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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/11674/nina-paleys-all-creative-work-is-derivative/

Nina Paley’s “All Creative Work is Derivative”

February 15, 2010 by

This is an amazing animation by Nina Paley, “America’s Best-Loved Unknown Cartoonist” (and creator of the amazing animated (and free online) film Sita Sings the Blues, given rave reviews including 4 stars by Roger Ebert). Entitled “All Creative Work Is Derivative” (and blogged here on her blog), and concluding “All creative work builds on what came before,” the video is built from images of of statues and paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. As she explains on All Creative Work Is Derivative (Minute Meme #2),

Copyright control extends not just to verbatim copies, but to “derivative works.” This has led to censorship on a grand scale. For example, the seminal German silent film “Nosferatu” was deemed a derivative work of “Dracula” and courts ordered all copies destroyed. Shortly before his death, author J.D. Salinger convinced U.S. courts to censor another author who transformed his characters. And so on.

The whole history of human culture evolves through copying, making tiny transformations (sometimes called “errors”) with each replication. Copying is the engine of cultural progress. It is not “stealing.” It is, in fact, quite beautiful, and leads to a cultural diversity that inspires awe.

I learned of Nina’s work when she sent me a nice email, an edited version of which follows:

Hello Stephan,

I recently read “Against Intellectual Property” and liked it very much. It reminded me of some things I’ve written: Intellectual Property is Slavery and Redefining Property: Lessons from American History; also My Official Position on Copyright.

I especially enjoyed your unique twist on Trademark, that trademark suits should be brought by consumers against frauds, rather than by trademark “owners.” I haven’t thought it all through to form my own solid opinion yet, but I like the novel approach.

Last year I released my feature film, Sita Sings the Blues, under a copyleft license (CC-BY-SA).

I’m now artist-in-residence at QuestionCopyright.org, and do what I can to promote alternatives to copyright. (Actually I’m a copyright abolitionist, but many find that identification unpalatable.)

Anyway, thanks for the good book, I’m recommending it to my Free Culture buddies.

Update: See also this amazing, fascinating short documentary with Nina Paley, The Revolution Will Be Animated:

The Revolution Will Be Animated from Marine Lormant Sebag on Vimeo.


See also her Copying Is Not Theft “Minute Meme”:

{ 196 comments }

mpolzkill February 18, 2010 at 12:09 pm

My god, you get *the* car back, Tibuk; and if you don’t, he stole it. Just once, can you come up with an illustration that doesn’t use a physical item or body? Or have you? I haven’t seen it.

Mark Hubbard February 18, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Peter wrote:

> one is a forgery, the other a
> substitute. Different.
(in another post)
> The proof of my point is that even if there is
> no way to distinguish one from the other…

These statements contradict each other

No, Peter, they do not contradict each other. The are two different objects, entities, you said so yourself in the question. Whether you can distinguish between them is irrelevant: one is illegal, the other not.

If you go into a shop and pay for one toy car, then walk from the shop with another identical car (next to it on the shelf) in your pocket, you have one legitimately bought car, and one stolen car. The police can prosecute you for stealing the shop lifted car.

You are saying your defence will be, but this stolen car is identical to the one you purchased, thus no theft has occurred.

Yeah right. What verdict do you think a rational judge is going to come back with?

He or she will confirm A is A. And I’m sure you won’t be confused as they lead you to the cells.

Magnus February 18, 2010 at 1:25 pm

You are still stuck on the the terms of the exchange being unclear.

This situation is not unique to exchanges of IP but also true for tangible property. Thus this situation doesnt prove the illegitimacy of IP.

You are either being intentionally obtuse, or just don’t understand what I’m getting at. My question is directed to the particular differences between physical property and so-called IP.

To transfer property rights in physical articles, there are clear, established acts that demonstrate and constitute the act of transfer. With regard to rights in land, the courts learned a long time ago to require a written deed as the only recognized method demonstrating the act of transfer. Cars require execution of a title certificate. (There’s nothing ethically required as a matter of principle about these particular methods, but obviously they were developed to deal with common problems of proof.)

