disponibile anche in italiano

The misleading concept of “piracy”
Attachment to the ALCEI statement
Civil rights and ambiguity of crime “prevention”
January 24, 2004
(extract from In memory of Peter Blake)

Pirates aren’t just a memory of the past. They exist today (and not only in remote places.)  They are not romantic heroes. They are brutal criminals, ruthless murderers. To use the definition “pirate” in any other context isn’t just an abuse of language (and a insult to victims.)  It’s deliberately misleading.

People cracking into networks or databases may be doing so just to show off their technical skill or for more mischievous purposes. Their behavior, in any case, is reproachable. But that has nothing to do with murder or armed robbery at sea.

It makes no sense to call someone a “pirate” just because he or she is using a piece of software, or listening to music, without paying fees to some greedy provider of technology or entertainment. It can be debatable if doing so is a violation of a valid contract. But in any case it’s nonsensical that it be treated legally as a crime (in some countries, including Italy, penalties are almost as severe as those for murder.)

Back to Civil rights and ambiguity of crime “prevention”

Gandalf homepage