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  • R 8:41 pm on April 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    The term ‘intellectual property’ is an oxymoron, a nonsense word. 

    “This is an intellectual ‘property’ (IP) issue. First of all, you need to understand what property really is. Legitimate property arose spontaneously as a means of justly determining the allocation of units of scarce resources among human beings. Imagine if we were in the garden of eden, there is no scarcity. I can conjure apples from the tip of my fingers, and so can you. Therefore the concept of property would not have arose, for it makes no sense. In a world where you can ‘have your cake and eat it too’, if you ate my cake, I will just conjure a new one. There is no scarcity. What does it matter that you ate mine? And so it is with packets of information. Information is not-scarce. I don’t have to wait until you’re done with the movie before I can play one. We press a button and we each have a movie each. If I modify my movie, it does not modify yours. If I copy yours, you don’t have any less. It is as if by magic, there is infinite copies of movies available. What does it matter that you are using this copy? I will just conjure a new one. That is why there is no conflict in the use of information, hence no need for property rights. We don’t have to guard the other from using our information. We can both use it at the same time. That is why the term ‘intellectual property’ is an oxymoron, a nonsense word.

    On the contrary, In the world of scarcity, if you ate my cake, I can’t eat it anymore. Therefore I will defend my cake with a gun if you dare try to eat it. Intellectual property is the opposite. You are saying you will invade other people’s use of their own cake with guns. You are saying you will invade other people’s use of their own movie with guns.

    However, you certainly have the right to keep your creation to yourself. If someone were to steal your copy, it would indeed be theft, and you would be entitled to compensation.

    However, it is another matter entirely if you willfully release your creation to the world, and then try to tell others that they can’t use their own property and effort to make a copy, or try to improve on their copy and share those improvements. To deny them this implies that you have the right to restrict their use of their own property. If they continue to use their property as they choose, you are saying you will use the government to steal from them in the form of fines, and if they resist…. then break their knee caps.”


  • R 8:34 pm on April 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Produce and serve customers. But don’t produce and serve customers at the expense of other people who produce and serve customers. 

    Anyone who uses guns to go around dismantling VN TL projects IS an enemy of the average fans who just wants to have as much translation as possible (which the free market provides). It means produce and serve customers. We appreciate that. But don’t produce and serve customers at the expense of other people who produce and serve customers. In the market for translations, whoever can do it at the fastest speed, at the lowest cost, and at the necessary quality wins. Serve your customers in the way they wish to be served, not in the way you wish to serve it (Not 2+1 years later). Because if you don’t, someone in the free market will do it for you.

    Mangagamer destroys a Da Capo III fan translation:

    2nd part of my letter to an attorney from Greenville, Delaware (US) who was employed by Mangagamer to threaten me:

    House Republicans: Copyright is not free market

  • R 9:17 am on March 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    In 1974 the overwhelming majority of commercially published works in the US was public domain. 


    Before 1972 in the US, the public’s understanding of copyright was that it is a temporary advantage given to authors.

    Congress: “US Congress’s protection of copyrights is not a “special private benefit,” but is meant to achieve an important public interest: “to motivate the creative activity of authors and inventors by the provision of a special reward, and to allow the public access to the products of their genius after the limited period of exclusive control has expired.”

    US Congress: “The granting of such exclusive rights [copyrights] under the proper terms and conditions, cofers a benefit upon the public that outweighs the evils of the temporary monopoly.“

    By the provision of a temporary monopoly, parliament (UK) or congress (US) hoped to encourage the progress of learning and bribe authors into generating materials for the public domain as to benefit all people. It is not designed to benefit authors.

    Human beings have incredibly short memories. In 1974 the overwhelming majority of commercially published works in the US was public domain. In order to receive the privilege of copyright, you must show that you will be distributing copies, you must pay a fee, your copies must be marked with a copyright notice. Notice of copyright – the familiar C-in-a-circle, along with the name of the copyright holder, the date first published, when the copyright will expire, to whom you must address to request permission and contact details. Failing to provide an accurate notice will cause you to LOSE YOUR COPYRIGHT. It turns out the vast majority of publishers in the 70s didn’t care to register copyright. It was never really that useful. [Source:Jessica Litman – Sharing & Stealing] .

  • R 5:37 am on March 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    If I print 1000 books, all 1000 books are mine. If I sell one book, I have 999 left. 