The most commonly recognized method of transferring presumptive ownership in movable property is possession. (“Nine-tenths of the law,” and all that.)

But IP is different. It can’t be possessed because it is not real. It has no tangible existence (except as neuron firing patters, perhaps, which are obviously owned by the owner of the brain in which they occur). The article of supposed “property” in IP is purely abstract and metaphorical, and is wholly divorced from the physical articles in which IP is supposedly housed (the paper, the voice, the body, the recording medium, etc.).

Moreover, the economic value in IP ordinarily arises not from one person’s solitary possession and use of it (the way I use my toaster), but in TRANSFERRING it to others. The kinds of patterns that are subject to copyright, for example, are forms of communication — they are created and exist for the purpose of being transmitted from one person to another (the story, the song, the movie).

If IP is ordinarily transmitted from person to person in the ordinary course of its use, then how are IP rights transferred, in your opinion?

When Crusoe showed Friday the information that is supposedly covered by IP (the farming methods, calendar and story), did he transfer any rights? Is transmitting the content of IP a form of consent to transfer IP rights? Or is more required? Is some additional act of consent required? Why or why not?

If you say that Crusoe retained his IP rights, as you sometimes claim, then answer this: When Friday goes off to live on his second island, is he ethically required to find a way to farm that is substantially different from the way that Crusoe taught him? How is he supposed to unlearn what he knows? The information — the farming methods that are supposedly protected by IP — is in his brain. He couldn’t get it out if he tried. Friday is farming his own homesteaded land on a separate island that has no contact whatsoever with Crusoe or his island or anything Crusoe produces, but you still say that Friday can’t engage in farming the only way he knows how, because Crusoe “owns” it.

These are intractable problems for the IP proponent, so I am not surprised you refuse to answer them directly.

(By the way, I own the letters “e” and “k,” so every time you use it, you owe me. You and your parents may not have known this when you used them in your name, but whoever your parents got them from stole them from me by using them without my consent, so pay up.)

Mark Hubbard February 18, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Ok, so why do you think a system where non-rivalrous IP rights trumps rivalrous physical property rights is morally superior when it results in far more conflict and confrontation?

Read my answer properly Mashui.

What do you think the ‘competitive’ in ‘competitive free markets’ means?

It means if I do the research and get the breakthrough IP first, I profit from it, that was the reason for spending the R & D, I would not have if I could not secure IP.

Causality. I thought of it first, I won, I profit from the products of my mind. The fact that you can then forge multiple copies of my product and original thought just makes you a crook if you try to sell them, for you are seeking to profit from my IP which I developed before you copied me.

mpolzkill February 18, 2010 at 1:43 pm

“I’m sure you won’t be confused as they lead you to the cells”

Ah finally something clear from Hubbard. A variant of the Abe Lincoln/Ike Turner philosophy. Just stick with that one, Hubbard, don’t ever bother answering Jay’s question that has troubled you so.

Mark Hubbard February 18, 2010 at 1:49 pm

don’t ever bother answering Jay’s question that has troubled you so.

Talk about deflection. What’s the unanswered question?

I just answered it very well. You don’t want to know the answers, because the moral implication reflects badly on yourself.

Fault my answer above mossy kill: not just the throwaway line I put at the end of it, but my retort, utterly, of Peter’s point.

Peter Surda February 18, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Dear Mark,

> No, Peter, they do not contradict each other.
Yes they do.

> The are two different objects, entities, you said
> so yourself in the question. Whether you can
> distinguish between them is irrelevant: one is
> illegal, the other not.
If you cannot distinguish between them, then they are by definition not different. If they are different, then by definition it is possible to distinguish between them. Which part of this don’t you understand? Different and indistinguishable are antonyms.

