Who are the pirates?

DHAKA, Bangladesh

Should people who illegally copy software onto their computer (probably because it's so outlandishly priced) be called 'pirates'? Is it fair to liken people who attack ships at high seas to those who make copies of digital products, though it's against the law? Or is illegal copying of software "infringement of illegal property and unethical, crimal and

immoral" anyway?
It's the essence of what came up that says it all. And here's only a little flavour of one of the discussions.

It veered around a contentious issue: should people who illegally copy software onto their computer (probably because it's so outlandishly priced) be called 'pirates'?

Is it fair to liken people who attack ships at high seas to those who make copies of digital products, though it's against the law?

And what happens when so many people undertake such an activity? "It's no longer a crime. It's a rebellion," argued one participant. If the governments could have their way, then even making photocopies would be illegal activity.

Lawyer Rishi Chawla agreed with the proposition that the illegal copying of software was an "infringement of illegal property and unethical, crimal and immoral".

One participant argued: "Let's go back to history and see who were the pirates. They were people lawfully authorised by *their* governments to go out to the high seas, and attack vessels belonging to others."

But a lady participant added: "Nobody condones the breaking of a law. But which is more immoral: the illegal copying itself or people who develop software and sell it at an outrageously inflated price, so that nobody in this part of the world can afford it?

Fouad "People Call Me The Free Software Foundation ">FOSS

Mullah" Bajwa said of the Free Software movement: "We have our copyrights too. But these are different. They are meant to protect the freedom of the software (not block sharing)."

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