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Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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Copyright Madness

Even the Wall Street Journal is stepping in -- even if it is the Weekend Journal.

Woodlief, Tony. 2010. "Curse of the Greedy Copyright Holders." Wall Street Journal (9 July). http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704608104575220551906611796.html?mod=ITP_weekendjournal_6

"When I asked to use a single line by songwriter Joe Henry, for example, his record label's parent company demanded $150 for every 7,500 copies of my book. Assuming I sell enough books to earn back my modest advance, this amounts to roughly 1.5% of my earnings, all for quoting eight words from one of Mr. Henry's songs. I love Joe Henry, but the price was too high. I replaced him with Shakespeare, whose work (depending on which edition you use) is in the public domain. Mr. Henry's record label may differ, but it's not clear that his interests -- or theirs -- are being served here. Were they concerned that readers might have their thirst for Mr. Henry's music sated by that single lyric? Isn't it more likely that his lyric would have enticed customers who otherwise wouldn't have heard of him?"


Comments

Regretfully, the Wall Street Journal article reinforces the concept of so-called "intellectual property" as a valid property right. The WSJ wrote: "Mr. Helprin claims injustice in the fact that the family of a factory owner can inherit his property through generations, while the family of a writer loses rights to his creations in a relatively short time.". The Constitution only grants the copyright privilege for a limited time unlike real property. The central thrust of the WSJ article is that the current growing trend of so-called "intellectual property" for milking the consumer of money has started to become counter productive and destructive rather than unethical.

Regrettably the article did not deal with the greater concern that copyright holders have and are still attempting to gain "rights" that they should not possess.

The Constitution only grants the copyright privilege for a limited time unlike real property.

Talk about reinforcing things!

  • The US Constitution grants no privileges.
  • The US Constitution does not mention copyright nor any monopoly in literary works.

1787: Securing an author's natural exclusive right to their writings is ethical.

1790: Importing Queen Anne's privilege of copyright from the old country in order to obtain similar benefits to crown and press is unethical, since that privilege derogates from the cultural liberty of all citizens (including the author).

"Securing an author's natural exclusive right to their writings is ethical. "

No one is owed a monopoly on anything. Don't like it, don't produce and release your work. Such a right is not a natural right, it's a legal right. Even the founders of the constitution understood this.

Anon, people aren't owed a monopoly, no, but the monopoly they have by nature is theirs and should be protected - they have a natural right to it.

The Founders, well, at least the Founder who penned the progress clause understood this.

"but the monopoly they have by nature is theirs and should be protected - they have a natural right to it. "

Nobody has a monopoly by nature, a monopoly requires an institution to enact. No one has a natural right to a monopoly.

"The Founders, well, at least the Founder who penned the progress clause understood this."

No, they understood the opposite, but I suspect you didn't read quotes from them.

"Considering the exclusive right to invention as given not of natural right, but for the benefit of society, I know well the difficulty of drawing a line between the things which are worth to the public the embarrassment of an exclusive patent, and those which are not."

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_8s12.html

"But grants of this sort can be justified in very peculiar cases only, if at all; the danger being very great that the good resulting from the operation of the monopoly, will be overbalanced by the evil effect of the precedent; and it being not impossible that the monopoly itself, in its original operation, may produce more evil than good."

James Madison

http://books.google.com/books?id=UWICAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA490&lpg=PA490&dq=%22But+grants+of+this+sort+can+be+justified+in+very+peculiar+cases+only%22&source=bl&ots=usYhrM9MQI&sig=h7Ad3rhMpelWylZkkfcPyxWccns&hl=en&ei=IiL8S4T0HZXiNYitvNoB&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CBYQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22But%20grants%20of%20this%20sort%20can%20be%20justified%20in%20very%20peculiar%20cases%20only%22&f=false

Nobody has a natural right to a monopoly, the founding fathers understood that.

(the first quote was by Thomas Jefferson).
Also, more quotes from the founding fathers.

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2001/7/23/23214/3438

To quote some of the shorter exerts.

Madison

"With regard to monopolies they are justly classed among the greatest nuisances in government. "

but of course those who believe in civil liberties and civil rights and individual freedoms and free market capitalism have always been seen as crazy extremists.

Anonymous 2:42, everyone has a monopoly by nature since everyone is a creative individual, thus everyone has a natural monopoly to their individual creations, whether material or intellectual. This is the exclusive right that the people empower Congress to secure.

Anonymous 2:46, people have a natural right to what is naturally theirs, and thus have a natural right to their natural monopoly.

Anonymous 3:07, grants of unnatural monopolies are derogations of liberty and instruments of injustice.

I suspect all three anonymous commenters are conflating the US Constitution with the subsequent import and unconstitutional legislation of copyright and patent from the old world.

"everyone has a monopoly by nature since everyone is a creative individual"

Does not follow.

"thus everyone has a natural monopoly to their individual creations, whether material or intellectual."

Ditto.

"This is the exclusive right that the people empower Congress to secure. "

The fact that an institution must secure it makes it unnatural being that nature has no institutions.

"people have a natural right to what is naturally theirs, and thus have a natural right to their natural monopoly. "

You are assuming that a monopoly is naturally theirs and it's not.

"grants of unnatural monopolies are derogations of liberty and instruments of injustice. "

Good, then you're against patents and copyrights and grants of monopolies in general because all monopolies are unnatural.

"I suspect all three anonymous commenters are conflating the US Constitution with the subsequent import and unconstitutional legislation of copyright and patent from the old world. "

I suspect you have no idea what you're talking about past your talking points and haven't spent any time reading what the founding fathers have written on the subject. Most IP maximists are inherently lazy, so I am not surprised.

The founding fathers were referring to patents and copyrights. Read the text.

Justice Louis Brandeis wrote in 1918: "The general rule of law is, that noblest of human productions knowledge, truths, and ideas become, after voluntary communication to others, free as the air to common use."

http://elastico.net/copyfight/upload/siva_jefferson.pdf

The purpose of IP is to promote the progress, it's not there because the founding fathers or anyone who seriously considered (or considers) the subject at the time (or now) felt that anyone is owed a monopoly. Heck, even our broken news media understands this and advocates IP under the (false) pretext that it's necessary to promote the progress and it's even written in the constitution (but I'm sure you ignore the part where it says to promote the progress). IP should only be granted to the extent that it promotes the progress otherwise the granting of it is unconstitutional. Furthermore, the constitution doesn't say that congress must grant you such monopolies, just that it has the (legal) right to grant you such monopolies, it can choose not to exercise this right because no one is (constitutionally nor naturally) entitled to a monopoly.

"He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation." Thomas Jefferson, in Writings of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 6, H.A. Washington, Ed.,1854, pp. 180-181. Link: http://www.lib.virginia.edu/copyright/

http://features.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/08/02/2151216

(don't know why the original site doesn't work, leave it to IP maximists to distort history?)

Anonymous 4:28, it does indeed follow that "everyone has a monopoly by nature since everyone is a creative individual, thus everyone has a natural monopoly to their individual creations".

I am naturally an individual. There is ONE of me (I may not be further divided). Hence the 'mono' in monopoly. I naturally CREATE things, things that did not previously exist. These things being created within my private possession means that I am consequently the SOLE SUPPLIER of these things.

For example if I create a poem, I have a natural monopoly to that poem. You will be unable to source that poem from any other supplier.

Thus it is not true to say that "All monopolies are unnatural".

In general, I have a natural exclusive right to my writings that I would empower a government to secure.

You may not copy, read, sing, translate, abridge, nor improve my poem without my permission.

Natural rights exist prior to government, but in pursuit of equality (as opposed to individual/feudal might) we empower a government to secure them.

You can keep on reeling off quotations, but unless you actually make a claim or question concerning any of them there's not much I can do, e.g. you could say "I claim that this quote demonstrates X", or "Do you agree with Y as quoted that Z is the case?". Indeed, perhaps you could post one or more of those quotations again but with a claim or question relating to it. I'll be pleased to address it.

Crosbie:

Indeed, there are two significant examples of what you describe. As was noted when J.D. Salinger passed away, there may have been up to 15 manuscripts for novels in his safe that he decided he wanted to keep for himself (a quite natural monopoly).

As has also been previously noted by one or more persons, Tesla's remaining notebooks were alleged to have been acquired by the federal government. Most or all of these notebooks have never been released to the public and doubtless the persons who originally reviewed those notebooks passed away long ago. If anyone has seen them since then they are not talking. Another monopoly that will exist until the notebooks are released (if ever; there have been claims that the notebooks were either destroyed or "lost").

Hence, Lonnie, why such exclusive right should be secured for a time limited to that of the author's natural lifespan.

Neither privilege, state, nor will should extend the author's natural ability and right to exclude others from their work.

