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Author Topic: Intellectual Property - In All Fairness!  (Read 96078 times)
Hawker
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August 29, 2011, 07:54:37 PM
 #41

A few revealing quotes:

"There is in all of us a strong disposition to believe that anything lawful is also legitimate. This belief is so widespread that many persons have erroneously held that things are "just" because the law makes them so." --Frederic Bastiat.

"It is not true that the legislator has absolute power over our persons or property, since they preexist, and his work is only to secure them from injury. It is not true that the mission of law is to regulate our consciences, our exchanges, our gifts, our enjoyments. Its mission is to prevent the rights of one from interfering with those of another, in any one of these things." -- Frederic Bastiat.

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent "moral" busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." --C.S. Lewis

"The harm done by ordinary criminals, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional "do-gooders," who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others -with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means"

"All acts involve altering physical matter. If you claim that there is property in physical matter, that already covers all physical phenomenon and thereby all possible actions related thereto. However, if you claim that you have a right on benefits derived from physical property that do not alter the physical property you own, it logically follows that it is a "right" to alter physical property belonging to someone else."

Is there a reason why instead of answering my logic, you post random quotes?

For clarity, the subject here is intellectual property and why society enables it. 

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FredericBastiat
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August 29, 2011, 08:04:41 PM
 #42

Hawker,

One question per post. Fine.

Define private property. Try to stay within the confines of the known universe. Don't make up stuff. If it doesn't incorporate something definable and divisible using the laws of physics it probably won't fly.

To wit, you can't say property is one thing one day, and then have it become something else by mere legislative proclamation the next. That's what we call legislative fiat.

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FredericBastiat
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August 29, 2011, 08:14:14 PM
 #43

Hawker,

All of my quotes, even though they may not have directly responded to your posts, are apropo to the subject matter at hand, that being IP.

They aren't random. All laws are force including IP laws. All of my quotes address that, albeit indirectly.

If we're going to talk about IP laws, is it not true that what we are really saying is what force/violence can I apply to you if you don't comply with the law? Forced restitution?

The final quote directly addresses IP laws. Maybe you just ignored it? If you're not going to read my responses, then we can just stop right now and move on.

And besides you keep speaking as if society is what rules, and individuals rights can be sacrificed. That's why the quotes make sense. In that context they are obvious.

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FredericBastiat
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August 29, 2011, 08:56:00 PM
 #44

The only reason "society" has any say in an individuals life is because collectively they have more force than a person does individually.

I only fear for my life because "society" thru it's superior weaponry, not necessarily it's justice, convinces me to comply.

If society decides tomorrow that yellow shirts are the "right" color, do you honestly think I'm going to wear anything other than the color yellow? Duh, of course not!

Just because you create intellectual property "rights" doesn't make them automagically justifiable. Just because you spent a million dollars or one dollar on an idea has nothing to do with me. Don't make your stuff about me and mine.

I would like to think justice is well defined and is constrained only to those who provoke or initiate acts of aggression against others. If it isn't that, then you can make justice anything you want and there would be no end to the violence you could commit.

Collectivist attitudes and beliefs are extremely dangerous thinking.

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fergalish
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August 29, 2011, 09:06:16 PM
 #45

Of course, society describes its members. So what. Just because a group of people does something doesn't inherently make it right or wrong.

We could bring back slavery. I could make a law that all geriatric men and women be killed because they are a "drain" on society. I could make any substance illicit with the stroke of a pen. I could give privileges to anybody in any industry so as to reduce competition. I could put a star of david on your arm and send you to the gulag. I could do lots of things...

I think you don't understand the cultural context in which slavery existed.  Back then, Africans were ruthlessly imported to the Americas as slaves to the colonists.  Before that, the native Americans were ruthlessly massacred.  The reason isn't purely because the colonists were sadistic murderers - it was partly because *they believed that "negroes" and "redskins" weren't actually people but savages*.  Read Huckleberry Finn if you need convincing.  It wasn't considered murder or enslaving any more than whipping a mule to carry a load, or shooting a gorilla that threatened you, would be today.  The people weren't wrong - the whole damn society was wrong.

