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Author Topic: Taxes is not Theft  (Read 7448 times)
kiba
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February 12, 2011, 02:31:48 PM
 #61

I'm not sure that things are so simple. Perhaps you are opposed to the idea of IP, but many self-identifying libertarians (Randians come to mind) are supportive of such rights. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, ultra-free marketers espouse the notion that everything should be privately owned. This includes, by necessity, ideas. It also includes things like air. The idea here is that once the resource is owned, then the owner will naturally want to take care of it. This seems crazy to me - more likely the owner will use the control over critical resources to coerce for profit.

I find the notion of universal private ownership absurd, but I do recognize the need for IP as a means to protect individuals and smaller business from more powerful interests. I think people should be able to decide the terms by which their programs, music, writings, etc. are distributed. Unfortunately, the very tools that were meant to protect individuals and smaller shops have been co-opted by powerful interests. This is what happens when government stops being by and for the people. Democracy helps - and democracy can also help to define sane notions for IP in the digital age.

No. My fellow rebels and I are going to remove your democratic option to define sane IP rights using revolutionary anti-IP counter-economic activities.


Our economic effort will speak for itself.

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gene
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February 12, 2011, 05:12:10 PM
 #62

No. My fellow rebels and I are going to remove your democratic option to define sane IP rights using revolutionary anti-IP counter-economic activities.

Do you realize how crazy you sound?

Do you also realize that you are advocating a system in which the individual does not have the right to assert ownership over his or her own creative works? And that you and your "fellow rebels" via "revolutionary anti-IP counter-economic activities" ( Roll Eyes rol) are imposing their own values? Contradict much?

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Our economic effort will speak for itself.

I'm so sure. Your posts definitely do.

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kiba
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February 12, 2011, 06:30:16 PM
 #63

Do you also realize that you are advocating a system in which the individual does not have the right to assert ownership over his or her own creative works? And that you and your "fellow rebels" via "revolutionary anti-IP counter-economic activities" ( Roll Eyes rol) are imposing their own values? Contradict much?
Libertarians thought IP are violation of private property right not that IP are property right. That is the emerging consensus after years of debate.

Also, what I am doing is merely outcompeting my adversaries. They can complain about too much competition, but I am better than them.

theymos
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February 12, 2011, 08:18:25 PM
 #64

I'm not sure that things are so simple. Perhaps you are opposed to the idea of IP, but many self-identifying libertarians (Randians come to mind) are supportive of such rights. fergalish describes one approach to IP, which seems to be quite reasonable.

There are, of course, extremes even within the so-called "libertarian" crowd. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, ultra-free marketers espouse the notion that everything should be privately owned. This includes, by necessity, ideas. It also includes things like air. The idea here is that once the resource is owned, then the owner will naturally want to take care of it. This seems crazy to me - more likely the owner will use the control over critical resources to coerce for profit..

Respect for property rights is the core libertarian issue. I have a hard time considering people libertarians if they say, "Property rights are absolute, and everyone can do what they want with their property, except when someone else already used their property in that way."

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fergalish
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February 12, 2011, 09:02:36 PM
 #65

No. My fellow rebels and I are going to remove your democratic option to define sane IP rights using revolutionary anti-IP counter-economic activities.
Do you realize how crazy you sound?

Kiba, I'm inclined to agree with Gene here - until this you seemed reasonably coherent and sensible, if a bit extreme.  But this rebel talk of removing democratic options makes you look like a bit of an irrational fool.  Are you being flippant perhaps?  Libertarians are all about protecting individuals and their choices and yet here you would impose *your* values on everyone else.

Respect for property rights is the core libertarian issue. I have a hard time considering people libertarians if they say, "Property rights are absolute, and everyone can do what they want with their property, except when someone else already used their property in that way."
I don't understand this. Can you explain a bit more please?
kiba
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February 12, 2011, 10:59:52 PM
 #66

Kiba, I'm inclined to agree with Gene here - until this you seemed reasonably coherent and sensible, if a bit extreme.  But this rebel talk of removing democratic options makes you look like a bit of an irrational fool.  Are you being flippant perhaps?  Libertarians are all about protecting individuals and their choices and yet here you would impose *your* values on everyone else.

You got it all wrong. I am not violating any laws in the process. I am not coercing anybody.

I am just making your economic life miserable through competition. I am making democratic rule irrelevant.

theymos
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February 12, 2011, 11:48:44 PM
 #67

I don't understand this. Can you explain a bit more please?

Take a look at "Against Intellectual Property" (PDF), which largely represents my views on the matter.

If I own a section of land, then no one cares. I can't interfere with the use of anyone's property. My ownership doesn't affect anyone. But if I own intellectual property, then I have the right to stop people from using their property in certain ways. I can stop someone from using their ink and their paper to recreate my words. I can stop people from assembling their electronics into certain formations. This is exactly opposed to the libertarian principle of allowing people to do what they like with their property.

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February 13, 2011, 12:53:33 AM
 #68

Theymos is right . Infinitely copyable digital content shouldnt over rule actual physical property. The idea someone can take your physical property because you copied something is repulsive , considering that the original still exists .

