March 14, 2011

Philosophers' Carnival 122

The 122nd Philosophers' Carnival is now up at Icthus77, with a link to my post on bad footnotes. Also of interest this time is Michael Billy's post, "Is 'piracy' theft?". I am in broad agreement with Billy on this one, though I don't have time to lay out my thoughts in detail right now, but let me simply say that the distinction between piracy properly so-called, theft properly so-called, and copyright infringement is, to my mind, a very important one because it is my view that property is a natural right, whereas copyright and patent are only statutory rights. This is not to say that copyright infringement is not wrong; I think that, in general, it is. It is rather to say that the reason why copyright infringement is wrong is that we have a duty to obey the government, whereas the reason why genuine theft and piracy are wrong is that they violate the natural rights of others. As a result, it is my view that there could be circumstances that justify copyright/patent infringement (though, in my opinion, most of us do not frequently find ourselves in such circumstances), but there could not be circumstances which justified theft/piracy.

Posted by Kenny at March 14, 2011 9:13 AM
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