Re: Working Within the System

From: Charlie (
Date: Tue May 02 2000 - 07:38:56 MDT

On Tue, May 02, 2000 at 08:27:14AM -0400, Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> Good point. However considering the piracy rates in most countries, even
> copyrighted software from most vendors (with the sole exception being
> wares that you need to call the maker to get a key for) is totally
> capable of being copied, so its merely a matter of the 11th commandment.
> The rate at which software copyrights are enforced begs one as to
> whether copy rights, per se, are de facto still recognized as civil
> rights in any case, due to the spotty and capricious nature of
> enforcement.

All valid points. (Wot, me and Michael Lorrey agreeing right down the
line? Preposterous!) I'd add, however, that if (like me) you take the
point of view that rights are social constructions that exist to the
extent that they're enforced universally within society, copyright was
never a right to begin with; it was a construct invented by government
to ensure that inventors got some remuneration, nothing more and nothing
less. This is a very flimsy raft upon which to build a solid information
economy, and it's uncomfortable for those of us whose sole occupation
is creating intellectual property, but it's something we have to face
up to sooner or later: you can't physically hold onto an idea and exclude
others from doing so, any more than you can prove the existence of qualia.

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