Instead they must rely upon the secrecy of their confidants or destroy the secrets they do not wish to be inherited by the public. However selfish and misanthropic, it remains an individual's natural right to destroy their creations or discoveries remaining in their possession, undisclosed or not.

So, Tesla's notebooks, if acquired by the govt. should be published (it is arguable whether any knowledge can be so dangerous that the public is safer leaving it privileged to the state, to exclusively exploit/dispense as it sees fit).

"it does indeed follow that "everyone has a monopoly by nature since everyone is a creative individual, thus everyone has a natural monopoly to their individual creations"."

How?

"Hence the 'mono' in monopoly."

Mono means one, monopoly means one seller. Two different things. There maybe one of you but that doesn't mean there must be one seller.

"These things being created within my private possession means that I am consequently the SOLE SUPPLIER of these things. "

but you are not the sole supplier of others who create the same things or allegedly copy you. There is a difference.

"For example if I create a poem, I have a natural monopoly to that poem."

Nature provides you with no such monopoly. Animals copy each other all the time, monopolies do not exist in nature. Unnatural institutions must implement them. The founding fathers understood this and pretty much all of academia and even the mainstream media still understands this.

"Thus it is not true to say that "All monopolies are unnatural". "

Explain.

"In general, I have a natural exclusive right to my writings that I would empower a government to secure. "

The fact that you must "empower" a govt to secure it makes it unnatural because governments don't exist in nature.

"Natural rights exist prior to government, but in pursuit of equality (as opposed to individual/feudal might) we empower a government to secure them. "

Natural rights are rights that a govt aren't needed to exist. Monopolies need a govt to exist and are hence unnatural.

If you're seriously interested in the matter you can start by watching the following video.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100519/0404029486.shtml

A lot of what he says comes from major past philosophers.

but neither the founding fathers nor the majority (you'll be lucky to find even one crazy outlier) of academic philosophers on the subject (nor even the mainstream media) believe that there is anything natural about a monopoly. Your position goes against the current and past consensus and makes no sense at all.

Anonymous 8:11, if there is only one of me, and I am the only one able to supply my work, then should I be interested in selling my work, I am the one and only seller.

Do you still insist that this is not a monopoly? Or that if it is, it cannot exist without an institution?

A government is not NECESSARY for me to have this monopoly, but if I don't want my work stolen from me then I will be interested in empowering a government to protect it, to secure my natural right to it.

For example, let's say we're somewhere in the North American continent around 1700. I've just written a poem. If not from me, tell me who the heck you're going to source this poem from? If you want the poem I've just written, then natural law dictates that you must come to me if you want to buy it. I have a natural monopoly to it.

Crosbie:

Regarding extension of an individual's natural monopoly, I have to assume that Salinger's heirs now have to determine what to do with his monopoly on the alleged 15 manuscripts. As you properly noted, they can choose to destroy the manuscripts, to continue to keep them secret (a natural monopoly then), or to share them.

Salinger acknowledged his personal selfishness. He said that he wrote the novels for himself and felt no urge to share them.

Anonymous at 8:19:

So, Salinger's 15 unpublished manuscripts do not constitute a monopoly? Where, pray tell, do you expect to get a copy of these manuscripts? You have no idea what they are about and whether they are brilliant or trash. You are excluded by the monopoly ownership of the heirs and that monopoly does not require the government at all.

"So, Salinger's 15 unpublished manuscripts do not constitute a monopoly?"

No, because a monopoly implies a seller. Monopoly means one SELLER. He is not selling anything. The moment he sells one I can then naturally make copies and sell them too. I have a natural right to.

If you aren't interested in reading what the founding fathers have written or what any philosophers on the matter have written on the subject then at least watch the video, all of your arguments are already discussed in the video.
Crosbie:

I think I recall an anonymous on this site describing Tesla's notebooks. I believe that there have been petitions under the freedom-of-information act to extract them from the government. The government claims they do not have them. I am not sure of the exact answer but it was along the lines of we either lost them, we never had them (though there is documentary evidence that the government confiscated them after Tesla's death), or we cannot find them.

Hmmmmmm...

As for what might be dangerous in the notebooks, there has been speculation, partially fueled by Tesla's comments, that Tesla was working on some fairly outrageous stuff that, if workable, was perhaps too dangerous for any human to have, most ESPECIALLY the government. Rumors included that Tesla was working on a way to control gravity (not antigravity, but amplifying gravitational waves - which could potentially wreak great destruction) and on beam weapons. I recall reading somewhere that Tesla was working on figuring out how to transmit energy without wires (now that would be valuable indeed), but instead he is alleged to have ended up with a beam weapon.

I suspect that the theory behind these devices was sound, but as with many theories of the era the materials did not exist that would permit their implementation.

If these alleged devices were in fact created by Tesla or described in his notebooks, perhaps we would be better off if they were not revealed to the world yet, and perhaps never.

Anonymous:

Your definition of monopoly is too narrow. The definition of monopoly is having sole or exclusive ownership or control. The ability to be a sole seller is the result of the monopoly, not a definition of the monopoly itself.

Anonymous:

Do you have a link that is to another site other than techdirt? I do not visit the Techdirt site.

"The definition of monopoly is having sole or exclusive ownership or control."

Once you sell one copy then, by nature, you lose that exclusive ownership or control.

and in economics

"A monopoly is a market structure in which a single supplier produces and sells the product."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly

Monopoly = single seller

Oligarchy = Few sellers

"The ability to be a sole seller is the result of the monopoly, not a definition of the monopoly itself. "

The ability to be the sole seller can result in a monopoly. The action of being the sole seller is the monopoly itself. But that implies you are selling something.

Sorry, oligopoly = few sellers
"Do you have a link that is to another site other than techdirt? I do not visit the Techdirt site."

and why not? Just click on the video and the youtube version would pop up. Why is it so difficult for you to do that?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGUV79yuZ5A&feature=player_embedded

I always understood IP maximsits to be lazy but this is ridiculous. Can't click a link?

Anonymous:

If you restrict yourself to one aspect of a definition, you can so define narrowly. However, in a larger sense a single owner has a monopoly, regardless of whether that owner is interested in selling.

Theoretically, you can still retain control over future copies of an item if the person acquiring an item is unable to reproduce the item. Examples include silk (China had exclusive control of silk worms for a very long time) and bulk production of textiles (England zealously protected knowledge of this technology for decades). Owning a silk shirt does not tell you how to make another copy of it.

AC:

You presume much.

First, you presume I am an "IP maximalist," which is an incorrect statement.

Second, you presume that "IP maximalists" are lazy, which is unproven. Second, you apparently infer I am lazy. Avoiding going to a web site because of personal preference is not the same as being lazy. Indeed, I am switching between six different web pages at the moment for a variety of reasons...but not one of them is Techdirt.

Oops, that should have been third, not second for the second time...
"If you restrict yourself to one aspect of a definition, you can so define narrowly. However, in a larger sense a single owner has a monopoly, regardless of whether that owner is interested in selling. "

If we are going to discuss the matter seriously we should use precise definitions, not overly broad ones. I use the definition generally accepted in economics, the original definition of the word, perhaps because I took too many econ courses?

"However, in a larger sense a single owner has a monopoly, regardless of whether that owner is interested in selling. "

Lets not be vague here. If the owner is not selling something s/he has no monopoly because a monopoly implies a seller. The owner only has the exclusive right to the first sale of the first copy, once that is sold nature provides no monopoly on copies or subsequent sales of the first copy. An unnatural institution is required to secure such things.

"Theoretically, you can still retain control over future copies of an item if the person acquiring an item is unable to reproduce the item. Examples include silk (China had exclusive control of silk worms for a very long time) and bulk production of textiles (England zealously protected knowledge of this technology for decades). Owning a silk shirt does not tell you how to make another copy of it. "

You are confusing ability and right. Nature may provide an athlete with the ability to run faster than someone on a wheel chair but it doesn't provide the athlete with that right. The person on a wheelchair has just as much right to be an athlete, and to run just as fast or faster, as the athlete him/her self, it's just that the person on the wheelchair is unable to.

"Theoretically, you can still retain control over future copies of an item if the person acquiring an item is unable to reproduce the item. Examples include silk (China had exclusive control of silk worms for a very long time) and bulk production of textiles (England zealously protected knowledge of this technology for decades). Owning a silk shirt does not tell you how to make another copy of it. "

Also, there is the potential that someone else might independently produce identical documents. Though unlikely, if they do they can sell copies, nature affords you no exclusive right to sell copies just because you were the first to make those documents.

"to the first sale of the first copy"

(or the first original, basically, the first sold copy/original/publication.)

and if you still want to argue that nature provides you such a monopoly, let me ask, where in nature is such a thing provided? I see where nature provides water, food, plants, grass, air, shelter, fire, earth, sunshine/warmth, etc... Plants grow on the ground.

