Who is Liberty?

Intellectual Property — Who’s Is It?

Posted in Copyright, Protecting Yourself by Christopher Sarda on July 27, 2010

The little machine I’m typing this on has created quite the stir the last decade or two. With this tiny little thing I basically have access to the vast majority of human thought. As for the classics Gutenberg is only a click away, and I have access to Shakespeare, Dante, Chaucer and a whole mess of other stuff I can care less about.

The stuff on Gutenberg.org is great, but it’s not a problem, there’s no question about the legality of Gutenberg, Shakespeare long ago fell into the public domain, but what about Stephen King’s It or The Matrix ? Today I can hop onto Isohunt and download either one free of charge. Is it stealing? Do most who do it feel like thieves?

Copyright law is broken.

Let’s just assume the government has the resources to start cracking down on all these criminals, is that the world we want to live in? An active government getting into computers to make sure we don’t have an illegal copy of the latest cartoon? What else are they going to look at? How else will they incriminate you? What if you’re innocent, but they check anyway? Would that be justified? For the greater good?

We’re in limbo right now. Copyright policy REFORM is the only answer. Without it, staying in this limbo can be fatal for both sides. My freedoms are in danger for reasons mentioned above, but the whole entertainment industry is also at risk. A business needs to know the rules in order to operate, and the rules we have now are fuzzy and unenforceable.

The basics of my plan are to admit that private personal use is free. There’s no getting around it. What should remain copyright protected, is the right to make money off of your intellectual property. If you write a book, I’d be able to download it and read it in my home, I prefer to buy them and hold them though, but I couldn’t turn it to a hit special effects summer blockbuster, without buying the right from you. Now after you’re paid and someone does buy those rights, I could download the film at home for free, (although I do prefer to go out some nights with my wife and watch a movie in an actual cinema) but I could not create action figures, and lunchboxes with characters from the movies and make a profit.

It’s true though, that in my pretend world, there would probably be less summer blockbuster 200 million dollar special effect bonanzas, and artists with the popularity levels of The Beatles and The Backstreet Boys would go the way of Conan on NBC. No matter what changes, PEOPLE WILL NOT STOP WRITING BOOKS. PEOPLE WILL NOT STOP MAKING MOVIES. PEOPLE WILL NOT STOP COMPOSING SONGS.

I would argue that there would be more to chose from and more niche markets. But…



Plaxico Burress and His Evil Gun

Posted in happiness, Protecting Yourself by Christopher Sarda on January 8, 2010

“The defendant took an unholstered, loaded pistol into a crowded nightclub, accidentally firing it with one hand while holding his drink in the other,” he said. “This extreme and reckless disregard for safety is what New York’s gun laws were designed to prevent.”  This is was said by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. according to espn.com

Mr. Vance unfortunately definitely isn’t Liberty.  It interests me that New York’s gun laws are designed for ‘prevention’.  They obviously don’t work.  New York City is one of the most dangerous places in the US, and Mr. Burress, although an idiot, is someone who’s an actual earner in this little country of ours, not some criminal mastermind or drunken hooligan.

So this is basically what happens.  A state has draconian gun laws in order to protect its citizens.  Yet it is one of the most dangerous places in the country and Mr. Burress, who really should have known he was in totalitarian state, had a gun to protect: himself.  For this an earner, someone who made peoples lives better with his skills, someone who did his part to make our country’s favorite game better, now goes from giving hundreds of thousands of dollars into the system, to costing us a hundred thousand dollars to house in a prison.

And all the while, the NY district attorney says that New York’s gun laws are there to prevent gun crime!  Plaxico should be held responsible for anything that could have gone wrong, but the point is that New York laws designed to prevent gun crime in the name safety, didn’t prevent anything at all and all the public got in return was an expense rather than an account receivable.

I do know a DA that got himself some press and maybe a nomination as a democratic candidate in the future though.

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