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Author Topic: Intellectual Property - In All Fairness!  (Read 95928 times)
Karmicads
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August 23, 2011, 11:31:57 AM
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I have recently taken the time to review a particular thread, Read this before having an opinion on economics" which was begun (by bitcoin2cash) in support of a particular book "Economics In One Lesson." by Henry Hazlitt. I have decided to begin a new thread for several reasons. Firstly the name of the thread and the issue it was swiftly co-opted by,(that of IP) made a tangential subject of Hazlitt's book, while the name of the thread became a misnomer. Second the above thread didn't for my BTC, tend towards any equitable resolution, but rather, it trailed off without fully addressing some fundamentals, which were only lightly brushed upon. Finally that thread has been dead for sometime, so I thought I would try to give the Intellectual Property debate some air, with a more fitting title and start again.

Having read the thread completely, I also read through Economics In One Lesson, for some context over the whole thread (in case it was relevant). I was, I must say, presently surprised at what turned out to be a very inspiring affirmative book, that reminded me, that the more I learn about economics, the more it seems I already knew. Not to be a smart ass, but I've been saying the same sort's of things for decades and Hazlitt only confirms them. In light of the above thread, I was expecting an obtuse diatribe of sophist rhetoric, to justify a preconceived agenda. I think it's quite instructive that Hazlitt's book, lends so much import to technical innovation and invention and following the central theme of the book illustrated by the 'The Broken Window' analogy, we can clearly see an irony emerge in the application of this principal to the special pleadings of the Anti-IP brigade. In this book, Hazlitt makes no overt pronouncements of his views of Intellectual Property, but If read without bias, the treatise makes a case as damning to the special pleadings of Anti-IP crusaders as any special interest. Perhaps the most overt testimony Hazlitt makes for an endorsement of IP though, is the very first thing presented in the book. No not in the first chapter. Not in the preface. Not even in the Contents list, but before all that, his book sets the record straight:

Quote
ECONOMICS IN ONE LESSON
Copyright, 1946, by Harper & Brothers
Printed in the United States of America
All rights in this book are reserved. No part of
the book may be reproduced in any manner
whatsoever without written permission except
in the case of brief quotations embodied in
critical articles and reviews. For information
address Harper 6 ̄ Brothers
r.-c

I should note, this is not issue of contention for Hazlitt, who implicitly endorses IP in the tenets of his Economics, as well as embracing it as a function of his professional life. The irony goes to those who would elevate this publication with the merit it so clearly deserves and yet fail so completely to apply its lesson to their own position.

I can honestly declare I have a fair degree of ambivalence regarding IP as it stands today, not because I feel that it should be abolished, but because it so often serves the less deserving interests at the expense of those who it should be protecting. I personally have failed to find the capital required to launch innovations due to the complexity, paperwork and expense of patent law. I have also, foolishly (without non-disclosure agreements), trusted people and consequently had innovations that were the earnest fruits of my mind, used by people I can reasonably assume would not have otherwise had them and commercialized for good profit. Had I been better placed or supported, I would have been the (I will say 'rightful') beneficiary.

If anybody is going to benefit from the providence of a good idea, then it should at least in some part be the innovator themselves. The problem in a world without any reward structures for intellectual providence, is that it not only destroys the incentives of the creative endeavor but leaves those who would innovate in the gutter, while those who have no part in the creation of a valuable idea, to profit from the spoils. There should be no need to restate the free-rider problem. What concerns me, is not to restrict the liberty of the end-user from having the object and using it, but the misappropriation of the creative process that adds value to the finished product.

Argument's of shrill, petulant indignation. for the liberty of a person to obtain and posses the creative product, once divorced from it's physical medium, give no consideration for where the value of the thing comes from. All value is equated to the material instance of the thing and none to the value of the intangible creative component that makes the thing so much more than just a blob of matter. Disregarding the value proposition, in the creative processes is as limited and biased as anything Hazlitt mentioned in his book.

One thing we should dispense with from the outset, is the petulant recourse to a slippery slope of escalating retaliation, that some Anti-IP libertarian crusaders like to resort to. A LAW is a LAW. That doesn't guarantee it is morally just, not by any means. Almost everybody knows laws they find ethically unsatisfactory. I might prefer, to be allowed to go wandering naked in the streets and claim this liberty to be an unalienable right. I have the right to take this position as a matter of principal. In practice however, I have to acknowledge that I am a member of a (however imperfectly) democratic society and that however intensely earnest my own convictions may be, I am not above the law and that the rule of law applies to all the laws I do like, as well as those I don't.

The simple fact that any law when disobeyed, will lead to a similar escalation in punitive repercussions, does not give recourse to any argument about the ethical validity of the particular law that is being enforced. Whether it is littering loitering or looting, you will be expected to face the consequences. And yeah the law can be a proper ass. Most libertarians have a whole slew of contentious bones to pick, before we proclaim we're satisfied with the ethical values of the law. But as they say in the big house, if you do the crime, be prepared to do the time.

It's sufficient to say that you disagree with a law, but what makes it wrong, should not rely on the fact that it will lead to repercussions if not obeyed. The argument that Intellectual property is right or wrong either way, should stand or fall on it's own merit, not on the consequences of it being enforced. It goes without saying that an unjust law encroaches on our liberties but disobeying law is not one of our liberties. Pretending that it shouldn't be law, because of the consequences implicit in disobeying that law, is simply begging the question.

In a similar vein, I see there is a tendency to appeal to the un-policeable nature of IP law, such that if by some furtively covert means you could sidestep it, that somehow demonstrates that there was no ethical basis for the motive behind enshrining it in the first place. I'm referring here to the convoluted scenarios being entertained about how the contents of a book or a blueprint might fall into the wrong (or right - depending on your view) hands. Whether by X-ray glasses, telescopes or by the transgression of a third party, the laborious details are hammered out to show just how the Anti-IP crusader can 'get away' with an act of espionage, as if to proclaim that the futility of policing the law, somehow demonstrates their ethical precedence, in claiming it to be unjust.

What needs to be considered before all else, is the underlying justifications for our society having invested our reward system in recognizing intellectual accomplishment and the value proposition, engendered by those who are able to manifest it. What is considered to be 'property' by this standard, is the product of the social collective, who value the intellectual fruits of talented minds, that are (and rightly should be) entitled to fair rewards for their innovative creativity, toils and tenacity, from inspiration through, research, design, prototypes and on to licencing and production. It's hard enough for the inventor as it is to catch a break and the proposition that coming up with a good idea is easy, is what you might expect to hear from any damn fool who literally has NO IDEA!

You tell me that you have come up with any ORIGINAL idea that is as remotely useful as a paper-clip for instance, and that you have been through the trial and tribulations, from the first moment of inspiration to seeing you idea realized and rolling off the production line, then you tell me that good ideas are plentiful. You tell me how pleased you will be to stand there, having made neither cent nor satoschi, for the benefit you have bestowed upon the world, while some greedy tyrant, who sold out on you or just used your idea if you gave it up freely, is now on the way to being worth millions. I doubt that anybody so flippant as to claim 'ideas are plentiful', would ever have the slightest chance of ever being in this situation. Inventing is like rescuing victory from the jaws of defeat and almost nobody wants you to win, no matter how damn honest you are. Let me see the anti-IP crusader who has genuine valuable ideas, that are worthy of pilfering for profit set about realizing them or giving them up freely.

Otherwise, I would like to be enlightened exactly how, without the basic protection of IP, an honest but poor, diligent, hard working inventor, can have any hope of creating ideas so valuable that are worth stealing but be granted the benefit of taking them to the market. The original idea is obviously a subject of some value if anybody else might like to make use of it. That by the way, is NOT increasing the plenitude of ideas (hint: It's still the same idea if you simply copy it.). You cant proclaim that ideas are plentiful because they may be copied. Copying an idea and originating it are worlds apart In principal. If you are talented enough to have your own ideas worth paying for then you shouldn't have any need to endorse the profiting from ideas that are originated by others. Go have your own ideas if you profess them to be so plentiful. And nobody is precluding anybody from possessing and using the manifestations of an idea that is protected by IP. The example given in 'Against Intellectual Property', which point's out that: "If I invent a technique for harvesting cotton,
your harvesting cotton in this way would not take away the technique from me." is a prime example of disingenuous sophistry.

Theres a huge difference between being allowed to buy a cotton harvester, manufactured under licence and incorporating a royalty for it's inventor and not being permitted to use an instance of the intellectual property. You will not be asked to pay the price of having the monopoly to USE something, but simply to manufacture and market it. Of course the idea of invention are non-exclusive, that's the beauty; the inventor recognizes a need and solves a problem that is not just manifest in the single instance s/he first sees it and solves it, but by generalizing that solution s/he see the potential to solve the same problem on a much wider scale. It seems to me that the Opponents of IP cant make this distinction between USE and manufacture. In order to prevail in their views, they hold to rigid semantics of arbitrary definitions, wherein 'work' can only be valued if it is physical labor and 'possessions' or 'belongings' must be tangible assets not some some intellectual concept that you cant directly touch, taste, see, hear or smell. The concepts of their value system are held to be tangibles and that is that.

