Yes, Copying Deprives the Owner of Property

Devlin Hartline gets it right in this blogpost about the meaning of property:

”…the Second Circuit nails it: Copying someone’s files does indeed deprive the owner of his property”

”It is a common mistake for laymen to think that the word “property” refers only to tangible things. Lawyers, however, use the word “property” to refer to the rights an owner holds against others vis-à-vis a given thing, whether that thing is tangible or not.”

”As the Second Circuit noted, while copying the defendant’s hard drives did not deprive him of possession, it was nevertheless a deprivation of his intangible rights in the hard drives because it deprived him of his exclusive rights to control his own files. Nothing tangible was taken from the defendant, yet the defendant’s property rights were still violated.”



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