    If I print 1000 books, all 1000 books are mine.

    If I sell one book, I have 999 left.

    The one book that I have sold it is no longer my property. It has become the customer’s property. Now this one book that is no longer my property, it competes against my 999. The customer I have sold to is free to re-sell it or even give it away to friends, family or community for free, and clearly that may subtract a potential sale of my 999. But my customer does not steal from me, he merely competes with me.

    Now suppose my customer was to flip through his book and stroke by stroke with a pen, he copied his entire book into a 2nd book. So now my customer has two books. He has the book he bought from me, and he has his copied book. Now do we say that the 2nd book is not his property and that it is my property? No, the 2nd book is still his property. Just because he manufactured it by using a piece of property that he bought from me does not mean I even partly-own his 2nd book. He has full control over the 2nd book just as much as he has full control over the 1st book. If he chooses to spend his own time and money to manufacture a 2nd book so that he can give it to a friend, then he is free to do so, because THAT IS HIS PROPERTY.

    I do not even try to pretend that I partly-own his 2nd book because that would be implying that I can restrict my customer’s use of his own property, which is theft. I do not try to confuse my customer into thinking that competing against me is the same as theft, because that itself is the moral equivalent of frauding an old lady off her pension funds.

    It does not logically come to pass that if I manufacture a 2nd book using 21st century technology that it is no longer manufacturing books. Manufacturing a book in 14th century is the same as manufacturing a book in 21st century regardless of the technology of the time. Words like theft, piracy, stealing, protection are dishonest words that attempt to confuse the customer into thinking they do not fully own their own property, that someone else does. These attempts are the real theft. These are the words of thieves. Unfortunately their attempts do not work on thinking people. Do you not see it?

    See why do copyright monopolists think they can just steal from somebody else’s work?

    Also see 5 basic misconceptions about the copyright monopoly and sharing of culture.

    • Crosbie Fitch 7:46 am on March 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      NB there are (usually) two forms of property here: the paper book (material work) and the novel (intellectual work).

      If you sell someone a book, you necessarily sell them the intellectual work within it too.

      However, if the book/manuscript is in your private possession, a burglar can steal the intellectual work (by making a copy), even though they haven’t stolen the material work (the paper book).

      Intellectual work is property. The state granted monopoly called copyright is not a property right, but an 18th century privilege – despite the fact that so many people like to pretend it makes their words their property even after they have sold them.

    • Chris Tenarium 10:46 am on April 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      If someone were to copy the entire works of harry potter, printing 100 copies of those works and selling them or giving them out etc, that is illegal, property and intellectual property are two different things, I can’t justify it in a court of law by saying “Well I copied/improved their work and then used it for my own benefit”, people can pirate until their heart is content but I can’t let someone try and justify piracy.

      • Aaeru 12:45 am on April 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I didnt spell out the point of the article properly.

        the point is that any enforcement of your so-called intellectual “property” requires the destruction of real property rights. you can have real property, or you can MODIFY it to make way for IP. u cannot have both at the same time.

        • houstonlawy3r 6:52 pm on July 26, 2013 Permalink

          Interesting point. I was going to also make the comment that the act of copying copyrighted content (“the book”) is what the person with the pen was not allowed to do.

          Obviously I have my own feelings on whether it is right or wrong to make a copy of something you have purchased of lawfully acquired, but this is where copyright law differs from many peoples’ sensibilities. With some “fair use” exceptions, the law generally does not allow you to copy someone else’s copyrighted content, even if it is for the purpose of sharing it with your friend so that he can read it to. The law wants you to give YOUR PHYSICAL COPY of the book to your friend; this would be okay. In its essence, you purchased the tangible book; not the rights to the content in it.

          As for your comment, you are correct that the PAPER AND THE INK that you used to copy the content is still your personal property. Now obviously there are those who want to alter the laws to take even that away from you, but that is a very different issue than whether you were allowed to make the copy in the first place.

        • houstonlawy3r 6:54 pm on July 26, 2013 Permalink

          And sorry for the misspelling. The “f” and “r” keys are quite close together on this laptop.

          “Obviously I have my own feelings on whether it is right or wrong to make a copy of something you have purchased *OR* lawfully acquired, but this is where copyright law differs from many peoples’ sensibilities.”