> If you go into a shop and pay for one toy car,
> then walk from the shop with another
> identical car (next to it on the shelf) in
> your pocket, you have one legitimately bought
> car, and one stolen car. The police can
> prosecute you for stealing the shop lifted car.
The cars or acts in the example are distinguishable, you made the distinction yourself. You paid for one, you didn’t pay for the other.

Now, back to my actual argument regarding causality and similarity, if you don’t pay for an externality or substitute, it’s fine, but if you don’t pay for illegitimate use of IP, it’s illegal. To adapt this to your analogy, what you are claiming is that stealing in some shops is fine and stealing in others not.

> You are saying your defence will be, but this
> stolen car is identical to the one you purchased,
> thus no theft has occurred.
You misconstruct my objection. Read the above and turn on your brain. Get a coffee or something.

> Yeah right. What verdict do you think a rational
> judge is going to come back with?
That you are babbling nonsense.

> He or she will confirm A is A.
He or she would also confirm that A and not A can’t be valid at the same time.

> And I’m sure you won’t be confused as they lead
> you to the cells.
Your confusion would probably outshine anything else.

Mark Hubbard February 18, 2010 at 1:58 pm

[Posts aren't going through again...]

Oh, you’re talking about Jay now.

Look how big this thread is. I’ve got to put 10 and a half hours in today at work, so you sum it up for me in less than 100 words, mossy kill. What’s the question: not an essay, a succinctly put question. (Let’s see if you even understand what Jay is asking).

mpolzkill February 18, 2010 at 2:01 pm

It’s right here, Hubbard, and it’s really complicated, you strutting….[temper]:

http://blog.mises.org/archives/011689.asp#c670537

Stephan Kinsella February 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Kerem:

Are you really unable to see the similarity between the relationship between Crusoe and the excess food that will definitely go bad, and an IP Crusoe might have produced?

Your premise solely depends on the concept of scarcity. And scarcity is a condition of supply. This means you classify things that can be property or not based solely on the condition of supply.

Scarcity does not mean un-plentiful. It means rivalrous–that there can be conflict over it; that my use excludes yours. All scarce things are potentially property if they can serve as means.

The fact that the food may rot is irrelevant–the owner has a right to do what he wants with it. Maybe he wants to use the rotten food for pig food, or fertilizer, or compost. Who cares? It’s his property. You don’t lose property rights to a car when it breaks down, or to a banana when it spoils. What in the world are you talking about?

Now, I grant you, if someone steals my food and I sue them for theft, then maybe the amount of damages I can obtain would be reduced if the only use I had for the food was to eat it and it was about to spoil or already rotten. Fine. But this has nothing to do with whether it was property, and whether it was stolen.

This has nothing to do with emulation and learning.

And I give you another example where condition of supply is given and you try to evade the only thing, the condition of supply, that matters in you theory?

I have no idea what you are talking about. I didn’t evade anything.

In the example the extra food will rot in the possession of Crusoe. This means Crusoe doesn’t really have the excess food if “having” implies the ability to use. Thus he doesn’t really lose anything when the excess food is removed from his possession.

Then his damages might be diminished. But he might have other uses for it. And so what? It’s up to him as owner. And he does lose something: the right to decide who gets to use it. A woman who is raped but physically unharmed–she is still a victim of a crime because during the rape she was deprived of her right to control her property, her body.

Mark Hubbard February 18, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Scarcity does not mean un-plentiful. It means rivalrous–that there can be conflict over it; that my use excludes yours. All scarce things are potentially property if they can serve as means.

What about competition in a competitive market?

http://blog.mises.org/archives/011674.asp#c670275

(Excuse the typos).

Mark Hubbard February 18, 2010 at 2:40 pm

mossy kill, I answered that question on your link, completely to my satisfaction. I’m not going to talk you out of your thieving ways – you don’t want to see the obvious anyway, as you try to make distinctions that do not exist – so I’m not wasting more time on it.

