Copyright Maximalists Attempt To Downplay Significance Of RSC Report By Chanting Their Mantra: Copyright Is Property

from the you-can-say-it-as-many-times-as-you-want-and-it's-still-not-true dept

As promised, we're going to continue working on our series of posts analyzing the Republican Study Committee's (RSC) report on copyright myths and how to fix the broken system. We already explored the first myth the paper discusses, that the purpose of copyright is to compensate the creator. That has simply never been true. The purpose is laid out plainly: "to promote the progress of science and the useful arts." And if you really want to go back to the original meanings of all of this, the "science" part is what copyright was talking about, and they really meant for it to cover learning. It was not originally intended for all creative content at all. That's a later bastardization. Even so, it's pretty clear that the purpose of copyright was to "promote the progress." The mechanism was to create an artificial scarcity, via exclusion, that helped support one possible business model for content creators: selling copies of their works for a limited time. That's it. The purpose: promote the progress. The mechanism: artificial scarcity. The problem is when people confuse those two and assume the "mechanism" is the purpose. Tragically, that's what happens all too often.

After we published the initial post on this, some complained that we weren't giving "the other side" fair hearing. So with this post, I wanted to highlight three responses from copyright maximalists, who claim that the arguments made in the RSC paper are faulty. It's important to understand what is being said and where these arguments come from. Let's start with Tom Giovanetti, the man who once called me a "bolshevik" for suggesting that copyright reform was necessary. Amusingly, Giovanetti appears to take credit for getting the RSC to pull the document, though we know that those with much more significance made the calls that actually had an impact. However, Giovanetti's dismissal of the RSC paper is based on one adamant statement: that copyright is property. Period. End stop. No questions.
Rather, it's because, as a property right, copyright is a critical element within the GOP's market-orientation. Markets simply don't work without property rights. You can't have contracts, or licensing, if you don't have clear and enforceable property rights. ALL business models, not just "new" business models, rest on property rights.
This is one of those "nice in theory, totally not true in practice" claims. Here's the thing: copyright has some elements that are "property-like." It allows legal exclusion, like property. It can be sold and transferred, like property. But it has many facets that are not at all like property. The content in question is non-rivalrous and non-excludable for the most part. That's not at all like property. Anyone who defines it as property, without acknowledging the "non-property-like" attributes, is either ill-informed or being purposely misleading. I'll leave it to the reader to determine which is the case here.

As for the idea that all business models "rest on property rights," that's an interesting argument, but again one not supported by reality. Many business models are built on real property rights -- that is, property rights around scarce goods, which are excludable and rivalrous -- but when it comes to non-scarce or infinite goods, there are lots of new business models generated, often by increasing the value of different scarcities. To prove Giovanetti wrong is easy. You just point to any one of the the many content creators who give away their works for free, and profit elsewhere. Hell, point to us. You're reading this for free, and we're making money -- without relying on the "property right" of copyright. Are we relying on some other property rights? Sure. Property rights for real, scarce, property.

And that's the real problem with those who just default to the "copyright = property" argument. It's silly and it's meaningless, because the fact that you can't necessarily rely on copyright for all your profits does not mean there aren't other property rights by which you can make money. In fact, history has shown time and time again that when something is subject to unfettered copying, new business models appear elsewhere.
Further, because the GOP believes in innovation, copyright is a natural fit, because copyright incentivizes and encourages the creation, distribution and promotion of new information. The alternative to copyright isn't free information, but less creation, less widely distributed and marketed.
This is also empirically untrue. Giovanetti seems to want to tell fairy tales by ignoring the actual evidence. Over the last decade, at a time when copyright infringement has been widespread, the amount of content created has skyrocketed at unprecedented rates, and that content has been much more widely distributed and marketed, thanks in part to new technologies.

Furthermore, if we're going to go hardcore "property rights," then it would seem that Giovanetti should really be supporting the copyright reformers, since current copyright reform tramples on property rights all the time. My DVR can't automatically skip commercials. But I paid for it. Why can't I have it do what I want it to do? I bought this DVD, why can't I legally move the content to my computer to watch it? I bought this book in Thailand, why can't I now sell it in the US? These are all issues where copyright is currently invading my property rights. Now, you can make an argument that these are reasonable restrictions on my rights, but if you're going to just scream "property rights" like Giovanetti does, you would think that it's only fair to highlight the ways copyright intrudes on property rights as well. But he doesn't. So, it's difficult to take Giovanetti seriously on this point at all. And since his entire argument is based on this fallacy, let's just move on.

Next up, we've got the Copyright Alliance, a lobbying organization that was set up to protect large studios and record labels' interests while pretending to support creators' interests. They brought along a law professor named Mark Schultz, who you would hope would understand the law, but in fact has a rather simplistic argument that not only falls into the same Giovanetti trap of "but, but, but copyright is property," but goes further in arguing that copyright reformers are really just a bunch of evil "collectivists" seeking to redistribute property from those who rightfully own it to anyone else.
The people who create expressive works deserve to own them and benefit from them. So do the companies that finance and purchase these works for commercial exploitation.
Note that we're already starting off on a bad foot, where the entire basis of the argument is a purely moral one -- that people "deserve" to "own" expressive works. But this statement, beyond pulling at the moral question rather than anything factual, suffers from significant problems. First, what is the "them" that people "deserve" to own? The original work? Sure. But, just as a candlemaker owns that candle, once he sells it to someone else, he no longer "owns" that candle. So, this is a pretty weak starting point. All copies of the work down the line? Well, that's a problem too. Because if I buy that candle, I can make a copy, and I'm not violating anyone's rights in the tangible world. So, already we seem to be stepping beyond the normal bounds of how these things work. But we're just beginning down a weird rabbit hole stuffed to the brim with strawmen that Schultz wants so badly to knock down:
Many modern copyright scholars and commentators have embraced a severe utilitarian view of copyright. In this view, the sole justification for copyright is the benefit that creators provide to society. Society would benefit most if creators worked for free, but, alas, we cannot always convince them to do so. Copyright is thus an unfortunate necessity, given to creators to induce them to provide society what it needs. The labor or welfare of creators has no importance under this view—they and their works exist to serve the good of the greatest number.
I know of no person, on any side of this debate, who has argued that "society would benefit most if creators worked for free." What many of us have argued is that there are more compelling and useful business models from which they can benefit, while also providing greater societal benefit. In economics, it's called increasing the pie. But people like Schultz, who perhaps have little background in economics, seem to think that this is a zero sum game -- and if anyone else benefits, it means the content creator must be losing. Reality says something quite different. You can expand the pie such that the creator can benefit, and profit, and so can society. That's what many of us are aiming towards.

Furthermore, the claim that "copyright is a necessity" to incentivize creation once again ignores the fact that there are other, significant business models that don't rely on copyright at all. It's difficult to take someone seriously when they set up a strawman that reflects an argument no one is actually making... and then knock it over with an even sillier argument that ignores the reality of the market.
As between creators (along with those who finance and/or purchase the rights to their work) and others, who has a better claim to control and exploit a work of authorship? Of course, to a dedicated IP utilitarian, this question is irrelevant. Nobody deserves anything; society takes what it needs, subject to the need to persuade the producer to keep producing what the takers want. While such a churlish and ungenerous view of creators is apparently acceptable to some, many would find the implications chilling.
Again, this is a pure strawman, made up in the fantasy world that lives in Schultz's mind. I've never seen anyone argue that "society takes what it needs." But he's right that the question he's asking is irrelevant. He's asking who is best to "control and exploit" something that does not need to be controlled or exploited in the manner he suggests. As an analogy, it is like he is saying "who better to control and exploit the road in front of your house, than the house owner?" You could legitimately make that argument. But, of course, we don't think of the road in front of your house as being something that someone needs to "exploit." Why? Because it is a piece of infrastructure that creates much greater benefit for everyone, such that they can profit. This is not a case of taking away rights from someone to make them worse off. It is about using core infrastructure to increase the pie and make greater opportunities for everyone. When viewed that way, you can see where focusing on the direct exploitation of each work is pretty silly. What if, instead, the system that works is one in which the music enables many other business models that allow for greater profits?

So, Schultz's argument is based on the same basic fallacy as Giovanetti's, just at a slightly higher intellectual level. Rather than just focusing on "copyright is property," Schultz is arguing both that copyright is property, and that we live in a zero sum world. Since neither point is true, his argument falls apart entirely. Moving on.

The final stop on our tour of rationalization comes from Terry Hart's Copyhype blog, where he kicks it off with a bizarre, and entirely false statement about me, claiming that I stated I will "no longer be able to enjoy future papers, for they will only pale in comparison." I said no such thing, nor do I believe any such thing. Hart is usually quite careful in his statements, and the fact that he needs to resort to an outright lie to kick off his post should give you a sense of where he's going to come from with his attack on Derek Khanna's paper.

Most of Hart's arguments are based on taking snippets of quotes from people in the past to argue "nuh-uh" to things in Khanna's paper. That is, rather than argue reality, let's focus on what someone said years ago if it disagrees with the paper. That's not particularly convincing. It is not difficult to come up with just as many quotes from people arguing the opposite viewpoint at the same time. So, for example, he quotes some people arguing that copyright is property -- both among the Founders and more recently at the Supreme Court. But, it is equally true that there were Founders who believed copyrights to be evil monopolies, and there are Supreme Court rulings that state that copyright is not like property. So, I'm not sure what good random quotes (sometimes out of context) do for this argument.

But then we get to the crux of Hart's argument, which presents a rather troubling and misguided understanding of innovation in capitalist societies:
One of the favorite claims of copyright skeptics is that creators routinely oppose new technology because it “disrupts their business model.” On the contrary, it is often the case that the businesses utilizing the new technology are the ones who feel entitled — entitled to profit off the exploitation of established rights without compensating creators merely because they are using new technology. In this case, creators do “deserve” compensation. This isn’t a prize at the bottom of the box, it’s one of the foundations of a just capitalist society.
Note that we're taking a step up the intelligence scale here from Schultz, but basically making a more advanced version of the same argument: that someone "deserves" something. Again, this is a moral argument that distracts from the point and is hard to support in reality. Second, there is a major assumption in that paragraph that is simply untrue: the idea that companies "feel entitled to profit... merely because they are using new technology." Nothing could be further from the truth, especially in a "just capitalist society." In such worlds, there is no "entitlement" to profit. There is merely what you can get in the market. What many new companies are doing is not feeling entitled to profits because of new technologies, but using new technologies to create economic growth and then using that economic growth to put in place a business model in which people or companies transact with them willingly, such that they can profit.

That is how capitalism works.

What many maximalists seem to fail to understand is that these new technology providers increase the pie. They create economic growth through new technologies and services, and they profit from some of that, but also leave open much of that expanded market for others to profit. This is true throughout history. I know that Hart, in particular, tends to break out in hives (a joke) whenever anyone brings up the "VCR," but it's an instructive example. The movie industry insisted that it was allowing consumer electronics companies to "profit off the exploitation of established rights without compensating creators merely because they are using new technology." And, yes, while Hart would like to scrub this point from history, Jack Valenti did say that the VCR was to the American filmmaker what the Boston Strangler was to the woman at home. It was, as Valenti was making clear, supposedly going to kill the industry.

But it didn't. It was merely five years after Valenti said those words during a Congressional hearing that revenue to the Hollywood studios from home movies surpassed the box office. Five years. And it didn't require a new law. Or forcing these "tech companies" to pay the rights holders what they "deserved." No, instead all it took was the entertainment industry adapting to the new technology and realizing that the pie grew. Massively.

Amusingly, in his let's forget Jack Valenti post from last year, Hart had the following to say about the "myth" that copyright reformers build around Valenti's testimony:
the myth that “content industries hate technology” fails for several reasons. It requires fabricating a group (“the content industry”), ascribing a broad characteristic to it (“hates technology”), and then pulling together disparate quotes from anyone who has stated a concern over some new technology as proof of the theory.
Yet, of course, that's the exact same thing that Hart does in his post trying to debunk Khanna's paper. He fabricates a group ("the tech industry") ascribes a broad characteristic to it ("feels entitled to profits that others deserve because of new technology") and then pulls together disparate quotes as proof of that theory.

So, while I find Hart's critique of Khanna's work informative in surfacing a few interesting historical quotes, it too fails for the same basic reasons as the other two responses cited above.

That said, I appreciate that they are willing to jump in to the debate, and find it sad that members of Congress, whether Republican, Democrat or anything else, have decided that it's not even worth having this debate at all.


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  1.  
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    Atkray (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 9:50am

    Another choice

    " Anyone who defines it as property, without acknowledging the "non-property-like" attributes, is either ill-informed or being purposely misleading."

    or both.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 10:30am

    This is one of those "nice in theory, totally not true in practice" claims. Here's the thing: copyright has some elements that are "property-like." It allows legal exclusion, like property. It can be sold and transferred, like property. But it has many facets that are not at all like property. The content in question is non-rivalrous and non-excludable for the most part. That's not at all like property. Anyone who defines it as property, without acknowledging the "non-property-like" attributes, is either ill-informed or being purposely misleading. I'll leave it to the reader to determine which is the case here.

    It comes down to the definition of property. You, erroneously presuppose that property must have attributes of physical chattel. And you claim that the differences between tangible and intangible property are the differences between property and nonproperty. That is just boot-strapping.

    The legal definition of property is simple the rights in a thing. Property, when discussed in the law, refers to the rights in a thing--not the thing itself. This is the convention taken in the Restatement of Property, and this explains why intangible property like intellectual property is called property. Your view makes it wrong to label copyright property because you start with the erroneous conclusion that the only real property is tangible.

    Sorry, Mike, but you're just changing the definition of property to arrive at your conclusion, i.e., working backwards as you often do. Is intangible property just like tangible property in every way? No. But they are both property since they are both a bundle of rights in a thing--which is all that property is.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 10:36am

    and exactly who expected anything different? isn't it painfully obvious that while there is such fear of the entertainment industries instilled into politicians, nothing will ever change? while there is such 'encouragement' from the entertainment industries (lobbying etc) given to politicians, nothing will ever change. while there can be so few dictating what can/cant/will/wont happen, nothing will change. why those in power cant see that sustaining the few means such hindrance to many, i'll never understand. change and the rewards to ALL could/would be so much greater! it's no good waiting until someone in another country has invented or developed something that improves things significantly, then complaining that it should have been an American invention!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 10:39am

    Re:

    You can post your propaganda all you want, it wont change the fact that copyright is the right to copy, not property. If it was, it wouldn't expire after life plus 75 years. The Constitution and the founding fathers recognized this as a fact, you can't make up something to change it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 10:41am

    Copyright is not property. Otherwise it wouldn't be time limited (to 14 years initially, 70+ now because Disney managed to bribe/lobby politicians into putting that into law).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 10:45am

    Re: Another choice

    Of course they're purposely misleading, you'd have to be blind not to see through their propaganda machine working on sites such as this and the rest of the Internet. Find one article on copyright or Hollywood, and you'll see their keywords being used over and over, many time they get busted for shilling and then panic and shut down their accounts like the cockroaches they are. Its mostly Mike who tolerates them and their crap.

     

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    Chris Brand (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 10:52am

    Did Giovanetti not notice the service industry ?

    "ALL business models, not just "new" business models, rest on property rights" - maybe I'm just being stupid here, but I don't see any requirement for property rights for the person who cleans my office building, or a gardener, or travel agent, or an agent, or a lawyer, or a real estate agent, or any other "service industry" job. I think all those business models are entirely based on contract, with a bit of licensing thrown in in some cases.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 10:53am

    Re:

    Since IP is not a thing but only a bunch of artificial rights that have severe consequences to the rights of everybody else we should do away with it entirely.

    Open source have been doing very well and they have almost no rights.

    Even production companies from the entertainment industry are open sourcing their own software like.

    Dreamworks OpenVDB and Pixar's OpenSubdiv.

    RedHat made a billion dollars without any of those "rights", Arduino is making millions.

    ex-Nasa CTO found fortune in opensource(i.e. OpenStack)

    We can all see a vibrant ecosystem arising that doesn't need strong copyright but is reliant on it staying weak.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 10:55am

    Re:

    All that handwaving and yet you still fail to acknowledge the simple factual point I raised: copyrights have both property-like facets and non-property-like facets. And that anyone insisting that because it has SOME property-like facets, it is "property" is being misleading.

    Also, you are so focused on the technical definition that you (of course) miss the point. You can call it what you want, but if you then use it to make an economic point (as the folks above do) not actually supported by reality, you are open to being called out for supporting bullshit.

    Why would you support bullshit over reality?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 10:56am

    "One of the favorite claims of copyright skeptics is that creators routinely oppose new technology because it “disrupts their business model"

    You missed the obvious error in this statement, it is mainly the publishers that want very strong copyright. Most creators if they are honest and in private, will admit to borrowing from other creators. Doing so in public is now asking for a law suite.

     

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    Disgusted, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:07am

    Congress

    The first thing we need to understand is that the U.S Government is a wholly owned subsidiary of corporate America, with emphasis on Hollywood, Inc. This includes all of The Executive, most of The Legislative, and perhaps 2/3 of the Judicial (there seem to be a few honest judges that I hope survive). That this condition has existed for at least the last 150 years, and is getting progressively worse, just means it is probably impossible to correct without total disruption. Of course, if they keep it up, and the economy collapses, as it will, then we'll have a LOT of disruption. Maybe the guys in Idaho are right.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:09am

    Wall of text - boring - assertions = Mike's rehash.

    Perhaps copyright has evolved with the changes in technology, Mike. -- You're the one who attempts to nag the industry to modernize, but you keep going back to "original intent" for industries that weren't even conceived of back then.

    So I say the movie biz has got it about right, and until YOU make a $100M movie and try to get back its "sunk (or fixed) costs", then you're just a windbag.





    Support Mike STREISAND EFFECT Masnick's proprietary interest!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect
    He innovated the term all by himself! He alone! It's HIS!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:11am

    This "brief" has already been debunked as the silly wishes of a student: copyhype.com.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re:

    All that handwaving and yet you still fail to acknowledge the simple factual point I raised: copyrights have both property-like facets and non-property-like facets. And that anyone insisting that because it has SOME property-like facets, it is "property" is being misleading.

    You incorrectly assume that if something is nonrivalrous or nonexcludable, then it is not property-like. Your definition of what in means to be like property assumes that it must be like tangible property. Property, as that term is used in law, has a much broader meaning, and it means a bundle of rights in a thing (and that thing can be tangible or intangible). That's why it's called intellectual property.

    Your backwards-worked definition means that the phrase intangible property is an oxymoron. You are applying economic concepts and concluding, without any citation to any authority I should add, that unless it's naturally rivalrous and excludable, then it's not property-like. That is not the legal approach to property. I can pull out a line of cites to back this up if you wish. Can you?

    Also, you are so focused on the technical definition that you (of course) miss the point. You can call it what you want, but if you then use it to make an economic point (as the folks above do) not actually supported by reality, you are open to being called out for supporting bullshit.

    No need to be a bully and an asshole. You can't just claim it's a purely economic point, glossing over the FACT that legally it's property.

    Why would you support bullshit over reality?

    Why do you childishly try and paint me into a corner? It's property because it's a bundle of rights in a thing. That's what property means. Some property is tangible, some is not. Some is rivalrous and excludable, some is not. Your narrow definition of property is not the legal one. You are correct to point out the differences between kinds of property, but you are wrong to pretend that the differences render one to be property-like while the other is not.

    Just point out that it's nonrivalrous and make your point. I don't agree that it's nonexcludable since the law makes it excludable. There's no need to be intellectually dishonest about the meaning of the word property. You yourself admit that copyright is property as that word is used in the Constitution, do you not? Please address this point, as I've brought it up many times and you refuse to ever respond. Let's be honest and frank. You claim to want to have such a discussion. Prove it for once.

    And by the way, Terry Hart was just joking there. It's sad that you didn't catch the joke.

     

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    MrWilson, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:12am

    "foundations of a just capitalist society"

    It seems like he just admitted to subscribing to the Just World Fallacy. I don't know many (honest) capitalists who will tell you that capitalism has anything to do with a just society. Capitalism can't work if the world is truly just (unless you think justice involves exploitation and inequality). Charging what the market will bear is nothing close to setting prices with a consideration for the needs or for the benefit of others in society.

    Corrupt capitalism is the root cause of this zero sum mentality. It's dog-eat-dog and the prisoner's dilemma on a mass scale and if you don't screw others, you're the one getting screwed. Of course, copyright infringement is applying the same principle, playing by the same rule as the capitalists, but when they do it it's sound business practices, when you do it, it's against the laws they paid for.

     

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    ya know blue, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:13am

    Re: Wall of text - boring - assertions = Mike's rehash.

    there was once a time when you sounded like a subtle troll.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:15am

    If anybody needs proof that creators can profit without copyright look at open source and how companies are profiting from it.

    Dreamworks just open sourced their smoke machine OpenDVB, Pixar also have gone open source with OpenSubdiv

    Quote:
    "Historically, the public and private sectors have had different priorities. But Chris C. Kemp, CEO of Nebula and co-founder of OpenStack, says it doesn’t have to be that way. The key to aligning their goals is open-source projects."

