Argument by analogy and copyright infringement
There's an interesting argument on Jimmy Wales Wikipedia talk page, that deserves the attention of logicians. Jimmy has organised a petition against the extradition of Richard O'Dwyer, the Sheffield student who ran a website linking to and (apparently) streaming copyrighted material. Some called 'Incu Master' argues
If someone facilitates credit card fraud, using the credit card numbers of US citizens, helping US citizens commit fraud against other US citizens, and taking a cut of the "profits", while running a website served out of Sweden from his/her home in the UK, and gets extradited to the US, would you be writing a petition to stop the extradition? It seems you are saying there is something special about copyright law in this regard, and I don't understand it because you seem to agree that copyright infringement is, and should be, illegal. Incu Master (talk) 14:10, 26 June 2012 (UTC)Jimmy replies
I think one question that has been raised repeatedly in this thread is one that makes no sense. No, I would not launch a petition to save someone from extradition for credit card fraud. But you can't conclude from that anything about my position on credit card fraud or how bad it is relative to copyright infringement nor how I privately think credit card fraud should be dealt with legally, etc. For a variety of reasons, demands on my time among them, I don't take a personal interest in every issue on earth. I am not particularly knowledgeable about the laws surrounding credit card fraud, nor do I have any particular reason to become interested. I am not interested enough in the issue to get involved at all. Nor would the general public be particularly interested in my views on the matter, as I am not known in that field.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:18, 28 June 2012 (UTC)I don't follow his reply. Incu's argument is a version of 'argument from analogy'. Here are two similar cases X and Y. Why is your judgment about X so different from your judgment about Y, given the formal similarity between them? Facilitating credit card theft is illegal in both countries, and merits extradition. Facilitating copyright theft is illegal in both countries, and merits extradition. If you don't organise petitions against one, then logically you don't organise petitions against the other. Jimbo's reply is that there is a difference, namely he doesn't have an interest in credit card fraud, and that he is not particularly knowledgeable about it. So, logically, and given that he does regard facilitating copyright theft as illegal, it is OK to organise petitions against extradition for illegal activities, so long as you have an interest in it, and you are particularly knowledgeable about it?