New Book Shows How Our Common Culture Has Been Locked Up Via Copyright

from the and-that's-not-good dept

Well respected author and professor Lewis Hyde, who has done tremendous work in the past on the concept of "gift economies," apparently has a new book out that sounds quite interesting -- though may cover some well-tread ground for folks around here. It's all about how the bastardization of intellectual property law has locked up and diminished our common cultural heritage, and why that's a problem. The book is called Common as Air.

The review, linked above, explains that the book goes through the history of how cultures used to be about sharing, and how the originators of our intellectual property laws were quite concerned about it being used to lock up culture:
The United States' Founding Fathers supported far less restrictive commons than have come to pass. Hyde writes about "John Adams attacking the Stamp Act as a tax on knowledge, Benjamin Franklin encouraging skilled artisans to smuggle technical expertise out of England, James Madison explaining why unlimited copyright undermines civic and religious liberty, and Thomas Jefferson trying to get a prohibition on patent monopolies written into the Bill of Rights." Copyrights and patents originated as brief tradeoffs, minimal, transient monopolies granted to stimulate and reward invention.

Hyde charts corporate interests' erosion of these views, restricting sharing of even long-iconic creativity, the prolonging of copyright terms and the widening boundaries of exclusive ownership. These days, the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, lobbied for by major media companies, assures personal copyrights for life plus 70 years and corporate rights typically enduring from 95 to 120 years.
Frankly, it sounds like an excellent companion book to James Boyle's The Public Domain. The one complaint in the review is that Hyde does a great job explaining the problem, but does little to suggest a way to fix things. The reviewer points out that this leaves the reader "saddened -- and frustrated -- by his demonstration of what's been taken." Of course, considering how frequently I hear similar feelings from folks reading this blog, I would imagine many of you might find the book quite interesting.

By the way, if you'd like to see a lecture of Hyde talking about some of the concepts in this book, the following hour-long video discusses some of the concepts that are also covered in the book:


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 5:48pm

    Just wait until he discovers how much property rights have locked up our shared land and all our shared goods made at our shared factories!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 6:11pm

    Is this new book itself copyright?

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 6:15pm

    Re:

    Just wait until he discovers how much property rights have locked up our shared land and all our shared goods made at our shared factories!

    I'm going through all the literature on that very subject now. Some of the groups advocate not just a common culture, but also common property and shared governance. Here's one such source:

    Open and Shut?: P2P: The very core of the world to come: "The P2P dynamic has created the three new social processes I mentioned: peer production, peer governance and peer property."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 6:20pm

    Re: Re:

    Well, we have public parks which are common property, so what's your point. There is private property and public property.

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 6:26pm

    Re:

    You can't apply property rights to non-scarce goods. Just ask your mom.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Re:

    and shared governance, that's called a democracy. What do you know. We all share the government already, and we share our ability to impact the government through voting.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 6:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Some of the more radical economics would extent common property to everything. I've been going through some of the literature on gift economies and some are proposing getting rid of money all together. And there wouldn't be a public/private division of property. All public lands would be common property, not necessarily globally, but within each community. The idea is that networks now make it possible for everyone to weigh in on everything and work out some sort of agreed upon plan for use of property.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 6:34pm

    Re:

    history shows that sharing the means of production is not an effective way to promote the economy. history shows that sharing ideas IS an effective way to promote the economy. conflate the two at your own peril.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 6:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "some are proposing getting rid of money all together."

    Some people come up with all sorts of different ideas. What's your point. But the lack of IP is not a gift economy, in fact the existence of IP is a gift economy. A gift is giving someone something unowed and a monopoly is unowed.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 6:37pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    and shared governance, that's called a democracy. What do you know. We all share the government already, and we share our ability to impact the government through voting.

    Some of the proposals I'm reading right now would eliminate the concept of state. Again, it would be based on one big network.

    I've been researching gift economies and have been looking how people would handle distribution of resources. Some of it is pretty far left, but not all of it.

    Collectives. Elimination of money. Reduction of consumerism. Etc. Kind of like a permanent Burning Man scenario.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 6:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Some of the proposals"

    Some people come up with all kinds of funky proposals, what's your point? To take those proposals and claim that everyone that disagrees with you is leaning towards these proposals is a disingenuous strawman.

    and stop with your arbitrary labeling of "left" vs "right." If anything free market capitalism, with a lack of IP, is "right" whereas IP existence, with more government intervention, is "left"

    The founding fathers were initially very skeptical of IP, Jefferson was initially against it and later decided that if it's implemented it should be very limited, yet no one would call him a gift economy leftist. Stop pretending like our skepticism towards the current state of IP is something completely new and radical, it's not, it's the same skepticism that the founding fathers had.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 6:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But the lack of IP is not a gift economy, in fact the existence of IP is a gift economy.

    Actually many people have described the open source community as a gift economy. People contribute free labor and ask for nothing in return.

    I'm looking at the gift economy and the arts and looking at proposals for short term and long terms sustainability. Hyde wrote a famous book on the arts and gift economies and said that artists should give away their art. For income, they will either have day jobs, have patrons, or do commercial work which would fall into a separate category than their art.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 6:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There's an interesting concept I ran into called "copyfarleft." It advocates sharing intellectual property, but also the tools of production.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 6:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There's quite a bit out there, and I'm trying to pull it into an organized fashion, but here's a basic look at open source as a gift economy. It looks a some of the networking, open source, and piracy movements of the past few decades.

    The Hi-Tech Gift Economy by Richard Barbrook

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:04pm

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

    "Actually many people have described the open source community as a gift economy. People contribute free labor and ask for nothing in return."

    Then, by that definition, charity is a gift economy. What's wrong with that?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:08pm

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

    "For income, they will either have day jobs, have patrons, or do commercial work which would fall into a separate category than their art."