    Source: Gigaom: How the government can turbocharge private sector innovation Chris C. Kemp, CEO of Nebula, is a former CTO of NASA and co-founder of OpenStack. Nov 25, 2012

    Apparently all smart people are betting on open for business while the fools want monopolies, go figure.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I should add that I suspect you did catch the joke, and you were just being overly dramatic for effect.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re:

    Your preemptive attempt at saying someone is bullshitting before everyone calls you out for your usual obvious bullshit, is stale.

    You can't refute this statement, "they are both property since they are both a bundle of rights in a thing--which is all that property is", so you resort to weasel words and profanity.

    Typical.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:16am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Who doesn't love property that belongs to everyone?

     

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  21.  
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    MrWilson, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:21am

    Re: Wall of text - boring - assertions = Mike's rehash.

    "Perhaps copyright has evolved with the changes in technology, Mike."

    Yes, if "been corrupted" is your definition of the word "evolved."

    "until YOU make a $100M movie and try to get back its "sunk (or fixed) costs", then you're just a windbag."

    Um, anyone with $100M can make a $100M movie. What does that have to do with anything? You're basically telling him he's not rich enough to point out the logical fallacies of people who also aren't making $100M movies.

    But then, I guess Oren Peli couldn't speak on the matter back in 2007 either, according to your absurd conditions, because at that time he made a $15K movie that ended up making close to $200M.

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:22am

    Re:

    And you claim that the differences between tangible and intangible property are the differences between property and nonproperty.

    Mike makes no such claim. Stop making strawmen.

    Mike uses terms such as rivalrous, excludable, and scarce.

    Intangibles can be all of those things. For example, a person's time or attention is an intangible concept - yet it is rivalrous (a person can only do so much in an given time period), excludable (a person can choose to where they spend their time and what they do with it), and scarce (there are only so many hours in the day).

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Why it has to be the law definition?
    Can the law not be updated to reflect new ideas?

    Aside from that the law may say that copyright exist, but for all intent and purposes at the public level that is just not true at all.

     

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    Greevar (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:23am

    Re:

    Property cannot be so if it cannot be exclusive or rivialrous. Ideas are not exclusive nor rivalrous. More than one person may hold the same idea at the same time and doing so does not diminish the one or the other from doing so. That's why IP is not true property. Properties are things that exist in discrete units that are isolated from all other things, but IP does not exist like that. They overlap, they inter-mix, they hold commonality with each other. It would be like my yard irrevocably overlapping with your yard and every yard in the neighborhood. How would we isolate what is our own if part of what is yours, is mine and vice versa?

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I believe that the fundamental disconnect here is the name "Intellectual Property" is a misnomer; it tries to treat ideas as a finite, tangible good. That was okay in the age where it was difficult to copy someone and required specialist equipment.

    However, this concept is now outdated in the arena of the idea, because we've entered a sort of communication singularity, where communication between people far apart is near-instantaneous. In that age, it makes no sense for ideas to be locked up, both economically and culturally. There is no longer a rational reason to support "Intellectual Property" as an exclusive, rivalrous good.

    The internet allows for immense compression of the size of goods available to even the average consumer: for example, whereas before I needed a bookshelf to store all the books I owned, all the games I owned, and all the media I owned, I have a box the size of, say, a personal shredder that can hold them for me. And that can hold a lot of goods.

    I'd almost say we're in a post-content world, but we're not quite at that point.

     

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  26.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:26am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Property, as that term is used in law, has a much broader meaning, and it means a bundle of rights in a thing (and that thing can be tangible or intangible). That's why it's called intellectual property.

    Circular logic at its best (or worst).

    Let's use the fact that the law recognizes intellectual property as a justification for the laws that govern intellectual property.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, it'll be weird living in a world where you can store every bit of classic literature in your pocket and transfer every bit of classic literature in your pocket to every other pocket that wants it.

    Oh wait, we have that now. Soon it will be all the literature. All the music. All the movies.

    So convenient.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:29am

    Re: Re:

    Here is what the savants of the restatement have to say about the meaning of the word property:
    The word “property” is used sometimes to denote the thing with respect to which legal relations between persons exist and sometimes to denote the legal relations. The former of these two usages is illustrated in the expressions “the property abuts on the highway” and “the property was destroyed by fire.” This usage does not occur in this Restatement. When it is desired to indicate the thing with regard to which legal relations exist, it will be referred to either specifically as “the land,” “the automobile,” “the share of stock,” or, generically, as “the subject matter of property” or “the thing.

    ”The word “property” is used in this Restatement to denote legal relations between persons with respect to a thing. The thing may be an object having physical existence or it may be any kind of an intangible such as a patent right or a chose in action.
    Restatement (First) of Property I, 1 IN NT (1936).

    This is why courts and commentators for centuries have referred to copyright as property. See, e.g., Professor Hughes "Copyright and Incomplete Historiographies: Of Piracy, Propertization, and Thomas Jefferson" http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=934869

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:31am

    Re: Re:

    Mike makes no such claim. Stop making strawmen.

    Sure he does. He says it's not property-like BECAUSE it's nonrivalrous and nonexcludable. That presupposes that being property-like means necessarily being rivalrous and excludable. That's not what property means.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Circular logic at its best (or worst).

    It's not circular in the least. Property means the rights in a thing. Tangible things can be property as can intangible things. The reason the law is so comfortable with calling intangibles (such as copyright) property despite the fact that they aren't naturally nonrivalrous and nonexcludable is because whether something is property-like or not does not turn on it's being naturally rivalrous and excludable. Mike is making the erroneous presupposition that property-like means rivalrous and excludable. That is not the legal meaning of the word property.

     

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    Greevar (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:37am

    Re: Wall of text - boring - assertions = Mike's rehash.

    There's a fine line between troll and asshole. You've just crossed it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah, and property can belong to everyone.

     

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    Violated (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:38am

    Crazyville

    I found that RSC report the most beautiful political document that I have ever seen. It even brought a tear to my eye after reading how extremely well balanced and thoughtful it was. In all it was a good reflection of the voice of the people but then it was crushed and silenced in under a day.

    If we want to talk about real copyright reform and the Internet then we should bring all voices to the tables. Since there is an on-going Copyright War a in battle for control then it helps none to silence one side making these copyright cartels the only voice in town. Well they can't hide forever when the current problems are known and good idea tend to spread.

    As to property rights then I have always classed copyright in terms that they may own the media but they do not own the market in which it is distributed. This is a bit like a self-replicating vase which once released in the marketplace gets passed from hand to hand to be examined. People in the market then decide if their stall should host this vase through a replicated copy. The vase creator has no voice where this vase ends up, even in people's homes, but when there is a sale the the creator gets paid.

    Copyright as it stands aims to control the market with exclusive rights to host the vase. It can only appear through stalls A to J. Stalls by the gate are forced charge more for the vase. Examination time of the vase is limited to 30 seconds where tickets can be purchased for longer viewing. Then if anyone buys the vase they are banned using the self-replication feature and where no more than 5 people are allowed to view the vase at anyone time.

    So it a common mistake they make, when we are not after their media but for the public to control the market it lives within, namely an open free trade market far removed from these monopolies.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:42am

    If ideas are property, why do they need copyright?

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You're still going around in circles.

    You're using the legal definitions of property to justify intellectual property included within those definitions.

    Want to prove your argument is not circular? Please justify your legal definition of property without resorting to the law.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Not that the legal definition of copyright as property is as cut and dry as you pretend it to be (yes, I would like a citation that supports your assertion from a law or a (preferably Supreme) court ruling that clearly delineates copyright as the same as property)...but you're also basically saying, in the event you were actually correct about the legal definition, that you'd believe it was raining when someone pissed on your leg as long as someone had passed a law or a made a court ruling determining that urine is legally defined as rain. Reality would tell you otherwise.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Here's a unanimous Supreme Court saying copyrights are property: "The owner of the copyright, if he pleases, may refrain from vending or licensing and content himself with simply exercising the right to exclude others from using his property."

    Source: http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=11927843113158763814

    The point Mike is trying to make is that it's not like tangible property. That's fine. But it's incorrect to say it's not property.

    Besides, Mike himself admits that copyright is property as that word is used in the Due Process Clauses. Just ask him. He probably won't answer because he dodges this question like the plague. But he has admitted it before and he may admit it again. Maybe in his quest to be open, human, and awesome he can actually address this point. I doubt it, but I have hope nonetheless.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:53am

    strange how those with this attitude cant even see that the positions they are in now would not have happened if the attitude they have had been used to the same extent then as it is now. how can holding something back be more beneficial to the majority than using that something to progress new ideas or revamp old ones?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You're still going around in circles.

    You're using the legal definitions of property to justify intellectual property included within those definitions.

    Want to prove your argument is not circular? Please justify your legal definition of property without resorting to the law.


    You aren't making much sense. Here is the definition from the Restatement of Property, as I cited above. Property is the "legal relations between persons with respect to a thing." Starting with definitions is not circular, since you have to start somewhere. The legal definition of property does not turn on it being excludable or rivalrous.

     

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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:56am

    Mental Substitution

    Whenever I see people try to justify intellectual property under confused and ridiculous ideas of what constitutes "property", I just mentally substitute "slavery" in for "copyright" and see if the sentence still makes sense.
    "Rather, it's because, as a property right, slavery is a critical element within the GOP's market-orientation."

    "Further, because the GOP believes in production, slavery is a natural fit, because slavery incentivizes and encourages the creation, harvesting and distribution of cotton."

    "The people who house and feed slaves deserve to own them and benefit from them. So do the companies that finance and purchase these slaves for commercial exploitation."

    "Slavery is thus an unfortunate necessity, given to slave owners to induce them to provide society what it needs."
    Turns out it works pretty well, and ends up with just as ridiculous a result.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Quote:
    Property means the rights in a thing


    I say it is more than just that, it also needs the capacity of anybody to secure those rights, with that said copyright for all intent and purposes is in fact back to where it belongs the commons.

    If you want to argue the law which is pointless about a discussion that is about reasserting definitions or creating new ones and doesn't need to follow the "law definition" because is about creating the "law definition" for future generations, go ahead.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Property

    Some rights can be property, trying to exclude the commons from the commons though will be hard to realize, but one can try of course and try to create "property" where none is required to exist, or is welcome.

     

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    Milton Freewater, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:04pm

    Re:

    "It comes down to the definition of property. You, erroneously presuppose that property must have attributes of physical chattel. And you claim that the differences between tangible and intangible property are the differences between property and nonproperty."

    Mike doesn't say that at all. Not even close.

    He allows that copyright (intangible property) has some elements that are property-like.

    But he insists that there are differences between tangible and intangible property.

    You agree with him, because you acknowledge these differences exist.

     

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  43.  
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    Richard (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:05pm

    Re:

    The legal definition of property is simple the rights in a thing. Property, when discussed in the law, refers to the rights in a thing--not the thing itself.

    Of course this is exactly the kind of definition that you make when you want to embue the monopoly rights you have just invented with a diginity that they don't deserve.

    Some lawyer making a definition that apparently classifies a concept as "property" doesn't make it so.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Property by what definition?

    There are many ways to define property, if you believe in effort property you may be right, if you believe in scarcity as a per-requisite for property to exist than it is not, others believe it should be about scarcity that makes property property.

    So what is being discussed here, the legal definition or the very core of what property means?

    I doubt people would need to respect the law definition to come up with a new one to replace it if it needs be.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Re:

    Mike doesn't say that at all. Not even close.

    He allows that copyright (intangible property) has some elements that are property-like.

    But he insists that there are differences between tangible and intangible property.

    You agree with him, because you acknowledge these differences exist.


    All the sockpuppets are coming out. Sweet.

    It is when he says that copyrights aren't property-like because they are not naturally rivalrous or excludable that he is wrong (as I've said many times now). Mike presupposes that things that aren't naturally rivalrous and excludable are not property-like. That misunderstands what it means to be property-like.

     

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    Milton Freewater, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:10pm

    I do believe one thing ...

    Folks on certain boards and in certain offices included back catalogs in their assessed valuations of content companies back when they were being acquired in the 1970s-1990s.

    They made an enormous mistake in restrospect. But it's easy to see why they'd defend themselves. They're trying to prop up the perceived value of their assets.

    They're not going to get the "communications bubble" back, any more than homeowners are going to restore the perceived value of real estate. But I see why they try.

    I think they know how lame these arguments look.

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:10pm

    The Church Lady Paradox.

    > You incorrectly assume that if something is nonrivalrous or nonexcludable, then it is not property-like.

    The right to exclude is what property is.

    If you can't exclude, then it fails to conform to ideas about property that are pretty much universal throughout all of human history and all human cultures.

    This is why you have to "educate" people that copying is wrong. They have an intuitive understanding that value relates to marginal production cost and they see no immorality in copying.

    Even the most pious church lady won't naturally conflate piracy with theft.

     

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    Richard (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Whether you call "IP" property or not really doesn't matter.

    The point is that being "nonrivalrous and nonexcludable" deprives it of the characteristics of property that you are relying upon in order to make your argument.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:13pm

    The point is that being "nonrivalrous and nonexcludable" deprives it of the characteristics of property that you are relying upon in order to make your argument.

    Can you explain this further, please? What is the argument that incorrectly assumes copyright is rivalrous?

     

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  50.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You incorrectly assume that if something is nonrivalrous or nonexcludable, then it is not property-like.

    Your dishonesty is so intense that you lie in your very first statement. I specifically said that it IS property-like. I said -- explicitly -- that it has both property-like and non-property-like aspects.

    Property, as that term is used in law, has a much broader meaning, and it means a bundle of rights in a thing (and that thing can be tangible or intangible). That's why it's called intellectual property.

    No, it's called that because maximalists found it useful to try to shove it into a box that leads to maximalism.

    without any citation to any authority

    You do realize that "appeal to authority" is a common *logical fallacy*. I'm debating reality, not what someone falsely said about reality once.

    that unless it's naturally rivalrous and excludable, then it's not property-like.

    Except I said the opposite.

    Why do you lie?

    No need to be a bully and an asshole.

    Rich, from you. It's only been a few weeks since you last told me to "fuck off and die," right?

    You can't just claim it's a purely economic point, glossing over the FACT that legally it's property.

    When we're arguing reality, not some definition put in place to advance certain interests, I think that we can argue the economic point.

    But, again, you still seem to think I said something 100% different from what I did say.

    This is my complaint with you: you have a strawman Mike in your head, and no matter how many times I prove that what you think I say is not what I say, you still lie.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re:

    "Some lawyer making a definition that apparently classifies a concept as "property" doesn't make it so."

    You know what's hilarious? Average_joe has on more than one occasion admitted to "not signing in" on this site and leaving comments. Meaning just going as another Anonymous Coward. What's interesting to note is that as I've said on numerous occasions every single person has their own unique writing style, and AJ is no different. I merely point this out because having read many of AJ's comments I find it eerie that the AC you're replying to writes a lot like AJ. Coincidence? Perhaps. Or it could just be AJ, a.k.a. some lawyer in training. I'll let everyone decide for themselves which is the more likely scenario. Some random AC is writing just like a lawyer and doing so to just keep nitpicking over what Mike has stated in the article regarding "property". Or it's AJ not signed in, just nitpicking over what Mike has stated in the article regarding "property".

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:15pm

    When trolls trawl Google they end up with old boots.

    That is not what you claim it is. I invite the others to actually read that cite for themselves.

    This is just another case of publishers trying to have it both ways. Copyright is whatever publishers want it to be at a particular time. There is no consistency or underlying philisophical principle beyond "what will benefit us today".

     

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    Richard (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It is when he says that copyrights aren't property-like because they are not naturally rivalrous or excludable that he is wrong (as I've said many times now). Mike presupposes that things that aren't naturally rivalrous and excludable are not property-like. That misunderstands what it means to be property-like.

    OK - I will accept that they are property like. However I will not accept that they share those characteristics of everyday, physical, property that provoke the moral instincts about "theft" that you are peddling.

     

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    Shadow Dragon (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Re: Wall of text - boring - assertions = Mike's rehash.

    He could be fifth column troll,weakening copyright maximumalist from within.

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:20pm

    Unnatural scarcity

    The important part is that lack of scarcity requires an intrusive government framework in order for that scarcity exist. Therefore it cannot be any sort of natural right since the scarcity in question is not a natural condition.

    Even very effective tyrants have a problem enforcing the scarcity of creative material. Ideas spread like the plague and reshape the world despite the best efforts of Kings and Robber Barons.

     

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    jupiterkansas (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:20pm

    Re: Wall of text - boring - assertions = Mike's rehash.

    To quote Roger Corman: "If I had a $100 million, I'd make a dozen movies."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:20pm

    Re:

    Yours?

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I can't understand why you all you can do is keep running back to the law or legal definitions. Yes, you need to start somewhere, but why do you think the beginning is a law book? We can start at a much lower level. Laws are based on language, and built from there - and I was always taught not to use the term you're defining in its own definition.

    Can we agree that property is "the ownership or control over a thing"?

    That seems to be the simplest definition I can get to, the terms "ownership" and "control" are understood, and "thing" can apply to tangibles or not.

    Now, based on that definition, things which are non-excludable, non-rivalrous, infinitely copyable do not fit under the definition of property. You cannot control an idea, and outside of artificial legal constructs you cannot own some collection of copyable and transferable data.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Your dishonesty is so intense that you lie in your very first statement. I specifically said that it IS property-like. I said -- explicitly -- that it has both property-like and non-property-like aspects.

    I am not lying at all. I am pointing out that you are incorrect to say that it has any nonproperty-like aspects at all. I don't know how I can be any clearer about this. As I have said repeatedly in this thread, you incorrectly presuppose that if something is naturally nonrivalrous and nonexcludable then it is not property-like. Whether something is or is not property has nothing to do with whether it is naturally rivalrous or excludable.

    No, it's called that because maximalists found it useful to try to shove it into a box that leads to maximalism.

    That's the rumor from the anti-copyright crowd. Can you back it up with evidence? Can you prove that there is a concerted effort to propertize copyright, and that by using these words they are trying to expand things? Nope. It's silly.

    Rich, from you. It's only been a few weeks since you last told me to "fuck off and die," right?

    The only thing I want you to do is be open, human, and awesome. I've heard that such people do well.

    When we're arguing reality, not some definition put in place to advance certain interests, I think that we can argue the economic point.

    But, again, you still seem to think I said something 100% different from what I did say.

    This is my complaint with you: you have a strawman Mike in your head, and no matter how many times I prove that what you think I say is not what I say, you still lie.


    And you're just ignoring every single point I've made. Can you actually address my points?

    (1) Property means ones legal relations to a thing. Copyright is property because it is ones rights in a thing.

    (2) It is incorrect to say that copyright is not property because whether something is property or not does not turn on whether it's naturally rivalrous and excludable.

    (3) Copyright is property under the Due Process Clause as that clause uses the word property. You have said so in the past. Can you discuss this point now?

    (4) What incorrect claim is being made that pretends like copyright is rivalrous when really it is not?

    Can you actually address these points and have a meaningful discussion on the merits? Let's have a productive discussion. Or are you not able?

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:29pm

    Copyright owners have a right to their work, they dont have a right to to break other peoples natural rights, they dont have a right to make someones life diffiçult as a form of intimidation, to keep them docile, to go along and in some cases, having the honour to pay them to do it, aint that nice of em

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's property because it's a bundle of rights in a thing. That's what property means. Some property is tangible, some is not.


    If property IS 'a bundle of rights in a thing' then ALL property is intangible since all rights are intangible. What is actually being discussed though is not the legal frame work but the differences between 'things' rights cover.

    You yourself admit that copyright is property as that word is used in the Constitution, do you not?


    Copyrights can be owned like property. That doesn't mean that copyrights are rights TO property. You're so wrapped up in legalities you keep missing the forest for the trees, all transferable rights are intangible property but that doesn't mean the things they cover are property.

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:40pm

    Sigh

    Another totally wasted opportunity for a useful debate based in reality with about 3 pages of what looks suspiciously like average_joe arguing an obtuse and picky legal point and screaming "It's the LAWWWWWW!!!".

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

    The only innovations that IP law have created were:

    - Creative accounting.
    - Creative labeling of laws.
    - Innovative language in patent applications.

    And some other stuff.

    Isn't that marvelous?

     

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    Richard (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

    Re:

    What is the argument that incorrectly assumes copyright is rivalrous?

    The argument doesn't "incorrectly assume". I don't believe you are that stupid (correct me if I am wrong). What it does is to deceive people into believing a falsehood.

    If copyright were rivalrous then copying would automatically deprive the copyright owner of something.

    Most property is rivalrous and therefore by claiming IP as property you imply that the moral assumptions that surround tangible, rivalrous, property can be applied - and therefore that copying automatically does something bad to the rightsholder.

    If you are prepared to believe that kind of argument then I will prove to you that all horses are the same colour!

     

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    Richard (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re:

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You are correct to point out my error, thank you. I was imprecise. All property is intangible because it is rights in a thing. But the convention is to use tangible property for where that thing is tangible, and intangible property where the thing is intangible. The rights themselves are always intangible as you correctly point out.