Now if you break into someones property and steal all their physical dvd's ,well, you deserve to lose your house.  Smiley

fergalish
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February 13, 2011, 08:31:27 PM
 #69

Libertarians are opposed to intellectual property, as it allows non-scarce intellectual property to interfere with the use of scarce real property.

I can stop someone from using their ink and their paper to recreate my words. I can stop people from assembling their electronics into certain formations.

I can see an inconsistency.  I argue that creative brains are *way* more scarse than whatever real property you're talking about - particularly ink & paper, electronics etc.  I mean, what's to stop me making a contract "I'll tell you about the products of my creativity, but you must use them only in these ways", and then enforcing that agreement through whatever means at my disposal.  Thence, Intellectual Property.
kiba
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February 13, 2011, 08:39:01 PM
 #70

I can see an inconsistency.  I argue that creative brains are *way* more scarse than whatever real property you're talking about - particularly ink & paper, electronics etc.  I mean, what's to stop me making a contract "I'll tell you about the products of my creativity, but you must use them only in these ways", and then enforcing that agreement through whatever means at my disposal.  Thence, Intellectual Property.

Sell your scarce brain, not your non-scarce output!

caveden
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February 13, 2011, 09:49:08 PM
 #71

Despite being scarce or not, the intellectual property debate should end with the fact that causing a positive externality to somebody else's property doesn't give you any right whatsoever over him or his property.

Say, for instance, a musician is playing something on the street you're passing by. Let's assume for all effects that both you and him have all the right to be there where you are doing whatever you're doing.

Suppose the music is the musician's creation. We can says it belongs to him, as the instruments he uses to play. By extension, we could even say that the sound waves he produces with his labor and property belong to him. But as soon as this waves hit your ears and affect your brain, they're causing an externality to your property. Positive externality if you like the music, negative if you don't.
But even if it's positive, that doesn't give the musician any right over you. He can't force you to pay something for the benefits you're having from this music, and I bet, for this example, most people agree.

Just change your ears and brain for your recorder, and the example keeps valid. But, for some reason, people claim once your recorder receive the positive externality caused by the musician work, you owe him something or you can't fully dispose of your property as you could before.... this makes no sense. Causing positive externalities to other people's stuff doesn't grant you any right over these people's stuff.

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fergalish
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February 13, 2011, 10:05:30 PM
 #72

Say, for instance, a musician is playing something on the street you're passing by. Let's assume for all effects that both you and him have all the right to be there where you are doing whatever you're doing.

Agreed, but you didn't sign any contract with the musician in this case.  Suppose I permit you to enter my property and listen to my music only if you agree to certain terms and conditions.  Then what?
theymos
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February 13, 2011, 10:28:23 PM
 #73

I can see an inconsistency.  I argue that creative brains are *way* more scarse than whatever real property you're talking about - particularly ink & paper, electronics etc.  I mean, what's to stop me making a contract "I'll tell you about the products of my creativity, but you must use them only in these ways", and then enforcing that agreement through whatever means at my disposal.  Thence, Intellectual Property.

Brains are scarce, but a single idea is not: it can be reproduced infinitely.

An IP-like contract would be perfectly alright. However, if someone breaks this contract, then those who are receiving the item without agreeing to the contract are free to spread the idea. For example, movie studios would probably still have a theater-only release period. If a "screener" is released, though, then only the person who leaked the video is in violation of a contract.

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fergalish
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February 14, 2011, 08:25:27 AM
 #74

An IP-like contract would be perfectly alright. However, if someone breaks this contract, then those who are receiving the item without agreeing to the contract are free to spread the idea. For example, movie studios would probably still have a theater-only release period. If a "screener" is released, though, then only the person who leaked the video is in violation of a contract.
This seems more reasonable.  But...
1. Film studios might never release their products for DVD after the theatre period - what's in it for them?
2. I once saw a film that was pirated by using a hand-held in the cinema.  I didn't realise until someone in front of the camera got up and (presumably) went to the toilet.
3. Musicians would have a hard time making money - after their first concert all the music would be copied and distributed.  Lower quality yeah, but we're not all audiophiles.
4. How about authors and journalists?
5. Computer games writers?

So the only way, then, to protect IP rights, even if only for a short time, is to introduce severe penalties for whoever leaks the content, so much so, that everyone who signs the contract fears for themselves.  Woe betide whoever misplaces their legitimate copy, or is robbed of it, and finds themselves in hospital the next day with two broken legs.  Don't get me wrong, I think the IP system in force now is ridiculous and way oversize.  Personally I'd love to return to a system of traveling musicians and bards, playing to small groups in return for dinner and a bed.  But I realise that that'd be difficult now, and most of humanity almost certainly disagrees with me.


Sell your scarce brain, not your non-scarce output!
Nobody will buy it if they cannot be assured that its output can be protected.

My understanding of the "social contract" question is that, e.g. in the US, the founding fathers formulated the constitution, with popular consent....
Let me ask a question, suppose the people of Egypt manage to get their choice of president....
Nobody has answered these two questions regarding the social contract, see page 3 of this thread.  If I'm just an ignorant fool who should read the answer to the first question elsewhere because it's already been answered a thousand times, please point me to the right place.  But how about the second re. Egypt?
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February 14, 2011, 10:11:43 AM
 #75

edit.

