A perfect example of the New World Philosophy which states that there is no
right or wrong, and I can do anything that I want to, and you have no right
to tell me what is right or wrong, moral or immoral, ethical or unethical.
I mean gee whiz, sure I stole a fifty thousand dollars from Bill Gates or
some other billionaire, but he won't miss it, and he certainly won't ever
use it, so it must be OK then because I need it.
But gee whiz officer, I didn't hit anybody, and I am in a hurry, so why
should I have to stop at every one of those stop signs or only go 25 miles
per hour down this residential street, when I wasn't causing any problems by
I don't care how much you attempt to justify the situation, what's right is
right. and what's wrong is wrong.
Truth is truth, and it does not change or waiver to suit the needs of the
moment, or to justify ones actions, or excuse ones behavior, I don't care
how much you want to philosophize or wax eloquent.
Licensed Software that costs $8K a copy is a tangible asset as well as a
proprietary asset of the company that paid for it, and theft of a copy of
that asset is still theft, or actually it would be considered grand theft,
which in and of itself is an unlawful act in most jurisdictions,
notwithstanding any tort which would or would not be a civil action totally
separate from the criminal charges involved.
If you don't believe this, then steal a copy of Protel from a Government
Contractor's facility and see how fast the FBI locks you up and throws away
the key and then charges you with a Felony.
Ethically, you're justification simply does not map to reality.
That's like trying to say that you wouldn't have paid for a Cable TV
Subscription anyway, so the Cable Company didn't loose anything by your
using a Cable TV Descrambler to get free Cable TV.
That is exactly the same argument that you are stating below. Identical.
Well I've got news for you. In this State, it's not only theft (unlawful -
illegal), it's a Felony, punishable by imprisonment (not just a few days in
the local Jail, but a few years in State Prison).
Ethical? There is absolutely no question that it is unethical, and I would
bet that it would certainly be grounds for termination at just about every
company that ever bought a Protel license, if you were caught taking the CD
ROM and Access Codes home without permission.
Remember, we are not talking about a Protel licensee that allows his
employee to take a copy home and install it with his permission, or at his
request. We are talking about an employee taking a copy home and installing
it without asking.
It would be totally futile to attempt to argue any specific points with you
below, since you have already redefined both ethical and lawful behavior to
conform to your own standards of right or wrong, and to justify your own
world view, and if you can't even see or admit to that, there is nothing
that I can say or do that would make you see that or change your mind.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Abd ul-Rahman Lomax" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "Protel EDA Forum" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2003 8:29 PM
Subject: Re: [PEDA] License Legalities
> I'm reminded of an old story. A poor and hungry man walked by a
> street-vendor's stand, with cooking meat, it smelled delicious. He stood
> there inhaling the odor. The vendor demanded that he pay for the privilege
> of smelling the food. When no payment was forthcoming, the vendor called
> the police and insisted that he and the alleged odor-thief be taken before
> a judge.
> Before the judge, the vendor insisted that the poor man had deliberately
> enjoyed the odor of his food and had refused to pay for it.
> The judge thought about this for a bit, then he asked the poor man if he
> had any money. The reply was, "Just this coin." "Hand it to me, said the
> Then the judge asked the vendor to approach the bench. He held out the
> coin, but when the vendor reached to take it, the judge said, "No, I'm
> allowing you the smell of his money."
> Copyright is a statutory invention. There has been a major effort on the
> part of businesses which depend on copyrights to equate copyright
> with theft. It may be a tort, in some cases, but theft it is not. In theft
> a tangible is removed from the possession of its legitimate owner, the
> owner suffers a clear loss. With copyright violation, of the kind where
> someone uses software without permission or downloads a piece of music
> without payment or permission to the copyright owner, the owner has not
> lost anything; that is, the position of the owner is the same as if the
> violation had not occurred.
> However, Microsoft, the RIAA, et al, will claim that they have "lost" so
> many billions of dollars, basing this on the supposed lost revenue,
> generally calculated as if all those illegal users had paid for the
> software or music. But it is not at all clear that *anything* has been
> lost; in some cases it is quite possible that the income of the owner is
> greater because of the "theft." For example, the most often illegally used
> software is undoubtedly operating system software sold by Microsoft.