    Copyrights are property because they are rights to a thing. That thing is the underlying copyrighted work. Once that thing is fixed in a tangible medium the copyrights subsist in the author. Destroy the thing and the rights are not extinguished.

     

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    hfbs (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:48pm

    copyright incentivizes and encourages the creation, distribution and promotion of new information.


    I may not know much, but to say that being able to rely on one invention/creative work/whatever to the extent of not having to create another one actually encourages creation of more is quite hard to parse.

    (That sentence might also be quite hard to parse, so TL;DR - life + 70 copyright cannot encourage creation of new stuff because you can rely on that one thing you did forever)

     

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  68.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Re:

    The argument doesn't "incorrectly assume". I don't believe you are that stupid (correct me if I am wrong). What it does is to deceive people into believing a falsehood.

    But you haven't given me a concrete example. Give me an example of where someone called it property while trying to pull a fast one about its nonrivalrous nature.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Sigh

    It's called having a discussion. Funny how Mike runs away whenever anyone challenges anything he's said. Frank and honest discussions on the merits just aren't his cup of tea.

     

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  70.  
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    saulgoode (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    My first thought when characterizing copyrights and patents is to contrast the two with other government-granted monopolies on things such as power grids, water utilities, timber harvesting, and TV/radio broadcasts. Yet in all those instances, and unlike the case of copyrights and patents, there is indeed a natural rivalrous and exclusive component to the commodity.

    Perhaps you could provide an example -- aside from the realm of patents and copyrights -- of a "property" that IS naturally non-rivalrous and non-excludable?

     

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  71.  
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    Richard (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:03pm

    Re:

    Can you explain this further, please? What is the argument that incorrectly assumes copyright is rivalrous?

    Further to my previous reply - of course the right itself IS rivalrous because only one "person" can hold it at a time. However it is also an error to transfer the property-like nature of the right onto the good that it relates to.

     

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  72.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    All property is intangible because it is rights in a thing.


    And here we arrive at the real issue. People are trying to have a discussion about reality, about more than just legal frameworks and models of reality, and you keep citing the legal frameworks not only as if they're relevant, which would be forgivable even when they are not, but as if they're definitive.

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Re: Sigh

    In the dictionary under "Circular Argument" it says "See: Circular argument"

     

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  74.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And here we arrive at the real issue. People are trying to have a discussion about reality, about more than just legal frameworks and models of reality, and you keep citing the legal frameworks not only as if they're relevant, which would be forgivable even when they are not, but as if they're definitive.

    I get that copyright is not naturally rivalrous or excludable. My point is that it's incorrect to say that that means it is not property-like because of that fact.

    Regardless, I still don't understand what Mike's point is. Sure, people can give away millions of copies of something without having their copy taken from them. It's nonrivalrous. We all know this. Nobody is pretending otherwise. It's a straw man on multiple levels to pretend like people are arguing otherwise. The law makes copyright excludable. But people can choose to not enforce those rights. They can choose to do that with tangible property as well. So what?

    It's a straw man to pretend like people are calling it property to gloss over the things that make it unlike tangible property. First of all, it is property, since property-like does not turn on rivalrousness or excludability. Second, the people calling it property aren't pretending like it's rivalrous even though it's really not.

     

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  75.  
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    crade (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:16pm

    Re:

    Who does he think makes this new technology anyway? Does he think it falls from the sky? It couldn't be creators making it, could it?

     

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  76.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Mental Substitution

    It took a civil war in the U.S.A. to end slavery (though, granted, the main cause of it had to do more with economic disparity between the North and the South).

    Sadly, I think I know what the next civil war in the U.S.A. will be fought over, at least in part.

     

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  77.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Read the article and your questions will be answered.

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Second, the people calling it property aren't pretending like it's rivalrous even though it's really not.
    How many times in industry arguments has a line like "Copyright infringement is the same as theft". Indeed, every film in the cinema and every DVD has a trailer with the line "You wouldn't steal a car..." or something very similar. In what way is this not directly equating a non-rivalrous good with a rivalrous one? In what way is this not pretending that a copy of a film is directly the same as a car?

    Watch out for those zebra crossings, you might just get yourself run down by a copied car.

     

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    Richard (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    OK - here is a sentence from one of the linked articles

    "Protecting property is one of the essential jobs of a decent, properly constituted society, securing the rights of people to benefit from their productive labor and protecting the weak from arbitrary confiscation of their property. Typically, we call this arrangement civilization, not subsidy."

    Here we see the inference that copyright infringement is equivalent to "arbitrary confiscation".

     

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  80.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How does any of that stop people from making copies? That's what I'd like to know . . .

     

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  81.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

    Re:

    I wish my house lasted life plus 70 years with little to no maintenance!

     

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  82.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re:

    The majority of new technology come from young bright minds who couldn't care less about copyright and IP.

    The whole internet is built on a core set of standards that are completely free and open. The majority of the internet runs on systems that are completely free and open. The internet is worth billions to the global economy. And all of this without oppressive copyright, how the hell did that happen?

     

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  83.  
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    Ruben, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Wall of text - boring - assertions = Mike's rehash.

    I'm still not getting why the world needs $100m movies.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    What the Republicans are up against

    As I have said in other threads, I'm not going to argue for or against IP protection. It's of interest to me as part of a much larger economic/sustainability picture, but as an issue of itself, it isn't something I'll put much energy into.

    However, what does interest me are proposals to suggest that the Republican Party might become the champion of the anti-IP coalition and therefore win new voters because of it. I'm skeptical about that because there are so many other issues the Republicans were representing that I think the Party would have to reinvent itself in many areas to be win over new voters.

    And here is an excellent view of the fundamental difference between the parties right now.

    What Republicans Are Really Up Against: Population Density - Politics - The Atlantic Cities: "The crux of the Republican problem is not the changing ethnic and demographic makeup of America, but their being at odds with the very logic of urbanism and economic development."

     

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  85.  
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    Overcast (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:44pm

    "Copyright Is Property"

    So then I can torrent all I want? After all; by saying that - theft would mean "taking of one's property" - and in that case, I've taken no property if I torrent something.

    Not that I do torrent illegal stuff - just saying... :)

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: Mental Substitution

    I think I know what the next civil war in the U.S.A. will be fought over


    Don't kid yourself.

    SOPA/PIPA generated about 8 million calls and emails to the politicians, if we believe reliable sources. In comparison, total population of the US is around 320 million or so, last time I checked.

    Rule of thumb: You need about a third of the population to start a revolution. And that third doesn't guarantee a win either, mind you. That's just what you need to start playing.

    The current discontent over IP issues appears, objectively, to be at least an order of magnitude beneath the level needed for a genuine insurgency.

     

    (Course, every tiny band of wannabee robin-hoods likes to style themsevlves an “insurgency”. Heck, even establishment rock'n'roll bands like to portray themselves as “revolutionary” too. That's just marketing hype—not reality.)

     

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  87.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So what is being discussed here, the legal definition or the very core of what property means?

    The very word 'property' originates from a legal definition, you doofus.

     

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  88.  
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    RadialSkid (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:54pm

    Re:

    Copyhype doesn't debunk anything. You can't debunk with bunk.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Who cares? Everything he says is correct. That's why Masnick is having a tantrum.

     

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  90.  
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    RadialSkid (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 1:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Mental Substitution

    The current discontent over IP issues appears, objectively, to be at least an order of magnitude beneath the level needed for a genuine insurgency.

    Give it another 10 years.

     

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  91.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You guys are obsessed. I appreciate the compliment. I'm on my wife's computer writing a paper (she has two monitors, which makes research and writing easier). I'm not logged in because I'm logged into her Windows as her. It's not a conspiracy theory.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re: Sigh

    What's your definition of Mike running away? I see a few posts from him in the comments.

    Oh right...Average_Joe, I forgot. It's been so long since you were here, I forgot what you were like. You constantly pestered Mike to answer a loaded question, usually to answer about what his moral beliefs on copyright were if I recall correctly. Given that morals are relative and not universal, he declined (perhaps you could pay him to take time out of his busy schedule, if you want an answer that badly?)

    And yes, it is you Average_Joe, you're the only one of the trolls who constantly accused Mike of running away, and of screaming "it's the FUCKING LAWWWWWW!!!!!"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    I see him acting obfuscating and acting childish. Wake me up when he's ready to actually discuss things substantively and productively.

     

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  94.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And how many times have you screamed for Mike to answer a loaded question, a demand that went far past the line of obsession very quickly?
    Pot, meet kettle.

     

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  95.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Mental Substitution

    That's what I am saying, too. IP laws aren't a big issue for most people.

    Food Prices And Social Unrest [CHART] - Business Insider: "When food prices hit a certain critical level, Marco Lagi, Karla Z. Bertrand, and Yaneer Bar-Yam show, people tend to turn to violence--because their desperation hits a level at which they have nothing left to lose."

     

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  96.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    OK - here is a sentence from one of the linked articles

    "Protecting property is one of the essential jobs of a decent, properly constituted society, securing the rights of people to benefit from their productive labor and protecting the weak from arbitrary confiscation of their property. Typically, we call this arrangement civilization, not subsidy."

    Here we see the inference that copyright infringement is equivalent to "arbitrary confiscation".


    I get it. Some people call it theft and the like. I agree that it's properly called infringement, and that unlike theft it doesn't deprive anyone of possession. They're using the words imprecisely. Sure. But that's not what Mike is talking about. Mike is the one trying to twist the meanings of words by incorrectly using them. If he wants to point out that it's nonrivalrous and that people don't have to think of it in the same way as rivalrous things, then that's fine. But to pretend like *he's* the one using the word property correctly is silly. Mike's whole point is that they can just give it away since it's nonrivalrous. I'm pretty sure every right holder on the planet understands this. It's not that difficult a point. And to pretend like people are just having their eyes glazed over because of the scary baggage that comes from using the word property is just dumb. Just be honest, admit that it's a type of property, and move on. But to whine about how people use the word theft while at the same time jumping through ridiculous hoops to pretend like copyright is not property is disingenuous at best.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    childish

    child·ish
    [chahyl-dish] Show IPA
    adjective
    1.
    of, like, or befitting a child: childish games.
    2.
    puerile; weak; silly: childish fears.

    Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/childish

    You, "good" sir, have long acted childish. A child will constantly demand something and ignore any and all refusals, e.g. a child screaming for sweets at the cash register. You have, dozens of times, demanded Mike answer a question. You have claimed to be in support of property and creator's rights, and yet, you completely ignore Mike's ownership rights of this very website (I remember very clearly him stating flat out that he wants $1,000 a month from you to comment on this site, something which you ignored...thus ignoring a creator's rights).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    I'm here to have a frank and honest discussion about what Mike wrote in the article. It's abundantly clear that he's not up for defending anything that he wrote. It's hilarious that he pretends like he's happy others have joined the debate: "I appreciate that they are willing to jump in to the debate." But then he runs away and won't defend anything he's written. That's his m.o., unfortunately.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Wake me up when he's ready to deal with more loaded questions, "The law is the law because it's the law" and "WHY YOU NO DEBATE ME?".

    Sure thing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Yeah, God forbid he/you actually ever stand behind anything he/you wrote when challenged. Funny how these threads just turn into us talking about talking about it.

    Mike, what's your definition of the word property? And where did you get this definition? Such simple questions, and yet they are never addressed. Obfuscate and spread the hate. That's the TD motto, I've come to realize.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    The problem is YOU, Average_Joe. Not Mike. If Mike doesn't want to answer questions to anybody, that's up to him. He has no obligation of any kind to answer questions. A polite grown up will make say, at most three attempts to get someone to answer a question/have a debate. Once the other side fails, you then move on.
    Now, I want you to answer my question: why do you think Mike should answer you? If you don't answer, you're just running away, you're not defending anything you've written.

     

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  102.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    LMAO. Could this conversation be any dumber? Mike pretends like he's grateful that those people want to have an open discussion about these issues. I agree. Let's do that. Where's Mike?

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 2:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    So, by your very own definitions of "running away", you are now running away, since you refuse to answer my question. You refuse to debate me.
    Are you not a polite grown-up? A polite grown-up makes one, two, maybe three attempts at most to get someone to debate/answer a question. You are on number Eleventy Thousand by this point.

     

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  104.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Come on Average Joe... You really need to proove how specifics fit in the circle if you want to claim that everything about "subject x" is "inside the circle".

    Also, the difference in definitions of a word makes your little spin-trick pretty cruel. In the end you must accept that the definition in your laws is not as specific as you will find it otherwise used (Face it: The definitions used in legal texts are almost always broader or more specific than in other uses, to provide enough rubber to convict someone trying to shortcut the legal process on that detail. It is not just IP-maximalists using that trick and you probably already know that if you actually want to claim to understand law...). Calling him a liar on that ground is nothing but ad hominem.

    Please look away from your SCOTUS texts for a moment and learn what economy, philosophy and especially logic dictates before you try to discredit someone on an open claim.

     

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  105.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You keep hammering the "rights in a thing" definition, but by that argument copyright can't be a property as it only covers the right to make a copy of the thing.

    So, using the "rights in a thing" argument, the property here is the act of copying a thing...I don't know about you, but I have never heard of an action being considered property.

     

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  106.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I've provided a definition for the word property and given sources to back it up. Mike won't even define the word or give any sources. He keeps saying that copyright is not property, but then he refuses to even define the word or discuss what the possible meanings could be. He seems to think that there is some problem with people calling copyright property in that they don't realize that it is naturally nonrivalrous. I'm pretty sure everyone knows it's nonrivalrous, so I don't really see the point in the straw man.

     

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  107.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 3:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You keep hammering the "rights in a thing" definition, but by that argument copyright can't be a property as it only covers the right to make a copy of the thing.

    So, using the "rights in a thing" argument, the property here is the act of copying a thing...I don't know about you, but I have never heard of an action being considered property.


    The thing is the underlying work. The right is the property. Property is just rights in a thing. Copyright, my property right, gives me the right to exclude others from making copies. Just like, say, my equitable interest in Facebook stock gives me certain rights as to the corporation, or my property line gives me certain rights as to my neighbor's fence.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 3:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The reason we don't call it property and shouldn't have to call it property is that it doesn't share characteristics that we associate with things that everyone calls property.

    Beside, Joe, if it is property...how can it be property when the works fall into the public domain after X number of years? If I get a block of wood and carve say a chair, that chair is mine and will always be mine, unless I give it away. It doesn't fall into public ownership after 14 years, or 28 years or X years. That one chair will always be mine. I cannot claim ownership of the chair in the house next door, even if the guy who made it watched me make my own chair and followed what I did exactly.

    For you to say that IP actually is property, you are now saying that authors not only own their ideas, they own the pieces of paper and the electronic media their ideas are stored on. Since ideas themselves cannot be owned, since the idea of 2+2 in my head doesn't mean you can't simultaneously own the idea of 2+2 in your own head, there must be something else that must be called property in order for IP to work. That necessarily means the media in which the idea is communicated. Do you own the paper in the book that is sold to me in the bookstore, just because you wrote the words?
    If you do own the paper, then the process of a commercial transaction falls apart completely. Especially in the face of there never being terms and conditions explained to a customer. At least, I'd have a different argument if ever the cashier was to explain to me what exactly I'd be purchasing, what ownership rights I, the customer, would have. To this day, that has never happened.

     

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  109.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 3:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    (1) Property means ones legal relations to a thing. Copyright is property because it is ones rights in a thing.


    You are using a legal definition for an economics argument. That's where we disagree. Property in an economic sense is something that is rivalrous and excludable -- because property is the natural outgrowth of allocation of scarce goods. When something is nonrivalrous and nonexcludable, allocation is no longer an issue, and thus, you don't need "property" as an economics concept.

    That is, you're playing a game of semantics by choosing a definition you prefer, rather than dealing with the actual situation.

    (2) It is incorrect to say that copyright is not property because whether something is property or not does not turn on whether it's naturally rivalrous and excludable.


    Addressed above.

    (3) Copyright is property under the Due Process Clause as that clause uses the word property. You have said so in the past. Can you discuss this point now?

    Addressed above.

    (4) What incorrect claim is being made that pretends like copyright is rivalrous when really it is not?

    The claim that you need "copyright" for the sake of a functioning market in the content that copyright covers. The argument is made that you need such laws as copyright -- which create artificial scarcity, or you would not have (or would have less) of the good. That argument makes sense in a world of scarce goods (rivalrous, exlcudable). It does not make any sense at all with nonscarce goods.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 3:56pm

    Re: Sigh

    Another totally wasted opportunity for a useful debate based in reality with about 3 pages of what looks suspiciously like average_joe arguing an obtuse and picky legal point and screaming "It's the LAWWWWWW!!!".

    Amusingly, "average_joe" won't show up because "average_joe" promised that if I actually engaged with him he'd leave the site until the end of the year. He made that promise months ago. And, right after, this "anonymous coward" who uses the exact same claims as "average_joe" showed up and promptly began spewing the same crap.

    This is why I should know better than to engage with him. He's not just dishonest in his arguments, he's an outright liar.

     

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  111.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You are completely ignoring what I write... Calling it a straw man is pretty rich.

    You claim he lies on some detail. I say that the detail is debatable and claim that you cannot proove he is lying. You claim he is straw manning because he did not start a search for the eternally true definition of "property".

    I am also of the belief that copyright is not strictly logically a property.

    Thus I am a scarcity justification proponent per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Property, which if I am not mistaken, is the same source you provided. As you can read in the source:
    "Intellectual property ... are generally considered valid property to those who support an effort justification, but invalid to those who support a scarcity justification, since they don't have the exclusivity property (however they may still support other 'intellectual property'-laws such as Copyright, as long as these are a subject of contract instead of government arbitration)"

    As per that definition copyright is not exclusively a property. It is a debatable, but the position is valid from a logical and philosophical standpoint and definitely doesn't warrent calling him out on "changing the definition"...

    As for the specific claim you bring forth about rivalrous I do not see the point. It is just another detail unnecessary to provide for him having a fair stance. That is all he needs to proove. You are the one claiming he is "changing the definition", while his definition is as valid as yours.

     

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  112.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Re:

    And no property tax.

     

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  113.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    People don't call you communist when you suggest that the terms of a 'legal relation to a thing' are not ideal.

    They do when you threaten their 'property' (i.e. in the common understanding of the term).

    You can't expect us to use your pedantic definition of property, when the others we argue against imply the common meaning in their propaganda.

     

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  114.  
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    TroutFishingUSA, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 4:16pm

    Re:

    If anybody needs proof that creators can profit without copyright look at open source and how companies are profiting from it.

    Dreamworks just open sourced their smoke machine OpenDVB, Pixar also have gone open source with OpenSubdiv


    And correct me if I'm wrong, but neither Pixar nor Dreamworks are in the software business. Last I checked, they make films and very adamantly protect the copyrights held in those creations.

    I'm not sure what your point is. I think it's great that those two companies designed their own software and opened it up, but to claim that open source would work because an animation studio, who doesn't depend on selling software to make money, opened its software requires some mental gymnastics. Especially if you don't want to accidentally betray your point and notice that it's probably Pixar's money made from their copyrights that afforded them the ability to open up the software in the first place.

     

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  115.  
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    TroutFishingUSA, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 4:19pm

    Re:

    Yeah!

    Wait...

    Copyright doesn't cover ideas.

    I think we both might be idiots.

     

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  116.  
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    TroutFishingUSA, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 4:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Mental Substitution

    SOPA/PIPA generated about 8 million calls and emails to the politicians, if we believe reliable sources. In comparison, total population of the US is around 320 million or so, last time I checked.


    Not only that, but an overwhelming number of reps who supported SOPA were re-elected.

    I'm afraid SOPA/etc. may have the effect of backfiring. For all the hemming and hawing very few people lost a seat, so I doubt "the internet" will seem like the same threat next time around.

     

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  117.  
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    TroutFishingUSA, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Re: Sigh

    Well if he just shows up spewing so much of the same crap, why not write a single blog post to debunk it that you can point people to when graced with his presence?(I can imagine why you wouldn't though, because you seem very wrong in this instance.)

    Because to be honest, I've watched you and him tussle several times, and from an outsider perspective, he cleans your clock. You really do come off as foolish and scared. I know the chorus of lackeys here may shore up your conviction, but all that is transparent. There's a reason you don't get invited to the big table for discussions.

    You have a tendency to rely on "legal" definitions, and then when you're challenged on it, you clam up and vanish. Everyone here does it. This makes you look like a charlatan. I know this happens, because I used to respect this site as it appealed to my baser and instinctual leanings, but digging deeper has revealed a lot of what's talked about here as exactly what is: soft-lobbying for Silicon Valley.

    I advise some self-reflection for everyone.

     

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  118.  
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    Ferel (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 4:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Mental Substitution

    Not only that, but an overwhelming number of reps who supported SOPA were re-elected.

    Gee, you're telling me concerned internet users/voters aren't concentrated in specific voting districts? This is a shocking revelation.

     

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  119.  
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    Greevar (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 4:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Copyrights are not property rights simply because they must expire. They are a grant, nothing more. They will never be property rights so long as "for limited times" exist in the constitution.