  • R 11:17 pm on February 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Legitimate property exists only as a means of justly determining the allocation of individual units of scarce resources. 

    “First of all, you need to understand what property really is. Legitimate property exists only as a means of justly determining the allocation of individual units of scarce resources.

    You certainly have the right to keep your creation to yourself. If someone were to steal your copy, it would indeed be theft, and you would be entitled to compensation.

    However, it is another matter entirely if you willfully release your creation to the world, and then try to tell others that they can’t act upon information gained from it, or use their own property and effort to make a copy. To deny them this implies that you have the right to restrict their use of their own property. If they continue to use their property as they chose, you are saying you will use the government to steal from them in the form of fines, seizure of property and possibly jail time.”

    • rikugo1

  • R 6:54 pm on February 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    As soon as one scarcity finishes, it opens up the door to every other scarcity that surrounds the one that has now been fulfilled. (that were previously out of reach) 

    Your argument is ‘right’ and ‘deserve’.
    No one has a ‘right’ to make a living. That means even if they create our beloved arts. If you create video games for a living, you are a video games entrepreneur. It is your job to find a model to monetize your creations in the way/i> that the customer wants it, not in the way that you want to serve it. But serving them is not enough. You must serve them in a way that they will be willing to pay. Society doesn’t bend itself backwards for you. If you want my money, you serve me in a way that I will be willing to accept your services for a reasonable sum of money. There is no coercion. This is how the human empire was built.

    In post-netflix world, as soon as you have sold to your customer, they compete against you. That is because advances in information-reproduction has made the industrial activity of reproducing information so infinitesimally cheap. Everyone can run a printshop for the price of a computer and an internet.
    Do you know what happens when almost every person in the country runs a printing press that previously needed Hundreds of thousands of dollars to build? It creates an abundance. There is no scarcity or market demand left for the industrial activity of information-reproduction anymore. In fact it makes no sense to try and sell information-reproduction. Even if I charge $5, the bloke down the street with his printing press will do it for free. It means the market price for information-reproduction has been reduced to zero dollars (that is because price of goods tend towards marginal costs given enough time). It means if I sell it, I will probably not succeed. I will probably be outcompeted.

    But fortunately human desires never end. They never end. They always desire something.

    As soon as one scarcity finishes, it opens up the door to every other scarcity that surrounds the one that has now been fulfilled. (that were previously out of reach). I have listed some examples of scarcities that are still in demand.

    There is also:

    • Immediacy (i want it in my folder here as soon as it comes out. I will pay $3).
    • Personalization (i want u to record a brand new version of this track just for me)
    • Support (i want 24/7 support for this piece of software. I want online play.)
    • Accessibility (i want it on all my platforms. i want it on smartphone)
    • Embodiment (i want a boxed copy. i want it to line my shelf)
    • Generosity (i want it bcuz u are so generous. i like how u sold me $400 worth of games for $25)
    • Attention (

    But also:

    • Patronage (i want to pay you. i like how 95% of my money goes to u)
    • Transparency (same as above. i like how u tell me how much u make)

    ^ What if I don’t want to sell any of those? What if I can’t afford to sell any of these?
    The solution is to sell your labour. Because the creation of new arts is necessarily a scarcity. You are giving birth to a piece that previously did not exist in the world. So long as fans desire your work, it will always be a scarcity in the sense that you cannot pirate it.

    Readers don’t expect you to work for free, but they expect to be free to share and build upon the work after they have paid you to write it.

    Quote from John Gilmore co-founder of
    “What is wrong is that we have invented the technology to eliminate scarcity, but we are deliberately throwing it away to benefit those who profit from scarcity. We now have the means to duplicate any kind of information that can be compactly represented in digital media. We can replicate it worldwide, to billions of people, for very low costs, affordable by individuals. We are working hard on technologies that will permit other sorts of resources to be duplicated this easily, including arbitrary physical objects (“nanotechnology”; see The progress of science, technology, and free markets have produced an end to many kinds of scarcity. A hundred years ago, more than 99% of Americans were still using outhouses, and one out of every ten children died in infancy. Now even the poorest Americans have cars, television, telephones, heat, clean water, sanitary sewers — things that the richest millionaires of 1900 could not buy. These technologies promise an end to physical want in the near future. “We should be rejoicing in mutually creating a heaven on earth!” Instead, those crabbed souls who make their living from perpetuating scarcity are sneaking around, convincing co-conspirators to chain our cheap duplication technology so that it won’t make copies — at least not of the kind of goods they want to sell us. This is the worst sort of economic protectionism — beggaring your own society for the benefit of an inefficient local industry. The record and movie distribution companies are careful not to point this out to us, but that is what is happening.”

