Sunday, June 17, 2007

I agree that it's a bit over the top to say that intellectual property theft is worse than "real" property theft. At the same time, I hardly think it's any better. The lack of violence may seem worth noting, but in reality there would likely be plenty of violence were one to try to break up the larger and more powerful Asian counterfeit rings. And, there are plenty of "real" property thefts that involve no violence at all.

The one thing that does make intellectual property very different, though, is the ease of it. It's trivial today to steal thousands of pieces of intellectual property, all without leaving the comfort of one's home, and just as trivial to distribute it to thousands--or millions--of other people. It's also relatively easy to do so anonymously; if one is careful, the chances of getting caught approach zero.

One can't say the same about "real" property.

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