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  • I’m viewing this as ‘We see this is not a good time, so we’ll try again later’. They’re not walking away from the idea, simply postponing it.

    We still need to get representatives who will work with us to craft legislation that works for the most people, most of the time, as opposed to this sort of ‘shut up and do as you’re told’-type legislation we’ve been getting

    “It’s no longer IOKIYAR….It’s OK If You’re A Republican, but IOKBYAR–It’s OK BECAUSE You’re a Republican.” — Me

  • If bashing in the front door doesn’t work, then sneak in the back door

    “It’s no longer IOKIYAR….It’s OK If You’re A Republican, but IOKBYAR–It’s OK BECAUSE You’re a Republican.” — Me

  • but convince them to run, and then slip them past the gauntlet of a primary and election process specifically designed to select, protect and legitimize enemies of the people’s interests.

    I have my doubts that it can be done here anymore. And I think the scoundrels we’ve got won’t actually work in our favor until they fear not just for their jobs, but for their lives.

  • Why isn’t Silicon Valley putting forth its ideas in the area?
    Their failure do to so implies they don’t care or are actually in bed with the pirate sites, as was undoubtedly the case with YouTube and possibly Google. Bootleg sites buy Adwords and pepper the ‘net with them. If you search for a song, you’ll find dozens of sites, loaded with ads and some of those ads link to bootleggers.

    It is worth remembering that the Founding Fathers were all traitors.

  • the definition of legitimate rights. Property is about exclusive use of a scarce resource. There are all kinds of problems involved in extending the concept to demanding the creation of scarcity. Property rights is a bad model for ideas, especially since IP has gone from the founders’ model of a short period of monopoly (7 years) to encourage publishers to finance the dissimulation of new works, to multi-generational control of the discourse.

  • it’s out of control. Why do software products get patents instead of copyrights, as they should in any sensible regime? How is it corporations can patent living things? (Let alone how they can prosecute people for theft who received their so-called property literally on the wind.) Why do copyrights keep getting extended retroactively and repeatedly, rather than bearing the limitations that were in effect when those copyrights were claimed? What’s the public interest in letting people trademark terms that have already been established vernacular, sometimes for generations?

    Why should a commercial entity be able to crush and restrict an idea that they don’t want to use and don’t want anybody else to use, simply because they “bought” the idea? That’s not stimulating innovation; that’s just gangster methodology.

    Defending so-called rights under the current system that are not self-evident, fair, or even workable from an economic standpoint is not a decent way for a smart person to make a living. And most of the smartest people don’t want any part of it.

    Ideas don’t lend themselves well to being treated as property. We have gotten to the point where we’re stifling productivity and wasting stupendous amounts of resources to defend property claims on ideas that have already escaped into the wild.

  • I see nothing wrong with protecting copyrights per se.
    I am a writer and publisher. If I put in the time and effort to write, edit, publish and market my books and the books of others, I think I’m entitled to be paid for my efforts. If I see someone giving away my books for free – or worse, selling illegal copies – I will do everything I can to put them out of business.

    My opposition to SOPA and PIPA is based on the fact that they are badly crafted, technically faulted, will not do what they are intended to do and would have major negative consequences.

    In a perfect world we might all do what we do for the love of it and never need remuneration and somehow it all worked out to keep us fed, clothed, housed and healthy. There’s a lot to be said for the concept of a ‘jubilee year’ in which all wealth is redistributed and we all start new; sort of a Global Economic Reset Button, as it were (GERB – a new goal for OWS!). It would also be great to have pet unicorns, see the lion lie down with the lamb and have politicians whose asses did not contain their heads. Unfortunately, none of the above resembles the reality I see.

    The fact is that we have people trying to make a living doing creative things, producing something of value and we have people who demand that everything be free – and people happy to profit from someone else’s work.
    Most people wouldn’t think of stealing a car or your wallet but are happy to read your book or listen to your songs without paying. And there are scumbags out there who make a good living by ripping off the creators. Aside from sites which enable free download of copyrighted material (and only benefit from Ad clickthru), there are sites which copy and sell stolen material. Any way you slice it, they should be stopped.

    I agree that matters of IP get out of control when corporations get their hand in it. So what? Corporations screw up everything they touch – that’s what greed and power do to people and ultimately corporations are run by people. However, to deny the validity of the very idea of intellectual property simply because some corporations misuse it is to throw out the baby with the bathwater. What we need is to redefine the terms of copyright & patent and the uses to which these can be put so as to prevent misuse and enhance public benefit while promoting the creative process.

    It is worth remembering that the Founding Fathers were all traitors.

  • Intellectual Property is a schema for intellectual serfdom nowadays held up by baby boomer lawyers. Something sane like 7 years non-transferable to corporations, would maybe align the rules with the interests of people that create content, but the situation has spun out of control. People need to look at patents for medical technology (including anti-cancer peptide treatments originated by ‘quack’ Dr Burzynski to name one recent example i saw).

