Oh, please. These are the same arguments constantly pulled out to justify all sorts of things that the government (and people) would love to force upon others. "Well your decision to [do/not do] X has a possible negative impact on other people in the society you live in."
Would I forgo vaccination? No, I wouldn't, because I find the risks of vaccination (which are not insignificant and which also kill lots of people every year, autism report debunking nonwithstanding.)
I also don't forgo wearing a seatbelt, but nonetheless I will stand up for other people's right to not wear their seatbelt if the rare risks associated with them (e.g. being trapped in a burning car) scare them more than the fairly common ones (e.g. being thrown and then crushed by your own car as it continues rolling.)
Yes, it's theoretically more dangerous for others (if say, you could have kept control of your car but not from underneath its wheel) but freedom is not based upon me getting to say what others do (or vice versa) because of some theoretical/potential risk to me (or your children, or my children) from the choices you are making.
I feel like I should kick in something here; I do support Ron Paul because he has tried very hard to hold himself to a consistent libertarian (which, by the way, encompasses a lot of possible views; and Ron is primarily a Rothbardian rather than a Randian but ad hominems are always easier than actual thinking I suppose) and I totally respect the man.
Rand, I think is just another Conservative, who happens to be at least a hell of a lot more on the side of freedom than anyone else in the Senate, but, to me, that really isn't quite enough to say I support the man. I support any attempts he makes to fight the ever encroaching power of the Federal government, but I don't see the same in him as I do in Ron.
That said, this manifesto reeks of a jumped shark to me. If you want freedom you gotta be consistent, and *that*--whatever the f*** that is--seems fairly incoherent, and definitely inconsistent on principles of freedom from government. I used to be a minarchist, and certainly have respect for that viewpoint, it just became clear to me over time that asking for minarchy is asking for... the U.S. Federal Government.
There's the slippery slope as any government with significant unchecked power will continue to agglomerate power to itself; and apparently start vast wars, kill innocent people through various means, decide that consensual or solo actions that don't even cause harm to others can be enough to put you in jail, etc. etc. etc. etc.
And a piece of paper ain't gonna save ya from that.
Anyway this supposed liberty-loving manifesto is anything but, and I am starting to think it's more and more of a shame that Rand entered politics to begin with... Dr. Paul's name is going to end up associated with the establishment, and I don't trust Rand for a second to cleave strongly enough to liberal (that's "classical liberal") ideals to turn anything back; when you are fighting to row upstream, turning the boat sideways isn't gonna stop you going over the waterfall. /cheesymetaphor
I realize it's far too long gone at this point, but
"they claimed" blah blah blah "which it didn't, get it yet??"
And my post was not about any of that, simply about the judge's ruling that "liking" a post publically could not even *ever* rise to the point of protected speech, PERIOD, regardless of whether one was fired for it. get it yet?!
I'll quote one more time just for the record. The judge said in his ruling: "It is the Court's conclusion that merely 'liking' a Facebook page is insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection." Not that it was insufficient in this case, but that it is insufficient, period.
And if you had been able to comprehend the court documents you would realize that this particular ruling was what enabled the judge to dismiss the case without even considering whether the guy was fired for it since the like was not considered by him to be protected speech at all.
Last word to you, if you want it, and since I've explained it so clearly in both of my replies (and quoted the relevant text both times now) I will simply move on, since your inability to understand such simple reasoning indicates that you are either trolling me, or you are so far beyond help that I'm not going to be able to help you figure out this one.
Oh and I've had to revise your grade:
Grade: F for having eliminated the merest shred of benefit of the doubt which I was still able to extend to you.
No, I'm not confusing anything. Theft *is* a legal term, and means something specific which is quite inflammatory in any discussion of intellectual monopoly restrictions. And, I did indeed notice and mention (thus showing I did see what you were doing there) that you were using it metaphorically, and that I thought it was being used in a way that was inappropriate.
