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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/6283/copyrights-and-dancing/

Copyrights and Dancing

February 20, 2007 by

Yet another example of how copyrights and IP amount to partial enslavement: ‘Electric Slide’ on slippery DMCA slope:

The inventor of the “Electric Slide,” an iconic dance created in 1976, is fighting back against what he believes are copyright violations and, more importantly, examples of bad dancing.

Kyle Machulis, an engineer at San Francisco’s Linden Lab, said he received a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice about a video he had shot at a recent convention showing three people doing the Electric Slide.

“The creator of the Electric Slide claims to hold a copyright on the dance and is DMCAing every single video on YouTube” that references the dance, Machulis said. He’s also sent licensing demands to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Machulis added.

Indeed, Richard Silver, who filed the copyright for the Electric Slide in 2004, said on one of his Web pages that the DeGeneres Show had been putting up a legal fight as he tried to get compensation for a segment that aired in February 2006 in which actress Teri Hatcher and other dancers performed the popular wedding shuffle.

[Thanks to BK Marcus for link]

[See also Copyrighting Dance Steps–The Death of Choreography]

{ 233 comments }

Dan Coleman March 7, 2007 at 9:45 am

Stephan, you and I are in agreement that Sasha’s free market copyright system in no way resembles standard reality.

His system of people going to Best Buy and “renting” DVDs from Time Warner, Dreamworks, or whoever, makes no sense to me as a practical matter.

However, the reason I’m granting Sasha these ‘house rules’ in our debate is that I think his system is inconsistent even if we make all of the assumptions necessary to put his copyright scheme in place.

As you point out, certainly he is not arguing from what currently *is* (since when I buy a DVD nowadays I actually own the bloody thing, and my family members are free to watch, for example). But I contend that his system is as theoretically flawed as it is removed from how things currently function.

Jesse March 7, 2007 at 10:42 am

We would seem to have once again arrived at a point where Sasha’s argument depends entirely upon treating replication as a form of trespass. In response I quote my earlier post:

“[I]t should be clear by now that the replication itself is not trespass. The term ‘use’ is rather sloppy in terms of property rights; not all things that can be called ‘uses’ are rivalrous, and thus not all ‘uses’ are exclusive to the property owner. A better term would be ‘transformation’ — altering some aspect of the property (it’s shape, physical makeup, location, etc.). Divergent transformations of property are always rivalrous, because the property can only be in one state at a time. All transformations are ‘uses’, but not all ‘uses’ are transformations. Copying, for example, does not involve transforming the property, and is non-rivalrous. Another example: Say my neighbor has a fence on the border between our two properties. He ownes [sic] the fence, but in the winter the fence helps to keep the snow off my driveway. I’m ‘using’ the fence — benefiting from its presence — but I’m not transforming it. Consequently my ‘use’ isn’t a trespass against his property rights.”

Replication per se has no physical affect on the item being replicated (e.g. the DVD in Sasha’s example). Ergo, it cannot constitute trespass against any property rights in the DVD, even if one assumes that the person replicating the information content of the DVD is not the owner thereof. The existance of any contract is irrelevant to the question of whether or not a trespass has taken place. One party to the contract (Mr. Smith) may indeed owe money to the other party in accordance with a previous voluntary transfer of title (a contract), but that has nothing to do with trespass or tort and can place no obligation on anyone not party to the contract.

Furthermore, without trespass there is no tort, regardless of any “loss of potential profit” that may be claimed. Loss of potential profit in the absence of aggression (trespass) is merely another way of saying “competition.” Competition per se cannot be the basis for a tort claim; one must show both losses and the trespass(es) which led to them.

Sasha has no case.

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 11:13 am

Jesse,

You are the person who claimed that trespass occurs only when property is “transformed.” In other words, you believe that people should be free to dwell on other people’s property. You are a declared communist who doesn’t deserve any response on the Austrian blog.

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 11:14 am

Dan,

Don’t be ridiculous. If Mrs. Smith uses my DVD, without my authorization – she will responsible for the trespass and any injuries that are caused to me – as a consequence of that trespass.

So she is both: a) trespassing; b) using this trespass to cause my financial injury (like a person who trespasses against my property in order to see my trade secret and spread it around).

Again, your responses prove to be absurd and completely useless for an intelligent discussion.

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 11:15 am

Dr Kinsella says:

Why is it the wrong premise? Where did you get the idea that a DVD rental only gives the individual renter the right to view it? This is just counter to standard reality.

EXCUSE ME SIR!?!?! Are you serious!?!!

