Ah, I used to have an 86 Porsche. It was a great car and cheaper than my wife's Honda-- until I had to have the front rack and pinon replaced. Sigh.
I write a poem. What rights do you have in it, e.g., to hold in your hand, read, copy, modify? None at all. How does your right to free speech help you? Not at all.
Don't confuse the actual lack of a right to compel you to share it with an imagined lack of a right to do what I please with it once I have gotten ahold of it.
Now I say that if you agree not to copy, share with others, discuss with others, or use identifiable parts of my poem in any of your writings or speech, I'll let you read it. You agree. Does your right to free speech trump that agreement? Nope. Are your free speech rights violated by my actions? Nope.
What happens if I go back on my word and share it with others anyway? There's no privity, so they're not bound by the agreement. Your efforts to enforce it against them would be for naught. Now they've gotten access to your work, and they have a free speech right. If they publish it, they're within their rights to do so. I'll suffer a little for the breach, but breach of contract is far from the worst thing in the world.
Your post is full of errors -- misunderstanding the Copyright Act and the prima facie elements of an infringement action, failure to recognize the existence of a commons, your weird belief that you have to be aware of rights in specific things in order to merely passively possess them (being left property by long-lost relatives you didn't know you had is such a well-known concept that it's a cliche, for crying out loud!), and so forth -- but the main mistake you make is this:
There is no such thing as a natural right in a socialized civilization under the rule of law.
You just don't believe that people have a natural right of free speech. Or of any other thing, for that matter. But it's a fact that we do, and this is widely recognized; you could do worse than to start by looking at the Declaration of Independence. Not all rights are of this sort -- copyright isn't, and due to its inherent conflict with free speech, never could be. But your refusal to accept that copyright is merely built on top of a more fundamental and universal right means that we really have nothing to say to one another. The standard model of copyright hinges upon this; rejecting it is like rejecting Kepler in order to stick with Ptolemy. And while I hope that no one finds you any more convincing than I do, I bear you no ill will and I hope you come to your senses soon.
The issue here was that he did speak. Then didn't. Then did.
In other words, he spoke. The headline is sensationalism. Either you spoke or you didn't, and this sounds like speaking to me. Otherwise, he was "just a little bit pregnant".
So maybe Microsoft DOES actually believe, in their isolated corporate culture, that their platform is strong enough to get away with the shit they're trying to pull. Gamers have no loyalty and everyone has already decided to jettison them. Some people are changing consoles, some people are going to PC gaming. Microsoft could save itself a lot of money and just scrap the entire Xbox line right now. If Sony offered an easy path for indie developers, the Xbox developer landscape would be a barren wasteland within a year.
I had no idea that Slashdot now had people posting from Bizarro World, but here you are.
Your theory of copyright is pretty awful. It not only fails to explain how copyright works in the real world, and how it has worked through history, which is what a good theory of copyright should do, but it's just plain offensive to boot.
Again, here is what is basically the standard theory:
Fundamentally, there is a natural right and ability of free speech, which all persons possess. This right encompasses both the creation of original work, as well as the verbatim repetition of others' work. Even in a state of nature, this exists. Obviously, if a work has yet to be created, it's not possible for someone other than the creator to make a copy of it; we cannot see into the future. And if a work is created but some other person never becomes aware of it, likewise, it's just not possible for them to make a copy of it; we are also not omniscient. That we suffer from these limits of knowledge doesn't mean that free speech does not exist. It just means that as a practical matter, it can be difficult to exercise.
On top of this, for various reasons which throughout history have ranged from political oppression to commercial concerns, organized groups of people have used their power (which as power usually does, boils down to the threat and use of physical force) to infringe on this right, both silencing people and using threats to deter (or 'chill') others from speaking out in the first place. These infringements upon speech often take the form of laws, and one such law is copyright law. In more modern eras, with more enlightened people, we recognize that in order to live together in a stable and mutually beneficial society, that we must willingly limit our own rights, and so modern copyright law involves the people creating and enforcing limits they've chosen for themselves, on themselves, for the benefit of themselves. They do so through governments which, in order to legitimately exercise power, must have the consent of the governed.
Does the author have any rights to control the speech of others that inherently exist merely by virtue of creating a work, absent the involvement of the state? No. He can make it practically difficult for others to exercise their rights, for example by not sharing it with them, but this is no different from making it exactly as practically difficult for others by not creating the work to begin with, and it's just nonsensical to say that authors have copyrights on the works they never made because they never made them. Copyrights then, must come from the state, and as the state (if it's legitimate) must derive its power from its people, copyright ultimately originates from the people who suffer it, not from those who enjoy it.