"To not call it theft is an attempt to minimize the action and make it seem like a slight technical act that has no real impact on anyone."
No, To call it theft is an attempt to argue by analogy that two things are morally equivalent, when a discussion of the *actual* impact of any particular infringement is key to any conclusion on whether it's morally comparable to theft.
However, it is my reasoned opinion that using 'theft' in that particular metaphorical sense is an abuse of language, one which serves no purpose other than to shut down discussion and to mislead people who just look at the surface of the debate without delving in further.
This abuse is especially clear to me when the topic under discussion is at least in large part about precisely that in the first place! (It's particularly clear to me that the term is not applicable in some cases, for instance I believe that private copying of music for non-profit use is a clear-cut case of something which is so different from theft that it's *very* misleading to speak of it in that way.)
NOTE: I am not saying you are intentionally trying to mislead people above, I am simply saying that the term 'theft' is itself misleading when used to describe infringement of intellectual monopoly restrictions; and in fact I think probably your equivocation of the term leads you to believe that your conclusions are stronger than they are, and also probably leads you to make inaccurate judgements about those of us who don't accept that the two are equivalent, which really doesn't make for a very productive discussion.
So, this is why I have a problem with you using that metaphor. I don't agree at all that someone who copies music is morally equivalent to someone who steals physical property. Yes, I understand the metaphor you are using and I understand why conclusion you are trying to draw by analogy.
But (a) if you look closely in at least some subset of cases of infringement it's fairly straightforward to see the difference between those cases and theft, and (b) if there are significant cases in which infringement is theft, then it's not a proper term to use when debating infringement as a whole, since there are instances of infringement which *aren't* morally equivalent to theft in any relevant way.
Trying to shill for a guy who ran a site called TVs "hack". I mean, c'mon, why are you trying to step up to protect a scumbag hacker?
Clearly this is another example of your and Jimbo Wales's desire stop government from having any way to protect us; even through the enforcement of obviously good laws against some of the most egregious violations.
Those who made a choice to hack people's TVs deserve what they get.
I would actually argue that there's actually a lot more of a case in arguing that the enforcement of intellectual monopoly rights is theft; as there is an actual deprivation of the rights of people to use their own property as they see fit vs. the attempted moral equivocation of someone copying a song which deprives no one of anything.
Your metaphorical theft assertions are inflammatory but fairly weak; these violations are not called "theft" or "stealing" by the law, only metaphorically when someone is trying to win an argument by drawing a moral equivalence between infringement and theft. Actually, other than metaphorically, nothing being lost *does indeed* mean that nothing was stolen; nor will you ever be charged with such for copying. And repeating a factually incorrect statement such as "Remember, theft includes theft of intellectual property" does not make it so. (Ohhh, I see what you did there, very circular of you.)
However, generally these types of actions are (at least in the cases of copying music, software, or books) very rarely anything more than civil torts, and they are considered infringements of copyright, not stealing; whereas theft of property is a criminal violation and is prosecuted as such. The reason people are "stuck in the old 'physical property' mindset" is because that is what theft is and always has entailed; your wishing it to be different does not make it so.
So, say it ten thousand more times if you like, but you are factually incorrect, and even metaphorically you're fairly low on content and logic and fairly high on raw assertions. And as I note in my post below, there have been numerous other times when peoples' private right of the use and copying of otherwise intellectually restricted material without a profit motive was not only done, but recognized by courts and lawmakers as *not even wrong*, making the jump from there to theft all the more vast.
"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."
Actually, except metaphorically, it's not theft; there's a reason that that copyright/patent law was specifically carved out as a special exception in the Constitution. It's also the reason that such monopoly grants were specifically restricted so as to be only for "limited Times" (unlike a natural right which would not be expected to have an arbitrary end date) and was intended "to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts", and indirectly gives the monopoly grant to the creators of works in order to benefit everyone.
