Which am I? In another section of BS, some posters insisted that I'm a thief when I mentioned that I've downloaded some cracked game software (eyes stray to the advertisement on the left) from a peer to peer network rather than paying actual currency for it. Although I admit to breaking intelectual property laws and violating copyrights, I don't think I'm a thief. The difference is kind of important to me, because I don't want to be a thief, but I think it's ok to violate laws I don't agree with. Morally ok, that is. A thief might run into a store and steal a physical copy of the software, depriving the store of that object. A bootlegger like me just copies the software. The store has a copy and I have a copy. No deprivation. That's not stealing, it's sharing. Also, I make no attempt to profit of my copy, such as trying to sell it to other people. I do offer to let other people copy my copy, but I don't charge money for it. Most of the people I meet on p2p networks file share because they want free stuff. However there are a few like me who are very interested in the politics and morality of intelectual property rights. Most of us share without guilt for one or more reasons: We want to destroy the record, publishing, software and motion picture industries. We have good reasons for this, but I don't want to rant so I won't go into the details. We don't think copyright laws are viable in the digital age. A popular analagy is the horse manure laws extant in the horse and buggy era. Using copyright laws to regulate file sharing is kind of like using horse manure laws to regulate car exhaust. Just doesn't work. Copyright laws violate free speech ideals, are detrimental to art and culture and infringe on the smooth working of a free market economy. I could cover a lot more ground, but I'll stop there for now. I know my ideas are in the minority, but I've put some thought into the issue and am pretty confident that I'm on solid ground. I'm curious to hear other and opposing ideas, though. Are intelectual property right laws logically valid? Are they enforceable? What's the future of industries that rely on them (very bleak I think)? and of course...Am I a thief?