12 Feb '12, 10pm

The ethics of Internet piracy

Last year, I told a colleague that I would include Internet ethics in a course that I was teaching. She suggested that I read a recently published anthology on computer ethics - and attached the entire volume to the email. Should I have refused to read a pirated book? Was I receiving stolen goods, as advocates of stricter laws against Internet piracy claim? If I steal someone's book the old-fashioned way, I have the book, and the original owner no longer does. I am better off, but she is worse off. When people use pirated books, the publisher and the author often are worse off - they lose earnings from selling the book. But, if my colleague had not sent me the book, I would have borrowed the copy in my university's library. I saved myself the time needed to do that and it seems that no one was worse off. In fact, others benefited from my choice as well: The book remained o...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/Commentary/EDC120213-0000020/T...

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