    Or they can contract with museums or businesses that want custom music and custom logos and pictures on their walls or wherever for their specific business to make such art. The business pays for a custom song that goes with their business (or restaurants pay an artist to create a new song) and the restaurant benefits from more satisfied customers.

    Artwork in a museum is very expensive, no one would argue that the value of a picture of artwork is the same as the value of an original piece of that artwork. Artists can paint paintings and give them away. Despite people taking pictures and copying those pictures everywhere the artwork would still be very valuable selling for thousands of dollars, artists can make money that way.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:09pm

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

    (err, artists can paint paintings and give photographs away and make money from selling the originals *).

     

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    Jose_X, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:10pm

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

    There are various misconceptions in above comments.

    For example, IP and physical property are very different creatures; physical property affected directly by the laws of nature is very different (scarce) than the intangible IP that are essentially not scarce and can exist in every single human being's mind at the same time and otherwise be used by him/her to enjoy or create. By adding intellectual property monopolies, we destroy a significant amount of otherwise legal access an exploitation of essentially infinite resources. -- Thus, private property stops being about giving each person a degree of access otherwise not available to them at that point in time and instead becomes about removing access to most people of things they would have had access to otherwise.

    People code open source for many reasons. Almost all that do, do in fact expect something very large in return: full access to the vast quantities of existing open source created by others. Of course, in addition, many people trampoline their open source expertise and contribution goodwill into business advantages or into well-paying jobs directly.

    As for what some people think: some people want to privatize all public lands, air, water, reading material, etc. So does this imply we should be wary of privatizing anything?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:10pm

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

    and lots of people come up with all sorts of interesting concepts but don't equate those interesting concepts with every concept that disagrees with you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:15pm

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

    Do you have anything in particular you would like to discuss. Any criticisms in particular?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:16pm

    Merely as an aside, the review I believe may not be accurate in what it states concerning Jefferson and the Bill of Rights.

    The University of Virginia Library at:
    http://etext.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/jeff0950.htm

    attributes the following as one of his recommendations for inclusion into the Bill of Rights then being discussed:

    "Article 9. Monopolies may be allowed to persons for their own productions in literature, and their own inventions in the arts, for a term not exceeding -- years, but for no longer term, and no other purpose."

    This makes sense. He was not a supporter of monopolies, but if patents and copyrights were to be included as the law of the land, then at least constrain them in the constitutional text.

     

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    Jose_X, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:18pm

    10%

    In terms of the supposed missing solution, I think the book would suggest that simply cutting back copyright to something much closer to the original time period or perhaps less than that would be a very measurable improvement. This amounts to reducing current monopolies to around a tenth of current durations. I think that would be significant and an improvement.

    I also think many people that might not want to commit to a global public domains solution for all works would nevertheless support significant reduction in current terms (eg, to around 1/10 of current periods).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:19pm

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

    Also, are you against charity in general?

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:30pm

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

    Do you have anything in particular you would like to discuss. Any criticisms in particular?

    If this was directed to me, I was responding to this comment:

    Just wait until he discovers how much property rights have locked up our shared land and all our shared goods made at our shared factories!

    As it turns out, that's exactly what I am researching right now. I've been reading lots of papers on gift economies, commons, copyleft, copyfarleft, etc.

    So it's a topic with a lot of depth, though many people may not realize it. Even the concern about politics, right or left, seems a little odd considering Richard Stallman coined the word "copyleft." If people freak out about the term "left" when it comes to copyrights, blame Stallman.

    Copyleft: Pragmatic Idealism - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)

     

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    Ccomp5950 (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:30pm

    Re:

    Everything is copyrighted in the US by default.

    The question you are looking for is: "Is it permissibly licensed"

     

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  26.  
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    Ccomp5950 (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:34pm

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

    Open Source does not equal free as in free beer.

    You can charge for GPL software, you just can't keep others from making changes and distributing it themselves.

     

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    Ccomp5950 (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:37pm

    Re: Re:

    I had to read this a couple times before I got the meaning.

    Well played, sir. Well played.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:38pm

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

    Then, by that definition, charity is a gift economy. What's wrong with that

    Nothing. I think charities are great things and I encourage people to donate to their favorite causes.

    I'm researching gift economies. I didn't say whether I was pro or not. I was just curious how advocates envision them. Some believe in combining a gift economy with a market economy and others believe in replacing a capitalist system entirely with a gift economy. They feel this can be done now because of the Internet and the ability to match needs and production in a waste-free manner.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:40pm

    Re: Re:

    Everything is copyrighted in the US by default.

    The question you are looking for is: "Is it permissibly licensed"


    If you hold the copyright on something, you are free to release it into the public domain, which means it is no longer copyrighted. You do not need to employ licenses unless you want to retain some of the rights afforded by copyright.

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:42pm

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

    "copyleft" is a term coined by Richard Stallman to describe the purpose of the General Public License and it's successors and out growths such as the Lesser General Public Library.

    To those that have extended it as you describe they have either misunderstood that copyleft, in the software sense, is a copyright license not a total abandonment of IP.

    The ecosystem it's created does share the resulting tools of production such as the GCC compiler, various other tools such as GREP, editors such as vi and emacs and much much more.

    Stallman, by the way, is very careful not to use the phrase open source as he prefers "free software".

    That the ecosystem gave birth to Linux, among other things, (remember linux is the kernel not the distro) doesn't mean it can be extended easily to other areas where real property is concerned.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:48pm

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

    Indeed, I read just about everything (if not everything) on the Gnu website some time ago. Haven't been keeping up with it lately though, I've read it like when Gplv2 was first released or maybe slightly before it was even on the site. I've also read GPLV2 and 1 and I believe the LGPL and the FDL. Good stuff, but I stopped really keeping up with their site after GplV2. I believe Wikipedia was at one time even released under the FDL until it later adopted the CC license.

