"I of course agree to this extent, but I don't quite
agree with the typical progression of this argument which sees the
fact that most Free Software is given away or distributed under
terms which allow free copying and sharing to be an affront to this
right to compensation.
"Ignoring for the moment the fact that the software developer
still gets to choose whether to distribute under those terms
(something (s)he'd be able to do to a large extent even if
copyright was abolished today), this argument fails to take into
account the fundamental nature of software which excludes it from
the possibility of being owned, unless you consider a program as
one with the medium.
"Software cannot exist on its own. It always needs a medium.
Software are simply arrangements of ones and zeros represented one
way or another by physical properties of a medium such as micro or
nanoscopic dents in a compact disk. If you consider software as
distinct from the storage media or memory in which it remains
you're essentially using one medium, your brain, to conceptualize
the arrangements within another. Without either the brain or the
other mediums the software could not exist to begin with. How do
you own something that doesn't really exist?"