Where does nature provide you a monopoly? What part of nature provides this monopoly? Is it the air we breath? If I copy your work that you sold me, does nature smite me with a tornado? Or maybe it's the clouds, they will hit me with lightning? Where does nature provide this monopoly exactly? How? Nature provides no such monopoly, you have no natural right to it being that nature doesn't provide you this right? What part of nature provides you with this right? Or maybe the trees provide this monopoly, they will attack me if I copy your work (like the ones in lord of the rings?). Explain, what does nature do to provide you a monopoly?

Nature provides food, water, etc... I have a natural right to what nature provides. A monopoly, I have no natural right to, because it's not provided by nature? Where exactly does nature provide monopolies? Maybe monopolies grow on trees perhaps?

Sorry, didn't mean to put question marks after everything.
A monopoly is something the govt provides. It doesn't exist in nature. Otherwise, tell me where exactly is it located?
Anonymous:

It appears to me that humans have a monopoly on opposable thumbs. I have yet to see another animal copy that.

I also suggest that there are monopolies that occur within species. For example, how could you copy the gifts that Leanardo da Vinci was provided by nature; i.e., his intellect and artistic ability? The answer is, of course, that you might try to emulate him, but you (and I) will never be him.

How many Albert Einstein's are there? Can you copy Albert Einstein?

Monopolies are not the sole province of the government.

Anonymous 10:04, I have already explained how a natural monopoly in intellectual work arises. And examples have been given. If you wish to change the definition of monopoly (to be a priori unnatural) in order to support your argument that monopolies cannot exist in nature then this is moving the goal posts somewhat.

I am offering to sell you a poem you cannot obtain anywhere else, and without the benefit of crown or government, and yet you still insist it is not a monopoly, or because you define monopolies to be a priori unnatural, that it must be an unnatural one. So really it is you who should demonstrate what unnatural power grants me a monopoly to my poem before copyright has even been enacted.

AC:

By the way, why multiple references to "nature"? Nature is quite non-exclusive, in general, and limited in the scope of its laws and rules. Nature permits a living thing to either eat or be eaten. All else is construct.

Crosbie:

Good example.

I still maintain that to define monopolies only in economic terms is an artificial narrowing and fails a "natural" (to the extent that there is any such thing) test. If I have the Hope diamond, I have a monopoly on the Hope diamond. In fact, that monopoly is quite natural because there is no other Hope diamond or anything remotely like the Hope diamond in existence.

Furthermore, I have heard others argue that real property is a "natural" monopoly. If I own a piece of property "A," then I have a monopoly on property "A" that cannot be duplicated. You can possibly purchase property "B," but it will be different from "A" and can never be identical to "A" and as long as I have "A" I have a monopoly on "A" that is absolute, absent government regulation to the contrary and absent someone taking "A" from me by force.

Crosbie:

Good example.

I still maintain that to define monopolies only in economic terms is an artificial narrowing and fails a "natural" (to the extent that there is any such thing) test. If I have the Hope diamond, I have a monopoly on the Hope diamond. In fact, that monopoly is quite natural because there is no other Hope diamond or anything remotely like the Hope diamond in existence.

Furthermore, I have heard others argue that real property is a "natural" monopoly. If I own a piece of property "A," then I have a monopoly on property "A" that cannot be duplicated. You can possibly purchase property "B," but it will be different from "A" and can never be identical to "A" and as long as I have "A" I have a monopoly on "A" that is absolute, absent government regulation to the contrary and absent someone taking "A" from me by force.

"It appears to me that humans have a monopoly on opposable thumbs. I have yet to see another animal copy that. "

We are discussing rights. Also, humans don't sell oposable thumbs to non humans.

"For example, how could you copy the gifts that Leanardo da Vinci was provided by nature; i.e., his intellect and artistic ability? The answer is, of course, that you might try to emulate him, but you (and I) will never be him. "

Confusing ability with rights again.

"Monopolies are not the sole province of the government. "

When it comes to rights, yes they are.

"Anonymous 10:04, I have already explained how a natural monopoly in intellectual work arises. And examples have been given. If you wish to change the definition of monopoly (to be a priori unnatural) in order to support your argument that monopolies cannot exist in nature then this is moving the goal posts somewhat."

I never moved the goal posts, the whole context of the argument is rights, not ability. You are confusing ability with rights. Your initial claim is that people have a natural right to a monopoly, I have refuted the claim, and your response is to change the subject from right to ability.

"By the way, why multiple references to "nature"? Nature is quite non-exclusive, in general, and limited in the scope of its laws and rules. Nature permits a living thing to either eat or be eaten. All else is construct."

A "right" to a monopoly is construct. No one has a natural right to a monopoly. Where are the laws of physics that provide you with this? Which laws of physics or nature? They don't exist.

Anonymous 10:28, I'm trying to help you recognise that natural rights aren't supernatural (granted by god), but are imbued in us by nature, because of our natural abilities (ultimately deriving from our naturally evolved DNA and the physical laws of our environment).

So, if I'm naturally able to prevent you stealing my poem (from my physical possession), I have a natural right to it - to prevent you stealing it. Similarly, if you are naturally unable to source my poem from anyone else then I have a natural monopoly.

As to right, my ability/right to retain physical possession is greater than your ability/right to deny. Moreover, you do not need my poem to live, so can claim no greater right.

So perhaps you can enlighten me as to where (apart from me) you are able to source my poem from? If you can source my poem from someone else, then you can demonstrate that I don't have a monopoly to it.

"Anonymous 10:28, I'm trying to help you recognise that natural rights aren't supernatural (granted by god), but are imbued in us by nature, because of our natural abilities (ultimately deriving from our naturally evolved DNA and the physical laws of our environment). "

I'm trying to help you recognize that you shouldn't use non-sequitur logic.

"So, if I'm naturally able to prevent you stealing my poem (from my physical possession), I have a natural right to it - to prevent you stealing it. Similarly, if you are naturally unable to source my poem from anyone else then I have a natural monopoly."

A monopoly implies you are selling the poem. The moment you sell it, whoever you sell it to has the natural right to redistribute reproductions.

"As to right, my ability/right to retain physical possession is greater than your ability/right to deny. Moreover, you do not need my poem to live, so can claim no greater right. "

My ability/right to make distribute copies of the poem once you sold me the first copy/original is greater than your ability/right to prevent me from doing so.

"So perhaps you can enlighten me as to where (apart from me) you are able to source my poem from? If you can source my poem from someone else, then you can demonstrate that I don't have a monopoly to it. "

Again, a monopoly implies you are selling it. The moment you sell one source then I can source the poem from whomever you sold it to and you have no monopoly. Or if, hypothetically speaking, someone else (or I) independently reproduces the same poem, I can source it from them.

Anonymous 10:47, (if you're the same anon, you'd do us a favour if you adopted a pseudonym - but perhaps you'd like to maintain that potential),

I am selling my poem. I'm offering it for sale at $10,000 (a price afforded by my natural monopoly).

Can anyone obtain it anywhere else cheaper?

As far as I see it, the only way one can get it is to pay me $10,000.

Neither your intentions nor your future actions concerning what you'll do with my poem (perhaps offering it to a cartel of printers) affect my monopoly today. And today, I'm interested in maintaining my monopoly and the sale price of $10,000.

"I am selling my poem. I'm offering it for sale at $10,000 (a price afforded by my natural monopoly). "

and when you sell it the person you sold it to then has the natural right to resell what you sold or to freely distribute copies of what you sold.

Yeah, it's the same anonymous poster. Sorry.
AC (claims all previous Anons),

Before we discuss the rights of purchasers perhaps we can first establish that I have a natural monopoly to my poem?

"Before we discuss the rights of purchasers perhaps we can first establish that I have a natural monopoly to my poem?"

No you do not. If someone else independently produces the same poem, for instance, they can freely redistribute copies.

and until you sell your poem you have no monopoly on it because a monopoly implies someone is selling the poem.

You are not the seller until you actually sold it because someone doesn't become a buyer until they actually bought it. You can't have a seller without a buyer. You maybe offering to sell the poem before you actually sell it, in which case you are the offeror. Again, I don't want to use vague definitions here, I want to be as specific as possible

Basically, lets distinguish between offering to sell something and actually selling it. There is a difference. So if someone sold you a car the seller of that car is the person who sold it and you are the buyer of that car. If they are offering you the car for $2000 they are not the seller until someone becomes the buyer.
Anonymous @12:17:

Yes, IF someone else independently produces the same poem, then their copy would be in competition with the original. HOWEVER, to the point where the copy becomes available and the unique poem is offered for sale, what do you call that unique poem? Is it not a monopoly at that point?

Anonymous @12:28...

You have yet to answer my question about the Hope diamond. Is that diamond not a monopoly because of its uniqueness? If not, why not? It is the only diamond of its type in existence because nature created it that way.

There are other gems that are similarly unique.