    Make sure you get familiar with sourceforge as well, since they are one of the early adopters of free licensed software and especially GPL licensed software. They have an interesting blog as well. There was also freshmeat which is supposed to show all the newest free gadgets. Tucows was a popular source of downloads though it didn't limit itself to free software.

    Uhm... I used to really be into reading this sorta stuff, if I can think of any other traditional sources that might help your research I'll mention them.

    but the arguments against patents and copyrights are certainly much stronger than what our mainstream media would lead us to believe.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:51pm

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

    I mean, who can really "own" land, man? It was here before everybody got here. Just because my landlord inherited it from some ancestor who paid some guy who paid some other guy who paid some other guy all the way back to some rancher that drove everybody else out of the area with guns means that he can charge me to stay here? What?

    I live here. I'm making good use of the space. Why do I have to pay some random other guy for it? He clearly doesn't need it, all he's doing is letting it sit here collecting money. I'm not even allowed to make improvements to my own space where I live. These insane property laws are HOLDING BACK PROGRESS and limiting WHAT I CAN DO IN THE SPACE THAT I EXCLUSIVELY OCCUPY! Do you know he can actually prohibit me from constructing a hottub on my own balcony?

    But no, this guy just sits on his ass collecting monopoly rents on this property for doing nothing, with no expectation that he be optimally productive or anything. Somehow he won the genetic lottery and ends up with exclusive control over something that was formed by billions of years of chemical and geological processes he had nothing to do with, and he uses it to exploit me and everybody else who lives in the building.

    This is a sham that must be stopped. What is he going to do next, charge for exclusive access to air?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:53pm

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

    He also pays property taxes.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:53pm

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

    To those that have extended it as you describe they have either misunderstood that copyleft, in the software sense, is a copyright license not a total abandonment of IP.

    I haven't been researching copyright, so I haven't been zeroing in on those discussions. Copyright and copyleft have come up, but I've been looking at "gift economies" and exchange systems. So what I have been reading has been more about how people, particularly artists, will be paid. There are some who believe that if people get over the desire for accumulation of wealth and property, and start giving it all away, then the world's needs will be met and we'll have much less waste. So if you advocate that everything should be freely available, then obviously you'll be against IP laws as well.

    In other words, the papers I have read don't really concern themselves with copyright laws because they are much more concerned with basic survival needs. In the utopian ideal, there will be a place for artists, farmers, dressmakers, and the pleasant and unpleasant work wouldn't fall disproportionately on anyone.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 7:59pm

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

    "So if you advocate that everything should be freely available, then obviously you'll be against IP laws as well."

    I doubt that MM or most on techdirt advocate that everything should be freely available.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 8:02pm

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

    and to compare land to IP is disingenuous. Land has genuine scarcities, which is why we have rules to govern its allocation, ideas do not have the same limitations that encourage these rules.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 8:10pm

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

    I doubt that MM or most on techdirt advocate that everything should be freely available.

    I didn't say "Everyone who advocates the elimination of intellectual property advocates the elimination of private property."

    What I said was, "Everyone who advocates the elimination of private property would also want the elimination of intellectual property."

     

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  38. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 8:13pm

    as yoda would say ( about the usa )

    ...and this is why you fail...

    and why your attempt at world wide copyright control in the same fashion as your own country will doom your country. Instead of bringing back labour jobs you kept on alwoing for more lawyer to make money off this and continued the outsourcing of more and more jobs.

    WHAT does the usa do now as its primary industry besides war?
    COPYRIGHTS and PATENTS, and its getting so bad that people are going to stop coming to your country, and will look at countries that allow far less restrictive copyrights so they can invent.
    Canada has 50 year copyrights and if they were 30 i'd have a creation of my own , due to the restrictions on licensees your not seeing it until 2017.....

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 8:15pm

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

    and to compare land to IP is disingenuous. Land has genuine scarcities, which is why we have rules to govern its allocation, ideas do not have the same limitations that encourage these rules.

    But there are people who believe consumerism and private property are a plague on civilization.

    Some people want to expand the concept of "commons" to include everything, not just culture. I'm not trying to convince anyone here as to whether it will work. I'm just saying that's been my reading material lately.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 8:36pm

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

    and to compare land to IP is disingenuous. Land has genuine scarcities, which is why we have rules to govern its allocation, ideas do not have the same limitations that encourage these rules.

    You can't draw a complete comparison, but you can draw many partial comparisons. To say that you can't is equally disingenuous.

    Why do the rules on land allocation nearly exclusively benefit the great-great-grandchildren of some 19th century robber-baron rancher? What good does that do society now? They are not even using it for ranching anymore, they are just sitting on their asses collecting monopoly rents! They did not produce the land, they did not create the land, their great-great-granddaddy just had bigger guns and more mercenaries than the Native Americans who lived there before. I will happily pay the tiny property taxes on this land every year if that squares it up for the rest of y'all.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 9:43pm

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

    Well, I guess the question it seems to ask is why is that statement relevant to some point you're trying to make if you aren't trying to associate the two in a way that tries to make those who believe in IP abolition seem closer to being as extreme as those who believe in property abolition. You probably aren't trying to equate the two but you are trying to more closely associate the two together so as to associate IP abolitionists closer to an extreme category as to argue that this closer association makes IP abolition more extreme in an unacceptable way.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 9:53pm

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

    If you want to argue that they should probably pay more property taxes on the land I might not disagree with you. You could have a point.

    "You can't draw a complete comparison, but you can draw many partial comparisons. To say that you can't is equally disingenuous. "

    That particular comparison of land to IP, as an argument for IP, is disingenuous. There are reasons to have physical property laws that don't exist to have IP laws, namely, a genuine scarcity when it comes to physical property.

    and if you want to argue that our current physical property laws are not in the public interest, you may have a valid argument there. and if that's true perhaps the laws need to be changed. The argument for physical property laws to exist should be because we think that the existence of such laws is better for society than the lack of its existence. Otherwise these laws should be abolished or changed. IP is no exception, it should be designed to promote the progress.

