Congress shall have the power, in order to promote the progress of the useful arts and sciences, to grant authors and inventors, for limited times, the exclusive right to their writings and discoveries.
You mean that one (I paraphrased it because I didn't feel like looking it up)? It says "exclusive right", not "assign ownership". Ownership is something that belongs to you until you choose to dispossess yourself of it. What is described here is not ownership. It's a grant of exclusive rights, which are to be for limited times (i.e. temporary). It is the understanding that you do not own the works, but have exclusive rights to control their distribution in exchange for the effort put forth to create them.
When I was in the fifth grade (I was 11), we were assigned to write about what we would do if we found ourselves in the same situation as in the movie "Home Alone". I wrote about blowing up my school so nobody would have to go to class anymore. What did I get for that? I got a conference with my parents and teacher because they were concerned about my state of mind. No cops, no punishment, no criminal accusations, and I never blew up the school either (shocking!).
I explained that I was just trying to think of the most outrageous thing I could imagine. It was fiction, so I thought I'd just run with it. What's the harm? It was set during winter break. Nobody would be there, I figured, so nobody would get hurt.
Today, that would have gotten me locked up in solitary and interrogated as a terrorist just waiting for his chance to shine. I'd probably be in juvenile prison until I was old enough to be sent to Git-Mo.
Copyright also creates by law the "ownership" required to be able to contractually sell, lease, or license works, which is key to make that sort of economy work.
That's what copyright does, but that's not what it was intended to do.
However, some people's limits for being "served" is all content free all of the time, or just about.
Let me make this perfectly clear. Getting content for free does not directly correlate to the author not getting paid. That also doesn't mean that everyone that gets a copy should be obligated to pay for it. There are other ways of making money than direct sales of copies. That's the thing that so many people like you fail to see, or choose to ignore. The "Pirucy ar teh evuls!" crowd think that profit should come before liberty because copyright has been misrepresented as a fundamental right. It's not. It's an infringement on the right to free expression.
Do you really not think the copyright owner has any sort of moral claim to the work that takes much labor, time, money, etc. to create?
No, not at all. The author has a much stronger claim to the labor, time, and other resources applied to works. Logically speaking, you can own your time and your labor, but you can't own the expressions that come from them without overlapping with the expressions of others.
Do you think any infringer should ever be punished?
No, because copyright doesn't protect an author's ability to earn a living. It only protects a particular business model, which is merely one among many. Copyright was never meant to secure for authors the means to earn a living, but to provide an incentive (i.e. a proverbial carrot) to persist in creating new works for the public to assimilate. In an era when content creation tools and distribution mediums are highly ubiquitous, it's damaging to free expression to grant a privileged few a monopoly on specific expressions. They should not be punished. They should be thanked because they're the ones that make content available to those that the copyright industry refuses to serve and are actually fulfilling the intended purpose of "promote the progress" by making content available for the intellectual and cultural enrichment of humankind.
If there was a right provided that allowed corporations to seize your entire sum of assets if you complained about them, would you feel the least bit morally conflicted about violating that right? Would you feel that you are deserving of punishment for refusing to respect that right?
That's the kind of harm copyright causes. It prevents you from certain speech and expressions so someone else can offer it to the market as a scarce good. Just because a law provides rights to people, that doesn't make it any more wrong to violate that right when that right also infringes on your inherent rights. The harm seems pretty clear to me.
Copyright is censorship. It gives people the power to tell you what you can't express so that they can make money being the sole source of that expression. It has chilling effects on all sorts of expressions that are just as valid as any other. Profit should not be a consideration when determining whether or not censorship is acceptable, because it's a dangerous path to more censorship (i.e. perpetually extending copyright terms).
That's not the point. I was trying to point out that prison is meant for people that are a clear threat to society if allowed to be free and that putting this person in there does nothing to mitigate the speculative harm he caused.