Since discovering bitcoin I have learned so much about economics and I have plenty more to learn yet. One thing I had always known, but has been reiterated over and again, in everyday life it is so easy to habitual forget, is that ALL value is subjective. I had long known and acknowledged the momentarily enlightening principal, that something is only worth what somebody is prepared to pay for it. But to carry that with me and recognize that things do not have any intrinsic value is another matter. We all subjectively value things on our own terms. Yet it's hard not to think as if the ounce of gold or glass of beer is valuable in it's own right. We know there are many others who will agree with us and conspire to place value in the object. We are the ones who objectify things with value, whether individually or collectively. Nevertheless, all value embedded in anything of human value, originates from the subjective idea that is borne of this primal subjective desire. Value itself is an idea. There is nothing less legitimate about the value of an idea, just because it has no immediate manifestation in the physical world. As soon as it does, we may throw away the, idea and only value the item that has benefited from incorporating it, or we may see that  the intellectual providence or talent imbued in it by creative thought, is intrinsic to it and what gives it value. It is subjective value by any measure.

What has happened in history, is that we have started out with physical things, which can have value, only by virtue of their utility function or aesthetic appeal, then progressively the value of the creative intellect or art, has been liberated from the utility of the tangible medium.  A famous sculptor or painter could be rewarded well for the providence of their talent, but they could only expect a one-off payment for each piece of art they produce. Nevertheless the renown and popularity they might well deserve for their creative product, is likely be manifest in the inordinately high price paid if the art pieces were in good demand and were perceived subjectively to have aesthetic (or perhaps abstract conceptual) value. It's far from likely that highly prized art such as this is likely to have any price correlation to the canvas, the paint or the timber in the frame. The materials that make the piece, in other words, you might  ironically say, are actually immaterial. The reward for the merit of the artists talent is practically the whole essence of the value and the confinement of this art to it's physical medium contributed to it's rarity. The renascence painter may get no royalty today, nor would his descendants, but then the paintings sold could command higher value, because they were each one of a kind.

Moving on to the book publishing industry of more modern times, the ability to print copies of a book, enables the talent of an author to be shared by many more people, but obviously the individual rarity of the creative product is not as potent. Publishers aspire to selling in volume because theirs is a mass produced product. The author is rewarded the same way but to a lesser degree. If their work is highly prized they make more even if they make much less per unit value. It's easy to see that the publishers have a job to do and have to compete in the market for business. They ad an important component to the value that is the whole value of the book. Likewise the printers contribute paper ink and printing services that are factored into the whole price. The bookstores buy at wholesale and add their markup to cover expenses and profits, so that we can go shopping and buy a book. Now the Anti-IP crusader claims that the only one not deserving of payment is the one who wrote the book in the first instance. The one who provided all the creative talent to begin with, is begrudged the right to lay claim to the creative output of their own mind.

Sure you can point out that you have the physical means to download and print a book and that doing so is nobody's business because you are only using your own equipment. That A) what you do with your own equipment is your own business and B) any effort to impose a restriction on you is an imposition on your liberties. The question is this. Let's say you want the physical book because you want to give it to somebody (who still likes physical books) as a gift. If you HAD bought the book from a bookshop then, and so you had happily paid for the physical product of paper and inkalong with the editors services and the service that the bookshop provides, and everybody involved with the production of the book; are you then, still going to begrudge the only vital and necessary contributor to this finished product; the author? In that protracted gravy train, of middlemen and coat tail jockeys, would you choose the only person with any real talent and the one who provides the primary reason to produce a book in the fist instance, and say that the dollar they earn from a $20 book is unjustified? If their creative contribution were not worth paying for, you might as well go buy a pretty blank pad of nicely stationed paper, bound in a fitting cover and give that to Aunt Betsy, saying "I would have bought you the latest Daniel Steele title, but I couldn't bring myself to pay royalties for the authors talent".

Laws are fully intended to impose on your liberties.  Are we so self possessed as to claim that because we own our own car, gas pedal and foot that our liberty is being imposed upon if we can't go screaming through quiet suburban streets at 100 MPH? The risk of hitting a child chasing a ball onto the road might be nothing but an intangible, remote probability, at least till it happens. If the argument holds that it's your car and your foot and nobody has the right to tell you what to do with it, then undermining somebodies livelihood with your unlimited liberty to use your computer and printer may quite sensibly seem have little consequence. The point is not to invoke a contrived reductio ad absurdum equating copyright violation to killing children, but that we agree as a society, to limit the consequences of some potential outcomes, by surrendering some liberties. It's simply not true that just because you own something, it's your unassailable right to do with it, whatever you wish.

I'll be the first to admit that the copyright laws are way off beam, especially to the extent that they confer the rights to royalties well beyond the lifetime of the author/artist. But to contend that they should be abolished completely is also way beyond the pail. In exercising your 'liberties' to the extent of using your own equipment for self serve entertainment, I am somewhat ambivalent there. Most of what we help ourselves to that way, comes under the heading of stuff we never would have never paid for, if we had no choice. So there's an argument to be made that the artist is not loosing a paying customer. But what of the many paying customers who do willingly buy the real thing? If you remove the mechanism by which the writer/artist/performer is assured of their reward, there should be something in place to ensure they are offered what they deserve. If anybody should be cut out of the gravy train, the least deserving of such reform is the talent.

In music and other multimedia it's becoming more practical to get rid of the middleman and I have much less problem with that. I'd like to think people could be generous and voluntarily offer the artist a token of appreciation for their work, but in entertainment and aesthetic arts, it is much easier for the performer/artist to bid for their own reward. They are in the business of being known, popular and liked. It certainly seems unfair though, that two or three generations of a pop star's descendants/beneficiaries, get to be born with a silver spoon in their mouths and want for nothing, just because their granddaddy/mommy was somewhat talented. You might give a little coin voluntarily to who ever you like while their music/performance gives you entertainment, and that would rightfully dry up in the timely manner as the fans dictate.

You are however, hardly likely to buy a loaf of bread at the store, and say to the assistant: "Here, this is a 10 cent tip, because I want you to see too it, that the guy who invented the little plastic tag that keep my bread bag closed is rewarded for his inventive contribution." Ten cents is all he might cost you in your whole life, for his part in the cost of taking this innovation to market, but without IP laws he might receive nothing and possibly never did. The huge number of similar innovations we regularly take for granted, are embedded into our multitudes of products and services in such a way as we would never hope to individually reward the creative talent that has manifested in them. Moreover, we expect our products to compete on price so we want the best premium of value we can get, regardless of the fact that creative rewards are inbuilt. If anybody is taking a free ride there, it's not the poor inventor guy, who more often than not get's screwed over by the money people and marketing parasites. To axe IP wholesale, would do most damage to the deserving talent and intellectual benefactors of our current time.

Meanwhile there is still no valid philosophical justification, for why the virtuous idea or concept, should not be granted the imprimatur of a possession. It's a mater of fact that as a society we agree to do so, and that is because we have grown up in a world in which ideas have been gradually liberated from their physical constraints. The value of anything is subjective and society on the whole, is better off if we seek to reward that which we perceive to have value. In particular where practical invention is concerned the idea, if it is indeed a good idea, deserves some guarantee that just because it is comprised of intangible information, that the originator will not be sold short and their idea allowed to be stolen from them by opportunists, who will take advantage of the profitable value it may manifest without even acknowledging the originator.

It's all very well to cynically propose that you might have thought of the same idea independently but the purpose of patenting is to establish a priority. In a sense it's like solving the current block in the block-chain and 'staking a claim' to the treasure. I can remember the crude schoolyard protocol of 'finders keepers, losers weepers'. But that was often challenged by the plaint 'Hey! I saw it first'. Patenting establishes who has first rights to an original concept, even if the process is bewilderingly complex and expensive. We store information as a repository of value between the block-chain and our bitcoin.dat wallet files and so bitcoin demonstrates that information can be used purely as a store of value. We are way beyond saying that nobody can own information or a particular pattern. You can give me your wallet.dat file if you disagree. Information can be of mutual value and so it must be granted equitable protocols of origin, ownership and distribution. Who's to say what protocols are fair? I think we all are. I can think of nothing worse than the nihilistic anarchy, of throwing our arms up and saying "If you think of a good idea, it belongs to nobody". Even 'finders keepers' is more civilized and conducive of equanimity than that.

Sorry for the long rant.  Roll Eyes
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August 23, 2011, 03:22:25 PM
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Intellectual property is incompatible with Libertarianism.

If you want to own a idea then don't share it with anyone. Telling me what I can and can't do with my pen and my paper is claiming ownership over my pen and paper. That's little more than theft.

If you sell me a book, you are free to set the terms of the purchase. If you want me to sign a contract that says I can't make copies of that book, that's possible. However, if I violate that contract and show it to a third party, that third party is under no contract and can do whatever they want, including, making copies of it.

You can't even provide evidence that, aside from the issues of injustice in controlling the usage of property you don't own, that we are even better off without intellectual property. For every work of art you show, I can show another that doesn't exist because it was prevented from being made, being deemed a "derivative". For every patent you can show me, I can show you someone suffering because they can't have the same thing generically and cheaper. Intellectual property rights help us. That's self-evident. Intellectual property rights also hurt us. That's also self-evident. Can you prove which outweighs which? No, you can't. Therefore it's irresponsible to endorse a course of action that you can't even justify on practical grounds, even ignoring that it's injustice to control property that I rightfully own.
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August 23, 2011, 04:06:43 PM
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Intellectual property is incompatible with Libertarianism.

If you want to own a idea then don't share it with anyone. Telling me what I can and can't do with my pen and my paper is claiming ownership over my pen and paper. That's little more than theft.

