Grumpy Old Wizard wrote: If you take something that does not belong to you without the owner's consent you are a thief.
Or the goverment.
The copyright infringement of software refers to several practices when done without the permission of the copyright holder:
*Creating a copy and selling it. This is the act most people refer to as software piracy.
*Creating a copy and giving it to someone else. This constitutes copyright infringement in most jurisdictions. In some countries, such as Israel, creating a copy is completely legal, as long as it was done from non-profit intentions.
*Creating a copy to serve as a backup. This is seen as a fundamental right of the software-buyer in some countries, e.g., Germany, Spain and Brazil.
*Renting the original software. Software licenses often try to restrict the usual right of a purchaser of a copyrighted work to let others borrow the work.
*Reselling the original software. Licenses often say that the buyer does not buy the software but instead pays for the right to use the software.
And some people might think that not sharing an unlimited resource that can be multiplied easily is wrong too.
One organization that campaigns against software copyright infringement refers to the practice as software theft. This would be seen as an inappropriate label by those who argue that the illegal copying of software is, and always has been, copyright infringement and that copyright theft implies that the legal copyright has been seized in some way.
Oh, and here's something about theft i found interesting:
Your definition of theft is wrong. The law sees copyright infringement as completely separate to theft. In some states it’s actually a tort, not a crime. Theft is wrongfully *taking* someone else’s property. That’s *take*, not “take into your possession”, which is a deliberately ambiguous phrase. When you steal something, you deprive the victim of it.
Copyright infringement violates an author’s exclusive rights over the reproduction of his/her work, whereas stealing is a violation of more fundamental laws of possession. Possession is a primal concept, one that even my dog understands. Copyright is a legal construct intended to provide an incentive to create.
And of course: http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html