Copying Is Not Theft! A New T-Shirt From Techdirt

from the false-equivalency dept

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Support Techdirt & get a Copying Is Not Theft t-shirt, hoodie or mug!

We’ve said it a million times, even as the copyright industries continue to ignore it: copying is not theft. When you steal something, you take it away from someone else; when you copy something, the original is unharmed and nobody is deprived. We know most people here at Techdirt understand that message, and now you can shout it out with our new Copying Is Not Theft t-shirt and hoodie.

In addition to our usual offering of men’s and women’s t-shirts for $20 and hoodies for $35, we’re trying out some new products for this design. There are long-sleeve t-shirts and men’s and women’s v-necks for $22, and mugs for $14 (plus, like last time, stickers!) If any of these options prove popular we’ll strive to offer them with other designs in the future, so vote with your wallet.

One more thing: in the spirit of copying, we’re also making the artwork available as a vector SVG and a high-res PNG, just in case you want to print out a poster, make your own gear, remix it somehow, or anything else like that.

The Copying Is Not Theft gear is only available until Monday, September 5th so hurry up and order yours today!

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Comments on “Copying Is Not Theft! A New T-Shirt From Techdirt”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Copying Is Not Theft?

and besides the pro-IP shills around here are of very low IQ. I can model their posts and replies with a computer program and, heck, I can probably write a computer program that articulates itself better than they do. Half of them come off as not being able to speak English well and it’s not because they speak any other languages or because English is their second language.

It’s sometimes hard to distinguish their posts as being a product of low intellect or being a product of dishonesty. I think it’s both, they’re dishonest when they keep telling the same lies over and over and over knowing that they’re lies and they’re of low intellect for telling the most obvious lies and thinking that anyone will possibly believe such obvious nonsense especially when their nonsense has been repeatedly refuted over and over and over.

As others have pointed out it’s tiring, I guess their goal is to derail the entire discussion but it’s really not accomplishing much in their favor. If their intent is to convert people to their opinion it’s obviously not working.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Copying Is Not Theft?

When you keep telling the same lies over and over how do you expect anyone to take you seriously. You only present yourself as a dishonest liar which doesn’t look good for you or your position. Why should anyone take the moral opinion of a liar seriously? You obviously lack the moral standards to not lie so you think it’s morally acceptable to lie and I would say that telling lies is very widely regarded as generally being bad morally so if you think it’s OK to lie then you clearly have very low moral standards and so it’s hard to take anything you say seriously.

Not only that but it’s also hard to take anything you say seriously in general because anything you say might also be a lie. It would really really do your cause good if you at least made some effort to tell the truth. Plus your position in general gets regarded as being held by a bunch of selfish liars. IP extremists = liars. Doesn’t look good in defense of IP.

Bergman (profile) says:

Re: Copying Is Not Theft?

There are two components of theft — without both the act is not theft at all.

The first component is unlawfully acquiring something for yourself. The second component is denying the rightful owner the use of his/her own property.

Unlawful copying only fulfills one component and is therefore not theft, since the owner retains the full use of their property. A good example of the difference is downloading a copy of an unreleased movie is not theft but stealing the movie master and then making copies would be theft, since it would prevent the studio from publishing the movie.

Even if the act of copying denies the owner profits, it’s still not theft of those profits, since the money itself is not stolen. Potential earnings are just that — they do not exist yet.

If someone does not buy a copy of whatever from the owner, it might represent lost profits, but equally likely it might not — many people download illegal copies but would never spend money on a copy (or refuse to buy overpriced stuff). No one is entitled to make a profit.

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: um, strong message, weak graphic...

Unfortunately yes, the graphic doesn’t translate well to small thumbnails at all – but that wasn’t our primary concern. For the dotted outline to be clear at small sizes it would have to be made of huge blocky dots on the actual shirt, and that would look awful. And Teespring unfortunately doesn’t give the option to upload custom thumbnails.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It always astounds me how often TD seems to bring out the brilliance in some people. How individuals that might otherwise just make simple comments are instead inspired to create masterpieces of logic, near enough to make a professional debater break down in tears with the simplistic yet superbly thought out and articulated points.

