I myself have other things that I must attend to & it was not my intent to turn this thread into a epic discussion of Ayn Rand. (Particularly
since she was not the subject of the article). So unless you say something that I feel necessitates a further rebuttal I'll let this be my final comment ( & it is related to the post).
”Those who consume culture (even if it's mere entertainment) can't be held hostage to the "needs" of the few (content producers), no matter their plight. That path leads quickly to endless "entitled" demands."...
”And I just love when people can't see how self contradicting Ayn Rand's Objectivism is, "Don't regulate business --except when those regulations (copyright and patents) are beneficial to business". Which of course goes against the stated purpose of copyrights and patents; to promote progress --not to promote the profits of businesses.”
This is simply not a accurate presentation of Rand's views.
She did not believe that we should "not regulate businesses except when those regulations are beneficial to businesses."
She believed that the state should protect individual rights & should not violate them. She was a minarchist , not a anarchist. That does mean that the state should protect individual rights,including property rights,but she expressly rejected the idea that the government should be "pro-business" or "pro-worker" . She believed that it should simply protect the individual rights of all people businessmen,workers,producers,consumers,the blind,the sighted,the deaf,the hearing etc. For example if a company tried to steal the patent of a impoverished person,she would support the impoverished inventor's rights over the corporation.
This is no more a contradiction than it would be a "contradiction" to argue that your landlord cannot violate your lease & evict you without cause,while simultaneously arguing that the tenant also cannot violate the terms of his lease with impunity.
Obviously some would argue that protecting intellectual property rights "benefits the strong at the expense of the weak" ,& some believe that the deaf or blind have a "positive right" to be provided with books,but that was not how she thought,& your statement may convey the impression that she believed that the state should be "pro-business",when she believed that it should side with businessmen when they are the victims of injustice but which also means opposing them when they violate individual rights. As to IP she rejected the rationale offered by the Constitution that Copyright existed to to promote progress & the arts & sciences. She instead believed that creators had a right to their IP because it was the product of their labor. That said,it does not follow that she regarded IP rights as being identical in form to conventional property rights. From what I understand she believed in Fair Use,& I think she would also support a person's right to make private copies of the books that they had purchased. So she might believe that the deaf or blind person could buy a book & then have it adapted so that they could personally use it . I don't think that she would oppose you copying the text of a book that you purchased & magnifying it,or scanning it into your computer & then having it read aloud by a computer etc. But I think that she would oppose any argument that, because the blind/deaf needed books,that some publisher could then make copies of the books en-masse for the blind or deaf without paying any kind of licensing fee to the content creator.
So yes she did believe in intellectual property rights,but she did not automatically accept any position of the MPAA . I find it difficult to imagine that she would support SOPA given its threat to the DNS & due to its due process concerns.
I emphasize this last because there is a disagreement ( to put it mildly) between Adam Mossoff ( a pro-SOPA Objectivist law professor, mentioned on this site previously)
& his allies on the one hand (who share his view that SOPA has been targeted by "vicious lies", ) ,& myself & others who believe that SOPA is a threat to all of our rights,not because it protects IP rights,but because it violates the rights of those who have not infringed on IP rights.
It was not I who turned a part of this thread into a argument over Ayn Rand. It's true that her critics here were not the first to bring her up,but your comments went beyond simply disagreeing with her to portaying her as some kind of fiend.
Given that & given that I am a adherent of her philosophy, I felt compelled to respond. Had you simply said " I don't agree with her philosophy" I wouldn't have felt the need to reply.
If I had attacked your philosophy & its adherents would you remain silent if you believed that I was being unjust to your beliefs? My comment regarding "death camps" was a sarcastic reply to the suggestion that Objectivists should be removed from society. I presume that your comment to that effect was as sarcastic as mine.
Rand made her own case quite ably in her hundreds of non-fiction essays.
I cannot (seriously) summarize any philosophy in 25 words ,and I'm not sure if anyone could.
There are simply too many questions that would come up.
My briefest summary of the ideas that I find appealing in Objectivism would be:
Use reason. Use force only in self-defense against those who violate your rights (or who violate someone else's rights) . Deal with innocent people only through mutual consent & not by force or fraud. Deal with other people honestly as rational human beings,unless they behave irrationally. (And let them go their own way if they are irrational) Do not sacrifice your own rational self-interest for them and do not expect them to sacrifice themselves to you.
People should not deal with one another as predators or prey,,but as traders.
Take responsibility for your actions (including the children you bring into the world). Help others if you wish out of benevolence,if they are not evil,& if it gives you some emotional satisfaction & if you don't take it to a suicidal extreme. But reject forced sacrifice.
Do not betray your convictions,do not settle for mediocrity.
With these qualifiers ,your own life & your happiness & your dreams should be your standard of value & should be the goal of your actions.
This is selfishness,but it is not narcissism. ( A narcissist would expect others to serve him ,& he would probably also be open to deceiving people). Will this miraculously solve all the problems of the world? No,nothing will. But I do believe that it is the correct philosophy to adopt. But that is a decision people must make for themselves.
And given the control freaks on both the right & left I do not see why she should be singled out as being the "worst" or most destructive person in American history.
I will limit my comment to the original Techdirt article,as I have no time to debate the question of whether Intellectual Property rights are legitimate property rights or not (as Professor Mossoff is prone to say I am very, very busy.)
I will simply say that I believe that Intellectual Property rights are Property Rights ,& leave it at that (though legally of course they are treated differently as there is no fair use exception to my ownership of my physical property).
That said, as a Objectivist (like Prof.Mossoff) I feel compelled to point out that Prof.Mossoff does not speak for all (or even most) Objectivists when he offered his straw man defense of SOPA. (Anymore than I speak for all or most Objectivists) Indeed,a number of us devoted a great deal of time & effort to defeating SOPA. My reason for opposing SOPA was very simple:It was, and is defacto censorship;not because it prohibited the violation of intellectual property rights,but because,in practice,it needlessly placed the rights of the innocent at risk,& needlessly put Non-infringing content at risk of suppression.
(That and the trivial little matter of possibly fragmenting the DNS system,& possibly delaying DNSSEC)
It is absurd to argue that SOPA did not violate free speech rights, so long as it was intended to protect
Intellectual Property rights. It's comparable to saying that requiring a DNA test of all men who live in a neighborhood where women have been raped, cannot violate individual rights, since there is no "right to rape" .
It's akin to saying that requiring the Clipper chip to have been installed wasn't a violation of individual rights ,since the police have the right to get a warrant to wiretap phones.
Were we to apply Prof.Mossoff's standard ,we would not debate whether the state had the right to use this particular method to ensure that criminals could be wiretapped with a warrant,we would simply argue about whether the police should ever wiretap anyone, ever. We could even say that the clipper chip CAN'T be
unconstitutional since,after all,the constitution permits searches with warrants.
However there is one other point I wish to make: After the defeat of SOPA Mossoff published a Facebook note in which he addressed the due process argument ,essentially by saying that the requirement for a bond was adequate,(I disagree).(And no ,I don't have the link right now, if I find it, I'll post it).
He also said that those who said that SOPA was censorship,or that it would break the net,were spreading ”package deals” (the Objectivist term for the fallacy of equivocation ) or ”vicious lies”. He presented no evidence that the internet engineers were doing either.
I find it interesting, however ,that he seems to have forgotten that he ever knew of the actual arguments made against SOPA.
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