Of course, we're more refined now, and it's clear that Africans, Caucasians, Hispanics, Orientals, Arabs, are all the same species (Homo Sapiens, right?), so, no, you couldn't bring back slavery.  You'd have to convince the society of which I am a member to do it first, and you'd have to show why the gene for eye colour is enslaveable when it expresses blue eyes, and not when it expresses brown.  Notably, euthanasia *is* legal in some places, and the eugenics of Nazism weren't all that long ago.  Some substances *are* made illegal with the stroke of a pen, but, ideally, such decisions should be based on a rational and public discussion of the merits of such substances.  In other words, *you* shouldn't decide, *your society* should, and it should have expert advice to draw upon.

More or less as expected, you didn't answer my questions on Libya.

Let me ask you another question then.  Suppose scientists were to discover complete DNA of, and successfully recreate, Neantherdal man.  Or Homo Erectus, or Homo Abilis.  Similar to us, but which different genetic codes, therefore, NOT human.  They'd probably be much stronger and less intelligent than present-day Homo Sapiens.  Would it be acceptable to enslave them?

Intellectual Property, in the case of patents, might damage society now because (e.g.) medicine is expensive or unavailable.  But it will certainly have a long-term benefit as that same medicine eventually becomes cheap and widely available.  In the case of copyrighted music or suchlike, the benefit of 100+ year long copyright is a little harder to swallow, unless you think music, as art, is a very important contribution to human happiness.  Software, I think, probably stands somewhere between these two - having a word-processor certainly benefits the company using it but, after some time has passed and the developer has recouped the research investment, it's hard to see how piracy could be harmful (though perhaps I can imagine investors in "softdev.com" not being happy with its soft attitude to piracy, withdrawing their investments, and "softdev.com" ceasing to trade and ceasing to develop wonderful new, presently unknown, software).
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August 29, 2011, 09:20:25 PM
 #46

Fergalish,

I know nothing of Libya. I didn't know I was asked any questions in that regard; at least I didn't know they were directed at me, but whatever it is, they can keep doing what their doing, independent of me. I have no skin in their game whatever it may be.

All humans have different DNA. Should we enslave them because they're are different from us. In fact, no two persons are the same. Could I justly enforce a law that allows everybody who has different genes from me, to become slaves of mine? No. I'm not sure where we're going here as this diverges significantly from IP law subject matter.

My references to anything-goes-kinda-laws was only a rhetorical question, but one made to evince the reasons why a law should even see the light of day including IP laws.

We should have very concrete laws. Laws that don't change with the prevailing winds. Is it not the mission of the law to prevent murder/injury, enslavement and plunder? Start there and try to justify half the laws we have on the books.

I hope it wouldn't be that difficult to arrive at similar results.

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August 29, 2011, 09:24:18 PM
 #47

The only reason "society" has any say in an individuals life is because collectively they have more force than a person does individually.

I only fear for my life because "society" thru it's superior weaponry, not necessarily it's justice, convinces me to comply.

If society decides tomorrow that yellow shirts are the "right" color, do you honestly think I'm going to wear anything other than the color yellow? Duh, of course not!

Just because you create intellectual property "rights" doesn't make them automagically justifiable. Just because you spent a million dollars or one dollar on an idea has nothing to do with me. Don't make your stuff about me and mine.

I would like to think justice is well defined and is constrained only to those who provoke or initiate acts of aggression against others. If it isn't that, then you can make justice anything you want and there would be no end to the violence you could commit.

Collectivist attitudes and beliefs are extremely dangerous thinking.

Wrong.  It directly affects you.  If a society wants medicines to be developed, and it chose to use intellectual property as the way to encourage that development, then you are aggressively attacking that society if you illegally copy the medicines and resell them depriving the researcher of his profit.  And from your list of principles, you seem to think you are entitled to do just that!  

You are free not to use the medicine.  You are free to agitate to change the law so that investment in research is not protected by intellectual property.  But you are not free to take the result of the research, copy it and sell it for your own profit.  Its value was not created by you.  Why should you be able to profit from it?  Its very aggressive to say that you have some ideology that says people have no right to create structures to encourage research.






NghtRppr
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August 29, 2011, 09:37:33 PM
 #48

Its very aggressive to say that you have some ideology that says people have no right to create structures to encourage research.

