One if by Land, Two if by Sea

Make no mistake – as netizens, we are under a full throttle pincer attack from Big Corps and Big Govt to homogenize content and stifle dissent. Big Corps are attacking netizens under a proprietary assumption – if they own the entire means of distribution, whatever you create online essentially belongs to them, and your value will be measured by whatever generated income can be siphoned off – the intellectual equivalent of eminent domain. Big Govt assumes a presumption of illegality - what you say must be measured, controlled or otherwise “balanced”  under threat of “hate crime” laws. Hate crime is big business!

Yet I fear we are cheapening the very universe we seek to defend. Big Corps heavily promote “rap music” – dog food for the masses, the glorification of brute criminality. Thus far it’s been a smashingly successful attack on basic human values – cultural chaff to distract and confuse the ignorant from the real targets.  A stupid populace is easily manipulated to its lowest level.

Any putz can chop up an original work, reduce it to hamburger and claim it his own under the guise of “intellectual freedom.” But it’s more like intellectual encephalitis – or counterfeiting. Govt’s only role should be to protect intellectual property rights, not to determine what someone can or cannot express.

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!

2 Responses to “One if by Land, Two if by Sea”

  1. Alex H. says:

    I’m lost as to the connection between intellectual property and liberty. You write as if IP is an obvious thing, and it’s clear what it means. To me, the idea that someone owns a process for swinging on a swing, or the process of clicking once to buy something, is not at all obvious. Any more than, frankly, is the idea that a single person or company should have the right to stop me from singing Happy Birthday to my kid without paying. To my eyes, that’s very clearly the opposite of liberty.

    So, what you are saying is that you want the government to control what I can sing, by forcing me to adhere to someone’s expressed opinion that they are original. That’s a pretty shallow view of liberty to my mind.

  2. admin says:

    The Patrick Henry quote may be a bit excessive; but I believe that IP rights and real (land) property rights should be treated similarly. Property rights are keystones of liberty (liberty being: freedom plus responsibility). The question is: who owns the property? If someone owns the “process” of a playground swing set, or the mechanisms thereof, it’s probably patented; that’s what patent laws are for; to protect inventors and allow them to profit from their efforts from anyone who legally manufactures/sells/distributes such; not to penalize the end user (since the manufacture, sales, purchase, etc. are part of the owner’s profit chain). Otherwise trademark and patent laws are meaningless.

    Is “Happy Birthday” in public domain? Who owns the chain of title, and how far are they willing to go to enforce it?

    I hardly condone gov’t control; but if someone took your lectures and presented them as their own and profited by your original ideas, would you not seek legal recourse? Is that not your property? And by the same token, shouldn’t anyone have a right to pitch a tent in your front lawn and claim it his own?

    If anyone and everyone have a right to all you possess, you have nothing – a man’s home – and his creations – are his castles. False claims of ownership are no more “free speech” than yelling “fire” in a crowded theater.

    The gov’t can take your physical property; but (thus far) they can’t take your mind – the final frontier of personal liberty.

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