Re: Information & Power /Alexandria library

Ross A. Finlayson (
Sun, 09 May 1999 20:01:22 -0400

Michael S. Lorrey wrote:

> Ross A. Finlayson wrote:
> >
> > For all works in the Library of Congress to be transcribed into digital form and
> > made available on the Internet would be a wonderful thing, and would do much to
> > expand the breadth of human knowledge, and I might even term it a just use of
> > tax dollars. To be sure, there are copyright issues involved, but any number of
> > uncopyrighted works or those whose copyrights had expired could be put online.
> > If one can go to a library and check out a copyrighted work for free, why not
> > over the Internet? It will certainly enhance inter-library loan when more
> > material is available for electronic request and delivery.
> Use tax dollars to pay for the wholesale ripoff of millions of people's
> copyright rights? I don't think so. It will have to be a pay as you go
> system, with micropayments for each use of copyrighted material.

If the government can not suborn property rights for copyrighted material, then how can it possibly suborn driver's license and identification information?

So in this case, we see that tax dollars are used to pay for "the wholesale ripoff of millions of people's copyright rights." Thus the government is stealing from and liable to the citizen.

The recent cases about selling license data to third party vendors and similar cases of privacy and default personal copyright infringement show that the government misuses citizens' data.

The government should pay and engage in conventional party to party transactions to pay for the rights to such data.

Government data between agencies should not necessarily be shared. For example, because citizen A has dealings with goverment agency 1 and 2, neither one or two should share information about that. That means when these public organization's data is available for review, then any comparison of these two public agency's public data should not reveal that that private citizen's information is linked, unless citizen A chose to use the same name for each agency or was otherwise easily confirmable. In terms of public information like property transaction and other real issues any dealing of the government with a corporate entity should be open. Now, for some reason that implies that corporations are treated differently than private citizens by the government.

The government's operations deserve much analysis and openness, they show how our society works. They are pretty much available, all budgets and expenditures, and a huge amount of other financial information.


Ross Andrew Finlayson
"C is the speed of light."