Which is more aggressive, reading a chemical formula, buying the raw ingredients, mixing them together and selling the resulting product or waiting for someone to do that and then confiscating the product, by force if necessary? If I write some idea down using my pen and my paper, isn't it more aggressive to demand that you now control my piece of paper simply because it contains an idea that you originated?
FredericBastiat
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August 29, 2011, 09:51:34 PM
 #49

Wrong.  It directly affects you.  If a society wants medicines to be developed, and it chose to use intellectual property as the way to encourage that development, then you are aggressively attacking that society of you illegally copy the medicines and resell them depriving the researcher of his profit.  And from your list of principles, you seem to think you are entitled to do just that! 

You are free not to use the medicine.  You are free to agitate to change the law so that investment in research is not protected by intellectual property.  But you are not free to take the result of the research, copy it and sell it for your own profit.  Its value was not created by you.  Why should you be able to profit from it?  Its very aggressive to say that you have some ideology that says other people have no right to create structures to encourage research.

I guess if we're going to pick nits, a butterfly flapping it's wings in Brazil will affect me. In fact, a butterfly thinking about flapping it's wings in Brazil also affects me. Albeit negligible, but true.

No, wrong. Society doesn't want things. The people in society want things. Society is an abstraction. Individuals want things. Some individuals have similar beliefs and wants and they organize in an attempt to achieve some of their goals, other don't.

I'm not attacking anybody. That would imply I'm applying a force (as in Newtons or Pounds). Ever heard of F = ma? You know, the physics stuff? As in their intial state or conditions are changed because I imparted energy into their environment where one didn't exist before? Lets not make something from nothing.

I also don't deprive the researcher of his profit, the market, or more specifically the individuals which comprise the market, decide whether or not the researcher directly profits or not. For the right price...

You could have the best product in town, but if nobody buys it, whatever you've got invested becomes a loss to you until the market changes its mind.

I'm only entitled to the property physically in my possession. I cannot take the physical objects others own from them, and they shouldn't take the objects in my possession from me. Simple as that.

Value is in the eye of the beholder, and only measureable by the owner/traders at the moment of exchange.

Everybody learns from everybody. We don't live or learn in a vacuum. We all stand on the shoulders of others work. By that logic, were I the first man to invent mathematics I could dominate the world as they would owe me nearly everything they interact with.

Of course your going to disagree with me because some esoteric law says that algorithms don't count. Okay, I'll give you that one. But what if I was the first man to walk out of a cave and invent the first house. Is that good enough for you?

Where ya gonna draw the line?

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August 29, 2011, 09:54:19 PM
 #50

Its very aggressive to say that you have some ideology that says people have no right to create structures to encourage research.

Which is more aggressive, reading a chemical formula, buying the raw ingredients, mixing them together and selling the resulting product or waiting for someone to do that and then confiscating the product, by force if necessary? If I write some idea down using my pen and my paper, isn't it more aggressive to demand that you now control my piece of paper simply because it contains an idea that you originated?

Surely that depends where you started from?  And we are not talking about the product of individual work - we are talking about serious research with labs and teams of researchers or developers.

If we are in a society where research is desired and I have invested money based on the intellectual property rights I will own if my investment generates a new useful product, then its aggression on your part to open a factory and sell the product I have invented.  I'd lose my investment.  You are free to do your own research and invent your own product.  But not to copy mine.

The important point here is freedom.  We all exist in societies.  We can move between societies.  It is raw aggression on the part of someone who dislikes intellectual property to say they will deprive the rest of society of its freedom to have innovative research.


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August 29, 2011, 10:08:42 PM
 #51

It is raw aggression on the part of someone who dislikes intellectual property to say they will deprive the rest of society of its freedom to have innovative research.

If i'm not using violence to prevent you from doing anything but you are using violence to prevent me from doing something, I find it odd to accuse me of aggression. Also, what's the big deal about society? Do you get extra rights over others just because you include some of your friends in the discussion? If you can't steal from me, it seems irrelevant how many friends you consult.
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August 29, 2011, 10:16:40 PM
 #52

Doesn't aggression imply some sort of force, and isn't force measured in Newtons, or more specifically kg*m/s^2.

If the aggression isn't measured in those units, what units of force are we going to use?

It certainly couldn't be just the opinion of the day, should it? That could make for some serious confusion I would think.