Illegal doesn't equate to wrong. Aiding escaping slaves was illegal prior to the emancipation. Was helping slaves escape wrong? Should people obey laws that they think are wrong or harmful simply because they are laws? Should we not challenge laws we think are wrong? Think about that the next time you feel the urge to look down at someone simply because they broke the law, because laws are not infallible.
So, having a copyright infringer take up space that could be occupied by a serial killer or rapist is the proportional response? What good has it done for society to separate this person from the rest of us? We can't even measure the harm he's accused of doing. How can we say then that we've prevented future harm from this person by locking him up? He has to have caused clear, measurable harm before we can say locking him up will prevent it from happening again? That's the same kind of thinking as, "We have no clue if he's done any harm, but we'll keep him locked up so he can't do it again."
To some degree it comes down to impatience. The 'I wan't it now' society...
Is that fair to lay blame at the feet of those people or is it the fault of an industry that refuses to serve people what they want because they think release windows create demand and, thus, more profit? If you aren't going to meet the demand of the market, someone else will whether it's legal or not. The responsible and mature response is to satisfy the demand before someone does it for you. The industry creates opportunities for infringement; they do it to themselves. Yet they ignore the most effective solution in favor of trying to threaten everyone to not do what they should be doing themselves so they can continue to ignore the demand from the market.
No, the harm is not hard to measure when the First Amendment is infringed. Censorship is the same every way around, it keeps people from expressing their thoughts in order to concede to another interest. The First Amendment is a fundamental right that is inherent in everyone. Copyright, however, is not. It also infringes on the First Amendment because some people want to use censorship to make money.
Do you think that this guy did anything morally wrong?
I think he's an indelicate jerk that lacks any tact and basic courtesy. I don't think he did anything morally wrong. What he did was refuse to be censored. I think censorship for the sake of profit is the amoral act.
Did you hear the rush of air go over your head? That was my point going by. Clearly, you missed it.
Let me dumb it down for you. The pilot knows that when he manipulates the controls, that the plane will do what he expects it to do; he need not know why it works in order to fly the plane. The engineer knows why those things do what the pilot expects them to do because he learned why they work rather than just how to operate them.
That's the difference between training and education. The engineer can do more than just fly the plane, he can change the way it flies. Training prepares you for doing one thing. Education prepares you for doing many things.
You can't account for data you don't have. That's like baking without all the measurements. You want to make a cake, and you have all the measurements, except for the baking soda. You make a guess, and the cake turns out terrible. In reality, you should have tried to find that information or not bothered with making a cake at all.
Except that profits are a myth. In order to profit, you need to bring in more money from your products than it took to produce them. In a fixed monetary supply (i.e. there is only $X in the economy and that amount is static), then employers have to continually cut wages of their workers so they spend more in consumption of goods than what they earn making them.
Well, a workforce that sees their paychecks shrink every week wouldn't stand for it. It would become apparent that someone is getting money for nothing. Instead, the monetary supply is progressively inflated so that your wages today will not buy as many goods tomorrow. If that's "working" I'd hate to see something utterly broken.
A pilot compared to an aeronautical engineer, for an example. A pilot knows how to make the plane fly, but rarely does the pilot know why it works. The engineer knows why the plane flies because his knowledge is not so superficial.
The point was that a college education has become a mandatory rite of passage into a career path. It's basically job training, whereas college used to be about learning how to think about an issue critically. The bar has been lowered so much that anybody that gets a degree has a very narrow set of specialized skills rather than leaving them with a tool set that will allow them to adapt to anything. It's the difference of learning "how" rather than "why".
It also says nothing for the value of user generated content. Participation in any medium could be considered a value to the economy because the economy applies to more than just money. There's a wealth of knowledge out there, and it's more accessible than it was when the primary means of distribution was physical containers such as books.
It's also unnecessary to complain about it too. We're not reading from stone tablets; we have dynamic content that can be updated, corrected, and expanded at will. There are so many trivial ways to deal with the problem that complaining actually takes more effort.