  • R 9:37 am on February 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    How to make a living as a video games entrepreneur in a world without scarcity of copies? 

    How to make a living as a video games entrepreneur in a world without scarcity of copies?
    [Aaeru] it all depends on your business model
    [Aaeru] consider that the THQ bundle made $5 million by selling 1 cent bundles.
    [Aaeru] the bundle price they were offering was for 1 cent
    [Aaeru] that’s the actual price for the item
    [Aaeru] yet the average was $5.76
    [Aaeru] now where does this 5.76 come from?
    [Aaeru] how is it possible?? asks the copyright-dogma minded
    [Aaeru] the answer i believe, is patronage.
    [Aaeru] the average was 5.76 per customer bcuz that is how much ppl are willing to pay to the artists
    [Aaeru] that’s the market price
    [Aaeru] In this scenario, the value comes from the patrons. The 5.76 exist, because the customer knows most of their money is going towards more video game creations. That is why it is worth 5.76. The folks at humble bundle recognizes this, and their ingenious innovation was ‘Transparency’. Of course there are lots of other innovations, but this is one of the primary ones.
    [Aaeru] humble bundle shows us that even in the absence of scarcity of copies,
    [Aaeru] u can still make money.
    [Aaeru] handing out copies for free does not mean that there is no business model

    [Aaeru] This is a very influential article from 2008
    [Aaeru] so when u buy a game from Steam,
    [Aaeru] u are not so much buying the game as you are buying the service surrounding the game
    [Aaeru] u buy it for the convenience, the findability, the online play, the friends system, the community
    [Aaeru] Steam is selling accessibility (i can DL the copy on another comp and play. i dont have to move files around myself)
    [Aaeru] Steam has regular discounts. They are generous.
    [Aaeru] Steam sells me immediacy (the download is so fast)
    [Aaeru] Steam has achievements.
    [Aaeru] if you create video games for a living, you are a video game entrepreneur
    [Aaeru] It is the entrepreneur’s job to find a way to monetize on their own creation. This is not factory work. The money doesn’t just roll in, Okay? In entrepreneurship you must find ways to serve the customer in the way that they would like to be served, not in the way that you would like to serve them.
    [Aaeru] u have to find a way to serve your customer in a world where every one of your customers become your competitor as soon as you’ve sold to them (everyone with an internet is a printshop). It is a world where the industrial activity of reproduction has become infinitely cheap. And because basic economics tells us that price of goods tend towards marginal costs given enough time, therefore the price of paying someone to reproduce you a copy right now, has reached $0.00. Therefore, don’t sell reproduction. No1 wants that.
    [Aaeru] It is not enough to just serve them. You must serve them in a way such that they will be willing to let go of their money despite the free copies.
    [Aaeru] in fact Gabe newell said he doesnt consider piracy a problem anymore
    [Aaeru] bcuz he has Outcompeted piracy.

    • Tsukotaku 12:37 pm on February 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Mmh, only a question: do you forgot about the millions of dollars behind each title you mentioned? AAA titles are titles with a big budget, and those were AAA titles. So, no you can’t make a living with this. With that bundle THQ probably was whishing to recover some the financial losses, not enough to save the company. Actually they didn’t make an income, in the end naturally.

      • Aaeru 12:54 pm on February 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Before you invest millions of dollars into making a game, you might want to have a clear idea on how to make your money back before you do so. Otherwise you are going to lose your money and possibly go bankrupt. And that’s very bad.

        I don’t want to hear the argument that someone has a right to make a living by creating AAA budget titles. If you don’t know how to make an AAA title succeed, then please drop out. Because someone else who Does know how to, will do it. You do not have a right to turn a profit in your investment. You only have an opportunity to turn a profit.

        If it can’t be done, then just don’t do it. Someone else who is smarter than you will do it. And they will become the next set of artists that get to create AAA titles for a living.

        See J K Rowling scenario.

        • Tsukotaku 2:00 pm on February 15, 2013 Permalink

          Now there’re more accessible license for game engines for privates and small groups, like the UDK’s licenses and the more expensive one of the Cryengine 3. However, with AAA we define a series of characteristics that the project must be.

