OK well yes, let me be fair: I'm not saying I freak out every time anyone colloquially uses the term "stealing" in such a way. To a certain degree I think it's fine (and I do love the quote about how "great artists steal" after all). But, a couple of important caveats:
Firstly, I do think it's important to fight against the colloquial usage when it comes to lots of instances of copying. There has been a decades-long campaign to hammer the idea into people's heads that your rights in a creative work are no different from property, but that's by no means natural or the norm. For many people in human history, in fact, it would have been considered generally ridiculous to say someone "stole your idea" or "stole your song". And now in the internet era, I think it's more important than ever for our culture as a whole to start absorbing the idea that copying is its own unique thing, sometimes good and sometimes bad, but distinct and not just a form of stealing.
Secondly, however, the primary thing we are rebutting when we say "copying is not theft" is not just casual usage of the term stealing (and so perhaps I was a bit unfair when summarizing above) but firm, clear and unambiguous assertions that they are the same thing. We see those all the time. "Copying an artist's work is exactly like breaking into their house and robbing them"; "copyright infringement is like snatching someone's purse"; "copying is exactly the same as stealing, the fact that it happens online makes no difference, it's theft plain and simple"; etc. etc. etc.
Copying may not literally be theft, but it's still immoral. And in certain cases, it should be rightfully attacked as a crime (not "theft") in and of itself.
I strongly disagree with the idea that copying is in and of itself an immoral act - but yes, we are definitely not saying that all forms of copying are positive or that there should never be any remedy. However, even in those situations where copying is done in extreme bad faith such as your example, it remains true that it's not theft. While the small artist has my sympathy, and my support in turning the situation to their advantage if possible, and maybe even my support in seeking some sort of legal remedy (though this depends strongly on the details), they should not be saying "Hot Topic stole my artwork" any more than a record label should be saying "you stole our songs".
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.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Look, on the screen! It's a commentor, it's a visitor, it's...
You have to stop putting things in such childlike, simplistic terms.
You want examples of Techdirt speaking out against bad regulation? Go see our positions on: every copyright bill of the past 10 years, every free trade agreement of the past 10 years, Europe's Right To Be Forgotten and other data protection and privacy regulations, many bills in the US such as the Cloud Computing Act, internet regulatory efforts in China and Russia and India and countless other countries, state-level attempts to regulate VOIP, etc, etc, etc. Go read our long roster of posts exposing and criticizing about regulatory capture or the revolving door between government and industry.
Criticizing bad regulations makes up a gigantic portion of what we do here.
The FCC's net neutrality regulations are virtually the only example of a tech-related government regulation we support, because we felt they were an effective solution and potentially the only workable solution at the time to a very real problem.
WHAT are you talking about? When have we ever "trashed free market principles"? We've long advocated for the power of the free market - especially in the realm of technological innovation. Is this entirely because we supported the FCC's net neutrality regulations? Get over it dude.
Again, you're pointlessly treating it as inseparable. It might be your opinion that in order to be critical of the RIAA, one must also oppose regulation in all its forms - but that sounds like simplistic nonsense to me.