But the lengths you guys go to justify larceny is shocking.

mpolzkill February 18, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Hilarious, all around, Hubbard: “you try to make distinctions that do not exist”

Project much?

“But the lengths you guys go to [get to the truth] is shocking.”

Not fair, but I couldn’t help it.

“Completely to [your] satisfaction”. That’s terrific, now follow that up with, to paraphrase, “you’ll all understand my position when they are leading you to your cells.”

You never answered the question because it will be an admission of your fallacies and of your position of calling for aggressive force to sustain your limited ideas about business models.

Thank you for completely discrediting yourself. Good bye.

mpolzkill February 18, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Hilarious, all around, Hubbard: “you try to make distinctions that do not exist”

Project much?

“But the lengths you guys go to [get to the truth] is shocking.”

Not fair, but I couldn’t help it.

“Completely to [your] satisfaction”. That’s terrific, now follow that up with, to paraphrase, “you’ll all understand my position when they are leading you to your cells.”

You never answered the question because it will be an admission of your fallacies and of your position of calling for aggressive force to sustain your limited ideas about business models.

Thank you for completely discrediting yourself. Good bye.

Mark Hubbard February 18, 2010 at 3:37 pm

In your own words, tell me, succinctly what you think the question is?

Every pirate copy of Avator on somebodies else’s disk is potential income Cameron will never see, and the losses are exponential as the pilfering increases and the movie file is copied and copied and copied. The copy he has left is worthless to him, as his ability to earn the rightful income from selling it has been stolen via the theft of IP.

Also, copying a computer file is no different whatsoever to a forgery in a pre-computer age. Are you saying forging a Picasso, then selling it ‘as a Picasso’ is moral or legal? Because that is exactly what we are talking about. The owner still has his Picasso, you have a forged Picasso.

Theft, forgery, call it what you will: you are missing moral character when you cannot see that, and carry on justifying theft and pillage.

In a world where priating Avatar is not illegal, Cameron would not make this, or any movie. Capitalism, trade, stops: it’s the death of it. You are the enemy of freedom.

And you sit here snidely laughing at your own demise.

Magnus February 18, 2010 at 3:46 pm

In a world where priating Avatar is not illegal, Cameron would not make this, or any movie.

Promise?

Capitalism, trade, stops: it’s the death of it. You are the enemy of freedom.

You’re a hoot.

mpolzkill February 18, 2010 at 4:04 pm

One last time, [why on earth do I have to rephrase: "what, exactly, was removed from Cameron's possession?"]

Here goes:

Hubbard: “And it’s theft pure and simple” [making a copy of a James Cameron film]

When someone (who may very well choose to not even watch the images if forced to pay for the possible pleasure) makes a copy of Cameron’s movie, what does Cameron no longer hold in his possession which he did hold just the moment before?

You can not even say that the hypothetical copier won’t still buy Cameron’s DVD if he enjoys the experience and wants extras (or for whatever reason).

No theft: “the dishonest taking of property belonging to another person with the intention of depriving the owner permanently of its possession”

Thanks again, whenever you come back to Mises.Org on your mission of sermons and third-rate sophisms, we can just refer back to your woeful performance on these two forums. Good bye, again, and as Surda linked:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEkWH8DB7b0

Mark Hubbard February 18, 2010 at 4:18 pm

what does Cameron no longer hold in his possession which he did hold just the moment before?

The money in his bank account from selling it, and the ability to earn future income from it. Why don’t you get that?

Now what do you suggest Cameron do – ‘he’s a lousy businessman for being so stupid as to want to make income from movies’ is not an answer.

Scott D February 18, 2010 at 4:34 pm

“what does Cameron no longer hold in his possession which he did hold just the moment before?

The money in his bank account from selling it, and the ability to earn future income from it. Why don’t you get that?”

