Re: Fear of Life (was Microsoft, Automation)

Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin (
Fri, 1 May 1998 22:04:42 +0000

> From: "Lee Daniel Crocker" < (none)>

> A similar fear is that of industries kept in place by government
> coercion, such as copyrights and patents.

These industries are not "kept in place" by government coercion,
except in the sense that any business is protected by keeping looters

It is assumed that
> those industries--publishing, music, software--will be decimated
> if those "protections" are removed. That's absolutely right--and
> equally cause for celebration

We should celebrate the death of all forms of publication, plus news

> as the human spirit of creativity
> is released from the bonds of labor, free to create and influence
> all other industries toward an even higher standard of living,
> more art, more writing, and more software.

A thousand years ago, every artist was directly rewarded by the
people whom he directly delivered his art to, but could do nothing
about copying and could not do any form of indirect delivery.

Today, some artists sell their art to people who choose to make it
freely available, while others receive indirect payment from each
individual consumer -- who also receives the art indirectly. Only a
tiny fraction of art revenues are related to art delivered directly
from artist to consumer.

A thousand years ago, only a tiny fraction of households contained
any art whatsoever that wasn't made by its residents. Today, nearly
every home does.

Eliminate copyrights and patents, and indirect payment ceases to
exist; so the artists who live off that indirect payment -- the large
majority of those who can live off their art at all -- must turn to
other fields. They will produce less art, or no art at all.

How does driving artists away from art and into other fields, produce
more art?

> Nothing could be better for writers than to lose their present
> coercively-supported jobs and be freed to create as they wished,
> or use their creative talents in new ways. Nothing could be
> better for the government price-supported wheat farmer than to
> lose his subsidy and be freed to use his talents in more
> productive ways.

There is a substantial difference between being protected from
looters who want to receive the benefit of your work without paying
you (the writer as described), and being protected *by* looters who
compel others to pay you without receiving the benefit of your work
(the farmer as described).

> Nothing could be better for the politician
> than to be voted out of a job and be freed to use his consensus-
> building talents in a profitable enterprise.

This is easily disproven: the politician is free, today, to walk away
from politics and use his consensus-building talents in a profitable
enterprise. Look how many choose to remain politicians until they
either retire or can no longer find continued employment in politics.

And again, the politician (the one currently holding elective office,
anyway) is protected *by* looters, not *from* looters. He receives
payment taken by force from people who not only do not *receive* his
services, but do not *desire* his services -- or even consider them
to be services.

The novel-writer simply wants to be paid by the novel-reader. If the
reader chooses to not read that novel, its author expects no payment.
But novel-writers who receive no payment and have no reason to
expect any payment in the future, tend to stop writing novels.
Without copyrights, there would be no expectation of payment.

And while I am sure we all agree that 90% of all art produced today
is crap, we don't necessarily agree on *which* 90%.
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