Saturday, February 12, 2011

Content "Piracy"

We regularly here that accessing content "illegally" is stealing. We really need to reevaluate this stance. While we have certainly "owned content" for the past several decades, this was not the historical norm. Prior to this, anyone could reprint just about anything, though the costs of doing so were the more limiting factor. Now, the duplication costs are effectively zero, so it is much harder to keep control.

One serious flaw in the argument is that stealing takes something from someone else. If I steal your phone, you don't have a phone. On the contrary, if I copy your mp3 file, you still have full access to your own. By this logic, if I hear you singing a new song I will have "stolen it" if I sing it myself.

This doesn't hold up to logic and I suspect that it will not hold up in the long term.

As with much of life, those arguing for the "new order" are not looking for the good of society, they are looking out for their own pocketbook. While this is to be expected, we should keep it in mind when deciding what is the right thing to do.

NOTE: I am not advocating the copying of material. I am just discussing the reasoning behind things.

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