As That Anonymous Coward wrote: "What it has become and continues to grow into is a horrible thing." Copyright is no longer about creativity, it has morphed into the concept that content creators are entitled to a perpetual revenue stream enforced by the power of the State.
Not only that but content creators are taking extreme liberties to aggressively reach-out and claim that anything remotely with the look-and-feel of their content is infringement.
Leah Day's experience clearly illustrates these trends.
When a person buys a product they acquire a property right to that product. The term "jailbreaking" carries numerous connotations:
1. Device you "bought" is really not yours.
2. Concept of "Sale" is being eliminated
3. Concept of reverse engineering is being eliminated
4. Manufacturer retains post-sale control over the device.
Again, there is the ye olde car analogy. Historically, people have been able to modify their cars as they desired. Want install a Ford engine in your Chevy car - go ahead.
Based on the historical right to tinker with your products, the electronic device industry should not have acquired a right to prohibit people from tinkering. Furthermore, the electronic device industry has no right to deprive the purchaser of their acquired property right when they buy a product.
Yes it was interesting to read. However, it never gets into the issue that the content industry is changing the law to make formerly legal activities criminal in nature. Furthermore, that as technology advances that the content industry claims rights that they did not previously possess. It is not simply an issue of infringement but of continued diminution of the public domain and elimination of the civil liberties of the public.
"Las Vegas police agree to pay $100,000 to beaten videographer" from the Mar. 21, 2012 edition of Las Vegas Review Journal.
Las Vegas Review-Journal reports: "The Metropolitan Police Department has agreed to pay $100,000 to a Las Vegas man who said he was beaten by an officer as he shot video from his driveway. ... As Colling was driving away, he stopped his car, got out and approached Crooks. ... He ordered Crooks to stop filming, and when Crooks refused, Colling beat him, according to the lawsuit."
Following super-Tuesday, I was flabbergasted when Santorum spoke of preserving liberty. A couple of days later, Santorum evidently made statements (that I have missed)that we need to initiate a "war" on pornography. Seems that Santorum lacks an understanding of the word "liberty".
Anyway, since this is a forum concerning so-called "intellectual property"; Ron Paul should sue Santorum for stealing the look and feel of Paul's candidacy. (just joking for those who take this too seriously.)
You raise a very fundamental question. When a company seeks to explore new business areas; can that be considered "code" speak for eventually abandoning the encyclopedia itself.
Companies have been known to take a high quality product that customers like and cheapen the product to jack-up the profit margin. When the customers stop buying the product; it simply "dies". Will that be the future for Britannica?
This is another instance of an industry leader that has failed to adapt to changing technology. One thing that made an me an instant convert to Wikipedia was its ability to have "small" stories concerning new content that Britannica would never bother with. (For example newly released movies).
The encyclopedia purest police have lambasted Wikipedia concerning quality control. Yes that is an issue, but I have also been able to find in Wikipedia analysis on obscure historical events that seem to be missing from Britannica. I will even suggest that Britannica is "censoring" history by limiting their articles to only "approved" pundits. And who is to say that the "approved" pundits are unbiased anyway.
Once again we have a new law that essential removes the property rights of buyers to the physical items that they supposedly buy. Not only that, but that the selling entity can, post-sale, do whatever it likes with the devices in the possession of the supposed buyer.
Do something the selling entity does not like. Go directly to jail, no due-process or appeal rights. Besides the concept of sale being eliminated, the legal process is being gutted.
The issue of property rights is not simply having a "clear property" line, but the fact that those who believe that they have a property right are invading the property of others.
To explain. You have a defined piece of property that overlooks the ocean. The view of the ocean contributes to the value of that property. The neighbor allows trees to grow, which blocks your view of the ocean thereby depressing the value of your property. You then assert that you have a right to trespass on the neighbors property to cut down the trees on his property. The fact that you are diminishing his property values and violating his property rights is considered irrelevant.
All that these lawsuits are is a claim that you can "steal" someone else's property and to prohibit competition.
"... there are CEOs that will cause a company to fail intentionally." Solyndra may be an example of using tax credits/incentives and government backed loans to temporarily fund a company that does not have a valid business model.
American CEO seem to believe that the companies that they manage are their own private fiefdoms. The concept that they work for the shareholders or that they be ethical has vaporized. Particularly inept was the recent $4 Billion dollar break-up fee that AT&T (management) was obligated to pay for its failed attempt to take over T-Mobile.
Following the temporary demise of SOPA/PIPA Fox News had a three person panel of so-called pundits discussing so-called "intellectual property". The sound bytes consisted of the liberal use of the words: "theft", "piracy", "creator rights", and on. It ended with a lament calling for "compromise". Exactly how do you compromise with a special interest group that perpetually seeks to eliminate your rights and to extend the duration/scope of so-called intellectual property. You can't.
But the significant issue, to the casual viewer who is not familiar with this ongoing "land grab"; the Fox News panel discussion may actually seem reasonable. That is a sad reality.
"Is it really entitlement when were being sold our own culture, repackaged? I understand that everybody needs to get paid, I really do get that. The problem that I think most people have is that the media companies are deliberately making it as difficult as possible for people to consume their goods, and then cry foul when they take the path of least resistance. The content industry makes the rules that benefit them and then screams foul when the consumer does not play by their rules. The consumer, seems to have any rights.
Furthermore, in terms of "entitlement"; why do many sellers believe that they are entitled to defraud the consumer with misleading adds or to even allow refunds?
If the consumer is viewed as having no rights and the law is designed to only protect the content industry; it is not surprising that civil disobedience, in the form of piracy, exists.
They get laws passed to "protect" them from the evil pirates, yet they seem to have no moral restraint when it comes to embezzlement. Why should these "criminals" have protective laws that grant protection to their revenue stream?
Two issues. One that those who want you to be honest do not feel any obligation to be honest with you.
Second, no return policy. I recently bought a game which had all the ridiculous EULA crap. Well, if you declined accepting the EULA, there was NO pop-up screen on how to get a refund.
If companies that sell content want to complain about piracy, how about a little honesty from them. No misleading ads and the ability of the consumer to return content that does not meet their needs. Through their blatant disrespect of the consumer, it is the content industry that is promoting the creation of the piracy it is complaining about.
Two follow up points. One you wrote "The Government should not be assigning scarcity to that which has no scarcity.". Logically if an ersatz property right (copyright privilege) is tied to scarcity, then the converse should hold. That is that ersatz property right of an infinite good should disappear.
Second, the quest to end piracy is eliminating the concept of the rule of law. It used to be that evidence of a crime had to be collected by the police, presented to a judge, and then decided by a jury. Now private corporations are being given the power of the State to whimsically assign guilt at their discretion and to then initiate punitive action on their own volition.
Not only that, but search-warrants seem to be out of style and third parties are even being forced to act as a "neighborhood watch" for the content industry.
Wrong. The Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998 extended the duration of copyright. What that means is that content that otherwise would have been in the public domain and freely available did not become available. Consequently copying that content (that should have been legal) has become a criminal activity.
TtfnJohn - You raise another point "each new advance in technology". Why should an advance in technology "give rights" to the content creators? I would advocate that the content creators are NOT entitled to new "rights".
Take the example of a paper book. You can take that book anywhere, you can read it anytime, and you can sell it. So why should the development of a new technology give the content creators the "right" to deprive the reader of the ability to read the book out-of-region, to limit your ability to view content at your leisure, or to prevent you from selling it.
Again, it is the content industry that is creating piracy by lobbying the politicians to make these normal activities criminal.