     

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  120.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 4:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And it can be infinitely copied. And after a couple of centuries it belongs to everyone.

     

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  121.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 4:45pm

    Re: Re:

    What case(s) are you relying upon re "property-like and non-property-like facets"? Dowling? Other(s)?

     

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  122.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 4:46pm

    Thanks Mike for this post. You are the man. My only desire is to take this fight off the Internet and put it in Congress's face that we will not tolerate this broken copyright system anymore. There has to be some way to organize.

     

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  123.  
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    Greevar (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 4:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, everything he says fits your point of view. There's a difference. One is the facts and the other is your preference.

     

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  124.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Copying is only going to get easier and cheaper and faster. How many laws are going to be needed to make copying harder and expensive and slower?

     

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  125.  
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    Greevar (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Re:

    It doesn't, but they act like it does.

     

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  126.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 4:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Please point me to some proof where he "cleans Mike's clock". Not once have I ever seen a post from Average_Joe where he's done that. If Mike were foolish and scared, he wouldn't be posting articles, he wouldn't be responding, he wouldn't have an open comments section for anyone to comment in.

    FYI, if you're going to call Mike out for being a lobbyist for Silicon Valley (if he is, that's news to me), you should also call out the "hard" lobbyists for everyone else, including the copyright maximilists. Otherwise, you're being biased.

    P.S. Also, don't try and fool us with a new handle. We know it's you, Joey boy. Same writing style, same accusations without evidence and a completely unsubtle attempt to promote yourself? Only retarded chimps would be fooled.

     

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  127.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You are using a legal definition for an economics argument. That's where we disagree. Property in an economic sense is something that is rivalrous and excludable -- because property is the natural outgrowth of allocation of scarce goods. When something is nonrivalrous and nonexcludable, allocation is no longer an issue, and thus, you don't need "property" as an economics concept.

    That's one definition--yours. Can you provide even one citation for your definition of property? Where does it say that property has to be rivalrous? That's not the meaning of the word property that has developed over the centuries, and it's certainly not the legal meaning of the word.

    Can you concede that property is perhaps the most quintessential legal concept there is? And that the legal meaning of property is far broader than your narrow, unsubstantiated definition?

    And trying to paint this as a pure economic issue such that it's incorrect to use the word property in the legal sense is overly facile. The law recognizes that copyrights are nonrivalrous. It is a straw man to argue that calling it property in the legal sense ignores its nonrivalrous nature.

    It seems more likely that you just don't want to call it property because you think that word carries too much baggage--baggage that reminds people that the rights are proprietary. Regardless, given the widespread acceptance of copyright as property for centuries makes it disingenuous to demand that others using this accepted meaning are somehow in the wrong.

    Just admit that it's property, but that it's intangible property and thus nonrivalrous. No need for the ridiculous semantics.

    And please, address the point that even you admit that copyright is property as that word is used in the Constitution. Why won't you address this point? You run away every time I bring this up.

    The claim that you need "copyright" for the sake of a functioning market in the content that copyright covers. The argument is made that you need such laws as copyright -- which create artificial scarcity, or you would not have (or would have less) of the good. That argument makes sense in a world of scarce goods (rivalrous, exlcudable). It does not make any sense at all with nonscarce goods.

    The "goods" in this case are intangible, and they are not naturally excludable. But they are made excludable by law. That excludability is what makes the right marketable. Without the right to exclude, there is no market for the work. The theory is that by giving authors this artificial scarcity, they will be incentivized to create more and better works. Yes, some content will be made without copyright as an incentive, but as your own book club shows, such works are few and far between.

    But that's got nothing with using the word property. They aren't arguing that because it's called property that's the only way we'll get new works. You seem to putting way too much emphasis on the word property, thinking it to play too important a role in the debate. Everyone knows that copyrighted works aren't naturally excludable and rivalrous. They know this despite it being called property.

    If you want to prove that copyright isn't needed, then prove it already. But the fact that you can't even find books that don't rely on copyright for your own book club says it all.

     

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  128. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 4:59pm

    Re: Re: Sigh

    And you're a coward who runs from debates and can't stand it when anyone challenges anything you say. Boring.

     

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  129.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 5:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Copyrights are not property rights simply because they must expire. They are a grant, nothing more. They will never be property rights so long as "for limited times" exist in the constitution.

    And that presupposes that all property lasts forever.

     

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  130.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 5:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Is copyright property as that word is used in the Constitution? Yes or no?

    Let's have an honest and frank answer, Mike.

    No running away. No weasel words.

     

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  131.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 5:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    what's talked about here as exactly what is: soft-lobbying for Silicon Valley.

    That's been my perspective, too, which is why I continue to point people to other sites, especially the P2P Foundation.

    I'm not satisfied with the idea we'll get rid of IP protection, but we'll compensate by finding ways to "sell" other stuff. When you have concentration of wealth among just a few individuals and companies, no one else has much money to buy anything. So a belief that we'll have a thriving world economic system based on consumption doesn't account for a lot of the challenges the world faces right now. I want to encourage a much broader discussion.

    What led me to Techdirt were some of the posts on how musicians can make money. And then I started writing about it myself. That led me into lots of research about gift economics, free economies, the shareable movement, the P2P Foundation. And then Occupy Wall Street came.

    Dropping IP protection is fine, but if all it does is make some folks in Silicon Valley all that much wealthier, we've just substituted a new power elite that operates a lot like previous power elites. That became especially evident to me when I was reading some of the justifications for Apple using cheap labor in China. It sounded a lot like justifications of colonialism back in the day.

     

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  132.  
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    Aaron Wolf (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 5:18pm

    To hae a productive discussion, agree on the meaning of terms

    and then stick to those agreed meanings.

    It matters not whether copyright is property or not WITHIN THIS DISCUSSION. What matters is that copyright is distinct from rights that go with physical property. Anybody who wishes to have a useful discussion needs to accept that, and I think people on both sides here DO accept that.

    The problem with the words is that in arguments elsewhere (i.e. not on this precise web page), many people use some claims to accept the term "property" when it comes to copyright but then they go on to assert things about all property (copyright included) that, in reality, only apply to physical property.

    Nobody need care what words are used unless the words lead to confusion about what copyright is and isn't. AND IN THIS CASE THEY DO LEAD TO CONFUSION, and often it appears that this confusion is INTENTIONAL. So, if anyone wants to insist that we use the word "property" for copyright, then please accept the burden of always qualifying this by adding "this does not mean it has all of the qualities of physical property." Then we can be clear.

    Thanks

     

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  133.  
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    Aaron Wolf (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 5:18pm

    Re: To HAVE a productive discussion, agree on the meaning of terms

    obvious typo, meant "have" not "hae" in title

     

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  134.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 5:44pm

    If Intellectual Property is, in fact, property, how do these companies get away with not paying property tax every year? "Oh, it's property all right; it's just not *property*-property," seems a pretty weak argument.

    I suspect if these corporations were hit with huge property-tax bills every year, the executives would start down-playing the value. You wouldn't see them claiming a handful of songs are worth $1,000,000 if they had to pay taxes on the claimed worth. Personally, I'm sick of being told that I, as a taxpayer, have to pay for cops' salaries to go after "criminals" stealing music files just as if those "criminals" had held someone up on a street corner or stolen someone's car.

     

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  135.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Re: Wall of text - boring - assertions = Mike's rehash.

    Because clearly, in out_of_the_ass' fantasy world, any movie made on a smaller budget than $100m is clearly not worth watching, ever.

    At some point we can expect him to campaign for $200 eggs. Why? Because imagine all the potential sales the farmer could have made if he'd raised each egg into a chicken, and those chickens made more eggs for him to sell. Besides, you don't want to be a pirate and go for CHEAPER ALTERNATIVES, now would you?

     

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  136.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 6:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "The owner of the copyright, if he pleases, may refrain from vending or licensing and content himself with simply exercising the right to exclude others from using his property."

    No one needs copyright to withhold content(an idea).

    What is the sense in putting it out there and then saying no one can do anything with it? Just don't put it out there. Obviously there is no copyright needed.

     

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  137.  
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    saulgoode (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 6:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, barring "just compensation" being made when taking property for public use (see Fifth Amendment), such should indeed be presupposed.

     

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  138.  
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    Jay (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 6:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Copyright is not property in the constitution. How did you come to that conclusion? All copyright is, simply put, is a way to progress knowledge and learning. As per other parts of the constitution, it is not a property right. Just an artificial one.

     

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  139.  
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    Greevar (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 7:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sigh

     

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  140.  
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    Greevar (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 7:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Did someone palm their pills and go on a little adventure?

     

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  141.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 7:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Copyright is not property in the constitution. How did you come to that conclusion? All copyright is, simply put, is a way to progress knowledge and learning. As per other parts of the constitution, it is not a property right. Just an artificial one.

    Ask Mike why he thinks copyright is property under the due process clause.

    Mike, your readers are obviously very curious about this. Why do you refuse to address it directly and honestly?

    Are you just not able?

     

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  142.  
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    Greevar (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 7:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    AJ, we've done this before. I've already pointed out the hypocrisy of your behavior. Be the bigger man and go back to trolling 4chan like a good boy, okay? You're a joke and you have no credibility. Stop embarrassing yourself.

     

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  143.  
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    Greevar (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 7:55pm

    Re:

    Quite right, copyright and patent very much encourages those that create to sit on a golden egg.

     

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  144.  
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    Andrew F (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 8:12pm

    Degrees of Property

    The flaw isn't that copyright = property, but that more property rights = better economic outcomes. For example, it's one thing to say that pizza should be protected as property. It's quite another to expand that to the right to sell pizza.

    I mean, I can imagine a market where Pizza Hut claimed the exclusive right to sell pizza to me. Pizza Hut would lobby Congress to pass laws to protect its rights, because it's, you know, unfair for me to order Round Table after Pizza Hut spent all this money marketing their pizza to me. There'd be a robust market developing for the sale and trade of pizza rights. There'd also be non-pizza-making entities that buy up these rights and license them at high cost. The naysayers would deride these groups as "pizza trolls" but they're mostly tolerated, because everyone knows arbitrage is necessary for a well-functioning market.

    So yeah, increase property rights and you may get more markets. But more property and more markets doesn't mean a better pie.

     

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  145.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 8:32pm

    Re: Degrees of Property

    The flaw isn't that copyright = property, but that more property rights = better economic outcomes.

    And I'm coming at these same questions from the commons perspective. I can get behind putting IP into a commons, but I'd also like to expand the concept to more use of commons for physical property, too.

    I've come to think about this for three reasons:

    1. Economic. I think the middle class is disappearing. Economic necessity is forcing people to share more to reduce expenses.

    2. The shareable movement. A variety of trends are converging which encourage more people to think in terms of access and occasional use rather than private ownership.

    3. Sustainability. Our focus on economics based on growth may not be sustainable, so it might be better to have people make, use, and buy only what they really need. Maybe it's time to outgrow the idea that our identities should be based on what we own.

     

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  146.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 9:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Etymology

    From Middle English /Anglo-Norman proprete, from Middle French propreté, from Old French propriete (modern propriété), itself, from Latin proprietas, from proprius 'own'.

    So, no, it doesn't. Doofus.

     

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  147.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 9:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=property&allowed_in_frame=0

    ???

    I very much doubt you know the origins of the word property.

    Because looking at the roots of the word property I get a pretty strong sense that it was first used to describe characteristics of something and it morphed into ownership later.

     

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  148.  
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    Tom Giovanetti, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 10:28pm

    Thanks for the balance

    Mike, thanks for adding some balance to your analysis of the RSC memo incident. Next time I stop by the Supreme Court I'll let them know that they are wrong about copyright being property. Best,

     

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  149.  
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    techflaws (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 10:36pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Do you actually think redifining the meaning of property to suite your needs will convince anyone?

     

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  150.  
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    techflaws (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 10:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    My point is that it's incorrect to say that that means it is not property-like because of that fact.
    And everyone else's point is that you are wrong. Property is defined by certain attributes, if they are not met, it's not property.

     

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  151.  
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    techflaws (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 10:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    All the sockpuppets are coming out. Sweet.

    Says the AC jackass that can't dispute Mike's points so he has to try to change the meaning of property, failing miserably.

     

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  152.  
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    techflaws (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 10:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    LOL, double fail.

    Everything he says isn't correct and neither is Mike throwing a tantrum.

     

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  153.  
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    techflaws (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 10:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike is the one trying to twist the meanings of words by incorrectly using them.

    That's rich coming from the AC desperately trying to redefine the meaning of the word 'property'.

     

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  154.  
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    techflaws (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 10:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    I see him acting obfuscating and acting childish.

    That's rich coming from the AC desperately trying to redefine the meaning of the word 'property'.

     

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  155.  
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    techflaws (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Well if he just shows up spewing so much of the same crap, why not write a single blog post to debunk

    Has been done but did not work because the likes of Average_Joe just can't admit defeat no matter how irrational and pointless they have to argue for the sake of arguing.

    and from an outsider perspective, he cleans your clock.
    In what universe?

     

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  156.  
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    techflaws (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Dropping IP protection is fine

    And Mike did not demand this. It's really easy to spot IP shills who need to fabricate strawmen to make a point.

     

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  157.  
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    techflaws (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Keep dreaming, skintube.

     

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  158.  
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    techflaws (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:10pm

    Re: To hae a productive discussion, agree on the meaning of terms

    The meaning of "property" has been agreed on like forever. The point here is that this particular AC (most likey Average_Joe judging by his confused logic) knows he has no point against Mike's argument so he desperately tries to get a foot on the ground by pretending property means something else than everybody thinks it does.

    Rest assured this is working as well as the right wing media's filter bubble of Romney's upcoming landslide victory ;)

     

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  159.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Well if he just shows up spewing so much of the same crap, why not write a single blog post to debunk it that you can point people to when graced with his presence?(I can imagine why you wouldn't though, because you seem very wrong in this instance.)

    I have pointed out his errors here and elsewhere.

    I have discussed his tantrums in detail: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120818/01171420087/funniestmost-insightful-comments-week-techdirt .shtml#c1210

    You have a tendency to rely on "legal" definitions, and then when you're challenged on it, you clam up and vanish. Everyone here does it. This makes you look like a charlatan. I know this happens, because I used to respect this site as it appealed to my baser and instinctual leanings, but digging deeper has revealed a lot of what's talked about here as exactly what is: soft-lobbying for Silicon Valley.

    Hahahahahahha. Okay. Now I know you're not serious.

     

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  160.  
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    techflaws (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:12pm

    Re: Thanks for the balance

    Wouldn't be the first time they're wrong. Remember the Exxon Valdez?

     

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  161.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Mental Substitution

    It will be when people realize that their food is more expensive because of it, their healthcare is more expensive because of it and almost everything they try to do is controlled by a few people that were granted monopolies, than you will see some angry people.

     

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  162.  
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    techflaws (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:12pm

    Re: Degrees of Property

    more property rights = better economic outcomes

    [citation needed]

     

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  163.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:13pm

    Re: Thanks for the balance

    Next time I stop by the Supreme Court I'll let them know that they are wrong about copyright being property. Best,

    Ah, Tom, are you so clueless that you don't even realize that the Supreme Court themselves have both noted that copyright is both property like AND NOT property like.

    i.e., the Supreme Court is willing to note what you are too intellectually dishonest to note.

    But thanks for the laugh.

     

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  164.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    And Mike did not demand this.

    Not it this post, but there have been posts on Techdirt questioning the value of patents and also challenging how trademarks are used. My impression has been that the overall position in Techdirt is that IP protection is bad for society and we'd be better off without it.

     

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  165.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:23pm

    Re: Re:

    /You are aware also that this move goes against every bit of nonsense that monopolists preach right?

    According to monopolists there are no incentives to give away anything for free, specially tools that give your company an edge against competitors, so why are they doing it?

    An open source project can't be controlled, you can't control who uses it, you can't control how it is distribute or how it is used, why give it away?

    Those companies are not doing it for the goodness of their heart are they?

    There is on innovation possible on the freetard camp now is there?
    Without control there can't be incentives to produce anything right?

     

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  166.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:26pm

    Re: Re:

    BTW, open source does work, ask Red Hat, MakerBot Industries, Arduino and a thousand others how well they are doing.

    Open source is also a way to align public interests with private interests, without attrition.

     

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  167.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think I've finally determined the root cause of where you are being extra-sleazy. You are arguing that *copyright* is property, but are not saying that about the content covered by copyright. Either that or you are carelessly slipping back and forth between the two things as if they are the same, when they are not.

    Of course, even if we assume your argument is true (and it's not, but let's humor you), then the "market" you are creating is a market *for copyright* but not a market for content. And that's where the whole economic rationale for your argument completely breaks down.

    That's one definition--yours. Can you provide even one citation for your definition of property? Where does it say that property has to be rivalrous? That's not the meaning of the word property that has developed over the centuries, and it's certainly not the legal meaning of the word.

    I already pointed out that an appeal to authority is a silly logical form of argument -- and yet it seems to be the entire basis for yours. Sad, really. I might as well cite Orin Kerr's "A Theory of Law," for it acts as the citation for all that is "so obvious" that it need no citation. But if you actually were interested in learning the history of property in an economic sense you would know that your reliance on the legal definition is quite different than the economic understanding of property.

    Go back to folks like David Hume who noted that, of course, for something to be property it needed to be scarce.

    This is for the reason I already explained, which you choose to ignore because you need a citation. The entire purpose of property is to assure the most efficient allocation of scarce resources. The need for property when the resource isn't scarce makes no sense... other than to set up an INEFFICIENT system of allocation. That's an anathema to serious economists. Setting up something that pretends to be a property-like right where there is no property simply introduces inefficiency in an efficient system for no reason.

    That there are legal definitions that obscure this aspect of property is not particularly interesting, unless one wants to argue semantics instead of reality -- as appears to be your desire.

    No need for the ridiculous semantics.

    Wait. Did you seriously just argue that I'm the one playing semantic games? Holy fuck. You really are either the world's greatest troll or are totally un-self-aware.

    I'd bet good money on the latter.

    Anyway, this all just reminds me of this:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120818/01171420087/funniestmost-insightful-comments-week -techdirt.shtml#c1210

    Engaging with you is pointless. Because you don't engage. You apply logical fallacy on top of logical fallacy. You don't engage. You suck the life out of useful discussion.

     

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  168.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    It's really easy to spot IP shills who need to fabricate strawmen to make a point.

    Keep in mind that there are people who fall to the left of Techdirt on these issues.

    Here's a resource I highly recommend (and I don't have any connection).

    P2P Foundation: About: "... that the principles developed by the free software movement, in particular the General Public License, and the general principles behind the open source and open access movements, provides for models that could be used in other areas of social and productive life" (my emphasis)

     

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  169.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 26th, 2012 @ 11:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    And you're a coward who runs from debates and can't stand it when anyone challenges anything you say. Boring.

    So you won't even admit that you flat out lied?

    Okay. Let's play your game. I'll "engage" with you when you admit that you lied and are still lying concerning your "promise" to leave the site.

    Why won't you admit that you're a liar?

     

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  170.  
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    Jeroen Hellingman, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:34am

    Re: Mental Substitution

    I am just working through "A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin" in preparation for Project Gutenberg, and find of the struggle for the abolition of slavery having some interesting parallels with the ongoing copyright fight... Slavery is of course the bigger evil of the two, but you can see that increasingly ridiculous laws to keep the system intact. Laws forbidding people from teaching slaves to read and write, laws forbidding people to emancipate their slaves, from buying slaves to liberate them, and so on..., yes, even laws forbidding to discuss abolition altogether. So wait and see what the coming years will bring. It may become a crime to argue that copyright is something bad.

    All it shows to me is that current copyright system is slowly breaking apart.

     

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  171.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You seems to be mistaking a legal definition with an economic definition.

    Words have different definitions based on context. Who knew?

     

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  172.  
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    techflaws (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    You overall impression shows your lack of reading comprehension. What else is new?

     

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  173.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    If a bunch of hyenas are chasing you, and you're not a hyena, chances are you're a zebra.

    Stop playing the "WHY WON'T ANYONE DEBATE ME???!?" card.

     

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  174.  
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    techflaws (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 2:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    I don't get it, you interprete someone's (who is not affiliated with Techdirt in any way) extreme position as proof of the strawman that you paint Techdirt's position to be? Yeah, I'll stick with my original comment: you IP shills are really easy to spot.

     

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  175.  
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    Richard (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 2:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think I've finally determined the root cause of where you are being extra-sleazy. You are arguing that *copyright* is property, but are not saying that about the content covered by copyright. Either that or you are carelessly slipping back and forth between the two things as if they are the same, when they are not.

    Yes - I think this IS the root of the confusion. The right itself does have all the features of property (in particular it is rivalrous). However the goods to which it relates are non-rivalrous.

    Thus, as has been noted here before the phrase "copyright theft" should properly apply to those situations where the right itself is hi-jacked (as in the improper monetisation of youtube content by those who, as a matter of fact, do not hold the rights). Infringement is different and I think it helps our cause if we insist on making a clear distinction between the two. One way to do this is, whenever the phrase "copyright theft" is used, to draw attention to those cases that truly merit it.

