Copyright Infringement vs Theft

I was on the phone with an elected official the other day. He said "we have to do something about this theft that is occurring." I lost my cool. I told him that if he was going to use that word we could end the call. He was shocked that I got so upset with him. 

It does upset me that lobbyists in Washington are positioning copyright infringement as theft. Cam MacRae left a comment on this blog last weekend that explains it well.

You're talking about copyright infringement, not theft. 

Theft, in plain english, is defined as the dishonest appropriation of property belonging to another with the intention to permanently deprive. Stealing is the act of theft.

Copyright infringement is not theft, although some copyright infringement is criminal. In each case the remedies are different.

Theft, stealing etc. are terms co-opted by a particular lobby for their emotional weight, but have no place in any rational debate.

Well said Cam.