Digital Piracy Is Evil: Well, on the one hand, it’s not called digital piracy (it’s called Unlawful Duplication & Conveyance, or Unlawful Derivation) and is a lesser crime than theft; and Imperial IP law is different and rather more generous, especially in re patents and discoverer’s licenses (but also in re creator’s moral rights); and DRM (and its cousins, Genetic Rights Management, Fabrication Rights Management, and Experience Rights Management) around here is different, belike.
On the other hand, IP crimes are prosecuted much more vigorously, even on the small scale, because it’s not the money, it’s the principle, belike. And at the far other end of the scale, any and all of the Galactic Trade Association, the Empire’s Market Liberty Oversight Directorate, Traders in Ideation, ICC, and the Intellectual Property Owner’s Association of the Empire have, well, mercenaries. Who are quite happy to make mass-pirated-good factories and pirated-data archives in non-sovereign space – and in sovereign space where the sovereignty in question does not feel like cooperating – explode, along with their owners, because those people do not respect their fellow sophont’s rights and they hate people like that.
First there was the Adaptech Adventurer’s Pistol, and that was bad for those us who believe in trying to exert some sort of control over the proliferation of arms in our countries. Usually you can try and regulate the ammunition, or the fuel, or the high-density energy cells too, for the ones that inevitably slip past you — except when a corporation which happens to be located in a polity notorious for its refusal to cooperate with anyone’s reasonable measures along these lines starts marketing a gun that feeds on sunlight and can make bullets out of air.
But that was an issue for ten years ago.
And then it got worse when Adaptech invented a newer and better model of the Adventurer’s Pistol, and followed the Empire’s intellectual property law and tradition by dumping the conceptual seed for the old one into the public knowledge pool, so that any idiot with an unfiltered extranet connection and an unchained nanoforge can run off as many copies as they want, no charge.
But that was an issue for two years ago.
Today’s issue is that, courtesy of the Means of Defense COG and the Agalmic Praxis Foundation, there’s now a free-to-use-and-modify seed out there for a version of the Adventurer’s Pistol that’s self-replicating, able to construct nanoseeds which – supplied with simple power sources and raw materials – will grow more pistols, which in turn can grow more, and more, and more.
What does border security mean when to smuggle a million copies, you only have to smuggle one?
Our anarchists, lunatics and terrorists thank you for your support.
– #4, “The Top 10 Denounceable Exports: How the Empire’s Annoyed Us This Year”,
Independenf Worlds Router