Welcome to my little soiree, hosted graciously by The Mazburglar, who I’m sure copied the keys to this place using some illegal number his friends at Big Search found for him. Unfortunately, the hors d’oevres are harder to copy, so you’ll have to be content with cake and other such lies.
I'll start off with introductions. I'm The Chosen Reject. If you google my nom de plume, you’ll find that I am not alone in being a Nirvana fan. To pay for my own bread and circuses, I develop software. Since introductions are done, let’s skip ahead to the entertainment in this repastless fete.
I'm a believer in the free market, and using government regulation only where necessary to obtain that free market (such as laws against fraud, false advertising, antitrust, etc). An important aspect of keeping markets free are low barriers to entry. Which is exactly what the government doesn't do when it grants monopolies, whether those are for electrical service, internet service, or the so called intellectual property laws.
But I don't see the free market as the end unto itself, but mostly a means to better the public good. That is why I'll allow encroachments onto the free market if those encroachments actually do the public any good, which is what I believe the free market does. But if those encroachments don't do the public any good, then they need to be eliminated and shunned. Now you might know why I feel the way I do about IP. I'll allow for it, if it helps the public good, but it ought to be done away with if it doesn't help.
With that being said, let's look at all the reasons from just this week why copyright laws ought to be abandoned for sake of the public good:
- Universal Uses Copyright To Censor Bad Lip Reading Parody; Why Not Embrace It?: In which a government granted monopolist ignores the parody exception in the very same laws that granted it the monopoly it has.
- The Many Killers Of The Film Industry: Volumes One through Keep 'em Coming: In which we learn, yet again, the many ways that the government granted monopolists freak out when others help them.
- EU Politician Wants Internet Surveillance Built Into Every Operating System: In which we learn that an idiot somehow got elected. More seriously, we learn that some people would like to ignore reality, and would really like everyone to be tracked at all times just in case someone might do something that a government granted monopolist might freak about. Keep in mind that we already learned that they'll freak out about anything, even if it helps them.
- House Trying To Rush Through Its Version Of PROTECT IP; Tech Industry Asks Why?: In which we learn, yet again, that politicians don't put much weight into what they actually say.
- UK Court Upholds Its First Web Censorship Order: BT Has 14 Days To Block Access To Newzbin2 & Gets To Pay For The Privilege: In which we learn, yet again, that some judges choose censorship of the public at all costs because the government granted a monopoly at the cost to the public. Lots of costs, none of them actually being paid by the government granted monopolists.
- Comcast, Verizon Ordered To ID Subscribers In Copyright Trolling Suit: In which we learn that some judges see extortion as preferable to violating the government granted monopolies, whether or not the monopolist suffered any harm through said violation.
- Hollywood's Kinder, Gentler DRM: UltraViolet, Getting Slammed In Reviews: In which we learn, yet again, that monopolists tend not to care about their customers, much less the general public, and will screw you even when you pay them money. Wait, isn't that the definition of an illegal act?
- High Prices, Lack Of Availability Driving Lots Of Infringement: In which we learn that the general public actually likes to support artists and even their chosen middlemen, so long as the stuff they want is available and affordable. These are things the free market tends to be good at. Monopolies? Not so much.
- PROTECT IP Renamed E-PARASITE Act; Would Create The Great Firewall Of America: In which we learn that all bad names will be outdone, and that you need to make the check out to Lamar Smith.
- Leading French Presidential Candidate Would Repeal HADOPI But Keep Net Surveillance: In which we learn that some politicians have listened to the public, but have decided that the surveillance put in place for copyright sure is nice to have. It's like copyright law is a gateway drug.
- Warner Bros. Hates Libraries, Wants To Embargo DVD Sales To Libraries For A Month: In which we learn that Warner Bros really does not want any one to see their stuff for 28 days. It's OK, I'm happy to oblige them.
- Just As Valve Shows That You Can Compete With Piracy In Russia, Russia Starts Cracking Down On Piracy: In which we learn, yet again, that providing what the customers want at the price they find reasonable actually means the customer will give you money in a mutually pleasing transaction.
- Hardware Store That Doesn't Play Any Music Has To Fight Off Collection Society Demanding A License Fee: In which we learn, yet again, that when given the power and legal justification to extort money from anyone, many people will take it.