          AAA Title = considerable amount of developers or personell = big amount of tools and workstations = a studio or a location to work = thousands or millions of € to feed what you intend to make = you need a startup = you need a publisher or something like a private funding

          And that is a very simplistic representation about how the industry works today. You’re the man who make the game for living or passion at least, and not the one who invest to make profit.

          The alternatives to make a career in the videogames industry are mainly two: the first is to find a job related to your knowledges, the second one is the “Indie” one. But honestly we will enter a never-ending discourse with a topic like this, and most importantly we can’t talk about AAA titles with the “Indie” market as subject.

          And I disagree when you say that: “u are not so much buying the game as you are buying the service surrounding the game”. I don’t know what you’re doing to live, but a simple task like make a model, a string of code or maybe a basic background may take hours. So, is not something that everyone can do without problems, and this is why you need a company or someone behind you and your group to a large scale project. And I think the is the biggest motivation of why service like Kickstarter are popular.

          Oh well, there’re also rare occasions when someone can pull up mountain of money with simple title and without the hand of no one. 😛

  • R 8:25 am on February 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    C4SS: So-called “intellectual property” is in fact nothing more than a legally fabricated monopoly 

    Several years ago, when I first put this website together, I dealt with these issues by means of “copylefting” notices and policy statements intended to make my writing freely available through a Creative Commons license. If you want to reprint this stuff under a Creative Commons license, you can still do that, all you want.[1] But I don’t care anymore. It’s not enough to try to kludge the legalities of copy-monopolies from within. So-called “intellectual property” is in fact nothing more than a legally fabricated monopoly, suppressing competition and emulation, constraining creativity, confining culture, science and technology to captive, capitalist-dominated markets, and violently depriving many of the poorest and most marginalized from access to critical resources for education and life-saving medicines. The legal fictions of copyright and patent are despotic attempts to monopolize the human mind; power-psychotic burdens crippling and destroying individual ownership and the progress of grassroots culture and technologies; outrageous constraints on human intelligence and creativity; and a destructive and desperate protectionist scheme for the profit of powerful corporations. This web project is, in spirit and in letter, at war with every aspect of Intellectual Protectionism, in its principles — of monopolizing power, entitlement, social control and economic privilege — and in its operation — through increasingly invasive government policing and legal coercion — and in the disastrous global effects of patent and copyright restrictions.

  • R 3:05 pm on February 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    The copyright monopoly is a limitation of property rights. 

    Misconception number five goes back to the original point of the copyright monopoly being described as “property”. After point four, we observe that the copyright monopoly is a limitation of property rights. This is a point important enough in itself to list as a fifth misconception: property rights and the copyright monopoly don’t and can’t coexist peacefully. The copyright monopoly actively limits property rights.

    Thus, if you take your stance in the safeguarding and upholding of property rights, you cannot defend the copyright monopoly and its limitation of said property rights. That’s like defending death penalty for murder with the justification that all life is sacred. There may be other justifications – but that particular piece of logic just doesn’t connect.

  • R 3:04 pm on February 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    When buying a book or a DVD, it becomes your property in full. 

    I have seen some people argue that when you buy a book or DVD, you don’t actually own it; that you would somehow pay money to license a set of rights that include the right to sit down and enjoy its entertainment, but would not include the right to copy it. This is factually and legally wrong. When you buy media, you buy the whole media. It becomes your property in full, including everything encoded onto it.

    So if it’s your property, why can’t you copy it freely? That’s because another law – the copyright monopoly – steps in and explicitly takes away those rights from you in regards to your own property. Specifically, the U.S. law (which will have to serve as example again) lists six specific actions that people may not take on their own property, but that are reserved for the holder of the copyright monopoly: see [USC Section 17, chapter 1, para 106]

    Very, very clear. Six specific actions in the law that are reserved for the holder of the copyright monopoly, regardless of whose property it is.

    But we observe here, going back to the original erroneous assertion, that if you were only sold a limited set of rights that did not include copying when buying a book or a DVD, the above piece of law would be wholly unnecessary. It wouldn’t make sense at all. Therefore, the conclusion is trivial that the assertion is wrong to begin with.

