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Author Topic: Losing Critical Mass and Call to Action  (Read 22127 times)
kiba
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September 23, 2010, 02:36:32 AM
 #81


But my point is quite broad really, which is basically that people should look to voluntary solutions rather than everyone lining up at the government’s door to enact new laws. Getting stuck in the pro-IP/anti-IP legal debate is a very, very statist mindset, since it assumes that the government must either enforce for it or enforce against it -- how about get the gov't out of the way and let people figure it out! Some of the anti-IP crowd is even more statist than the pro-IP crowd: read about Sweden’s proposal to legalize piracy (thus voiding private contracts), tax all internet traffic and have the government decide how to hand out money to “content creators”…. that is frightening and insane IMO.

The Pirate Party is not what I consider to be "anti-IP" people, just "less copyright" people.

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September 23, 2010, 02:39:28 AM
 #82

I'm not yet sold on the against-IP argument yet. I understand the scarce vs. non-scarce goods anti-IP argument that many libertarians are taking these days, but IMO it fails as soon as you say it voids private contracts. Disallowing individuals to enter into private contracts is obviously immoral, and yet some libertarians are arguing exactly that when they argue against IP. What's wrong with me selling you a reproducible good with a contract attached that says you agree not to duplicate it? If you do, it's dishonest and you've violated our contract.

Exactly.  And such contracts could be structured in such a way as to have almost the same practical effect as IP enforcement.  Which makes me suspect that arguments in favor of evading IP laws are as much about getting free music and free movies as they are about consistent libertarianism.  But I'm still learning.

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That said, I dislike the totalitarian nature of government enforcement of IP, which is an entirely different story. Since modern IP is enforced using government this removes an important component of the price mechanism from the equation, and so modern IP is really just “fantasy” in the sense that all government-sponsored economic behavior is fantasy. Why should my labor (via taxes) fund the enforcement that is used to protect someone else’s contract, without my consent? This is just as immoral as the contract violations themselves in my opinion, and distorts the market and human behavior – in short, the costs of IP are socialized while the benefits are capitalized upon by a few. (Just like our banking system…lol)

However the costs of real property rights enforcement are also socialized, while the benefits are realized by the few (or the particular).

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But my point is quite broad really, which is basically that people should look to voluntary solutions rather than everyone lining up at the government’s door to enact new laws. Getting stuck in the pro-IP/anti-IP legal debate is a very, very statist mindset, since it assumes that the government must either enforce for it or enforce against it -- how about get the gov't out of the way and let people figure it out! Some of the anti-IP crowd is even more statist than the pro-IP crowd: read about Sweden’s proposal to legalize piracy (thus voiding private contracts), tax all internet traffic and have the government decide how to hand out money to “content creators”…. that is frightening and insane IMO.

With some of these European countries it's a race between their birthrate and their culture to see which will destroy their society first.

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September 23, 2010, 02:39:44 AM
 #83

What bitcoin needs to take off, is a killer app.

The only people who are motivated to use bitcoin at the moment are cyphergeeks, who are attracted the beauty of its internal mechanics, and rabid libertarians, who see it as a tool to spread their ideology. The vast majority of internet users are neither of those. Paypal fulfils their needs just as well as bitcoin, so why would they be motivated to switch?

The killer app, IMO, would be a system for trading bandwidth on anonymity networks such as Tor and i2p. The problem with these networks at the moment is that they are slow and inconvenient as they rely on volunteers to provide bandwith and suffer from congestion.

If Tor users had a way of paying for node providers anonymously, the size and speed of the network would explode.  Anonymous bittorrent would become viable, and judging from the amount of bittorrent traffic on the net, there is no shortage of demand. Increasingly draconian copyright laws, and their increasingly heavy handed enforcement, will motivate even the most lazy bittorrent users to switch.

That is one application where bitcoin has a big competitive advantage. There are few, if any, other currencies suitable for anonymous bandwidth trading.

I am a mild libertarian and internet junkie but I am by no means a rabid libertarian or cyphergeek.   My attraction to bitcoin is that it does not charge me the way that paypal does, even if fees are implemented they are not going to be as high.

Currently I am much more likely to use paypal, because I can buy more things with it.  Hopefully this will change before too long, I know that I have seen more products and services being offered for bitcoins, but what looked like an explosion of them when I first started getting into it seems to have slowed to a trickle.

Obviously online services are going to be easier to trade for bitcoins than physical goods, because the postal service does not accept them.  I have seen people offering translation services, IT consulting, Tarot card reading (that'd be me) and I'd love to see more.  I don't know if there are any artists out there who are into bitcoin, but graphic design would undoubtedly be the sort of service that would be very valuable and would interface with bitcoins well.  