The carefully crafted and presented arguments, each piece carefully constructed such that it rests on sound logic and evidence…

I salute your Sir or Madam for your most excellent contribution to the discourse on TD. It’s people like you that make this site great, and I can only hope that sterling examples of logic and maturity such as yourself continue to grace this site, illuminating it with the brilliance of your mind and what comes from it for many a year to come.

Anonymous Coward says:

Seems as if several persons, both at TD and elsewhere, fancy themselves as experts (or perhaps more accurately quasi-experts) in the law. #5 above was on the right track (with a few missteps), but those who presumed to educate him on the meaning of the term derailed completely.

Rather than drone on about how copying can in many, many instances comprise theft, it seems easier to simply cite the following and hope that others read it in an unbiased manner:

In matters of law things are seldom as simple as many of the authors and commenters here seem to believe is the case.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Awesome, so in those ‘many, many instances’ the charge brought (or that would be brought) is theft right? Not copyright infringement?

Theft, with it’s drastically lower penalties, requirement to show loss, punishment after a finding of guilt rather than before and after, where falsely accusing someone is likely to get the one making the accusation in trouble?

As opposed to copyright infringement with it’s insane penalties, no requirement to show any loss, punishment on nothing more than accusation and then further punishment if a finding of guilt is made, no penalties for bogus accusations…

Beyond the idea that it’s rather hard to ‘steal’ something when the original is still exactly where it was and nothing has been lost, but rather a new copy has been made(if you made a painting and I somehow make an exact copy did I steal your painting, or just copy it?), if you wouldn’t want it to be treated legally as theft, then stop trying to use loaded language by conflating copyright infringement with theft.

When I start to see the ‘copyright is theft!’ brigade start pushing to decrease the penalties of copyright infringement, bringing them more in line with the penalties for actual theft rather than constantly ratcheting them up, then I might start taking that argument seriously(likely not, but you’d certainly have better odds than you have now). Before then it’s just a blatantly obvious bit of dishonesty and an empty emotional appeal.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

By all means then, instead of just making a cheap dig at my layman’s level of law expertise, explain why the points I raised are wrong.

Explain away why copying can ‘comprise theft’, or even should be considered remotely similar despite not actually depriving the original owner of anything beyond a possible transaction, and despite the fact that copyright infringement and theft are treated as separate, non-interchangeable charges, with vastly different punishments and how they are treated under the law.

I can say ‘You’re wrong’ all day long too, but that accomplishes nothing unless I explain the reason behind it(which I attempted to do so in my comment), hence the lengthy comment rather than ‘oh look, another person dishonestly conflating the terms in a holier-than-thou attitude, just ignore them like all the others who do the same.’

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

He makes a passable case, but ultimately I’m still not buying it due to the massive difference in how the two are treated under the law, as well as the idea that you can ‘steal’ something without actually taking something away from someone not striking me as logical.

If I come up with an idea, say I write a book, and someone makes a direct copy or writes a fanfic/derivative, despite the fact that they may have infringed on the ‘rights’ copyright grants me(whether I want them or not), I’m not going to be thinking ‘They stole from me’, because to me at least stealing/theft requires that one person take something such that the other person no longer has it, which the act of making a copy would not qualify as.

When I start to see a general push by those putting forth the idea that copyright infringement is theft to actually treat the two the same, then I might take it seriously, but until then it just strikes me as an emotional plea without substance, trying to have the best of both worlds, the emotional impact of the label of ‘theft’, with the insane laws covering copyright infringement.

(While we’re on the subject might as well ask, since you clearly do think that copyright infringement is theft, do you think that the penalties and how the two charges are treated should match as well?)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Rather than drone on about how copying can in many, many instances comprise theft, it seems easier to simply cite the following and hope that others read it in an unbiased manner:

A blog article on a site dedicated to promoting the interests of the copyright industry. It even argues that violating the terms of a civil contract is “theft”.

Same old same old.

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