Let's be happy about one thing: The state is not going after Kickstarter! They're actually going after the company at fault. Considering how common it is to go after the larger and more collectable, but incorrect, target, I find this refreshing.
Maybe the police will stop blaming Craigslist for prostitution and the MPAA will stop blaming Google for piracy.
There's been a flip within the last 100 years. While copyright used to be considered an exception to the freemarket, nowadays copyright is the defacto natural order. If you're not paying what the copyright industry wants, you're pirating. Even if you are paying. Even if you're not legally obligated to pay. It's either the MPAA and the RIAA's way or you're a thief.
I've said before, the copyright industry always gets their way. When they want to get paid, but aren't, they sue. If they lose, they have laws passed. If they can't get federal laws passed, they have state laws passed. If that doesn't work, they have treaties passed. They never give up and they never lose in the long term.
Copyright is about to get a whole lot worse, and it's never gonna get better.
There's this bizarre mindset that copyright is the default and not an exception to the natural world. Which is utterly ridiculous. Copyright and patents are not a natural right. They exist solely at the discretion government. In other words, if there is no law prohibiting it, it's not infringement or piracy.
That erroneous mindset can be seen in a recent Cracked article about how plays written in England in the 1800s received no copyright protection in the United States.
The article specifically states that it was not illegal to perform those plays in the US, because they were not covered by any copyright law in the US. However, despite it being perfectly legal to perform those plays, the Cracked article goes on to claim as fact that it was piracy to perform those plays in the US. It's simply bizarre. There was no piracy going on!
Can you imagine if you need permission to perform covers of songs?! Of course, someone is making a ton of money (and paying out only a small portion) on licensing fees, so it's all good.
A system should exist for movies and TV shows after 3 or 10 years. Anyone can stream them if they pay a reasonable license fee. Of course the reasonable part of the equation will be the most difficult.
Let's assume Obama publicly kills the collection of bulk phone records. Would anyone actually believe that?
Here's the rub: Let's assume they don't stop. And let's assume they get caught again. What consequences would anyone face (other than the whistleblower)? None. Nada. Zip. So there's no actual downside to continuing in secret.
This is merely a ruse to make the collection secret again.
I assume if confronted, the great representative would argue that he's only talking about copyright. And merely because you license a limited right to use a copy of a copyrighted work, does not necessarily mean you have an automatic right to transfer that license. That sounds so reasonable, right?
The problem with that explanation is that nearly everything sold nowadays has IP issues. Your car is filled with copyrighted software and patented technology. Your house was designed from a copyrighted blue print. Heck, according to the Nadler, even the shirt on your back should be copyrighted!
So under Nadler's view, we don't own hardly anything we buy. And that, at least to me, is an extremest position.
Some of the quotes from U.S. District Court Judge Otis Wright are pretty good: "Society does not win when the Government stoops to the same level as the defendants it seeks to prosecute — especially when the Government has acted solely to achieve a conviction for a made-up crime."
"The time has come to remind the Executive Branch that the Constitution charges it with law enforcement — not crime creation. A reverse-sting operation like this one transcends the bounds of due process and makes the Government the oppressor of its people."
"Zero. That's the amount of drugs that the Government has taken off the streets as the result of this case and the hundreds of other fake stash-house cases around the country. That's the problem with creating crime: the Government is not making the country any safer or reducing the actual flow of drugs."
Heck, why stop with just the 4th amendment? By publishing our criminal statutes we're telling terrorists and criminals exactly what facts and circumstances the police and prosecutors are investigating. By publishing court rules, we're telling terrorists and criminals the inner machinations of our judicial system.
Clearly all laws should be hidden. And our judicial process should be kept entirely secret.
"Putting bankers destroying the economy in jail? Not hot"
Threatening the wealthy with crimes can have huge consequences. Compare spending your time tilting at windmills to arresting a highly connected billionaire. In which one do you have to stick your neck out? Which one is going to ruin your career if something goes wrong?