Re: Written-by-Bill-Gates BASIC Source Code - CP/M

This is a discussion on Re: Written-by-Bill-Gates BASIC Source Code - CP/M ; > Message-ID: Marc 'BlackJack' Rintsch wrote: > and office software. And copying something virtual is IMHO something > different than taking something physical away from someone. Before digit content, theft involved the removal of somebody's ability to use something. Stealing ...

+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: Re: Written-by-Bill-Gates BASIC Source Code

  1. Re: Written-by-Bill-Gates BASIC Source Code

    > Message-ID:

    Marc 'BlackJack' Rintsch wrote:
    > and office software. And copying something virtual is IMHO something
    > different than taking something physical away from someone.


    Before digit content, theft involved the removal of somebody's
    ability to use something. Stealing a book meant the previous owner
    could no longer use it. Stealing a car meant the previous owner
    could no longer use it. It's a large and difficult conceptual leap
    for an action that does not deprive an owner of the use of their
    possesion to be seen as theft. It's not like Star Trek where
    somebody "downloading the computer core" causes the original
    content to be erased. ("They've stolen the Doctor's program!!!")

    Additionally, Bill was entering into an already 30-odd year old
    environment of sharing around. "Here's some neat code, see if you
    find it useful", very much like "I've got an article in this
    month's journal, go one, read it".

    However, that "theft without loss" is still of an item that has
    required duration and effort to produce in the first place. While
    stealing a $1000 car requires $1000 to reproduce it, stealing a
    disk of software requires fractions of pennies to reproduce it, but
    the person who created the content in the first place still needs
    to pay for food.

    One thing I do stand firm on is misappropriation - replacing an
    author's name with your own. That to me /is/ theft, it is denying
    the original owner's authorship and denying their use of it. The
    equivalent of publishing somebody else's work under your own name
    or quoting work without referencing it.

    --
    J.G.Harston - jgh@arcade.demon.co.uk - mdfs.net/User/JGH
    05:10:36, 18-Nov-2008 - RISC OS time rolls over to &5000000000


  2. Re: Written-by-Bill-Gates BASIC Source Code

    Jonathan Graham Harston wrote:
    (snip)

    > Before digit content, theft involved the removal of somebody's
    > ability to use something. Stealing a book meant the previous owner
    > could no longer use it. Stealing a car meant the previous owner
    > could no longer use it. It's a large and difficult conceptual leap
    > for an action that does not deprive an owner of the use of their
    > possesion to be seen as theft. It's not like Star Trek where
    > somebody "downloading the computer core" causes the original
    > content to be erased. ("They've stolen the Doctor's program!!!")


    That, and also that until about that time hardware was expensive
    enough and (relatively limited) software was not so expensive that
    it made sense to include the software free with the hardware.

    At about the same time, mainframe prices were decreasing and
    software costs increasing such that the copyright of mainframe
    software became important. Note that there is no copyright
    on OS/360 and the early versions of OS/VS. It might be that
    there wasn't even legal support for it yet.

    Also, it seems that about the same time prices on audio
    recording equipment were coming down such that illegal
    copying of audio software became more significant.

    (As I understand it, illegal copying wasn't new but was
    relatively limited.)

    -- glen


+ Reply to Thread