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August 18th, 2019, 02:27
Well, I’m definitely not walking a line between physical and virtual – I’m stating they are categorically different. I think when considering the matter, the question of degrees of seriousness is important, as is the distinction between not paying a licence fee vs stealing a piece of property – such that the owner no longer possesses it and you possess it instead. The law certainly makes those distinctions.

I would rate something like downloading a piece of software for which you cannot legitimately purchase a licence as slightly naughty – akin to parking in a spot where you didn’t buy a permit, because there was nowhere else to park. We shouldn’t really do it, but I wouldn’t feel too terrible about it, nor judge anyone else very harshly for it. I consider that pirating a game which is available and you could afford to buy to be a shitty thing to do, and socially irresponsible. And then, in a much more serious category, stealing an old lady’s purse is morally reprehensible and deserving of serious consequences.

I wonder how many people here have ever pirated something. They are all, including me, a bit naughty, but if they are wracked with shame because they are as bad as thieves that robbed an old lady’s shopping money, the media industry has succeeded in seriously confusing them.
"I cannot define the real problem, therefore I suspect there's no real problem, but I'm not sure there's no real problem."
Richard Feynman
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