||A comment by user "foon" has been deleted for violation of copyright held by user "PotatoError."
User "foon's" lugubrious original content is reproduced below:
Aren't you being redundant? As you have in the past associated yourself with "hacking" you are doubtless aware that there is no difference between copying the data on a compact disk to a file on your computer, and transferring that file to someone else, or copying that data onto another compact disk, and transferring that to someone else. Copyright law recognizes this equivalency. Of course you may further your semantic obfuscation by insisting on a particular definition of terms like "bootlegging" and "piracy" that conveniently excludes your chosen behavior -- I will choose, for clarity's sake, simply not to use these words, and substitute "copyright violation" or "theft". As for the distinction between civil and criminal law, I believe copyright violation has always been punishable by prison sentence and fines...I encourage you to report your behavior to the local police, and see how they feel about its legality.
This is exactly the sort of mistaken assumption that is leading to the erosion of morality in society today. You will argue that prices are dependent purely on human decision...that Bill Gates decides to charge $99.99 for the Windows XP Home Edition Upgrade simply on an arbitrary whim, and he could just as easily give it away for free, or charge a million dollars, and it would make no difference. I will not waste too much time explaining this to you, rather encouraging you to purchase a book on basics of economics. Suffice to say, however, that the price which a business can charge for a product is determined by a number of factors which are outside of the control of any individual, such as the cost of production and marketing, the level of demand for the product and the desire of consumers to purchase it, and the available supply (which is less of an issue with intellectual property, since it is not dependent on finite resources). A business will charge the price for a product which will result in the highest level of profit...not so low as to result in a loss, but not so high as to dissuade consumers from purchasing it. This does not mean that prices charged will always be the same. Consumers will not pay as much for a low-quality product such as Red Hat's Lunix operating system as they will for Microsoft Windows XP, hence Lunix cannot be sold for the same price as Windows XP without resulting in (even higher) losses for Red Hat. At the same time, the existence of alternatives forces Microsoft to keep the price charged for their products at a level proportional to the competition, or less demanding, low-end users will use Lunix instead despite its lower quality, due to the lower price. This process of buying and selling, and the sum of all of the forces which serve to set prices, is on a large scale what is called the market.
The entire function of intellectual property law is to make it a commodity. If it cannot be bought and sold, with a profit accruing to the content creator, there is no incentive to produce it, and the content producer will not be able to sustain their business. We must protect against unlawful copying of copyrighted materials, just as we must protect individual property from being taken by those with the greatest capacity for force, in order to allow markets to function. If you want a society which is based on force and lack of respect for individual ownership, you are expressing a clear preference for communism. I should think that any reasonable person should be able to see, based on the experience of the Soviet Union, Red China, and other communist countries, that this isn't desirable. Rather, the path to prosperity lies in protection of property rights, including intellectual property, and relaxed regulation which allow markets to operate for the benefit of all."
© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.