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Georgia state law apparently defines an entire section of felony or misdemeanor statute called:
THEFT BY TAKING

Is there a means of theft which doesn't involve some manner of taking?
  • Con artistry and scammage. You convince someone to GIVE you their money.

    • And when someone gives you their money, what do you do with it at that point?
      You TAKE it.
    • You TAKE it.

      Or alternately, you RECIEVE it passively as opposed to TAKING it actively.
    • embezzlement and taking

      You may take the money, but taking the money isn't the act of theft in this situation.

      If I tell you that if you give me $100,000 in cash and I'll turn around give it to a charity for starving children in Africa, even if I am semantically TAKING the money from you it's not a crime to do so; the Theft crime occurs when I do not use that money on hungry kids but instead buy myself a new computer. If I only spent $1k on the computer and sent the rest along like I promised, I'm guilty of $1,000 of Theft, not the $100,000 that I TOOK from you when you gave me the money.

      And besides, at that point I'm TAKING the $1,000 from myself, as you've already legitimately given me possession of the entire amount; I can't be charged with taking property from myself, which is why that's legally Theft by Conversion and not Theft by Taking in Georgia.
      • Re: embezzlement and taking

        Okay, now I'm grasping your point- thank you.
        Krufty krufty krufty. GOD DAMN but US law needs to be rationalized.
  • Forging property deeds. Cable services theft (arguably you're taking a miniscule amount of electronic signal, but you're not really denying the ownership to anybody else, so you're not taking it from them.) Identity theft. Intellectual Property theft (like plagarism, especially.)
    • Forging property deeds.
      which enables you to ____ ownership of that property. what's the 4 letter word?
      Cable services theft
      You're misappropriating a service for which you have not paid in this situation. Misappropriation is the inappropriate taking of...

      Identity theft
      He took my Social Security # and...

      Intellectual Property theft (like plagarism, especially.)
      This is still claiming as one's own something that doesn't belong to one; an idea is still something over which the original owner is being illegitimately deprived of the rights of property.
      • Intellectual Property theft (like plagarism, especially.)
        This is still claiming as one's own something that doesn't belong to one; an idea is still something over which the original owner is being illegitimately deprived of the rights of property.


        If you look it up, you'll find that Georgia defines "Theft by Taking" specifically as "...when someone unlawfully takes, appropriates or carries away any property of another with intent of depriving him of the property. It is important to note the "intent to deprive" requirement."

        There's lots of forms of theft that do not in any way involve depriving the legal owner of the item: when I use your SSN, for instance, you suddenly do not lose the ability to use it yourself. Nor does George Lucas suddenly have all the ideas behind Star Wars 3 magically erase from his head if I find a copy of the script and use it to film my own version of the story.

        Same with cable service splitters; I am not 'taking' the cable service in the sense of depriving other people of the ability to get that cable service.

        In terms of forged property deeds, I was thinking in the classic 'I'll sell you this lot of land in Florida' sense - I don't ever have to take possession of, use, or even come within 1,000 miles of the land to forge ownership papers and sell it to you; I'm definitely stealing money from you but not actually depriving anything from the legitimate owner.

        Having said that, most of those things probably don't fit the narrow legal definition of 'theft' anyway.

        For the record, the other types of Theft in Georgia are 'by Deception (like knowingly bouncing a check when you buy something), by Conversion (like embezzlement - using property you were legitimately given access to/ownership of for an unintended purpose), and by Shoplifting (different from by Theft only for reasons having to do with proving intent and timing between 'I picked it up to look at it' and 'Now I'm trying to steal it'.)

        Found the above at http://www.georgiacriminaldefense.com/crimes/theft.htm
        • If you acquire a copy of the script to star wars 3 you're not depriving Lucas of his own knowledge of the script he wrote.
          However: is the script a material possession? Did George give it to you?

          The acquisition of a service without monetary recompense is still an acquisition; an acquisition is still a taking.

          In terms of forged property deeds, I was thinking in the classic 'I'll sell you this lot of land in Florida' sense - I don't ever have to take possession of, use, or even come within 1,000 miles of the land to forge ownership papers and sell it to you; I'm definitely stealing money from you but not actually depriving anything from the legitimate owner. And the legitimate owner is not the person who presses charges here, typically- it's the fellow who's been convinced to 'buy' the property and has given money to someone to do so. That someone, rather than providing property in return for legal tender, has taken the legal tender and provided nothing.

          It does seem that Georgia's law utilizes a very tangibles-focused definition of 'taking', though: one that's not entirely coherent in the economic model of- oh- the 18th Century. Theft by deception involves taking goods in exchange for a document misrepresented as being a financial instrument, in the instance you provide; Theft by Shoplifting seems to be about taking items you were looking at.

          There's still that whole 'taking' thing in there, is my only point. ;)
          • My point is that for cases like bouncing a check intentionally or embezzling, the act of taking has nothing to do with the Theft; they are decidedly 'a means of theft which doesn't involve some manner of taking' because there's nothing illegal in either case about the actual taking of the property.

            For instance when you bounce a check deliberately, you're still completing a totally legal transaction where you give someone a check for goods that you take; it's the intent to defraud that is the crime, not the act of taking. Otherwise, you'd be charged with Felony Theft every time you _accidentally_ bounced a check, because there'd be no distinction between me deliberately stealing the goods and you accidentally doing so.

            My point is basically this: there's really no form of Theft that doesn't involve someone taking something in some way at some point during the process, but the Taking in and of itself is only a criminal act in certain types of Theft, which is why they call those types "Theft by Taking".
  • Theft: taking something stealthily
    Robbery: taking something by force (or threat)
    Larceny: convincing someone to give you something.

    My guess is the statues deal with theft and robbery, but not larceny.

    Though, really, this is Georgia, so it could mean "waterfowl".
    • carneggy has helped out this question a lot by helping define what the HELL these Georgians are on about, above.

      Would that the laws of the US could be rationalized as the laws of the UK were in the 1890s! US law is just Damned Krufty.
  • As a born-and-bred Georgian, I of course understand the difference between Theft By Taking and Theft by Other Means... as others have illuminated above.

    However, it also shows the Simple Folk yer dealing with, boyo -- folk who know there's Other Ways to Get Something than simply taking it.

    Hence why Geogia is, and always will be, the world's finest Penal Colony. We some devious bastiches Down Home. Ruthless. But Gentlemanly.
    • Oh, I figured there had to be a logic to it- it still seems a terribly tangibles-vs-intangibles way of handling it, though- and that seems a bit fallacious to my viewpoint.
      But it is east coast legalese- which means it owes more to William I's common law than modern British law does.
  • How about (old style) Napster or software pirating?

    --K
    • so you acquire the disc. Then you rip the disc. Then you make the files available. Isn't that someone taking the files from somebody?
  • murder by killing! murder by killing!
  • As before, I propose...

    Theft by the Cunning Use of Flags
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