September 2nd, 2011


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Thought of the day: piracy

Piracy is not theft. Theft removes the original. Piracy makes a copy. The only legitimate law piracy actually breaks is copyright infringement, and even then, only the people distributing pirated copies should be liable. There is no legitimate reason to go after the downloaders. They didn't touch the original, they merely accepted a copy. Whether they knew it was a copy or not is irrelevant. When a writer's work is plagiarized, only the plagiarist is prosecuted, not the people who read the copies. So it should be with music and movie piracy.

Also, the "you wouldn't download a car, would you?" ad is stupid beyond belief. I dare you to find a single human being who would honestly answer "No" to that question. You won't find one. The only thing that might keep someone from downloading a copy of a car is being caught at a crime. If they think they can get away with it, they will try. The only thing keeping honest people from pirating a car is fear of getting caught. With music and movies, the only way to get caught downloading is to be stupid enough to admit it online or in public IRL.

You know, of course, why they have that seemingly absurd ad? It's because of 3D printers. Once someone inevitably figures out how to 3D print an object more complex than a molded plastic sculpture, once 3D printers crack into the realm of Star Trek-esque replicators, piracy of solid objects people will actually want to pirate will become a reality. You will, someday, be able to pirate not just music but the design to "print out" a music player. You'd have to pay for the elements that make up the device, though, at least until fabbers (fabrication devices) with recycling units become available. Once you can buy a fabber with a recycler, you can toss any old garbage (literally) into that machine and make ANYTHING from garbage. You may even be able to make FOOD from garbage some day.

Oh yes. It's starting with the music industry, and the movie industry, but all those companies that make products, they're all terrified. You may never be able to print out an entire car, but they're still terrified of what you *would* be able to print up.

Crossposted from