Subject: Re: termless copyright and patents
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 17:55:33 +0900

>>>>> "David" == David Fetter <> writes:

    David> On Wed, Sep 20, 2006 at 05:53:02PM +0900, Stephen
    David> J. Turnbull wrote:

    >>>>> "Thomas" == Thomas Lord <> writes:

    Thomas> And, this would be better because socialism is a more
    Thomas> efficient allocator of resources?

    >> Since Congress is involved, it's already socialism; I'm arguing
    >> we can have a better form of socialism.

    David> Government is socialism?  What have you been smoking?!?
    David> Every government sets boundaries on the markets, *which it
    David> makes possible*.  Calling that "socialism" is just plain
    David> idiotic.

But we're not talking exclusively about setting boundaries on markets.
We're talking to a great extent about the government reallocating
wealth.[1]  All of the benefit to the monopoly granted by a copyright
is already exhausted at first sale.[2]  So when an existing copyright
is extended, it's purely a transfer, and in this case a very
regressive one.  And there are other attendant transfers, not all of
which are justifed by creation of value.

    >> "IP" is still government force and still yuck, of course,

    David> The alternative to government force is private force,

You can't exclude this middle, I'm afraid.

By the way, may I take it that you do agree that IP (as currently
formulated) is yuck?  IP is yuck for reasons quite independent of how
it is legally founded and enforced, you know.

    David> It really saddens me when otherwise bright people espouse
    David> this libertarian nonsense.

What kind of nonsense do you espouse? ;-)

[1]  I believe that the increase of term length was entirely motivated
as a smokescreen for extension of existing rights.  Because of
discounting, there just is no (gross) social benefit to copyright
terms longer than the average lifespan of a human being, while there
are great costs.  Caveat: of course if "creator's natural right"
exists, that's sufficient justification---copyright isn't a
"transfer," it's "the way God planned it".  I don't believe in such a
right, but YMMV.

[2]  Lest a RealLawyer[tm] get on my case, I should say that
"exhausted" and "first sale" are a deliberate reference to the legal
doctrines by those names, but the usage here is different.

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