ergophobe - 5:53 pm on Feb 27, 2013 (gmt 0)
The problem with this is always rooted in the nature of digital media.
No, digital media just makes it easy. I work with a publisher who before the internet ever came along, built a spreadsheet to look at the correlation between falling photocopy prices and falling sales of his very expensive books.
With ready availability of copying equipment, his publishing house took a major hit and that has only accelerated as other pressures come to bear on publishers.
The impact of this, whether matrix_jan wants to accept it or not, is that this publisher is probably going out of business and the specialty books that he publishes will too. Thirty years ago this was the flagship publisher for a major area of scholarship and nobody is filling that void.
Because people "who couldn't afford it" were helping themselves to his intellectual property, that work is now becoming unavailable to everyone, whether they can afford it or not. That is the reality of this.
If their business model doesn't work the way they want, then they should fix it rather than making people to use it.
Well yes, it is a losing battle for most. But to go back to my publisher, it was a business model that worked for nearly 100 years and many people's lives depend on that business and it is not a model than can adapt easily. So of course you have to expect people to try to apply existing law to protect their livelihood.
If suddenly hotels found out that people were sharing room codes (not stealing rooms mind you, just sharing the entry codes), they would try to find ways to stop it. That's what's happening here. It may not be possible. Probably isn't possible and most of these business do need new business models.
But admitting that is not the same as saying that because laws are hard to enforce they are no longer applicable.
stealing is very different from sharing
Yes it is. And libel is very different from slander. And assault is very different from battery. That doesn't mean that as an individual in a society I can choose to observe the laws on slander and battery, but choose to ignore the laws on libel and assault because I have some contorted justification about how those laws are wrong.