There is a difference between reading the article and downloading a copy of the whole magazine. One is worse than the other.
Seems the exact same to me. Theft is theft. But your response below seems to contradict the one above:
You cut off the quote a little bit early there. So theft is theft, eh? Stealing a baby is equally as bad as stealing a pack of gum? Armed robbery is the same as pickpocketing?
I mean, an article is a thing, and a magazine is a thing, and "it really should not matter".
There is no contradiction in what I wrote.
Even though you haven't answered any question I've posed you yet, let me ask you this - do you consider it stealing to take the magazine off the rack and walk away with it without paying? If so, why? And what would be the purpose of taking the magazine and going home?
A digital copy CAN in fact be given. I send you the file. I have already read the book and paid for it, and gotten value from it. Should the fact that I no longer have possession be the legal deciding factor ? This idea is brought up so often, but rarely challenged. You might be right, I don't know. But it is not AUTOMATICALLY the deciding factor.
As far as I know, there is no law prohibiting me from making a copy of the book I purchased. I then use the copies for my own use. No one ever sees these pages but me. If I lend the real book to a friend to read, do I need to destroy my copy for the lending to be legal? If there is in fact a crime committed, is it me for keeping the copy, or for sending the real book to my friend. Is the friend a co conspirator in this theft automatically? Or only if he KNEW I had a copy of the book held back?
It breaks down like this: If I create something, and offer it for sale, and you buy it, I have been compensated for the thing you bought. It is now your possession. If on the other hand, you buy something from me and you copy it so that there are now two things, I have not been compensated for the second thing. If you keep it for yourself, as a backup, then it never sees the light of day except by you, then I do not need to be compensated for it.
If I build a car and sell it to you, you have paid for the car. If you give it to someone else, I was still paid for the car. If you copy the car and sell the copy, you have stolen my design.
This stuff is just so involved.... it has gone so quickly from physical possession, and society, and by extension, the law has not kept up.
It's not really that involved. You are hung up on the physicalness of a thing, but its existence in the virtual world counts just the same as existing in the actual world. Kids in school can bully other kids through facebook. Just because it happens digitally doesn't mean the other kid didn't get bullied.
And for those of us with so much faith in the general public to assent to a fair standard? We don't even give them credit for being able to play decent poker.
The last thing I expect from the general public is fairness. I expect them to mostly be like nawhead, where if he can get it and can't be caught, he'll take it.