    When you buy a book, a DVD, or something similar, you obtain full property rights to it, including the right to produce as many copies as you wish in any way you like. But then, another law steps in – the law text quoted above – and takes away those six rights from you, the property owner.

    This is an important distinction, as these are rights that are perfectly normal for property, and the copyright monopoly creates an exception to your normal property rights.

    • Rick Falkvinge

  • R 3:02 pm on February 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Rick Falkvinge: Copying something outside the monopoly channels is not “taking without paying”. It is manufacturing. 

    The third misconception is that violating the copyright monopoly is just like “walking into a store and taking things without paying”. This argument, which is wrong on every possible level, is inexplicably still heard 25 years after the public debate started.

    Making copies isn’t taking anything in the first place. You are not taking anything without paying, you are manufacturing something without paying the monopoly holder. This is completely different conceptually and morally.

    When you are making a copy of media that is under the copyright monopoly, you are not taking property from anybody else. You are using your own property – your computer and gadgets, presumably – to manufacture a copy of a file. That’s not “taking” anything. That’s manufacturing something using your own time and resources. Those are two completely different concepts.

    You are not taking something without paying. You are manufacturing something without paying protection money to a monopoly holder, which sounds much less wrong than “taking” things. When using proper language, it becomes all the clearer how this monopoly is in all the trouble it should be in.

    It is all in the language. Compare the following four sentences:

    • “He downloaded a copy of Avengers for free.”
    • “He got a copy of Avengers without paying for it.”
    • “He manufactured a copy of Avengers for free.”
    • “He made a copy of Avengers without paying for it.”

    Rick Falkvinge

  • R 9:45 am on February 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Thesaurus Copyright January 21st 2013 illunatic People use… 

    Thesaurus Copyright

    January 21st, 2013 illunatic

    People use the word “copyright” often and, in many cases, without an proper understanding of what the word entails. Here is something for you to meditate on before wielding this word in your future discussions.

    1. the exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise exploit a literary, musical, or artistic work, whether printed, audio, video, etc.: works granted such right by law on or after January 1, 1978, are protected for the lifetime of the author or creator and for a period of 50 years after his or her death.

    The exclusive right to exploit artistic work. Alright then. Let’s see what the thesaurus offers.

    Main Entry: monopolize
    Part of Speech: verb
    Definition: dominate, control
    Synonyms: absorb, acquire, bogart, consume, copyright , corner, corner the market, devour, employ, engross, exclude, exercise control, have, hog, hold, keep to oneself, lock up, manage, own, own exclusively, patent, possess, restrain, sew up, sit on, syndicate, take over, take up, use, utilize
    Antonyms: distribute, scatter, share

    Are these healthy words? Are these the words that describe a thriving society? Copyright is a monopoly. Monopolies consume and devour competition. You are now the competition.


    • illunatic

  • R 11:23 pm on February 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Why Do Copyright Monopolists Think They Can Just Take Somebody Else’s Work? 

    Why Do Copyright Monopolists Think They Can Just Take Somebody Else’s Work?

    Copyright monopolists insist on the idea of controlling the fruits of other people’s labor, such as when other people copy a particular file. This attitude is offensive, insulting, and antithetical to a free market.

    copyright-brandedThe famous philosopher John Locke once published the idea that a person has the right to profit off of the fruits of their labor.

    This is only partially true. Once you have sold something, you hold no further rights to profit off of it. This is fairly obvious, but needs to be stated for context.

    An entrepreneur can sell one or both of two things: you can sell products, and you can sell services. If somebody decides to make shiny things and sell them, they have a right to profit off the fruit of that labor – but only up until the point where they sell the shiny things. Their ownership of the shiny thing, and their right to profit, ends the second the item is sold to somebody. Conversely, if somebody decides to sell their time in selling services, their right to profit ends the second they stop working for the person they have sold their time to.

    In geek terms, entrepreneurship is finding a value differential in society, constructing a conduit between the two endpoints and sticking a generator in the middle of the conduit. Profit ensues from the generator until the value differential has equalized to the point where the pressure is no longer sufficient to overcome the resistance of the generator, at which point the conduit stops working.

    This is how a free market works, and it is regarded as the foundation of our economy. However, copyright monopolists are trying their hardest to muddle this simple and fundamental principle, by claiming a continued kind of ownership even after something is sold. That’s not how a market works. That’s a monopoly. That’s harmful. That’s bad.