If you sell me a book, you are free to set the terms of the purchase. If you want me to sign a contract that says I can't make copies of that book, that's possible. However, if I violate that contract and show it to a third party, that third party is under no contract and can do whatever they want, including, making copies of it.

You can't even provide evidence that, aside from the issues of injustice in controlling the usage of property you don't own, that we are even better off without intellectual property. For every work of art you show, I can show another that doesn't exist because it was prevented from being made, being deemed a "derivative". For every patent you can show me, I can show you someone suffering because they can't have the same thing generically and cheaper. Intellectual property rights help us. That's self-evident. Intellectual property rights also hurt us. That's also self-evident. Can you prove which outweighs which? No, you can't. Therefore it's irresponsible to endorse at course of action that you can't even justify on practical grounds, even ignoring that it's injustice to control property that I rightfully own.

I agree with the sentiment but what if you have an idea that requires you to hire programmers to implement?  Would you feel that you owned the product they made or that it should be available for free?

Bonus question: if as a result of your product being cracked, you have no money from sales from payroll, do you feel a moral obligation to pay your staff anyway?



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August 24, 2011, 07:14:36 AM
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Intellectual property is incompatible with Libertarianism.

Chanting mantras as if to be presenting rational arguments, is incompatible with freethinking. So as a freethinker that presents me with a dilemma. You appear to be saying "You can't be in my club if you don't accept X Y and Z" That's called a religion. If libertarianism is a religion, then I accept your exclusion.

Quote
If you want to own a idea then don't share it with anyone.

Well the world would be in a fine state, if everybody who ever had a good idea, kept it to themselves. As it happens, sharing an idea does nothing to change who 'owns' it. Credit is rightfully given to the originator of the idea, so It's my idea no matter who I do or don't share it with. It certainly doesn't sound very 'libertarian' of you to be attempting to dictate who I can or cant share my ideas with.  

Quote
Telling me what I can and can't do with my pen and my paper is claiming ownership over my pen and paper. That's little more than theft.

Absolute nonsense. There are a myriad of things you cant legally do with your pen and paper, simply because you profess they are your possessions. You cant write death threats, defamatory letters, or pick up the pen and jab someone's eye out with it. Possession of an object is no assurance that you have the right do do anything you want with it. I already illustrated this in my OP, with the analogy of speeding. Is it theft that the law prohibits speeding, because it places restrictions on what you can and cant do with your car and your foot? Another way of looking at this, is that you DO in fact have the right to use your pen and paper in any way you wish. But with rights come responsibilities. You have the right to use your pen anyway you wish. However you also have the responsibility to accept the consequences of your choices. I don't much care for playing devils advocate on behalf of the law as there's loads of BS authoritarian control I deplore, but your claim to ownership of an object, as giving you free reign to do absolutely anything you wish is nonsense.

If it's not theft when one law is enforced, it's not theft when ANY law is enforced. Theft itself is defined in law, indeed by law. It describes particular situations and they don't include situations where the state exercises it's power to enforce the law. If you have a concept of ownership and theft that overrides law, then others are free to agree or disagree because it's purely hypothetical, but nobody id duty bound to honor your protocols. Meanwhile we have working protocols in place that not only enforce the limits placed on ownership, but protect the rights. You may complain about speed limits, restricting as they do, your freedom to use your own property as you see fit, but if your car is stolen and you go to the police to report it, then you are stepping back from your autonomous concept of ownership/theft and into the protocols of ownership and theft that the law mandates. We cant have our cake and eat it too. If the law is expected to protect us, we are expected to accept the bounds of freedom. It's certainly no 'anti-libertarian' to acknowledge the rule of law even if we would prefer to modify it.  

Quote
If you sell me a book, you are free to set the terms of the purchase. If you want me to sign a contract that says I can't make copies of that book, that's possible. However, if I violate that contract and show it to a third party, that third party is under no contract and can do whatever they want, including, making copies of it.

I also addressed this in my OP. It's rather futile to make any point about how a legitimate claim and contract can be unlawfully and unethically bypassed, If the point in question is should the author have the right to IP protection. The practical considerations of enforceability or policability of a law, has no baring ethical considerations of whether it is a just law.  To quote the OP:

Quote
"In a similar vein, I see there is a tendency to appeal to the un-policeable nature of IP law, such that if by some furtively covert means you could sidestep it, that somehow demonstrates that there was no ethical basis for the motive behind enshrining it in the first place. I'm referring here to the convoluted scenarios being entertained about how the contents of a book or a blueprint might fall into the wrong (or right - depending on your view) hands. Whether by X-ray glasses, telescopes or by the transgression of a third party, the laborious details are hammered out to show just how the Anti-IP crusader can 'get away' with an act of espionage, as if to proclaim that the futility of policing the law, somehow demonstrates their ethical precedence, in claiming it to be unjust."


Quote
You can't even provide evidence that, aside from the issues of injustice in controlling the usage of property you don't own, that we are even better off without intellectual property.

I cant provide evidence that we are better off for the existence of any law. Until a person has a particular claim to violation of a particular law and takes it up with the authorities, then the protections of law are moot. Even then, the law can only serve in the specific interests of the plaintiff or person lodging a complaint. The benefits assumed, that the law acts as a deterrent in general, is a less quantifiable proposition. It's rather like the argument put forward by Hazlitt that the alternative repercussions of any economic policy may be less obvious. Building a bridge to create employment on 'public works' for example, tends to create the illusion of productivity and employment. It presents a positive impact for those individuals that can be directly seen, but less obvious is the cost encumbered by the taxpayer and where else those dollars may have been spent.

If you had read Hazlitt's book and really understood the extended consequence of "The Broken Window", I wouldn't expect you to pose such a contrived, parochial, one sided case. Hazlitt also repeatedly throughout his book, presents numerous affirmations of the collective value of invention and entrepreneurial innovation. You cant be much of an economist if you fail to comprehend the basic motives of effort and reward, wherein rewards are afforded to those who make an effort to provide something of value.  

Quote
For every work of art you show, I can show another that doesn't exist because it was prevented from being made, being deemed a "derivative".

You can? I didn't realize it was illegal to make reproductions or derivative art works. What I thought was illegal in art at least, is attempting to create a reproduction, and then pass it off as the original. However talented anybody may be in painting a convincing repro of the Mona Lisa for example, as far as I know it's not considered illegal to do so. But if you then attempt to sell the repro as the original, I understand that it will rightfully be seen a fraud. The context of value as it pertains to art, is instructive as I pointed out in the OP, that it demonstrates that there may be great subjective value in it, that goes way beyond the physical utility of the materials used. The artist creates potential value and that is endorsed by the demand for their work.

Nothing about that prevents another artist from attempting to emulate the original, but only the market can decide if there is similar value in the reproduction or derivative work. It should come as no surprise that derivative works attract less esteem and value, since they tend to aspire to emulate great works that are already highly regarded. In art there tends to be no second prize and that actually demonstrates the value of the originality imbued in a work by the artist. That is to say, paint, canvas and timber frames have some utility function that describes their value, but the value imbued by original creativity and the talent in expressing it, is something that market forces may deem to be of value way beyond the utility of the material medium.

Even in the absence of IP laws, it is obvious that the intangibility of ideas, creativity and talent, are worth paying for. For as long as original art has existed, we have demonstrated this by agreeing to pay for art whatever we perceive it to be worth. That is typically far beyond the material value of the media used in producing it. Nor do we simply total the cost of supplies and then add an hourly rate to account for the time the artist spent producing the work. No! The talent and skills inherited by the medium is expressed by an aesthetic or abstract function all of it's own. In the case of paintings, sculpture or other one-off original art, there is little need for IP to protect the value of the artist's talent, since you cant copy the work and still have the value of the original transfered. Your copy will be limited in value according to what the market deems worthy of your own work.

As far as a patent IP goes in the endeavor of invention, I hardly think you could make any valid case that it has on the whole, prevented progress of the kind characterized by improvements of a derivative nature from existing inventions. The primitive automobile was known as horseless carriage, due to the obvious derivativeness due to the evolution of invention, was not prevented from emerging. Nor was the ball point pen you profess so exclusively to own, possible to have emerged without it's historical legacy, in being derived from the quill and then the fountain pen. If you claim that IP laws make derivative forms impossible, than the onus is on you to support this assertion. Meanwhile, it appears to be self evident you are ignoring obvious facts to the contrary. Derivative works are apparently replete throughout the world of invention. You may very well make your petulant plaints, expounding your liberties to do what you wish with your pen an paper, but they might just as well been represented as a right to do the same with a fountain pen, a quill or a chisel and hammer. Instead you make them on a modern computer and ignore the value that all intermediaries of invention, have afforded you in the creative process.

If you think that's somehow unfair, that nobody want's to pay for your reproduction or derivative work and give you the same level of esteem or praise for your talent as they do for the original, that's just stiff luck really, but it has nothing to do with IP law. Market forces will ultimately determine the value of anything (whether IP laws exist or not), and the underwhelming lack of demand for repros, derivative works and copycat ideas, is a function of market forces, not IP laws. Even if I have massive investment in world wide IP protection, design rights and every imaginable protection made possible by law, that in no way assures me that my idea will translate to any measure of 'value' endorsed by the market.

