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  #101  
Old 08-03-2019, 05:51 PM
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If listening to a song, being inspired by it, changing some of the notes, and then having your own musician play it is "disguised sampling", then literally every song ever written is "disguised sampling", and the term becomes synonymous with "composing".
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Old 08-03-2019, 06:00 PM
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What I want is to be more certain about what exactly is covered by those exclusive rights, and I don’t want them extended to the basic building blocks of music.
Of course, but nobody's doing that. Nor it would be possible.

In this particular case, a jury, who aren't drooling morons, really, heard from experts from both sides explaining to them whether there was enough similarities or not between the two works, similarities beyond the six note riff, and that the quality of the work taken was enough to be a case of copyright infringement.
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Old 08-03-2019, 06:01 PM
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If listening to a song, being inspired by it, changing some of the notes, and then having your own musician play it is "disguised sampling", then literally every song ever written is "disguised sampling", and the term becomes synonymous with "composing".
You believe that every song is somebody taking another song and changing a few notes?
  #104  
Old 08-03-2019, 06:04 PM
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If listening to a song, being inspired by it, changing some of the notes, and then having your own musician play it is "disguised sampling", then literally every song ever written is "disguised sampling", and the term becomes synonymous with "composing".


No, this isn't true or accurate.

Nor could you say that every book ever written is just someone changing some of the letters and words of pre-existing books.
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Old 08-03-2019, 06:10 PM
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Yes, of course. Show me any two songs, and I'll show you just which notes the later one changed from the former.
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Old 08-03-2019, 06:17 PM
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After you've shown people this and they've told you that your argument is entirely unconvincing, then what will you say?
  #107  
Old 08-03-2019, 06:19 PM
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Yes, of course. Show me any two songs, and I'll show you just which notes the later one changed from the former.
Cool. Let's see... A Horse With No Name, by America, and C Jam Blues, by Duke Ellington.
  #108  
Old 08-03-2019, 07:29 PM
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But there is way more than just the riff. There's the guys going, "Hey! Hey! hey!", there's the "Y'all know what it is", there's the line said in a sudden pitch drop, and I'm sure that an expert can find a lot more similarities.
Background vocals saying "Hey!" as vocal percussion underneath rap is just not noteworthy. It's like saying there's drums in both songs, and that's another similarity that suggests copying. And rappers opening a song with a phrase like "Y'all know what it is" or similar is also just something a lot of them do. There's no reason to think those elements in Dark Horse came specifically from Joyful Noise. I don't even know how you can possibly think "a line with a sudden pitch drop" is something of note.

What you need to constitute evidence of copying is some reasonably unique combination of commonplace things that is copied. But you haven't got that. If the three elements you're pointing to were related to each other in some way, or formed some part of the structure of both songs, then you might have something. What you have besides the similar riffs, effectively, is that both songs use some of the same embellishments. Those embellishments are commonplace, not related to each other within the individual songs, and are no more evidence of copying than two songs both having a trumpet flourish, or both having doo-wap backing vocals.

Really, the only remotely compelling bit is the similar riffs. And yes, they are similar, and they play similar roles in the songs. The similarity of the riffs is far and away the strongest argument. But it's still really, really weak, because it's a simple riff that anyone might write simply by tapping a key on a piano a few times and then the one just to the left of it a couple times. Because that's all the riff is.
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Old 08-03-2019, 07:53 PM
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I might also add that the argument from those other elements is so weak that the plaintiffs didn't even raise it in court. They relied solely on the similar riffs.
  #110  
Old 08-03-2019, 09:24 PM
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Background vocals saying "Hey!" as vocal percussion underneath rap is just not noteworthy. It's like saying there's drums in both songs, and that's another similarity that suggests copying. And rappers opening a song with a phrase like "Y'all know what it is" or similar is also just something a lot of them do. There's no reason to think those elements in Dark Horse came specifically from Joyful Noise. I don't even know how you can possibly think "a line with a sudden pitch drop" is something of note.

What you need to constitute evidence of copying is some reasonably unique combination of commonplace things that is copied. But you haven't got that. If the three elements you're pointing to were related to each other in some way, or formed some part of the structure of both songs, then you might have something. What you have besides the similar riffs, effectively, is that both songs use some of the same embellishments. Those embellishments are commonplace, not related to each other within the individual songs, and are no more evidence of copying than two songs both having a trumpet flourish, or both having doo-wap backing vocals.