Oh, oh! It’s all so clear now. So James Cameron had al this money, right, and then Avatar got copied, and the money just went away! I never thought of it like that. Thanks for explaining it. Boy, was I ever on the wrong side of the argument! I’m so ashamed.

Mark Hubbard February 18, 2010 at 4:54 pm

I’m so ashamed.

Well you should be, but of course we know you’re not.

And that is even more shameful.

The technicality of the ‘moment before’ has no relevance. Not to principled, honourable capitalists.

Cameron made something uniquely original: you are not prepared to pay his dues on it. That’s the only principle of importance.

Mashuri February 18, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Mark, your core belief in the concept of property is what differs from the Libertarian philosophy. You believe it’s best to enforce it in a way that guarantees market share and guarantees a utilitarian and subjectively better result for the economy (although nobody has been able to furnish proof of this). This is opposed to interpreting property in a way that avoids conflict and aggression in rivalrous resources, which is more harmonious with the Libertarian non-aggression principle.

Peter February 18, 2010 at 6:04 pm

“What, exactly, was removed from Cameron’s possession?”

Income from his movie, Peter. Your scarcity argument is BS. If you can’t see the theft taking place here, then you are lacking that essential thing to a free society my old granddad termed an individual’s ‘moral fibre’.

Well, that’s blatant idiocy if ever I saw it. What if Cameron, perhaps while on a trip to do an interview about his movie, saw a town without any nearby pizza supplier, and decided to invest some of his money in building a pizza restaurant in the town … the restaurant is immensely successful, and he’s raking in the dough (so to speak), when along comes Pizza Hut and sets up just across the street! Oh noes! They’re removing income from his restaurant from his possession! The situation is exactly same as with the Kantian whim-worshipping second hander anarchists stealing his movie(!), so surely we can determine that Pizza Hut is guilty of theft in this scenario, too?! Right, Mark? Verdict please.

Randroids! *eyeroll; headshake*

Mark Hubbard February 18, 2010 at 6:08 pm

So long as they don’t use the same branding,signage, etc, Peter, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Two pizza joints, and the issue of pirating a movie, are not on all fours.

Peter February 18, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Are you really unable to see the similarity between the relationship between Crusoe and the excess food that will definitely go bad, and an IP Crusoe might have produced?

Your premise solely depends on the concept of scarcity. And scarcity is a condition of supply.

You’re confused, as Mashuri said above, by the word “scarce”. For “scarce”, read “rivalrous”.

Mark Hubbard February 18, 2010 at 6:12 pm

You believe it’s best to enforce it in a way that guarantees market share and guarantees a utilitarian and subjectively better result for the economy (although nobody has been able to furnish proof of this).

Bullshit. It’s the anarchists who use the utilitarian excuse.

A minarchy state protecting an individual’s IP, as with all property, is proper. It is not an initiation of force.

Cameron made something unique, and invested a lot of money to do so in order to make a profit: you are not prepared to pay his dues on it. That’s the only principle of importance.

Mark Hubbard February 18, 2010 at 6:21 pm

You believe it’s best to enforce it in a way that guarantees market share and guarantees a utilitarian and subjectively better result for the economy (although nobody has been able to furnish proof of this).

Rubbish. It’s the anarchists who use the utilitarian excuse. I’ve constantly demonstrated that.

A minarchy state protecting an individual’s IP, as with all property, is proper. It is not an initiation of force.

Cameron made something unique, and invested a lot of money to do so in order to make a profit: you are not prepared to pay his dues on it. That’s the only principle of importance.

Mark Hubbard February 18, 2010 at 6:34 pm

[I don't know why that posted twice. But hey, you can see I was 'trying' to clean up my language.]

Peter Surda February 18, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Dear Mark,

I know what is removed by unauthorised copying. Your brain. Obviously you are unable to use it afterwards. The amount of idiocy that you bring into the debate is staggering. I actually thought you would be able to comprehend trivial logical steps. I underestimated your willingness to sacrifice rational thought and the only thing left for me is to pity you.

