I'll just answer a few points. Two people gave me point-by-point replies, and
responding in kind becomes an exponentially-growing time sink, so...
3. Did you read the whole thing?
I am asking, because Stephan goes through all that in great detail.
Yes, of course. He reaches a conclusion that I dispute. If the conclusion is
wrong, then either the premises are wrong, or the logical steps are wrong, or
Actually, I can accept his reasoning if we understand it narrowly as a critique
of the idea of intellectual /property/. I'd agree with him that it's kind of
silly to regulate the use, or "ownership," of one's intellectual product in the
same terms that we use for material property. His account of the flaws of
current approaches is convincing.
But, if it isn't property, then what is it? He seems to be saying that it's
*nothing*. This could be the faulty premise: that property is the only thing
that should matter in the law.
He starts with standard libertarian property theory. Stephan Kinsella is a
very known libertarian.
I'm not a libertarian. Anyway, if his point is that property theory doesn't
govern intellectual creation, then why does he seem to say that property theory
should rule out any and all protection for one's intellectual work?
And you laboured to get them into the newly valuable state. Should you get
paid for that labour or not. Why is the creator not doing that labour as
well? Why can he not compete with you for the love of his fans?
To the first question (should I get paid for copying?): I could also labor in my
home to convert pseudo-ephedrine into crystal meth. Should I get paid for that
labor? Here, society recognizes harmful effects on individuals and society as a
whole, so it prohibits that line of work. (Note, I'm in favor of legalizing and
regulating some recreational drugs, in the way alcohol is regulated now. I don't
use drugs other than alcohol and caffeine, but I've no wish to impose that on
others. Meth is pretty nasty stuff, though...)
So it's relevant to ask: Is there a harmful effect by allowing free copying of
others' work? I admit, I haven't researched this but my gut feeling is that it's
far too simple just to deny any possibility that there even *could* be harm
To the second: Such competition is not necessarily fair. Your expense to produce
the work in the first place is high. To recover that expense, you may have to
charge a higher price. My expenses are lower, so I can sell more cheaply, making
my product more attractive to buyers.
Without your work, I could not profit like this, so I owe you something. Why
should the law exempt me from that debt?
What do you both think about the GLEE "Baby Got Back" debacle?
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