Rep. Nadler Claims 'You Bought It, You Own It' Is An 'Extreme Digital View'

from the oh-really? dept

We’ve written about Rep. Jerry Nadler a few times. He recently became the “ranking member” (i.e., highest ranking Democrat) on the House subcommittee on intellectual property, which clearly made copyright maximalists happy. Nadler has a history of heavily supporting copyright maximalist positions, including pushing for what was effectively an RIAA bailout a couple years ago, and has previously supported ridiculous dangerous concepts like a new copyright for fashion designs (and idea that is both unnecessary and likely to harm the fashion industry).

He’s already off to a dangerous start, introducing a bill to create artist resale rights (something he’s done before. This is an issue we’ve written about many times, creating a ridiculous idea that people who buy artwork no longer own it outright. Any time they resell the artwork at auction, they might have to pay some of the proceeds back to the original artist. As with the fashion copyright idea, what this does is harm innovative new artists by favoring wealthy established artists. As we’ve discussed, this punishes investors who are willing to support new artists, taking away their incentive to invest in those artists, while at the same time decreasing the incentive for other artists to continue producing art (since now they get paid multiple times for the same work).

Given all that, it’s quite clear what Rep. Nadler thinks about basic concepts like property rights: he’s not a fan at all. In fact, in a rather astounding statement to the Association of American Publishers, Nadler claimed that the idea that “you bought it, you own it” is somehow extremist:

“The ‘you bought it, you own it’ principle is an extreme digital view and I don’t think it will get much traction,” he said, referring to the mantra of proponents of the right to resell digital goods.

Oh really? The specific discussion concerned people wanting to be able to resell used ebooks, just like they can resell regular books. But, really, the idea that “you bought it, you own it” is somehow extremist? Isn’t that a fundamental concept in property rights? In fact, we’ve highlighted how copyright maximalists are trying to destroy property rights by denying people the basic ownership rights over things they bought.

It seems extremely troubling when such a key member of the House subcommittee on intellectual property has such a negative view of our basic property rights.

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Comments on “Rep. Nadler Claims 'You Bought It, You Own It' Is An 'Extreme Digital View'”

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64 Comments
sorrykb (profile) says:

Re: Re:

So, according to this moron, the land I bought isn’t really mine or my descendants? I thought that property ownership was one of the things this country was based on.

Not to derail the thread (This Representative is, if not a moron, still a bad representative for the people and his statements are ridiculous), but…

Taking land from some people and giving it to others is also one of the things this country was based on. Just ask the descendants of the people who once lived on your land.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Completely off topic...

However, the Europeans certainly had the concept of ownership, and it seems reasonable to judge their behavior by their own standards. And their standards say it was theft (or would say that if they recognized the natives as human beings).

Remember that the main justifications for stealing the land were twofold: the natives were subhuman savages, and they were criminally underutilizing the land they lived on.

SolkeshNaranek says:

negative view?

It seems extremely troubling when such a key member of the House subcommittee on intellectual property has such a negative view of our basic property rights.

It is not so much a negative view he came up with on his own, it is more of a “purchased” negative view sold to him by copyright extremists.

I wonder, now that it appears he is “bought and paid for” if the copyright industry thinks “you bought it, you own it” applies?

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

If people are able to sell the house(s) on their own, quite obviously it isn’t too complex.

Now, I can see why people might want to have a realtor deal with all the hassle and paperwork involved, rather than having to do it all on their own, but to make it illegal to cut the realtors out of the loop just smacks of protectionism.

Ah, gotta love those parasitic middlemen…

Anonymous Coward says:

It’s an attack on our right to own property. Take a car for example. If Rep. Nadler had his way, we wouldn’t full ‘own’ our cars, because the car’s electronic systems have copyrights and patents on them.

If those systems also use some form of DRM, you’re potentially committing a felony if you attempt to fix your own car.

avideogameplayer says:

Intellectual property implies a person had intellect to begin with…

Why don’t these guys admit that there HASN’T been an ORIGINAL idea from any of them for the past 100 years?

Anything that’s out there today has been recycled so many times it’s not even funny…

‘Based on…’

‘Something, something…’ THE SEQUEL!

And how many times can you say ‘I love and wanna fuck you’ in song form?

Anonymous Coward says:

Send a Soveriegn Citizen to his house

I assume that Rep Nadler owns a house, and might even have paid off the entire mortgage by now. If so, we need to send a Sovereign Citizen over to his house when him and his family are out.

