coachm - 5:53 pm on Feb 24, 2011 (gmt 0)
No one apart from a few people with money at stake think that copyright infringement is theft. Saying it is will not make it so. It is breaching a government mandated monopoly - morally equivalent to using Skype in a country where there is a monopoly telecoms company.
The sensible thing to do is to extract royalties where money changes hands: it is both fair and enforceable.
Really sad commentary, because you miss the point about copyright protection ENTIRELY. It's NEVER been about money. Copyright laws (yes, laws, which, btw, can be tried in federal US courts as felonies now) were created to stimulate the creation of intellectual property. The intent has nothing directly to do with money.
Why? Because if you do not allow writers/artists, etc to control what they create (and that's what copyright is for), then they simply won't be able to create. No new writers. Artists, etc. The few that hang in there you won't find or see because they won't have any marketing support.
But no worries because as Jaron Lanier and others are talking about, we are moving into an era when anybody's work is as good as anyone else's, and heck if you can't buy my work because I can't continue to write, there'll be 20 million blogs you can go to to get that same level of "expertise"?
Uh, no. We aren't all equal and copyright serves to protect and encourage the best and brightest (and perhaps the dimmest and stupidest) to continue to create.
Is infringement theft? Yes, and it's significant. The huge majority (>90%) of real authors (that's not bloggers or hacks) do not make enough money to support themselves via writing. Same for musicians, etc.
When you are close to not having food to eat, and you lose even 10% of your revenue because people steal your work rather than pay 5 or 10 bucks, that's it. You stop, take a job and move on.
We aren't talking about ripping off large companies here. When you steal a book from me, and distribute it, even if I lose ONE sale, that could cost me as much as 7 dollars on an ebook I wrote. Like I said. If I can't make enough money to justify my time creating quality stuff, I'll stop.