…and yet the persistent absence of intellectual creativity is a necessary condition for its acquired significance and perceived value. A principle of scarcity in economics resonates.
That said, I’m not certain that the boundary conditions between intellectual theft and ethical practice in any autonomously self-propagating sociotechnical (information) system has been, or perhaps ever could be, unambiguously clarified. All culture, communication and technological complexity evolves and adapts as a function of a competitive, recursive self-reference summed over the whole. We can all agree that theft is utterly unethical but can we agree that the incentives of adversarial economic (and institutional) systems predispose, bias and orient opportunistic miscreants to precisely this behaviour?