tactical said:Data can be physically stolen: If somebody steals my hard disc, they also
steal the data on it. I no longer have that data.
Using the word 'stolen' when referring to identities is, as far as I can
tell, a metaphor. It seems like a good metaphor to me, because in general
an identity has only one instance. If someone 'steals' my identity, I can
no longer use it, in general.
This metaphor doesn't work well when it comes to copyright violation,
however. If somebody downloads a computer game illegally, the manufacturer
of the computer hasn't lost the game. They still have it. The illegal
download was of a *copy* of the game.
So it's not theft or stealing -- it's copyright violation. (Note that I'm
certainly not arguing in favor of copyright violation. I'm arguing only
that we should use terms correctly.)
Of course that's theft. It involves money being taken away (from either
you or your bank, depending on the situation and one's perspective). Sure,
the *process* that leads to money being taken away might be complex and
technological, but the end result is the same: The rightful owner of the
cash has had her/his money taken away, with the end result being that they
no longer have it.
+1 (pet peeve)
Everyone NEEDS TO understand the concept of rivalry.
A piece of software is a non-rival good; in other words, "it may be
consumed by one consumer without preventing simultaneous consumption
The copyright cartels (the MAFIAA) are trying so very hard to
manufacture these artificial semantic shifts that it should
rightfully be considered propaganda.
cf. "piracy", "theft", "intellectual property",
"digital rights management"
There's a special place in Hell for these people.