If Mr. Smith signs a contract which allows him a personal use of my DVD – that contract cannot extend to any third party. Any third party who uses my product without my authorization is a trespasser (intentional or unintentional) – and that’s the fact. You cannot do anything about it.

And why do you repeat the same question over and over? Under your particular scenario, in which Mrs. Smith USES MY PROPERTY WITHOUT MY AUTHORIZATION (trespasses, under any definition of that term), Dance-Man or anyone else who receive information from her is NOT legally responsible for any tort or anything else.

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 11:23 am

DR KINSELLA SAID:
—–
If Dance man is not liable, then that means he can now reproduced his own DVD with the dance-steps on it, thus undercutting the “contratual copyright” of DVD-corp.”

YOU MUST BE JOKING!?!

Well at least you, as a copyright expert, should know that once Mrs. Smith pays for co-ownership of that DVD (large amount of money that legal publishers normally pay), which she illegally assumed – plus punitive damages – she becomes entitled to distribute as many copies as she likes. She becomes a legal co-owner of that item, and DVD’s author gets properly compensated, as if he sold co-ownership rights to any legal publisher (plus the amount in punitive damages, which according to Rothbard should equal the amount of the original injury – so double the amount).

Dan Coleman March 7, 2007 at 11:27 am

Sasha, you write:

If Mrs. Smith uses my DVD, without my authorization – she will responsible for the trespass and any injuries that are caused to me – as a consequence of that trespass.

Which is why I keep asking you to show how it is that Mrs. Smith causes DVD-corp injuries. The reality is that she never does, since telling Dance-Man about the dances does no financial harm to DVD-corp.

This is problematic to your position, since Dance-Man will go on to make lots of money off of the content of the dance DVD. So, you are relying on blaming Mrs. Smith for Dance-Man’s actions in an attempt to solve the tension.

It is telling that your only response to this problem has been (a) personal attacks and (b) a re-statement of your assertions.

iceberg March 7, 2007 at 11:28 am

Sascha,

Please describe to me in plain, and simple words exactly the actions performed by Mrs. Smith when she made the unauthorized “use” of the DVD which constitutes trespass in your opinion.

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 11:37 am

Iceberg:

She used MY DVD, without MY authorization. Unauthorized use of one’s property constitutes trespass.

====

Dan,

Mrs. Smith unauthorized use of my DVD (she assumed full ownership and shared content with Dance-Man) resulted in loss of my earnings (financial tort) – because she was legally required to pay a large amount of money to be able to do that (her husband signed a contract, which stipulates a large amount of damages in case he does something like that). She owes me money.

Dan Coleman March 7, 2007 at 11:46 am

Sasha, you write: “. . .because she was legally required to pay a large amount of money to be able to do that (her husband signed a contract, which stipulates a large amount of damages in case he does something like that). She owes me money.

Mrs. Smith was under no such legal requirement because she was not under contract. That’s precisely why there is a contract for those kinds of damages in the first place. If you take 7 apples out of my refridgerator, I can ask for 7 apples back.

In the case of ideas, no such physical scarcity exists, which is why there are contracts to prevent that kind of use. Since Mrs. Smith was not under any such contract, DVD-corp can only sue her for physical trespass.

Therefore, the claim: “Mrs. Smith['s] unauthorized use of my DVD (she assumed full ownership and shared content with Dance-Man) resulted in loss of my earnings (financial tort) -” is invalidated.

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 11:51 am

Dan,

I never said that she Mrs. Smith was under contractual requirement.

Mrs. Smith assumed full ownership rights of a DVD, which are normally purchased by publishers (not just limited use, which prevents her husband to do what she did with Dance-man)… So she owes the money this full-use…

7 apples for 7 apples! You didn’t invalidate anything… your persistent failed attempts are really amusing.

Regards.

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 11:54 am

Correction: she owes the money FOR this co-ownership…

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 11:56 am

In case Mrs. Smith argues about the amount of damages she is required to pay, she can be referred to the market price of those rights she illegally assumed (that’s why you got confused when I mentioned her husband and how much he has to pay to legalize the same kind of action).

Dan Coleman March 7, 2007 at 11:58 am

Sasha,

Though you’ve never made the claim itself, your “assumed full ownership rights” is a nice way of saying that the ideas and content of a DVD somehow belong to DVD-corp.

DVD-corp can sue for her physical trespass but only that. Any full-fledged suit over ‘assuming full ownership rights’ will not have a case, for such a lawsuit presupposes either (1) a contractual stipulation that has been broken, or (2) something inherent in the DVD that makes the use of its ideas in itself a trespass.

Unless your claims about “assuming full ownership” are rooted in something else, the lawsuit is rendered invalid, and does not apply to Mrs. Smith.