    But the arguments that the existence of physical property law is better than its lack do not really exist for IP and there really isn't any reason to believe that IP makes everyone better off. It only seems to hinder progress and decrease aggregate output.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 9:58pm

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

    and what happened to the native Americans is a tragedy and I highly doubt you will find many people here that disagree with that. So your point is kinda moot if you are arguing that because we think there is nothing wrong with what happened to the Native Americans therefore we shouldn't protest IP. No one said that what happened to the native Americans is OK.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 10:08pm

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

    So your point is kinda moot if you are arguing that because we think there is nothing wrong with what happened to the Native Americans therefore we shouldn't protest IP.

    But you have to wonder why people who are so obsessively vociferous about arguing against IP for its unfairness completely ignore many of the exact same flaws in property laws pertaining to "scarce goods." You have to wonder about their priorities, and why IP is so much more important than, really, anything else.

    Unfair IP laws might have you paying a little more for what is effectively entertainment. Unfair and unconscionable real property laws and traditions might be keeping people from having decent places to live or food to eat.

    These people are clearly real-property maximists, who derive their income and livelihoods from scarce goods. They protect their own ingroup and the laws that perpetuate it, while attempting to break down laws that might "unfairly" benefit an outgroup: those that attempt to make their living from non-scarce goods. They claim this is in "the interest of society" but of course it's in the interest of real-property maximists themselves - they get all the value of the outgroup's work without having to spend quite so much to support it.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 10:19pm

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

    You probably aren't trying to equate the two but you are trying to more closely associate the two together so as to associate IP abolitionists closer to an extreme category as to argue that this closer association makes IP abolition more extreme in an unacceptable way.

    Umm. No, actually all I was saying is that I've been reading about gift economies, which Hyde happens to have written about, and that physical property has come up in some of those articles. And the reason I mentioned physical property is that someone brought it up in the very first comment.

    I'm totally immersed in the subject right now and thought that some Techdirt readers might actually be interested in hearing about it. I'm actually in the process of writing my blog post right now.

    I think what I was doing is called conversation. The world really isn't all black and white and I like to explore the shades of grey.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 10:21pm

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

    "they get all the value of the outgroup's work without having to spend quite so much to support it."

    and I see nothing wrong with that. It's called free market capitalism. I don't want a government that subsidizes an in group of IP maximists if it's to the determent of society. No one should be obligated to pay them more if it's not necessary. Why should this in group of IP maximists get paid more than what the free market has to offer? No one is forcing them to produce work, they can always get another job. If everyone is better off without IP then it is better to abolish it, this "in group" of IP maximists who want to monopolize their work can either find other ways to monetize their work or they can, just like anyone else, get another job. They have an equal opportunity to get another job just like anyone else, no one is discriminating against them and saying only you can't get a patent but everyone else can. Only you can't own physical property but everyone else can. If they compete in the free market and do well they can own physical property too.

    If this makes everyone better off then this "out-group" (or really the in group of collection societies and patent trolls that produce nothing, do little work beyond filing for patents and suing, are unneeded, and sue those who do work and would otherwise profit from the work they produce) should find another job if they don't like it. Why should society spend the resources necessary to enforce laws that are unneeded and make everyone worse off.

    "but of course it's in the interest of real-property maximists themselves"

    IP maximists are generally real property maximists so IP abolitionists aren't a real property in group of IP maximists.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 10:23pm

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

    "they get all the value of the outgroup's work without having to spend quite so much to support it."

    and without air monopolies those who breath air get all of the value of the air without having to spend quite so much for it. Those who would tax the air and can't lose money, why can't they make a living for taxing the air if they want to?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 10:32pm

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

    "But you have to wonder why people who are so obsessively vociferous about arguing against IP for its unfairness completely ignore many of the exact same flaws in property laws pertaining to "scarce goods.""

    The flaws aren't the same, the flaws are different. The flaws exist with scarce goods, the fact that everyone wants them and not everyone can have them. With abundant goods these flaws don't exist.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 10:42pm

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

    I don't want a government that subsidizes an in group of IP maximists if it's to the determent of society.

    And you join the group that attacks IP, yet completely ignores all the glaring flaws of what currently passes for "free market capitalism" (it's not, by the way) does with respect to real property. Why is IP more important than real property? What are you afraid of? Why are you obsessed with IP?

    Which are you more worried about: being without music, or being without a home?

    The truth, of course, is that your very positions are inconsistent: when it comes to IP, you're a minimalist. When it comes to real property, you're a maximalist. You are so convinced that the system we have optimizes the allocation of real property that you won't even ask fundamental questions about it, even when glaring flaws stare you in the face.

    Besides which, the ownership of real property is fundamentally based on a lie and a cheat. Physical goods (which comprise many, but not all scarce goods) are not "made" or "created." They're simply transformations of natural resources: resources that were taken from the Earth by a select few who claim to "own" the Earth. Why do those few "own" the Earth, while the rest of us pay monopoly rents for everything we have? Historically, it is because of conquest and the wanton use of force. Those conquerors created states to legitimize their claims and then got the rest of us to pay the state to help them protect those claims. It's a nice swindle.

    Yet real property maximists even manipulate language to cover their cheat. Look at the title of this article: "our common culture." (Here, 'common' is in the sense of 'shared' rather than in the sense of 'mundane and plentiful'). Why should culture be any more common than land, or food, or goods? If I create a song, that's part of our "common" culture, but if you take some scarce resources from the earth and fashion (not create) a hammer, that's your personal and individual hammer - yours alone!

