I have looked at most all dictionary entries and see that when steal is used as bargain it is considered to be US INFORMAL or SLANG words for steal have roots in notions of "hide," "carry off," or "collect, heap up." Attested as a verb of stealthy motion from c.1300 (e.g. to steal away, c.1369); of glances, sighs, etc., from 1586. The noun meaning "a bargain" is Amer.Eng. colloquial attested by 1942; Please what do you think?
Noun, sports senses. In how many sports is there something called a steal? Is there any way to combine some of these without losing users? Or is it obvious to anyone who knows steal#Verb? DCDuringTALK 15:39, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
The baseball and curling senses seem distinct (although I don't know the first thing about curling). On the other hand, the basketball/field-hockey sense probably applies to most (or all) sports where possession is a factor. I am fairly sure I have seen it used in reference to soccer and American football. -- Visviva 16:34, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
(not the same guy as above) One of the definitions of "steal" relates to copyright infrigement; and this may be a "dumb question", but this is because many people refer to infringement as theft (regardless of whether or not it really is), and not because Wiktionary is trying to claim that such is or isn't theft, correct? Shrewmania (talk) 06:49, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Wiktionary has no point of view and only documents actual usage, so if people use "steal" in relation to copyright infringement then we should document that, too. Personally I don't agree with such usage, though. —CodeCat 18:31, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
The use is by a select group of people not because it is 'stealing', but attempting to reclassify something as traditional theft. It was an attempt by some to include something as the traditional 'theft-through conversion' rather than to create a new meaning. As such it's got no place here. 22.214.171.124 17:07, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Use of the word steal for copyright infringement is not incorrect unless used in court. The word steal has so many similar meanings so the use of the word is applicable in case of internet piracy. The word is also very commonly used in that context. Wiktionary shall not censor commonly used meanings of a word. Kamraten (talk) 10:22, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
I think you'll find "piracy" is just as unwanted and inaccurate a term.
Removed the examples and definitions referencing copyright and the use of the results of creative work in a way that another doesn't agree with. Stealing requires a removal of the original. If I copied your bank account, I would not be stealing from you. You have experienced no calculable loss. This is no different than if I buy your car under the guise of treating it well, then take it to a bash derby. No theft has occurred just because my use of the vehicle doesn't suit your sensibilities.
Don’t delete the tag. This is currently under discussion at RFD. A decision has not yet been reached. —Stephen(Talk) 11:18, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure, but it probably requires a separate meaning - as "low price for smth." from the "2. A piece of merchandise available at a very attractive price.". Numerous examples of the "I bought this for a steal" type. --CopperKettle (talk) 17:28, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
This would seem to be redundant to the main definition (which could use some trimming):
To illegally, or without the owner's permission, take possession of something by surreptitiously taking or carrying it away.
There are other problems with the nominated definition, but that should suffice for this space. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:26, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Delete. Is this a poorly implemented part of the effort of the MPAA and its minions to propagandize for their ever-expanding efforts to criminalize any non-paying use of authored work? DCDuringTALK 14:00, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I think this should be an RfV. It might be a surer route to a good entry, with or without a definition like this. The stated grounds might apply to any explicit subsense of any definition. This one is explicitly limited to the "context" copyright law. (Oh, wait. Maybe it is just the topic copyright law. Calling MZ.) DCDuringTALK 14:11, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Delete, it's a specific example of stealing not a different definition. RFV would achieve nothing as it definitely exists. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:37, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
As I said: all subsenses have that characteristic.
The point of an RfV is to find whether folks are using steal in a particular way. If someone says "I stole a book/movie" they decidedly do not mean that they broke copyright by making an illegal copy. If someone says "I stole the idea", that doesn't mean copyright infringement. I don't think it is obvious at all that this is used in the way defined. I don't doubt that we can find at least hundreds of hits for "Copying an authored/copyrighted work is stealing". That just asserts that copying an authored/copyrighted work" is a hyponym of "stealing".