Really, the only remotely compelling bit is the similar riffs. And yes, they are similar, and they play similar roles in the songs. The similarity of the riffs is far and away the strongest argument. But it's still really, really weak, because it's a simple riff that anyone might write simply by tapping a key on a piano a few times and then the one just to the left of it a couple times. Because that's all the riff is.
The bolded part is what the court saw. You even write about it: "it's just the similar riff and the similar 'embellishments' done in a similar way with similar timing… but it's not the same, just similar."
  #111  
Old 08-03-2019, 09:29 PM
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The bolded part is what the court saw. You even write about it: "it's just the similar riff and the similar 'embellishments' done in a similar way with similar timing… but it's not the same, just similar."
And it was a bad decision, just like the Blurred Line decision. The degree of similarity that is forming the basis of these decisions would entail that the vast majority of songs are violating the copyright of some song or other. Non-expert juries make bad decisions when technical subject matter is in play far too frequently.
  #112  
Old 08-03-2019, 09:36 PM
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The bolded part is what the court saw. You even write about it: "it's just the similar riff and the similar 'embellishments' done in a similar way with similar timing… but it's not the same, just similar."
Also, I did not say anything like what you are pretending to quote me as saying here. One riff and a couple embellishments when the structure, melody, lyrics, chord progressions, etc of the songs are entirely different, is what I'm asserting. The timing is not similar except in so far as they're both 4/4, as are a vast majority of pop songs. However, I didn't mention the timing.
  #113  
Old 08-04-2019, 02:01 AM
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Background vocals saying "Hey!" as vocal percussion underneath rap is just not noteworthy. It's like saying there's drums in both songs, and that's another similarity that suggests copying. And rappers opening a song with a phrase like "Y'all know what it is" or similar is also just something a lot of them do. There's no reason to think those elements in Dark Horse came specifically from Joyful Noise. I don't even know how you can possibly think "a line with a sudden pitch drop" is something of note. .
I'm sorry, but you're being dishonest here. Sure, plenty of rap songs have vocal percussion... but not all of them. Just some. And no element needs to come specifically from Joyful Noise... just be common between the two songs.

Whether that was raised during the trial or not, I don't know. As far as I know what was said during the trial is not public.
  #114  
Old 08-04-2019, 02:15 AM
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I'm sorry, but you're being dishonest here. Sure, plenty of rap songs have vocal percussion... but not all of them. Just some. And no element needs to come specifically from Joyful Noise... just be common between the two songs.

Whether that was raised during the trial or not, I don't know. As far as I know what was said during the trial is not public.
How am I being dishonest? What I'm saying is that vocal percussion is a common element in rap songs (and plenty of other modern pop), and this means the fact that it appears in both Joyful Noise and Dark Horse does not indicate that the latter copied the former. All it means is that it's a common element of rap, just like trumpets are a common element of mariachi. If two mariachi songs had identical trumpet flourishes in otherwise unrelated songs, we wouldn't take that to be one copying the other. We'd just take that to be mariachi bands doing what mariachi bands do. There are only so many trumpet flourishes that will fit in a given song, and sometimes it's going to be the same one as in another song.

And of course it must come specifically from Joyful Noise in order to be Dark Horse to be copying Joyful Noise. What do you even mean by this? Dark Horse could have taken the common elements between it and Joyful Noise from a third source, and it would still be copying Joyful Noise? That's just a bizarre thing to say.
  #115  
Old 08-04-2019, 02:23 AM
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HAll it means is that it's a common element of rap, just like trumpets are a common element of mariachi. If two mariachi songs had identical trumpet flourishes in otherwise unrelated songs, we wouldn't take that to be one copying the other.
Again, almost all modern music includes drums. Almost (probably all) Mariachi music includes trumpets.

Not all rap songs include vocal percussion. Plenty, sure, not all.
  #116  
Old 08-04-2019, 02:41 AM
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Again, almost all modern music includes drums. Almost (probably all) Mariachi music includes trumpets.

Not all rap songs include vocal percussion. Plenty, sure, not all.
And? How is this supposed to show that the "Hey!" shouts in Dark Horse are evidence of a connection to Joyful Noise? I honestly have no idea what you think your point is here.
  #117  
Old 08-04-2019, 03:15 AM
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And? How is this supposed to show that the "Hey!" shouts in Dark Horse are evidence of a connection to Joyful Noise? I honestly have no idea what you think your point is here.
By themselves they wouldn't. Just like a single note by itself is not evidence of infringement. The problem comes when you start piling the coincidences up.

If every song, or even just every rap song had similar 'hey' shouts, the coincidence would be irrelevant. It's not the case.
  #118  
Old 08-04-2019, 05:59 AM
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In a world of infinite musical possibilities, the chances of those three elements coinciding would be 1.0, as high as it is possible for a chance to get.
Don't you mean zero, as low as it's possible for a chance to get?
  #119  
Old 08-04-2019, 10:09 AM
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By themselves they wouldn't. Just like a single note by itself is not evidence of infringement. The problem comes when you start piling the coincidences up.

