Pity the problems the poor software vendors and music publishers face in the modern world. Software piracy cannot be stopped, and it can barely be controlled. It's simply too easy to stamp out software or files, and although pirate houses that print thousands of copies can be shut down. The same goes for music piracy.

After my 13-year-old daughter learned that a laptop I was using had a CD burner, it took her about five minutes to figure out how to put her favorite songs on a CD, the kind of things we are supposed to tell everyone not to do with software or magazine articles. That alone illustrates what those who try to protect their intellectual property rights face in the market. So many things lend themselves to piracy—the ubiquity of copying machines, email, the universality of the Web—that software, songs, and editors’ articles end up around the world in the blink of an eye.

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