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Re: pirate bay, w3m, and the interface is just an interface (BEST post e

From: Glen Stark
Subject: Re: pirate bay, w3m, and the interface is just an interface (BEST post ever)
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2015 13:52:03 GMT
User-agent: Pan/0.139 (Sexual Chocolate; GIT bf56508 git://

On Mon, 22 Dec 2014 23:08:03 +0100, Emanuel Berg wrote:

>> Look, you quite clearly are, which is quite offensive for those of us
>> who believe that all people should be afforded equal rights under the
>> law, including that tiny minority who strive to improve the world
>> through the creation of art. It's not up to you to decide that this
>> minority does not deserve the right to the work to which they give
>> their lives.

I have a big problem with the language of this paragraph.  

First of all, there are just and unjust laws.  Current copyright law is 
pretty far from just in almost any country with trade agreements with the 
United States.  

The copyright law spreading out from the United States is far from 
optimized to protect the rights of creative types.  In fact the losses 
which creators suffer due to the beneficiaries of copyright law is far 
greater than the losses they suffer due to the violators of copyright law.

Copyright law is an infringement of free speech rights.  When the 
founders of the American constitution decided to allow copyright and 
patent law, they did so with great reservation.  Thomas Jefferson 
expressed these reservations quite elegantly.  There was spirited debate 
about the merits of encouraging creativity and research through copyright 
and patent law, and the cost to society through the impingement of the 
fundamental freedom of free-speech.  

Over the subsequent 2XX years that followed, copyright holders gained 
more and more wealth, and Americas legal system grew more and more into a 
cash-for-laws system.  The carefully crafted compromise that the founders 
created, which balanced the goals of rewarding creative endeavors against 
the public good has eroded into a system where copyright terms exceed 
over 90 years, where copyrights have been retroactively stolen from the 
public domain and granted to large copyright oligarchies, and where fair 
use has eroded to the point of non-existence.  Worse, the media 
oligarchies are capable of disseminating propaganda so ubiquitous and 
nefarious that Goebbels would have felt like an amateur to behold.  

Before getting offended at viewpoint that are more nuanced than yours, 
you should really inform yourself better.  Some good places to start are:

1.  Free culture by Professor Lawrence Lessig.
2.  Any talk on the subject by Cory Doctorow.
3.  "The Internet's Own Boy", a documentary about Aaron Schwartz.

"Free Culture" is one of my favorite books on the subject, and is an 
excellent starting point, as it does a great job of synthesizing the 
negative impact of today's out-of-control copyright law on society, the 
economy, and especially creativity and the artists who want to exercise 

If one starts from a position of ignorance, and accepts the propaganda 
that copyright-law is somehow an embodyment of a natural right, as 
opposed to an a restriction on a natural right, and accepts the fallacy 
that copyright benefits artists and creators, as opposed to the truth 
that copyright (as currently practiced) benefits copyright *holders*, 
it's easy to get sucked into the fallacy that copyright-violation is thef, 
and get judgmental and offend.

If one is informed about the history and facts of the economics of 
copyright law,  it's much easier to understand how some might consider 
copyright-violation to be an act of civil disobedience.

You may not find it such an act of civil disobedience justified, but I 
find that high-horses on this subject have been bred from ignorance.


Glen Stark.

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