If every song, or even just every rap song had similar 'hey' shouts, the coincidence would be irrelevant. It's not the case.
Except it's not a coincidence of note. It's just both songs using common musical elements of rap.
  #120  
Old 08-04-2019, 10:14 AM
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Except it's not a coincidence of note. It's just both songs using common musical elements of rap.
Sure. There's a similar riff? Nothing to it. Coincidences happen.

'Hey!' vocal percussion? Plenty songs do that.

"Y'all know what it is"? At least a dozen songs start the same.

"There's no going back" with a sudden pitch drop? Pfff. I could name you several songs doing that too.

So, tell me. At what point would you start considering something a bit too coincidental?
  #121  
Old 08-04-2019, 11:29 AM
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Sure. There's a similar riff? Nothing to it. Coincidences happen.

'Hey!' vocal percussion? Plenty songs do that.

"Y'all know what it is"? At least a dozen songs start the same.

"There's no going back" with a sudden pitch drop? Pfff. I could name you several songs doing that too.

So, tell me. At what point would you start considering something a bit too coincidental?
I've said. If they were related to each other in some way, rather than just being random elements scattered about.
  #122  
Old 08-04-2019, 11:29 AM
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Sure. There's a similar riff? Nothing to it. Coincidences happen.

'Hey!' vocal percussion? Plenty songs do that.

"Y'all know what it is"? At least a dozen songs start the same.

"There's no going back" with a sudden pitch drop? Pfff. I could name you several songs doing that too.

So, tell me. At what point would you start considering something a bit too coincidental?
It doesn’t matter whether it’s coincidental or not. You are allowed to reuse the common elements of a musical genre. There wouldn’t be any such thing as a genre if you couldn’t. To make a song in a genre you are intentionally using elements common to that genre. The point isn’t whether it’s coincidental or intentional. The point is that no one can own a genre.
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  #123  
Old 08-04-2019, 11:51 AM
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It doesn’t matter whether it’s coincidental or not. You are allowed to reuse the common elements of a musical genre. There wouldn’t be any such thing as a genre if you couldn’t. To make a song in a genre you are intentionally using elements common to that genre. The point isn’t whether it’s coincidental or intentional. The point is that no one can own a genre.
To be fair, I think Go_Arachnid_Laser is arguing not that the coincidence in minor elements violates copyright, but that it is evidence that Dark Horse is intentionally copying the synth riff, and that would violate copyright.
  #124  
Old 08-04-2019, 12:21 PM
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To be fair, I think Go_Arachnid_Laser is arguing not that the coincidence in minor elements violates copyright, but that it is evidence that Dark Horse is intentionally copying the synth riff, and that would violate copyright.
But that only infringes a copyright if that synth riff by itself is protectable expression. That's what I'm trying to get folks to see here—we never reach the question of whether actual copying took place if we can't specifically answer the question of what exactly about the plaintiff's work is protectable?
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  #125  
Old 08-04-2019, 12:32 PM
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But that only infringes a copyright if that synth riff by itself is protectable expression. That's what I'm trying to get folks to see here—we never reach the question of whether actual copying took place if we can't specifically answer the question of what exactly about the plaintiff's work is protectable?
I don't disagree, but it would seem that the courts do. Between this and Blurred Lines, and numerous cases being settled in spite of likely being without legal merit, it seems like it's becoming part of the cost of being a pop star to pay off random people claiming that you've ripped off their obscure song that you've never heard in your life.
  #126  
Old 08-04-2019, 01:19 PM
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OK, I knew there was something nagging me about this case, and I've finally picked out what it is: The six notes in common between these two songs are, in fact, the first six notes of "Jolly Old St. Nicholas". So just who was copying riffs, here?
  #127  
Old 08-05-2019, 05:47 PM
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OK, I knew there was something nagging me about this case, and I've finally picked out what it is: The six notes in common between these two songs are, in fact, the first six notes of "Jolly Old St. Nicholas". So just who was copying riffs, here?
It’s a lot more than just that. Take a look at this analysis

https://youtu.be/0ytoUuO-qvg

These songs are not similar enough to support infringement.

And what is similar about them isn’t original. It’s just common musical elements.

This musicologist totally snowjobbed the jury.

Congress should really take away jury trials in technical cases like this.
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  #128  
Old 08-05-2019, 06:28 PM
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OK, I knew there was something nagging me about this case, and I've finally picked out what it is: The six notes in common between these two songs are, in fact, the first six notes of "Jolly Old St. Nicholas". So just who was copying riffs, here?
You just realized this, out of the blue? It just came to you in a flash?
  #129  
Old 08-06-2019, 09:56 PM
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Right. So if you, for instance, made a song, and some rapper or EDM Dj took a riff from it and made another song with it, without giving you any credit, let alone any part of the royalties, you would be fine with that.
If what they took was equivalent to what Perry et al "took"? I'd be perfectly fine with that. I mean it all depends on how much they've taken or sampled. Bits and pieces? No problem. Bigger slices? I might want a small share of the credits. Really big pieces would mean a bigger share.

