To Copy is not To Steal

It seems humans mostly agree that stealing is Not Good. The problem, like with many things, is the definition.

Is it stealing if someone takes something from a deceased person? How long does something have to be left alone before it is considered abandoned?

Of course the most interesting and relevant today is the idea that a creator owns their creation, no matter the form.

What about the creation of ideas, such as books or music? If they own it, why should copyright or patents exist? Shouldn’t they hold the rights to it in perpetuity?

As my dad says, there are always two sides to a story.

A view not often mentioned is that stealing is wrong because it deprives the owner of the object. Copying mp3’s doesn’t deprive anyone of any actual payment, only the possibility of payment. How can someone own a possibility?

The legal structure of intangible property will eventually dissolve into nothingness.


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