I could spend millions on the chemistry required to develop an adhesive to stick wet noodles to your head and invest hundreds of thousands in IP protection for it. Then I could invest a million or more in production and marketing, so that everybody willing to pay a couple of bucks, will have the ability to shave their head bald and don an illustrious head covered with wet noodles. "You remember what it used to be like..." I might implore, "those frustrating hours in front of the mirror trying to get your noodles to sit there and look just right. All those bits of double sided tape that stick to everything but the noodles, and trying to walk along the street with an unnatural posture so your noodles would not slip off your head. Well now theres NoodleFix tm. Wet noodles are no longer a challenge for the fashion savvy noodle head. Just one thin coat, dump a bowl of noodles on your head, wait a minute to set and you're ready to go."

Can you imagine how much benefit I might attain in this case, from my investment in IP? How much benefit should I expect? I don't know, except to say that the market is the place to decide that and my temporary rewards are decided there in proportion to the value that my ideas confer to the community. It's not just some one-sided game that only rewards the artist/inventor. It's hardly even that. I will not be protected from the harsh realities of market forces. In the case of patent IP, it's an investment proposition like any other, with all the inherent risks and pitfalls of any investment. IP protection costs a pretty penny and only protects the inventor against outright copycat commercial exploitation.

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For every patent you can show me, I can show you someone suffering because they can't have the same thing generically and cheaper.

Oh really? OK Let's test your assertion. According to Wikipedia:

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According to the Early Office Museum, the first patent for a bent wire paper clip was awarded in the United States to Samuel B. Fay, in 1867. This clip was originally intended primarily for attaching tickets to fabric, although the patent recognized that it could be used to attach papers together.[1] Fay received U.S. patent 64,088 on April 23, 1867.

Now it's your turn. Show me "someone suffering because they can't have the same thing generically and cheaper." And cheaper than what might I ask? Cheaper than the price it would cost if nobody had ever thought of it, or cheaper than the price you would pay if nobody had ever had to pay a cent to Samuel B. Fay for the benefit of his creative contribution? You wish to undermine the only mechanism of reward we have to simply be a cheapskate and pay the material price of production, while begrudging the tiny fraction of included cost awarded to the originator of the idea itself?

Following the implications of your overwrought appeal to "suffering" for want of "the same thing generically and cheaper", I can't help speculating that you are alluding specifically to the case of pharmaceuticals. Firstly, there is a fair argument to be made that nobody would be suffering any less, for the want of a new drug that is yet to be invented, but only for the want of some incentive to develop it in the first place. You may think that research and development just pops out of thin air and that suffering is alleviated by some miraculously fortuitous accident of chemistry, but those in the pharmacology industry might care to set you straight on that mater.

The argument over ruthless profitering and corporate commercialization is a subject that deserves a separate hearing and of course IP laws can be reigned into the fold of merciless corporate greed, but that is another issue, quite independent of whether the inventor deserves our reward for genuine value bestowed upon the community for their innovations. Once again, it's easy to see that middlemen, money mongers, profiteers and marketers might get the better of the profit for protection bargain, but that in no way, imputes the deserving claim, of the creative mind who originates the idea and gives us something of value. The inventor is more likely to be the victim of ruthless corporate greed and likely to be sold short by some corporate claim to their intellectual property. If you want to actually have access to drugs that reduce suffering (at all) then you need to reward the innovations and provide an incentive to produce them. Nobody is likely to provide you with "generic" alternatives, unless the product is developed by somebody in the first place. For that there needs to be some incentive.

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Intellectual property rights help us. That's self-evident.

Agreed!

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Intellectual property rights also hurt us. That's also self-evident.


I would only challenge that they hurt us due to their existence, rather than that they are are like many implements of state control poorly implemented, misdirected and flagrantly abused by those who have the money/power to do so. I have my own earnest grievances with IP law, but calling for it's abolition, appears to me as so much throwing away the baby with the bath water.

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Can you prove which outweighs which? No, you can't.

And you can?

I think Hazlitt makes the point as well as anybody so far, that the benefits of the alternatives to any policy may be far less than obvious. Would you be enthused, if expected to prove that the productivity and employment of that bridge consigned by the state, might be better spent on the alternative of letting the taxpayer spend the dollars saved and all the myriad of choices and consequences that are available to that end? NO! I have no doubt you would object. That bridge may be more obvious in it's immediate benefits than the case  alternative case for not having it at all. I wouldn't expect YOU to prove all the alternatives made possible by 'no bridge' in order to fairly argue either for or against it. You should know that the alternatives to anything, are a myriad of other alternatives. Arguing X vs Y, where X is a specific thing and Y is a myriad of diffuse alternative is rather like claiming hammers are useless, unless you can use them to nail smoke to the floor.

Nevertheless the state has to make provisions and policy choices. Some of them may be beneficial, others may be lamentable or even disastrous. Pointing to existing provisions and expecting a tidy quantification of all the alternatives to it, is absurdity to the nth degree and you should know it. It should suffice to say, that it's reasonable to expect people to be motivated according to the laws of effort and reward. If they are encouraged (by possible  rewards), to make some effort to produce innovations and that those innovations create some mutual value in society, then it stands to reason that their potential for being rewarded for their creative produce, is enhanced and fostered, in such a way that they will likely be motivated to invent and create things of value. IP is supposed to foster such a reward structure. The expectation in terms of effort and reward, that it tends to do what it sets out to do, is self evident. Whether it is balanced or fair is another issue.

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Therefore it's irresponsible to endorse a course of action that you can't even justify on practical grounds, even ignoring that it's injustice to control property that I rightfully own.

Again, I must caution that you might care to restrain your careless slinging of emotive accusations, such that I have ignored your claims to injustice. If anybody is ignoring anything, it's obvious to me that you have ignored my diligent efforts to address those very same claims in detail and  deal with them at their fundamental core. In the OP I clearly give a detailed examination to that very issue. So enough with your divisive BS about ignorance. It's only you, who is being ignorant here. As for practical grounds, for a system that rewards innovation, I invite your next response to be delivered to all forum participants on individually chiseled  stone tablets. Or am I going to far into our pre-technological past not to allow you the use benefits of the quill an papyrus scroll? Do you think it's more responsible to endorse a course of action, that undermines the reward structures underpinning our whole of technological society? The so called irresponsible coarse of action you allude to, happens to be the status quo, and while it is never certain to have been the best of all histories, you are sitting there reading this on the screen of a modern computer that just a few decades ago, would have been impossible to even imagine. If IP law doesn't help the advance of technology and innovation, as much as it possibly could, it's far from clear how it could be considered a hindrance.

What is beyond irresponsible and verging on absurd, is the endorsement of complete abolition of IP law and all the well deserved rewards of our creative ambassadors who you seem so inclined to take for granted. It's possible to create things without rewards, but it's far less obvious that without incentives to create things that anybody would be likely to do so. You don't need to be greedy to be an innovator. Moreover you're much more likely to care less about material rewards, however it's still possible to be beaten out of the market by greedy competitors when you emerge with your innovative ideas, so that you don't even have the chance to eek out a basic existence.  That is true EVEN NOW. I know this from first hand experience. Even with the current slew of IP laws to offer protection to those who can afford them, there are honest, deserving, innovators who will slip through the cracks and never be allowed to benefit from their own innovation. Would you mind telling me how the abolition of IP laws (as apposed to the reform of them), is supposed to help those little guys? Please explain how the little guy with a  great idea is supposed to benefit from the likes of predators who can think of nothing original themselves. Your Utopian world world of no IP laws, appears to be a parasites paradise.
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August 24, 2011, 08:11:30 AM
 #5

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ECONOMICS IN ONE LESSON
Copyright, 1946, by Harper & Brothers
Printed in the United States of America
All rights in this book are reserved. No part of
the book may be reproduced in any manner
whatsoever without written permission except
in the case of brief quotations embodied in
critical articles and reviews. For information
address Harper 6 ̄ Brothers
r.-c

I swear I've seen this somewhere else before. I think he ripped it off.

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August 24, 2011, 11:10:33 AM
 #6

Karmicads, thank you for a very insightful post on the IP debate.  It's rare to see such a balanced viewpoint; many of the more vociferous people here are often highly polarised in their opinions and it can be difficult to have a rational discussion that doesn't descend into slanging matches.

I would contribute a couple of arguments here, not necessarily applicable to IP law, but more generally to the validity of some legal system.  Take the road and cars.  Here the law says "drive on the left", there it says "drive on the right".  Now, it may well be that, given some peculiar asymmetry in human anatomy, or the laws of physics or chemistry, it is somehow 'better' that we should drive on one side and not the other, and all those countries where you drive on the other side have simply 'got it wrong'.  For sure, though, those countries that have it wrong are certainly better off than a country where there is no imposition and anyone can drive on whichever side they please.

Similarly, current IP law is almost certainly flawed, but I suspect that if there were no such law, we would never have had the steam engine.  This argument does not fare so well in defence of the current entertainment industry, though Karmicads has made it clear that he would be quite happy to see the greedy middleman eliminated.  However, in the global village, it is easily possible for a creative inventor or artist to be greedy aswell.

Here's a hypothetical situation for Karmicads to consider.  Suppose I sweat and labour for a week and manage to write a song that becomes a global craze, but I insist on some small contribution from every person that downloads or otherwise obtains a copy.  After a month I have received enormous wealth from the 'honest' downloaders, and have started a million legal claims of IP theft against the 'dishonest' ones.  Shouldn't there be some point at which this income stops being "earnings" and becomes "greed"?  Isn't there some point at which the inventor or creator has been paid a "fair" amount?

You can't really fall back to the argument that the market will decide how much a fair amount is (the "no such thing as inherent value" argument).  If that's the case, then you implicitly justify 'dishonest' downloading of my song - all downloaders, both honest and dishonest, *are* the market.  If they *all* download without rewarding me, then the market values my work at zero.

