File “sharing” or File “stealing”: the semantic debate continues

The LA Times: “The first salvo was fired by the original Napster, which defined itself as a file-sharing network. That won the semantic high ground by defining unauthorized downloading as “sharing,” not “copying” or “duplicating.” The implication was that users of these networks were merely being generous with something they possessed, not usurping the rights of copyright holders.

Record labels, music publishers and movie studios contend that copyrights are indeed property, entitled to the same protection as a home or a car. To counter the notion of “sharing,” they’ve advanced an equal powerful metaphor: downloading as theft.”

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