Putting the law aside for a moment, doesn't it make sense that simply obtaining source code without permission is unethical but shouldn't be illegal so long as its never used without permission? The funny thing about code is that it falls into the area of ideas more than products but at the same time once it's used it does become property in a way. It's a tool but there are a lot of different ways to create any given tool as far as code is concerned.
It's like language. You can't own words but you can definitely steal the ideas conveyed by words from someone else and that shouldn't be okay. It's like writing books. Two people can write the same story using different words/word combinations and one couldn't say the other plagiarized as its not like two people never had the same idea before. But in cases like this, you just know it when you see it and I don't know if the law will ever be able to adequately deal with these kinds of situations because of the nature of them.
Why's that a bad thing? If the idea is lifted wholesale, it's usually easy to see where it came from, and if it is used as a basis for remixing/tweaking, value has been added.
In either event, the world is a richer place. What's wrong with sharing?
Its one thing to steal an idea, use it as-is, remix it, whatever. That's fine. What's wrong is taking an idea and implementing it in a completely identical way. Like if someone took the source for MS Office, compiled it and just rebranded it then that's obvious theft. Of course the idea of a desktop publishing suite isn't something that can be stolen. There's a million ways to clone MS Office as far as the source is concerned so it's not theft so long as your implementation is unique to you. That's what I was getting at here. And the other thing is that I don't know if any law really could cover the kind of situation the article is about. It's just one of those things that's easy to spot when it's presented but hard to codify and describe.