Subject: Re: As if the DMCA wasn't bad enough
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 08:58:02 +0900

>>>>> "Ben" == Ben Tilly <> writes:

    Ben> Then perhaps the opponents of such measures need to make it
    Ben> into a simple moral issue as well.  What that is and how to
    Ben> couch it is going to be hard, but we need something.

I can't do it without lying, can you?  Look here:

    Ben> "The real pirates here are the intellectual property thieves
    Ben> who are stealing our *CONSTITUTIONAL* right to fairly use
    Ben> what we have bought and paid for!"

Don't set yourself up.  Read what you just wrote.  You've bought into
the "property rights" line.  You can't use the word "steal" without
that assumption!  Now you've delegated to society, or in the U.S. its
duly elected representatives (oh, shit!), the job of delineating what
they are.  You have no choice about that, legally or morally.

Most people I know, given they understand the difference between a
compact disk and its information content, feel none of the entitlement
you express.  They believe that there is obnoxious monopoly power,
which should be reduced, but the principle that information can be
owned and access denied doesn't bother them.  They want a fair price
for information, not a zero price.  They want equal access, not
unrestricted access.  And they see nothing wrong with the principle
that the owners can design the contracts for mutual benefit, including
leasing rather than selling information, or even leasing specific
_services_ based on the information.

They just wish the benefit was more mutual.

I just don't see a lot of resonance on this list with the way the
average person feels about these issues.

    Ben> "The Constitution gives copyright and patent as a temporary
    Ben> lease.  Now the software industry is trying to steal
    Ben> permanent ownership."

That's good.  It doesn't quite scan, but it resonates.  Maybe
"Copyright and patent are _temporary_ leases, according to the
Cosntitution.  But now the software industry is trying to steal
permanent ownership."

But that's not the simple argument you're looking for, I'm afraid.

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