Subject: Re: Thought crimes
From: Bernard Lang <>
Date: Mon, 25 Dec 2000 22:12:21 +0100

On Mon, Dec 25, 2000 at 12:07:31PM -0500, Jonathan S. Shapiro wrote:

> The content manufacturers and the disk drive makers are formulating a new
> contract with the viewing public. This contract does not protect the
> interests and rights of the public as copyright does, because it does not
> allow the content to be transferred into the public domain at the expiration
> of the copyright period. If the content providers have concluded that
> copyright provides inadequate protection, they are certainly free to devise
> other means. However, they should not be simultaneously entitled to claim
> the benefit of copyright for their works.

excellent remark

> The model for modern copyright law was the Copyright Act of 1709, 8 Ann. c.
> 19), which was fundamentally an anti-monopoly law. Modern copyright is based
> on *preventing* monopolies of exactly the kind that the content
> manufacturers are trying to establish.

Could you elaborate on these two sentences ?

> I hear people argue "company X has a *right* to
> make a reasonable profit on their inventions." Similarly, we are hearing
> that "company Y has a *right* to make a profit on their video, recording, or
> what have you. These are reasonable arguments, but they have very little to
> do with copyright or patent.

they are not even reasonable argument ... well they have every right
to make a profit, but a patent is a monopoly.  It is about preventing
others from making a profit, even if they invested too.

   But I guess that is also what you meant, by saying "very little to
do with copyright or patent"

> The purpose of copyright and patent is to ensure that the protected
> intellectual property becomes a public good within some reasonably short
> period of time.
> Perhaps, before we agree too readily that either change is reasonable, we
> should stop to examine the history of repression and bloodshed that has
> surrounded similarly repressive laws in the past.

could you elaborate on that too ... what repression and bloodshed are
you referring to ?

Happy whatever you are usually happy about at this time of the year.

Bernard Lang

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