Last I checked, we had this force problem solved about 300+ years ago. Why are we trying to redefine it now? Did I just wake up and the world of physics change on me?

This must be like some overnight Jonny-Appleseed-Alice-in-Wonderland-Wizard-of-Oz "awakening" I'm having here. Very confusing problem it seems.

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August 29, 2011, 10:18:50 PM
 #53

It is raw aggression on the part of someone who dislikes intellectual property to say they will deprive the rest of society of its freedom to have innovative research.

If i'm not using violence to prevent you from doing anything but you are using violence to prevent me from doing something, I find it odd to accuse me of aggression.

I am not preventing you so I use no violence - the society you are a part of is preventing you from stealing intellectual property.  If you persist to the point that you get arrested, thats due to your taking something that was not yours and trying to profit from it.  Thats aggression.  

Research is a good thing; I can't think of any reason why you feel that rewarding people who invest large sums of money to invent useful things like computer chips or medicines is in some way a restriction of your freedom.  A simple example; IBM invested $5 billion if 1950s dollars in the original System 360 architecture.  It was the basis of all computing since then.  If IBM had not the exclusive right to resell that technology since the 1960s, there never would have been a computer revolution.

Frederic - your reply was very long.  Are you saying now that you have the right to copy someone else's research and sell it a profit?  Or have you conceded that point?

Quote
Doesn't aggression imply some sort of force, and isn't force measured in Newtons, or more specifically kg*m/s^2.

ag·gres·sionNoun/əˈgreSHən/
1. Hostile or violent behavior or attitudes toward another; readiness to attack or confront.

No.  Taking someone property without permission is aggressive.

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August 29, 2011, 10:28:25 PM
 #54

If you persist to the point that you get arrested, thats due to your taking something that was not yours and trying to profit from it.

Don't confuse copying with taking. If I copy your hairstyle, I haven't taken anything from you. You don't suddenly become bald. The only thing you don't have is the ability to profit but that was never something you owned anyways. The fact you can profit off of something is a function of everyone else valuing what you have to offer. You aren't owed a profit just because you feel that way.

If IBM had not the exclusive right to resell that technology since the 1960s, there never would have been a computer revolution.

Can you prove that computers wouldn't have existed anyways or in even a better form than they currently do? I don't see how you can. I think your statement is without merit.
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August 29, 2011, 10:35:42 PM
 #55

ag·gres·sionNoun/əˈgreSHən/
1. Hostile or violent behavior or attitudes toward another; readiness to attack or confront.

No.  Taking someone property without permission is aggressive.

"Taking" requires energy, hence some sort of force.
Being "hostile" or "violent" behaviour requires force and energy.

How did you come up with no here? Weirdness.

The answer is YES; it is measured in Newtons of force. Your misunderstanding about the characteristics of aggression is fly-by-night seat-of-the-pants stuff. Any attitudes about the specific attributes of the nature Force(s) doesn't change the forces themselves. For that matter, any which way I think about it doesn't change the fundamental characteristics of any physical material matter or any phenomenon related thereto. Thinking differently doesn't change anything about how the Universe operates.

The only way I change stuff is by physically interacting with it, and even then only to a limited extent.

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FredericBastiat
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August 29, 2011, 11:03:15 PM
 #56

Don't confuse copying with taking. If I copy your hairstyle, I haven't taken anything from you. You don't suddenly become bald. The only thing you don't have is the ability to profit but that was never something you owned anyways. The fact you can profit off of something is a function of everyone else valuing what you have to offer. You aren't owed a profit just because you feel that way.

Well said. No one is entitled to a profit.

It seems there are two ways you can "profit"; both of which are still personal opinions, best I can tell. Profit and value are similar abstract mental constructs.

1) Profit arises from the opinion that if whatever objects or services you exchanged with another, is, in your mind, of greater value than that property which you previously possessed, you had a gain.

2) In a similar vein, if in the process of modifying the composition of property you already own (the raw physical material), you believe the property conditionally changed for the better, you also profited.

Does profit require human-to-human interchange to qualify?

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August 30, 2011, 06:24:12 AM
 #57

If you persist to the point that you get arrested, thats due to your taking something that was not yours and trying to profit from it.