    We have indeed observed before how the copyright monopoly stands in direct opposition to property rights, sabotaging this foundation of our economy and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship.

    So for the sake of argument, let’s assume I am given a copy of the movie The Avengers by somebody. It is one of many copies. There are many ones like it, but this one is mine. It is my property in all its aspects.

    However, copyright monopolists would argue that they should continue to control my property. This is not just strange, but offensive. Even worse, when I do some labor on my own property, such as executing a “copy file” command on it, the copyright monopolists claim they should control that labor too – as well as the fruits of it. This is outrageous and has me fuming over their arrogance.

    When I manufacture another copy of The Avengers using my own property and my own labor, copyright monopolists somehow believe they have a right to the fruits of my labor. I find that idea offensive and insulting.

    It is true that the ease of my labor depends on many people having worked on other things before me. However, this is true with all entrepreneurship. My ability to copy a particular file depends not just on those who created the file, but also on those who invented electricity generators, the modern graphics card, the keyboard, wire insulation, storage media, networking protocols, and many, many other things. This is as ancient as Rome: entrepreneurship has always built on the already-performed work of others, and one set of previous such entrepreneurs do obviously not get any kind of special privileges on a functioning market.

    Anybody is free to create shiny things, but their ownership over the shiny thing stops the instant they sell it. That’s how a market works. Claiming control over the fruits of other people’s labor, such as when somebody makes a copy of a file using their own property, is deeply, deeply immoral.

    • Rick Falkvinge

  • R 11:20 pm on February 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    If I print 1000 books, all 1000 books are mine. If I sell one book, I have 999 left. 

    If I print 1000 books, all 1000 books are mine.

    If I sell one book, I have 999 left. The 1 book i sold i exchanged my right to control it for a sum of money.

    Now this one book that I no longer control, as soon as I’ve sold it, it competes against my 999. The customer I sold it to may decide to re-sell it, or possibly even give it away to friends, family or community for free. That is why your customers ARE your competitors.

    But if that customer decides to copy his book so now he has 2 books, either by hand, or using the 21st century copying machines we call ‘computers’, do we say that the 2nd book is not his property?

    No his 2nd book is still his property. It is not my property in the sense that he may use sufficient force to thwart my attempts to steal his 2nd book. Be it using knives or guns. He is morally justified to do so.

    This second book that is his book, he is free to re-sell it, or even give it away to friends, family or community for free.

    On the other hand, copyright is the author’s attempt to steal part-control over that 2nd book using knives and guns.

    Modified comment from:

  • R 2:39 pm on January 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Jeffrey Tucker: The Death of File Sharing 

    The attack on Megaupload takes all of this to a different level. This was not some wholly surreptitious, sketchy institution that was trying to get around the law. It was already becoming a legitimate service for launching careers in music and art generally. It seemed to be doing exactly what we expect in the digital age. It was reinventing an old model for new times through innovation in production, delivery and profit sharing.

    As I wrote before, this was most likely why the old-line industry came after them. It was not the illegal activities, but their legal ones that made them a target. The moguls do not want change. They crushed the competition. At the same time, the actual legal rationale that the feds used to blast these people away was their supposed violation of intellectual property through file sharing.

    Which raises the question: Is every site that makes file sharing possible in danger? Consider Dropbox, the hugely popular service that allows you to put your files in the cloud and create specialfolders that share them with others. This allows people to work on shared folders in a collaborative way, and prevents the inevitable problem of version control that comes with emailing back and forth. How exactly is Dropbox different from Megaupload? It is not that different. It is staid and scholarly, rather than flashy and jazzy. It’s
    interface is plain and neat, rather than colorful and upbeat. Otherwise, it is hard to qualitatively distinguish one from another. Dropbox is hardly alone.

    As TechCrunch puts it:
    “Several digital locker services operate like Megaupload. RapidShare and MediaFire are two of the larger services. But these sites have undergone a facelift recently and at least appear to be much less nefarious than they once were. Other services like Dropbox, iCloud, and Amazon S3 are open to hosting any
    file type a user uploads. They also make sharing easy, but in a way, that’s a lot more private than Megaupload. Still yet, there are sites like Zoho in which users can easily share content, content that could be copyrightable. But the prime goal of all these sites is open file sharing— just like Megaupload.”

