(no subject)

Morris, Mitchell Mitchell.Morris@cingular.com
Wed, 23 May 2001 15:31:55 -0400

First, let me say that I label myself an anarcho-syndicalist, and so
shouldn't be very far at all from you philosophically speaking, but I =
very strongly that you are mistaken in your belief that duplication of
information is not harmful.

Second, if I have misunderstood your claims, please correct me.

On 23 May 2001, you wrote in comp.lang.lisp:
>> If I leave numerous valuable items on the street, in an unprotected
>> state, your taking them is still THEFT.
>Taking them sure is theft, but copying them is not.
>And you sure don't get the right to search and seize anyone's property
>because you were stolen while negligent, nor to seize anyone else's
>property (through taxes) to have police protect you.

Your claim #1: copying is not theft
Corrolary: No moral being must endure the same obligations to respect
"intellectual" property that they would to respect "natural" property.

>> Don't claim that any third party has the
>> right to make a binary copy of my work and utilize or sell it =
>> my permission.=20
>Of course they can. They can also sing, speak english, grow crops,
>and do everything they want without your permission. As long as they
>do it using stuff they own, like for example, a nth-generation copy
>of your original software. Once you sold a copy, it's not yours =
>Just like your selling farming tools doesn't earn you a perpetual =
>on the way the farmer uses them, your selling software doesn't earn =
>zilch on the way people use the copy you hand them.

Your claim #2: a moral being may duplicate and distribute as many =
copies as
they desire of any software which they've purchased.

>So it all comes down to: what is property, and what is theft?
>And please, just because a piece of paper makes it "legal"
>doesn't make it any righter or wronger.=20
>What is property, out of natural right?
>And what is but government protectionism,
>stolen from the public at large to be granted to a privileged few?
>You're begging the question.
>You say intellectual property is natural property, I argue it isn't.
>No need to make a straw man argument about independent premises
>like my respect of property in general.

Your claim #3: "intellectual" property has no basis in natural rights, =
only in governmental protectionism.

>> I have not entered into a contract with you giving you permission to
>> deny me anything.=20
>The right for me to copy your work is no natural property of yours
>to give away to me by contract, to begin with.

Your claim #4: the right to duplicate "intellectual" property is a =
right, and not a licensable one. That is, we are all born with the =
right to
duplicate any "intellectual" property we desire.

>Yours freely,
>[ Fran=E7ois-Ren=E9 =D0VB Rideau | Reflection&Cybernethics |

Given all that, may I ask a few questions of you?

(1) Is it possible to create something by dint of effort? Do I have =
ownership of a thing by the act of creation, or it is necessarily owned =
other person (or persons) who were not involved in this creative =

(2) Assuming that I have created something by dint of my effort, can =
value be determined by any way other than finding what someone else =
give me for it? That is, do things have intrinsic value, or only =

(3) Assuming that my creation's value is determined by what other =
will exchange for it, how are you not affecting me when you dilute the
exchange value of my thing by giving away copies? Under what conditions =
you not depriving me of the value of my creation? Is there any other =
for this act than "theft"?

(4) How does the physical or non-physical nature of my creation affect =

respectfully-but-adversarially yours,