Paul Lachine

The Ethics of Internet Piracy

Last month, the US considered legislation that aimed at stopping Internet piracy. The measure went too far, and has been withdrawn, but, unless a workable solution is found, most creative people will need to earn a living doing something else, and we will all be the losers.

PRINCETON – Last year, I told a colleague that I would include Internet ethics in a course that I was teaching. She suggested that I read a recently published anthology on computer ethics – and attached the entire volume to the email.

Should I have refused to read a pirated book? Was I receiving stolen goods, as advocates of stricter laws against Internet piracy claim?

If I steal someone’s book the old-fashioned way, I have the book, and the original owner no longer does. I am better off, but she is worse off. When people use pirated books, the publisher and the author often are worse off – they lose earnings from selling the book.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To access our archive, please log in or register now and read two articles from our archive every month for free. For unlimited access to our archive, as well as to the unrivaled analysis of PS On Point, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/ANK0u99;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.