    If the true concept of copyright theft is given wider publicity it helps to stop people confusing it with infringement.

     

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  176.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 2:19am

    Re: Re: Mental Substitution

    All it shows to me is that current copyright system is slowly breaking apart.

    I'm going to toss out what might be perceived as a "radical" theory.

    My attitude about copyright/piracy is that it's already a reality and not worth expending lots of time/resources/legalities fighting for or against it. I think it will disappear on its own as a cause anyway.

    But let's say all the anti-copyright folks get mobilized and get international laws overturned.

    And you know what I think will happen? Not much. The industries fighting to protect their content are on the decline anyway. The industries benefiting from free sharing of content aren't going to get much additional mileage because what they have to offer around that content isn't worth much in a world where people have declining spending capacity. Think about it. Let's say Google can put up everything online without having to fight in court about it. There's still the problem of how to monetize all of that now free content. What is Google going to do? Sell more ads? To people who don't have money to spend?

    A world of free, copyright-less content isn't going to change world economics hugely. Most people already have more to read, listen to, and watch than they have time to do so. Making even more of it available to them isn't going to alter their lives all that much.

    Where having no copyrights might make a difference is when we have 3D printers that can cheaply make what people want without them having to go through manufacturers, retailers, shippers, etc. And that's the world I am advocating -- a world that no longer needs mega corporations because they don't offer anything of value anymore. I realize that the companies that supply the printing materials might still have an advantage, but beyond that, hopefully we'll enable a world of "makers" who meet their own needs as much as possible. And if we don't have big corporations, perhaps that will end the concentration within the realm of finance as well. I'd really like to see some major disruptions.

    (I realize it's not all quite that simple. We still need people to perform surgeries. We still need facilities that produce medicines in sterile conditions. We aren't yet at a point where people can do everything for themselves.)

     

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  177.  
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    Jay (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 2:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120818/01171420087/funniestmost-insightful-comments-week-techdirt .shtml#c1210

    Look, if you aren't going to even engage, I'm just going to show how you aren'tworth time to pollute threads. You got you're answer. You choose to ignore it and troll.

     

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  178.  
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    Jay (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 2:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    ... Remind us again why we should paint Google or Apple or Samsung in a poor light when patents don't do anything for society?

    Suzanne, you make good arguments sometimes, but this is not one of them...

     

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  179.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 2:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    I don't get it, you interprete someone's (who is not affiliated with Techdirt in any way) extreme position as proof of the strawman that you paint Techdirt's position to be? Yeah, I'll stick with my original comment: you IP shills are really easy to spot.

    What are you talking about? Techdirt has published many articles criticizing patents and trademark protection. Are you saying Techdirt only wants to get rid of copyright and not patents? Are you sure about this?

     

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  180.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 2:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    *crickets*

     

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  181.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 2:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Remind us again why we should paint Google or Apple or Samsung in a poor light when patents don't do anything for society?

    I'm confused. What are you saying?

    If I haven't made myself abundantly clear, I am in favor of putting the entire world into one big commons if possible: IP, land, water, air, natural resources, etc.

    Dividing everything up into property isn't something I support. The more we treat as much as possible as common property, the better we might be able to find solutions to global problems. Yes, I realize this is easier said than done, but that's why I find the P2P Foundation and the shareable movement to be useful. They are trying to address these issues.

    I rather enjoy watching Apple, Google, Amazon and the other big tech companies fight amongst themselves. It keeps them in check.

     

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  182.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 3:03am

    Re: Thanks for the balance

    ...and that they should stop taxing it as such.

     

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  183.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 3:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    So you think I am a shill for this? I have no ties to this organization, but I do read lots of what has been posted at the P2P Foundation. Here's just a bit. Basically what is happening is that it is taking the anti-IP focus advocated in Techdirt and pushing it out much further to transform everything beyond the digital world as well. While this seems to strike some of you as "anti-Techdirt," you can also just think of it as "beyond Techdirt."

    Manifesto - P2P Foundation: "After describing the emergence of P2P as the dominant mode, or 'form', of our current technological infrastructure (section two), we then describe its emergence in the economic sphere (section three), as a 'third mode of production', neither profit-driven nor centrally planned, but as a decentralized cooperative way of producing software (free software and open source movements), and other immaterial products, based on the free cooperation of 'equipotential' participants. It uses copyright and intellectual propery rights to transcend the very limitations of property, because in free software, if you use it, you have to give at least the same rights to those who will use your modified version, and in open sources, you have to give them equal access to the source code.

    "Such commons-based peer production has other important innovations, such as it taking place without the intervention of any manufacturer whatsoever. In fact the growing importance of 'user innovation communities' (section 3.1.B), which are starting to surpass the role of corporate sponsored marketing and research divisions in their innovation capacities, show that this formula is poised for expansion even in the world of material production, provided the design phase is separated from the production phase. It is already producing major cultural and economic landmarks such as GNU/Linux, the Wikipedia encyclopedia, the Thinkcycle global cooperative research projects, and a Writeable Web/Participative Internet/Global Alternative Communications infrastructure that can be used by all, beyond the corporate stranglehold on mass media. Finally, CBPP exemplifies a new work culture (section 3.1.C), that overturns many aspects of the Protestant work ethic as described by Max Weber. In the world of development, it is exemplified by the emerging 'edge to edge development partnerships' as theorized by Jock Gill. In section three, we also discuss the evolution of forms of cooperation (3.4.A), and of collective intelligence (3.4.B). It is also here that we are starting to address key analytical issues: 1) what are the specific characteristics of the ideal-type of the P2P form (3.4.C), namely de-institutionalisation (beyond fixed organizational formats and fixed formal rules), de-monopolisation (avoid the emergence of collective individuals who monopolise power, such as nation-state and corporation), and de-commodification (i.e. production for use-value, not exchange value); 2) we then demonstrate that P2P cannot be explained by the gift economy model of equal sharing and 'exchange of similar values', but rather by a model of communal shareholding (section 3.4.D), i.e. the creation of a Commons based on free participation both regarding input, and output (free usage even by non-producers). We use Alan Page Fiske's fourfold model of intersubjective relationships to ground this comparison; 3) we pay attention to the current power structure of cognitive capitalism, with a discussion of the thesis of McKenzie Wark's Hacker's Manifesto (section 3.4.E.)."

     

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  184.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 3:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Mental Substitution

    How do we get free sharing and a declining spending capacity?

    Products becoming cheaper as they aren't paying extortion charges means we have less money to spend?

     

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  185.  
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    techflaws (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 3:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    No, I'm saying that your intial statement "Dropping IP protection is fine" was a strawman cause Mike did not say that there should be *no* IP protection nor that one power elite should be substituted for another (your silicon valley dichotomy doesn't even make sense).

    Mike and many posters here agree that *less* IP protection is the way to go. And since you willfully paint that with another brush ("you read Techdirt, aren't those the no IP zealots?"), I'm considering you a shill.

     

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  186.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 3:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

     

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  187.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 3:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Here's just one example. There are many others. How have I gotten the wrong impression?

    Why It Could Make Sense To Get Rid Of Patents Entirely, Even If They Work In A Few Cases | Techdirt

     

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  188.  
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    techflaws (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 3:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Are you being willfully ignorant? I never said you were a shill for the P2P foundation nor have I any idea why you bring them up when discussing this site's orientation. They are extremists, so what? Still doesn't mean that Mike wants NO IP at all.

     

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  189.  
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    techflaws (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 3:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    How have I gotten the wrong impression?

    Which brings us back to your reading comprehension problems. If you wanna be like that, fine by me.

     

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  190.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 3:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Mental Substitution

    How do we get free sharing and a declining spending capacity?

    Sharing isn't causing the decline in income. But the decline is real.

    This article explains that companies are looking for highly trained workers but they only want to pay them $10 an hour. So that means these people don't earn enough to buy much beyond the basics. I don't think the situation is going to change. So I think more people are going to have to get by with less. Anything they can get for free will contribute to that end. Rather than complaining about it, I am looking for solutions that allow lots of people to survive on little money. That means making as much of everything free as possible.

    Skills Don’t Pay the Bills - NYTimes.com

    Here's another article talking about how to transform the economy based on work changes.

    The collaborative economy is destroying jobs. So what's next?: "Let’s not be blind: yes, the collaborative economy is destroying a massive number of jobs. Is that a disaster though? It is, if we don’t redefine what ‘job’ and ‘work’ means, and how they relate to income. However, if we seriously consider the radical alternatives, this could be a great step for society."

     

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  191.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 3:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Still doesn't mean that Mike wants NO IP at all.

    What is he in favor of? Clarify it for me. I've read a lot of Techdirt articles and I guess I have been unclear on this. What IP laws does Techdirt defend and want to see kept in place?

     

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  192.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 3:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Seriously. Perhaps I have been wrong about what Techdirt does or doesn't advocate.

    What IP protections does Techdirt advocate?

     

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  193.  
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    Jay (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 4:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    What IP protections advance the most public good?

     

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  194.  
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    Tim Griffiths (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 4:42am

    Re:

    The root of property is "to own". The legal use of property is generally to define the legal relationship between a person and "a thing". Copyright is a government granted monopoly on who can copy a work, as such "the thing" that is some one property is that right not the work it's self or in fact any given individual act of copying that work.

    In that light calling copyright a property right is disingenuous, it implies that the copyright is a right about property rather than being a right that is property. In other words copyright is a government right that is covered by property rights not a right to or about property in and of it's self.

    This is why copyright infringement has never been sent to trail as a case of theft and is almost always a civil not criminal matter.

    I do think Mike should have been a lot more clear about that so it would have been clear that he was dealing with the false economic idea of content as property, which is was being implied in a twisted manner, rather than with the idea of right of copyright as property.

    To be clear the content to which copyright is the right to copy is non-rivalrous and non-excludable but the right it's self is rivalrous and excludable. In economics terms you can't think of the content as a property and trying to falsely assign the idea that it is by talking about how copyright is a property right rather than a right that is property is applying a faulty and disingenuous legal definition to an economic argument.

    In other words you are right in what you are saying but what you are saying does not actually mean what you think it does or in fact relate to the point Mike was trying to make.

     

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  195.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 4:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Mental Substitution

    How do we get free sharing and a declining spending capacity?

    I thought I had posted a response to this, but now I don't see it.

    The decline in spending power has been documented many times. Good paying jobs are disappearing. As this article points out, even people with skills are being offered only $10 a hour. That's not enough to buy much. I don't think this is going to change, which is why I have embraced the shareable movement as a way to bring down living expenses. If salaries aren't going up, cost of living needs to come down. Anything people can get for free is good, so I am not fighting that concept at all. I like free. I just want lots more of it, and for more people.

    Skills Don’t Pay the Bills - NYTimes.com

    This article goes even further and does say sharing results in job loss, but it creates an opportunity.

    The collaborative economy is destroying jobs. So what's next?: "Let’s not be blind: yes, the collaborative economy is destroying a massive number of jobs. Is that a disaster though? It is, if we don’t redefine what ‘job’ and ‘work’ means, and how they relate to income. However, if we seriously consider the radical alternatives, this could be a great step for society."

     

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  196.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 4:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Mental Substitution

    Products becoming cheaper as they aren't paying extortion charges means we have less money to spend?

    I replied to this once, but then I didn't see it, so I figured I most not have posted it.

    I wrote a second respond that it has to be approved by a moderator. If it doesn't show up, I give it another try.

    Basically I was saying that it's been well-documented that incomes have been going down or stagnantly for the middle class. I like the sharable movement as a way to bring down living expenses. I don't think incomes will rise, so I want to free stuff to be available to more people. I'm a big advocate of free.

     

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  197.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 4:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mental Substitution

    Typo.

    Should have been stagnating.

    At any rate, I really like free. Let there be no confusion about that. I believe people can give away a lot if they don't have to buy much.

     

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  198.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 4:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    What IP protections advance the most public good?

    What do you think?

     

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  199. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    I have pointed out his errors here and elsewhere.

    I have discussed his tantrums in detail: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120818/01171420087/funniestmost-insightful-comments-week-techdirt .shtml#c1210


    LMAO! I lose my cool with you because you are so dishonest and unable to actually have a discussion about the issues.

    Why does these threads always turn into you running away from substantive debate?

    Everyone can see that you're too scared to give frank and honest answers to even the most simple question.

     

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  200.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:10am

    Re: Re: Thanks for the balance

    Ah, Tom, are you so clueless that you don't even realize that the Supreme Court themselves have both noted that copyright is both property like AND NOT property like.

    i.e., the Supreme Court is willing to note what you are too intellectually dishonest to note.

    But thanks for the laugh.


    Why are you so condescending to anyone who dares to challenge you on any point? You have made it abundantly clear that you are unable to have even the most simple and honest conversation.

    Obfuscate and spread the hate.

     

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  201. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think I've finally determined the root cause of where you are being extra-sleazy. You are arguing that *copyright* is property, but are not saying that about the content covered by copyright. Either that or you are carelessly slipping back and forth between the two things as if they are the same, when they are not.

    Extra-sleazy? Every comment of yours is dripping with hatred and childishness. What's the point of whining about how I act when you yourself are a complete fucking asshole to anyone who dares to challenge you on even the most basic point?

    Copyright is an intangible type of property. The rights are in the underlying work. That work, when fixed, is obviously tangible. But destroy the tangible copy and the intangible copyright persists. Who owns a particular copy is a completely separate issue than who owns the copyright.

    I already pointed out that an appeal to authority is a silly logical form of argument -- and yet it seems to be the entire basis for yours. Sad, really. I might as well cite Orin Kerr's "A Theory of Law," for it acts as the citation for all that is "so obvious" that it need no citation. But if you actually were interested in learning the history of property in an economic sense you would know that your reliance on the legal definition is quite different than the economic understanding of property.

    So you're supporting argument is that it's obvious? Convincing. You continue to make the unproven assertion that there is a strict dichotomy between the legal meaning of property and the economic one. The reality is that the legal definition encompasses the economic. You have yet to explain how, when someone calls copyright property in the legal sense, they are necessarily ignoring its nonrivalrous nature. Can you explain where you get this notion? And how do you explain the evolution of the meaning of the term property? You seem to think that the definition must be fixed in time, never to change no matter how the view of property evolves. That's nonsense. You've started with your conclusion, and you're just throwing out anything you can think of to make it stick. You're completely ignoring the fact that the meaning of property has been in flux for millennia.

    Go back to folks like David Hume who noted that, of course, for something to be property it needed to be scarce.

    Where does Hume say that anything labeled property must be scarce? And why would it matter if he did? You have not explained away the fact that some things can be de jure scarce even if not de facto so. Nor have you explained away the fact that everyone knows copyright is nonrivalrous, even though it's called property.

    This is for the reason I already explained, which you choose to ignore because you need a citation. The entire purpose of property is to assure the most efficient allocation of scarce resources. The need for property when the resource isn't scarce makes no sense... other than to set up an INEFFICIENT system of allocation. That's an anathema to serious economists. Setting up something that pretends to be a property-like right where there is no property simply introduces inefficiency in an efficient system for no reason.

    Where does it say that the entire purpose of property is to assure the most efficient allocation of scarce resources? And even if some source says that, why do you insist that that narrow view is the only view that matters? I know you approach things economically, but it's dishonest to pretend like some narrow economic definition that you can't even source properly (and may not even exist for all I know) is the only definition that matters. Property has been a legal construct for centuries. It is fundamental to the law, and the law is not so narrow as you. The law recognizes that copyright is nonrivalrous, so what's the point in pretending like the law doesn't catch that nuance. You just hate the word for political reasons, I think.

    That there are legal definitions that obscure this aspect of property is not particularly interesting, unless one wants to argue semantics instead of reality -- as appears to be your desire.

    But you're insisting on this one narrow meaning under the pretense that the law doesn't understand super simple and basic concepts such as nonrivalrous. But the law does recognize that, as do the people who call it property. You've built up this whole straw man about how the legal meaning of the word just doesn't capture the economic, but it does.

    Engaging with you is pointless. Because you don't engage. You apply logical fallacy on top of logical fallacy. You don't engage. You suck the life out of useful discussion.

    In other words, you won't actually address my points and you're a coward. What fallacies have I expressed? Your fallacy is that the legal meaning of property doesn't encompass the economic. Can you address that point without name-calling? And can you address the fact that copyright is property in the legal sense. I know you believe that, but it's very confusing to your readers. Are you trying to confuse them?

     

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  202.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    So you won't even admit that you flat out lied?

    Okay. Let's play your game. I'll "engage" with you when you admit that you lied and are still lying concerning your "promise" to leave the site.

    Why won't you admit that you're a liar?


    Yep, I gave you a choice to see what you'd do. You, as I suspected, made the choice wherein I promised to leave you alone. I have not left you alone, so I am a liar on that point. You're right.

    Now answer my question: Can you please explain to the class whether or not you believe that copyright is property in the legal sense and that copyright is property under the due process clause?

     

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  203.  
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    techflaws (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    In your universe maybe.

     

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  204.  
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    techflaws (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    You're right.

    No surprise there.

     

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  205.  
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    techflaws (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Thanks for the balance

    Pot, meet kettle.

     

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  206.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It is not copyright theft as such even in that situation. It is still illegal monetisation since it doesn't hinder the use from the owner of the copyright. Theft is a dillusion in this context.
    It is illegal to monetize on youtube since you do not own the copyright or has a license. The license does it: If you are breaking the rules of copyright, but has a license the whole argument for stealing falls short.
    The pirate did not "steal" the copyrighted material, he just did not get the required license. That is the pinnacle of why theft is not what is happening. Lack of iicensing makes for the primary illegal activity and thus it is trying to get around the copyright technically. The copyright is only truely a property if it pertains to a unique and non-copyable item.

     

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  207.  
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    Greevar (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    It's a legally granted right, with an explicit term. Anybody with a brain can tell that's not property.

     

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  208.  
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    Pieter Hulshoff (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:28am

    Property

    To quote Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means...

     

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  209.  
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    Greevar (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No other property I know of has a government imposed, universal expiration date. Copyrights expire, patents expire. The fact is, it was never the author's property to begin with. The author was actually working with public resources to create his book/song/whatever (i.e. ideas and works from the public domain *cough*Disney*cough*). He was granted a temporary license to control the distribution of that expression as an incentive to create it. After the term has expired, it is returned to the public to whom it truly belongs.

    The whole reason for copyright is to expand the public domain, but people like you want to lock it down into property and use it as some sort of monopolistic welfare system where someone can shit out one wonderful piece of work and then milk it for the rest of your life.

     

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  210.  
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    DigitalDao (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Mike's whole point is that they can just give it away since it's nonrivalrous."

    No, that's not his point at all.

    Mike's point is that ANYONE can just give it away because it's nonrivalrous and nonexcludable. It's not just that the rightsholder can give away infinite copies, it's that anyone who comes across a copy can also give away infinite copies. Whatever property rights exist in copyrights are as a practical matter unenforcable, so it's plain weird to talk about copyright as property in the way that's commonly understood by non-lawyers and people who don't have asperger's syndrome.

     

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  211.  
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    Pieter Hulshoff (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:00am

    Private property

    If I understand correctly, the point is this:

    The legal definition of copyright may or not classify it as property, depending on who you quote. The SC apparently has classified it as property in some cases, and as non-property in others.

    Under economic definitions (which is what most non-lawyers, including the general population, use), copyright would not qualify as property, because it's neither classifiable as open-access property (since it's owned), nor state property (since it's not owned by the state), nor common property (since it's not owned by a collective), nor private property (since it's neither excludable nor rival).

    It may share many of the qualities usually associated with private property, but that economic definition requires it to be both excludable and rival, and as such copyright does not qualify.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    I think I need to quit reading your posts. My head explodes almost every time. You say you want to discuss a point but you get there using rounded corners.

    Not everything is black or white nor written in stone. You do realize that even speed limits are arbitrary, right? Depending on weather and road conditions, among other possible factors.

    Again, reading-comp fail. The question mark at the end of Jays' comment is just querying you as to whether it is the right answer or not.
    SNL- "What IP protections does Techdirt advocate?"
    J- "What IP protections advance the most public good. (y?n?maybe?)"

    If you keep things in context, you will be less likely to be labelled a shill.

     

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  213.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:22am

    Re: Private property

    Property is a very broad term that simply means your rights in a thing. Lease a car for two years, and that car is your property. You don't hold the title, but you have a possessory interest. That possessory interest is property. Even if the car gets destroyed, you still have a property interest in it.

    The law understands both the tangible and intangible to be property. There is no "it must be tangible to be property" rule as Mike suggests. Nor does the law not recognize that intangible property operates differently. This is why it's called infringement if you violate my property interest in a copyright, but it's theft if you steal my car. The law understands full well that there's a difference.

    Mike pretends like whatever Hume said is the be all end all, and no person is allowed to ever speak the word property when describing property. That's just idiocy. Even Mike himself admits that copyright is property. He won't address that point in these comments because he's intentionally misleading his readers, but he has admitted it before. Notice how he doesn't deny that legally speaking copyright is property.

    Instead, all he do is pretend that Hume said something, which he can't source, and that's the end of the discussion. He can't explain how it is that the word as Hume supposedly used it differs from how it's used today. He can't explain why Hume and only Hume is the view that matters. He can't explain away a unanimous Supreme Court comfortably calling it property, or even Lessig calling it property.

