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Comment Re:Linking != publishing (Score 1) 369

If linking is publishing, then the RIAA and MPAA are plagiarists, because they claim that something you published (a citation) violates their intellectual property. Their attempted identity theft by passing off a citation you wrote as if it were protected by their copyright is reason enough to avoid business with the companies they represent.

If linking is publishing, then citation is publishing [citation needed], and we are all guilty by transitivity.

Comment The music industry is economically insignificant (Score 2) 369

There were around $15.8 billion in sales in "premium content" in 2010. No economist would consider this industry economically significant, but we have intellectual monopolists shrieking that piracy is shutting down the economy.

But stifling natural markets is destroying the economy: the intellectual monopolists demand control over all copies (of a piece of music, movie, article, etc). This limits your ability to sell or give away the copy you purchased. The downstream control of all copies of a copyrighted work is completely unlike physical property, so the analogy between intellectual property and physical property breaks down.

The phrase "linking is publishing" is misleading. Copyright protects specific forms of expression; unless the link occurs within the copyrighted page (and even in that case), it is a new form of expression. A link is a citation. The claim that citations violate the intellectual property of the owner of some cited work is worse than copyright violation: it is plagiarism. In this case, the intellectual monopolist is claiming that a work he did not produce, the citation, is his own. This is plagiarism, which involves identity theft--a social evil.

If "linking is publishing" then "citation is publishing" and we are all guilty by transitivity.

It is because intellectual monopolists like the music and movie industry want to make their plagiarism your copyright problem that I avoid listening to their music and watching their movies. Thanks to their efforts to limit competition, it's rubbish anyway.

Comment Why I will not donate to Wikipedia (Score 1) 608

My attempt join the Wikipedia community was prematurely cut short when an admin blocked a range of 8192 Verizon IP addresses. I found this out when attempting to edit my user page. My attempted appeal was summarily dismissed--there is no mechanism for distinguishing legitimate users from vandals. To add insult to injury, Wikipedia requires that the appeal remain on my talk page until the range block is lifted some time in 2011. Until then, I will not be donating to Wikipedia. There are plenty of other worthy causes.

Comment Some of us left PayPal (Score 1) 565

Some of us voted with our feet and closed our PayPal, eBay and Amazon accounts. This may have had an effect as well. I'm proud to have jettisoned PayPal in protest and urge others to do likewise. The news that PayPal is giving WikiLeaks its money hasn't made the Times, not surprisingly.

Comment Re:FedEx? (Score 0, Offtopic) 165

If you believe in limited government, then it follows that it's a matter of corporate policy whether to ship radioactive materials, which would be completely unregulated. The free market would decide where those rods would end up, and disclosing anything about them would be strictly determined be the effect on the bottom line.

Comment Re:Mine is: (Score 1) 297

I've completely opted out of flying commercially since 2001. That's a protest that allows me to vote with my wallet. It has transferred tens of thousands of dollars away from the airlines, and I expect that trend to continue.

Same here, only in my case it's more of a conscious effort than a behavioral trend that I happen to be monitoring.

Comment Re:Let the market decide is stupid (Score 1) 367

I was being ironic: the market cannot solve all problems. I'm in favor of trademarks--a big government sponsored social program for business. I'm also in favor of copyright reform. For a reference on intellectual monopoly, I suggest Against Intellectual Monopoly a free online text by economists Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine. I also recommend their web site Against Monopoly. Intellectual monopoly is the exclusive "...right to control how purchasers make use of an idea or creation." This refers to all copies of an idea or creation. Boldrin and Levine assert that "not only should the property rights of innovators be protected but also the rights of those who have legitimately obtained a copy of the idea, directly or indirectly, from the original innovator." It is an empirical and not an ideological question whether and to what extent creators should "...have the right to control how purchasers make use of an idea or creation." The evidence I've seen is that copyrights and patents overwhelmingly favor moneyed interests at the expense of innovators and at significant social cost.

Comment Let the market decide (Score 5, Interesting) 367

PCMag is as much motivated by economic considerations as the RIAA. The difference is that PCMag is informing its readership and generating publicity for itself, while the RIAA is advertising its rent-seeking behavior and ignorance of the Internet. There is no way the article could be "unpublished" even if PCMag were to comply with these notorious intellectual monopolists.

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