Sunday, December 6, 2009


Robert Farley has a nice review of Daniel Heller-Roazen's new book The Enemy of All, which is about the legal treatment of piracy. Sounds pretty interesting. Farley addresses a question that I've wondered about for some time:
I'm quite curious regarding how the term pirate came to be associated with violations of intellectual property law. Why are people who steal music "pirates," rather than "thieves?" I'm not a pirate when I steal a DVD from Wal*Mart, but I am when I download the same movie from the internet. I suspect that the answer is relatively straightforward; the internet resembles, in its lawless nature, the sea. Thieves operates in a space where law exists and can (at least theoretically) be enforced, while pirates operate outside the law.
Sounds about right to me. Although I fear the medieval justice that will be meted out to me when the feds discover the copy of Kim Wilde's "Kids in America" I downloaded in 2002.

1 comment:

JHB said...

You want to listen to The Muffs cover of it. Good stuff