A US court has ruled that software is not property to support a charge of theft of property. The purported theft involved an unauthorized download from a server. This should put a damper on inflammatory comments that illegal copying is theft or piracy. It isn’t. It’s illegal copying/violation of copyright. The so-called thief was doing 8 years in jail. He has been freed as a result of the ruling.
Under US law, violation of copyright is not a crime unless commercial use is made of the copy or the value is more than $1K. Even when it is a crime, illegal copying is limited to 1, 5 or 10 years for different levels of severity and this guy was likely in the 1 year category.