25 February 2007

Eric speaks!

One of my favoruite authors, Eric Flint, has written an interesting essay:

To give an example, most shoplifters do not steal in order to resell at a profit. They steal for their own use — but it’s worth the risk to them because they eliminate the cost of paying for the stolen item. The thief’s equivalent of the old saw, “a penny saved is a penny earned.”

And that’s what drives most — not all — electronic copyright infringement. People do not generally “pirate” an electronic text in order to sell it for a profit. They do it in order to get the text itself, for their own use.

There is one major exception to this rule. But that involves people who can operate openly on a mass production scale in countries which do not enforce international intellectual property rights. And the only thing I’ll say about that here is that all the arguments advanced by DRM advocates are silly when you’re dealing with this one (and only) instance of mass-scale piracy. For the obvious reason that the only conceivable way to enforce the law is to somehow cajole or coerce the authorities in a foreign country to do it. You might or might not be able to do that, but if you can it certainly won’t be due to DRM laws which are such a burden to the population in countries which do respect intellectual property rights.

Eric’s a good writer and is not fond of mincing words. (-:

I’ve really enjoyed his “1632” series, done in sort-of collaboration with a host of other writers — some of them very good neophytes — & also including the ever-talented David Weber.

When you finish his from-the-hip essay, read a few of his books from that library. Discover book addiction afresh!

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