Don't confuse copying with taking. If I copy your hairstyle, I haven't taken anything from you. You don't suddenly become bald. The only thing you don't have is the ability to profit but that was never something you owned anyways. The fact you can profit off of something is a function of everyone else valuing what you have to offer. You aren't owed a profit just because you feel that way.

If IBM had not the exclusive right to resell that technology since the 1960s, there never would have been a computer revolution.

Can you prove that computers wouldn't have existed anyways or in even a better form than they currently do?
I don't see how you can. I think your statement is without merit.

No-one can prove a negative.  It says a lot that you are relying on a logical fallacy.

Your view seems to be that you do like the outcome of research, be it computers or medicines, and that there is no need to have an incentive for people to do it.  Researchers costs money - someone has to pay the salaries of all staff in laboratories while research is being done.  That's why a new drug costs about $800 million to develop.  If you don't allow the investor to make a profit, there will be no new drugs.  Unless you have some better way for for the researchers salaries to be paid while they do their years of work?

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August 30, 2011, 06:36:07 AM
 #58

Don't confuse copying with taking. If I copy your hairstyle, I haven't taken anything from you. You don't suddenly become bald. The only thing you don't have is the ability to profit but that was never something you owned anyways. The fact you can profit off of something is a function of everyone else valuing what you have to offer. You aren't owed a profit just because you feel that way.

Well said. No one is entitled to a profit.


It seems there are two ways you can "profit"; both of which are still personal opinions, best I can tell. Profit and value are similar abstract mental constructs.

1) Profit arises from the opinion that if whatever objects or services you exchanged with another, is, in your mind, of greater value than that property which you previously possessed, you had a gain.

2) In a similar vein, if in the process of modifying the composition of property you already own (the raw physical material), you believe the property conditionally changed for the better, you also profited.

Does profit require human-to-human interchange to qualify?

Frederic we live in a knowledge economy where people are given the right to profit from investment in research.  You seem to think that pretending only material matter has value gives you the right to insist the rest of society to pretend only material matter has value.  You don't have that right.  We exist in society and 1 person does not have the right to tell others how to live.  

Even if you did have the right to dictate to society how to live, your logic is specious.  'Being "hostile" or "violent" behaviour requires force and energy.' is your statement.  So if I come into your home and refuse to leave I am not being hostile?  Any taking of property without consent is hostile and a society frowns on it.  Taking the outcome of someone else's work, which they have made a legitimate investment in, and reselling it for your own profit is hypocritical.

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August 30, 2011, 09:14:27 AM
 #59

Frederic, your posts seem, to me, so full of errors, contradictions and oversights that it's hard to know where to begin.

I know nothing of Libya. I didn't know I was asked any questions in that regard; at least I didn't know they were directed at me, but whatever it is, they can keep doing what their doing, independent of me. I have no skin in their game whatever it may be.

Please answer the questions on Libya, it's very relevant to this debate as it provides an ab initio justification for law.  It's quite incredible that you discourse on politics and yet you know nothing of what's happening in Libya and the rest of the middle east.  If the popular uprising there spreads to more of the Arab world, including Saudi Arabia, it could come to be the world's biggest geopolitical event since the '70s oil crisis.  In short, there has been an uprising in Libya, a north African country with a population of a few million; the dictator Gaddafi has been [almost completely] overthrown and now a rebel government has to establish law and order.  Here are the question: Do you think Libyans supporting the rebels are bound by the rebels' new constitution & law?  Should their children & grandchildren also be bound?  Are those who oppose the rebels also bound?  Please answer.

All humans have different DNA. Should we enslave them because they're are different from us. In fact, no two persons are the same. Could I justly enforce a law that allows everybody who has different genes from me, to become slaves of mine? No. I'm not sure where we're going here as this diverges significantly from IP law subject matter.

Humans do not have different DNA (minor mutations aside).  We all member of a single species and all have the same genetic structure.  We all have the genes for eye colour that, in some people expresses blue, in others brown and in rare cases, green.  Different genes are, as it were, switched "on" or "off" in different people.  If we didn't have the same genetic structure, then an African-Oriental couple couldn't have children, for example.  Don't ask me where were going with slavery, you brought up that subject.  The point I was making is that, once upon a time society thought some races were not "people", and hence could be enslaved like animals.  Fortunately, we know better now, so no, you couldn't justify a law enslaving people.