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 12:11 pm

No Dan,

Going back to insane notion of “idea and content ownership” is a nice way for you to continue arguing in a debate you lost and which ended a long time ago.

Mrs. Smith assumed full-ownership of my DVD – and that’s what she owes. She did not stop with limited use that her husband paid for – she went further into commercial rights that normally cost large amount of money to obtain (but she wants them for free).

ANYWAY,

Even if you (incorrectly) believe that Mrs. Smith did not assume full-ownership of that DVD, you are not able to negate that her trespass (unauthorized use) created a financial tort of my lost earnings from business with Dance-Men of this world. Even your intuition should tell you that you’re wrong.

Stephan Kinsella March 7, 2007 at 12:17 pm

Sasha:

DR KINSELLA SAID:
—–
If Dance man is not liable, then that means he can now reproduced his own DVD with the dance-steps on it, thus undercutting the “contratual copyright” of DVD-corp.”

YOU MUST BE JOKING!?!

Uh, no, dude.

Well at least you, as a copyright expert, should know that once Mrs. Smith pays for co-ownership of that DVD (large amount of money that legal publishers normally pay), which she illegally assumed – plus punitive damages – she becomes entitled to distribute as many copies as she likes. She becomes a legal co-owner of that item, and DVD’s author gets properly compensated, as if he sold co-ownership rights to any legal publisher (plus the amount in punitive damages, which according to Rothbard should equal the amount of the original injury – so double the amount).

You are talking utter nonsense. It is amazing to me that someone so utterly ignorant and confused about the law and libertarian legal theory should be so outspoken and confident of her views. I guess this is the naughts–amateur punks getting full of themselves and spouting verbose nonsense for all to see.

Let’s say I grant you your bizarre factual and normative premises: that DVD-corp only temporarily loans Mr. Smith the DVD and only authorizes him to use it. That Mrs. Smith is not authorized to use it; that her walking by the room where Mr. Smith is (legitimately) watching it, and seeing some dance images on the TV is a “use” by Mrs. Smith of the DVD; that she is now liable to DVD-corp for damages, and that if she reveals the information she illegitimately and tortiously obtained to Dance-man, she incurs further liability to DVD-corp. — okay? All of these are dubious assumptions, but let’s grant them.

Now, you seem to be saying that if she is sued and pays damages to DVD-corp, she becomes a co-owner of the DVD and therefore entitled to distribute copies. Where do I begin. She would not become a co-owner. Are you nuts? Why would DVD-corp allow her to do this? They would seek damages from her as a result of her tort. They do not have to agree to let her be a co-owner as part of this settlemetn. You are just daft.

And even if they did, so what? What does this have to do with whether Dance-Man himself can make his own DVD with the dance moves shown? Dance-Man never committed a tort against nor breached a contract with Mrs. Smith, Mr. Smith, nor DVD-corp. He never even saw the original DVD.

Now, I assume you agree that neither Mr., nor Mrs. Smith, nor DVD-corp, has any cause of action against Dance-Man. Am I correct? If so, I rest my case. If you dance around or dodge this question again, I will simply deem you to have agreed. So this is the default, Sasha: unless you explicitly and expressly state that you believe one of these parties has a cause of action against Dance-man, that you have agreed that they do not. I have to take this kind of action here because of your evasiveness, slipperiness, and disingenuity.

Dan Coleman March 7, 2007 at 12:37 pm

Sasha, you write: “She did not stop with limited use that her husband paid for – she went further into commercial rights that normally cost large amount of money to obtain (but she wants them for free).

You can’t trespass on ‘what would have otherwise been.’ You can only trespass on someone’s person or property.

It seems that the “commercial rights” that you mention denote the ability to replicate content. Yes, “normally” this costs a large amount of money to obtain via contract, and in these contractual agreements prices and damages are stipulated with clients.

Mrs. Smith, however, wasn’t under contract. The case is restricted to her trespass upon physical property, not what her “damages” would have been had she been under contract.

This is something you have yet to show, how her ‘trespassing’ actions went beyond the simple watching of the DVD and extend to her replication of the ideas in the DVD.

Even if you (incorrectly) believe that Mrs. Smith did not assume full-ownership of that DVD, you are not able to negate that her trespass (unauthorized use) created a financial tort of my lost earnings from business with Dance-Men of this world.

When it comes to idea replication, no action of hers trespassed on DVD-corp’s property. Her telling Dance-Man the ideas (which you haven’t shown to be trespass yet) may or may not have cost you business. For all you know Dance-Man may have never been interested in your trade secret.