    The creation of music is much closer to a pure act of "creation." The creation of music does not deprive the rest of society of shared and scarce natural resources nearly as much as anyone who makes your precious scarce, physical goods.

    But I know you're set in your ways. In an attempt to distract people from looking too closely at you, you just attack, attack, attack. You create imaginary enemies and attack them, too, just to make sure everyone sees you attacking.

    Your own house is dirty. Why don't you take care of that before you come over and tell me how to clean mine. I didn't even invite you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 10:43pm

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

    and yes, physical property laws do have flaws, but the argument is that the lack of physical property laws have more flaws. But whether or not we are better with or without physical property laws is not the point of this debate. If we are better with them then we should keep them, even though they have flaws. If we are better without them then we should abolish them.

    But all or nearly all flaws associated with a lack physical property laws, the same flaws that are used to argue for the existence of physical property laws to alleviate the flaws of scarcity, are caused by the existence of scarcity. Scarcity itself is a flaw. IP doesn't have such a scarcity flaw and so a lack of IP laws is more flawed than its existence since its existence creates the shortcoming of scarcity (unless you are trying to argue that IP laws promotes the progress. But the evidence disagrees with you there).

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 20th, 2010 @ 10:50pm

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

    If this makes everyone better off then this "out-group" (or really the in group of collection societies and patent trolls that produce nothing, do little work beyond filing for patents and suing, are unneeded, and sue those who do work and would otherwise profit from the work they produce) should find another job if they don't like it. Why should society spend the resources necessary to enforce laws that are unneeded and make everyone worse off.

    The far left folks would also argue that the rich who own capital and don't work as hard as their employees are also taking advantage of the system. That's why they want to end corporate ownership so that wealth either goes to everyone in society equally or goes to those who put in the most physical labor, or mental labor, etc. (A more modest proposal, not advocated in what I am reading now, but has been discussed in business forums, would limit compensation to CEOs so there isn't so much spread between the top of the corporation and the bottom.)

    I'm not a Marxist, personally, but that's how you get the copyfarleft thinking. They feel it is not enough to make IP free. They feel you have to make the tools of production free, too.

    As for the scarce goods idea, they feel that there would be more abundance, or at least more equitable use of resources, if those resources weren't concentrated in the richest one percent of the population. Of course, that kind of thinking led to the French Revolution, and I'd rather not see something like that again.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 10:51pm

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

    and yes, physical property laws do have flaws, but the argument is that the lack of physical property laws have more flaws.

    And those physical property law flaws fuck up people's lives on the lowest levels of Maslow's hierarchy of needs: food, shelter, safety. The IP law flaws are fucking up people's lives on the highest levels: self-actualization, maybe community. But yet you focus on the flaws in IP laws.

    I wonder why.

    You assume, and I don't really understand why, that the only solution to any of society's problems is to either keep the laws as they are, or eliminate them entirely. This is a strawman you require to justify your obsession with IP law, as opposed to real property law. "Oh, since my only choices are to eliminate the laws or keep them, I guess we should eliminate the IP laws, since we can't well eliminate the real property laws, now can we?"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 10:55pm

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

    "What are you afraid of?"

    What does fear have to do with anything?

    "Why are you obsessed with IP?"

    It is IP maximists that are obsessed with IP. I want it abolished because everyone is better off without it. It hinders progress and creates unnecessary scarcities.

    "Which are you more worried about: being without music, or being without a home?"

    So if someone is more worried about being without air than they are worried about being without a car does that mean they should never seek to improve their transportation conditions?

    "The truth, of course, is that your very positions are inconsistent: when it comes to IP, you're a minimalist. When it comes to real property, you're a maximalist."

    and how is that inconsistent?

    "You are so convinced that the system we have optimizes the allocation of real property"

    Where did I say that?

    "that you won't even ask fundamental questions about it, even when glaring flaws stare you in the face."

    I never said that our physical property system has no flaws. But the flaws are far less obvious than the flaws in our IP system. 95+ year copy protection length, for instance. That's an obvious flaw. Not to mention our current patent system and its broken nature. Sure, one may argue that physical property laws have flaws but perhaps it is more difficult for me to devise a better physical property system than it is for me to devise a better IP system by simply advocating for IP abolition or better IP laws than the current ones. The point is that the solutions to IP problems are much simpler and far more obvious, abolishing it would obviously make us much better off than the system we currently have, a system designed not to promote the progress, not to help the public, not to help the artist or content creators, but a system that's unambiguously and uniformly designed only to help the corporations that lobby the most and provide the most in campaign contributions at a huge expense to everyone else.

    "Yet real property maximists even manipulate language to cover their cheat."

    So are you arguing for a lack of real property then? You want the existence of IP and a lack of real property?

    and holding a pro real property position is not inconsistent with holding an anti IP position.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 11:03pm

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

    "The IP law flaws are fucking up people's lives on the highest levels: self-actualization, maybe community. But yet you focus on the flaws in IP laws. "

    So then why don't you complain about the fact that broadcasting monopolies, cableco monopolies, and collection societies suing restaurants for playing independent music or having independent bands under the pretext that they might infringe prevents artists and musicians from making a living by making them more obscure and making it more difficult for them to gain recognition? Instead, it channels money over to unproductive and unnecessary collection societies that produce nothing of value.

    and making people pay more for IP does allocate physical resources over to those who benefit from that IP which necessarily allocates such physical resources away from others. We already have a welfare system for that, if a lack of IP is better than IP then lets abolish IP.

    "You assume, and I don't really understand why, that the only solution to any of society's problems is to either keep the laws as they are, or eliminate them entirely."

    Never said that.

    "Oh, since my only choices are to eliminate the laws or keep them, I guess we should eliminate the IP laws, since we can't well eliminate the real property laws, now can we?"