What about natural phenomena that are owned? For example, there is a cave within Silver Dollar City that is privately owned. That cave is unique, just as a poem is unique. No one can copy the cave and only one entity owns it. Seems like a natural monopoly to me.

"Before we discuss the rights of purchasers perhaps we can first establish that I have a natural monopoly to my poem? "

Not really. I don't know if you watched the video or not but it would be nice if you read some of the texts above from Thomas Jefferson and others who have pondered the issue.

"It is agreed by those who have seriously considered the subject, that no individual has, of natural right, a separate property in an acre of land, for instance. By an universal law, indeed, whatever, whether fixed or movable, belongs to all men equally and in common, is the property for the moment of him who occupies it, but when he relinquishes the occupation, the property goes with it. Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society."

(Thomas Jefferson)

So he extrapolates that to inventions, for instance.

"Considering the exclusive right to invention as given not of natural right, but for the benefit of society"

Thomas Jefferson (linked above)

You don't have an exclusive natural right to anything. The purpose of properly laws should be to the benefit of society of a whole and the argument for their existence is that society is better off with them than without. They should only exist to the extent that they benefit society. You don't even have an exclusive natural right to the house that you "own." We allow you to have an institutional right because we believe that such rights are in the best interest of society, not because you are naturally entitled to it. The argument is that without these institutional rights there would be a lot more violence and fighting over things and hence we are better off as a whole with them than without.

IP is no exception. It should only be implemented to the extent that it benefits society.

Anonymous 12:17, the term 'creation' indicates that the poem is creative/original. If it is so uncreative or unoriginal as to be coincidentally arrived at by different authors then it fails to meet the definition of 'a poem I have created'.

Even if, in that billion to one chance, two apparently creative, but indistinguishably similar poems are simultaneously and independently arrived at by different authors, each author still has an effective monopoly to their poem because neither author has yet sold it, and neither the authors nor their potential customers are aware that the poem on sale is a twin.

Again, we are discussing the existence of natural monopolies, not what any purchaser of a poem at a monopoly price may later do.

A monopoly is not undone in the present by the possibility that it may be undone in the future. You seem very keen to resort to such a spooky means of invalidation.

That I have a monopoly over the secret recipe to Coca Cola today is not undone by the possibility that I may reveal that recipe to a competitor in the future.

"Is that diamond not a monopoly"

The diamond isn't the exclusive ability to sell something, the diamond is an object. You are clearly not interested in discussing the matter seriously. Monopoly =! diamond. That's like saying, Liberty = Car. They're not the same thing.

AC, so people who have not yet sold what they are offering to sell are not sellers? What shall we call them? Vendors? Hawkers?

So then, what would you call that situation where a vendor has something to sell that no-one else can supply? An 'I-can't-believe-it's-not-a-monopoly'?

"AC, so people who have not yet sold what they are offering to sell are not sellers?"

Who are the buyers? How can you have sellers without buyers?

"So then, what would you call that situation where a vendor has something to sell that no-one else can supply?"

The situation where a person or an entity has something to offer, but hasn't sold it yet, that no one else can supply? The exclusive ability to sell something maybe? The exclusive possession of something? Not a monopoly.

Anonymous 12:46, We should be able to recognise whether individuals can have natural monopolies without quoting from Jefferson.
Anonymous 1:03,

Fortunately Merriam-Webster has a word for "The exclusive ability to sell something maybe? The exclusive possession of something?"

Main Entry: mo·nop·o·ly 1 : exclusive ownership through legal privilege, command of supply, or concerted action 2 : exclusive possession or control 3 : a commodity controlled by one party 4 : one that has a monopoly

Maybe we should adopt that term?

"A monopoly is not undone in the present by the possibility that it may be undone in the future. You seem very keen to resort to such a spooky means of invalidation.

That I have a monopoly over the secret recipe to Coca Cola today is not undone by the possibility that I may reveal that recipe to a competitor in the future. "

Having exclusive knowledge of something doesn't mean you have a monopoly on it. Monopoly means a single seller implying there is something being sold. Copyright deals with sellers, buyers, and duplicators after the first release.

Now if you sell Coca Cola and you are the only one who knows the formula to sell it and no one else can duplicate it without the formula, you may have a monopoly, but once again, you are confusing ability with right. Nature grants you no right to be the exclusive seller of Coca Cola. If someone else figures out the formula they can just as easily make copies and sell it and it's their natural right to do so. Ability and right aren't the same thing. Nature grants different people different abilities (ie: some people can run faster than others) but everything in nature naturally belongs to everyone.

"Maybe we should adopt that term? "

No, because we are discussing copyright, so we must adopt the definition as it pertains to copyright/patents and economics.

"the market condition that exists when there is only one seller. "

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/monopoly?r=75&src=ref&ch=dic

Is the relevant definition here.

and even your definition acknowledges it's a privilege, not a right.

"1 : exclusive ownership through legal privilege"

(and the problem with using general dictionary terms when discussing academic matters is that language is often ambiguous. Words have very general meanings and can often have multiple meanings. Not in academics. Academic terminology is very specific, for good reason, with very specific and subtle distinctions among words so that everyone knows exactly what everyone else is saying. There is no room for ambiguity here. We will use the appropriate and relevant terminology to describe these matters, not some ambiguous dictionary definition).
Anonymous 1:10, you are being a tad facile. Of course a monopoly is only a monopoly until such time as it is not. But, again, the existence of a monopoly is not undone today by the possibility that it will be undone tomorrow.

I'm not so sure that everything in nature naturally belongs to everyone. If you believe that, then the entire edifice of private possession and property comes crashing down.

As to natural rights, these are natural needs/powers/abilities that we empower governments to protect equally. We don't empower governments to ensure that we are all able to run at the same speed, only that we are all at liberty to run. Protecting a right, an 'ability to run', equally isn't the same as ensuring people have an 'equal ability' to run. Otherwise I look forward to being able to play the piano as well as Andre Previn (instead of simply being equally at liberty to play as far as I am able).

AC, 'legal privilege' meets the definition of an unnatural monopoly. We are looking for a word that meets the definition of a natural monopoly.
Anonymous 1:27, I suggested that the dictionary definition of 'monopoly' already encompassed the situation where a vendor naturally commands supply, or naturally has exclusive possession of something. That's why I suggested that perhaps we should adopt 'monopoly' to describe that situation, and qualify it with 'natural' if needing to avoid confusion with the 'unnatural' variant.

If you're instead demanding that 'monopoly' only ever be used to describe unnatural monopolies, then that still leaves a bit of a void when needing to describe natural monopolies-that-shall-not-be-termed-monopolies.

To attempt to win the argument that natural monopolies cannot exist because the term 'monopoly' is prohibited from use in such a situation is not exactly cricket now is it?

We're right back to the Pyrrhic tactic of "A monopoly is a priori unnatural".

"I'm not so sure that everything in nature naturally belongs to everyone. If you believe that, then the entire edifice of private possession and property comes crashing down. "

The argument behind having private possession is that everyone is better off with them than without. If such is true then we ought to have them. But private property does not exist in nature.

"As to natural rights, these are natural needs/powers/abilities that we empower governments to protect equally."

Once again, governments don't exist in nature.

"We don't empower governments to ensure that we are all able to run at the same speed, only that we are all at liberty to run."

We are able to run without a government, we don't need to empower a government for such an endeavor. Such is a natural right granted to us apart from the existence of government. An artificial right is one which requires a government to implement, such as copyright.

"AC, 'legal privilege' meets the definition of an unnatural monopoly. We are looking for a word that meets the definition of a natural monopoly. "

No, we are looking for the correct terminology used in these discussions and that has been traditionally used in these discussions both by the founding fathers and by academics alike. Instead of making up your own terminology out of nowhere why not use the correct terminology.

"I suggested that the dictionary definition of 'monopoly' already encompassed the situation where a vendor naturally commands supply, or naturally has exclusive possession of something."

I'm being more specific by using the relevant and economical definition.

"To attempt to win the argument that natural monopolies cannot exist because the term 'monopoly' is prohibited from use in such a situation is not exactly cricket now is it?"

We are discussing the exclusive ability to sell something as it pertains to copyright. Copyright does not care about whether or not you are the exclusive possessor of a piece of knowledge, it only cares what happens once you release that knowledge to others. As such the correct definition in this context accounts for this.

"We're right back to the Pyrrhic tactic of "A monopoly is a priori unnatural"."

No, the tactic isn't that a monopoly is a priori unnatural. The argument is that once you release an idea or expression to someone else the right to prevent that other person from distributing copies is unnatural because such a right requires an institution (ie: a govt government) to secure and such institutions do not exist in nature.

As for discussing monopoly seriously, I believe I am. To othe extent that a patent is a monopoly a diamond could also be a monopoly. If I understand the way you are using the term "monopoly," a patent is not a monopoly until such a time that the owner of the patent exercises his patent rights or attempts to sell the patent. That makes zero sense to me.

