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Author Topic: Intellectual Property - In All Fairness!  (Read 51827 times)
Hawker
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September 04, 2011, 07:41:23 PM
 #221

I made the difference absolutely clear but it would have been better if I gave the Star Wars example immediately instead of messing about on Google.  Let me give it again.

I looked up the production budget for the 1977 Star Wars.  It was $11 million in 1977 dollars.  http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=starwars4.htm  It would be silly to argue that the movie could ever have been made if there were no way to recover that investment. 

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September 04, 2011, 07:56:04 PM
 #222

I made the difference absolutely clear but it would have been better if I gave the Star Wars example immediately instead of messing about on Google.  Let me give it again.

I looked up the production budget for the 1977 Star Wars.  It was $11 million in 1977 dollars.  http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=starwars4.htm  It would be silly to argue that the movie could ever have been made if there were no way to recover that investment. 

You said, "if we want entertaining movies, we have to have intellectual property laws".

Now you're saying, "if we want Star Wars, we have to have intellectual property laws".

Those are two very different claims. I'm not really interested in arguing about Star Wars because even if it never existed, we would still have other entertaining movies. You might be able to get me to feel torn about losing all forms of art unless we stomp all over personal freedom but the fact we won't have Star Wars doesn't even make me pause. I think The Lord of the Rings trilogy is an even better example to use on me as I love those movies. I think they are gorgeous, amazing, etc, etc. However, it's still not worth the price of admission, if that price is the loss of the ability to share information freely.
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September 04, 2011, 07:59:10 PM
 #223

I made the difference absolutely clear but it would have been better if I gave the Star Wars example immediately instead of messing about on Google.  Let me give it again.

I looked up the production budget for the 1977 Star Wars.  It was $11 million in 1977 dollars.  http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=starwars4.htm  It would be silly to argue that the movie could ever have been made if there were no way to recover that investment.  

You said, "if we want entertaining movies, we have to have intellectual property laws".

Now you're saying, "if we want Star Wars, we have to have intellectual property laws".

Those are two very different claims. I'm not really interested in arguing about Star Wars because even if it never existed, we would still have other entertaining movies. You might be able to get me to feel torn about losing all forms of art unless we stomp all over personal freedom but the fact we won't have Star Wars doesn't even make me pause. I think The Lord of the Rings trilogy is an even better example to use on me as I love those movies. I think they are gorgeous, amazing, etc, etc. However, it's still not worth the price of admission, if that price is the loss of the ability to share information freely.

So if you have your way, there won't be global brands and won't be big budget movies and computer games.  You feel the same way about branded goods.  And that's fine.  The important thing is that you acknowledge the consequence of your belief.  Provided you are not proposing to remove these things from other people, we can all admire your ascetic outlook.

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September 04, 2011, 08:15:20 PM
 #224

So if you have your way, there won't be global brands and won't be big budget movies and computer games.  You feel the same way about branded goods.  And that's fine.  The important thing is that you acknowledge the consequence of your belief.  Provided you are not proposing to remove these things from other people, we can all admire your ascetic outlook.

I'm proposing we do away with intellectual property laws, consequences be damned. I've already explained how we can have brand names. Consumers will be able to sue business for fraud if they are misled into thinking that this "Burger King" is the same as that other "Burger King". It has to be made clear that they aren't the same. Just as if my name was Bill Gates and I sold you some software, I couldn't lead you to believe you were buying software from that other Bill Gates. A name is a name and nobody should have exclusive rights to them. I've also explained how commercially viable music, movies and games will still be possible. Perhaps the budgets will have to be scaled back if people refuse to pay money for them but that's just too bad. They clearly weren't worth their price to enough people. I'm not removing anything from you in the sense that I'm not preventing you from doing these things. I'm simply reclaiming my legal right to share information freely. If your business model can't survive, again, that's just too bad.
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September 04, 2011, 09:59:52 PM
 #225

So if you have your way, there won't be global brands and won't be big budget movies and computer games.  You feel the same way about branded goods.  And that's fine.  The important thing is that you acknowledge the consequence of your belief.  Provided you are not proposing to remove these things from other people, we can all admire your ascetic outlook.

I'm proposing we do away with intellectual property laws, consequences be damned. I've already explained how we can have brand names. Consumers will be able to sue business for fraud if they are misled into thinking that this "Burger King" is the same as that other "Burger King". It has to be made clear that they aren't the same. Just as if my name was Bill Gates and I sold you some software, I couldn't lead you to believe you were buying software from that other Bill Gates. A name is a name and nobody should have exclusive rights to them. I've also explained how commercially viable music, movies and games will still be possible. Perhaps the budgets will have to be scaled back if people refuse to pay money for them but that's just too bad. They clearly weren't worth their price to enough people. I'm not removing anything from you in the sense that I'm not preventing you from doing these things. I'm simply reclaiming my legal right to share information freely. If your business model can't survive, again, that's just too bad.

