How does one steal information?
I frequent bulbapedia because it is an excellent source of Pokémon information. This is exacerbated by Nintendo no longer producing top quality beautiful strategy guides (stopping after over a decade of excellent work, thanks for that). With the release of X and Y they added a warning to the top of the page that reads as follows:
This might seem all that strange to you but it got my brain aflutter. How does one steal information? Google defines information as “facts provided or learned about something or someone”. Which is exactly how I think of the term. There are ideas and there is information. The subtle difference being that one of these things is an observation of the fundamental factual state of things and the other is what makes up Lord of the Rings.
I can understand idea theft, taking Mario and making “Morio, the Spanish Carpenter.” What I can’t understand is the idea of stealing “the sun is a massive celestial object that fuses hydrogen.” Just because someone recognizes this first that doesn’t provide them with dominance over that information.
I can’t stop everyone else from trading this fact or recognizing it as a fact. It’s a ludicrous notion. You might think this is leading up to some sort of justification for making all discoveries public domain. That would be nice and in an ideal society it would be reality. But I recognize that developing a fix for a problem is not the same as knowing that water is 2 molecules of hydrogen and one molecule of oxygen.
I posit to you then how do you steal information from others? You don’t need to tell me the answer. Just think about it on your own. Perhaps if more people think about it we’ll have better discourse on the topic. Holding data hostage is a strange thing and it seems to spit in the face of what separates us from any other living thing. Without freedom of knowledge we aren’t special in any respectable way.