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Sharing != Stealing

Anonymous post from Bill Gates’s “Piracy” Confession

Stealing is bad. Why is that? When I was a child, my parents explained it to me very clearly. Stealing is bad, because if you steal another kid’s toy, that other kid cannot play with it any more. Stealing means taking people’s property away from them. And that is exactly why it is bad.

Copyright infringement is NOT stealing. It is like not paying your taxes, or not paying the money the mafia demands from you so they won’t burn down your house. It’s still up for debate which of the two it is, but calling it “theft” is just propaganda.

If two people can profit from something that used to belong to only one person, without anything being taken away from the first person, that is called “sharing”. Sharing is good. Your parents probably taught you that.

Theft is evil. Sharing is good. If you promise to stop referring to copyright infringement as “theft”, I will stop referring to it as “sharing”, and maybe there can be a fair debate then.