If, on the other hand, someone says "I stole some songs for a remix" I think that would be evidence of the definition. The very fact that it seems unnatural to me is an indication to me that there might be an extension of the term steal that merits a subsense. DCDuringTALK 15:15, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Delete. This is not a "legal" definition. As an intellectual property lawyer, I would reference "stealing" a copyrighted work the same way I might reference "stealing" a hubcap. Incidentally, in practice, we never refer to unauthorized copying as stealing. We call it infringement. bd2412T 15:21, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
The term is not used as a legal definition, most people are fully aware of the fact that it's called copyright infringement in court. The word has multiple meanings that are not legal definitions, the use with respect to copyright infringement is just one of many similar non legal uses, and it's rather commonly used as well. Kamraten (talk) 12:47, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
To the question of labelling, this sense of the term is neither specialized legal terminology nor is its use restricted to the topic of copyright law. One might bring this up in a casual conversation about a song, movie, or video game while enjoying it, etc. And the matter of copyright is mentioned in the definition anyway. The label doesn’t belong here.
I agree this is a case of sense 1, which could be improved. The definition is also overly specific and imprecise, even with the label removed. If we are to get this specific, for example, “stealing” by plagiarism or taking undeserved credit, “stealing” by unauthorized publication or distribution, and “stealing” by copying music for personal use, are very different acts by their nature and in law, and are covered by a broader set of concepts than just copyright (e.g., artists’ moral rights). —MichaelZ. 2013-07-16 21:22 z
Keep if attested. To copy something in violation of law is not "To illegally take possession of something by surreptitiously taking or carrying it away"; copying is neither taking away nor carrying away. At the same time, I suspect that many people use the term "steal" informally in reference to infringing copying. I admit that it is not perfectly clear whether such rhetorical use of the term "steal" should be considered to establish a new sense or whether this is just a systematic pattern of misuse of the word "steal" that does not deserve documentation in a dictionary. --Dan Polansky (talk) 13:52, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
But it is to wrongly take something, or to acquire something without the right to do so. The problem is the first definition. —MichaelZ. 2013-07-17 23:12 z
Very strong delete. Sense 1 is broad enough to cover things like unauthorized file-sharing. Having an independent sense is redundant and only serves to promote a particular view of the issue. -Cloudcuckoolander (formerly Astral) (talk) 01:17, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Sense 1 doesn't work for copyright infringement, the infringer doesn't take possession of something, only infringes on the rights of another person in a way that many people like to call "steal", with respect to the rights of the copyright owner and loss of potential income. Since sense 1 doesn't fit that meaning, a separate sense is required. Kamraten (talk) 13:38, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
The problem with the definition "to copy copyright-protected work without permission" is that it's broad enough to encompass both plagiarism and piracy. Piracy is already covered by sense 1, whereas I now see that plagiarism might not be, and may actually warrant an independent sense. But when "steal" is used to mean "to plagiarize, rip off, or take content or ideas from someone else's work," copyright and permission aren't necessarily factors. One could very well accuse someone of "stealing" from Shakespeare or Jane Austen ("the plot steals liberally from Pride and Prejudice," etc.), long-dead authors whose works are in the public domain, and from whom it would be impossible to obtain permission. Ripping off a work by Jane Austen and ripping off a work by J. K. Rowling are obviously very different actions from a legal standpoint (the former is legal, the latter not), but from a linguistic standpoint, not so much. I don't see a reason to limit the definition of the "ripping off other people's work" sense of "steal" to copyright infringement, since that wouldn't be reflective of actual usage. -Cloudcuckoolander (formerly Astral) (talk) 23:16, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Delete per bd and common sense. Also, "surreptitiously" should be removed from the other definition; it's possible to run up to someone, knock them down and run off with their purse or briefcase, which is definitely stealing and yet definitely not surreptitious. - -sche(discuss) 01:45, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, because of computer technology you can know steal something where the original is still there. Obviously older definitions of steal don't cover this, because the practice just didn't exist yet. Whether this needs a separate sense or not I don't know, but it's not a copyright issue. Mglovesfun (talk) 09:26, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Delete. This is use of the sense “To illegally, or without the owner's permission, take possession of something” by people who consider “To copy copyright-protected work without permission.” to be an example of that. I have also removed “by surreptitiously taking or carrying it away.” from the definition, as it conflicts with its own usex “The government agents stole my identity.” — Ungoliant(Falai) 10:40, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
I thought that we are about language, not law, not concepts, not facts, and not individual idiolects. The word steal in current use has a few issues. In people's use, does it retain its semantic connect to "stealth" or is it less and less distinguished from "rob"? Do people use it (or theft or some other word) to cover intellectual property? Do people view the copying as the crime (or purported crime) or the sale (or offering for sale)? If the copying is done secretly/privately and the sale is anonymous or deceptive (false labelling), do people feel that steal is the best old word for it? If there is no sale, who uses the word steal to describe the copying and distribution? How often do people use the word pirate" where our definition would suggest that steal could be used? I wish we had access to the research that MPAA, RIAA, and book publishers have on this.