    Nope. Mike insists with every cell of his being that Hume is the only acceptable meaning of the word, and that anyone using it in a different way that Hume is ipso facto wrong. And if you ask him to explain himself or challenge him in any way, he goes off the rails and hollers like a child.

    Why can't Mike ever just once have a normal conversation about something? It's obviously very important to him that everyone use the word property in a very narrow sense, but he can't even explain why it matters. Funny how he just runs away, runs away, runs away, every time.

     

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  214.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re: Thanks for the balance

    "Supreme Court themselves have both noted..."

    Citation?

     

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  215.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:40am

    Re: Re: Private property

    What does "own" mean?

    As in "Own it on dvd today."

    Does it mean it is my property? Yes or no?

     

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  216.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Thanks for the balance

    I provided it above. https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121121/23215021120/copyright-maximalists-attempt-to-downplay-sig nificance-rsc-report-chanting-their-mantra-copyright-is-property.shtml#c458

    Just ask Mike. He's purposefully avoiding the questions about his own prior admissions that copyright is property in the legal sense (note how he doesn't deny it in these comments; you can infer that he knows it's true) and how in the past Mike explicitly admitted that copyright is property as that word is used in the Due Process Clause.

    Why won't Mike discuss those issues now? Hmmmm. It's almost like he's the one being dishonest about the meanings of words, not the people he's attacking and criticizing in his endless hate spree that is TD.

     

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  217.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    So you think I am a shill for this? I have no ties to this organization, but I do read lots of what has been posted at the P2P Foundation.

    Suzanne: this is why everyone thinks you're crazy. You regularly insist that I am a shill, yet here you get upset about your own shilldom of P2P Foundation -- which seems a lot more evident since you seem to repeatedly mention and link to them in every comment, and appear to buy their claims without any sense of skepticism whatsoever.

     

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  218.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Here's just one example. There are many others. How have I gotten the wrong impression?

    Oh my goodness! I point to an article in which someone makes that claim and you immediately assume that I must agree wholeheartedly?

     

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  219.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    What is he in favor of? Clarify it for me. I've read a lot of Techdirt articles and I guess I have been unclear on this. What IP laws does Techdirt defend and want to see kept in place?

    I've said REPEATEDLY that what I am in favor of is *evidence-based* policies on these topics. I am fine with being convinced that such laws have a benefit, but I believe that it requires significantly more study. I am not in favor of getting rid of it all because I haven't seen enough evidence. I'm in favor of following what the evidence says. So far, it appears to suggest that significantly less protection would be beneficial.

     

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  220.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Go away aj.

     

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  221.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Private property

    Black's defines own as "To rightfully have or possess as property; to have legal title to."

    So, yes, you own the DVD. You have the right of possession. You own the title to it. You can play it in your DVD player or destroy it. Do you own the copyrights in the works that exist on the DVD? No. Owning something doesn't mean that you have the right to do with it as you please, and it doesn't mean that you own every aspect of it. I own a gun, but I can't shoot you in the face with it. I own a car, but I don't own the trademarked brand name.

     

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  222.  
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    nasch (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Mental Substitution

    My attitude about copyright/piracy is that it's already a reality and not worth expending lots of time/resources/legalities fighting for or against it.

    We need to fight against expanding copyright law, because much of it has harmful side effects that will last beyond the collapse of the gatekeeper industry.

     

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  223.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    In other words, you won't actually address my points and you're a coward

    .... in response to a comment in which I addressed all your points. It's just that YOU DON'T LIKE the responses because they fuck with your distorted world view.

    This is why engaging with you is a dumb game. You simply ignore any answer you don't like and then attack me claiming I didn't respond.

     

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  224.  
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    Loki, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:09am

    After we published the initial post on this, some complained that we weren't giving "the other side" fair hearing.

    Funny they don't seem to consider a fair hearing an issue when they are trying to force SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, TPP, and other completely lopsided legislation through.

    News flash, when your definition of "fair hearing" means "solely any information that supports our point of view, even if that information is totally unverified, unsupported, or even outright debunked" then don't act surprised when people ignore most of what you have to say.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    .... in response to a comment in which I addressed all your points. It's just that YOU DON'T LIKE the responses because they fuck with your distorted world view.

    This is why engaging with you is a dumb game. You simply ignore any answer you don't like and then attack me claiming I didn't respond.


    Nonsense. Stop making excuses. Please explain to everyone whether or not copyright is property in the legal sense. Please explain to everyone whether copyright is property as the word property is used in the Due Process Clause.

    Why do you keep avoiding these very basic questions. And don't say that it's irrelevant. It's not. You're insisting that everyone use the word property in a certain way. Let's discuss the various meanings of the word in the various contexts. This is called having a discussion. It's pretty clear that you're avoiding this topic like the plague. For once, just discuss something openly and honestly.

    Stop making excuses.

     

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  226.  
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    nasch (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    You have a tendency to rely on "legal" definitions

    Holy crap. Every time, Mike is going for the economic issue while joe is screaming about the law. What exactly are you smoking?

     

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  227.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Yep, I gave you a choice to see what you'd do. You, as I suspected, made the choice wherein I promised to leave you alone. I have not left you alone, so I am a liar on that point. You're right.

    Just repeating for emphasis.

    Anyway, since you think it's fine to lie about such things, then I assume you will have no problem if I point out that you have now admitted you are not worth engaging with.

    And, no, this is not cowardice. I did, in fact, respond to all of your points, as I have done in the past. And, as in the past, all you have done is thrown a temper tantrum because you *don't like* the answers.

    But this time you have also admitted that you are dishonest as the day is long.

    So now we have that as well.

    And, for everyone else: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120818/01171420087/funniestmost-insightful-comments-week-techdirt .shtml#c1210

     

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  228.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Watch, everyone, and learn how to be "below_average_joe." It's easy!

    Nonsense. Stop making excuses. Please explain to everyone whether or not copyright is property in the legal sense. Please explain to everyone whether copyright is property as the word property is used in the Due Process Clause.

    Nonsense. Stop making excuses. Please explain to everyone why copyright is not property in the economic sense. Please explain to everyone why treating non-scarce goods as scarce is economically inefficient.

    Why do you keep avoiding these very basic questions. And don't say that it's irrelevant. It's not. You're insisting that everyone use the word property in a certain way. Let's discuss the various meanings of the word in the various contexts. This is called having a discussion. It's pretty clear that you're avoiding this topic like the plague. For once, just discuss something openly and honestly.

    Why do you keep avoiding these very basic questions? And don't say that it's irrelevant. It's not. You're insisting that everyone use the word property in a certain way. Let's discuss the various meanings of the word in the various contexts. This is called having a discussion. It's pretty clear that you're avoiding this topic like the plague. For once, just discuss something openly and honestly.

    Stop making excuses.


    Stop making excuses.

     

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  229.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Private property

    You are confusing "it" and "DVD."

    It states I own "it" ON "DVD."

    "It" is therefore my property. "It" is currently on "DVD."
    If I rip "it" to my computer, throw away the disc, I still own "it."




    "I own a gun, but I can't shoot you in the face with it."
    Not sure what world you are living in, but that happens often enough in my world.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    I did, in fact, respond to all of your points, as I have done in the past.

    Where did you answer the question about whether copyright is property in the legal sense? Please provide a link.

    Where did you answer the question about whether copyright is property as that word is used in the Due Process Clause? Please provide a link.

    You haven't answered those questions. All you're doing is running away, again.

     

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  231.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Private property

    P.S. Don't confuse killing/maiming someone with ownership of gun. We could easily substitute, say, stabbed with a gun/knife, ran over with car/boat, etc...

     

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  232.  
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    Shane Roach (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:54am

    "increasing the value of scarcities"

    More and more I come down on the side of copyright law being a violation of free speech. "Increasing the value of scarcities" is just a fancy way of saying "marketing". What is really at issue is business models where one is in the business of selling information. Any limitation on spreading information is, on its face, a violation of free speech. I am not even sure I am willing to give our "Founding Fathers" a pass on not fully understanding this. They were not at all kind to the veterans of the Revolutionary War. They were as well schooled as anyone in the art of ripping off their perceived inferiors.

     

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  233.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This is just sad, Mike. Wow.

     

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  234.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Private property

    How about "pwn?"

     

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  235.  
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    Niall (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Mental Substitution

    An overwhelming majority of the politicians wanting to chuck all latinos/blacks/native americans/gays/liberals out of the country were re-elected. So what?
    An overwhelming majority of the politicians wanting to crank up taxes and 'shaft the country' were re-elected. So what?

     

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  236.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mental Substitution

    So you are saying a major change in how the market operates means all else stays equal?

     

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  237.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Do you actually think redifining the meaning of property to suite your needs will convince anyone?
    No, I suspect not. I suspect that, as usual, he thinks choosing some nit-picking legal/linguistical technicality to argue endlessly, pedantically and insultingly about will distract attention from the fact that the definition of the word "property" whether linguistic or legal is entirely beside the point.

    In this, by and large, he appears to be sadly correct. There's pages and pages or ranting about the legal defintion of "property" and plenty of name-calling but very little discussion about whether it is in fact logical to try and treat something intangible and infinitely copyable exactly the same as something unique and tangible and if not what the differences should be. That might be nice for a change, but I'm not holding my breath.

     

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  238.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Where did you answer the question about whether copyright is property in the legal sense? Please provide a link.

    Where did you answer the question about whether copyright is property in the economic sense? Please provide a link.

    Where did you answer the question about whether copyright is property as that word is used in the Due Process Clause? Please provide a link.

    Where did you answer the question about whether viewing copyright as property is an economically efficient solution. Please provide a link.

    You haven't answered those questions. All you're doing is running away, again.


    You haven't answered those questions. All you're doing is trolling away, again.

     

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  239.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Intangible property is different, of course. It's not naturally excludable or rivalrous. The law makes it excludable, not it's inherent nature. So what? It's still excludable. One's de facto, one's de jure. The law treats them both as property. The straw man Mike is giving is pretending like the law is unaware that intangible property works differently than tangible property, and he's wrong to suggest that only Hume's view is adequate to point out the obvious fact that everyone already knows that intangible property is different than tangible property. Mike doesn't want to talk about any of this, of course. Watch how he whines and stomps his feet when asked to confirm that he has before admitted that copyright is property as that word is used in the Constitution. He will kick and scream and pull out every sockpuppet in his silly arsenal, but he won't just admit that simple fact. He wants to write entire articles where he claims that using the word property as Hume would and no other way, but then he refuses to discuss any of the basic assertions that lead him to demand such things. Nothing dishonest about that.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Where did you answer the question about whether copyright is property in the legal sense? Please provide a link.

    Where did you answer the question about whether copyright is property in the economic sense? Please provide a link.

    Where did you answer the question about whether copyright is property as that word is used in the Due Process Clause? Please provide a link.

    Where did you answer the question about whether viewing copyright as property is an economically efficient solution. Please provide a link.

    You haven't answered those questions. All you're doing is running away, again.


    You haven't answered those questions. All you're doing is trolling away, again.


    Watch him kick and scream, folks!

    Refusing to answer even the most simple question. Nothing dishonest about this.

    Obfuscate and spread the hate!

     

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    btrussell (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It is an instrument.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Private property

    "Owning something doesn't mean that you have the right to do with it as you please, and it doesn't mean that you own every aspect of it."

    Are you talking to me? Or Disney?

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 10:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    What average_joe is apparently too clueless to note is that all I've done is mimic him. And his response is to claim that it's "kicking and screaming" and "refusing to answer even the most simple questions."

    So thank you, average_joe, in one single thread you've both admitted that you are a liar AND that you're just a whiney child kicking and screaming and refusing to debate honestly.

    Cool.

     

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  244. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    What average_joe is apparently too clueless to note is that all I've done is mimic him. And his response is to claim that it's "kicking and screaming" and "refusing to answer even the most simple questions."

    So thank you, average_joe, in one single thread you've both admitted that you are a liar AND that you're just a whiney child kicking and screaming and refusing to debate honestly.

    Cool.


    You think I didn't notice that you were mimicking me? Sigh.

    Why won't you discuss the meanings of the word property, Mike? The title of article and its content indicate that you think it's very important to not call copyright property. That you are being less than forthcoming about the fact that you think copyright is property as that word is used in the law and in the Constitution itself is quite germane to the discussion. Instead, you play these ridiculous games. Anything but to just answer a simple question. I really don't get it. I know you're insecure, and I know you just want to tear apart everyone and everything else, but I don't get why you can't handle even discussing one thing you believe with any sort of granularity. It's really sad. I mean that.

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm sure that was an answer to something, just not to my comment.

    If you really want my opinion on the petty argument though, I will try to oblige. Mike's responses in comments occasionally look childish to me and sometimes his attitude in them makes me want to scream. On the other hand when responding to you, which is often sadly when he is at his most childish, he rarely fails to come off a having the moral highground because almost every comment time you engage in a comment thread everything you write is dripping with disdain, spurious logic and the kind of one-upmanship and last-wording that most 4-year-olds learn to outgrow.
    Mike's articles, even when I don't agree with him, usually at least get somewhere near a point worth debating in the real world. Your arguments are rarely based other than in a technically nuanced legal definition that you repeat over and over ad-nauseam, filling the comments with such pedantary that even when you may be correct you are still not "right", nor by that time do I care if you are.

    You, sir, are an example of the reason there are lawyer jokes and for me do nothing but prove to me over and over that the law and especially the excercise of it has little, if anything, to do with the reality of day-to-day life. If you really are anywhere close to correct when you make such legal points, you successfully prove that the law is written to pander to money, not to have anything to do with justice or the benefit of society as a whole. If your pedantic arguments are an example of lawyers generally, you sucessfully prove that the application of the law has nothing to do with morals, legality, or anything else but being a way of keeping score between 2 sides that will twist language, meaning and especially truth past breaking point in order to "win" at any cost.

    In case you missed the segue, I don't give a monkey's whether you or Mike are "right" and still less do I care what definition of "property" you or he are using. A word is a word and can carry pretty much any burden you put on it and often does in different circumstances. A word encapsulates an idea. I would love it if, just for the change of pace, you would one day engage with a debate about the idea rather than the linguistic obfuscation.

     

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    nasch (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Best response to joe ever. Spot on, thank you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Meh. He writes an article about why it's really important to not call copyright property. He then refuses to discuss this substantively, instead demanding that it is solely an economic issue governed by Hume's uncited holy maxim that faith tells us exists. It's so stupid. He completely ignores centuries of change in the meaning of the word property, setting up a straw man that the modern use of the word somehow is blinded by copyright's nonrivalrous nature.

    I'm glad you agree that Mike is at his "most childish" when I confront him on the most basic point. I know you don't think the word matters, but I think it matters a lot that Mike is being less than honest about the meaning of the word--especially considering the fact that he thinks in other important contexts that it is in fact property. He refuses to discuss that fact because he's trying to manipulate the meaning of the word. Under Mike's logic, we can all just look back in history and find one person who defined a word a certain way, and then, centuries later we can demand that everyone use that word in that very narrow way--centuries of philosophies in the interim notwithstanding. It's him being dishonest, me calling him out on it (again), and him freaking out. Lather, rinse, repeat. That's what happens when you challenge Mike.

    So I disagree with you that I'm not engaging with him "about the idea rather than the linguistic obfuscation." His obfuscation is deliberate, trying to control the idea. It's based on straw men and unspoken assumptions about what people might think if they called copyright property (gasp!). The idea he's espousing is that it's important to not use the word property when discussing copyright. I'm challenging that idea. This article is about that very thing. I'm not bringing up some tangent and being a troll. I'm challenging the very idea he is throwing out there, that we should not call copyright property. He's freaking out because he can't back his shit up and he knows it all falls apart if you look too closely.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Forgive, me then, for confusing Techdirt for being an anti-IP site. Articles like this led me to believe there was little, if any support, for patents here. We're already in the midst of discussing the evils of copyright, so I won't point to past articles on that. Haven't checked for specific trademark articles.

    Scientists Feel That Patents Cause Significant Harm To Research | Techdirt

    Is It So Crazy For A Patent Attorney To Think Patents Harm Innovation? | Techdirt

    Research Shows Little Relationship Between Stricter IP Laws And Innovation Or Economic Growth | Techdirt

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:01pm

    I'm mostly sympathetic with the Techdirt point of view on most things -- Mike Masnick is brilliant on so many things -- but I find the philosophical/fundamental arguments in this article to be kind of weak.

    The questions of whether there is a right of property in intellectual products, how much there is or should be, or whether it exists in itself or is just a means to an end -- these questions are not just "obvious". There really is something to debate. Serious people can be on either side of the question.

    By this kind of ranting and raving, name calling, and so forth, you just kind of lose the most astute and serious of your readers.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    I am not in favor of getting rid of it all because I haven't seen enough evidence.

    Okay. This is something definitive. The goal isn't to lobby Congress to drop restrictions yet, but to encourage them to study the issues further?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    I appreciate your serious comment.

    There is a lot wrong with the way IP is implemented today. Techdirt covers this beautifully. There are good economic, game-theory-like, and practical argument to weaken or reconceive IP. Techdirt makes the case very well sometimes. But this particular article is really weak. The debate on the fundamentals is not as obvious.

    There are plenty of people who believe strongly in freedom of speech, privacy, autonomy, anti-DRM, anti- too much corporate power, anti-rights abuses, and so forth, and who love Techdirt for that reason, but whose *fundamental* views on IP are not that it should be abolished but reformed. Let us call them fellow travellers.

    There is plenty of practical stuff as well as principles that these fellow travellers have in common with the mainstream of thought on Techdirt, but the ranting and raving in this *particular* article isn't very persuasive to them. It tends to lose a serious form of ally not to take the arguments on the other side of the IP question seriously.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Oh my goodness! I point to an article in which someone makes that claim and you immediately assume that I must agree wholeheartedly?

    What is your position? Can you restate it or point me to where it is laid out? Or is it in flux? I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been confused by this. Is there a Techdirt position paper on IP issues?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    There's no chance that she is a shill. It's obvious from the tone of what she writes that she's asking serious questions.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Mike, I really think she's coming from a different perspective that either a kind of media-company angry defender, or the kind of libertarian who believes that the creators of intellectual products have ownership rights to them.

    Instead it appears to be a kind of benevolent socialism-anarchism -- i.e. something from the classic nonviolent far left. That is not so bad, it's not seen much her, but it's kind of an interesting and creative position that will have very little sympathy for classic big IP. Why not treat her with respect?

     

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    Greevar (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Alright bucko, you're missing one very big detail here. What is art? Expression. What is expression? Speech. Can any one person own speech once divulged? No. To apply property law to art is to censor speech and that clashes directly with the first amendment.

    You're fighting an uphill battle against a social movement and human nature. The concept of property is only about as old as the first organized authoritarian regimes, but sharing knowledge and culture goes back to the very beginning of our evolution, it's in our biology. Copyright literally contradicts human evolution. Quite frankly, the people that want to share content outnumber those that want to control access to it by a wide margin. This is a battle that you aren't going to win, not without violating our most fundamental human right and that's when people will come to overthrow you.

    AJ you are wrong in every way, so very, very, very wrong. You should take some time off and just reassess how flawed your perspectives are. Think about how much time you're wasting on a petty crusade against random strangers on the internet that in the long-run, would amount to nothing in terms of progress towards any significant change.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    What is your position? Can you restate it or point me to where it is laid out? Or is it in flux? I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been confused by this. Is there a Techdirt position paper on IP issues?

    I suspect you know this and are toying with him, but Mike refuses to be pinned down on the specifics of his beliefs. It's not so much that it's in flux, it's that he's deliberately vague as a tactical weapon in the war of ideas. Just look at him freaking out in this thread when challenged on something as silly as his definition of property.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Why not treat her with respect?

    Mike disrespects those he disagrees with. It's mostly a reflection of his insecurity about his own beliefs.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This debate between AC and Mike is truly strange to me. The intelligence on both sides is clear, in this case. Respectable opponents. Why descend to bickering?

    Isn't it completely clear that the issue won't be resolved in a few lines of a post and that the answer is not so obvious? Just like some other fundamental divisive issues -- e.g. capitalism/socialism, God/none, abortion/choice and so forth.

    And even with those hot issues you can find respectful debaters on both sides.

    Dawkins, Rawls, Nozick, C.S. Lewis, Hitchens, and so forth. Many.

    I'd rather hear a wry "I have no need for that hypothesis" than "you idiot" when probably both guys are far from idiots.

    I go back and forth on the question of IP, I debate it with myself, does that make me an idiot? Indeed: "Zu dem Adler sprach die Taube: Wo das Denken aufhört, da beginnt der Glaube; Recht, sprach jener, mit dem Unterschied jedoch, Wo du glaubst, da denk´ ich noch."

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Let me backtrack a bit and explain why I write what I write here.

    I found Techdirt because of some posting on music. By the time I got here, I had already decided fighting for or against copyright was a waste of energy.

