The unauthorized file-sharing of copyright material is not theft. File-sharing is a problem, and as a producer of intellectual property I have a vested interest in solving that problem. It’s just not the same problem as theft. By insisting that file-sharing and theft are one and the same, rights-holders are doing themselves a disservice, and undermining the legitimacy of their case.
New Zealand recently passed a law about file-sharing that puts some hefty penalties on copyright infringement, based on the premise that infringement is theft and theft must be punished. Arguments on this matter start from the same tired premise about cars and purses. To say that stealing a car is in any way the same as downloading a movie is absurd, and needs to be recognized as such.
Toward that end, my friends and I have created www.youwouldnt.co.nz, which explores the absurdity of these false comparisons. You can make your own ridiculous slogan, share it with friends, and browse other people’s witticisms. Wouldn’t you?