Debate:Is the use of copyrighted photographs without permission stealing?

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Yes! Half the pictures on Conservapedia should be deleted!

No! Copyright law doesn't apply to us!

Unlike those godless liberals at Wikipedia, who delete any picture without copyright info. Czolgolz 15:18, 14 April 2007 (EDT)

liberals hate propery rights. Jimbo Wales is not a liberal though. Jaques 17:11, 14 April 2007 (EDT)

No, we just hate sweeping generalizations. Czolgolz 17:14, 14 April 2007 (EDT)


No, it is not "stealing," but it is copyright infringement which is against the law, and Conservapedia should not be engaged in it.

But it is not "stealing," because intellectual property is not like material property. It cannot be "stolen," because making a copy of it does not deprive the owner of the use of it. Nor is it stealing money from the owner, although in a loose sense the original owner may feel that way, because reducing someone else's earnings is not theft.

For example, suppose two gas stations catty-corner from each other both charge $2.69 a gallon and do equal amounts of business, and the station on the northeast cuts their price to $2.49 and takes away business from the station on the southwest, the owner of the station on the southwest may feel robbed, but he has not been robbed, or burglarized, or stolen from, because even if he uses the phrase "my customers," he does not own them.

This is still true even if the station on the northeast is violating the law (e.g. by using predatory pricing).

I make a point of this because in recent years, the music and movie industry has been using emotive words like "piracy" and "theft" in an effort to expand the scope of copyright protection far beyond that of what the Founding Fathers intended.

So, please, things by their right names. Copyright infringement, absolutely. Stealing, no. Dpbsmith 17:06, 14 April 2007 (EDT)

Your gas station metaphor does not hold up. Gas is not being stolen, just customers.

Say I got ahold of an advance copy of the new Harry Potter book and posted it online. Thousands of people download it and the publisher loses millions in royalties. Wouldn't I have stolen from them?

As a librarian, I'm very familiar with copyright laws. And Conservapedia is breaking them. Czolgolz 17:15, 14 April 2007 (EDT)

Related to this discussion is the fact that photographs of pre-existing works of art are not, in themselves, copyrightable. Though it could be argued that a compilation of such photographs as in a pictorial anthology or "coffee table" book could be copyrightable...but then unless you publish a significant portion of such a work it would likely fall under "fair use". Cite
Crackertalk 17:21, 14 April 2007 (EDT)


Yes, the distribution of copyrighted, except as fair use, and that is what Conservapedia is doing. Don't get me started about piracy, though. --Hacker(Write some code) 10:04, 15 April 2007 (EDT)