    But I have never bought into the idea that giving away content was transforming the music or creative business for the better for artists. I'd disagree with those concepts here and was repeatedly attacked for supporting the music powers-that-be. In other words, people were trying to box me into the pro-copyright group because I disagreed with Mike on opportunities to make income from creative activities.

    In time, I decided to explore the concept of gift economies in great detail because some people have advocated that art should be given away as a gift. That's fine, but the basic necessities for artists still have to be met. About that time Occupy Wall Street and the Shareable Movement were happening and it made sense to me that artists can give away what they make and society, in return, would find ways to support people without traditional jobs and income.

    That led me to the P2P Foundation site. It clearly says that it wants to expand the peer-to-peer approach to every facet of economic life. The info posted there is deep and the authors don't hesitate to highlight problems that can happen with proposed ideas.

    Back at Techdirt I have tried to point out that those of us who have differing opinions than Techdirt can't all be dismissed as "maximalists." In fact, some of us may fall to the left of Techdirt.

    I can see where Techdirt might want to disassociate from the more radical groups if it is trying to persuade conservative members of Congress to drop copyright protection and to reform patents.

    In a previous discussion about the RSC there was a suggestion about how libertarians might find dropping copyright to their liking. I said that it will be interesting if the libertarian side gets rid of copyright to further private property protection and if the radical left gets rid of copyright to further less private property and more commons. They might work together to change laws, have vastly different goals.

    I think it's the same with democracy. You can say everyone should be free to decide what government they want, but then some of those voters may end up picking a government not to your liking. We're seeing that democracy in the Middle East is not exactly a duplication of what it is here in the US and we'll have to live with it if we believe in the process.

    As for big tech, yes, I am wary of its bigness and possible influence. It's not anything in particular. Rather it's been a lot of little things which sound so much like justifications I have read from the big industries decades gone past that I think it just comes with the territory. Once you have enough power, you tend to use it to keep yourself in business, even if that limits competition. I am happy that Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. continue to do battle with each other rather than to form a truly united front because it keeps each of them in check.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Crazyville

    I agree that the RSC document was beautiful and refreshing. Economic libertarians appear to be split on copyright. For some there is no IP, for others IP competes with other rights. For me, the idea of doing without IP altogether is extremely interesting. Worth debating.

    My field -- mathematics -- does very well with no IP whatsoever. It's got state funding, which makes it a market with a external driver. But the cash is allocated to people on the basis of a reputation threshold without any concept of property at all. New math ideas cannot be owned and are copied *instantly*. People are motivated by status and curiosity, not even really money, and the field moves like lightning. Socially, you're required to give credit. No enforcers, because as was once said, the stakes are so low.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Instead it appears to be a kind of benevolent socialism-anarchism -- i.e. something from the classic nonviolent far left. That is not so bad, it's not seen much her, but it's kind of an interesting and creative position that will have very little sympathy for classic big IP.

    YES.

    I am trying to offer a different perspective than what is usually presented here. Since people are interested in IP issues, I am hoping to point people to other resources. I see the world in a period as significant as the Industrial Revolution. How we distribute goods, how we protect the environment, how we view work, and how we take care of people are all being sorted out now.

    It's a complex play of many factors and I don't think anything can be neatly boiled down to a few solutions. I will highlight the grey areas when I see them because I think we need to discuss them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Nice response.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Wall of text - boring - assertions = Mike's rehash.

    Yes!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Anyway, it's really nice to hear a voice here that's calm and doesn't get sucked into these silly flame wars. Mike runs a great show and I wish he'd stay above the gutter stuff. Who cares what AJ thinks? It seems that a certain tone shouldn't even get answered. The odd thing is that AJ seems to be partly representing arguable ideas, why do it that way though?

    There's another blog I used to read a lot -- languagelog.com. The comments stay super civilized even when people disagree, even the occasional Chinese patriot arguing with Victor Mair about whether characters are words. Ars Technica also stays pretty clean. I wonder what makes the difference.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    The other point I try to make is explain why IP issues aren't a hot button for the average voter. People feel passionate about it here, but the idea that most voters are going to base their voting decision on who does or doesn't support IP-related bills isn't likely.

    I care about it to the extent that it could be a small piece of a very big picture -- which is why I tend to expand the discussion to encompass very big economic topics. IP as a standalone topic isn't relevant to me. IP as a factor within an economic system that allows more people to work outside the corporate, multi-national system is a BIG issue to me. Some of you can see this distinction, right?

    Freeing up intellectual property to be a disruptive force is exactly what some people want to see happen. That could be a hard sell to conservative politicians.

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm glad you agree that Mike is at his "most childish" when I confront him on the most basic point.
    Ah, no. I think you missed my point here and I'd rather you didn't put words in my mouth.
    It reminds me as nothing so much as watching 2 primary school children in a playground. It goes something like this:
    The one kid, an arrogant little snotling usually, decides to wind up the other and just randomly starts calling him names often because of some past slight, real or imagined. The other, perhaps a little less outright obnoxious, ignores the first because "that's how you deal with pests". Not content, the first continues the name calling to get a reaction, perhaps escalating to calling into question the parentage and general ancestry of the other if precocious enough to have learned the words by now. Now visibly wound up, the 2nd child will be struggling for control if not actually starting to retort. About now a strategic shove from the first child will escalate it into a full-blown shouting match if not an actual fight. This is usually where the teacher steps in and the whole thing decends into the most childish form of "But I didn't start it!" and "But! He said...." / "I never did! It was him that you can imagine.
    Typically the first child feels they've won because, though they also got into trouble both ended up looking bad and they've managed to drag their enemy down to their own level and misery loves company. The 2nd child usually later feels annoyed with themselves because they knew better, and pissed off because they've realised that the "just ignore it" strategy only works so far when dealing with someone too obnoxious to learn.

    That's exactly what it looks like from this side.

    As for the rest of your post, it seems to translate as "it's not the definition that's important it's the definition" and looks like a Redbeard Rum argument to me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    What about the success of the Pirate Party in Sweden and Germany? Of course the European election system was essential in allowing their percentages to be actually realised in Parliament, whereas the U.S. system tends to block out new parties, but the fact that IP is their core issue, rather than something more traditional, was really surprising and made me sit up and take notice.

    Of course, web freedom can be read as a proxy for larger issues involving distrust of existing parties and structures. But apparently it's one that's got some real emotional appeal to a lot of people here. I assume that the same interest is there latently in the U.S., but maybe it seems trivial or self-indulgent to people who are already serious about politics.

    Still, I liked this quote by Falkvinge the other day: Counter-intuitively, acting serious is the biggest barrier to being taken seriously that a sociopolitical movement could possibly erect.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Freeing up intellectual property to be a disruptive force is exactly what some people want to see happen. That could be a hard sell to conservative politicians.

    Except for a certain flavor of economic libertarian, as we see from the Republican IP document that was on a website for 20 minutes last week. But it flies against established interests, so no chance it will be supported by the actual Republican Party, as opposed to some of its more idealistic members.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    What about the success of the Pirate Party in Sweden and Germany?

    I have been following along, but I'm more interested in sustainability than IP issues, so the Pirate Party has been too much about something that is secondary to me for me to be excited for them.

    Could something like this have traction in the US? I don't know. Here in Boulder our US Congressman is Jared Polis so there wouldn't be much incentive to replace him with a Pirate Party candidate.

    Fracking has become a big issue in Colorado and our Democratic governor has been in support of the oil/gas industry over the wishes of local communities, so a candidate taking a more liberal stance than that might grab some attention. But again, this is a environmental issue rather than an IP issue.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 3:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Typically the first child feels they've won because, though they also got into trouble both ended up looking bad and they've managed to drag their enemy down to their own level and misery loves company. The 2nd child usually later feels annoyed with themselves because they knew better, and pissed off because they've realised that the "just ignore it" strategy only works so far when dealing with someone too obnoxious to learn.

    That's exactly what it looks like from this side.


    Yes. You've summarized it perfectly.

    I agree. I do know better, but even when I directly answer his questions, he continues to insist that I have not answered his questions, and then if I don't respond to *that* he insists I've run away.

    It's incredible. I responded to his questions and he still insists I have not. That sort of non-logic makes my blood boil, which is why I lash out at him.

    I don't suffer fools gladly. But I should live up to my word and realize that AJ will NEVER hold a legitimate discussion. His only role is to attempt to troll by claiming that I have not responded, simply because he does not like or does not understand my responses.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 3:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    But it flies against established interests, so no chance it will be supported by the actual Republican Party, as opposed to some of its more idealistic members.

    I thought I had responded to this, but I don't see it posted, so I'll try again.

    The GOP as it is currently configured isn't libertarian enough to be the libertarian party, so I'm not sure how many votes it can count on from that group unless it significantly reinvents itself.

    As third parties go, I'm closest in philosophy to the Green Party. While a libertarian GOP would appeal to me more than the conservative views it supports now, I probably wouldn't align with libertarians if I had a more sustainability-focused group to support. From what I have read about libertarian ideas to deal with pollution, it sounds like a lot of lawyers suing property owners for damages inflicted on other property owners. I'd rather try to head off the problems before they happen than to police problems after the fact with lawsuits.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 3:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This debate between AC and Mike is truly strange to me. The intelligence on both sides is clear, in this case. Respectable opponents. Why descend to bickering?

    The simple answer is that there is a history there (ditto with Suzanne). That's not a good answer, but it is the answer. After debating with them for years, I am frustrated by their willful misrepresentation of what I say. It is at that point that it has gone on for years that it can not just be that I have not communicated clearly, but that they seem to purposely misrepresent my positions.

    I should stay above it. I am happy to debate those who disagree with me and are willing to debate logically and ethically. But this particular individual flings ad hominems around wildly, while frequently accusing me of not answering his "wife beating" questions.

    It's bad that I fall for it, but sometimes I feel like I need to respond to those logical fallacies. But I should not, and should focus on debating with serious critics, rather than ones who appear to use trollish tactics.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 3:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't suffer fools gladly. But I should live up to my word and realize that AJ will NEVER hold a legitimate discussion. His only role is to attempt to troll by claiming that I have not responded, simply because he does not like or does not understand my responses.

    Good grief, Mike. I just want you to admit that you think copyright is property as that word is used in the Constitution. You refuse to address this point. It's important because we're discussing whether copyright is rightly called property. You're trying to frame it as a pure economic issue, which doesn't make much sense. There is no such thing except perhaps in some philosophical writings. The fact is you don't want your readers to know that you acknowledge that copyright is property in certain contexts, including important constitutional ones. Look at the lengths you will go to just to avoid answering one simple question. Calling me a troll because you refuse to acknowledge something as true is just deflection. Obfuscate and spread the hate. That's your motto. You keep pretending like it's me that can't have a conversation, when you yourself refuse to answer even the most simple questions. You refuse to ever discuss your personal beliefs when faced with direct questions. Don't try and pin you're intentional dodging of even the most simple questions on anyone but yourself. Want to prove me wrong? Answer the question. Just actually give the actual answer. No pretending like you already answered it but then supplying zero link to prove it. No pretending like the meaning of the word property in the legal sense is completely unrelated to a discussion about copyright law. No excuses. Just an answer. No personal attacks. No silence. No whining. Just the answer. You can't.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 3:58pm

    Has anyone else noticed that every single one of Mike's posts in this thread have been aimed at one or two people with whom he disagreed? And the tone of each of those posts is nothing less than negative, caustic and childish? How much more interesting it would be to welcome and explore dissenting views than to deride and insult those who express them.

    Mike has a lot of good ideas, and it's a shame that he seems more interested in engaging in these angry squabbles than setting the tone for respectful discussion. Those who post thoughtful comments in support of a story are overlooked in Mike's quest to focus on and attack those who disagree. It's also disappointing to see that dissenting views are met with responses like, "this is why everyone thinks you're crazy." These childish and flip responses to almost all those who disagree with him (and I'm not just referring to AJ) is unfortunate given that the articles on Techdirt are very current and could really facilitate interesting discussion.

    I don't mean to put down this site at all. To the contrary, I think there is great potential for thoughtful discussion on very important issues at Techdirt. However, you can't bring both sides to the table if you attack those who disagree with such vitriol. And as the founder of this great site, Mike should know better.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 4:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I am happy to debate those who disagree with me and are willing to debate logically and ethically.

    Great. Let's start here and now.

    No ad homs.

    Can you please confirm explicitly that you believe that under the law and the Constitution copyright is property? Let's start there.

    I look forward to logical and ethical debate with no ad homs, both of us addressing each other's questions on the merits directly.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 4:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    What is your position? Can you restate it or point me to where it is laid out? Or is it in flux? I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been confused by this. Is there a Techdirt position paper on IP issues?

    I have repeated it ad nauseum: I believe in the importance of innovation leading to economic growth, which increases opportunity for everyone. (Where you and I disagree, fundamentally, is that you seem to not believe in economic growth). As such, I am most interested in the kinds of innovation that increase opportunity and lead to economic growth, and I support an evidence-based world in which we seek what works best.

    At the same time, I support new, unique and creative business models that I see all the time that are enabling more money to be made (contrary to your claims), because I believe that helps move the process forward.

    That's all.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 4:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The simple answer is that there is a history there (ditto with Suzanne). That's not a good answer, but it is the answer. After debating with them for years, I am frustrated by their willful misrepresentation of what I say. It is at that point that it has gone on for years that it can not just be that I have not communicated clearly, but that they seem to purposely misrepresent my positions.

    We have disagreed about music industry stuff and I will continue to present my view, which is that music is ubiquitous, is great for society, and is something the widest possible group of people should be making. The most revolutionary/exciting thing about music today in my mind is the technology that lets so many people make music for themselves.

    What I don't embrace is the split between music maker and music fan. That's why I don't go along with the idea that direct-to-fan is the way to replace the old music business. In my mind, that's really the same old music business on a smaller scale.

    I want participatory music.

    Similarly, my economics and politics follow along that same line. Flatten business hierarchies. Remove them as much as possible. I embrace the maker movement. I look forward to whatever 3D printing can do to change economics. I hope the days of Wall Street are ending because we'll no longer need concentrated capital.

    Whenever I disagree with Mike, he and his fans have accused me of (1) supporting the traditional music establishment or (2) being difficult. I am neither, but I do have a perspective that is different than what is commonly found here.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 4:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    As an outsider, I can see how this response would be frustrating. The post asked what Techdirt's/Mike's position is on IP laws, and Mike responds by talking at a high level about the importance of innovation, economic growth and creative business models. There may be some way to make a connection between the question and the response, but I don't see it. Does Mike support a reformed system of intellectual property in the U.S. that is designed to foster these goals? If so, what might that system look like? These seem like perfectly fair questions to me.

    Mike may frame this as "I keep answering your question!", but what value does that answer have if it is a complete non sequitur?

     

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    JMT (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    "Why won't you discuss the meanings of the word property, Mike?"

    Funny, I've read all Mike's comments on this article and have a pretty good idea of what Mike believes is and isn't property, and was property is and isn't. If you can't figure it out, it's your problem, not Mike's.

    I think the problem is that it's only a "discussion" when people are agreeing with you. But when they're not saying exactly what you want to hear, suddenly you're the only one who's really trying and everyone else is running away from you. Your world is a sad one.

     

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    nasch (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    I think Suzanne is the perfect example of why it's a fallacy to think of every debate as having exactly two sides. Clearly she is not pro-IP but neither does she fit in with the IP reformers and certainly not with the abolitionists.

     

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    nasch (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    I'd rather try to head off the problems before they happen than to police problems after the fact with lawsuits.

    Hard to believe some people think that is a bad idea...

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 5:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    As an outsider

    Care to admit where you work? It seems relevant.

    The post asked what Techdirt's/Mike's position is on IP laws, and Mike responds by talking at a high level about the importance of innovation, economic growth and creative business models. There may be some way to make a connection between the question and the response, but I don't see it.

    You don't see how talking about innovation and economic growth and wanting policies that support that are tied to IP policy? I'm honestly not sure how to respond to that, since it seems relatively clear to me. I think those things are important and any IP policy needs to be shown, empirically, to support those goals.

    Does Mike support a reformed system of intellectual property in the U.S. that is designed to foster these goals?

    Yes. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear, though I believe it was.

    If so, what might that system look like? These seem like perfectly fair questions to me.

    Also questions I've answered ad nauseum, which is why I sometimes get frustrated when I feel that people who have clearly read those answers from me in the past feel the desire to repeat the questions as if I have not answered them.

    The answer, again, is that the evidence today points to the fact that the copyright and patent systems seem to hinder the pace of growth (not hold back growth entirely, but slow its pace). There is significant evidence that less IP would increase the rate of growth.

    However, I do not know what is the absolute *best* proposals are. Which is why I keep saying that the focus now should be on building up more evidence of what policies work and which do not.

    I do have some suggestions on ways that I believe we can improve the systems today -- many of which I've discussed in detail on the site in the past. The search bar is above and is usable. Me retyping the responses is not a productive use of my time.

    Mike may frame this as "I keep answering your question!", but what value does that answer have if it is a complete non sequitur?

    If it were a non-sequitor you'd have a point, but it is not.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Funny, I've read all Mike's comments on this article and have a pretty good idea of what Mike believes is and isn't property, and was property is and isn't. If you can't figure it out, it's your problem, not Mike's.

    I think the problem is that it's only a "discussion" when people are agreeing with you. But when they're not saying exactly what you want to hear, suddenly you're the only one who's really trying and everyone else is running away from you. Your world is a sad one.


    All he has said is that people should not call copyright property. I'm trying to get to the bottom of why not. He's mentioned that three centuries ago Hume said something or other. We don't know what Hume said because Mike has not offered any text or citation, but apparently Hume discussed tangible property. It seems self evident to me that demanding that a word be given the meaning that somebody might have given it three centuries ago is suspect on its face.

    I'd love to discuss Mike's definition of property, and understand why a centuries-old definition that some person may have stated should control our use of the word today. What about the three centuries of gloss that term has acquired in the meantime? And why not talk about other meanings of the word? If Mike admits that copyright is property as that word is used in the law and the Constitution, that seems relevant too. Let's discuss the different meanings of the word, and let's put this thing in context. Mike has written many articles demanding that copyright is not property. If he also secretly admits that it certain contexts it is property, that is obviously relevant to his claims to the contrary as it shows that it's not so simple and binary.

    I feel like I am asking very legitimate questions attempting to have a meaningful discussion about a point that is obviously very near and dear to Mike's beliefs. I am genuinely curious to have this discussion. I'm not at all saying that everyone must believe what I believe, but I don't think it's correct to ignore three centuries of history. I mean, three centuries ago, human beings were considered property. Things have changed since then. Let's look at Mike's reasons. What does it mean for an issue to be one that is purely economic, having nothing to do with the law? I honestly don't understand that approach. I've never heard of anyone demanding that a three century old meaning that someone may have given a word should control how we use that word today because the issue is 100% economic. That makes zero sense to me, but I would love to understand this approach. Maybe it has merit. Let's explore it. And let's explore other meanings of the word too, especially meanings that Mike hesitates to mention. That only tells me that there's something there. I don't think you can dismiss the whole thing by playing the "purely economic issue" card.

    So no, I don't agree that Mike has come close to answering any of this. And I feel like he will continue to write article after article, demanding that copyright is not property, but then he won't discuss in detail what that actually means. The *only* thing I want is an honest and open discussion on the merits. These back and forth name-calling sessions are really boring. I'm here, day after day, ready to engage.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 6:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Care to admit where you work? It seems relevant.

    I meant that I was an outsider to the discussion between you and Suzanne. I find it very unfortunate that you would look up my IP address, breach my anonymity, and then publicly admit that you've done so. This is especially troubling coming from someone who claims to be a proponent of privacy and who runs a site that expressly permits anonymous posting. You've lost a loyal reader.

     

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  285.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Don't copy that jalopy!

     

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  286.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And it was at that very moment piracy was completely eradicated from the earth . . .

    The End

     

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  287.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    You'll be back. You guys always come back.

     

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  288.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Average_Joe disrespects those he disagrees with. It's mostly a reflection of his insecurity about his own beliefs.

    Sorry, I meant, Anonymous Coward.

     

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  289.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Song of the South is not Disney's property or else it wouldn't be allowed on YouTube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BtjW7PW2z0

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 9:37pm

    A good discussion of a cultural commons

    I just ran across this and I think it is worth sharing here because you see how it focuses on different concepts than a libertarian view of the world. The entire article is worth reading. It doesn't specifically talk about copyright but does mention digitizing and sharing collections online.

    Culture Must Always Be a Commons | OpenGLAM: "So what would our Cultural Commons look like, how would it operate? I think it would look very much like the same Commons Framework that has already transformed professional communities all over the world.

    At the heart of this Framework are three fundamental principles, which speak to unity and sustainability:

    Equity – Everyone has a fair and just share of social and natural resources that belong to us together.
    Sustainability – Our common wealth must be cared for so that it can sustain all living beings, including future generations.
    Interdependence – Cooperation and connection in our communities, around our world, and with our living planet is essential for the future."

     

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    techflaws (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 11:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Freaking out? Yeah, that's as convincing as your puny attempt at redefining the meaning of property. Hint: it doesn't work.