Furthermore, limiting monopoly to only an economic definition, which is the narrowest of the monopoly definitions, I do not accept as a working definition. It is an artificial limitation to the term monopoly.

As for discussing monopoly seriously, I believe I am. To othe extent that a patent is a monopoly a diamond could also be a monopoly. If I understand the way you are using the term "monopoly," a patent is not a monopoly until such a time that the owner of the patent exercises his patent rights or attempts to sell the patent. That makes zero sense to me.

Furthermore, limiting monopoly to only an economic definition, which is the narrowest of the monopoly definitions, I do not accept as a working definition. It is an artificial limitation to the term monopoly.

"As for discussing monopoly seriously, I believe I am."

You're attempting to, but you clearly have no idea what you're talking about and haven't looked into the matter past your ability to make things up as you go.

"To othe extent that a patent is a monopoly a diamond could also be a monopoly."

How does that even make sense? What does a patent look like? and I am not referring to the expression of the patent, I am referring to a patent. What does a patent look like. What does a liberty look like? What does a right look like? What does an idea look like? What is its shape and form? How much does it weigh?

Anonymous 1:56, private property does exist in nature. You try taking a bone from a wolf in his cave and see how far you get.

I don't know why you keep saying that governments don't exist in nature. I've never said they do.

I'm arguing the existence of a natural monopoly, and I've already demonstrated that they exist without governments.

Excluding 'natural monopoly' from the definition of monopoly you're prepared to recognise doesn't actually achieve anything except a terminological quandary.

And now, for some peculiar reason, you're invoking copyright.

Remember the situation is 1700 (pre-copyright) and is in a territory without a government. I have a poem I'm selling and you have an inability to admit that I have a natural monopoly to it. You prefer to use the definition of a monopoly rather than the term itself, e.g. 'sole control over supply', or 'exclusive possession'. And all this so you can keep kidding yourself that natural monopolies don't exist.

(same person as last anonymous commenter)

In all seriousness, a lot of people (including the founding fathers) have put a lot of thought into the philosophy behind property. Instead of looking ignorant by making things up as you go, why not spend some time to actually read what many of them had to say and come back here when you are more familiar with the subject matter. But don't expect the constant repetition of poorly thought out non-sequiturs to convince anyone of anything.

"Anonymous 1:56, private property does exist in nature. You try taking a bone from a wolf in his cave and see how far you get. "

Private property rights don't exist in nature. If the wolf drops his bone and temporarily leaves it, I can pick it up while he's not there and leave before he comes back. I have just as much a right to that bone as that wolf even if he currently posses it. He may have more ability to defend that which is in his possession, but you are confusing ability with rights.

"I don't know why you keep saying that governments don't exist in nature. I've never said they do. "

So then you agree that IP is unnatural because it requires a government to secure.

"You prefer to use the definition of a monopoly rather than the term itself"

Uhm... So now you don't even know the difference between a term and a definition? Wow.

A term is either a word or a combination of words, a definition is the expressed meaning of those words.

Anonymous @02:08...

Are you saying that a patent right is not a monopoly?

Crosbie...

Works all the way up to the point where your hand gets close to the wolf's mouth...

I find Anonymous's arguments interesting and a tad bit bizarre considering the number of people on this site who have argued vociferously that physical property is a natural monopoly. Even I believe that physical property has to be a monopoly because only one person can occupy a given space at a given time. Yes, the monopoly may well be transient, but during the time of ownership/occupancy, the monopoly exists.

I am saying a diamond is not a monopoly.
Anonymous 2:00,

"The argument is that once you release an idea or expression to someone else..."

Now you're claiming we're having a different argument.

Perhaps that was the argument you thought you were having?

This has degenerated from an argument, into desperate attempts to redefine the terms or the argument as a means of avoiding conceding that natural monopolies exist.

"physical property is a natural monopoly."

Physical property isn't a monopoly. Monopoly = single seller. The definition is a market with a single seller.

Physical property isn't a market with a single seller. There maybe a market with a single seller of that object, but the object itself is just an object, not a market.

I hope that clears things up a bit.

"This has degenerated from an argument, into desperate attempts to redefine the terms or the argument as a means of avoiding conceding that natural monopolies exist. "

No, I was using the definitions that the founding fathers et al were using all along. I didn't redefine anything.

"because only one person can occupy a given space at a given time."

But that's not the definition of a monopoly, at least not as it pertains to how the founding fathers and academics used (and use) the term with respect to copyrights and patents.

"I find Anonymous's arguments interesting and a tad bit bizarre"

It was well accepted by Thomas Jefferson and many others. How is it bizarre? It makes perfect sense. In nature no one is entitled to the exclusive possession of anything, in nature everyone has an equal right to everything. But a natural right is one that exists apart from an artificial institution, for we define natural as something non man made and an institution is man made.

"As to right, my ability/right to retain physical possession is greater than your ability/right to deny."

Ahh, but why do you say that? You say that because you believe that the existence of these principles serve the greater good, and likewise, copyright and patents are no different. The argument for their existence should not be that there is some inherent reason for them to existence, it should be because their existence serves the common good. If their existence does not serve the common good, just like with physical property laws or any other laws for that matter, then they should not exist. Your right to prevent me from copying you is no greater than my right to resist your prevention and to continue copying you anyways. It is my right to copy whatever I feel like and redistribute it, regardless of whether you originated it and whether you like it or not.

The whole argument behind promoting free market capitalism is that it better serves the common good than does, say, communism. Laws should exist to serve the common good.

In this long and rambling discussion, Lonnie E. Holder writes several things that are problematic:

I think I recall an anonymous on this site describing Tesla's notebooks. I believe that there have been petitions under the freedom-of-information act to extract them from the government. The government claims they do not have them. I am not sure of the exact answer but it was along the lines of we either lost them, we never had them (though there is documentary evidence that the government confiscated them after Tesla's death), or we cannot find them.

Er, say what? The government isn't allowed to seize books, documents, private notebooks, etc. without due process and, in particular, a warrant signed by a judge who finds probable cause that they are evidence relevant to a criminal investigation. Seizure of documents by the government is, otherwise, a stunning and clear violation of the First Amendment, and any subsequent use of their contents as evidence against their owner is a violation of the Fourth.

Do you have a link that is to another site other than techdirt? I do not visit the Techdirt site.

Oh, really? Then who wrote this comment over there?

Owning a silk shirt does not tell you how to make another copy of it.

It does if you've got advanced enough technology. Say, able to take it apart and analyze it at the atomic level, record the exabytes of data describing it at that level, and then assemble copies using that data as a template. Molecular nanotechnology might make such things feasible in 20-30 years.

First, you presume I am an "IP maximalist," which is an incorrect statement.

Reviewing your other comments at this site, it seems that you are quite gung ho in favor of patents, though apparently more ambivalent about copyrights. I can't square your attitude strongly in favor of patents with "not an IP maximalist", particularly when you've indulged in flaming the Bilski judges when it looked like they were about to toss software and business method patents by limiting patents to "machines or transformations".

Avoiding going to a web site because of personal preference is not the same as being lazy. Indeed, I am switching between six different web pages at the moment for a variety of reasons...but not one of them is Techdirt.

Avoiding going to all but six of the world's trillions of web sites is, indeed, not "lazy". Another word ending with "azy" does come to mind, however.

"Main Entry: mo·nop·o·ly 1 : exclusive ownership through legal privilege, command of supply, or concerted action 2 : exclusive possession or control 3 : a commodity controlled by one party 4 : one that has a monopoly"

You're trying to argue that monopolies allegedly exist based on two different meanings of the same word. We're not interested in the meanings that don't pertain to the subject matter, we're interested in the relevant meaning as it pertains to copyright.

Dreegam:

I am unsure of why you bothered to post because you have added nothing to this conversation, but I will respond since you ask questions...

In this long and rambling discussion, Lonnie E. Holder writes several things that are problematic:

I think I recall an anonymous on this site describing Tesla's notebooks. I believe that there have been petitions under the freedom-of-information act to extract them from the government. The government claims they do not have them. I am not sure of the exact answer but it was along the lines of we either lost them, we never had them (though there is documentary evidence that the government confiscated them after Tesla's death), or we cannot find them.

Er, say what? The government isn't allowed to seize books, documents, private notebooks, etc. without due process and, in particular, a warrant signed by a judge who finds probable cause that they are evidence relevant to a criminal investigation. Seizure of documents by the government is, otherwise, a stunning and clear violation of the First Amendment, and any subsequent use of their contents as evidence against their owner is a violation of the Fourth.

Saying that something is not possible does not change the fact that it happened. After his death in 1943 his papers were seized by the United States' Alien Property Custodian office. The papers were then reviewed by government scientists who eventually turned them over to the FBI by the War Department, who declared his papers top secret.