    No, I am merely pointing out that a lack of IP laws are better than our current laws. but to the extent that I advocate IP abolition, which I am borderline here (I'm undecided), it's because I think the lack of such laws is worse than their existence, not because I think that no possible intermediates could exist.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 11:03pm

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

    So if someone is more worried about being without air than they are worried about being without a car does that mean they should never seek to improve their transportation conditions?

    Of course not, but if someone is doing a fairly obvious job of fucking up the air supply, and there are lots and lots of people who are suffocating, it seems a little strange to see someone obsessing all day about their car.

    If you went to Somalia or Haiti encountered some guy who spent all day blogging and petitioning and screaming to the high heavens about how his neighbors aren't keeping their lawns as tidy as they should be, what would you think of that person?

    95+ year copy protection length, for instance. That's an obvious flaw. Not to mention our current patent system and its broken nature.

    There you go again, attack, attack, attack. Make sure to keep attacking. Keep reminding everybody about how everything about the status quo sucks - except the parts that keep you personally happy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 11:05pm

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

    "Of course not, but if someone is doing a fairly obvious job of fucking up the air supply, and there are lots and lots of people who are suffocating, it seems a little strange to see someone obsessing all day about their car."

    So do you have any obvious solutions to our physical property law shortcomings? Instead of you focusing on and complaining about IP why don't you focus on providing solutions to our physical property problems, especially if they're so easy to solve.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 11:08pm

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

    (or instead of you focusing on and complaining about my complaining on IP)

    So there are so many shortcomings with our physical property laws. Why are you here on techdirt complaining about our complaining. Instead, why not seek to solve them.

    By your own argument our complaining about IP is analogous to us having bad lawns. Instead of trying to solve the bigger problems in Somalia you simply complain about the bad lawns. Tsk tsk

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 11:13pm

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

    You're complaining about our complaining because you think that we should find better things to complain about and only complain about those things but you don't realize that by complaining about our complaining you yourself are complaining about other things than those better things to complain about.

    and if IP really does hinder the progress (as the evidence strongly suggests) then perhaps innovations that solve many of our problems could better formulate without it. If all of the copy protected peer review journals were freely available to the public we can more easily use that data to find better solutions to our problems. and without patents we can probably all innovate better and find better solutions to many of our problems. IP increases drug prices and hinders pharmaceutical innovation, abolishing it can save lives.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 11:16pm

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

    IP increases drug prices and hinders pharmaceutical innovation, abolishing it can save lives.

    I thought all they needed was red yeast rice?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 11:18pm

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

    That too :)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 11:21pm

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

    "There you go again, attack, attack, attack. Make sure to keep attacking."

    It's not my fault your position is indefensible. and what are you doing if it's not attacking my position? Defending yours? By complaining about me attacking it instead of using logic and reasoning? By complaining about me not attacking other positions because you don't want me to attack your indefensible one?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 11:21pm

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

    By complaining about me attacking it instead of using logic and reasoning to defend your position *

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 11:32pm

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

    Well, I don't really agree with much of that. My position is more similar to that of the founding fathers, who were very skeptical of IP but didn't agree with many of the other ideas you mention.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2010 @ 11:36pm

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

    (if anything, the way to curve the rich and restore equality is to tax them comparatively more. But overall I'm in favor of fewer taxes than what we currently pay, even for the rich and for the middle class and for everyone in general).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 1:59am

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

    Exactly physical goods and property can be defended and taken away, ideas can't.

    Also I like to point out that you can loose the property if you don't take care of it and that law was made to accommodate squatters, that thought people living in England had no right to ownership of land in the U.S. and endured decades of persecution until it reached a point were even juries were not punishing those people.

    Also last I heard, the majority of land is owned by new owners. We all heard the anecdotes the sons of the rich are the new poor.

    Now please if you be so kind and explain to everyone here how you will enforce your "rights" on imaginary property that would probably prove amusing.

    Do you really think people will fight for the rights of a minority that don't respect the majority?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 2:15am

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

    A song is a sound, are you arguing it that sounds should be owned?

    The difference between land and sound can you not think of any?

    Anyone can produce and reproduce sounds, we where build with that capability, we can sing, we can talk, now you want people to not make sounds because you supposedly produce one particular string of sounds first?

    Are you insane.

    Can you reproduce land by your own? can you defend land? can you take possession of land? can you stop others from entering land?

    The ultimate difference is that IP is not enforceable and land is, this is not about ideology is just about reality.

    Will you get arms and try to enforce your copyright?
    I want to see you do it, please do it and see what it happens.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 2:24am

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

    The ultimate test for IP laws, will you get arms and defend your imaginary property?

    Force is the ultimate instance of everything.

    Will you lobby the U.S. congress to declare war on Russia, China, Brazil, India, Vietnam, South Korea and others?

    Will the people use force to reclaim free speech that is abridge by copyright?

    Would people not use force to use others ideas to feed their families?

    Good luck trying to stop others.

    The Church tried that too, they failed and they had an army.
    What do you got?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 5:21am

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

    We know laws concerning land are flawed so you understand why people don't want to enable another flawed concept inside a society.

    We shouldn't allow those bad things to happen to other areas and we didn't, copyright was banished and caused havoc in the middle ages, people even more then once got up in arms to fight it and now we are here again having the same debates that we had hundreds of years ago, and one can predict what will happen, it will get absurd and people will tear it down again.

     

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    Rekrul, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 6:27am

    The one complaint in the review is that Hyde does a great job explaining the problem, but does little to suggest a way to fix things.

    That's because there ISN'T any way to fix things. At least not as long as the government is at the beck & call of the corporations, and I don't see that changing any time soon.

    In order to stop lobbyists from having power over the government, we would need new laws. The only people who can pass these laws are the ones who would be affected by them. They're not going to willingly cut themselves off from millions in campaign "contributions", so such laws will never be passed.