     

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    techflaws (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 11:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    breach my anonymity

    LOL, how ridiculous can you get?

     

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    techflaws (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 11:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    What's obvious is that she lacks reading comprehension. Dunno why this is Techdirt's fault though.

     

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    techflaws (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 11:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Why can't it be both?

     

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    techflaws (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 11:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Forgive, me then, for confusing Techdirt for being an anti-IP site

    Mmh, shills apologizing for doing their masters' work. Weird.

     

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    techflaws (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 11:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Insecure as in handing your ass in every conversation, Averga_Joe?

     

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    techflaws (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 11:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    People feel passionate about it here, but the idea that most voters are going to base their voting decision on who does or doesn't support IP-related bills isn't likely.

    Exhibit A: the failure of SOPA.
    Exhibit B: the failure of ACTA.

     

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    techflaws (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 11:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    All he has said is that people should not call copyright property. I'm trying to get to the bottom of why not.

     

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    techflaws (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 11:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks for the balance

    It's almost like he's the one being dishonest about the meanings of words
    That's rich coming from the AC desperately trying to redefine the meaning of the word 'property'.

     

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    techflaws (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 11:31pm

    Re: Re: Private property

    Why can't Mike ever just once have a normal conversation about something?

    That's rich coming from the AC desperately trying to redefine the meaning of the word 'property'.

     

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    techflaws (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 11:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    By the time I got here, I had already decided fighting for or against copyright was a waste of energy.

    And Mike and others here apparently not which should be okay to you since, you know, it's HIS blog. So, if you think it's a waste of energy why waste your energy by posting here?

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 27th, 2012 @ 11:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    I find it very unfortunate that you would look up my IP address, breach my anonymity, and then publicly admit that you've done so.

    Ha! I did no such thing. You are just as anonymous as before. I have not breached your privacy in any way and you know it. Throwing a hissy fit over me *asking a question* and pretending that's a violation of your privacy is pretty funny.

    And, I'll note, you didn't answer the question.

    This is especially troubling coming from someone who claims to be a proponent of privacy and who runs a site that expressly permits anonymous posting.

    Ha! Once again, I did not breach your privacy. I did not reveal anything. I asked a question, though your reaction indicates that my assumption was 100% correct.

    Furthermore, the points that I make about privacy are unrelated to a private actor using data legally collected for legitimate purposes.

    You've lost a loyal reader.

    I doubt it.

     

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    Pieter Hulshoff (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:57am

    Re: Re: Private property

    Tangible vs intangible is not at issue here. My point was with regards to the economic definitions of property, and that copyright doesn't fit any of them. The closest would be private property, but for that it would have to be both excludable and rival, which it is not.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 3:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    SideA:Truth:SideB

    People repetitively demanding answers to a specific question aren't on the scale.

     

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    Pieter Hulshoff (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 3:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Truth can be rather subjective though, especially in this case. Depending on one's point of view, and source of definition (economic or legal), the truth they're seeking takes on a different meaning. The main discussion between them has been on whether or not copyrights should be regarded as property, and the truth to that depends very much on one's view. Finding out where one's view lies sometimes becomes the key to understanding each other.

    Another issue is of course how the general public views it. Even if the legal definition defines copyright as property, as long as people don't see it that way you won't convince them with arguments based on it either. As bad as the situation for the entertainment industry may or may not be (the opinions differ), if the solution's to be found by curtailing the rights of the general public and good-faith companies they're very likely to tell them to keep their problems to themselves, and leave them out of it. That's rather what happened to SOPA, PIPA and ACTA.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 4:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    I don't see how anyone can call something their property when they have no control over said "property."

    If I write a song it is mine until I share it with you, then it is ours.

    It is kind of like a secret, once every one knows about it, it is no longer a secret. If you tell one person, you are no longer in control of that secret. This is true regardless of any law.

     

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    Pieter Hulshoff (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 4:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think you hit the nail right on the head here. I even think this goes for the larger part of the general population. As right as some lawyers may or may not be when discussing these matters, the average man or woman just sees it as a clear sign that there's something seriously wrong with the law as written. Frankly, people don't even care if they're wrong or right any more; it just feels wrong to them when the law seemingly has nothing in common with the way they view the world.

    Mike's articles generally raise some very good discussion points, even though I don't always agree with his outcomes. I do share his views that policies on law, and perhaps especially IP law, should be based on solid scientific evidence rather than the lobbying power of certain organisations. Of course it remains problematic that we've managed to box ourselves in via international agreements so much that it's very hard to correct some of the mistakes that have been made in the past.

     

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    Pieter Hulshoff (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 4:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Ah, well, but that's exactly what some people in the industry would like to change, now isn't it? They would love to find some (technological?) way of (re?)gaining full control over what they consider their "property". The reason they're finding so much opposition these days is that people realise that such control tramples all over their freedoms, even if they're not even remotely interested in infringing on said "property".

     

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  309.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 4:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Ha! I did no such thing. You are just as anonymous as before. I have not breached your privacy in any way and you know it. Throwing a hissy fit over me *asking a question* and pretending that's a violation of your privacy is pretty funny.

    And, I'll note, you didn't answer the question.


    I'll second that criticism, Mike. I believe you are violated anonymous posters by looking at their IPs and then saying ANYTHING about it. I believe that you should just keep that information to yourself. Notably, you only say something when that poster is a critic. You NEVER say anything when it's someone supporting you. Having been on the other end of such posts, I can tell you that the feeling is that you are not respecting the poster's privacy by saying something. I would suggest that rather than ask people where they work, just discuss the issues on the merits and keep what you know about their IP addresses to yourself. That would make your anonymous posters feel like you were respecting their privacy.

    By the way--

    I'm still here, waiting to have that productive conversation about whether copyright is property. As indicated, no ad homs--just productive discussion. Any reason why you're not having this productive conversation with me? I shall check back all day long and for days to come, waiting for a productive conversation where we actually discuss things on the merits. You say you want such productive conversations too. So let's have one. I'm here. Where are you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  310.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 5:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Might as well make a law stating it is illegal to have tides. Or to have the sun rise. Sure, some will put on blinders and claim the sun never rose or be standing in water up to their crotch and insist their feet are dry, but we will know otherwise. The law, and the people insisting it works, are irrelevant. Why? Laws are reactionary. It will not stop the tide, it enables them to "punish" whom they perceive brought the tide in. The tide will still come.

     

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  311.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Of course it remains problematic that we've managed to box ourselves in via international agreements so much that it's very hard to correct some of the mistakes that have been made in the past."

    Funny that it is okay to copy that, eh? A spectacular expression of an idea and it is forced, sorry, encouraged to copy it.

     

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  312.  
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    Pieter Hulshoff (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Perhaps so, but there's a huge amount of collateral damage done by these failing attempts to stem the tide. That's one of the (many) things Mike is usually writing about: the proposed solutions don't work, but they do cause a variety of collateral damage. Some people in the entertainment industry may not care, but more and more people do as it starts to impact their own lives.

     

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  313.  
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    nasch (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    It's pretty bizzarre to label Suzanne a shill. She never advocates any positions even vaguely pro-corporate. Calling anyone who disagrees with you a shill without understanding their positions is not a great way to advance your cause.

     

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  314.  
    identicon
    Not interested, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 7:13am

    Release of vetted document?

    The RSC stance is that the original document was not fully vetted. Are they just canning the whole issue now or are they going to try and revise and re-release? I doubt the author would have been working on the issue without some oversight as to what he was working on. Any guesses whats next?

     

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  315.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 8:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  316.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 9:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    People feel passionate about it here, but the idea that most voters are going to base their voting decision on who does or doesn't support IP-related bills isn't likely.

    Exhibit A: the failure of SOPA.
    Exhibit B: the failure of ACTA.


    I guess we'll have to wait and see how it plays out. This article suggests that supporting SOPA/ACTA didn't cost everyone their seats.

    My feeling is that other issues are more likely to determine who gets re-elected. Women's rights. Gay rights. Immigration. The environment. And so on. But we'll see how it goes. The politics of it all will be interesting.

    Most SOPA/PIPA Supporters Survive The Election | TorrentFreak

     

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  317.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 9:55am

    Re: Release of vetted document?

    The RSC stance is that the original document was not fully vetted. Are they just canning the whole issue now or are they going to try and revise and re-release? I doubt the author would have been working on the issue without some oversight as to what he was working on. Any guesses whats next?

    I'm curious where this is headed, too. The politics of it all make for interesting bedfellows.

     

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  318.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 12:09pm

    Another resource

    I was pretty sure I posted this here last night and yet I don't find it today, so I will try again. It's a good perspective on the left side of the equation.

    If 3D printing becomes feasible, and if copyright disappears, the combination could open up a lot of interesting developments.

    Shareable: Resources for Building the Solidarity Economy: "The Solidarity Economy is about building ground-up, direct-democratic organizations that can meet the needs of the community with attention paid to all ends of the economic process: from production to distribution to consumption."

     

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  319.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Where'd you go, Mike?

    I'm here, looking to have even one honest discussion with you on the merits. I've been trying for over two years. I don't recall even one time that you've been willing to have an honest discussion with me OR ANYONE ELSE on the merits.

    When are you going to have this great discussion with a critic on the merits? I'd love to be there.

    I think we both know though that NOTHING scares you more than the thought of having an honest discussion on the merits with a critic.

    Just look at your actions in this thread. Unwilling and unable to discuss even the most basic point. What's up with that? You're such a smart person with great ideas. I honestly don't understand why you can't discuss them in the comments in a productive manner.

    You truly set the example around here, and that example, unfortunately is that anyone who challenges anything you say, no matter how basic, is a "troll" and to be treated with the utmost disrespect.

    Let's get past all this, Mike. Let's for the first time ever actually have a productive conversation. I'm serious. Please just discuss what you believe in an honest and direct way. That would be so much more productive than the behavior demonstrated in this thread.

    I will not stop inviting you discuss things with me. I will not stop trying to have important discussions on the merits. When will you finally accommodate such challengers, Mike? When will you just discuss something plainly, simply, directly, and honestly?

    Let me ask you questions and get straight answers. I will do that same. Let's stop this stupid hate-fueled bullshit relationship we have.

    Let's have a productive discussion on the merits for the first time. No bullshit. No more excuses. Just questions, answers, and discussion.

    Please stop this ridiculous war with me where you refuse to discuss even the most simple point.

     

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  320.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 3:49pm

    I just found this

    I'm doing a bit of research and stumbled upon this. Seems like this is going to be a long debate.

    The kind of thinking on copyright the GOP needs to move away from: "Do you see what just happened there? The implication is that Khanna in his memo, or those of us who would like to see copyright reform, don’t think there should be copyright at all or don’t think that copyright is property. That’s just not the case. In his memo, for example, Khanna explicitly proposes up to 46 years of protection for creative works. That is copyright, and that is property, and it would allow for contracts and licensing and for markets to work."

     

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  321.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 5:39pm

    Re:

    I've also noticed that every single point that is brought up by dissenters to the site also treat everyone who they disagree with as pirates, piracy apologists, losers, liars, nerds, geeks, et cetera. Personally, I don't see why anyone has to put up with such consistently vitriolic behaviour. Why lie down and take it if the only reason you're doing that is so someone can kick you in the teeth?

     

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  322.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 5:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Are you less anonymous now? Do I know who you are?

     

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  323.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Are you less anonymous now? Do I know who you are?

    When Mike chooses to reveal information gleaned from the otherwise private IP addresses to all of his readers, then yes, Mike is violating the anonymous poster's privacy. A person that posts anonymously rightly assumes that their posts are anonymous, and that whatever information might be gleaned from their IP addresses will be kept private to the website operator. Mike violates this trust every time he reveals this information to his readers. That he only does so when challenged, even slightly, on anything he believes only makes it all the more DISGUSTING. That it's even remotely necessary to explain this to Mike, a supposed champion of internet privacy and anonymity, is just beyond sad.

    Why can't Mike stand even the slightest challenge to anything that he says? Seriously. Just look at how childish and ridiculous Mike acted in these comments when someone asked him a simple question. Seriously, Mike. Can you not say even one single word to a detractor that doesn't drip with hatred? I honestly mean this. I honestly and whole-heatedly am wondering if you are just physically and mentally incapable of having even a remotely honest and productive conversation about ANYTHING that you believe in. I mean that.

     

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  324.  
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    nasch (profile), Nov 28th, 2012 @ 6:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    When Mike chooses to reveal information gleaned from the otherwise private IP addresses to all of his readers, then yes, Mike is violating the anonymous poster's privacy.

    All Mike revealed is that he has a job. I think we all assumed that already.

     

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  325.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 28th, 2012 @ 7:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    All Mike revealed is that he has a job. I think we all assumed that already.

    I disagree. Mike told the world that he had looked at the poster's IP address, and, because of the information gleaned therein, the readers should doubt whatever this critic said. It was perfect for Mike. He could spread FUD about this poster without ever being specific about what the IP signified. It's Mike's wet dream: FUD to spread against someone who dares to say anything that isn't mindless praise of Mike and his agenda.

    I'm sorry that we even have to discuss this, and I think it's self-evident and disgusting that Mike betrays otherwise anonymous posters like this. I know of no other site on the planet that has an admin that does this. And that Mike ONLY does it to people who dare challenge him is desperate, sad, and disgusting. I seriously wonder what is wrong with Mike that he does this to people he invites to post anonymously.

     

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  326.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 1:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Let's get past all this, Mike. Let's for the first time ever actually have a productive conversation. I'm serious. Please just discuss what you believe in an honest and direct way. That would be so much more productive than the behavior demonstrated in this thread.

    Heh. You said that a few months ago, and I took you up on it.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120818/01171420087/funniestmost-insightful-comments-week-t echdirt.shtml#c1210

    Sorry.

    I don't recall even one time that you've been willing to have an honest discussion with me OR ANYONE ELSE on the merits.

    You not recalling does not mean it doesn't happen. It just highlights why it is not worth engaging with you. I have highlighted directly to you multiple times the many times that I have had an "honest discussion" with actual experts in the field.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120714/02175519699/funniestmost-insightful-comments-wee k-techdirt.shtml#c147

    I am happy to discuss and debate with honest dealers.

     

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  327.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 1:46am

    This article needs to be tossed into the mix

    The politics of all of this intrigues me. And now I am finding that the idea that copyright is property is coming from conservatives, too. (I don't have an opinion one way or the other, but I am following allow with the discussions here because it appears to be a big issue now.) Early today I posted a link to something I found and now here's another. (I've been curious how this "is it property or isn't in property" is playing out so I have researching it.)

    It's going to be interesting to see how the libertarians, the conservatives, the tech folks, and the copyleft/commons folks state their positions without tripping over each other in the process.

    I've just pulled one sentence from this article, but it's worth reading in its entirety to see how a conservative writer views the paper that was put out.

    Myths and Facts about Copyright - James V. DeLong - National Review Online: "Despite all these concerns, the temptation for Republicans to reflexively embrace the foes of copyright should be resisted, because the church of property rights is greater than its servants."

     

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  328.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 2:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh

    Same could be said for AJ. Doesn't make him any less of an asshole jerk.

    I never said she was a shill.

     

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  329.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 2:22am

    Re: This article needs to be tossed into the mix

    Are you trying to turn this into google news?

    Do you think you are the only one who goes to/ knows how to find other sites?

    Adding thoughts with links is one thing, but you are just spamming us with shit you just ran over.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  330.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 3:06am

    Re: Re: This article needs to be tossed into the mix

    Adding thoughts with links is one thing, but you are just spamming us with shit you just ran over.

    I thought the articles about conservatives saying copyright is property is really relevant because this whole event revolves around how Republicans view copyright. Considering that, I'm wondering if saying "copyright isn't property" is the right tactic to win over that group of politicians.

    I'm very intrigued by why the paper was released by the RSC and why at this time. Some people are saying it's the libertarian element of the party. Others are saying it's to win over young voters. Others are saying reforming copyright is pro-business. And I thought it might have been an "in-your-face to Hollywood," but I've been informed here that the RSC was bought off by Hollywood, which is something I didn't realize.

    So I want to explore all sides of the issue. And I seem to have rattled some people by saying I thought Techdirt was anti-IP. I'm surprised by that reaction so I want to know more about where Techdirt wants to go with all this and the RSC.

    It's all kind of a political intrigue to me and I'm sharing what I find and seeing what you all think.

     

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  331.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 3:44am

    Re: Re: Re: This article needs to be tossed into the mix

    Here, let me explain it a different way.

    Does the title "Copyright Maximalists Attempt To Downplay Significance Of RSC Report By Chanting Their Mantra: Copyright Is Property," apply to the conservatives I have cited who also view copyright as property? That's why I am tossing these articles out as I find them.

    Does the term "copyright maximalist" apply to anyone who views copyright as property?

     

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  332.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 4:02am

    Re: Re: Re: This article needs to be tossed into the mix

    " It's all kind of a political intrigue to me and I'm sharing what I find and seeing what you all think."


    Start a blog.

     

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  333.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 4:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: This article needs to be tossed into the mix

    Start a blog.

    What have I done which you want me to stop doing here? Asking questions? Giving a differing opinion? Citing sources that might have been overlooked?

    Your response in itself is intriguing. Elaborate.

     

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  334.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2012 @ 5:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I am happy to discuss and debate with honest dealers.

    Yes, Mike, I have lost my cool many times. Why? Because I am so completely frustrated that you won't discuss anything substantively in the comments. You're doing again here.

    Go ahead and link to all the times I've lost my cool. You've made it clear that you'd rather do that than discuss an issue even once. I too shall pull out my list of links.

    Want me to start posting links on all of your posts pointing all of your readers to your greatest hits? I can play that game too.

    But I'd rather just have a discussion where I ask you questions and you answer them, and vice versa. Which is more productive?

    Stop being a baby and just discuss what you believe.

     

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  335.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 7:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: This article needs to be tossed into the mix

    Start a blog.

    What's wrong with this one? What is the comment section for if not to have a discussion to further explore the issues raised in the article? If you disagree with her, explain why. If you're not interested in what she's saying, ignore her. It doesn't cost you anything. I don't understand why you would tell her to go away though.

     

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  336.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 5:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This article needs to be tossed into the mix

    20 posted links? In this article. That isn't discussion, that is pollution.

    She is looking for an audience. I suggested she start a blog.

    I must have missed the part where I told her to go away.

     

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  337.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 5:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I believe I will have another beer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  338.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 5:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This article needs to be tossed into the mix

    20 posted links? In this article. That isn't discussion, that is pollution.

    There are many discussions on Techdirt that are just people either joking back and forth or sniping at each other back and forth. Isn't there a chance that my posts might actually contribute to the quality of Techdirt comments?

    Here's the deal. Techdirt has been the one to publicize the RSC issue the most. It touted the paper, then slammed the group for pulling the paper, and is now responding to people's analysis of the paper. So these seems to be the place to discuss this issue.

    I am very interested in the politics of it all. There has often been confusion about where I've stood on copyright issues, so people may not have realized the copyleft/commons viewpoint and how it differs from the libertarian viewpoint, and how I don't happen to be shill for Hollywood just because I have a different view of music and arts business than Mike.

    I guess I can start posting my thoughts on other copyright sites instead, but Mike has suggested that he has an inside track on the thinking over at the RSC so I have been asking lots of questions here and backing them up with some of what I am finding. And this bothers you?

     

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  339.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 6:42pm

    I might as well shelve the discussion

    I just read this post and all the comments. Members Of The Republican Study Committee Do Twitter Q&A, Ignore Every Single Question About Fixing Copyright | Techdirt

    I gained no insights into what's happening with RSC and copyright. I'm going to accept the official explanation the from the RSC that the paper didn't reflect the thinking of the committee and shouldn't have been released on its website yet.

    I don't think there's much to discuss in the comments here anymore and I'll give up with it. Return to your regularly scheduled programming and usual comments/bantering/opinions, etc.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  340.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 7:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This article needs to be tossed into the mix

    From what I can tell, Mike has an ongoing series about this topic. If you don't want to start a blog and feel these are important articles, why not submit a story and see if Mike will post it? You can state your points with your submission, you can even try writing an article and be a guest poster.

    I know you stated before that you don't know where the submit button is, but if you spend a fraction of the time searching this site as I would have to in reading all your links on this post, I bet you can find it.

    Hint: Start at top of page.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  341.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2012 @ 12:27pm

    This Isn't Supposed to Be About Semantics

    If you get hung up on various definitions of "property," that is, an argument purely over semantics, then you are sidestepping the whole point of what's being talked about. By the most commonly understood definitions of "property" copyright isn't property at all because it's about an intangible, practically infinite, non-rivalrous and non-excludable thing. However, there are other definitions that would consider copyright as property. None of that matters. What matters is the reality of the situation.

    The point is that you cannot make an intangible set of words or ideas which are not inherently scarce, rivalrous, or excludable into something scarce, rivalrous, and excludable just through pretense or calling it by a certain term. That was apparent by what Mike wrote, and was correct by certain common definitions of the term "property," and consistent with the way the term was being used by his opponents (otherwise they were talking about semantics and their arguments were irrelevant to copyright reform). Bringing up that other definitions for the term "property" exist has no real bearing on the point.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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