Peter February 18, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Every pirate copy of Avator on somebodies else’s disk is potential income Cameron will never see, and the losses are exponential as the pilfering increases and the movie file is copied and copied and copied. The copy he has left is worthless to him, as his ability to earn the rightful income from selling it has been stolen via the theft of IP.

Incredible density of falsehood — I don’t think there’s a single true statement above!

“Every pirate copy of Avator on somebodies else’s disk is potential income Cameron will never see” — Nonsense. On the one hand not every person who downloads Avatar would have been willing to pay the monopoly price to see it (so that represents zero potential income lost to Cameron); on the other hand, some of the people who download it who would not have paid for it, will afterwards pay for it (that’s income Cameron would never have had otherwise!)

“the losses are exponential as the pilfering increases and the movie file is copied and copied and copied” — Nonsense. Nobody would pay the current price of an admittance to Avatar to see Gone With The Wind — even under monopoly conditions, the extractable value falls with time.

“The copy he has left is worthless to him” — Nonsense. He can still do with it anything he could have done with it before (including selling access to it! Yes, people still pay for stuff they can get for free!)

“as his ability to earn the rightful income from selling it has been stolen via the theft of IP” — Nonsense. Question-begging about “theft”, and what is the “rightful income”, pray tell?

Mark Hubbard February 18, 2010 at 7:06 pm

On the one hand not every person who downloads Avatar would have been willing to pay the monopoly price to see it

What a second handers back door that excuse is. What cold calculating bit of you refuses to see that?

Cameron made something unique, and invested a lot of money to do so in order to make a profit: you are not prepared to pay his dues on it. That’s the only principle of importance.

Peter February 18, 2010 at 7:07 pm

So long as they don’t use the same branding,signage, etc, Peter, there’s nothing wrong with that.

But…but…it’s exactly the situation that you previously argued was theft!!

Scott D February 18, 2010 at 7:12 pm

“I’m so ashamed.

Well you should be, but of course we know you’re not.

And that is even more shameful.”

I’m sorry, Mark, I was very bad as an anti-IP thief (all I could ever think about was going online and finding books and music to steal), but I’ll try to do better. I won’t let these Nihlist whim-worshipping Kantians use their voodoo copying-wealth-destroying magic on James Cameron’s bank account. No sir. It’s you and me, noble capitalists against the dirty anti-IP socialist anarchists and their black magic.

“Well, that’s blatant idiocy if ever I saw it.”

No, you don’t get it. Mark’s got the right on this one. Read more Rand.

“What if Cameron, perhaps while on a trip to do an interview about his movie, saw a town without any nearby pizza supplier, and decided to invest some of his money in building a pizza restaurant in the town … Verdict please.”

Of COURSE they are guilty of theft. James Cameron homesteaded the idea of selling of pizza in that town just as surely as he homesteaded the right to reproduce his movie and any future actions that anyone takes after viewing it that could be construed as being directly, causally connected to the movie. I will not tolerate you thieves taking James Cameron’s pizza IP.

Come on, Mark, back me up on this one. You have to stick to your guns and make the case airtight or these guys are going to keep finding holes.

P.S. Peter, do you have a Paypal account where I can send you some money for quoting you? I figure Mark and I can just steal from each other’s posts in even amounts and we’ll be okay, but I don’t recall you ever stealing words from me.

Mark Hubbard February 18, 2010 at 7:22 pm

But…but…it’s exactly the situation that you previously argued was theft!!

Oh sorry, did you say the first restaurant had IP over the pizza baking process?

If so, not to the second one, if not, then fine.

Mashuri February 18, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Mark Hubbard:

Rubbish. It’s the anarchists who use the utilitarian excuse.

Let’s get to a point of agreement and go from there. You may see your view as non-utilitarian and we’ll make our way back to that. Do you agree with my assessment that you believe it’s best to enforce private property in a way that guarantees market share?