    It's the old "Fox guarding the hen house" problem...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 12:02pm

    Re:

    Hence why we need to reform the political spectrum with new ideas that need to be put in practice by the people before others can agree with it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 12:16pm

    Typical.

    Yes. God forbid anyone make money from their music, movies, games, or software. Why should anyone own anything unless it is tangible? Could it possibly be to promote investment in ideas and innovation?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Typical.

    The problem is that IP is not necessary for ideas and invention to occur and the evidence shows that it only hinders advancement. If you want it to exist the burden is on you to justify its existence, not on anyone else to justify the lack of its existence, and the problem is that no one has yet to justify it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 2:21pm

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

    "so that wealth either goes to everyone in society equally or goes to those who put in the most physical labor, or mental labor, etc ...

    I'm not a Marxist, personally"

    The idea behind free market capitalism is that it makes everyone better off than Marxism or communism or something of that nature. Whatever system we put in place should make everyone better of, be it Marxism, Communism, a democracy, a constitutional republic, a dictatorship, a tyranny, or whatever. The argument, and I suspect your argument, against Marxism and ideas of trying to legally force equality is that (or should be that) it doesn't make everyone better of but it just makes everyone worse off. Your argument against whatever social, political, economic, or governmental structures that you oppose should be that everyone is worse off with it than without. Your argument in favor structure that you support should be that it makes everyone better off.

    Sure, some people think that Marxism makes everyone better off. Others think that democracy and capitalism makes everyone better off. Other think that communism and authoritarianism makes people better off. But whatever position you hold should be held because you think everyone is better off without said position. So the argument against government imposed wealth equality should be that it makes everyone worse off. If this is not the case then everyone should argue in favor of the government to imposed income equality.

    I am not arguing that the ending of physical property rights makes everyone better off and I am not arguing that those who put in the most physical or mental or other labor would make everyone better off. Such a system will also have its own problems, like how does one quantify labor and who makes that determination. It will also be subject to politics and lobbying and what have you. That's why free markets are more optimal, where the free market (and not the govt) decides everyone's wealth, the argument is that free markets can more fairly distribute resources than can any government. That's also the reasoning behind having property taxes, so that if you don't do anything productive for others on your property you eventually get it taken away since by occupying that property you are depriving others of occupying it.

    My argument is that the ending of IP privileges makes everyone better off.

    The distinction is that to argue that the govt should enact a system that makes everyone better off is very different than arguing for Marxism, govt imposed income equality, communism, or even democracy and capitalism. It just means that whatever system (be it the above listed or otherwise) that makes everyone better off is the one that should be adopted. Sure, some people argue that Marxism and communism make everyone better off. Others argue that tyranny makes everyone better off. Others argue that a democracy makes people better off. Someone could be pro IP and otherwise be free market capitalistic. Others can be anti IP and be communist. Others can be anti IP and be pro free market capitalistic.

    But pointing at the fact that some pro IP people are communistic is like saying that some people who believe in gravity are Christian and others are Muslim. Since both Islam and Christianity are contradictory beliefs at least one must be false. So lets assume it's Islam. The fact that Islam is false and Muslims believe in gravity doesn't negate gravity. It doesn't make the Christians who believe in gravity any more wrong about their belief in gravity. It's irrelevant, your attack is called an Ad - Hom. and if your intent is not to attack the Anti IP position by trying to imply that some anti IP people have some beliefs that you think share similarities to Marxism then what's the point of even bringing it up? That's like me bringing up the fact that at least some Muslims believe in gravity in an argument about whether or not gravity is real or not. Irrelevant.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re: Typical.

    The problem is that IP is not necessary for ideas and invention to occur and the evidence shows that it only hinders advancement. If you want it to exist the burden is on you to justify its existence, not on anyone else to justify the lack of its existence, and the problem is that no one has yet to justify it.

    My guess is that enforcement of copyright will disappear before the laws do. Much of the new content being made available is by people who are happy to have their content freely used.

    Many of the companies that hold legacy content are disappearing and as they go, so will the lawsuits they fund.

    As digital distribution increases, you'll likely see more scientific and academic papers freely uploaded online, available for viewing by everyone.

    Although there are cultural artifacts which are in limbo at the moment, I suspect the number of people that impacts is actually rather small. The number of people who want to go back and read older books and listen to older music isn't that great in the greater scheme of things. Archivists will likely continue to make preservation copies of what they have to insure that the content doesn't disappear, and then if and when the laws change, they will be made available. But quite honestly, I don't see culture being impeded tremendously in the meantime.

    When a lot of legislation in Washington isn't happening as it is, I think it will be a big challenge to get legislators to make copyright reform a priority, but certainly the people who care most about it are welcome to try.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 2:27pm

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

    But whatever position you hold should be held because you think everyone is better off with said position. *

    I am not arguing that the ending of physical property rights makes everyone better off and I am not arguing that having the govt reward those *

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 2:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Typical.

    I am not necessarily anti IP, but I at least want more sensible laws and not just laws that are clearly written by corporate lobbyists and intended to favor big corporations with no regard for the public or the artists.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 2:48pm

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

    But pointing at the fact that some pro IP people are communistic is like saying that some people who believe in gravity are Christian and others are Muslim.

    Actually that's not what I have been talking about. I know a lot of you are primarily concerned about IP laws, but I have been researching gift economies. Hyde is quite well known for a book he did on the subject.

    The gift economy concept is much broader than IP laws. My question was, "How accurate is it to describe any system today a gift economy (a term that has been used for various exchanges online, including music and software)? And what would it take for a pure gift economy to exist?"

    I'm primarily interested in how people in a variety of fields get paid. In some cases the work they do is very worthwhile, but not highly compensated. Childcare workers and artists tend to fall into this category.

