Subject: Re: Thought crimes
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2000 13:57:32 +0900

>>>>> "shap" == Jonathan S Shapiro <> writes:

    shap> Copyright has two purposes: (1) to allow an author to gain
    shap> compensation for a work, and (2) to ensure that after an
    shap> appropriate amount of time the work becomes public domain.

But note that both of these are derivative from a prior principle:
"encouragement" of the useful arts for the public benefit.  (At least
in the case of the U.S. Constitution.)  That's important, because it
implies that both (1) and (2) are instruments in service of a more
fundamental purpose, and because it also determines how the conflict
between those two purposes should be resolved.

I think this actually strengthens your argument, since it allows the
argument that the state has no interest in protecting "rights" of
those who can protect their rights themselves to apply to material
only distributed on cryptographic storage media.  (Probably moot,
since protection is actually granted on the basis of the content, not
the storage medium.)

An aside:

    shap> I hear people argue "company X has a *right* to make a
    shap> reasonable profit on their inventions."

Who cares?  We need to hear about the _basis_ for that right to judge
whether this argument is of interest or not.  Otherwise it's just
another facet of the "great public confusion" about copyright.

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