I’m using this statement of yours as the basis of my conclusion (emphasis mine):

Cameron made something unique, and invested a lot of money to do so in order to make a profit: you are not prepared to pay his dues on it. That’s the only principle of importance.

Mashuri February 18, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Mark Hubbard:

Oh sorry, did you say the first restaurant had IP over the pizza baking process?

If so, not to the second one, if not, then fine.

Please elaborate on this.

Mark Hubbard February 18, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Do you agree with my assessment that you believe it’s best to enforce private property in a way that guarantees market share?

I’m saying ‘it’s best to enforce private property rights. That where this principle starts and ends.

You misinterpret the second part: Cameron made something, you’re prepared to use it, but not pay for it.

This stuff’s simple. Why make it complicated? (We know why don’t we: it gets you out of paying him).

Magnus February 18, 2010 at 7:40 pm

P.S. Peter, do you have a Paypal account where I can send you some money for quoting you?

Get in line, Bub. I’m still waiting for the royalties I DESERVE on his use of the letters “e” and “k.”

Which I own.

Mark Hubbard February 18, 2010 at 7:41 pm

If the first pizza joint had been able to gain IP on cooking pizzas, the process, for whatever reason, then the second joint could not use that process. If there is no IP to protect the first joint, no problem.

So?

You’ll pay for a pizza from either joint, why won’t you pay to download a movie?

Magnus February 18, 2010 at 7:45 pm

I know why you people are so obstinate — you all just want to keep using “e” and “k” without paying me.

You’re not paying me my dues.

It’s theft, pure and simple.

Scott D February 18, 2010 at 7:54 pm

“Let’s get to a point of agreement and go from there. You may see your view as non-utilitarian and we’ll make our way back to that. Do you agree with my assessment that you believe it’s best to enforce private property in a way that guarantees market share?”

It’s best to enforce private property in a way that guarantees that thieves don’t copy IP. Stealing IP (which is the deliberate instantiation of any pattern that objectively–or subjectively maybe, but I think I’ll go with objectively, cause it sounds better–resembles another pattern) is a violation of property rights because, when we compare a scenario with and without IP rights, the scenario without IP rights means less money to the creator and less IP and the ultimate destruction of capitalism in a blaze of fire and brimstone–Mark said so!

But that’s not at all utilitarian, no. See, like KT said, stealing IP is kinda like rape, only the victim doesn’t know that she’s been raped. Also, there’s no risk of STD’s or pregnancy. Also, there’s no actual physical assault or crossing of easily discernible boundaries. It’s kind of like writing a story about raping a real person, and that’s bad too, because most people wouldn’t like it if they were raped even in a story.

(Okay, I’m done. It was fun arguing the other side though :)

Mark Hubbard February 18, 2010 at 8:04 pm

You’ve never had to make your money in the real world Magnus? Your questions are childish, and aren’t going to prove, or disprove, anything.

You’ll pay for a pizza, why won’t you pay to download a movie?

Both exchanges are identical.

mpolzkill February 18, 2010 at 8:08 pm

“You’ll pay for a pizza, why won’t you pay to download a movie?

Both exchanges are identical.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Lie

http://blog.mises.org/archives/011674.asp#c671023

Mark Hubbard February 18, 2010 at 8:55 pm

I don’t want a link mossy kill.

You’ll pay for a pizza, not to download a movie?

Pretend I’m the movie rental, tell me in your own words why you’re not going to pay me for this service I’ve bought, and brought to you? Don’t say you didn’t want the service, or I was mad to buy into it: you’ve just downloaded a movie from me: now why won’t you pay for it?

mpolzkill February 18, 2010 at 10:11 pm
Peter February 19, 2010 at 6:44 am

What a second handers back door that excuse is. What cold calculating bit of you refuses to see that?

Cameron made something unique, and invested a lot of money to do so in order to make a profit: you are not prepared to pay his dues on it. That’s the only principle of importance.