Some actual businesses accepting bitcoins that sell physical goods would also go a long way toward helping them establish a foothold.  I know there is one website selling herbs online, but the inventory there consists of only two things, so I assume this is a personal hobby endeavor and not an actual business.  

kiba
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September 23, 2010, 02:42:00 AM
 #84

I'm not yet sold on the against-IP argument yet. I understand the scarce vs. non-scarce goods anti-IP argument that many libertarians are taking these days, but IMO it fails as soon as you say it voids private contracts. Disallowing individuals to enter into private contracts is obviously immoral, and yet some libertarians are arguing exactly that when they argue against IP. What's wrong with me selling you a reproducible good with a contract attached that says you agree not to duplicate it? If you do, it's dishonest and you've violated our contract.

Exactly.  And such contracts could be structured in such a way as to have almost the same practical effect as IP enforcement.  Which makes me suspect that arguments in favor of evading IP laws are as much about getting free music and free movies as they are about consistent libertarianism.  But I'm still learning.

Not possible in libertarian theory. You can persecute the party in agreement with the contracts but third parties and outsider have no obligations.

The problem with evading IP laws to get free musics and movies is that they're only promoting the monopolist's interest, not the business interest of copyfree entrepreneurs.

Piracy[1] is a poor use of promoting free markets and libertarianism.


[1]: Piracy has apparently evolved into a catch-all phrase for "Things that Short-Sighted Commercial Dudes Don't Want You To Do". For our purpose, it means illegal copying of a monopolist's pattern.

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September 23, 2010, 02:53:03 AM
 #85

I'm not yet sold on the against-IP argument yet. I understand the scarce vs. non-scarce goods anti-IP argument that many libertarians are taking these days, but IMO it fails as soon as you say it voids private contracts. Disallowing individuals to enter into private contracts is obviously immoral, and yet some libertarians are arguing exactly that when they argue against IP. What's wrong with me selling you a reproducible good with a contract attached that says you agree not to duplicate it? If you do, it's dishonest and you've violated our contract.

Exactly.  And such contracts could be structured in such a way as to have almost the same practical effect as IP enforcement.  Which makes me suspect that arguments in favor of evading IP laws are as much about getting free music and free movies as they are about consistent libertarianism.  But I'm still learning.

Not possible. You can persecute the party in agreement with the contracts but third parties and outsider have no obligations.

Sure, but you can make the penalties for violating the party in agreement so onerous that they would never get into the hands of third parties.

For example.  I make a movie.  I license showing of the movie exclusively to theatre chain XYZ.  Since XYZ has exclusive distribution it would therefore be necessarily true that any copies of my movie that find their way into the public realm would necessarily have come via XYZ.  XYZ will therefore make sure nobody enters the theatre with a Sony Handycam.  They will also ensure their staff do not remove copies of the movie when they end their shift.

Now this doesn't prevent someone from making their own version of the same plotline.  But really, practically speaking, does anyone care if they do?  No one is going to come over to my house to watch a homemade version of Avatar.

Likewise, if Justin Bieber sells his latest masterpiece on CD with the stipulation you are only buying the right to listen to the music, not reproduce it, then even if a third party hears "Baby Baby" and makes their own version, would anybody actually care to listen to this inferior version of the timeless classic?

Yes, personal contracts cannot duplicate IP law exactly, but where the bulk of internet file sharing is concerned (music and video) it would have the same practical effect.
   

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September 23, 2010, 02:57:48 AM
 #86

So are the bitcoins in my wallet real property?

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kiba
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September 23, 2010, 02:58:37 AM
 #87

I'm not yet sold on the against-IP argument yet. I understand the scarce vs. non-scarce goods anti-IP argument that many libertarians are taking these days, but IMO it fails as soon as you say it voids private contracts. Disallowing individuals to enter into private contracts is obviously immoral, and yet some libertarians are arguing exactly that when they argue against IP. What's wrong with me selling you a reproducible good with a contract attached that says you agree not to duplicate it? If you do, it's dishonest and you've violated our contract.

Exactly.  And such contracts could be structured in such a way as to have almost the same practical effect as IP enforcement.  Which makes me suspect that arguments in favor of evading IP laws are as much about getting free music and free movies as they are about consistent libertarianism.  But I'm still learning.

Not possible. You can persecute the party in agreement with the contracts but third parties and outsider have no obligations.

Sure, but you can make the penalties for violating the party in agreement so onerous that they would never get into the hands of third parties.
  

If they are willing to accept the agreement in the first place and the cost of enforcement does not exceed the profit from persecuting said violators. This is especially dubious when you have million of people with CDs. This is even more dubious if they can do it anonymously with no easy way to track the anonymous leak.

