Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2027494
 


 



Thirteen Ways to Steal a Bicycle: Theft Law in the Information Age (Introduction)


Stuart P. Green


Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - School of Law-Newark

May 14, 2012

Stuart P. Green, THIRTEEN WAYS TO STEAL A BICYCLE: THEFT LAW IN THE INFORMATION AGE, Harvard University Press, 2012
Rutgers School of Law-Newark Research Paper No. 116

Abstract:     
Theft claims more victims and causes greater economic injury than any other criminal offense. Yet theft law is enigmatic, and fundamental questions about what should count as stealing remain unresolved — especially misappropriations of intellectual property, information, ideas, identities, and virtual property.

In Thirteen Ways to Steal a Bicycle, Stuart Green assesses our current legal framework at a time when our economy increasingly commodifies intangibles and when the means of committing theft and fraud grow ever more sophisticated. Was it theft for the editor of a technology blog to buy a prototype iPhone he allegedly knew had been lost by an Apple engineer in a Silicon Valley bar? Was it theft for doctors to use a patient’s tissue without permission in order to harvest a valuable cell line? For an Internet activist to publish tens of thousands of State Department documents on his website?

In this full-scale critique, Green reveals that the last major reforms in Anglophone theft law, which took place almost fifty years ago, flattened moral distinctions, so that the same punishments are now assigned to vastly different offenses. Unreflective of community attitudes toward theft, which favor gradations in blameworthiness according to what is stolen and under what circumstances, and uninfluenced by advancements in criminal law theory, theft law cries out for another reformation — and soon.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 8

Keywords: theft, stealing, property, intellectual property, Model Penal Code, empirical desert

JEL Classification: K14, K11, O34

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Date posted: March 23, 2012 ; Last revised: August 29, 2012

Suggested Citation

Green, Stuart P., Thirteen Ways to Steal a Bicycle: Theft Law in the Information Age (Introduction) (May 14, 2012). Stuart P. Green, THIRTEEN WAYS TO STEAL A BICYCLE: THEFT LAW IN THE INFORMATION AGE, Harvard University Press, 2012; Rutgers School of Law-Newark Research Paper No. 116. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2027494

Contact Information

Stuart P. Green (Contact Author)
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - School of Law-Newark ( email )
123 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102
United States
973-353-3006 (Phone)
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