Is it a civil or criminal offence?
Civil. In the UK at least.
My blog The road to recovery - thoughts during the journey, on my battle with depression and mental health in general.
Done to death in this thread http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...517634&page=38
Except it isn't by any definition which is why if I walk into a store and walk out with a product without paying the police are called but if I pirate something and I am caught then the police do not come knocking, the usual response is a civil lawsuit. In fact the only time online piracy results in criminal prosecution historically is when it is done on a commercial scale.
I can't believe people have trouble with this rather basic and simple concept. As I have already established I believe in this thread (yet am continuously forced to repeat) is it also theft to lend a book of someone? The only difference is you've downloaded it. I have numerous books in my posession that I did not purchase but were given and that means I'll never pay for them. Someone else has paid for them but I have not so apparently I have stolen. If I record something on VHS, or from the radio in days gone by, theft? I think not. It is arbitrarily and nonsensical to label it as theft and has never been so, the only difference is in the scale. Ive borrowed games many times off people who've paid for them, that makes me a thief? Ridiculous.
There are many utilitarian arguements for discouraging mass utilisation of file sharing and the harm to the industries but from a philosophical or more importantly LEGAL aspect then no it is not theft.
I'm going to say this with all the humility I can summon up, I'm the greatest trial lawyer that has ever lived. I can't be beat.
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