Re: A polite Napster rant...

From: Zero Powers (
Date: Tue Mar 13 2001 - 18:16:53 MST

>From: Alex Future Bokov <>

>1. Give one scheme of keeping current intellectual property laws
>enforceable without implementing legal and technical measures that can
>(and therefore eventually will) be abused as censorship and
>anti-privacy measures.

No law has ever been completely enforceable (if by "enforceable" you mean
unbreakable). Laws are broken everyday, its only the unlucky few who get
caught who are prosecuted, and only a fraction of those who are caught get
convicted. This is true for bank robbery, murder, rape, and crimes against
humanity. It will remain true for copyright infringement as well. Your
implied argument is that if you can't stop people from breaking the law you
should change the law. I trust you see the flaws in that argument.

>2. <snipperoo>... My question is simply
>this: is an industry that would otherwise collapse entitled to use the
>government as a crutch indefinitely?

Seeing as how that pretty much describes *every* industry, I'd have to say
the answer to your question is "yes." Every business depends on the
government and its police power to prevent scofflaws from absonding with its
assets (whether they be real, personal or intellectual property).

>3. Supposing the public is willing to accept an abridgement of privacy
>and free speech, given the increasing availability and sophistication
>of cryptographic software, will such an abridgement even be
>technically possible?

See answer to #1 above. No, you can't prevent criminals from breaking the
law. All you can hope to do is prosecute a sufficient number of them that
the majority of the population deems it a good idea not to break the law.

FWIW, I'm in the "information wants to be free" camp. But I don't think its
arguments like the above that are going to carry the day.


Learn how your computer can earn you money while you sleep!

Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:59:40 MDT