- How Copyright Infringement Turned Vampires Into Big Business: In which we learn, yet again, that copyright harms society, but ignoring copyright helps to create new and interesting works, like Nosferatu, Count Chocula, and Twilight. Wait…maybe I should reconsider.
- Rep. Blackburn, Co-Sponsor Of E-PARASITE, Explains Why Regulating The Internet Is Terrible: In which we learn, yet again, that politicians don't put much weight into what they actually say. That sounds really familiar.
Patents also took some time this week to show that they also can be abused. So let's take a moment to see why patents ought to be abandoned for sake of the public good:
- US Trying To Force Governments To Pay Much Higher Prices For Needed Drugs Through Secretive TPP: Here we have a situation where publicly funded research is locked up by the government so that monopolists can charge higher prices to the public that funded them. This wasn't enough, so the monopolists are getting the government to jack up prices to the citizens of other countries that didn't fund that research.
- Failed Company, Now Patent Troll, Sues Apple Over Transferrable Playlists For A Third Time: An interesting case where Apple finally listened to CmdTaco's 10 year old request and added wireless syncing, but gets sued for it.
- Jay Walker Continues Quest To Sue The Internet Into Oblivion With Patents: Jay Walker (arrest that man) has decided that without his awesome abilities that no one had heard of until recently that no one would have ever figured out how to display ads on the internet.
Not to be outdone, monopolists have even taken the consumer protection laws known as Trademark law, and turned it around, not just to hurt the public, but even to hurt the very customers businesses strive for. Let's take a look.
- Sony Ericsson Shows How Not To Connect With Fans: Forces Shutdown Of Xperia Fan Blog: Because, if you're a true fan, you won't talk about our products using our name.
- ICE Seized 20 Domain Names For The NFL Over The Weekend: Because a true fan of our teams would only buy the properly licensed, higher priced goods, whether or not they could afford them.
Finally, let's not sit around thinking that government granted monopolists are the only idiots in this world looking to make life worse for the public. Heavens no. The biggest, meanest monopolists of all are sure to want to get their share of the fun. And of course, we're talking about governments.
- State Government In Australia Seeks To Issue $12k Fines If You Insult Its Gaming Minister Michael O'Brien: This is justifaction for the US Bill of Rights. Some of the founding fathers feared that a Bill of Rights would mean the government would think that only those rights existed. Thankfully some knew that governments already think the public's rights have to be explicity stated if they want to have a right. Sorry Australia, you can't say anything mean about Michael O'Brien, like that he's a thin-skinned idiot, a weasily malcontent, and a pompous ninny.
- Court Tells Users They Can't Use RECAP: Heaven forbid that you make public domain materials available freely to others.
- California Politician Discovers That You Can't Ban Specific Type Of Music; Admits 'I Didn't Know What Was Going On': I think ravers are weird, but a politician that thinks it's OK to ban certain types of music is even weirder. No, that's not the word. Par for the course is what I meant. One that thinks banning things like binkies and LED gloves will prevent kids from drug overdoses is really odd. Dang it, I meant the norm. A politician that doesn't know what they were doing is right out. And by that I mean, the usual. And one that admits it is quite ordinary. I mean, down right strange. Kudos to admitting it Fiona Ma, but you should have used that as your first clue that continuing on with your legislation wasn't actually going to do anything.
- Justice Department Wants To Be Able To Lie In Response To Freedom Of Information Requests: Why in the world would we expect our government, the Department of Justice no less, to be honest with us? That's just crazy think-of-the-public nonsense.
- Google Reveals 70% Increase In Requests For Content Removal; Including Law Enforcement Wanting To Hide Police Brutality: Of course, no list of abusers of monopoly power would be complete without those who have the monopoly on violence. Thank you for trying to protect my weak sensibilities from having to see you beat, injure, maim and kill others in your quest for more power to abuse.
- The Non-Existent 'Cyber War' Is Nothing More Than A Push For More Government Control: I wonder when they'll quit trying to be quaint, and just tell us we're at war with the public.
So there you have it. My list. But I don't want to be the sole life of our little party, so comment away down below.