Fw: Query about GNU-GPL

Alfred M. Szmidt ams at kemisten.nu
Tue Mar 29 20:28:53 UTC 2005

   I take the view that if person A takes a copy of something B has
   without B's permission where B loses out as a result, that is

B didn't loose his copy of the code, hence no form of stealing
occured.  This is a example of copyright violation, not theft.  Theft
is when you loose the item that was stolen, you cannot loose your code
by making a illegal copy of it.

   And yes you can steal code.

No you cannot, just like you cannot steal ideas or other immaterial

   If I make some program which makes all computers go five times
   faster and someone else takes that without my permission and makes
   billions from it, that is in my mind and most people's minds

No, in most peoples mind that is a copyright violation, you didn't
loose your program that makes a computer go five times faster.  Theft
is when you loose something, here you didn't loose your copy of the
program.  Compare this with me taking your bike, you wouldn't be able
to use your bike anymore.

The whole idea of "stealing code" stems from companies who wish to
equate copying software with the immoral and unethical behaviour of
say stealing someones car or shoes.  In reality, there is nothing
unethical with copying code illegally--law does not state what is
unethical or unethical.

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