goldman Sachs withOUT their permission.

When "Alice Filecopier" visits a warez site, she copies something in the possession of the warez site WITH the permission of the warez site.

Theft is taking something from someone's possession without their permission.

Copyright infringement is copying something covered by copyright without the permission of the copyright holder.

Are you suggesting that the US, UK and French govts are making these proposals on IP protection on the internet (and using the term "theft") to "close a loophole" through people like Aleynikov who take from someone's possession withOUT permission would otherwise escape?

Or is it about copyright infringement of movies, software, music etc?

It's less exciting for politicians and copyright holders to talk about "copyright infringment". But that's still what it is.

Reply Parent Score: 2