Hmmm. You mentioned a Syrian street. Why? Seems that you know something that we don't and you are not willing to reveal. Have you ever been to Syria? No, wrong question. When last time you visited Syria and why? Please tell me about everyone you met there. And what's that in your carry-on? You say a toothbrush? So it seems that your Syrian friends taught you how to sharpen a toothbrush pole and use it as a weapon instantly. Seems to me that you belong to a no-fly list, but for know you cannot board until you undergo a full cavity search and 4-hour interrogation.
Here's where I part company with those who reject copyright altogether. The theory of copyright—limited monopoly in exchange for a rich public domain—is still a good one, and the system created by the English, adapted by early Congresses, had the virtue of being largely self-enforcing and therefore efficient.
Well, when I was young, we hailed Mr. Gorbachev and his reforms. We genuinely believed that Communism is the only way forward, it was merely perverted by the previous rulers. How naive we were. Naive and happy.
I see a lot of similarities between copyright with communism. The main one: both are artificial experiments imposed against human nature. The other one: both fail with breaking information barriers. Copyright has no future.
Since a perfect analogy is something that does not exist, it is extremely easy to point out the weakness of a particular analogy. Yet it is a power tool to explain concepts and provoke critical thinking. Buggy whip analogy is far from being perfect (again, as any other analogy), but it does its job illustrating the thought. An analogy is worthless without a thorough explanation why it was invoked in the first place. That’s why I’m usually very forgiving when I hear people employing this colorful tool, and concentrate on the idea that a narrator illustrates with it.
I like it. The only way to counter an absurd argument is to show its absurdity by pushing it just a little bit in the original direction.
Trying to explain to an obtuse and/or brainwashed opponent that infringing is not theft is futile and counterproductive. I have not seen anyone who admitted that he was wrong. Inability to change one's opinion under an overwhelming argument is a sign of either low IQ or insecurity. Or both.
That's another, frequently overseen, problem with SOPA: it shifted the debate from the problems with current copyright laws farther from the common sense: suddenly many bright heads discuss how to make SOPA better (by narrowing its impact etc.). SOPA, even if it would fail eventually, has already inflicted tremendous harm by poisoning the debate, by planting a "consensus" that something should be done into otherwise reasonable people's heads.
I came up with a wonderful idea to use paypal-bitcoin gateway, because for most people it is a hassle to get bitcoins in order to make a single semi-anonymous donation for example. So you would pay me using PayPal and provide a bitcoin address, and I would charge a small fee over the exchange rate.
As it always happens to me, someone stole my idea a year before I conceived it.
Open wi-fi exists solely for connecting wireless devices. There is a potential of illegitimate use, but the primary purpose is non-infringing. Nonetheless, as I recently read somewhere, someone tried to equate running an open wireless network with negligence and make the persons who do not encrypt their networks liable.
The “legitimate businesses” like DropBox are off the rightholders’ radar until some clever MPAA lawyer finds out how to shake down these businesses cheaply.
BMW's cruise control is even worse: the stick is just below the beam switch, same shape, a bit shorter. I embarrassed myself many times until I developed the motor memory: when I wanted to decrease the speed - same movement / different stick - push towards the driver - and flashed high beams instead. So if I wanted to slow down behind a car, the other driver might think that I was arrogantly flashing to force him out of the left lane.