Re: On illegal software in an academic assignment ...

Subject: Re: On illegal software in an academic assignment ...
From: Michael Gogins (
Date: Sun Nov 13 2005 - 19:25:33 EST

You are right that my argument about law and ethics was strained.

However, I wasn't talking about the greatest good for the greatest number at
all. I was talking about society AS society, as a group of persons who
create rules to live by. Human beings are a social organism, and they are
conscious. Thus, human life is never without a sense of justice, preserved
or outraged. This is what I am talking about. Where is the justice in
copying someone's original work without their permission? If you ask me, in
our society we have much too little protection of copyright. We have made it
too easy for corporations to obtain copyright and it is very difficult to
get paid without a serious relationship with a music company. I have had
some music played on nationally syndicated radio and never saw a penny from
ASCAP with whom the music was registered. A lot of music just falls through
the cracks. I'm sure I'm far from alone.

About intellectual property, what do you make of the morality of copyright
and patent law, in the sense that it is supposed to foster innovation by
rewarding creators?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Owen Green" <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, November 13, 2005 6:40 PM
Subject: Re: On illegal software in an academic assignment ...

> Michael Gogins wrote:
>> I would tend to agree that copying for creative purposes should be
>> allowed -- up to the point where an impartial critic (assuming one can be
>> found) would say that the new piece is a "version" of the borrowed
>> piece -- but no further.
> Which is unmaintainable.
>> As for legality, if you think it is sometimes ethical to break laws, you
>> are wrong.
> There is no direct correspondance bewteen what is ethical and what is
> legal, to presume otherwise is to imagine that lawmakers and their
> interests reflect moral descisions of some sort - in the case of your
> argument, some variety of 'greatest good for the greatest number' ethics
> which I don't neccesarily subscribe to.
> Given that you have gone on to provide an example of where it /was/
> ethical to break a law, I'm not sure what you wish me to make of this line
> of reasoning. In certain places certain sexual acts between consenting
> adults are illegal - what is the ethical status of those acts in those
> places?

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