So, you say the "government isn't allowed to seize books, documents, private notebooks, etc. without due process," but they did.

And you say that they need "a warrant signed by a judge who finds probable cause that they are evidence relevant to a criminal investigation," but, it does not appear that they obtained a warrant.

Then you say "Seizure of documents by the government is, otherwise, a stunning and clear violation of the First Amendment, and any subsequent use of their contents as evidence against their owner is a violation of the Fourth."

Somehow I do not think Tesla cared. He was dead.

Do you have a link that is to another site other than techdirt? I do not visit the Techdirt site.

Oh, really? Then who wrote this comment over there?

Nice try. I am not going to Techdirt in spite of your attempt to get me to go there. Yes, I have been to Techdirt in the past, but have decided for personal reasons to no longer visit that site.

Owning a silk shirt does not tell you how to make another copy of it.

It does if you've got advanced enough technology. Say, able to take it apart and analyze it at the atomic level, record the exabytes of data describing it at that level, and then assemble copies using that data as a template. Molecular nanotechnology might make such things feasible in 20-30 years.

You statements are quite problematic in the context of this discussion. You are talking what is currently science fiction and a significant, "Well, what if we could travel faster than light?" As a philosophical discussion it is interesting, but the fact remains that for centuries the Chinese held a monopoly on silk production, and future events will not change those past events.

First, you presume I am an "IP maximalist," which is an incorrect statement.

Reviewing your other comments at this site, it seems that you are quite gung ho in favor of patents, though apparently more ambivalent about copyrights. I can't square your attitude strongly in favor of patents with "not an IP maximalist", particularly when you've indulged in flaming the Bilski judges when it looked like they were about to toss software and business method patents by limiting patents to "machines or transformations".

Excuse me? I do not "flame" judges. To the best of my recollection I have never said anything negative regarding the Justices as they were considering the Bilski decision. In fact, I was hoping they would unequivocally rule against business method patents and I was hoping they would limit software patents via the machine or transformation test.

Avoiding going to a web site because of personal preference is not the same as being lazy. Indeed, I am switching between six different web pages at the moment for a variety of reasons...but not one of them is Techdirt.

Avoiding going to all but six of the world's trillions of web sites is, indeed, not "lazy". Another word ending with "azy" does come to mind, however.

If the only purpose of your statement was an ad hominem, why did you even bother?

Of course, your statement is totally absurd. I visit dozens of web sites in the course of a month. Probably hundreds or even thousands in the course of a year. To boycott one particular web site for personal reasons is hardly the attribute of a narrow mind or a Luddite. I daresay there is at least one web site you avoid because of personal reasons, and there are probably some that you also visit frequently for personal reasons - and I absolutely do not want to know what those reasons or web sites are. Some things should be left in the privacy of your own home.

Anonymous:

So, you believe property does not exist?

Anonymous at 2:33:

Based on your comment, there can be no monopolies at all, or with extreme difficulty to the extent that I am unable to think of a single monopoly that fits your definition.

AC @2:30:

So the person who has the Hope diamond does not have a monopoly on the Hope diamond, a totally unique and one-of-a-kind gem?

Furthermore, the person who has possession of Marvel Cave, a unique one-of-a-kind, non-duplicable cave does not have a monopoly on Marvel Cave.

Then what the heck is a monopoly? Here you have two sellers and no other competition for these two products, and exclusive control over those products. Certainly seems to fit your rather limited economic definition of monopoly.

Lonnie is quick to resort to personal attacks:

Dreegam:

I am unsure of why you bothered to post because you [false accusation deleted].

Wrong.

In this long and rambling discussion, Lonnie E. Holder writes several things that are problematic:

I think I recall an anonymous on this site describing Tesla's notebooks. I believe that there have been petitions under the freedom-of-information act to extract them from the government. The government claims they do not have them. I am not sure of the exact answer but it was along the lines of we either lost them, we never had them (though there is documentary evidence that the government confiscated them after Tesla's death), or we cannot find them.

Er, say what? The government isn't allowed to seize books, documents, private notebooks, etc. without due process and, in particular, a warrant signed by a judge who finds probable cause that they are evidence relevant to a criminal investigation. Seizure of documents by the government is, otherwise, a stunning and clear violation of the First Amendment, and any subsequent use of their contents as evidence against their owner is a violation of the Fourth.

[calls me a liar]

Wrong.

After his death in 1943 his papers were seized by the United States' Alien Property Custodian office. The papers were then reviewed by government scientists who eventually turned them over to the FBI by the War Department, who declared his papers top secret.

This does not make sense. The government can declare its own work product to be top secret, and works for hire by e.g. defense contractors. The work of private citizens on their own time and on their own dime is entirely another matter, and muzzling their speech (by declaring it "top secret" or by any other means) is a clear violation of the First Amendment.

So, you say the "government isn't allowed to seize books, documents, private notebooks, etc. without due process," but they did.

So you claim. If you're not lying, then it was a clear and severe violation of the law for them to do so and redress is in order.

And you say that they need "a warrant signed by a judge who finds probable cause that they are evidence relevant to a criminal investigation," but [calls me a liar].

Wrong.

Then you say "Seizure of documents by the government is, otherwise, a stunning and clear violation of the First Amendment, and any subsequent use of their contents as evidence against their owner is a violation of the Fourth."

Somehow I do not think Tesla cared. He was dead.

I care.

Do you have a link that is to another site other than techdirt? I do not visit the Techdirt site.

Oh, really? Then who wrote this comment over there?

Nice try. I am not going to Techdirt in spite of your attempt to get me to go there.

That's fine. Other people will not have any problem with clicking the link and seeing proof that you're a liar.

Owning a silk shirt does not tell you how to make another copy of it.

It does if you've got advanced enough technology. Say, able to take it apart and analyze it at the atomic level, record the exabytes of data describing it at that level, and then assemble copies using that data as a template. Molecular nanotechnology might make such things feasible in 20-30 years.

You statements are [insult deleted].

Wrong.

talking what is currently science fiction and a significant, "Well, what if we could travel faster than light?"

No, I am not. Faster than light travel has not been proven feasible; indeed no way is currently known to achieve it. On the other hand, examining something at the atomic level and manipulating atoms not only is feasible, it has been done. All that remains is to scale it down in price and up in productivity. This, too, is possible: your own ribosomes produce a wide assortment of molecules per a digital specification (encoded in RNA) cheaply and en masse. If cheap, mass molecular manufacturing was impossible you would not exist, nor would any known form of life.

As a philosophical discussion it is interesting, but the fact remains that for centuries the Chinese held a monopoly on silk production, and future events will not change those past events.

I doubt they retain that monopoly now, and in the future they most certainly won't. 20-30 years tops. Molecular nanotechnology. Unless we blow ourselves up or climate change, a superflu, or a space rock gets us first, anyway.

First, you presume I am an "IP maximalist," which is an incorrect statement.

Reviewing your other comments at this site, it seems that you are quite gung ho in favor of patents, though apparently more ambivalent about copyrights. I can't square your attitude strongly in favor of patents with "not an IP maximalist", particularly when you've indulged in flaming the Bilski judges when it looked like they were about to toss software and business method patents by limiting patents to "machines or transformations".

Excuse me? [calls me a liar].

You're not excused. I am not a liar.

To the best of my recollection I have never said anything negative regarding the Justices as they were considering the Bilski decision. In fact, I was hoping they would unequivocally rule against business method patents and I was hoping they would limit software patents via the machine or transformation test.

Inconsistent with your own earlier comments, including some defending the Amazon one-click patent.

Here is the sort of patent we're talking about. How the hell is this "promoting the progress"? And don't give me any guff about "if I read the actual claims in the actual patent, it wouldn't seem so obvious". Of course it wouldn't -- patents on the obvious are always worded in an obfuscated manner so as to sneak them past a patent examiner who would reject them as obvious if their claims were stated in plain English.

As I recall, your main expressed fear has been that without patents to encourage disclosure (via filing patents) people will just keep their inventions secret and carry them to the grave. But that's a myth, just as much as it's a myth that with patents no-one will keep their inventions secret (trade secrets abound, and even have their own legal protections, in parallel with patent law).

Avoiding going to a web site because of personal preference is not the same as being lazy. Indeed, I am switching between six different web pages at the moment for a variety of reasons...but not one of them is Techdirt.

Avoiding going to all but six of the world's trillions of web sites is, indeed, not "lazy". Another word ending with "azy" does come to mind, however.

If the only purpose of your statement was an ad hominem, why did you even bother?

It clearly demonstrates you to be abnormal and an extremist of some stripe, and thus warns others to take everything you say with a grain of salt, including your various pro-patent statements (and, now, your own ad hominems against me). This in turn benefits me.

Of course, your statement is [insult deleted].

Wrong! It's just taking your own statement and applying deductive logic to it.

