Subject: Re: FSBs and client-server
From: Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com>
Date: Sat, 27 May 2000 10:37:46 -0400 (EDT)

kmself@ix.netcom.com writes:
 > Russ and I have been a few more rounds than I care to remember on this
 > issue -- there's something fundamental about what he thinks is Lessig's
 > position which he absolutely cannot bear.  I can't say I was persuaded
 > by his argument.

What it comes down to is that I think I know how to run my business
better than anyone else.  Other people disagree, and create laws that
interfere with my best judgement.  I continually find it curious that
some businessmen support this kind of thing -- as if they *wanted* to
make themselves, their employees, and their customers implement
decisions of someone else's choosing.

Now, as to Lessig's "duh" observation that sometimes you have a
limited choices in the free market (code as "law" -- presumably this
only being a problem when it's someone else's code), I fail to see how
the situation is improved by further limiting the choices (legislation
as law).

Some people justify government because it solves public goods
problems.  All you have to do is create a good law and the market no
longer fails.  But it just moves the public good problem to that of
making good law.

Fine, so with copyright we don't have a public goods problem related
to authorship.  NOW we have a problem making copyright law meet
societal goals.  What with the Disney copyright extensions, I'm not
sure it is.  Another issue is out-of-print items -- I think copyright
should only exist if the author is copying something.  If you take
something out of print, you lose the copyright.  Hey, the same
principle applies to trademarks -- you keep them only as long as you
defend them.

But regardless of whether you agree, it points out that some problems
are hard to solve, and that government can't solve a problem, it can
just transform it.  Hopefully into one that's easier to solve, but in
my experience just into one whose solution is less fair.  Or even
just differently unfair.

-- 
-russ nelson <sig@russnelson.com>  http://russnelson.com
Crynwr sells support for free software  | PGPok | "Ask not what your country
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