    The hoarding of alternative techs under this IP system, to the point beyond jeopardizing civilization, has certainly reached a critical level, not to mention the perpetual effort against VHS/DVD/peer-to-peer/remix culture / basic nature of memes /etc…


  • “Intellectual Property is a schema for intellectual serfdom…” What in hell does that mean?

    I spend months or years, researching, writing and rewriting, editing repeatedly until I have a book. I publish it as an eBook. Joe Blows grabs and gives it away free, so my sales drop off. His brother Also Blows grabs it and sells it on a pirate website. More of my sales gone.

    Book two is in paper because eBooks are too easy to rip off. Joe and his brother scan the paperback into a PDF and distribute it, free or otherwise.

    Your position would be that guys aren’t doing anything wrong and if I want to pay the rent, I should get into some other line of work.

    I’d be curious to know where you think ‘property rights’ do apply. Anything more abstract than a rock?

    It is worth remembering that the Founding Fathers were all traitors.

  • for the fruits of their labor. In practice, it’s about their work getting bought up for a tiny fraction of what it’s worth (or just passed up entirely), and then corporations that had nothing to do with the innovation in question wringing as much profit from it as they possibly can– even if that means denying the potential of that innovation to the world.

    My wife is a talented and productive musician. Yes, she should get paid fairly for what she does; and no, people listening to bootleg MP3s of her stuff is not why she doesn’t get paid fairly for what she does. Why she doesn’t get paid worth a damn has a lot to do with a prevailing business model predicated on fully transferable IP and the abuse of same.

    I think IP should not be possible to own outright by someone who did not develop that IP. I think to the degree it can be regarded as property, it should be the non-transferable (but licensable) property of its creator or his/her legal heirs. That might drive out some of the potential for private profit, but it would make a much bigger dent in the potential for abuse.

    Remember that the entire legal justification for IP has to do with generalized social and economic benefits derived from innovation made possible by IP. At the point where the social cost of having IP exceeds the benefits of having IP (which is a long time ago now), then it is reasonably the prerogative of the people to decide that only physical property, and not ideas, can be property.

    Plato, Augustine, Galileo, Chaucer, Cervantes, and Newton, as well as many others who need no introduction, lived and worked before the advent of copyright. I dare say they probably got a better deal than they would today.

  • If you can argue against one extreme position, its opposite must be true?

    Right now, the mechanism to support the production of ideas is to treat those ideas as property. What’s the alternative? If I knew, I’d tell you. But it’s a bad mechanism for reasons that we could discuss at length. It would be better for our society to have a different mechanism, and we should be working on one. The change will be difficult because corporations love the monopolies that IP laws give them. In the meantime, simply speaking from the assumption that ideas are property and accusing everyone who has a problem with it as wanting to steal is to avoid the issues.

    One pragmatic reason to work on alternatives is that the IP laws have lost widespread consent. This is true both among the U.S. population and more explicitly among foreign nations. One of the major goals of American trade policy is to get other nations to adopt and enforce American IP laws, to the benefit of American corporations. That’s really short-term thinking. Other countries’ respect for our rights will be about as strong as our respect for Middle Eastern countries’ rights to the oil in their ground. To the extent that we seem to be pegging national prosperity to insisting on others’ honoring our monopolies, we’re headed for trouble. We should manufacture the damned stuff, not base so-called prosperity on collecting fees from other people manufacturing it.

  • The reason for the objection to your predicate is that without some idea of what would replace the concept of ideas as property. Until you posit an alternative that nevertheless protects the interests of the idea’s creator or those of the party or parties that enable the creator, we have no idea what you are talking about. The concept of ideas as property is not in and of itself evil provided that its application both protects the commonweal and the creator where the creator assigns his or her rights to another party. An alternative might be welcome provided it protects all of the relevant parties but you really have to specify what the alternative is and how it interacts with the world as it is before it can be judged.

    As a publisher who adds far more value to his publications both in terms of content and making them available in various media than do our authors, I would hope that any system would allow me a reasonable return on my labor.

  • …idea of IP laws having lost consent than it is a number of other factors:

    -the ability to circumvent IP laws on a massive scale is now trivially available (i.e., anyone who wants to can, with ease),
    -the trend, at least within some key markets such as the US, has been to increase the rights of rightsholders with no widely perceived attendant societal benefit, and
    -with the transition to easier distribution – which should come with fatter profit margins – there has been siginificant reluctance on the part of rightsholders to adopt low cost – high volume strategies, which appears to be what a significan chunk of consumers want.

    In combat one should be very suspicious of painless moral choices. When you are confronted with a seemingly painless moral choice, the odds are that you haven’t looked deeply enough.” ~ Karl Marlantes

  • Is rethink what you believe about credit allocation. When “you” get an idea, it’s not really “you”. The idea COMES to you, it’s your neural networks that produce it, and “you” steal the credit by saying “you” had the idea. So, you stole the credit to begin with. That is a universal fact. Nature produced the ideas, everybody should get a copy for free, especially when it is just information (i.e., not a piece of precious metal).

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