Steve Jobs: it is corrosive to one’s character to steal

by Jack Richins

I absolutely love this quote from Steve Jobs. I think it says a lot about morals – things I believe to be True with a capital T. Things that are truly wrong are wrong whether there is a written law to enforce it or not.

And it is self evident to me that in the digital age copying happens continuously. Computers need to copy just to function. But this copying need not equal stealing – there can be ways to reward work and use digital media like music, movies, and software that is copied easily.

David Bowie predicted that because of interent and piracy, copyright is going to be dead in ten years. You agree?

No. If copyright dies, if patents die, if the protection of intellectual property is eroded, then people will stop investing. That hurts everyone. People need to have the incentive that if they invest and succeed, they can make a fair profit. Otherwise they’ll stop investing. But on another level entirely, it’s just wrong to steal. Or, let’s put it another way: it is corrosive to one’s character to steal. We want to provide a legal alternative. And we want to make it so compelling that all those people out there who really want to be honest, and really don’t want to steal, but haven’t had a choice if they wanted to get their music online, will now have a choice. And we think over time, most people stealing music will choose not to if a fair and resonable alternative is presented to them. We are optimists. We always have been.

Steve Jobs: The Rolling Stone Interview : Rolling Stone