If you read up on your American civil war, the South said it was fighting for "liberty" yet they were denying blacks freedom.  Your rhetoric is similar.  You keep going on about your rights but what you want is to take away everyone else's freedom to have decent big budget movies, games and consumer goods.  Its not nice.

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September 04, 2011, 10:22:18 PM
 #226

That slavery comment is so inflammatory and absurd that it doesn't even merit debate. I also think it's offensive that you would trivialize slavery, a barbaric and immoral institution, by comparing it to not being able to see "Star Wars".

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You keep going on about your rights but what you want is to take away everyone else's freedom to have decent big budget movies, games and consumer goods.

I should have the right to share information freely. You shouldn't have the right to stop me. End of story. I'm not stopping you from doing anything other than denying me my rights.
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September 04, 2011, 10:28:37 PM
 #227

That slavery comment is so inflammatory and absurd that it doesn't even merit debate. I also think it's offensive that you would trivialize slavery, a barbaric and immoral institution, by comparing it to not being able to see "Star Wars".

Quote
You keep going on about your rights but what you want is to take away everyone else's freedom to have decent big budget movies, games and consumer goods.

I should have the right to share information freely. You shouldn't have the right to stop me. End of story. I'm not stopping you from doing anything other than denying me my rights.

You are denying me and everyone else the right to branded good, movies and computer games.  You want to take away the benefits that comes from our intellectual property rights.  And you have no right to do so - hands off!  If you don't like these things don't use them.  You can't take them from everyone else though. 

And thanks - I'm glad you finally see that bringing slavery into every argument is a cheap shot.  Please don't do it again if you don't like it done to you.

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September 04, 2011, 10:38:05 PM
 #228

You are denying me and everyone else the right to branded good, movies and computer games.

I'm denying that you have the right to tell me what information can be shared freely. I'm also denying that you have exclusive right to a name. You're still free to make movies and computer games. You're still free to name your goods whatever you like.

This is getting repetitive. Unless you say something new, I'm going to stop responding.

I'm glad you finally see that bringing slavery into every argument is a cheap shot.

I'm glad you admit it was a cheap shot.

Other than when someone demands that I provide my labor to them against my will, which is slavery, the only time I mention slavery is when someone tries to imply that "X is legal therefore X is moral" or "society decides X therefore X should be legal". In which case, I'll definitely be sure to point out that slavery is completely immoral yet was legal according to society. That's not trivializing it at all. That's showing it exactly for what it is, immoral and barbaric.
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September 05, 2011, 07:10:02 AM
 #229

You are denying me and everyone else the right to branded good, movies and computer games.

I'm denying that you have the right to tell me what information can be shared freely. I'm also denying that you have exclusive right to a name. You're still free to make movies and computer games. You're still free to name your goods whatever you like.

This is getting repetitive. Unless you say something new, I'm going to stop responding.

I'm glad you finally see that bringing slavery into every argument is a cheap shot.

I'm glad you admit it was a cheap shot.

Other than when someone demands that I provide my labor to them against my will, which is slavery, the only time I mention slavery is when someone tries to imply that "X is legal therefore X is moral" or "society decides X therefore X should be legal". In which case, I'll definitely be sure to point out that slavery is completely immoral yet was legal according to society. That's not trivializing it at all. That's showing it exactly for what it is, immoral and barbaric.

Exactly.  My intellectual property is the output of my labor and my employees labor.  You want me to give it you against my will.  I can accept that you believe society might be better and not start crying "its just like slavery" everytime you disagree.  I'm glad if you afford me the same courtesy.

I agree that the argument becomes repetitive.  I googled a phrase that seems familiar "greatest happiness of greatest number" and came to this wikipedia entry for utilitarianism.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilitarianism

Its does a more succinct job that I've done.  The theory is that if society believes the plurality of people benefit from IP,  then society can organise itself to support IP as "the greatest good of the greatest number" is a perfectly valid basis for society to organise itself.  If you disagree with the premise that society benefits from IP, then of course you will feel you have lost freedom for no reason but the onus is on you to convince society that its plurality will benefit from changing the law.  

As to the two of us, we are agreed that absent IP rights, a lot of things like movies that are abundant now will become a lot scarcer as there is no way for them to recover the millions of costs.   I personally wouldn't want to live in the rather austere society you describe but if thats your utopia, more luck to you.

