On Mar 23, 2007, at 10:00 AM, Chad Perrin wrote:

> The author is not "entitled" to a sale: if you don't want to buy it,
> you don't have to.  I'm not depriving him of a sale if I receive a  
> copy
> for free: doing so in no way prevents me from purchasing, and the sale
> is not something he possessed anyway.  All I am doing is, arguably,
> reducing the likelihood of generating some small portion of revenue in
> some statistically measured fashion, maybe, in accordance with his
> chosen business model.

I believe you are conflating two separate arguments to try to justify  
your point.

No the author is not entitled to a sale.

However, the author _is_ entitled, if they so wish, to ask for  
payment when someone takes possession of their book.

Copyright is the basis of the open source movement: it is the claim  
of copyright that allows the owner to insist on a particular license:  
"I own the copyright, and I'll grant you a license under the  
following terms."

Respect for copyright is an essential part of what we all do.

Similarly, the copyright owner of a book has the right to set the  
terms under which you use that work.

So, the correct phrasing of your initial sentence would be "I can't  
be forced to buy something." But, if the author has made it a  
condition that you _do_ buy it before using it, then you really  
should buy it before using it.

Earlier, you said you were in favor of free markets. Most economists  
believe that property rights is one of the key underpinnings of such  
a system: if you have no property rights, you can't transfer that  
capital, and you can't use it as collateral when raising funds. de  
Soto has a great book on the subject, explaining why weak property  
rights cause great inefficiencies in developing economies.

Using copyrighted works and ignoring the terms of use is probably not  
theft. But that doesn't make it morally right.


Regards


Dave Thomas