Just wondering, does my boss ever actually read this blog? Does he know it exists? I doubt he would care if he did, of course, especially since there's hardly anything on it.
I am enjoying what I am doing, quite a bit, and most of the people I
work with are nice. However, I can't help but wonder if I would be
better off somewhere else. Ah well, I think I'm stuck here for a while.
I'm working on a paper about innovation and intellectual property, and wanted to discuss the bnetd case. I was just reading an amicus brief by the software, music, and movie industry trade groups, (found here) and a sentence jumped out and bit me, it was just SO WRONG:
Faced with the steep costs imposed by digital piracy, many content providers who would otherwise engage in a profitable creative enterprise may simply choose not to invest in the creation of intellectual property at all.OK, where do I start? "steep costs". OK, yeah, when somebody makes a copy of your software, they're imposing costs on you. Uh-huh. Even though you never even know about it. It's only a "cost" if you assume some sort of divine right to control everything that happens to their creation, forever, and any infringement upon that right directly hurts them. It's pretty hard for me to see any harm directly to the company. It's not like somebody's taking their blood or something.
OK, how about "profitable creative enterprise"? Yep, profits are a good thing, aren't they? We gotta have profits, since without profits, the world simply wouldn't go 'round! You know, a drug dealer who decides to advertise by putting tattoos on prostitutes foreheads would also be engaging in a "profitable creative enterprise", too. But that's OK, right? Right?
The point of intellectual property laws, or laws in general, is to make this world, and specifically this country, a better place to live in. Is that so hard to understand? They don't exist just so some venture capitalist has an incentive to give money to long-haired CS majors.
Oh, and the last bit: "may simply choose not to invest in the creation of intellectual property at all." Yeah, those poor people who create video games; I'm sure they'd all get up and become tax attorneys or something because of the "steep costs" imposed that are described above. Right. Or better yet, Microsoft and other big software companies will retool and become hardware companies. Geffen records will disband. And Universal Studios will focus all its energies on its theme parks. Right.
There's something seriously wrong with this country that people seem to
actually agree with these arguments. Of course, the silent majority (I'm
convinced -- what percentage of the U.S. online population has
participated in file sharing?) doesn't, but let's be a little less silent,
Do you know what I dislike? Professors who show up late, then run 10 minutes over on the first day of class.
One down, four to go. Glad that's over with. Don't get me wrong, I liked the class, but class: good, exam: bad.
I wonder, though, on these open-ended policy type questions, if it's
better to parrot what the professor thinks, or to disagree. Actually, the
best thing to do is probably to come up with some new spin on the idea --
however, that's not likely to happen in the half-hour you generally have
on those things. Besides, there's nothing new
under the sun, right? Failing that, it's better to be articulate than
anything else -- agree or disagree is moot. At least I hope so!
In case anybody else who reads this blog is in my Income
Tax Class, I thought you might find this concatenation of the
professor's powerpoint slides from the entire semester helpful.
This morning (OK, yesterday morning, whatever) in Copyright class the professor asks, "Does anyone here have experience with programming?" Then he looks straight at me. Looong pause. "Well, not, um, commercially!"
That's what I get for being all gung-ho with the Apple v. Franklin case earlier in the semester. And that day he kept cutting me off, too. Just can't win, I suppose.
I will say this -- based upon my detailed analysis of the case in question (read: quickly reading
two pages before the mangled definitions of computer jargon drove me nuts, and then skipping to the end just
so I'd know how it turned out), I'd have to say that if Dworkin thinks defamation law resembles rococo
curliques, he oughtta try to make heads or tails out of that crap. Let's make it easy, guys: You copy the
code, it's infringment. You don't, it isn't. Okee-dokee?
Look at this. They're having a nice little pro-abortion propaganda fest up at Michigan Law School, sponsored (if you look at the list) by the law school. Michigan taxpayers' money, at work! Now somebody tell me again why we need the American Constitution Society again? Oh yes, combat the pernicious influence of them evil, horn-bearing Federalist Society people. It's not like the schools will do that by themselves...
Boy, talk about a generic blog. What can I say, I'm not a design guy. My brother says he'll design a template for me if I want...
These are the sites that I read the most:
Marvelous ways to waste an afternoon