Nancy Kress was tipped off about a website offering unlicensed ebook versions of her novels, and decided to get in touch with the person in charge. It’s an interesting insight into the mindset of the ideologically-motivated (but nonetheless confused) content pirate:
… permit me to point out a fundamental error in your thinking:A text is not a physical object, so it cannot be stolen. Ownership of such an agglomeration of symbols (since ‘unity’ here is inapplicable) is an impossibility. The best you can do is _claim_ ownership – but anyone else can do that too. There is no legislation that can successfully govern the ether, thank heavens.I make my living, partly, as a librarian, but I don’t claim ownership of my catalogue. It is there – it exists, but it is not my property. If anything, it is everyone’s property – as are your texts.
Somehow the guy (I’m guessing it’s a guy, but I suppose it could be a a girl) has reinterpreted the economics of abundant digital goods via some sort of pseudo-mystical pantheistic gibberish, confusing the ownership of intangible goods with the right to be recognised as the creator of an original work (two very different things, in both philosophical and economic terms).
It’s almost as frustrating as hearing Creationists twisting the language of science to suit their own agenda… and just as corrosive to informed discussion of the real issues.