Alastair’s Place

Software development, Cocoa, Objective-C, life. Stuff like that.

Is It Time to Rename "Digital Piracy"

Stephen J. Dubner (via DF) asks whether it’s time to start calling “digital piracy” something else.

John Gruber suggests “bootlegging”, but quite frankly we don’t need a new word.

The term “piracy” has been used for literally hundreds of years (certainly as far back as the 18th century) to describe copyright infringement, and was enthusiastically adopted by the software piracy groups during the 1980s. I and I am sure many others remember seeing material put out by software pirates that was festooned in Jolly Roger flags and other symbols of piracy on the high seas.

This idea that it is somehow unacceptable and that it doesn’t mean what well-established historical references quite clearly show that it does mean is just ignorant revisionism of the worst kind.