> Whenever a user buys another computer without an O/S and installs a
> previously-owned copy of Windows on it without deinstalling it from the
> user's previous computer, that's a license violation. But did Microsoft
> lose any money because of this? Sure, if the user went out and bought
> another copy of, say, Windows 2000, Microsoft would have made some more
> money. But the user who is likely to keep using a license like this is not
> so likely to buy another copy; rather, he or she might instead uninstall
> the system from the other computer, replacing it with, perhaps, an old
> of W98 from an even older computer that isn't going to be used. Or might
> simply junk the old system.
> Microsoft has changed the possibilities by its new multiple-installation
> prevention system in XP. In other words, Microsoft has made it impossible
> to "steal" XP like this. Now, has preventing this "theft" increased their
> income? I do wonder.... Certainly their income has not skyrocketed as it
> would have been predicted if the now-impossible "theft" were actually
> of income. My guess is that the sales of XP has been hurt by the new
> protection. How much, I don't know.
> It happened years ago that I used a copy of a Microsoft program, taken
> (with permission) from an employer's copy. That was certainly a copyright
> violation. But did Microsoft suffer a loss? Definitely, they gained. Why?
> Because when I wanted to upgrade, I bought the next revision, and the
> etc. Now, if I *hadn't* become familiar with the program, if I hadn't made
> that violating copy, what would I have done? I would *not* have gone out
> and bought the Microsoft program at the start. At the time, I couldn't
> afford it. I'd have made do with something else. And I'd probably have
> continued with something else.
> Now, as to the present occasion for all this verbage: as has been amply
> stated, there is a tendency to use the term "illegal" to refer to
> activities that might violate an explicit or implicit contract. It is a
> sloppy. Generally, it is not illegal, per se, to violate a contract.
> Rather, it is a tort, a harm. Because it may be possible to recover
> damages, we may speak of the action as illegal. But if there are no
> damages, if I am correct, normally there will be no recovery. Copyright
> violations may be an exception, but only because of the statutory
> peculiarities of copyright.
> But it's not copyright I'm discussing now, it is the right of the employer
> to (1) consent or withhold consent to the outside use of the program by
> employee, and (2) consent or withhold consent to moonlighting by the
> (We don't know that the employee is considering moonlighting, it is merely
> possible from what he wrote. He might only be employed part-time.)
> Clearly, the employer has those rights. However, if the employee does not
> give the employer those rights, if the employee, without permission, uses
> the licensed copy of Protel assigned to him for other work (presumably on
> his own time), if the employee takes on other work evenings and weekends,
> it's pretty unlikely that the employer, finding out, will be able to
> collect any damages, and definitely, even if there was an explicit
> provision prohibiting such behavior, the employee is not going to be
> criminally prosecuted. So I'd find it inappropriate to call the behavior
> "illegal." It might or might not be less than ethical. *In general* the
> best ethics would require that one obtain consent for both of these
> behaviors, but people face, sometimes, harsh realities that might militate
> against this. Neither behavior is a clear tort, the moonlighting being the
> most likely activity to be damaging; yet it is the employer's
> responsibility to monitor the on-the-job behavior of the employee. If the
> employee is performing the requirements of his job, that he might have
> better without the moonlighting is an intangible and speculative loss.
> Perhaps if he wasn't moonlighting, he'd be drinking in a bar, perhaps he'd
> be coming to work hung over. In other words, he might possibly be
> performing *better* because of the moonlighting. For one thing, he's
> to become a better designer, gaining experience and skill more rapidly. In
> other words, in some ways the employer might be *benefiting.*
> If I were in this man's shoes, I'd first think of asking permission. Only
> if I expected that permission would be denied *and* I badly needed the
> extra income would I consider going ahead without permission. And in this
> case I'd be looking for another job as soon as possible. I wouldn't want
> work any longer than necessary for someone who I expected would not
> consider my needs.
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