On 5/16/06, gwtmp01 / mac.com <gwtmp01 / mac.com> wrote:
>
> On May 16, 2006, at 12:06 PM, Peter Hickman wrote:
>
> > gwtmp01 / mac.com wrote:
> >> Are you arguing that the word 'theft' is reserved to describe the
> >> misappropriation of tangible goods and therefore doesn't apply to
> >> copyright infringement or are you trying to say that there is some
> >> ethical difference between the two situations?  I'm confused.
> >>
> >> Gary Wright
> >>
> > Theft: If I steal the shirt off your back you no longer have a shirt.
> > Copyright infringement: If I steal the design of the shirt on you
> > back you still have a shirt.
> >
> > There is a difference and the case law to support it.
>
> Yes, *I* know there is a difference but many of the posts here were
> ambiguous, at best, on this point.
>
> So we've clarified the terminology.  It still isn't clear to me if
> you (or others) are suggesting that the two are differently ethically.
>
>

As a preface, I own virtually every book published by the Prags, both
in dead tree and pdf. I do believe that there is a difference
ethically. All theft is not ethically the same:

- Auto theft for joy riding
- Stealing food to feed your family

Both of these are theft, but I have no problem saying that there is an
ethical difference.

Similarly, stealing a paper copy of a book (or a physical CD) is
ethically different (although to a smaller degree) from violating a
copyright as in the first case the producer has lost physical value
(there was a production cost in the first case).

Again different:

- A student copying the PDF
- A professional developer copying the PDF

--------------------------------------------
I am not saying any of these are "good," but there are certainly an
ethical differences.

pth