For those who don’t know, ‘Sovereign Citizens’ are a group of radical Americans who claim that the law doesn’t apply to them. They frequently do things like show up at an empty house with a gun when the owner is out and then offer to ‘sell’ them their home back. Because you know, they claim the law doesn’t apply to them, and you left your house empty and unattended, so they own it now by rights of finders keepers.

Maybe after a visit by such a Sovereign citizen, the idea of ‘you bought it you own it’ won’t seem like such a ‘radical’ idea to Rep Nadler anymore.

Niall (profile) says:

Re: Re: Send a Soveriegn Citizen to his house

Well, if you are sovereign in your own right, you carry and ’emit’ to yourself your own autonomous sovereignity. Getting people to ‘recognise’ that sovreignity is another matter altogether 😉 That’s where the gun becomes handy, but it’s only as good as your line of sight/area of influence!

Can we charge them for all the ‘public good’ services they utilise, such as roads, etc?

Just Another Anonymous Troll says:

Something that Rep. “Nincompoop” Nadler needs to understand…
When I buy a book, I am purchasing intellectual property. The $15 I pay for it is me licensing one copy of the book from the author, unless you want me to believe that the costs of making a book are $15 plus the profit margin. One should think that when I license one copy, I should be able to do what I wish with it, be it read it, leave it on my shelf, give it to a friend, or burn it. I am not allowed to copy it, because I only licensed one copy and copying it (and distributing it, not some evil copyright maximalist here) would constitute infringement. For all practical purposes, I own the rights to one copy, which means that I should be able to sell the rights to that copy (I.e. Give a friend the book) without having to pay the author. If the author sells me the rights to her book, I can sell those rights without having to pay her a penny, unless such a thing was specified in the contract. This is not extreme. This is perfectly logical.

Ima Fish (profile) says:

I assume if confronted, the great representative would argue that he’s only talking about copyright. And merely because you license a limited right to use a copy of a copyrighted work, does not necessarily mean you have an automatic right to transfer that license. That sounds so reasonable, right?

The problem with that explanation is that nearly everything sold nowadays has IP issues. Your car is filled with copyrighted software and patented technology. Your house was designed from a copyrighted blue print. Heck, according to the Nadler, even the shirt on your back should be copyrighted!

So under Nadler’s view, we don’t own hardly anything we buy. And that, at least to me, is an extremest position.

Gwiz (profile) says:

“The ‘you bought it, you own it’ principle is an extreme digital view and I don?t think it will get much traction,” he said”

Hmmm. I thought Chris Dodd already set Congress straight on this issue after the SOPA vote when he realized that he didn’t actually “own” the Congresspeople he “bought”.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120120/14472117492/mpaa-directly-publicly-threatens-politicians-who-arent-corrupt-enough-to-stay-bought.shtml

Anonymous Coward says:

If we cannot BUY a movie file online then it seems to me that Amazon (et al) is committing fraud when they offer consumers the oppty to BUY a downloadable movie.

There’s a difference in price between RENTing a movie online and BUYing a movie online. Consumers understand the reason for the difference in price: BUYing means they can keep it forever or give it away / sell it / lend it. But now we are expected to believe that the word BUY no longer means what it has always meant?

Nonsense – Amazon clearly offers us the ability to BUY a movie or RENT a movie because they know very well that those words have a specific meaning in the minds of consumers and that consumers are willing to pay a premium to have the rights associated with BUYing that movie.

Amazon doesn’t offer that movie for LICENSE because they know that it holds much less value to the consumer.

Anonymous Coward says:

Persons need to be mindful of the fact that the interests associated with property are easily modified via contract. For example, in the purchase of real property you can “own” a piece of land, but what such ownership comprises can be in a multitude of “flavors”, i.e., fee simple, life estate, easement, leasehold, etc. In all you “own” (a word that is easy to use but wide ranging) something; however, the alienability, if at all, of each are not at all equivalent.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Communism?

Yes, you are wildly off base, Rex. The reason is, he’s not advocating state ownership of property and the means of production, he’s advocating corporate sovereignty. This means that all our digital purchases are belong to them and we can’t do anything with them without permission. The whole “infringement is theft” notion is a part of this, they’re trying to get us to accept it as common sense, then comply like good little sheep. No breach of the Constitution to see here, move along…

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