Your Utopian world of no IP laws, appears to be a parasites paradise.
Excellent phrase.
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August 24, 2011, 11:32:00 AM
 #7

I'm not against IP laws but i will never support them.

A idea is worthless the moment you have it and for as long as you are keeping it hidden in your mind. The moment you put that idea in practice it becomes priceless , and the moment it's copyable it becomes infinite. IP laws don't protect the inventor from copycats it just hands him a monopoly on an now infinite resource. Now i'm not saying that the inventor shouldn't be reworded for it's idea but IP laws don't reward him , they just grant him monopoly then people can choose to buy it's monopoly infinite resource or not. And as good as a idea is, it  on it's own is worthless , being put in practice is just as important , and the most important is it's utility to people.

A good IP law would be one that promotes and advertises the original , maybe even make the copycats advertise the original so the public can choose to reward the inventor and reward the best practitioner , and one that wouldn't cost me a dime to register my idea.

Any law that ain't based on educating the public ain't worth having. Because in the end the public is the one who choses ,pays and profits. If they don't give a damn about inventors then we shouldn't have inventions. We have to educate the people to buy from those practitioners that support the inventor , if they don't then there isn't much you can do even with IP laws and in my opinion there shouldn't be something you could do.

I have to ask you: If you had the cure for cancer would you patent it and ask royalties or would you leave it in the public domain?

If you patent it are you any better then a drug dealer? Or a kidnapper (give me X*$ or you die)? Or you may choose to make it public domain after you die , that would make your murderer a hero? Or you may choose to keep it to yourself without ever disclosing it , would that make any difference to anybody , maybe to you if you had cancer , but that's it , the public won't know about it so there won't be any cure therefore no benefit. Or you may make it public domain and make contracts with some companies that can produce it and ask them to pass part of the profit and ask the people to buy from those if they want to support you. In my opinion not having something is far better than someone having a monopoly on something especially something infinite.

If they *all* download without rewarding me, then the market values my work at zero.

I would like to give Tesla as an example . He gave us many things but most of it's inventions were kept secret , and in the end he died penniless , and the public never benefited from all his inventions, most ended up in the states arms and will never get out of there. So how did we benefit here from the ip laws or even him?
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August 24, 2011, 05:27:56 PM
 #8

Karmicads, thank you for a very insightful post on the IP debate.  It's rare to see such a balanced viewpoint; many of the more vociferous people here are often highly polarised in their opinions and it can be difficult to have a rational discussion that doesn't descend into slanging matches.

It is a contentious issue ferg. My outlook is more a function of frustrated ambivalence than poised balance, but thanks kindly for your words of support. I have been on the loosing end of my own IP negligence and naive propensity to trust. I was less of a libertarian back then though, so I would have mostly been in it for profit. As a habitual inventor I have scores of potential innovations and only now (or soon) at least have the chance to realize any of them. The burden of ethical ambivalence, for whether to make use of the existing IP provisions, is only exacerbated by my past experience and the realization of how much more ruthless another competitor could be if I weren't able to secure the protection of IP to 'get the jump' as they say. I don't like lining the pockets of lawyers or depriving the market of fair competition, but considering the chances I would have without IP law, I might just as well put my commercial idea on the internet, for the first corporate tyrant to turn into a subsidiary of 'McGreedy Bastards R Us'. In that event the customer would be at the mercy of real tyrants, not just a libertarian/sympathizer and entrepreneur with humanist ethical interests, who'd dare resort to patents. If a benevolent dictator must be given power to reign, in order to forestall a ruthless tyrant, then I should consider my co-opting of IP law as the lesser of two evils.

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I would contribute a couple of arguments here, not necessarily applicable to IP law, but more generally to the validity of some legal system.  Take the road and cars.  Here the law says "drive on the left", there it says "drive on the right". 

So the bastard state rulers in your part of the world, also force you to obey their impositions over freedom too huh? Your car, your steering wheel and your hands, yet they want to sit there, like some backseat driver telling you what side of the road to drive on.  Roll Eyes Who do those asshats think they are, your mother in-law?  Grin Did they ever stop to think a guy might be too drunk to keep the car on just the one side? What are we s'posed to do; Catch a cab? So... now it's theft right out of our pockets, to feed their greedy rich corporate cab drivers and... Oh sorry... I must stop hanging out with the anarchist extremist religious faction, of the libertarian peoples front. Cheesy I think their mantras must have some kinda hypnotic effect.

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Now, it may well be that, given some peculiar asymmetry in human anatomy, or the laws of physics or chemistry, it is somehow 'better' that we should drive on one side and not the other, and all those countries where you drive on the other side have simply 'got it wrong'.  For sure, though, those countries that have it wrong are certainly better off than a country where there is no imposition and anyone can drive on whichever side they please.

Agreed. Intoxication and mothers in-law not withstanding.  Wink

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Similarly, current IP law is almost certainly flawed, but I suspect that if there were no such law, we would never have had the steam engine.  This argument does not fare so well in defence of the current entertainment industry, though Karmicads has made it clear that he would be quite happy to see the greedy middleman eliminated.  However, in the global village, it is easily possible for a creative inventor or artist to be greedy aswell.

Or perhaps they inadvertently gain more than they reasonably deserve. Royalties in the mass entertainment industries are tragically extravagant for the famous upper echelon. They could definitely afford be on a voluntarily reward basis.

Quote
Here's a hypothetical situation for Karmicads to consider.  Suppose I sweat and labour for a week and manage to write a song that becomes a global craze, but I insist on some small contribution from every person that downloads or otherwise obtains a copy.  After a month I have received enormous wealth from the 'honest' downloaders, and have started a million legal claims of IP theft against the 'dishonest' ones.  Shouldn't there be some point at which this income stops being "earnings" and becomes "greed"?  Isn't there some point at which the inventor or creator has been paid a "fair" amount?

It's a fair point. I have nothing against reasonable wealth for the diligent and talented artist/inventor/entrepreneur, but reasonable wealth to me, is just financial independence, as in enough to live comfortably for life, as apposed to your country house and your yacht each being worth enough for several people to live comfortably for life. When you have to think up ways to spend money to improve your standard of living, it's time to think about redirecting it to more deserving causes.

There comes a point where the ridiculously wealthy couldn't possibly justify pretending that their contribution of value to the world, deserves anything like even a tiny fraction the reward they have lured into their feather-bed world of decadent opulence. They should be embarrassed to take advantage of the unlevel playing field that hands them their effortless spoils, for squander on hedonistic indulgence. If only people didn't fawn over them all the more precisely because they are so filthy rich and popular. Copyright lawsuits might be better if they attracted a premium and were incremented exponentially for each subsequent one you launch. But the copyright laws themselves need serious reform and tapering the rewards with sales volume is worth considering. Transparency of sales/royalties might be nice. A community that expects more of artists, in terms of charity work or supporting various causes would also help. People can be compelled by social kudos to return some benefits for their good fortune.

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You can't really fall back to the argument that the market will decide how much a fair amount is (the "no such thing as inherent value" argument).  If that's the case, then you implicitly justify 'dishonest' downloading of my song - all downloaders, both honest and dishonest, *are* the market. If they *all* download without rewarding me, then the market values my work at zero.

The way the disposable music industry is these days, you need high speed internet to even finish downloading before a song goes out of style.  Cheesy I suppose if your music appeals to an audience who prefer to listen without paying (Yo gangsta rappa) Grin, you may have to reap what you sow. I can't say how we might solve the free-rider problem for digitally downloadable content. I still don't consider the existing reward structures of copyright to be fair or suitable, for the entertainment industry and certainly not for software. For entertainers I think they will have to fall back on their personal live contributions doing live interviews and concerts with appearance fees on TV, webcasts and internet radio etc. They can afford to drop their dependence on royalties for traditional recordings, as they have personal popularity in their fan base. Real musicians with real instruments, can and have always had, the option to do live performance. Hit the road Jack and break a leg.  Wink

The kind of IP laws I am more ardent about (patents), are the kind that an inventor needs to rely on to avert being exploited. The free-riders in that context, are other business concerns rather than the public consumers. We cant really treat patents and copyrights like the same kind of entities. One is ridiculously lucrative at the high volume end and lasts more than a lifetime with no barrier to entry, whereas the other is lucrative only for a limited time and almost expects the investor to be a millionaire before they even start. I like one of the suggestions on the "Read this before having an opinion on economics" thread. The patent is charged at a very low nominal fee for the first renewal and must be renewed each year to stay current. Each year it increments exponentially, perhaps double. The monopoly then, is progressively levied towards a break even point, where it would never pay to maintain it. The fees could also work as insurance against legal claims, while the remainder (minus a fair administration fee) could be paid out to the inventor on exit.

Another way I have imagined to curtail unreasonable wealth, is a massively compounding tax on advertising. The saturation advertisers would be taxed out of existence and advertising would be prudently restrained to a respectable level of use. If a company paid twice as much income tax for twice the advertising exposure, you'd get most revenue from those who can most afford to pay. The power to pay for the opportunity of coercion, is a good measure of undeserved wealth, so theres a candidate for good honest revenue. Advertising in excess, is the public manifesto of corporate greed and gluttony. A good administration could practically run on advertising tax. Cool You see, I wouldn't mind government controls nearly as much, if only the state could just play a much more Robin Hood like role.
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Your Utopian world of no IP laws, appears to be a parasites paradise.
Excellent phrase.

