Free Information vs Information Protectionism

Paul Foley
26 May 2001 14:40:30 +1200

On Fri, 25 May 2001 14:47:32 +0200, Francois-Rene Rideau wrote:

> But you cannot ask from the public force that it be used against
> the public, yet paid by the public, to ensure you higher profits
> You have a natural right to use your resources (including time, work,
> proficiencies, property, etc.) in just any way you please, and to use
> any result of these resources in a similar way.
> Other people must not prevent you from using these resources,
> lest they must compensate you accordingly for the damages,
> direct, indirect, etc, and be punished if they did it with ill intent.
> Is it unfair? No it isn't. If you want to copy protect your statue,
> you should bear the price of this copy protection: walls, guards,
> scanning-prevention, etc. Nobody owes you this protection.
> Of course, you may pool up money with other artists to install a museum=

> inside a bunker. Or whatever.
>> I claim you owe me because you
>> agreed to owe me when we made our mutually-agreeable exchange.
> Except that copyrights are not based on such mutual agreement,
> but on preventing third parties from copying.

Property rights are not based on such mutual agreement in general; I
don't have to make separate agreements with every person on Earth in
order to own..oh, say, my shoes, do I?  That's clearly impossible.  So
you're left with two choices: either I can own things without having
to make contracts with everyone individually, or I can't own anything
at all.  If I can own things, then what you call "the public force"
must be available to me to protect those things (AFAIC, that is it's
sole raison d'=EAtre!).  If I can't own things, neither can I build
walls, post guards, etc. [where would I place them?  I can't own the
land they'd be built on.  Also, in this case, the "public force" must
surely be available to others to prevent me doing so, since that would =

monopolize the use of land to which they have at least as great a
claim as I!]

Assuming that I can own things, the question is: what things can I
own?  Do I own the result of my own labours?  Any code I might write
is surely that; and if you agree that I can own it, copyright -- and
thus the availability of "public force" -- follows.  If you say I
can't, it makes no sense to me to claim that I have other rights over
it; thus I _can't_ keep it secret, use copy protection, build walls,
or anything else you say I can do!

-- =

You don't have to agree with me; you can be wrong if you want.

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