Originally Posted by Man Eating Duck
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
I don't disagree that Semantics are important. I don't disagree that "screaming" muddies the argument--but I do get very, very sick and tired of the semantic distinction that 'copyright infringement' is somehow significantly different than theft. And, yes, thank you, I've read the SC Case, and pretty much all the other relevant cases on the issue, back to the earliest. My entire point was: a) the DWA statistics are not, as more-than-implied, grossly overstated, unless the "pirates" and casual (what, infringers?) deliberately overstated how much they're infringing, and b) "copyright infringement" is, from my perspective, no different than "breach of contract." Both things sound like "Not Theft
." My explanation was to demonstrate that one may call it anything you like: but the end result is still that money my company rightfully earned was removed from my pocket. Now, to me, it's bloody hair-splitting to limit the "theft" part to someone physically dipping their hand in my pocket AFTER I've put the money there versus simply not paying me in the first place. The end result is precisely the same
, and continuing to use decriminalized terms simply makes it more acceptable than it already is. Using the terms of "pirate" and (yes, legally-acceptable) "copyright infringement" is, to my mind, nothing more than a form of misdirection and verbal prestidigitation. In this matter, as in few others, the Court has made the use of proper semantics MORE muddying, not less.
And, FWIW, @cybmole did say: "PS I maybe need some mental re-programming, but 50 years of reading books for free, via public libraries, makes it hard to grasp that e-books should be paid for
, especially as they are now also slowly making their way into libraries worldwide. " (underline
emphasis added), which I think clearly imputed a discussion about whether or not copyrighted books should
be paid for.
In my opinion, I'm not "deliberately misusing terms." I'm trying to get people to actually think
about what a casual term like "copyright infringement" means, when it applies to real live people, with real live incomes and real live consequences. I think my own business is a perfect parallel; legally, nobody "stole" from me, under any definition in any statute. Just like "copyright infringement" isn't theft
under the law, but has precisely the same consequence and outcome, to the person being stolen FROM. I don't see what's wrong with trying to draw an illustrative parallel, when I rather explicitly stated
that that was precisely what I was doing. I wouldn't insult the members of MR by thinking that they actually misunderstood what I said.
Done now. I have ZERO interest in discussing this further, as the problem is never going to be resolved, or even agreed upon, particularly here.