Er.. thanks but perhaps that should have read "Your Utopian world of no IP laws, appears to be a parasites paradise.TM" Wink
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August 24, 2011, 06:19:12 PM
 #9

Chanting mantras as if to be presenting rational arguments, is incompatible with freethinking. So as a freethinker that presents me with a dilemma. You appear to be saying "You can't be in my club if you don't accept X Y and Z" That's called a religion. If libertarianism is a religion, then I accept your exclusion.

If I say violence is incompatible with pacifism am I being dogmatic? If I say that an intersection of parallel lines is incompatible with Euclidean geometry am I being dogmatic? Is geometry a form of religion? No. These are just definitions. If you want to be consistently libertarian then you must reject intellectual property laws. If you don't care about being consistently libertarian then you can do whatever you want.

Well the world would be in a fine state, if everybody who ever had a good idea, kept it to themselves.

Fallacy of argumentum ad consequentiam.

As it happens, sharing an idea does nothing to change who 'owns' it. Credit is rightfully given to the originator of the idea, so It's my idea no matter who I do or don't share it with. It certainly doesn't sound very 'libertarian' of you to be attempting to dictate who I can or cant share my ideas with.

Controlling the usage of an idea and receiving credit for originating an idea are two completely separate issues. If I were to take your ideas and claim that I originated them, I would be committing plagiarism, a form of fraud, not theft. There's something known as "my reputation" but my reputation consists entirely of what other people think about me. I don't own the thoughts of others. So even though it's "my" reputation, that doesn't mean it's mine to own and control.

You can? I didn't realize it was illegal to make reproductions or derivative art works.

Then you are even more irresponsible in your attempts to defend intellectual property laws. You don't even know the content of the laws you are defending.

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A “derivative work” is a work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications, which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a “derivative work”.

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Subject to sections 107 through 122, the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:

(1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;

(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;

(3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;

(4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;

(5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and

(6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

Source: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html


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Can you prove which outweighs which? No, you can't.

And you can?

No, I can't. That's fine for me though because I'm not the one advocating the existence of such laws. Since you admittedly can't prove whether intellectual property laws are helpful or harmful, it's irresponsible to advocate them. You're like the religious person that says, "You can't prove God doesn't exist."

Laws that can't be proven to be helpful have no business existing. It's not supposed to be a game of chance based on "gut feelings". You accuse me of being religious but your unproven faith in intellectual property laws is closer to religion than anything I've put forth.

Also, you're very long-winded and I'm a busy person. Keep your responses under 1,000 words, including quotations, or I'll be forced to ignore you. I'm not here to read or write essays. This is supposed to be a conversation.
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August 24, 2011, 06:41:55 PM
 #10

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ECONOMICS IN ONE LESSON
Copyright, 1946, by Harper & Brothers
Printed in the United States of America
All rights in this book are reserved. No part of
the book may be reproduced in any manner
whatsoever without written permission except
in the case of brief quotations embodied in
critical articles and reviews. For information
address Harper 6 ̄ Brothers
r.-c

I swear I've seen this somewhere else before. I think he ripped it off.

Yes, that "No part of the book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission..." does have a familiar ring to it. If it isn't outright plagiarism it's definitely derivative.  Wink
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August 25, 2011, 08:12:03 AM
 #11

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Can you prove which outweighs which? No, you can't.
And you can?
No, I can't. That's fine for me though because I'm not the one advocating the existence of such laws. Since you admittedly can't prove whether intellectual property laws are helpful or harmful, it's irresponsible to advocate them. You're like the religious person that says, "You can't prove God doesn't exist."
You just shot yourself in the foot.  By your argument, since you can't prove that the abrogation of all IP laws would be helpful, then there are no grounds to propose any such an abrogation.  Comparing IP law to religious dogma seems a bit fallacious to me.  IP law serves a specific purpose and has very evident and measurable effects on what it aims to govern.  Religion does not.

If you want to be consistently libertarian then you must reject intellectual property laws. If you don't care about being consistently libertarian then you can do whatever you want.
Well, isn't that the beauty of libertarianism?  We're all free to pick and choose what we like, aren't we?  With no written common consensus on what is and is not acceptable, karmicads can profess to be both pro-IP and pro-libertarianism - otherwise libertarianism is built on contradictory principles.
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August 25, 2011, 09:42:18 AM
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Chanting mantras as if to be presenting rational arguments, is incompatible with freethinking. So as a freethinker that presents me with a dilemma. You appear to be saying "You can't be in my club if you don't accept X Y and Z" That's called a religion. If libertarianism is a religion, then I accept your exclusion.

If I say violence is incompatible with pacifism am I being dogmatic?

No. Non-violence is the central tenet of Pacifism. Would you say that opposition to intellectual property is even a reasonable approximation to being the 'central tenet' of libertarianism? Perhaps you might like to go hunting for people who profess to be pacifists yet condone violence, while I go hunting for people who profess to be libertarians, yet condone IP. Who do you think would return the longest list of names?  

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If I say that an intersection of parallel lines is incompatible with Euclidean geometry am I being dogmatic?
 
Depends. Are you a cosmic string on the event horizon of a black hole? Oh... never mind.  Roll Eyes

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Is geometry a form of religion? No. These are just definitions. If you want to be consistently libertarian then you must reject intellectual property laws.

The problem is, that there are others who don't agree that to be 'consistently libertarian' they MUST 'reject intellectual property laws.' It's the fact that you don't even appreciate you are expounding a moot point, that makes you seem dogmatic. The point of my criticism was that you were appealing to your preferred definition, as if that itself were an argument for or against IP. Would you really be satisfied to encourage somebody into opposition of IP, specifically on the grounds that is the 'done thing' if you consider yourself to be a libertarian? I'm not opposed to violence because I'm a pacifist, but rather I'm a pacifist because I'm opposed to violence. Declaring that these are 'just definitions', has no barring on the merit (or lack thereof) that Intellectual Property may or may not deserve. It's the sort of ploy that religion often uses, appealing to group think and 'If you're not with us your against us' etc.. I'd rather not be drawn into a petty little quibbling session over semantics if it's all the same to you, especially not while the valid issues of ethics are outstanding. If you act like a politician or a preacher however, I'm likely to point it out. Just sayin'.

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If you don't care about being consistently libertarian then you can do whatever you want.

Thanks for your courteous permission. I think I'll just continue to be consistently libertarian, whist remaining somewhat dissatisfied with intellectual property law, seeking it's reform, but endorsing it as a necessary, even vital part of society.

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If you want to own a idea then don't share it with anyone.


Well the world would be in a fine state, if everybody who ever had a good idea, kept it to themselves.

Fallacy of argumentum ad consequentiam.


Having just presented a lamentably consequentialist plaint for opposition to IP (that consequence being that 'you cant really be in the libertarian club' unless you oppose IP) now you are going to try to strawman me with ad consequentiam? WTF? Note in this context, that you are asserting the truth value of a claim (ie Intellectual property is incompatible with Libertarianism),  rather than an ethical appeal to what is good. It is precisely under these circumstances that argumentum ad consequentiam is relevant. The consequence of being compatible with libertarian values, is the objective being enshrined (a desirable consequence), but the truth value of the claim is moot. The reader is enticed by the consequence being a desirable one, yet the desirability of the consequence set forth , has absolutely no baring on the truth value of the claim. Moreover, the implication that IP must be opposed, is slipped right in there, without being evaluated on it's own terms.

Let's just clarify that my previous comment was not made in the service of a formal logical argument, but simply a response to your own prior comment. If you're going to invoke ad consequentiam, it must be noted that simply mentioning a consequence, doesn't necessarily count as a resort to the ad consequentiam fallacy. If somebody makes a claim of a factual nature (ie asserting something to be true or false) and resorts to implying the truth of the claim by appealing to the desirability of it's consequence, THEN there is justified grounds to call ad consequentiam. If they are simply expressing ethical opinion or a statement about the desirability of a circumstance, then the is no grounds to call ad consequentiam. There can be no logical fallacy, in an ethical conjecture that was not set up to establish a point of fact. In the statement "Well the world would be in a fine state, if everybody who ever had a good idea, kept it to themselves." I am lamenting the moral outcome of of a circumstance (ie what is good or bad). Does it sound like it was set up to establish an objective point of logical fact? Hmmm..?  Roll Eyes

It might be very nice if you would quit trying to argue like a disingenuous, sophist. Since it seems to have escaped your parochial self-absorbed attention, the whole issue of IP is entrenced in the ethics of consequential outcomes. There's no point whatsoever having any opinion about it, least of all raising it as your favorite bone of contention, if you insist on holding matters of ethical consequence off the table. But of course you expect nothing of the sort. Your own points are loaded to the hilt, with every opportunity taken to express consequential scenarios. It's also a 'patently' Cool subjective issue of great ethical import. If you consider the various scenarios and examples in the book by Hazlitt, which you upheld as an essential introduction to libertarian values, then you might notice they are also rich in giving credit to the importance of a multitude of intangible consequential outcomes. The central theme (illustrated by The Broken Window analogy) is to enlist our awareness, of the less tangible and less obvious secondary consequences of any particular policy or action. I can scarcely believe you have even read this book, let alone that you understand it and uphold it as a valuable piece of inspiration.