Copyright law presently consists of the state (on behalf of the people) granting to an author of a work the right to use certain powers of the state against those who exercise their free speech rights in certain ways in relation to the work. The statutory language confirms this -- the Copyright Act grants authors exclusive rights, i.e. rights to exclude others, in the work. But it only grants certain specific rights, such as copying, and distribution. Other rights, such as the right to read a work, or the right to privately perform a work, it doesn't ever grant to the author at all. And all of the rights that the law does grant to the author are shot full of holes -- limits on their applicability, which vary in size. And the author can't do a damn thing about it, other than to give up what we have deigned to grant him. He cannot take more (save by convincing us to give him more). And better still, this grant of rights from the public, to the author, is temporary. It expires when we say it does, whether the author is happy about it or not. And the statutory language confirms this as well -- when a copyright expires, not a single right is conferred upon the public. Yet such works are in the public domain, free for all to use; how can this be? Simply because the expiration of copyright is the dissolution of the infringement upon the public's underlying free speech right. When the author loses his right to stop the public from doing things, the public can go about their business and do things they've always had the right to do, and now no one can get in their way.
You only acquire certain rights to it at the moment I stop having complete exclusivity. I can do so under the statutory transfer of rights that is the Copyright Act
Show me where this transfer of rights occurs in the Act. Quote the exact language and cite the section in which the author transfers rights to the public as you claim.
Because the copyright holder has granted the world license to do so by virtue of publishing the work.
Want to try to explain Bobbs-Merrill then? In that case, which predates the codification of the First Sale Doctrine, a copyright holder published books which contained express language limiting the right of the public to resell copies on the basis of copyright. The Supreme Court found that the copyright holder had no such right. If publication were a license to the world by the copyright holder, surely express language by that party should be able to modify the license. But it didn't.
My theory provides a simple explanation: Free speech (together with personal property law) includes reselling copies of works which a member of the public has purchased. The author was never granted a right to control that. Therefore, the author couldn't control that, no matter how much he protested to the contrary.
you are clearly saying (correctly) that copyright imposes limitation's on a creator's rights
No, that is not what I said, and no, you are wrong.
No, it doesn't impose a single limitation on the creator's rights. The creator cannot turn his copyright against himself; only against others. He already had the right to make copies of his work, to distribute them, to prepare derivatives, etc. In a state of nature he could do those things, so copyright is clearly not giving him any affirmative rights to do things. All it gives him is a negative right to stop other people from doing things. He may have to fulfill certain conditions to get, keep, and exercise the copyright, but these are not limitations on his rights.
the legal concept of free speech has always recognized certain key parameters
No, not always. There are free speech maximalists, like Supreme Court Justices Black and Douglas. And it's a very attractive position to take, frankly.
2) Just because the code is awful doesn't mean it has no value -- No matter how bad it is and how difficult it is to read, if it works at all it has probably got years (maybe even decades) of bug fixes and feature requests. Until you have a handle on it, any little change could cause a catastrophic cascade of side-effects.
3) No, we don't need to rewrite it. See 2. A working program now is worth more than all the pie in the sky you can promise a year from now.
4) It takes 6 months to have a reasonably good grasp of any moderately complex in-house application. It could be a year before you get to the point where someone can describe a problem and you immediately have a good idea of where in the code the problem is occurring and what functions to check.
Maintenance programming is as much about detective work as anything else. The only clues you have about the previous programmer are his source files. Once you've read them for a while you can start to tell what he was thinking, when he was confused, when he was in a hurry. Most of the atrocious in-house applications have changed hands several times and each programmer adds their own layer of crap. You can redesign these applications a chunk at a time until nothing remains of the original code if it's really bad, but it's best to save really ambitious projects until you understand the code better. I heartily encourage the wholesale replacement of "system()" calls with better code immediately, though. In several languages I've run across these calls to remove files, when they could have simply called a language library call (Typically "unlink".) If the original programmer used system("rm...") you can pretty much assume that they were a bad programmer and you're in for a lot of "fun" maintaining their code.
You're an idiot if you're complaining about this.
Well, *I* am going to complain, because the system is implemented on my Android phone. It's been incredibly annoying. Remember that big huge east coast snowstorm?
It'd been on the TV and print news and intertubes for DAYS. There was a morning press conference and state of emergency declared. It was only after it had started snowing that someone thought to send out the alerts, and they seemed to make up for lateness through volume/repetition.
I think by the end of the day (at which point it was near white-out conditions) my cell phone had loudly alerted me to the weather emergency something like SIX times. There's clearly no intelligence to the system, or someone just decided that sending it out several times was best just in case we hadn't noticed the massive snowfall or had been hiding in a cave for the last WEEK.
"ALERT: Jane Smith sought as dangerous Communist/Muslim/terrorist/undesirable. Anyone with information about her, including her current location, known associates, or any suspicious behavior, should report it immediately to authorities."
Who needs a jury? Someone was just telling me that in the 1950's, they had to subscribe to some mainstream magazines at someone else's address, to avoid being labeled a Communist and having their reputation and career ruined. Imagine if Joe McCarthy had modern IT, including metadata and alert systems.
But don't worry; that could never happen here.
Easy to fix - just buy one of these http://www.mortarinvestments.eu/products/armoured-vehicles-4/gm-587-kub-22#currency=USD
Only $8350 (missiles extra).