I visit dozens of web sites in the course of a month.

Eh? Last time, you implied that you visit only six (by saying you have only six open in your browser and refuse to open any others).

I daresay there is at least one web site you avoid because of personal reasons

Nope. Merely viewing a web site cannot hurt me. Merely viewing information can only hurt someone who is emotionally attached to a false belief and finds that belief shattered by evidence against it.

But that which can be destroyed by the truth should be.

I absolutely do not want to know what those reasons or web sites are. Some things should be left in the privacy of your own home.

Then your peculiar hatred for Techdirt should have been left in the privacy of yours.

Dreegam = Nobody Nowhere = None of Your Beeswax = None of Your Business
Anonymous writes:

Dreegam = Nobody Nowhere = None of Your Beeswax = None of Your Business

I'm sorry, but that does not parse as a meaningful English sentence. What is it supposed to mean? It sounds like you're equating me and some of this site's other users in some way, but in what way, and why?

Looking around a bit, I see that I do have a few things in common with those other three.

  1. We all appear to be against copyright and patent, but as I understand it that's the norm for this site. It's pro-IP users like Lonnie E. Holder and prionpropatentuiq that are the minority.
  2. We all seem to have a decent grasp of HTML, so our comments are better-formatted than most. Interesting, but hardly anything newsworthy. Or negative.
  3. We've all been on the receiving end of abusive comments by Lonnie E. Holder. Rather more interesting, but again, it looks like Lonnie has had some harsh words in response to anyone who's directly challenged him on any IP-related topic around here, so hardly anything newsworthy.
  4. None of us cares to quote verbatim the personal attacks in abusive comments we respond to. On the other hand there are many other users for which this seems to be true, including Lonnie E. Holder, who has several comments on this site that say things like [paranoid statement deleted] and the like.

So as near as I can tell, Anonymous, you're trying to make some kind of point here but nobody will be able to figure out what. I'd say that means you tried and failed, and maybe never really had a valid point to make in the first place.

Dreegam

"I'm sorry"

Not sorry enough because you turned a simple point into a pointless diatribe.

"What is it supposed to mean?"

When your English gets better you will figure it out.

"I see that I do have a few things in common with those other three."

Like you are the same person using different names.

"It's pro-IP users like Lonnie E. Holder and prionpropatentuiq that are the minority."

Just what is your point? I presume on a site that is nominally about freedom that would be the case. On the other hand, if people who take an idealistic view of freedom are in fear of a few pro-IP types, then maybe we should just go crawl back into bed and pull the covers over our heads.

"We've all been on the receiving end of abusive comments by Lonnie E. Holder."

Yeah, right. As a number of commenters here have pointed out, you and your pseudonyms have beem more than generous in that department. I looked at what Lonnie wrote above and your response. Seems like you started a flamefest with your very first sentence. I keep waiting for Lonnie to reply in kind (comeon Lonnie please spare us a reply - one flamer in this thread is enough) but it has only been a while since your post. Sadly, he will probably reply in detail and your will reply with an even longer post and we will all grow quickly bored.

"Rather more interesting, but again, it looks like Lonnie has had some harsh words in response to anyone who's directly challenged him on any IP-related topic around here, so hardly anything newsworthy."

Seems like Lonnie has had some quite civil conversations with several people herre. I just read one with Crosbie Fitch that looked pretty civil and Lonnie seems to be saying that he saw some of Crosbie's points. I don't know about previous posts but with the exception of the flamewars between the two of you hee generaly seem civil.

I havve to wonder what people who just ddrop by this site think when they read the crap that goes on between you (counting Beeswaxand None as you) and Lonnie. They must think people that are on this site are some sort of crazies who live in compounds in Wyoming.

"None of us cares to quote verbatim the personal attacks in abusive comments we respond to. On the other hand there are many other users for which this seems to be true, including Lonnie E. Holder, who has several comments on this site that say things like [paranoid statement deleted] and the like."

While you are a new poster to me and you aren't doing that, your twins Beeswax and Nobody both do that, and it seems like they do it before Lonnie does in the posts I've seen.

What I don't understand is why you even wat to start a flamewar by apparently attacking Lonnie in your very first post on this trhead. Seems like there was a great conversation going for a whil. You couldof just left it alone.

Dreegam:

You may find this article about the government's seizure of Tesla's paper and the subsequent disappearance of those papers interesting. You will have to cut and past the web address since I do not know how to do links here.

http://www.pbs.org/tesla/ll/ll_mispapers.html

The article only notes that the government seized the papers, not that there was any sort of warrant involved. They may have done so under one of the War Powers Acts.

Dreegam:

Then your peculiar hatred for Techdirt should have been left in the privacy of yours.

I said quite clearly that I do not go to that web site. Emotional responses have nothing to do with that. Neither do I buy Toyotas. Neither do I watch bull fights. I do not "hate" any of them. That is a word that you introduced into this conversation.

I will decide what information I reveal and in this case I merely wanted to point out in advance that I do not visit that web site any longer.

Dreegam:

Reviewing your other comments at this site, it seems that you are quite gung ho in favor of patents, though apparently more ambivalent about copyrights. I can't square your attitude strongly in favor of patents with "not an IP maximalist", particularly when you've indulged in flaming the Bilski judges when it looked like they were about to toss software and business method patents by limiting patents to "machines or transformations".

Excuse me? I do not "flame" judges. To the best of my recollection I have never said anything negative regarding the Justices as they were considering the Bilski decision. In fact, I was hoping they would unequivocally rule against business method patents and I was hoping they would limit software patents via the machine or transformation test.

Inconsistent with your own earlier comments, including some defending the Amazon one-click patent.

Seems like we have had this discussion before. You failed to show where I ever defended the one-click patent. Furthermore, the one-click patent ≠ the Bilski patent. How did you manage to connect a totally irrelevant patent to the Bilski case?

Dreegam:

You have me incredibly curious. How do you go from:

. Indeed, I am switching between six different web pages at the moment for a variety of reasons...but not one of them is Techdirt.

to:

Avoiding going to all but six of the world's trillions of web sites is, indeed, not "lazy". Another word ending with "azy" does come to mind, however.

So, in one sentence I say that I am switching between multiple web sites, and then you follow that up with a one-two punch by claiming that I said I only go to six web sites, which is not in my statement at all, and follow that up with an ad hominem statement.

Then you make another leap from my statement:

If the only purpose of your statement was an ad hominem, why did you even bother?

to:

It clearly demonstrates you to be abnormal and an extremist of some stripe, and thus warns others to take everything you say with a grain of salt, including your various pro-patent statements (and, now, your own ad hominems against me). This in turn benefits me.

So, your point with your ad hominem attack on me was supposedly to demonstrate I am abnormal? Seems like an abnormal person would make skewed leaps like visiting six web sites to ONLY visiting six web sites. I think we all know (Libertarians, intelligent thinkers and pro-IP types) who needs to be taken with a grain of salt on this web site.

Your accusation that I have made ad hominem statements about you in my previous comments regarding this post is without basis.

Benefit to you? lol.

Dreegam:

Do you have a link that is to another site other than techdirt? I do not visit the Techdirt site.

Oh, really? Then who wrote this comment over there?

Nice try. I am not going to Techdirt in spite of your attempt to get me to go there. Yes, I have been to Techdirt in the past, but have decided for personal reasons to no longer visit that site.

That's fine. Other people will not have any problem with clicking the link and seeing proof that you're a liar.

I have been to the Techdirt site in the past. I no longer go. Does your proof encompass deciding not to visit a site I have visited in the past? Have you ever done something in the past, like make repeated unprovoked ad hominem attacks on people, and then decided you were not going to do that any more?

"Anonymous" wrote this nonsense:

Dreegam

"I'm sorry"

Not sorry enough because you [false accusation deleted].

Did not.

"What is it supposed to mean?"

[insult deleted].

Well, aren't we mature?

"I see that I do have a few things in common with those other three."

Like [nonsense deleted].

Don't be ridiculous.

"It's pro-IP users like Lonnie E. Holder and prionpropatentuiq that are the minority."

Just what is your point?

That I expect to be treated with respect and that people on this forum will comport themselves with civility and decorum. Sadly, that doesn't currently seem to be the case. I made my first post here to point out a few problems with statements that Lonnie made and promptly got personally attacked, not only by him but also by you.

Or are you Lonnie forgetting to fill in his name perhaps?

Regardless, I certainly don't expect to be personally attacked for espousing anti-copyright views in this place. If such views aren't safe to air here, then where the hell are they?

I presume on a site that is nominally about freedom that would be the case. On the other hand, if people who take an idealistic view of freedom are in fear of a few pro-IP types

Who said anything about fear? Pathetic little men like yourself and Lonnie don't scare me. You merely annoy and irritate me with your pointless, puerile little barbs that do nothing to add to the discussion.