Returning to the actual subject matter of the two comments above, the purpose of pointing out the consequence, of expecting people to remain silent in the event they may have a good idea, was that we would all be much worse off if they did so. In my OP I've laid out a detailed case that innovative original ideas are in fact granted value in our societies. Talent (as in the painting example) is rewarded far beyond the material utility of the medium. That is intended to establish that the intangible quality in a work of original art is agreed in general to be worthy of having value in it's own right. Even though the intangible value of a painting is restrained by the physical medium, we have every reason to agree that physical things are not the only store of value. Paintings are not easily copied, at least the intangible value of an original masterpiece, can't be transfered even to a good reproduction. The physical impracticality tends to make IP redundant as there can only ever be one original Mona Lisa. The point is the perceived value of this intangible talent and original creativity has it's precedent, regardless of whether there are IP laws to protect it and regardless of whether it is constrained by a physical medium.

Considering this, it is not hard to reach the conclusion that original works of creativity and innovation are valued by society at large, and that if we are asking ourselves, as we should be, do inventors and artists deserve to be rewarded for their original, unique and intangible creations, whether they be works of art, toys, tools or household goods; if we wish to establish whether unique acts of creative endeavor are worth paying for independently from the medium then the typical renaissance masterpiece tells us all we need to know. YES the intangible, original creation of the talented mind is entitled to be granted our endorsement of value. A reasonable person should see that the work of creativity has it's own value. For that reason, our society has seen fit to render a reward system so that works of the mind and imagination can be given reward for motivation. That's pretty basic psychology and shouldn't need explaining or proving. Most economists understand the law of effort and reward. Apart from this, there is the aspect of social justice, that having established that an creative idea or invention, in many cases could be credited to somebody other than the originator and deserving beneficiary, or be taken for profit by anybody, there was a need to establish priority in first invention. The patenting system serves a purpose to allow for rewards and credit to be granted to those who contribute a commodity of  mutual value their talent innovation and creative abilities. If you need proof that inventions are valuable, I can assure you that you need a psychiatrist much more.

Not rewarding people for contributions of mutual value to society has easily predictable consequences. They will not only no longer have the motive to deliver their talents and skills for our mutual benefit but their contribution will be squandered, should they withhold their talents. Otherwise if they voluntarily give up their skills and efforts without reward, they will be easy targets of exploitation by greedy undeserving parasites who have no right to profit from the value an innovator might contribute. I don't see how it could be too difficult  to follow this line of reasoning.

So I repeat: "Well the world would be in a fine state, if everybody who ever had a good idea, kept it to themselves."

And yet I still wonder how you can proudly utter such a contemptible antisocial imperative as: "If you want to own a idea then don't share it with anyone."

I have a better idea: If you don't want to live in a society that mutually agrees, to give deserved rewards to people who contribute their creative skills and talents, then go live in a cave and eat worms.  Angry

As it happens, sharing an idea does nothing to change who 'owns' it. Credit is rightfully given to the originator of the idea, so It's my idea no matter who I do or don't share it with. It certainly doesn't sound very 'libertarian' of you to be attempting to dictate who I can or cant share my ideas with.

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Controlling the usage of an idea and receiving credit for originating an idea are two completely separate issues.

You said: "If you want to own a idea then don't share it with anyone." Implying that sharing the idea is somehow mutually inconsistent with owning it.

I pointed out (just for the record): "As it happens, sharing an idea does nothing to change who 'owns' it."  It's still regarded as my idea whoever I might share it with, unless of course it's misappropriated.

And of course "Controlling the usage of an idea and receiving credit for originating an idea are two completely separate issues." That's a very pertinent point that serves my argument. You would do very well to take heed in it. In my OP, I deliberately made this very distinction to counter a contrived grievance in a popular Anti-IP publication (which, incidentally. is also copyrighted  Roll Eyes).

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"And nobody is precluding anybody from possessing and using the manifestations of an idea that is protected by IP. The example given in 'Against Intellectual Property', which point's out that: "If I invent a technique for harvesting cotton,
your harvesting cotton in this way would not take away the technique from me." is a prime example of disingenuous sophistry.

Theres a huge difference between being allowed to buy a cotton harvester, manufactured under licence and incorporating a royalty for it's inventor and not being permitted to use an instance of the intellectual property. You will not be asked to pay the price of having the monopoly to USE something, but simply to manufacture and market it."

None of your rhetorical plaints (because you're not making anything that deserves to be called points), seem to adequately or directly address the aspect of "receiving credit for originating an idea". That is the point of IP and the justification for implementing it in law. You don't seem to want to go near the justifications for tentatively deserved rewards, that patenting in particular makes provision for. The protection of the innovator to gain a very marginal royalty, in a restricted monopoly for a limited time, is unequivocally denied. Your own petty, selfish grievances to have freedoms you were never entitled, to do anything you want with your possessions, is reiterated ad nauseum This "Controlling the usage of an idea" you allude to, I take it, is yet another reference to the unsubstantiated and refuted claim, that you and your possessions exist above the law. You have been well informed, that cant do anything you want with your pen or your car, as I have clearly pointed out and exactly why you seem to think, lawful restrictions mandated by IP laws should be granted any exception for you, only falls back to your circular excuses that posit you as above the law to begin with.

I might as well point out that this same petty grievance is also founded on a matter of consequence (ie: the alleged consequence of IP on your assumed freedom). Not that you shouldn't make points that draw upon consequential outcomes, but just to note the hypocrisy of your special pleading.  

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If I were to take your ideas and claim that I originated them, I would be committing plagiarism, a form of fraud, not theft. There's something known as "my reputation" but my reputation consists entirely of what other people think about me. I don't own the thoughts of others. So even though it's "my reputation" doesn't mean it's mine to own and control.

Not that I care to dispute this or take issue, as I don't see the relevance it has to either the preceding discourse or the general issue over why IP law should be abolished. I don't recall saying anything that could be construed as confounding plagiarism with theft. Still, its so amusing to see you make such a pedantic distinction, considering you previously likened the law forbidding you from copying published literature with: "...claiming ownership over my pen and paper. That's little more than theft." Nor am I surprised to hear you report your absence of command and control over your own reputation. I should try to talk you out of thinking this way as a gesture of goodwill, but the reserves of empathy I can afford you are a little low... but that's probably nothing to do with anything you might influence right?  Roll Eyes

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You can? I didn't realize it was illegal to make reproductions or derivative art works.

Then you are even more irresponsible in your attempts to defend intellectual property laws. You don't even know the content of the laws you are defending.

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A “derivative work” is a work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications, which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a “derivative work”.

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Subject to sections 107 through 122, the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:

(1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;

(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;

(3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;

(4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;

(5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and

(6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

Source: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html

Well thank's for that enlightening piece of informative research. It seems this little treasure has such a profound impact on any practical outcome in the real world, that I've been blissfully unaware of the heavy burden of these bureaucratic manacles that have so deprived my most liberating powers of freedom. Did I mention that "I didn't realize it was illegal to make reproductions or derivative art works."  Undecided I wasn't being cynical. I've honestly never noticed the tiniest effect in the real world that this legislation has ever had. Actually, in light of your comment; the one which lead to this point:

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For every work of art you show, I can show another that doesn't exist because it was prevented from being made, being deemed a "derivative".

when you said "work of art" I was thinking along the lines of art... as in, classical art such as paints on canvas and marble statues. I'm no great art buff, but I could swear I have often heard of reproductions mentioned casually, as if they were a legitimate form of art. For some reason I imagine marble statues and oil paintings to have little to do with copyright law. Perhaps that's partly due to the low demand from aficionados and collectors to actually call for reproductions. At the same time there are the repros that I know of, but in hindsight, come to think, they are all ancient classics (David, Venus de Milo etc..) since those would not be covered by existing copyright It's understandable that they are popular as grist for the mill.

In any-case, if we return to the above comment it might be taken with the pinch of salt it deserves, if only because it makes no legitimate case for the complete abolition of IP law but simply points out a misgiving that might be addressed by reform. In fact a casual browse through wikipedia and other websites, tends to reveal quite a number of exceptions and caveats that have been brought to bare for exceptions, fair use, education etc etc.. None of them may be ideal, but demonstrate that this unyielding exclusive rights term, is typical of the law in it's attempt at being decisive and unambiguous, until there is some other legislation that partly over rides and re interprets some exceptions or caveats, to correct perceived misgivings, or make pandering concessions, so that governments can be seen trying to please all of the people all of the time. Almost all areas of law, are riddled with riddles and ad hoc exceptions, concessions and corrections.

Besides all this, I am far less concerned to salvage much of what counts as copyright law, as I am to defend and reform the provisions of patent law. They are hugely different creatures. Nothing suggests, that even if copyright were totally indefensible, that patent law should be thrown out along with it.

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Can you prove which outweighs which? No, you can't.

And you can?

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No, I can't. That's fine for me though because I'm not the one advocating the existence of such laws.

It does appear that you are proclaiming the certainty of your position by default however, and you would be the one, who advocated a book which explicitly criticizes the limited and temporary parochial view of any policy whereby the critic looks only at the short term and primary consequences or only accounts for the long-term and secondary secondary. Also pretending anybody must prove their case, where some information is unavailable, and that the corollary must be taken as true by default if they don't,  is completely disingenuous.  

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Since you admittedly can't prove whether intellectual property laws are helpful or harmful, it's irresponsible to advocate them. You're like the religious person that says, "You can't prove God doesn't exist."

