Free Information vs Information Protectionism

Kyle Lahnakoski
Sun, 27 May 2001 23:33:35 -0400

Paul Foley wrote:
> 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!

Society can do what it damn well pleases.  It is bigger than all of us;
and there is little you can do if it decides it is time you die. :)  I
do not agree with the axiom:

> The people cannot delegate to government the power to do
> anything which would be unlawful for them to do themselves.
>       -- John Locke, "A Treatise Concerning Civil Government"

A society is different than a person.  To arbitrarily restrict society
to human rights is naive.

> > 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.

Maybe I was not clear.  The world is free market.  The value of an
invention is not decided by the creator, it is decided by society;
specifically the people who pay for it and the laws those people act

> > 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.  

You appear to like the word "theft".  It denotes a certain evil
quality.  I would prefer you do not use "theft" in a discussion that is
debating the fundamental question of IF it is theft.  But with current
laws, you are correct, it is theft.  But law is only causally related to
"right" or justice; and many times in conflict.

Kyle Lahnakoski                                  Arcavia Software Ltd.
(416) 892-7784