Techdirt Founder Challenges GalleyCat Readers on Piracy Ethics

By Jason Boog Comment

techdirtlogo.pngTechdirt founder Mike Masnick wrote a short post about the GalleyCat comments section today, alleging that our readers offered “whole bunch of ridiculous strawman arguments” against downloading illegal copies of an eBook.

As we explained earlier this week, author Randy Cohen told a reader in his NY Times column that it was permissible to illegally download a copy of Under the Dome by Stephen King once they had purchased the hardcover edition of the book. Here is our initial post, our reader response post, and one author’s defense of Cohen.

Here’s an excerpt from the Techdirt post: “First of all, the situation he was discussing was one where the ebooks were not even available–so it wasn’t even a question of the author losing any money. And that’s the key point that Cohen is making, which seems lost on the people attacking him. Morality only really comes into play when there’s a question of who wins and who loses. When you need to make such a choice, that’s a moral question. If there are no losers, there’s no moral question to deal with. What Cohen is pointing out–quite accurately and ethically–is that in a scenario in which there is no loss, but only gain, then it cannot be seen as unethical.”