Intelligent people, with some understanding of critical thinking and epistemology, don't tend to posit claims in terms of absolute fact nor speak of proof as if it were infallible certainty. 'Proof is for mathematicians and alcohol' goes a wise saying in philosophy. Primary school children quibble about 'proof'. Religious nuts think it's ever so important. Roll Eyes I admittedly can't PROVE that the sun will appear tomorrow. I deliberately surrender the goal of perfect certitude, so that I have room to doubt, even my own tentative convictions. Anybody who is perfectly certain, is in no position to change their mind. Instead I consider all things as matters of relative probability.

Since I'm not the one demanding conclusive proof of anything and have willingly considered every argument put forward and presented my own with abundant evidence, your claim to the upper hand in stakes for convincing reason are somewhat premature. Firstly lets clarify that the measures you posit of helpful or harmful are hardly tangible scientific variables to be quantified like rainfall. Even if we could agree on tangible measures for what constitutes help or harm and a calibrated scale to compare them, we would then have to find the empirical means to find data and test them. As far a valid epistemological claim, to the 'burden of proof' you have rushed in to claim priority amidst our mutual dearth of objective evidence.  Who has the burden of proof, depends on whether we choose to test for evidence of harm or help, since they may both manifest for separate reasons, they are independently variable. Which one represents 'god' depends which side of the coin we are looking at.

In my experience it's always the religious nutter, who demands to posit a false dichotomy, such that there are only two possible outcomes and If you can't prove their position false then they reserve the right to win by default. The religious nutter never permits their claim to be tested and spends the whole debate squealing for the right to hold an untestable, unfalsifiable position as completely, unequivocally certain fact unless you can prove otherwise. The religious nutter cant deal in relative probabilities or concede a point towards their opponent. They don't consider debate to be a test of their assumptions, but a petulant demand to be indulged. No mater how carefully broken down an argument may be, even if it comes to self evident principals, the religious nutter will refuse to acknowledge the most undeniable obvious fact. They will diligently  ignore it for as long as possible and forestall any progress towards conceding it.

For example I may point out the simple obvious fact that people do apparently collectively value the creative component of a work of art or invention. If it's in the religious nuts interest to avoid commenting on that, they will. Instead they will create a diversion of irrelevant sophist rhetoric. They will aspire to make the debate all about the terms of the debate and avoid at all costs, the relevant points to be considered to make any progress. They will require that you school them in basics of epistemology, reasoning and critical thinking. They are not seeking truth or understanding. They are not there to reach agreement in the quest for knowledge. So far you seem to have jumped into that role boots and all.

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Laws that can't be proven to be helpful have no business existing.

Well then there are a shit load of laws that are due to be axed. I'd like to know who proved it was helpful that I be prohibited from wandering around the street buck naked. I would do it for the mere asthetic value as a community service, but you know, people have no gratitude, if they don't see this law as a hindrance and not a help. Go Figure.  Roll Eyes

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It's not supposed to be a game of chance based on "gut feelings".

Well it is what it is. It's not supposed to be anything else. Any issue is as tangible and objective as it just happens to be. If you wish to suggest some quantifiable measures of empirical data, to quantify the measures for helpful or harmful, fire away. I was getting bored with doing all the thinking in this debate anyhow.  Cheesy

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You accuse me of being religious but your unproven faith in intellectual property laws is closer to religion than anything I've put forth.

You haven't put anything forth. I have detailed a rational case for our collective investment of value, in the products of creative endeavor. It stands to reason that we seek to reward intellectual product and talent, because inventions are useful and art is enjoyable. Having established reasonable grounds for the existence of this value in the creative product (which you have tenaciously refused to face and respond to), it follows that there's every reason to expect, that having a reward system that provides incentive to the benefactors of creative endeavor, there will be good reason to expect them to be encouraged to provide their talents. Nobody is expected to contribute anything to society without some reward. I can train my dog according to the laws of effort and reward. Seems that she understands simple economics better than you.

I have faith in nothing my dear fellow and only tentative acceptance of what seems plausible.  Nothing I have said should give any indication that I have any unwillingness to change my position. When you actually address a few of the key points which Ive made to show reason for my position, then you can examine if there's any ground to accuse me of faith.

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Also, you're very long-winded and I'm a busy person. Keep your responses under 1,000 words...

FUCK THAT! Who did you say you think you are?  Angry

I write as much as I like. MY POST! MY TIME! MY CHOICE! If you need to read my posts in three of four sitting you are welcome. Take your time. If you want to run off and bury you head in the sand be my guest.   Roll Eyes

PS: Perhaps it might help if you stopped being ignorant and addressed my main arguments, so I would feel less cause to keep repeating myself.
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August 26, 2011, 02:33:20 PM
 #13

TL;DR
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August 26, 2011, 04:29:35 PM
 #14

TL;DR

QFT

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August 26, 2011, 06:33:03 PM
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TL;DR

I'll break it down for you then. It means 'You're full of shit. I win. End of debate.'

What a copout.
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August 26, 2011, 06:43:17 PM
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TL;DR

I'll break it down for you then. It means 'You're full of shit. I win. End of debate.'

What a copout.

To be fair, the Internet is a place where people debate ideas in short bursts with a ideal of 1 idea in each post.  Your posts have meaning but if you could say it in 10% of the words and if you let each idea have 1 post where it can stand out, you'd still likely win the debate.

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August 27, 2011, 01:46:53 AM
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TL;DR

I'll break it down for you then. It means 'You're full of shit. I win. End of debate.'

You can have the last word but I'm still unconvinced of your position. If that's what you call winning, sure.

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Argumentum Verbosium (Proof by Verbosity). It refers to an argument that is so complex, so long-winded and so poorly presented by the arguer that you are obliged to accept it, simply to avoid being forced to sift through its minute details.
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August 27, 2011, 03:39:13 AM
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TL;DR

I'll break it down for you then. It means 'You're full of shit. I win. End of debate.'

What a copout.

To be fair, the Internet is a place where people debate ideas in short bursts with a ideal of 1 idea in each post.  Your posts have meaning but if you could say it in 10% of the words and if you let each idea have 1 post where it can stand out, you'd still likely win the debate.

Thanks Hawker, I appreciate your optimism. But in the case of the likes of bitcoin2cash, there's little hope ever of attaining a forthright concession, even to one point. I realize I'm a little on the verbose side (I suffer from a compulsion to make myself understood), but as I pointed out at the end of that last long post:

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If you need to read my posts in three of four sitting you are welcome.

Perhaps I should have put that at the beginning, but in the end, all points will be covered even if I broke them up into several posts. I also highlighted the transparent ploy of willfully ignorant dogmatist, in that they will typically look for any excuse to derail the debate by making it about the terms of the debate itself, rather than the subject matter. To that end I pointed out to bitcoin2cash:

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In my experience it's always the religious nutter, who demands to posit a false dichotomy, such that there are only two possible outcomes and If you can [oops: That should have been can't] prove their position false then they reserve the right to win by default. The religious nutter never permits their claim to be tested and spends the whole debate squealing for the right to hold an untestable, unfalsifiable position as completely, unequivocally certain fact unless you can prove otherwise. The religious nutter cant deal in relative probabilities or concede a point towards their opponent. They don't consider debate to be a test of their assumptions, but a petulant demand to be indulged. No mater how carefully broken down an argument may be, even if it comes to self evident principals, the religious nutter will refuse to acknowledge the most undeniable obvious fact. They will diligently  ignore it for as long as possible and forestall any progress towards conceding it.

For example I may point out the simple obvious fact that people do apparently collectively value the creative component of a work of art or invention. If it's in the religious nuts interest to avoid commenting on that, they will. Instead they will create a diversion of irrelevant sophist rhetoric. They will aspire to make the debate all about the terms of the debate and avoid at all costs, the relevant points to be considered to make any progress. They will require that you school them in basics of epistemology, reasoning and critical thinking. They are not seeking truth or understanding. They are not there to reach agreement in the quest for knowledge. [Referring to bitcoin2cash] So far you seem to have jumped into that role boots and all.

In the end, it should make little difference if anybody reads a post in two, three or four sittings, and replies separately, or if the same text is posted in two, three or four separate posts. The real reason for the copout, is to create a diversion and quibble about the nature of the debate rather than it's contents.

Incidentally, bitcoin2cash has no misgivings about suggesting that others be expected to read a whole book on economics ("Read this before having an opinion on economics") before challenging his views. I took the time to read this book before posting this thread. I also read his whole thread. So I think his petty little quibble about being too busy and not being obliged to read what his critics respond to him with, is much more to do with diversionary rhetoric and his double standards, than any practical/reasonable protocol of the debate itself.
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August 27, 2011, 04:39:51 AM
 #19

Nothing anyone has made in the history of humankind really belongs to them,
Everything that exists, is versions, and amalgamations of things created through and translated to you and others through the minds of others before you, and this will also happen through you too.

the mere act of speech progressing through time is proof.

If you want to go the other way though, you could say every single living human being is the property of Earth.
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August 27, 2011, 04:53:57 AM
 #20

There is no such thing as copyright or intellectual property at common law. They way releases of information to the public have always been constructed is that , if you voluntarily release something and don't keep it private and secure , you have waived rights to exclusivity. Modern copyright and patent law is a recent statutory creation.

Copyrights and patents are basically a government granted monopoly. You have to understand though that the gov't itself is a copyrighted and proprietary system. The monopoly is granted "within the system" and only applies in the commercial sense.

An analogy would be a private resort that uses script for commerce. That private resort can define and regulate the acceptable uses of the script within their resort. t\That includes uses that diminish the value (relative to their script) of objects sold within that system.

The gov't is the EXACT same thing.





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