Perhaps so, but there's a huge amount of collateral damage done by these failing attempts to stem the tide. That's one of the (many) things Mike is usually writing about: the proposed solutions don't work, but they do cause a variety of collateral damage. Some people in the entertainment industry may not care, but more and more people do as it starts to impact their own lives.
Ah, well, but that's exactly what some people in the industry would like to change, now isn't it? They would love to find some (technological?) way of (re?)gaining full control over what they consider their "property". The reason they're finding so much opposition these days is that people realise that such control tramples all over their freedoms, even if they're not even remotely interested in infringing on said "property".
I think you hit the nail right on the head here. I even think this goes for the larger part of the general population. As right as some lawyers may or may not be when discussing these matters, the average man or woman just sees it as a clear sign that there's something seriously wrong with the law as written. Frankly, people don't even care if they're wrong or right any more; it just feels wrong to them when the law seemingly has nothing in common with the way they view the world.
Mike's articles generally raise some very good discussion points, even though I don't always agree with his outcomes. I do share his views that policies on law, and perhaps especially IP law, should be based on solid scientific evidence rather than the lobbying power of certain organisations. Of course it remains problematic that we've managed to box ourselves in via international agreements so much that it's very hard to correct some of the mistakes that have been made in the past.
Truth can be rather subjective though, especially in this case. Depending on one's point of view, and source of definition (economic or legal), the truth they're seeking takes on a different meaning. The main discussion between them has been on whether or not copyrights should be regarded as property, and the truth to that depends very much on one's view. Finding out where one's view lies sometimes becomes the key to understanding each other.
Another issue is of course how the general public views it. Even if the legal definition defines copyright as property, as long as people don't see it that way you won't convince them with arguments based on it either. As bad as the situation for the entertainment industry may or may not be (the opinions differ), if the solution's to be found by curtailing the rights of the general public and good-faith companies they're very likely to tell them to keep their problems to themselves, and leave them out of it. That's rather what happened to SOPA, PIPA and ACTA.
Tangible vs intangible is not at issue here. My point was with regards to the economic definitions of property, and that copyright doesn't fit any of them. The closest would be private property, but for that it would have to be both excludable and rival, which it is not.
The legal definition of copyright may or not classify it as property, depending on who you quote. The SC apparently has classified it as property in some cases, and as non-property in others.
Under economic definitions (which is what most non-lawyers, including the general population, use), copyright would not qualify as property, because it's neither classifiable as open-access property (since it's owned), nor state property (since it's not owned by the state), nor common property (since it's not owned by a collective), nor private property (since it's neither excludable nor rival).
It may share many of the qualities usually associated with private property, but that economic definition requires it to be both excludable and rival, and as such copyright does not qualify.
They have the same leg the GPL has, and it's one that's well established by the courts by now. It's called copyright law. You either adhere to the license or to the limitations of copyright law (which is usually stricter than the CC/GPL licenses) or you'll be found guilty of copyright infringement in a court of law. At 150k USD per infringement, that's a lot of leg to stand on, believe you me. :)
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