This is my site. Cool, huh? If you don't like it, well, I guess it lives up to its name for you, then.

Mon 18 Apr 2005

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, OK?
Posted after lunch/law ]

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:

News
instapundit (like many, many other people)
Google News
reddit
OK, OK, so I'm biased. Big deal.

Highbrow
Arts & Letters Daily
Lowbrow
Fark

The best dang writing on the web, period. (At least it was, when I set up this blog 4 years ago.)
Lileks (especially the Bleat)
Eject! Eject! Eject!

Humor
Dave Barry
Tim Blair
Worse Than Failure

Legal Stuff
How Appealing
Balkin (when I want to get mad)
Volokh & Co. (I like Phillipe the best) (where did he go, anyway?)
Lessig
Some Harvard graduate who happens to be totally hilarious.

Other interesting political commentary
Amygdala
Colby Cosh
Impromptus (and what happened to him, too?)
Best of the Web

Baseball stuff
Neyer
Hunt (What the heck happened to him, anyway?)
Viva El Birdos

Geek stuff
Greenspun
Doc

Sites I used to read all the time, but rarely visit anymore
Slashdot
Yahoo Money
Ubid
Andrew Sullivan
New York Press

Marvelous ways to waste an afternoon
Travels with Samantha (rated PG-13)
The Institute of Official Cheer
The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit
Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics
The Tolkien Sarcasm Page
Wikipedia's BJAODN

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