Chad Perrin: SOB

20 December 2007

I agree: Lane Hartwell should issue an apology.

Filed under: Liberty — apotheon @ 03:01

So, Lane Hartwell is just trying to protect herself and the “commons”.


She’s trying to protect a government-granted monopoly. She’s using force by proxy to ensure that people cannot dispose of things in their possession as they see fit. It’s no more or less than that.

Shelley Powers says:

Perhaps because we have a knee jerk reaction to the term, DMCA, we tar and feather any use. However, Lane trying to protect the integrity of her photography is not the same thing as Disney trying to preserve the Mouse in perpetuity.

Oh, but it is the same. It’s the same because it’s protectionism in both cases. It’s the same because the DMCA is wrong in its entirety. The relevant facts of the matter are not, in this case, related in any way to the fact that one of them is a huge, faceless (other than that mousy face) corporation and the other is some poor starving “artist”.

If we overreact about copyright abuses from corporations to the point where we deny the validity of copyright for individuals

. . . then we’ll just have to deal with the greater liberty of a free market. Oh, the horrors!

reacting petulantly, even violently at being denied our goodies

. . . sounds like the way people behave when someone copies a series of on/off instructions for a computer — bits, in other words — without “permission”. The petulant tantrums here are thrown by those who:

  1. realize that they’re not being paid for transactions in which they have no part, and
  2. can’t stand it.

They’re thrown by people who feel frustrated in their efforts to control the state of others’ computers, the ability of others to articulate notions they have in their heads, and to otherwise interfere with the “natural forces” of economics through coercive application of power.

Do you think you understand the real implications of copyright law? If you think so, you can test it by considering this question:

Should a man who owns a monkey that randomly bangs away on a keyboard, but manages to produce an entire modern work of fiction every three weeks of effort, go to jail?

I’ve got another question you can use to test your understanding. I call it O’Rourke’s Legislation Test, because it’s derived from something P. J. O’Rourke said:

Is it important enough for this legal provision (in this case, the DMCA provision used by Lane Hartwell) to be enforced that you would have your grandmother shot to achieve that end?

You may have to imagine your grandmother printing out birthday cards with an image culled from a Google image search printed on them, then imagine her resisting arrest when she’s caught, for that one to make sense.

Okay, one more.

Imagine for a moment you happen to have taken a photo at the same time of day, the same time of year, in the same location, of the same objects, under the same weather conditions, and from the same angle, as someone else. You have no idea the other person or that person’s photograph even exist. Your only existing copy of the photo is digital, on a backup CD. You have no proof you didn’t get the photo from the other person. Should you go to jail?

Lookie here. No analogies. I’m not doing the tired old “If I build a simple wooden chair, should I have to pay a royalty to the first person in history to build a similar chair?” this time.

It utterly galls me that I have to abide by such a ridiculous protectionist racket like copyright law just to maintain some appearance of respectability in the eyes of you monopolistic wankers out there. I’d certainly be violating copyright quite a bit, with zero guilt, if it wasn’t for the fact that I find the task of convincing people of the faults of copyright law so important — and if I could be as effective at it without abiding by copyright law. Instead, I — someone who realizes the unethical, absurd nature of copyright law — have to be one of its most diligent observers just to get ass-weasels like TR user RV to stop using those “You’re just a thief [sic] trying to justify your theft!” so-called arguments. It really burns me up, y’know.

As for the Lane Hartwell issue itself, things get even more ridiculous because of the fact that she’s making threatening noises at the Richter Scales for an act covered by fair use. In other words, in this case it wasn’t even copyright violation. In other words, what she’s doing is worse than Disney’s protection of the mouse. It’s more like what the RIAA and MPAA are trying to do: she’s engaged in trying to destroy legal protections of the fair use doctrine.

One more quote from Shelley Powers:

There’s also a thing in the commons called an ‘apology’.

Yeah. Let’s hope that, after consulting her lawyer, Lane Hartwell issues an apology.

PS: Shelley, there’s a very clear legal distinction between theft and copyright infringement. Look it up if you don’t believe me. Please stop referring to copyright infringement as “stealing”. The fact that it is not “stealing” is clear fact, not a matter of opinion — and it isn’t even related to my difference of opinion with you on whether or not copyright law is a good idea.

All original content Copyright Chad Perrin: Distributed under the terms of the Open Works License