Los Angeles Times: Sharing or Stealing?

Los Angeles Times recenserar på sin ledarsida mina resonemang om fildelning, ägande och immateriella monopol.

In essence, Sigfrid is saying that something in unlimited supply can’t be stolen. His position is a variation on a theme advanced by Mike Masnick of Techdirt.com, among others: that the entertainment industry’s aggressive copyright-enforcement efforts spring from an outdated, analog-era notion of scarcity. Under this view, copyright holders are helped, not harmed, by file sharing and other online distribution pipelines; they just haven’t adapted their business models to take advantage of the new opportunities. Supporters of this view include musicians, authors and filmmakers who say that that file sharing helped bring the exposure they needed to sell their works.

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As Sigfrid noted, there’s a fundamental difference between intellectual property (copyrights, patents, trademarks) and real property (houses, cars, plasma TVs): The latter is tangible and limited in supply, the former is not. “Copyright infringement is not ‘theft’ in the same way that taking a CD from a store is theft,” said Mark Lemley, a copyright expert at Stanford University Law School. “If I take your physical property, I have it and you no longer do. If I copy your song, I have it, but so do you.”

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