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State-less capitalist society = Mafia run society. Capitalist apologists who support such this, are not anarchists.
ribuck
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February 14, 2011, 10:32:23 AM
 #76

1. Film studios might never release their products for DVD after the theatre period - what's in it for them?

There are always people who will prefer to buy tangible products from the primary source. The original studio has "first mover" advantage which will count for quite a lot too. But the studios will no longer be able to exploit their monopoly by (e.g.) releasing in some continents several months before they release in the rest of the world, or by releasing products that are inferior to the free ones (e.g. DRM-laden).

Consider that great music was composed and performed long before copyright existed. Consider that there are companies making money from bottled water, when you can get water almost for free from the tap. Consider that iTunes is successfully selling many songs that you can hear for free on YouTube any time you like.

Creativity flourishes without violence (or the threat thereof).
caveden
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February 14, 2011, 10:50:03 AM
 #77

Say, for instance, a musician is playing something on the street you're passing by. Let's assume for all effects that both you and him have all the right to be there where you are doing whatever you're doing.

Agreed, but you didn't sign any contract with the musician in this case.  Suppose I permit you to enter my property and listen to my music only if you agree to certain terms and conditions.  Then what?

Then the contract may be enforced. That's the closest you can get to IP, through voluntary contracts.

But that's not IP, at least not how state laws make it be. You could enforce your contract over the person that agreed on it. But if this person disrespects the contract and sell this music to somebody else, you could not enforce anything on this third person who had nothing to do with you.
Like, a marriage contract may have some clause stipulating punishments to a spouse in case of adultery, but not to the lover!  Tongue

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fergalish
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February 14, 2011, 12:31:13 PM
 #78

Consider that great music was composed and performed long before copyright existed.
Are you speaking of the time of great composers like Mozart and Beethoven?  The were patronized by wealthy families, royalty, or churches, each of which was wealthy because... can you guess?  It wasn't from free market competition, I can tell you that.  And if you're talking about more modern times, well there wasn't the problem of mass copying.  Pre-vinyl the skill was in the performance as much as the composing, and you couldn't record it.  For vinyl, mass unauthorised copying wasn't possible without big expensive machinery.  Cassette copying was much simpler but caused a notable downgrade in quality.  The "problem" of unauthorised copying of music is *exclusively* a problem of the digital age.

Quote
Consider that there are companies making money from bottled water, when you can get water almost for free from the tap.
This is not a good thing, though.  In fact, bottled water is probably one of the biggest debacles in the history of marketing.  I remember I saw a great youtube presentation about where the bottled water market came from, and how it came to be as it is.  Look for "say no to bottled water" "stop bottled water" and so on.

You know, there's a thing about this libertarianism.  Here you say "look at bottled water", but bottled water is a sham.  Someone else said "look at the internet in somalia, it's great now" but if you want people to look at Somalia and think how great libertarianism is, well, think again.  If only half of what wikipedia says is true, things in Somalia seem to be terrible. So it may well be better now than under government, but if you're already living in the gutter it's not so hard to pull yourself up now, is it?

But if this person disrespects the contract and sell this music to somebody else, you could not enforce anything on this third person who had nothing to do with you.
Like, a marriage contract may have some clause stipulating punishments to a spouse in case of adultery, but not to the lover!  Tongue
This is perfectly logical.  A creates, sells under restrictive contract to B, who breaks contract and sells to C.  A has no recourse against C.  Agreed.  I'd just be dubious that A will sell his creativity given the lack of recourse against unauthorised copying.  Except at a very high price.  B, of course, will be reluctant to pay a high price in something that they will, certainly, eventually have very little control over.  It's just my opinion, you may well disagree.  Only an experiment will tell - and I mean a 100 year long experiment in libertarian/anarchist economics.
kiba
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February 14, 2011, 01:01:18 PM
 #79

One thing is true for sure:

IP proponents have no ball to experiments.  Wink

caveden
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February 14, 2011, 01:20:54 PM
 #80

This is perfectly logical.  A creates, sells under restrictive contract to B, who breaks contract and sells to C.  A has no recourse against C.  Agreed.  

Great then, we agree that there should be no IP, just contracts. Smiley

I'd just be dubious that A will sell his creativity given the lack of recourse against unauthorised copying.  Except at a very high price.  B, of course, will be reluctant to pay a high price in something that they will, certainly, eventually have very little control over.  It's just my opinion, you may well disagree.  Only an experiment will tell - and I mean a 100 year long experiment in libertarian/anarchist economics.

There are several ways producers of content may assure their earnings. People would still find a way to escape, but it would be a minority. For example, watermarking digital content like movies delivered to movie theaters or downloaded. Software could be delivered in closed markets like what's happening for mobile applications. Web applications are another way to charge for software without actually delivering it. Advertises could be embedded or displayed before allowing the download of music/video. Musicians may earn their lives making shows. There are many ways...

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