To resolve this RfD on some narrow ground will almost certainly mean that these questions will not be on the community's agenda and that we will fail to use our unique position to track the evolving application of a word that means a great deal to the online community that has a special meaning to Wiktionary. DCDuringTALK 11:02, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Surely this isn't "taking it off the agenda". Before this debate, it wasn't on any agenda that I know of, and now we're talking about it. Since RFV is in theory at least, evidence-based not discussion-based, things at RFV get discussed less and discussion isn't required (just optional). Mglovesfun (talk) 11:04, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
I think it is. Rarely do matters other than new entry/L2 section creation, translation, and formatting get done if there is not a request. In this case someone noticed a problem because of the sense in question. The possibility that sense one is incomplete has been raised. Deletion of the questionable sense does not resolve that and effectively sweeps the matter under the metaphorical rug where so many definitional defects have been swept that there are large lumps where a flat surface should be. Despite the metaphor, it is not a mere cleanup (RfC) matter.
Getting citations almost always improves an entry and a discussion. And it is transparently clear that discussion (especially in this fact-free zone) does not always lead to good decisions. Discussion is not good in itself. Sometimes citations render discussion unnecessary and often they render the discussion one where one needs to engage in effort to participate, which thins the crowd. DCDuringTALK 11:36, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Delete. Probably propaganda relating to the old debate about whether infringing copyright is "stealing" anything when the original owner does not lose his/her copy. But since people who use "steal" in that sense mean it in a traditional sense (taking sth that is not yours) then adding a sense is not the answer. Equinox◑ 17:29, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Keep unless the definition of owner/own is taken to include the beneficiary of copyright. Currently, the definition says you can own property, capital or goods, but a creative work like the kind that copyright protects isn't any of those by legal definition, and far from clear even in common definition. So if "steal" means to take away from an owner, and we take it to include copyright infringement, then "owner" must by implication include a holder of copyright. The definition should make that clear. —CodeCat 17:39, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree, use of the word steal is not restricted to that something material taken away from the owner. When you steal an idea or an invention (patent), the original idea/invention has not been taken away in a material sense but it is still regarded as form of theft. You can also "steal someone else's heart" referring to love, the heart is still there. Kamraten (talk) 12:42, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
Very strong Keep since the word is very often used in discussions regarding internet piracy and the copyright owners do in many cases see this as a form of stealing related to their legal rights and a potential loss of income. I know that pirates do not like this use of the word but it is widely used in that sense and Wiktionary shall not censor a certain and widely use of a word just because this is disliked by some category of people. Also note that use of the word regarding copyright infringement is not used in a strictly legal sense but more figuratively like so many other meanings of the word that has nothing to do with the legal definition. One common example is "to steal an idea from someone". In case of copying a DVD rip, you actually "steal" not only the idea but a completed manifestation of that idea in a commercial production, that is legally protected by copyright. Kamraten (talk) 12:33, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
I think sense 1 works with the addition of the word "property" to the definition. The previous word "something" still has a connection to the concept of tangibility. "Property" nowadays clearly includes intellectual property, even trade secrets and trademarks. The challenged definition is, among other things, too narrow, excluding too much. Rather than writing separate definitions for various forms of property, why not just use the word "property" and let the entry for property do the heavy lifting?