Your ranting and raving aside, what you said that I responded to was that — quote — every pirate copy of Avator on somebodies else’s disk is potential income Cameron will never see — end quote –. So “some of them wouldn’t have paid to see it” is a perfectly valid response, showing your statement to be false. Now you’re changing your argument to something entirely different! How about stating an argument you’ll actually stand behind, and then see where we get to? :)

Me: But…but…it’s exactly the situation that you previously argued was theft!!

Mark: Oh sorry, did you say the first restaurant had IP over the pizza baking process?

No, I didn’t say that. I was responding to what you said, which I’ll quote for you again: when Peter Surda asked “What, exactly, was removed from Cameron’s possession?“, you responded “Income from his movie, Peter.

If “taking income from his movie from his possession” is theft, then surely “taking income from his restaurant from his possession” is also theft? Alternatively, if “taking income from his restaurant from his possession” is not theft, as you’re now arguing, then surely “taking income from his movie from his possession” is not theft, either!

P.S. Peter, do you have a Paypal account where I can send you some money for quoting you? I figure Mark and I can just steal from each other’s posts in even amounts and we’ll be okay, but I don’t recall you ever stealing words from me.

Oh well, here I am stealing your words, so I guess that makes us even too :)

If the first pizza joint had been able to gain IP on cooking pizzas, the process, for whatever reason, then the second joint could not use that process.

What do you mean, “if”? Do they have to do something specific to be allowed to “gain IP” on something they’re the first to do? (I assume we’re talking here about the first person to cook pizzas–ever–not just in this particular town?) Don’t they just have it by default, in Rand-land?

Dean West September 11, 2010 at 12:21 am

Quote from article:

“The whole history of human culture evolves through copying, making tiny transformations (sometimes called “errors”) with each replication. Copying is the engine of cultural progress. It is not “stealing.” It is, in fact, quite beautiful, and leads to a cultural diversity that inspires awe.”

“All Creative Work is Derivative”? Of course everything is derivative. And of course the statists take copyrights to absurd lengths. But that doesn’t change the fact that a person has a right to their creative efforts, and that it is more than merely “derivative”. It is not “copying” that is the “engine of social progress”. It is building off the work of others, not simply repeating what they did. And the “tiny transformations”? Tiny? Well, not so “tiny” to those who aren’t able to do them, are they? And probably not so “tiny” to the creative geniuses who labor for years to make these “tiny” changes.

One would think by the implications of that quote that there is just a natural phenomena of literary and technological progression in the universe, and that the person who adds to it could have been anyone on Earth. After all, it’s just “copying” with “errors” and “tiny transformations”. No big deal. It’s like the lottery, and one day it will be your turn to introduce an “error” or “tiny transformation” into the equations of Einstein, and you’ll be the inventor of the Faster than Light Warp Drive. Just don’t expect payment for your “deriving”, though, as “copying” is “not stealing” in Nina’s world.

Funny how it’s not really like that. Funny how many try to “derive” and fail, never to be heard of. Funny how none of the “errors” most of us introduce don’t improve a thing. Funny how it’s the best and brightest who seem to “derive” the most in their “copying” with “tiny transformations”.

I don’t think Nina ever saw the movie “Flash of Genius”. An intermittent windshield wiper, a minor invention, “derived” from other existing technologies. But the inventor “derived” it, not another. He was owed payment, for his creative effort and his time and trouble. Certainly those who “copied” it charged for it, and did their best to stop any one else from “copying” it from them. Funny how that works. Funny how it didn’t look like an “error” in “copying”, either. Looked like he had an idea, and worked hard to create it.

One wonders how much more progress could have been made sooner, if Pythagoras and his group could have copyrighted their creations. As they could not, they created an elaborate secret society of mathematicians, so secret that most of what they discovered had to be re-discovered centuries later. Delaying the “deriving” of countless other ideas and technologies for the same length of time.

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