If people actually stop pirating in the said ideal world, than GIMP and other copyfree business will eat and run away with the copyright holder's lunch.

if you make something artificially scarce, you better have the quality to make it worth people's livelihood to host it at the movie theater.

kiba
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September 23, 2010, 03:01:59 AM
 #88

So are the bitcoins in my wallet real property?

I supposed the thief owe you money after he spend it or destroy it.

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September 23, 2010, 03:10:30 AM
 #89

I'm not yet sold on the against-IP argument yet. I understand the scarce vs. non-scarce goods anti-IP argument that many libertarians are taking these days, but IMO it fails as soon as you say it voids private contracts. Disallowing individuals to enter into private contracts is obviously immoral, and yet some libertarians are arguing exactly that when they argue against IP. What's wrong with me selling you a reproducible good with a contract attached that says you agree not to duplicate it? If you do, it's dishonest and you've violated our contract.

Exactly.  And such contracts could be structured in such a way as to have almost the same practical effect as IP enforcement.  Which makes me suspect that arguments in favor of evading IP laws are as much about getting free music and free movies as they are about consistent libertarianism.  But I'm still learning.

Not possible. You can persecute the party in agreement with the contracts but third parties and outsider have no obligations.

Sure, but you can make the penalties for violating the party in agreement so onerous that they would never get into the hands of third parties.
  

If they are willing to accept the agreement in the first place and the cost of enforcement does not exceed the profit from persecuting said violators. This is especially dubious when you have million of people with CDs. This is even more dubious if they can do it anonymously with no easy way to track the anonymous leak.

If people actually stop pirating in the said ideal world, than GIMP and other copyfree business will eat and run away with the copyright holder's lunch.

if you make something artificially scarce, you better have the quality to make it worth people's livelihood to host it at the movie theater.

Very true. Here's some relevant reading: http://www.autotelic.com/windows_is_free

One of the biggest (unknown?) enemies of OSS is piracy...

Great arguments as well for how piracy actually *helps* proprietary software
kiba
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September 23, 2010, 03:11:10 AM
 #90

Some actual businesses accepting bitcoins that sell physical goods would also go a long way toward helping them establish a foothold.  I know there is one website selling herbs online, but the inventory there consists of only two things, so I assume this is a personal hobby endeavor and not an actual business.  

Business beget business. Before you can have physical stores, you must do it with cheaper capital business.

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September 23, 2010, 03:12:24 AM
 #91

One of the biggest (unknown?) enemies of OSS is piracy...

Great arguments as well for how piracy actually *helps* proprietary software

This is why I do the evil laugh when Short-Sighted Commercial Dude do something stupid like stopping piracy of their software.

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September 23, 2010, 03:20:26 AM
 #92

So are the bitcoins in my wallet real property?

I supposed the thief owe you money after he spend it or destroy it.

But how can he 'destroy' my bitcoins?  How are bitcoins 'real' property anymore than the music on a Celine Dion CD?  That's what I don't understand.  Aren't bitcoins 'artifically' scarce?

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kiba
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September 23, 2010, 03:27:14 AM
 #93

So are the bitcoins in my wallet real property?

I supposed the thief owe you money after he spend it or destroy it.

But how can he 'destroy' my bitcoins?  How are bitcoins 'real' property anymore than the music on a Celine Dion CD?  That's what I don't understand.  Aren't bitcoins 'artifically' scarce?
By deleting your wallet, of course. It's like deleting your Celine Dion mp3. That's a destruction of property. You can alway download another one from the internet though. However, if you don't back up your wallet, you lose it forever.

Well, I don't know how to decide bitcoins. I mean, bitcoin can only be spent once and you can only discover a bitcoin. So if the thief spend your bitcoins, it mean that your bitcoin in your wallet are invalid. It doesn't matter how many time you duplicate the bitcoin.

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September 23, 2010, 03:33:55 AM
 #94

So are the bitcoins in my wallet real property?

Not any more than the US dollar bills in your real wallet are real property, which they are not beyond pieces of artwork on fancy paper.  The currency value is symbolic in every currency, as they are just units of measurement.

Incidentally, there is nothing in your wallet that could be contrude as a coin.  The use of the term, "wallet" to describe that file is a misnomer, as it contains only hash pairs and some transaction data.  Your bitcoins are nothing more than a collection of transfers recorded in a massive ledger that we call the blockchain.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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September 23, 2010, 03:35:35 AM
 #95

So are the bitcoins in my wallet real property?

Incidentally, there is nothing in your wallet that could be contrude as a coin.  The use of the term, "wallet" to describe that file is a misnomer, as it contains only hash pairs and some transaction data.  Your bitcoins are nothing more than a collection of transfers recorded in a massive ledger that we call the blockchain.

A convenient metaphor from the age of physical money. Let leave it at that.

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September 23, 2010, 03:42:23 AM
 #96

So are the bitcoins in my wallet real property?

