Originally Posted by Hitch
Anyone who wants to argue with me that it's not THEFT is welcome to try. Cute semantic argument if you're not the one who has to pay the salary of the guys making the books. But, hey? So what if that guy HAD lost his job? It's not THEFT, right? Noooooooo, it's just "breach of contract," and it's a victimless crime, just like copyright infringement. Nobody gets hurt, right?
People will rationalize ANYTHING. And now, I really am done on this topic, because I know that my belief that copyright infringement = theft is not a popular one on this particular set of forums, and people will continue to tell themselves that they are not thieves for so long as it's not their money.
For what it's worth, I make my livelihood working at an academic publishing house, producing books, and have done so since Jan. -99. No-one in the thread is arguing that copying copyrighted books for free is OK. In our case, university students are poor, and will go a long way in order to not pay money, and yes, some of them will steal our textbooks from the bookstore. Many more will spend hours scanning and printing textbooks, or distributing digital files among their classmates. The reason why I have a problem with your copying=theft statement is that it's incorrect and misleading: ... the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that infringement does not easily equate with theft
. Seriously, read that.
Semantics are actually important, words have meanings. "Theft" is a loaded term, originally introduced by big content in order to elicit an emotional responce. Theft is a term "everyone" is familiar with, infringement is not. If you call it theft and John Doe feels that you're spouting nonsense, you have a problem. No, it's not OK. No, it's not theft. In a lot of cases it's more serious, according to law, than simple theft. In most people's opinion it's not equal to theft.
That last point is important, because you muddle the point seriously when you scream (yes, you used some capitals there...) theft. The points you raise are serious, but you actually damage our case when you deliberately misuse terms. People need to learn that infringing by copying books is bad (which they might not think too much about), not that it's theft (which they rightly feel it isn't, even the USSC, for instance, hasn't changed its stance on this).
If you want to argue this further I suggest that you start a new thread in an appropriate forum (General Discussion, maybe?). Feel free to drop me a PM if you do.
Now, let's give this a rest here and let the original poster have his thread back in case he wondered more about feasible ways of adding DRM