    It is hard to see how any file-sharing site can pass muster under the new regime. There are plenty more like SugarSync and FileSonic. As Ghacks points out, users of the latter were greeted with the following ominous message just this week:

    Question: What value is a file-sharing site if it doesn’t permit the sharing of files? It becomes a thumb drive in the cloud. Maybe that is a bit of convenience, but it is not highly marketable or useful.

    Another tactic that file-sharing sites are using after the Mega attack is to outright ban U.S. users in hopes that this will somehow immunize them from the terror attacks being used by the U.S. government. Thus at one upload site were American users greeted with a government-generated block message.

    Americans look at China with shock that the government doesn’t allow access to a huge amount of the World Wide Web. But look: It is happening right now in the United States, but in an indirect way. This has been called a “virtual Iron Curtain” that is being thrown up around U.S. borders. It has already happened to banking. We are seeing the first signs of this on Internet access. Another site called has decided that it will no longer deal with the risk of these kinds of terror tactics and plans to shut down completely at month’s end. What else? Google Docs allows file sharing and has solved so many problems as a result. This has been a great advantage of this innovation. I use it every day. It is essential. But it is in danger. What about Facebook? I could post a copyrighted image there right now and share it with thousands. Facebook thereby becomes an accessory to the same crimes that Mega is alleged to have abetted. For that matter, what about email? When I send a file, it doesn’t remove it from my machine. A copy is made and made and made again. Who and what is to say whether what is sent or received is proprietary and made it through all the legal hoops? In the last several weeks, I’ve actually received emails expressing fear ofsharing links to public sites!

    All these changes go beyond the traditional “chilling effect” of random attacks on free speech and free association. This is a sudden and outright freeze, one that is devastating for the whole way in which the Internet has come to exist.

    What is called “file sharing” is the unique service that the Internet provides. Without that, the Internet becomes an efficient post office or another means of delivering television-style content. The reason that the Internet has been the driving force behind economic growth, political change, social progress and the general uplift of humanity is its capacity for taking scarce goods and converting them into nonscarce goods of infinite duplicability and availability. Information, media, data and images that were once captive of the physical world — paper and ink, film and bankers boxes — have been freed into another realm so that they can serve and enlighten the whole of humanity. This has happened because of the miracle of duplicating digital goods that are driving economies in the digital age. To ban duplication and file sharing today is no different from banning flight in the 1920s, banning steel in the 1880s, banning the telegraph in the 1830s, banning
    the printing press in the 1430s and banning the wheel and sail at the beginning of mankind’s advance out of the cave.
    It will set humanity back.
    It violates liberty.
    It attacks everything that constitutes and defines the times in which we live.
    It replaces a world of sharing and thriving with a world of violence and technological regression.
    The Internet will continue to exist, but it will take a different form. Large sectors will have to thrive behind very secure pay walls and only within private digital communities.
    And who is doing this? The U.S. government. Government in league with old-line corporate elites.
    And what is the official reason? To enforce “intellectual property.” It has really come down to this:
    Either the whole basis of copyright, trademark and patent are scrapped or we could see the death of the digital age as we know it. So long as IP is enforced, the U.S. world empire can continue to roam the world seeking whom it may devour

    • Jeffrey Tucker

    A Beautiful Anarchy – The Death of File Sharing

  • R 5:41 pm on January 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Copyright is a granted privilege that artists were given as a reward for the publishing of their art, instead they think it’s property! 

    There was a paradigm shift, and those government monopolies are no longer working anymore (bcuz enforcement on the net is impossible), but instead of recognizing that their government can’t help them make money anymore, they don’t even understand that copyright is a granted privilege that they were given as a reward for the publishing of their art, instead they think it’s property! ….in other words they are not even CLOSE to understanding why their business model from the 20th century isn’t working anymore (especially in Japan). And this really saddens me. Many artists who could have been making a living off their fans, don’t know how to, or don’t have the control or have not even heard of the ideas anyway, because their publishers don’t understand how to. In fact they don’t want to know, because their publishers have a financial interest to keep things the way they are.

    That’s why I always say, the best thing that the West can give to the Japanese is not their money. It’s their ideas. I heard there is a Pirate Party Japan now. So those ideas are spreading, and we have hope of a more efficient way to support artists in the coming years, because the copyright idea is dying slowly, bit by bit.

    • Random message to a random.
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