Free Information vs Information Protectionism

Paul Foley
27 May 2001 18:37:36 +1200

On Sun, 27 May 2001 01:20:44 -0400, Kyle Lahnakoski wrote:

> Paul Foley wrote:

> You are right here; the public force is used to enforce the rules of
> society, whether they are contract law or copyright/patent law.  Society
> decides what laws are to be agreed on and enforced.

I reject that notion absolutely -- "society" has no rights beyond
those possessed by the individuals that compose it; thus society
*cannot* (rightfully) _decide_ what laws are to be enforced; there's
no decision to be made!

> If an inventor writes some code, or makes a piece of art, its $Value$ is
> determined by society's laws.

No it isn't.  Its value is determined by what someone's willing to do
for it.  Laws can only distort its value, making it impossible to
determine what its value "really" is.

> It seems logical to me that we only implement laws that are beneficial
> to society.  It is debatable that copyright/patent law is one of them.

It seems logical to me that we only implement laws that protect us
from violence, theft and fraud; benefit to society be damned.  Simply
copying (as opposed to reimplementing) the work of another without
permission is a form of theft.  Patents are a different thing
altogether; the problem they're meant to solve can be better dealt
with by contract.

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

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