In my first post here I tried to actually add constructively to the discussion of this site's topic. Your posts here are the polar opposite: they exist to barb and needle other users and appear to say little or nothing about the site's actual topic. They serve no constructive purpose that I can ascertain. They do not belong here.

"We've all been on the receiving end of abusive comments by Lonnie E. Holder."

[calls me a liar].

Wrong.

As a number of commenters here have pointed out, you ... have beem more than generous in that department.

Considering that this here is my third ever post, that statement of yours is frankly ludicrous on its face.

I looked at what Lonnie wrote above and your response. Seems like you started a flamefest with your very first sentence.

Bullshit. I simply said that some of the things he'd said were "problematic". If we are not allowed to criticize statements that we believe to be incorrect on this site without being accused of "starting a flamefest", then productive discussion shall not be possible here.

Note that my post criticized Lonnie's statements, and only a few specific ones that a) ranged from implausible to outright proven-wrong and b) had not already been dealt with by other posters.

Lonnie's response, on the other hand, criticized me personally, as did his next, as did yours just now, and not one of them had anything constructive to say that was actually on the site's original topic.

"Rather more interesting, but again, it looks like Lonnie has had some harsh words in response to anyone who's directly challenged him on any IP-related topic around here, so hardly anything newsworthy."

Seems like Lonnie has had some quite civil conversations with several people herre.

And some quite uncivil ones with others. The pattern is that if anyone challenges his old-fashioned beliefs about IP, he replies with some unpleasant barbs. If the person backs down, Lonnie is then more civil with them, but if that person actually stands up for himself, Lonnie becomes outright abusive.

This is classic dominance behavior, like ape chest-beating. Lonnie wants to be acknowledged as the alpha male, as the boss. I refuse to do so and so apparently do many other users here, for the simple reason that Lonnie is not the boss here -- David Levine is.

I just read one with Crosbie Fitch that looked pretty civil and Lonnie seems to be saying that he saw some of Crosbie's points. I don't know about previous posts but with the exception of the flamewars between the two of you hee generaly seem civil.

He has gotten into fights, of varying degrees of intensity, with several people, not just me, and a quick search of this site for his name shows him getting into tussles here as much as a year and a half ago, long before my debut here.

They must think people that are on this site are some sort of crazies who live in compounds in Wyoming.

Your repeated assertions of a paranoid-delusional nature (everyone who doesn't agree with you is the same person? Get real) might very well cause such an impression, unfortunately.

"None of us cares to quote verbatim the personal attacks in abusive comments we respond to. On the other hand there are many other users for which this seems to be true, including Lonnie E. Holder, who has several comments on this site that say things like [paranoid statement deleted] and the like."

While you are a new poster to me and you aren't doing that, your twins Beeswax and Nobody both do that, and it seems like they do it before Lonnie does in the posts I've seen.

First of all, they are not my twins. And if they were we'd not be twins, but triplets. You get an F in reproductive biology.

In the meantime, if it tends to be the non-Lonnie participant in such an exchange who says something like [insult deleted] first, that indicates that it tends to be Lonnie who says something insulting first, i.e. who picks the fight.

So how about you take your unpleasant attitude and redirect it at Lonnie, who is clearly the more deserving target? Or better yet, since your posts have thus far been 100% off-topic and completely nonconstructive, why don't you just fuck off and quit commenting here at all, whoever the hell you are? Nobody asked you for your opinion of me, or of anyone else, anyway. So go on. Shoo.

What I don't understand is why you even wat to start a flamewar

I don't.

attacking Lonnie in your very first post on this trhead.

I didn't. I responded to some of the things he said that did not appear to be logical or correct. So have others in this same thread. If there's nothing wrong with them doing so then there's nothing wrong with me doing so.

Now fuck off.

Seems like there was a great conversation going for a whil. You couldof just left it alone.

It was still going just fine until you jumped in with this 100%-off-topic, worthless crap.

So fuck off.

Lonnie writes:

The article only notes that the government seized the papers, not that there was any sort of warrant involved. They may have done so under one of the War Powers Acts.

During what war?

First of all, there has to be a war on to do things like that. And second, any suppression of speech during wartime is not supposed to outlast the war in question.

Then your peculiar hatred for Techdirt should have been left in the privacy of yours.

I said quite clearly that I do not go to that web site.

Exactly. And then you said everyone else should keep any similar comments to themselves.

What makes you different from everyone else? What makes you so special? I'd like to know.

Reviewing your other comments at this site, it seems that you are quite gung ho in favor of patents, though apparently more ambivalent about copyrights. I can't square your attitude strongly in favor of patents with "not an IP maximalist", particularly when you've indulged in flaming the Bilski judges when it looked like they were about to toss software and business method patents by limiting patents to "machines or transformations".

Excuse me? [calls me a liar].

No, you're not excused, because I'm not a liar.

In fact, I was hoping they would unequivocally rule against business method patents and I was hoping they would limit software patents via the machine or transformation test.

This statement diametrically contradicts your earlier support of the Amazon one-click patent.

Inconsistent with your own earlier comments, including some defending the Amazon one-click patent.

Seems like we have had this discussion before.

Yes, we did -- yesterday. You seem to be repeating yourself. I don't know why.

You [false accusation deleted]

Wrong.

I browsed some of the previous big flamewars of yours at the site. This one caught my eye, in particular, in which you posted also as anonymous and as "MLS" (but got outed by another user) and vigorously defended the notion that the one-click patent might not have been obvious.

Now you're denying having done so?

Furthermore, the one-click patent ≠ the Bilski patent.

Who cares about the Bilski patent? I entered your past defense of the one-click patent into evidence to impeach your claim to not be an "IP" maximalist.

Courtroom equivalent would be your counsel saying "Objection: relevance?" and mine saying "Goes to credibility, Your Honor; this line of evidence rebuts a statement previously made by the defendant". Followed by the judge saying "Objection overruled".

You have me incredibly curious. How do you go from:

. Indeed, I am switching between six different web pages at the moment for a variety of reasons...but not one of them is Techdirt.

to:

Avoiding going to all but six of the world's trillions of web sites is, indeed, not "lazy". Another word ending with "azy" does come to mind, however.

You said you don't go to Techdirt. When asked why, you said you are switching between six different web pages and none of them is Techdirt. That answer to that question implies that you don't go to Techdirt simply because it's not one of those six web pages. It follows that you only go to those six web pages.

Why did you say that if it's not actually true? On the other hand, if it is true and you said it yourself, why do you object when others repeat it?

So, in one sentence I say that I am switching between multiple web sites, and then you [false accusation deleted].

No, the only ones making vicious personal attacks here are you and the anonymous user who posted just before you, who I think might also have been you.

Then you make another leap from my statement

I do not.

It clearly demonstrates you to be abnormal and an extremist of some stripe, and thus warns others to take everything you say with a grain of salt, including your various pro-patent statements (and, now, your own ad hominems against me). This in turn benefits me.

So, your point with your [true statement about] me was supposedly to demonstrate I am abnormal?

Yes, though after reviewing more of your posting history here it looks like I needn't have bothered. You demonstrate it yourself on practically a daily basis, in front of a worldwide audience. They don't need me to point out the obvious.

Seems like [vicious insult deleted].

For starters, the things you keep insinuating about me are
utter nonsense with no basis whatsoever in fact. Additionally,
coupled with your inconsistent one-click patent support and
kvetching about "ad hominems" while dishing them out yourself...

your credibility is kind of compromised at this point. Indeed,
once you resorted to namecalling and repeating previously-challenged
utterances verbatim you had already lost every shred of it
...

Your accusation that I have made ad hominem statements about you in my previous comments regarding this post is without basis.

Are you calling me a liar again?

Your very first complete sentence in response to anything I ever wrote was, and I quote:

I am unsure of why you bothered to post because you have added nothing to this conversation.

That was a personal attack. Criticizing statements of yours that seem wrong, or at least improbable, certainly is adding to the conversation, if not necessarily in a way that you would welcome. Your useless and inflammatory reply, starting with that above-quoted sentence, on the other hand, is an excellent example of something that fails to add to the conversation.

Do you have a link that is to another site other than techdirt? I do not visit the Techdirt site.

Oh, really? Then who wrote this comment over there?

Nice try. I am not going to Techdirt in spite of your attempt to get me to go there.

No matter. Other people will be perfectly willing to click the above link, and then they'll see the proof that you're a liar.

I have been to the Techdirt site

Ah, and now we finally get an admission out of you of what we all already knew.

Now that you've gotten that out of your system, you can go ahead and follow the other Techdirt links that have come up in this conversation and educate yourself now. You won't make any more of a liar of yourself than you already have by doing so, so go right ahead. We won't think any less of you.

(We couldn't think much less of you at this point if you developed a sporangium and emitted a puff of spores, mind you.)


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