The whole point is that the clause allowed the government to implement *legal* rights to a monopoly in one's creations, where no such *moral* right exists, and in fact such rights go against a normal construction of the concept of ownership of physical property: property owners now become restricted in their right to use or dispose of their own property as they see fit. This was one of the tradeoffs made by those who wrote the constitution, and was intended to benefit the *public as a whole*, and only indirectly to benefit those who created monopoly-protected works.
And, for that matter, there were many examples even fairly recently (things like sharing mix tapes with friends and family, or VHS recordings of television shows, etc.) which were not only common, but specifically recognized as legitimate rights by the courts or Congress. It was not until recently that the *AA's were able to get enough power to ram through new laws that shut down personal not-for-profit copying or other previously accepted fair-use practices, e.g. through the DRM non-circumvention clauses.
As for your example, (a) copyright/patent law is not the only solution to protecting investments in R&D (for example, keep it a trade secret) (b) there are lots of benefits to being someone who created a vital technology; including the fact that you will be first-to-market, and you will understand it better than anyone else to make modifications or sell services based upon it, etc. and (c) how do we possibly compare the benefit of having had the company spend those millions on R&D knowing they could use the force of law to prevent others from using their ideas vs. that money being spent in other ways that the company knew could be profitable without having government guns backing them up?
Seems to me there ought to be fairly conclusive proof that such a benefit actually exists before we go providing a very small number of people the ability to abrogate the property rights of *everyone else*, more or less simply by having an idea. And as yet, I have not seen that proof; and in fact it seems clear to me that it won't and that we'd be better off with people taking whatever precautions they felt necessary to protect their intellectual investments, and allowing innovation and creation to proceed at an unfettered pace.
Especially since the point in the was to allow for laws that would promote the public interest, rather than, as our system has become, i.e. primarily a way to enrich those who act(ed) as gatekeepers for those that actually did the creating in the first place.
"I have to admit that I'm a little bit torn by this concept. I certainly think that each individual needs to make their own decisions about what they do when creating, but my general approach has been to avoid infringement wherever possible ..."
Oh yeah right, let's just admit it Mike, you don't care about ending the scourge of intellectual restriction laws at all do you? You pretend to be in support of free culture, but you mean free, except for when you're shilling for the big corporations that want to beat people over the head with it.
Don't be fooled people; clearly this man has an agenda paid for by someone; let's just say AA isn't just for alcoholics.
Oh, my mistake, you are? Well, I'm sure you are just stating things to the best of your ability to recall, and c'mon it was on a totally insignificant charge, that couldn't really affect someone that much, just a 'violation', not even a misdemeanor... Couldn't cost a person more than, say, $250. And almost no one ever gets the fifteen days in jail. And certainly you wouldn't push for that, cause you're a good man/woman.
We'll just mark this down as not even really a lie, more of a 'mistake'. Go home now while we lock this guy... oh... let this guy go since he didn't actually do anything.
"They continue to perform their duties? That doesn't seem right..."
Well, I don't think they mostly perform their duties, but I see what you're getting at. But believe me, the mobsters officers do stuff worse than that and continue to supposedly perform duties.
"You would think that if the US was negotiating for such a massive change in US law it would be open to a public discussion about the matter."
Well, no I really wouldn't think that, but I may have become cynical. It's not good enough to do it via takedowns and some semblance of due process with the DMCA, leaving it to the private companies to do the dirty work; that leaves too many loopholes, at least for some...
So that makes it almost a given that this was the next step. Isn't it just a given that the government will do anything it can to agglomerate power to itself?
Ugh, well, I do see the pattern there, but eventually people aren't gonna fall for it anymore right? Complete currency collapse, increasing police state until they can't afford it, eventually it's bound to get through to people that we need some other way, right? Right? :)
I'm afraid the tuna-sandwich-shaped phone is out, as it is far too rectangular (I have no doubt they will argue that square=rectangle therefore they have that locked down, too) to avoid the inevitable lawsuits.