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September 05, 2011, 09:29:12 AM
 #230

My intellectual property is the output of my labor and my employees labor.  You want me to give it you against my will.

I'm not forcing you to produce intellectual property and I'm not forcing you to give it to me. You're perfectly free to write a novel and then lock it away in a safe. You also don't necessarily own the products of your labor. If you still my lumber and build a chair, do you own the chair just because it's the product of your labor? No, it's my chair and you also owe me for damages to my wood.


I reject utilitarianism. You can't measure happiness. There are no units. Therefore, you cannot compare it. Also, if you accept utilitarianism as a first principle then, since there were 90 million Germans in Nazi Germany and only 6 million Jews, as a utilitarian you must accept that the Jewish holocaust was "perfectly valid". That's a reductio ad absurdum of utilitarianism. Murder is wrong, regardless of how many people will be happy.

Do me a favor. Go see the movie "Watchmen". It's entertaining but also shows utilitarianism in all its glory. The villain is a true utilitarian. Ultimately, utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism which says that "results matter first". I disagree. If 90 million Germans will be unhappy unless 6 million Jews are exterminated. Guess what? I want there to be a lot of unhappy Germans.

Don't get me wrong. Consequences do matter, but not first before anything else. They matter in determining how you apply your moral principles.
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September 05, 2011, 10:10:12 AM
 #231

Societies will act so the question is what is a reasonable basis for action.  If you don't accept the greatest happiness of the greatest number as measured by votes in democratic elections, then what basis can society decide things like rights, liberties, laws and so on?

And please, you finally stop using slavery as a crutch and bring up genocide instead?  I can do that in reverse if you want - but like slavery, the analogy generates heat rather than light.

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September 05, 2011, 10:31:45 AM
 #232

Societies will act so the question is what is a reasonable basis for action.  If you don't accept the greatest happiness of the greatest number as measured by votes in democratic elections, then what basis can society decide things like rights, liberties, laws and so on?

Since rights, liberties, and laws are all based on personal values, which are ultimately just opinions, there is no factual basis for any of those things. They all stem from emotions. I have empathy. Whenever I do something to someone else, I put myself in their shoes and ask myself, "How would I like to be treated that way?" If the answer is, "I wouldn't like it" then I don't do it. At some point, we might disagree because we don't all have the same opinions and there's nothing we can do other than agree to disagree when our beliefs can coexist or commit violence against each other when our beliefs cannot coexist. There's no shortcut, I'm afraid.

And please, you finally stop using slavery as a crutch and bring up genocide instead?  I can do that in reverse if you want - but like slavery, the analogy generates heat rather than light.

Genocide is a direct refutation of utilitarianism. I'm sorry if you were offended. I really respect you because, even though we disagree, you are respectful. So, I regret offending you. However, my point was only that it doesn't matter how many people want something, if it's wrong, it's wrong.
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September 05, 2011, 10:46:45 AM
 #233

Societies will act so the question is what is a reasonable basis for action.  If you don't accept the greatest happiness of the greatest number as measured by votes in democratic elections, then what basis can society decide things like rights, liberties, laws and so on?

Since rights, liberties, and laws are all based on personal values, which are ultimately just opinions, there is no factual basis for any of those things. They all stem from emotions. I have empathy. Whenever I do something to someone else, I put myself in their shoes and ask myself, "How would I like to be treated that way?" If the answer is, "I wouldn't like it" then I don't do it. At some point, we might disagree because we don't all have the same opinions and there's nothing we can do other than agree to disagree when our beliefs can coexist or commit violence against each other when our beliefs cannot coexist. There's no shortcut, I'm afraid.

And please, you finally stop using slavery as a crutch and bring up genocide instead?  I can do that in reverse if you want - but like slavery, the analogy generates heat rather than light.

Genocide is a direct refutation of utilitarianism. I'm sorry if you were offended. I really respect you because, even though we disagree, you are respectful. So, I regret offending you. However, my point was only that it doesn't matter how many people want something, if it's wrong, it's wrong.


The problem with your "How would I like to be treated that way?" test is that you ignore the fact that your beliefs damage other people and only look at your own loss of freedom.  People don't like being damaged - its not cruel or oppressive for them to say "Stop.  I like movies, games and Coca-Cola and if you don't, then simply abstain from having them instead of undermining the legal basis of my having these good things."




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September 05, 2011, 10:48:29 AM
 #234

The problem with your "How would I like to be treated that way?" test is that you ignore the fact that your beliefs damage other people and only look at your own loss of freedom.  People don't like being damaged - its not cruel or oppressive for them to say "Stop.  I like movies, games and Coca-Cola and if you don't, then simply abstain from having them instead of undermining the legal basis of my having these good things."