    I've tossed what I am finding into this discussion on the assumption that some people (and they may be lurkers) would like to know what is out there. Once I finish my blog posts, I can provide links to those. I'm currently going through between 100 and 200 articles about gift economies.

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 3:01pm

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

    Well, you seem honest and I will not take your attempts to bring it up as a means to try and more closely equate the two.

    The thing is there are a lot of trolls on techdirt and I used to think you are one of them. But now it seems like you aren't. In fact it seems like the majority of the pro IP people have gotten more respectful lately, which is appreciated. We can finally have civilized conversations.

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 3:05pm

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

    BTW, I read somewhere that in Korea they used to (don't know if they still do) have a tradition that if you said "I really like your shoes" or whatever they had to give it to you.

    The native Americans also had a very community oriented culture. A book I recommend reading is Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice.

     

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  80.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 21st, 2010 @ 3:33pm

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

    The thing is there are a lot of trolls on techdirt and I used to think you are one of them. But now it seems like you aren't.

    I really don't feel strongly about IP one way or the other (other than the fact that I agree there are some obvious abuses of the system).

    I'm a writer and I have worked with musicians. With the cost of content going down, traditional sources of income pay a lot less money than they used to or have disappeared altogether.

    So I definitely know the Internet has changed things. But I don't think it is worth the hassle to sue people. Whether or not writers or musicians like having the cost of content heading toward zero, that's the way it is.

    I also think a lot of jobs will continue to shift overseas. Do I want them to? Not necessarily, but that's the way it is. We've got to get used to the fact that people in India and China can do the same job for less money. One possible response is to belt-tighten and see if you can get by with less, which I see happening in the US.

    If there is a commonality in my Techdirt postings, it's usually from a pragmatic point of view. I'm looking for ways to deal with whatever exists now, rather than spend a lot of time on what should be.

    Many times when I respond to something on Techdirt, I realize I want to explore the topic more fully, and then it becomes a blog post of my own. My goal is primarily informational, so I'll try to present whatever I find. If something I think should work isn't working, I'll be honest and say that. Usually I have a lot more questions than answers.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 5:59pm

    How to fix IP

    Very difficult, though what we need to do is clear:
    Find a way to stop big business from buying our legislators.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Amanda, Aug 21st, 2010 @ 10:37pm

    I also like

    I also like your this point of view "Also I like to point out that you can loose the property if you don't take care of it and that law was made to accommodate squatters, that thought people living in England had no right to ownership of land in the U.S. and endured decades of persecution until it reached a point were even juries were not punishing those people."
    Hollywood wallpapers

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
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    Bruce Ediger (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 8:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I don't think you're entirely correct. As I understand it, copyright law is such that putting something "in the public domain" is very difficult, and on the flip side, difficult to verify for those that would use the material said to be "in the public domain".

    That's a large part of the problem with current copyright law.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 1:13pm

    More on the concept of commons when it comes to physical property

    Today's part of my research involves reading about "commons." I just ran across this, which should be relevant here.

    The Volokh Conspiracy -- Elinor Ostrom and the Tragedy of the Commons: "Ostrom's theories are often seen as an alternative to traditional libertarian thought, which emphasizes the importance of private property and markets. However, it actually fits well with libertarianism defined more broadly as advocacy of the superiority of private sector institutions over government. In some respects, Ostrom's norm-based approach to dealing with tragedies of the commons is actually less dependent on government than the more traditional libertarian approach of relying on exclusive private property rights. The latter, after all, often depend on enforcement by government. Even where private property rights exist, it is often easier and cheaper to solve some collective action problems by norms rather than relying on the law."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 1:26pm

    Re: More on the concept of commons when it comes to physical property

    I haven't looked at this book, but it could be a resource for those who want to look further into the subject.

    Understanding Knowledge as a Commons

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 5:46pm

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

    But you have to wonder why people who are so obsessively vociferous about arguing against IP for its unfairness completely ignore many of the exact same flaws in property laws pertaining to "scarce goods."

    Perhaps I'm missing something. What are the same flaws?

    And, please, tread carefully before you make a fool of yourself. The purpose of the two types of laws is quite important. Property laws are about allocating scarce goods most efficiently. IP laws are about promoting progress.

    Even if you did want to compare the two on each other's terms, you'll run into problems. If we're trying to allocate infinite goods most efficiently, well, restrictions on distribution are exactly the wrong way to go about it.

    You have to wonder about their priorities, and why IP is so much more important than, really, anything else.

    Because infinite goods are the engine that generates economic growth. I care about economic growth and innovation.

    Unfair IP laws might have you paying a little more for what is effectively entertainment. Unfair and unconscionable real property laws and traditions might be keeping people from having decent places to live or food to eat.

    Um. No. Unfair IP laws destroy societies, hinder economic growth and make everyone worse off. If you want to know what keeps people from having decent places to live or food to eat... a good economy is a leading cause.

    If you don't recognize that, you are really lost.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 8:22pm

    Re: Typical.

    Yes. God forbid anyone make money from their music, movies, games, or software.

    Huh? We're very much in favor of people making money from their music, movies, games or software.

    Your mistake is thinking that they need copyright to do so.

    Could it possibly be to promote investment in ideas and innovation?

    Yes, it's possible, and if the evidence showed that this actually happened, you would have a point. But the evidence shows it does not, so you do not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 22nd, 2010 @ 8:27pm

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

    The truth, of course, is that your very positions are inconsistent: when it comes to IP, you're a minimalist. When it comes to real property, you're a maximalist.

    Actually, that position is entirely consistent.

    It's only inconsistent if you falsely believe that IP is the same thing as property. If you recognize how they're different, you quickly realize that being pro-property and anti-IP is entirely consistent, because you are saying that an individual has the right to do what they wish with the things in their possession.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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