We should have very concrete laws. Laws that don't change with the prevailing winds. Is it not the mission of the law to prevent murder/injury, enslavement and plunder? Start there and try to justify half the laws we have on the books.

Libertarianism has been around for a while, but in terms of political importance, right now it's just a popular fad among neo-intelligentia feeling empowered by wikipedia and the internet.  If you think that laws shouldn't change with the prevailing winds, then I can't see why you think IP, copyright or patent law should be altered one whit.  They've been around for hundreds of years.

Doesn't aggression imply some sort of force, and isn't force measured in Newtons, or more specifically kg*m/s^2.
If the aggression isn't measured in those units, what units of force are we going to use?
You're confusing the common understanding of the word "force" with the scientific one.  The scientific one is a precise mathematical statement relating the conditions of an object to its dynamic evolution - a mass of 1kg subject to a force of 1N will accelerate at 1m/s^2.  Such misunderstandings are common in the public.  e.g. people confuse "weight" with "mass", "accuracy" with "precision" and many more.  If I go to your house with a gun, I can "force" you to give me your money without actually exerting any "force" on you.  Even better, I just need to convince you over the telephone that I am holding your family hostage and I don't even need to be near you.  "Force" without physical "force".  You spout "physics" but I think you are not (yet) a scientist.

The fact you can profit off of something is a function of everyone else valuing what you have to offer. You aren't owed a profit just because you feel that way.
Absolutely right.  And the laws of almost all countries, originally proposed by, and approved by, the people, have enshrined creative works as valuable, and have likewise enshrined the right of the author to be remunerated.  If you copy a protected work, then you are effectively eroding the rights of the author.

If IBM had not the exclusive right to resell that technology since the 1960s, there never would have been a computer revolution.
Can you prove that computers wouldn't have existed anyways or in even a better form than they currently do? I don't see how you can. I think your statement is without merit.
Both sides are making assumptions about "what might have been" and such arguments are as verifiable as asking whether human life might have come about if the Electronic Charge (e=1.6x10^-19 C) had been different by just 1%.  All we know is that, under the conditions of IP etc laws, the computer revolution DID come about.  I find it hard to believe that, if it hadn't, there would have been a massive open-source movement such as we have now though, and it seems to me that Frederic is arguing that all R&D should be open-source.  Open-source is constantly seeking to emulate Closed-source, though, maybe now or soon, that trend will reverse itself.  In any case, IP etc law allows for closed-source AND open-source.  According to the principles of Libertarianism, people, and hence institutions, are free to choose whichever they prefer, right?  If open source is "better", then it will suffocate closed source and Frederic will win.  We just have to be patient.


All things are made of PMM or they are nothing. Medicine cannot help you with your ailment if the cure wasn't comprised of PMM. A television show (its content) isn't very useful without the television set. Software without some computing platform has little utility to the user. It is only as these "abstractions" are attached to the real world in some way that they have value.

Computer software without a computer is as useless as a computer without computer software.  By this (your) argument, computer software is as important as the computer itself and is therefore just as deserving of remuneration.  It's hard to believe that you have seriously considered the implications of what you're writing and yet fail to see this obvious contradiction.
I never said anything was of equal importance, only that software which is removed from the computing environment in which it is used, typically has less value (in my mind). I can have a pile of software CD's and no computer and not get much personal utility out of it. I never said the software itself was worthless.

You say that software without a computer is of "little utility" to the user.  Does that not also imply "of little value", or can objects of "little utility" be valuable?  Your argument that computer software without a computer is useless, implies that a computer without software is useless.  True, you didn't say it, but you implied it.  My opinion is, they complement each other.  Each brings value to the other in a kind of digital symbiotic embrace.  Except not symbiosis... symdigitosys, maybe or symelectrosys :-)

It's for the most part, about the contract. Contracts are about mutual consent betwixt persons of interest. Contracts are not between me and someone not privy to the terms. That's all I was trying to convey.
Now we're getting to the nut of the problem.  Ever head of the "social contract"?  Answer the questions on Libya first please, then we'll talk about that.
NghtRppr
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August 30, 2011, 02:06:49 PM
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Can you prove that computers wouldn't have existed anyways or in even a better form than they currently do?

No-one can prove a negative.

Then you probably shouldn't make an assertion that you can't back up.
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