Incidentally, there is nothing in your wallet that could be contrude as a coin.  The use of the term, "wallet" to describe that file is a misnomer, as it contains only hash pairs and some transaction data.  Your bitcoins are nothing more than a collection of transfers recorded in a massive ledger that we call the blockchain.

A convenient metaphor from the age of physical money. Let leave it at that.

Except that convenient metaphor spreads an inconvenient meme to newcomers about how the system actually works, and such persistant memes can harm the adoption of Bitcoin.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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September 23, 2010, 03:45:58 AM
 #97

I'm not yet sold on the against-IP argument yet. I understand the scarce vs. non-scarce goods anti-IP argument that many libertarians are taking these days, but IMO it fails as soon as you say it voids private contracts. Disallowing individuals to enter into private contracts is obviously immoral, and yet some libertarians are arguing exactly that when they argue against IP. What's wrong with me selling you a reproducible good with a contract attached that says you agree not to duplicate it? If you do, it's dishonest and you've violated our contract.

The libertarians that I talk to know and accept this argument. So you're arguing against quite possibly a strawman. What we're against is involving third parties who have nothing to do with the non-copying agreement.

Thanks Kiba.  Us anti-IP folk are not arguing to "void private contracts".  Kiba has the right answer: while it is permissible for Person A to enter into a contract with Person B forbidding Person B from sharing some intellectual creation, such a contract cannot prohibit another Person C (who may have obtained that intellectual creations from Person B breaking the contract, through some other prohibited manner, or maybe from independently discovering that intellectual creation) from sharing that intellectual creation with any other Person D who never entered into any contract with A or B.  As Kiba says, this would essentially be "involving third parties who have nothing to do with the non-copying agreement".

But my point is quite broad really, which is basically that people should look to voluntary solutions rather than everyone lining up at the government’s door to enact new laws.

Voluntary solutions are the preferred method for protecting and profiting from your intellectual creations.

Quote
That said, I dislike the totalitarian nature of government enforcement of IP, which is an entirely different story. Since modern IP is enforced using government this removes an important component of the price mechanism from the equation, and so modern IP is really just “fantasy” in the sense that all government-sponsored economic behavior is fantasy. Why should my labor (via taxes) fund the enforcement that is used to protect someone else’s contract, without my consent? This is just as immoral as the contract violations themselves in my opinion, and distorts the market and human behavior – in short, the costs of IP are socialized while the benefits are capitalized upon by a few. (Just like our banking system…lol)

However the costs of real property rights enforcement are also socialized, while the benefits are realized by the few (or the particular).

Yes, currently real property rights are enforced through socialized police and courts.  However, in a libertarian society, private police and private courts will do a much better job.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
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September 23, 2010, 04:31:01 AM
 #98

So are the bitcoins in my wallet real property?

I supposed the thief owe you money after he spend it or destroy it.

But how can he 'destroy' my bitcoins?  How are bitcoins 'real' property anymore than the music on a Celine Dion CD?  That's what I don't understand.  Aren't bitcoins 'artifically' scarce?
By deleting your wallet, of course. It's like deleting your Celine Dion mp3. That's a destruction of property. You can alway download another one from the internet though. However, if you don't back up your wallet, you lose it forever.

Well, I don't know how to decide bitcoins. I mean, bitcoin can only be spent once and you can only discover a bitcoin. So if the thief spend your bitcoins, it mean that your bitcoin in your wallet are invalid. It doesn't matter how many time you duplicate the bitcoin.

Whether or not bitcoins are real property or not is irrelevant.  Of course the physical embodiment of them as a sequence of magnetic polarities in your wallet.dat file stored physically on your harddrive in your computer protected by a password is relevant to property rights, because stealing your harddrive, computer, violating your computer to perform a coldboot attack to get your password, extracting your password by gunpoint from you, etc. are all relevant since they all violate real property rights.  But no, you don't actually *own* the pattern of bits representing your bitcoin wallet or password, but you do own your body and your computer.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
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September 23, 2010, 04:34:06 AM
 #99

So are the bitcoins in my wallet real property?

No. The data in your wallet can be freely reproduced, so it is not real property. The password to a physical safe or the exact specifications of a physical key would not be real property, either.

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September 23, 2010, 04:37:22 AM
 #100

Some actual businesses accepting bitcoins that sell physical goods would also go a long way toward helping them establish a foothold.  I know there is one website selling herbs online, but the inventory there consists of only two things, so I assume this is a personal hobby endeavor and not an actual business.  

Business beget business. Before you can have physical stores, you must do it with cheaper capital business.

I didn't mean brick and mortar businesses.  I just meant online businesses with a reasonably wide inventory.  Selling things that a reasonably wide section of the population want to buy.

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