Roland Perry lists at
Fri Jan 20 10:40:13 UTC 2012

In article <201201201025.q0KAPdM5040190 at>, Robert 
Bonomi <bonomi at> writes
>> I suspect most file sharing site don't have illegal content.  Most
>> would have some content that is there without the permission of the
>> copyright holder.  These are different things.
>  "Without the permission of the copyright holder" _is_ contrary to
>  statute, and thus 'against the law'.  As such 'illegal' is _not_
>  an incorrect term to apply to the situation.
>  It may not be a _criminal_ violation, but it is still proscribed by law.
>  "Illegal" and "criminal" -- _these_ are different things.
>  Junk faxing is illegal, Telemarketing calls to cell phones are illegal,
>  Public distribution without the permission of the copyright owner is
>  illegal.
>  Except in special cases, none of those actions are _criminal_, but
>  they are all violations of law, and thus _illegal_.
>  Claiming that a thing is not 'illegal' if it is not 'criminal', is similar
>  to asserting "it's not a crime if you don't get caught".

As is common in most industries there are expressions in the world of 
Internet Governance that are jargon, and have agreed meanings in that 

"Illegal Material" is reserved for content which is illegal to possesses 
and/or distribute (even if, and possibly even more so, if you originated 

"Harmful Material" is content which is legal to possess but is 
nevertheless regarded by many as immoral or highly undesirable within 
some framework of commonly held values.

"Infringing Material" is content which is held without a legitimate 
rightsholder's permission.
Roland Perry

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