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Sasmpling is theft; this was settled in the late '80s/early '90s. In most cases that are settled
We need to reopen this discussion. The law has gone too far here. We could never get a masterpiece like Paul's Boutique today with the current laws. It's at the point where it hampers creativity.

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That's a terrible metric to use to determine whether or not something is okay; would you like a list of things that were or have been going on for hundreds or thousands of years that are objectionable today?
Not really, no. I think it's been a great thing that this has been happening for thousands of years. It's a good thing.

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Go dig up Greg Ham and ask him about that kind of thing.
Don't really care what Greg Ham thinks. Or would've thought.
  #130  
Old 08-06-2019, 10:20 PM
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We need to reopen this discussion. The law has gone too far here. We could never get a masterpiece like Paul's Boutique today with the current laws. It's at the point where it hampers creativity.
It only hampers the creativity of people who want to steal other people's copyrighted creative works. There's more music being made today than ever before, just less of the kind where thieves profit quite as much as you'd like.

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  #131  
Old 08-07-2019, 03:06 AM
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We need to reopen this discussion. The law has gone too far here. We could never get a masterpiece like Paul's Boutique today with the current laws. It's at the point where it hampers creativity.
I don't think that the laws themselves changed. All the samples the Dust Brothers used were legally cleared. What has changed are the industry rates.
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:11 AM
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But here we have someone who, by that standard, stole someone else's work, who is then suing yet another person for stealing from them. If you're upset with Katy Perry selling a song she didn't write, then you should be even more upset with Marcus Grey suing over a song he didn't write.

The fact is, there are only so many possible six-note sequences, and there are an awful lot of songs. If sharing six notes is too much, then it's impossible to write any new songs at all.
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:30 AM
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If sharing six notes is too much, then it's impossible to write any new songs at all.
Which is clearly not the case.
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:46 AM
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The fact is, there are only so many possible six-note sequences, and there are an awful lot of songs. If sharing six notes is too much, then it's impossible to write any new songs at all.
There's more to a tune than it being a bunch of notes strung together. They have to have a rhythm, a tempo, a pitch and so on. That allows you to play really complex melodies with a couple of notes.
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:49 AM
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And so clearly sharing six notes isn't too much.
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:55 AM
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And so clearly sharing six notes isn't too much.
Of course not. That wasn't the ruling at all, to begin with.
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Old 08-07-2019, 01:28 PM
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Why let facts stand in the way of an argument, tho, amirite?
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:02 PM
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Why let facts stand in the way of an argument, tho, amirite?
Says the man who thinks copyright infringement is theft.
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:30 PM
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Of course not. That wasn't the ruling at all, to begin with.
The "ruling" as such was a verdict of liability for infringement by a jury. Jury verdicts usually don't offer a very good guide to what the actual standards and principles of the law are.

And if you look at the Adam Neely video I linked to before, it's pretty damn clear that the plaintiff's claimed work wasn't original, not by a long shot.

All this shows that these kinds of decisions should be matters of law for experts, not juries, do determine.
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:43 PM
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And if you look at the Adam Neely video I linked to before, it's pretty damn clear that the plaintiff's claimed work wasn't original, not by a long shot.
I think that he proves that other works actually have the same notes. But as I said, there's more to a tune than just the notes. Which means that Jolly Old Saint Nicholas actually sounds nothing like Dark Horse.
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:27 PM
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I don't think that the laws themselves changed. All the samples the Dust Brothers used were legally cleared. What has changed are the industry rates.
Whatever has changed, it's hampering creativity. This is not a good thing. And these types of rulings are awful.
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:37 PM
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Whatever has changed, it's hampering creativity. This is not a good thing. And these types of rulings are awful.
No, it isn't and no, they aren't.
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:40 PM
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Says the man who thinks copyright infringement is theft.
Because it is theft. The unauthorized use of someone else's protected intellectual property is a type of theft, just like the unauthorized use of someone else's real property would be theft.
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
Because it is theft. The unauthorized use of someone else's protected intellectual property is a type of theft, just like the unauthorized use of someone else's real property would be theft.
False. Your statement is wrong legally, morally and linguistically. Your use of the phrase "real property" explains exactly why.
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:20 AM
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Regardless of whether copyright infringement is or is not wrong, it's certainly not the same wrong as theft. If someone steals my wallet, then I don't have a wallet any more. If someone infringes my copyright on a work of art, I do still have my work of art.
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