Words to Avoid (or Use with Care) Because They Are Loaded or Confusing – GNU Project – Free Software Foundation (FSF)


Publishers often refer to copying they don’t approve of as???piracy.??? In this way, they imply that it is ethicallyequivalent to attacking ships on the high seas, kidnapping andmurdering the people on them. Based on such propaganda, they haveprocured laws in most of the world to forbid copying in most (orsometimes all) circumstances. (They are still pressuring to makethese prohibitions more complete.)

If you don’t believe that copying not approved by the publisher isjust like kidnapping and murder, you might prefer not to use the word???piracy??? to describe it. Neutral terms such as???unauthorized copying??? (or ???prohibitedcopying??? for the situation where it is illegal) are availablefor use instead. Some of us might even prefer to use a positive termsuch as ???sharing information with your neighbor.???

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