I like movies and games too. I also make my living selling software. I'm already biased towards agreeing with you but my principles prevent me from stomping on the rights of others.
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September 05, 2011, 01:25:04 PM
 #235

My entry to this thread, a link demonstrating how patents harm rather than help pharmaceutical development, fell on the deaf ears of its principal satanic advocate but was of some utility to other participants.

The conversation has since shifted to copyright, and our rogue now claims that a publication monopoly is necessary for creative works. This opinion is also non-factual, and smarter men then ey people have thought about and documented an answer to the question of how original content can be rewarded in a world without copyright.
We introduce the Street Performer Protocol, an electronic-commerce mechanism to facilitate the private fi nancing of public works.

Trademark, too, has been addressed. Others have asserted this here already, but to reiterate (emphasis mine):
It seems to me that the primary justification for trademark rights is based on the notion of fraud–that the “infringer” is defrauding his customers by misrepresenting his identity and the source of the goods being sold (see pp. 43-44 of my Against Intellectual Property, pp. 59-63 of Reply to Van Dun: Non-Aggression and Title Transfer, p. 34 of A Theory of Contracts: Binding Promises, Title Transfer, and Inalienability). This would give a cause of action to customers, however, not to the holder of the mark, who is not defrauded. Now just as some a “class representative” is given the right to sue on behalf of the whole class in a class action lawsuit for efficiency/incentive reasons, the more law-and-economics minded types might say that the right to sue for such consumer fraud ought to be transferred from the diffuse group of defrauded customers, to the trademark holder himself. That is, the trademark user can sue infringers, but his right to do this is based on the right of customers’ fraud cause of action.

Stephan Kinsella, the author of that last quote, has also written and made publicly available a detailed but still short (under 60 pages) explanation of how Intellectual Property is an inconsistent system and violates tangible property rights: Against Intellectual Property. I have no expectations regarding Hawker, but believe it will be valuable here nonetheless.

Edit: retracted an unnecessary snipe.
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September 05, 2011, 01:51:40 PM
 #236

gibson042 I suggest you read Chapter 6 the book Ruwart wrote.  Its pretty damning in terms of people dying for no good reason and she is a libertarian herself. 

I'm loathe to go into the copyright thing again.  But everyone accepts that movies need a way to recover their production cost and without copyright, there is no way.  If it was remotely viable, they would already be doing it.  Its worth paying attention to what the market tells you.

As discussed earlier in the thread, its fine to say "movies are not worth it - lets abolish copyright anyway" but then its a question of how you convince the society you are in that the trade-off is worth it.  If I recall correctly, your objection is that you don't want the fact that you are a part of society to be taken into account so its sort of a dead end for you.



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September 05, 2011, 01:55:33 PM
 #237

everyone accepts that movies need a way to recover their production cost and without copyright, there is no way

Did you forget Clerks vs. Pirate's of the Caribbean 3 already? A movie made on a shoestring budget has a higher audience rating than the most expensive movie ever made. Clerks could have easily made that money back without copyrights and without copyrights it would have spread far and wide even faster than it did.

The problem is that you keep equating all movies with $100+ million dollar movies. I don't think that's very fair.
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September 05, 2011, 02:03:48 PM
 #238

everyone accepts that movies need a way to recover their production cost and without copyright, there is no way

Did you forget Clerks vs. Pirate's of the Caribbean 3 already? A movie made on a shoestring budget has a higher audience rating than the most expensive movie ever made. Clerks could have easily made that money back without copyrights and without copyrights it would have spread far and wide even faster than it did.

The problem is that you keep equating all movies with $100+ million dollar movies. I don't think that's very fair.

Clerks would have made zero money without copyright.  Its the payment from movie theatres that is needed.

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September 05, 2011, 02:15:16 PM
 #239

Clerks would have made zero money without copyright.

Just like the Nine Inch Nails album that was released as a free download but still made ~$1,000,000 in CD sales?
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September 05, 2011, 02:22:45 PM
 #240

Clerks would have made zero money without copyright.

Just like the Nine Inch Nails album that was released as a free download but still made ~$1,000,000 in CD sales?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Slip_%28album%29

Seems pretty clear.  The free download was not where they made their money - it was in the CD sales.  If someone else were able to make NIN Cds, they would have got nothing.

And as we discussed earlier, individual artists and programmers really can't stop themselves producing.  They love it.  But that is entirely different from large projects that require budgets like computer games and movies.  We've covered this - I don't know why you want to repeat it ?  Your position is that even if movies become much scarcer, the trade-off isn't worth it.  Or are you saying that making movies scarcer would be an unacceptable price and then you'd be willing to countenance intellectual property ?

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