I disagree. Sense 1 is about taking possession, this is not applicable to copyright infringement since the infringer does not take possession of the copyrighted work - it still belongs to the copyright owner. You may see it as taking possession of the copy but that copy would not have existed before copyright was infringed since it's only the copyright owner that has the right to produce such copies. Kamraten (talk) 15:37, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
Kamraten, I think you're way off the mark here. Nobody's talking about 'censoring' the definition, just that its at best inaccurate, and at worst redundant. Mglovesfun (talk) 09:50, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
We didn't have the non-legal, non-property uses of the word steal, which would include, for example, plagarism of works that were out of copyright, stealing credit for something, etc. DCDuringTALK 14:49, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
I edited out what I think are unnecessary qualifiers in the first definition. For it to be stealing, one doesn't have to take possession, and we shouldn't specify the nature of what's taken. If it belongs to someone else, and you take it improperly- you've stolen it. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:51, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
Very Strong Delete The issue is related entirely to a group (the copyright industry) attempting to use Orwell-level "Newspeak" to dictate thought by changing the vocabulary. Stealing someone's heart is not a politically motivated connotation, "stealing" someone's joke is. This should be a house of fact, not a house of emotional, political, and questionably moral venacular.
No one here who has contested the deletion has used any argument other than "But it's still stealing!" Arguments to the contrary have been varied and actually contained thought. As far as I'm concerned, consensus has been reached and the decision has been "Delete"
I see no need to close this healthy debate now. I think you're dead right about stealing someone's heart and stealing someone's joke, where no physical possession is taken but we still use the word 'steal'. Mglovesfun (talk) 09:50, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
A couple of things:
Stealing someone's heart and stealing someone's joke are metaphorical uses; they are not literal uses of the 1st sense of "steal".
To copy illegally is not "to take illegally, or without the owner's permission, something owned by someone else". Copying is not taking. Thus, I rest my case even after the definition has been changed during this RFD.
I support keeping because illegal copying is not stealing, not because it is. I support keeping because the discussed use is a biased deviation from the literal and narrow meaning of "to steal", and seems to be attested. If the attestation is in doubt, the sense should be sent to WT:RFV.
AFAIK, there are no or very few countries that treat illegal copying the same way as stealing. In particular, no or very few countries regulate physical property the same way as they regulate what has misleadingly been termed "intellectual property". Unlike with physical property, no entity can indefinitely "own" a patent or a work subject to copyright. --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:54, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
The sense at issue doesn't mention patent; it is restricted to copyright. I presume that if the term is also applied to patents, then this would merely be an expansion of the copyright sense, not a separate sense. bd2412T 19:40, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
Input needed: This discussion needs further input in order to be successfully closed. Please take a look!
We need a much wider sense. The OED includes "To take or appropriate dishonestly (anything belonging to another, whether material or immaterial)." and "To plagiarize; to pass off (another's work) as one's own; to ‘borrow’ improperly (words, expressions).". It also has "To cause the loss of, take away (something valued, e.g. happiness, a person's life, etc.)" and "To take without permission (esp. a kiss)". We don't want to steal the OED's definitions, but we do need to widen ours. Dbfirs 08:44, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Keep I feel that this strongly reflects the feeling that copyright owners have when they find that their work has been copied/used without their permission or without the expected compensation. Those who have a political motivation may disagree but I feel that definitions shouldn't be used to get a particular political view across. It's a shame that those types will gang together to try to do just that.
