Something to think about for those that object to the use of the word “piracy” for the act of copyright infringement.

William Makepeace Thackery uses the term for precisely that purpose in Vanity Fair – first published 1848. 1
So it has had that meaning for at least 160 years – and I would be surprised if he had coined the usage.

There are plenty of words, the accepted meaning of which no one disputes, which have had a far more recent origin.

The conclusion I draw from this, is that if you want to have a well reasoned and sensible discussion on copyright issues – don’t muddy the water with the “call it copyright infringement, not piracy” strawman – it’s irrelevant.

1 – Chaper 62: “may the blessings of all Englishmen who have ever been abroad rest on the founders and proprierots of that piratical print”

 

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