Wesley David tackles the piracy issue

I think my article on software piracy touched a nerve with a lot of people.

I’ve been arguing my case with Philip Durbin since then on Google+. I’ve had almost innumerable conversations with people on twitter about it. And it apparently spurred Wesley David into writing a piece talking about the moral side of the issue. Interesting stuff.

And for the record, because A LOT of people have asked me about it, my definition of theft is straight out of Merriam-Webster.

I think if you read the article that I wrote, I never said anything about right vs wrong, or illegal vs legal, and that was on purpose. I have mixed feelings about all of it. It’s obviously wrong to take something of someone else’s without their permission. On the other hand, I don’t think that it’s necessarily wrong to do something that’s illegal if the law is in the wrong, either.

Slightly related is YCombinator’s recent Declaration of War on Hollywood. YCombinator wants to fund startups that will eventually eliminate Hollywood Studios.

Joel Spolsky recently wrote a piece on Google+ advocating legislation that causes the elimination of software patents and the rolling back of copyright protection. And this is from a guy who’s company makes copyrighted software.

Between you and me, I think there’s something going on, society-wise. As a group, we’re looking at things differently than we did, even two years ago. I’m not sure if all of the SOPA blackouts would have happened then. I don’t know if it changed with the Arab Spring or not, but it just feels like people are more cognizant of their ability to make change to the world around them. And I think that’s a great thing, and very promising.

  • “The unexamined life” and all. =)

    I wish there was a way we could channel those who pirate software to viable FOSS alternatives. That would be an interesting shift.