The benefit of this dictionary is that it can be updated to reflect the modern usage of words whilst other dictionaries lag far behind. We all know that stealing/theft is not limited to depriving an owner of property. This allows for terms like Identity Theft and Data Theft to exist. But for some reason the political pirates still try hard to convince everyone that theft can "only" occur if you deprive someone of an item. It's quite embarrassing really. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeTybKL1pM4Dredd (talk) 12:02, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
It is not the purpose of Wiktionary to reflect feelings of people, rather, we reflect how words are used. It seems to me that demanding a separate definition on the basis of people's feelings about it is taking a politcal stand rather than concentrating on the meaning. The issue at stake here is not the rights and wrongs of property theft, but whether or not it is covered by the "taking without permission" definition. If it is not, you need to explain why a separate wording is needed. SpinningSpark 12:42, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
As mentioned elsewhere, it is not covered by the taking without permission because nothing is actually being taken. Yet, it is commonly referred to as stealing/theft. Unless that definition is expanded to include "to make use of" something without compensating the owner where compensation is required (as with watching a movie at the cinema without paying - theft of services) then I think it really should be kept. Dredd (talk) 13:23, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Since the definition under review is specific to "copyright protected work", does a definition need to provided for copying patent protected work without permission? How about for copying work that is eligible for a copyright, but is not in fact copyright protected, without permission? bd2412T 20:00, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
It can be said that copying a patent protected work is akin to stealing an idea. With regards to your second point, all intellectual property is automatically given copyright although you can apply for a formal copyright. So it is unlikely that you would have IP that isn't protected Dredd (talk) 09:09, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
That is simply FALSE. All "intellectual property" is not automatically "given" copyright:
Nothing but works eligible for copyright fall under copyright legislation. Patents, trademarks, and publicity rights have nothing to do with copyright. This is just a perpetuation implied by people, such as yourself, who either don't know what they are talking about or have a political agenda.
Second, in the USA (don't even start on the can of worms that is "well copyright means different things in different jurisdictions- because that will completely erradicate this sense from being valid here) there's no such thing as "formal copyright." It's either eligible, or it's not. Period.
Take a step back, because you're making blanket statements, and not even valid ones. This kind of crap is what ticks me off most about "copyright infringement is theft" arguments- they aren't based in logical reasoning but in knee-jerk intuition being professed as law. 126.96.36.199 16:34, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
I thought that it was obvious that I was only talking about IP that was eligible for copyright. If that wasn't clear then I apologise. Dredd (talk) 08:03, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
As you imply, any separate definition that covered the use of the word "steal" meaning copyright violation should be as comprehensive as a one- or two-line definition can be.
One kind of thing we might include is something where my use or taking does not materially diminish the ability of someone else to use the property in question. Is sneaking into a stadium or theater with empty seats "stealing"? In some sense it is, but would the general public use the word "steal"? I think not, but citations could settle it.
Another kind of thing is the property right of exclusive use of property, which includes setting the terms under which someone may use the property. The courts, lawyers, economists and, of course, the copyright holder might view illegal copying as loss of the exclusive right to set terms on the use of the copyrighted item and therefore included in sense 1. Some of the general public might not, as we could find from citations or the lack thereof.
Can we come up with a definition that includes all kinds of illegal taking or use of all kinds of IP: trademarks, service marks, and business names; patents; copyrights; licenses-to-use; and trade secrets? Does the general public use the words this way would be a question for citations?
Should such a definition include the sneak-into-the-stadium sense?
I do have an objection with the definition though. Although, I believe it to be technically correct, the mixing of a legal word (copyright) with a more general word (steal), forces you to think of the legal definitions of the the word steal/theft which obviously do not cover copying of a copyright work. The "informal" tag has been used to reduce this confusion but having the "copyright law" keyword almost invalidates that. Dredd (talk) 10:18, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree, it is the inappropriate restriction to the legal "copyright-protected" which bothers me about this definition. I think deleting this and just adding "or copying without permission" to definition #2 should about cover it. SpinningSpark 12:41, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
I think definition 2 includes (or should include) only non-criminal stealing of intangibles.
Legal systems differ in what is considered criminal stealing. Eg, for many years, Australian entrepreneurs could, under some circumstances legally operate under brand names that were registered in Australia to someone else, but where some condition was not met by the registrant, such as not yet being in use.