Whatever the case may be, it is clear that you are certainly not free to claim that Dance-Man’s would-have-been money was in any sense your property, and that, therefore, Mrs. Smith owes you that sum.

Even your intuition should tell you that you’re wrong.
You know, I was just thinking the same thing. . .

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 12:38 pm

WOW Dr. Kinsella…

All those sharp words and you actually said almost nothing true or relevant.

I never “danced around” your question about liability of Dance-Man. I actually answered it twice- DANCE-MAN WOULD NOT BE LIABLE IF HE WAS NOT THE PARTY WHO USED SOMEONE ELSE’S DVD WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION… Do you get it now??? In first couple examples we assumed that he was the one who borrowed someone else’s DVD, but now we switched to DVD.

The fact that you did not see my straight responses only shows that you reply to my postings without actually reading them.

Now back to Mrs. Smith’s scenario (to correct your unintentional errors):

- DVD Corp. does not temporarily loan their property to Smith. He only purchases the limited use of it, based on his contract.
- According to the libertarianism and common sense, the contract does not extend to the third party – so Mrs. Smith is committing unintentional trespass when she uses that DVD at home, but she would NOT owe any damages if that’s the end of story.
- Once Mrs. Smith uses that trespass to create a financial injury to DVD Corp., she is committing a tort! So even you, Dr. Kinsella, admit this fact (DO YOU HEAR THIS DAN!)

Now, Dr. Kinsella argues: DVD corp. would sue for the momentary financial damages (based on market outcome) – and not for the co-ownership rights that Mrs. Smith assumed for free.

Why would a DVD company “be crazy” to sue for co-ownership instead? They would not be crazy at all! Dr Kinsella forgets that the amount of current financial injury caused by Mrs. Smith’s may be small and that the amount necessary to obtain co-ownership rights is huge – and plus the punitive damages could even double this amount!

So instead of taking a small amount of damages that occurred until the present time (and being unable to estimate future damages) – DVD. corp would choose to demand much larger sum of money for the injury that cannot be reversed anyway (YOU CANNOT ERASE DANCE-MAN’S MIND, or minds of people like him)…

Dr. Kinsella – that was some lazy thinking on your part! But thanks for confirming my point in front of Dan: Mrs. Smith would be responsible for tort!

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 12:46 pm

Dan,

Your pseudo-arguments are past-tense.

Even Dr. Kinsella confirmed that under our scenario, Mrs. Smith is responsible for a tort of financial injury to the DVD company. We only differed regarding the type of the injury she caused and what would be a smarter action for the DVD Company – but I hope I clarified this completely.

Mrs. Smith trespassed against real physical property (used the DVD without owner’s authorization) – and this trespass resulted in a serious financial injury. Go back to our example with trespass which results in your discovery of my trade secret (which would legally cost you millions of dollars to obtain). Your trespass in that scenario causes large injury – but I never have to claim that your act of “communicating” my trade secret was a trespass. Your trespass occurred earlier and you will pay for its consequences.

Bye-bye miss American pie…

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 12:49 pm

DR Kinsella said:

They would seek damages from her as a result of her tort. They do not have to agree to let her be a co-owner as part of this settlemetn.

And even if they did, so what

SO NOTHING!

You just proved my point. Just try to convince Dan about this – and you finished a job for me :-))

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 12:51 pm

DR Kinsella said:

“They would seek damages from her as a result of her tort. They do not have to agree to let her be a co-owner as part of this settlemetn.

And even if they did, so what”

SO NOTHING!

You just proved my point. Just try to convince Dan about this – and you finished a job for me :-))

Stephan Kinsella March 7, 2007 at 1:22 pm

Sasha:

I never “danced around” your question about liability of Dance-Man. I actually answered it twice- DANCE-MAN WOULD NOT BE LIABLE IF HE WAS NOT THE PARTY WHO USED SOMEONE ELSE’S DVD WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION… Do you get it now???

Good. I am glad to see you have dropped your mystical nonsense about being able to use some bizarre tort-contract hybrid to ensnare third parties.

If this is now your position, in contradistinction to your dozens of previous posts on other threads where you did maintain the third party would be liable, then you really have no views that are that controversial. You are simply claiming that people can be liable if they breach a contract; and that it can be a tort to use someone else’s property without their consent. The rest is just details. Yawwnn.

So I take it you now admit that you disagree with Rothbard here:

A common objection runs as follows: all right, it would be criminal for Green to produce and sell the Brown mousetrap; but suppose that someone else, Black, who had not made a contract with Brown, happens to see Green’s mousetrap and then goes ahead and produces and sells the replica? Why should he be prosecuted? The answer is that, as in the case of our critique of negotiable instruments, no one can acquire a greater property title in something than has already been given away or sold. Green did not own the total property right in his mousetrap, in accordance with his contract with Brown—but only all rights except to sell it or a replica. But, therefore Black’s title in the mousetrap, the ownership of the ideas in Black’s head, can be no greater than Green’s, and therefore he too would be a violator of Brown’s property even though he himself had not made the actual contract.

