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Re: Stallman calls for an end to file sharing war

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Stallman calls for an end to file sharing war
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 2010 16:02:38 -0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Alexander Terekhov <> writes:

> Tim Smith wrote:
> [...]
>> Digital music, computers, and the internet have changed that. First of
>> all, copying is fast and easy. 
> Since shoplifting in a is
> certainly faster and easier than stealing in the pre-supermarket era,
> why not go 'total communist' and make food and household merchandise
> free as well?

When you can do shoplifting in the privacy of your home, we'll be at a
comparable situation.  When I buy fruit in a supermarket, nobody would
think of installing surveillance cameras on my ground in order to make
sure that I don't plant the seeds of the fruits I buy (actually,
companies like Monsanto did take samples on private property
<URL:> and would likely have
succeeded even in Supreme Court if there had been any indication that
the farmer in question had actually sprayed his fields with the killer
herbicide Roundup after getting his seed culture contaminated with
Monsanto's Roundup resilient seeds).

But Sony, for example, installed root kits on the computers of people
who bought music CDs from them in order to make sure that they would not
try copying the CDs.

And when we are talking the invasion of privacy because there are few
other ways of keeping laws upheld, the balance of rights is not as
simple to establish as with counter-shoplifting measures which are
strictly on the property of the seller.

That was one of the principal reasons for allowing private copies in a
number of legislations: the cost of prohibiting them effectively would
have been too high.

Shoplifting, in contrast, is reasonably containable with less invasion
of privacy ("May I look at your bag?" at cashier's point is somewhat
different from supermarket personnel breaking into your house and
checking your bags semi-regularly).

David Kastrup

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