And we still would leave us with the problem of the analogous use of steal for patents, trade secrets, brands, business names, software, etc. for which mere unauthorized use constitutes the crime. Is "copying" just a kind of "use"? Also, copying is legal if it is "fair use", which is arguably automatically "authorized". How about "unauthorized use" in def 1, which would also include the legal sense of w:conversion (eg, a treasurer of an organization giving himself a loan of the organization's money, without explicit permission of the board), which many people consider stealing. DCDuringTALK 19:34, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
Since this discussion has moved far beyond the original discussion, it should be closed without consensus and a new one should be opened. The discussion is no longer about whether or not "copying outside a license" is included under "taking without permission" and has become a mass of copyright extremists and pirate politics debating whether or not doing something an author doesn't like is always or ever stealing.
I thought we were done with this kind of crap around Wikimedia projects. Now we have someone coming in and saying that if it's non-commercial it's ok and shouldn't be included under the "steal" definition. God help us all if that kind of pseudo-law is acceptable on a website that is primarily user-generated. 188.8.131.52 06:22, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree, consensus is to delete and discussion has moved off-topic. Mglovesfun (talk) 07:45, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
I second Mglovesfun, and note that no one is "coming in and saying that if it's non-commercial it's ok"; rather, we are saying that this sense of "steal" is not limited to copyright-protected materials, and that this is already covered (or could be better covered) by existing senses. bd2412T 19:49, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Delete. We need to improve the entry, but this definition - and this discussion - is more of a hindrance than a help. DCDuringTALK 21:43, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
No. Absolutely not. If copying were stealing, we would have no need for copyright monopoly laws in the first place, as ordinary property laws would suffice. Those define stealing. But we have separate laws for the copyright monopoly, and stealing isn’t defined there. Therefore, obviously, it is not stealing. Neither legally, nor morally, nor economically, nor logically. However, it is an infringement of the copyright monopoly – but that’s something completely different. It is a violation of a governmentally-sanctioned private monopoly. You are trying to redefine words in a very dishonest way to frame the debate in a factually incorrect light.
Nobody is stealing anything. They are manufacturing their own copies using their own property. The difference is very important and if we’re supposed to have a constructive debate, you should call things for what they are. This is manufacturing without a license from legal monopolies, so-called “exclusive rights” (the copyright monopoly). Nobody is losing any object, which is what defines stealing.
Manufacturing your own copy of something using your own property – your computer, storage, and network equipment – is not stealing logically, legally, morally, economically, or philosophically. The debate moved past this silly argument 15 years ago, and trying to bring it up again just makes you look like you’re talking of horseless carriages. If you really want confirmation of this simple fact, you should look in the nearest lawbook: in no book of laws on this entire planet are property laws (where stealing is defined) and copyright monopoly laws defined in the same section. Hint: only violations of property laws, the former, are defined as stealing.
Whether they are losing money is debatable, but it doesn’t matter in the slightest. People are causing other people to lose money all the time and everywhere with every action. Stealing is narrowly defined as when you break property laws in order to deny somebody their property, and the copyright monopoly is not a property law, it is defined elsewhere in the books. There is no other legal, moral, or popular definition of stealing. Instead, you are using the loaded word “stealing” to say “what they are doing is wrong”. In doing so, you are not only lying and slandering as they are not stealing, you are also factually wrong with what you intended to say, as sharing culture and knowledge is a good deed to society and to your fellow human being. 184.108.40.206 00:06, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
I think we are getting a bit far afield from the question of whether this word exists at this specific narrow definition, and have exhausted any arguments to be made on that point. Therefore, I am basically going to call the question here, and propose that there is clear consensus to delete this sense. Unless I am wildly misinterpreting the thrust of the discussion (or someone else wishes to go ahead and end it), I will close this discussion accordingly around this time tomorrow. Cheers! bd2412T 00:12, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Sense deleted. bd2412T 18:13, 24 August 2013 (UTC)