Notice here that Rothbard says Black, the third party here (analogous to Dance-Man) is liable here even though he never had a contract with Brown or Green, and even though he didn’t use the object.

So which is it, Sasha? Do you retract your earlier statement that you agree w/ Rothbard on this and that Rothbard is correct; or do you weasel back and say you agree w/ Rothbard even though you just stated your agreement with a contrary view?

The fact that you did not see my straight responses only shows that you reply to my postings without actually reading them.

Fancy that.

DVD Corp. does not temporarily loan their property to Smith. He only purchases the limited use of it, based on his contract.

Irrelevant; a distinction without a different for this example. Whether Smith owns “limited rights in” the DVD or is a borrower of it, it’s basically the same thing.

According to the libertarianism and common sense, the contract does not extend to the third party – so Mrs. Smith is committing unintentional trespass when she uses that DVD at home, but she would NOT owe any damages if that’s the end of story.

Not true at all. If I break in your house and steal nothing, and leave, having disturbed nothing, it’s not the case that I have no liability, as would be implied by the legal principles you are stumbling around here trying to articulate and develop.

- Once Mrs. Smith uses that trespass to create a financial injury to DVD Corp., she is committing a tort! So even you, Dr. Kinsella, admit this fact (DO YOU HEAR THIS DAN!)

I don’t admit it; you are dishonest. I only granted this for sake of argument; elsewhere I said all your assumptions were dubious.

Now, Dr. Kinsella argues: DVD corp. would sue for the momentary financial damages (based on market outcome) – and not for the co-ownership rights that Mrs. Smith assumed for free.

Why would a DVD company “be crazy” to sue for co-ownership instead? They would not be crazy at all!

You are a complete idiot. Why would a record company want to license its rights to some random stranger?

Dr Kinsella forgets that the amount of current financial injury caused by Mrs. Smith’s may be small and that the amount necessary to obtain co-ownership rights is huge – and plus the punitive damages could even double this amount!

Yes, and every person who might use my DVD without my permission is a billionaire that I can get any conceivable amount of damages out of, eh? How convenient.

So instead of taking a small amount of damages that occurred until the present time (and being unable to estimate future damages) – DVD. corp would choose to demand much larger sum of money for the injury that cannot be reversed anyway (YOU CANNOT ERASE DANCE-MAN’S MIND, or minds of people like him)…

Sure, they want say $10M from Mrs. Smith. I’m sure she has that in gold in her mattress.

Dr. Kinsella – that was some lazy thinking on your part! But thanks for confirming my point in front of Dan: Mrs. Smith would be responsible for tort!

Actually, I think she would not be: I believe in any real world (like, oh, I don’t know, the one we happen to live in) the implied contract between seller and buyer of the DVD would permit it to be shown to others, for personal use; and moreover, it would *not* have onerous and ridiculous provisions like “and you must get all such third parties to first sign onto a contract with us”–this would just be unworkable.

Posted by Sasha Radeta at March 7, 2007 12:38 PM

Dan,

Your pseudo-arguments are past-tense.

Even Dr. Kinsella confirmed that under our scenario, Mrs. Smith is responsible for a tort of financial injury to the DVD company. We only differed regarding the type of the injury she caused and what would be a smarter action for the DVD Company – but I hope I clarified this completely.

Mrs. Smith trespassed against real physical property (used the DVD without owner’s authorization) – and this trespass resulted in a serious financial injury. Go back to our example with trespass which results in your discovery of my trade secret (which would legally cost you millions of dollars to obtain). Your trespass in that scenario causes large injury – but I never have to claim that your act of “communicating” my trade secret was a trespass. Your trespass occurred earlier and you will pay for its consequences.

Bye-bye miss American pie…

Posted by Sasha Radeta at March 7, 2007 12:46 PM

DR Kinsella said:

” They would seek damages from her as a result of her tort. They do not have to agree to let her be a co-owner as part of this settlemetn.

And even if they did, so what

SO NOTHING!

You just proved my point. Just try to convince Dan about this – and you finished a job for me :-))

Cosmin March 7, 2007 at 1:39 pm

Sasha, you are confused as to the number of “illegal” actions has Mrs Smith done. Let’s clear the confusion by enumerating them.
1. Watched the DVD. (You claim this is trespass, even though fair use allows Mr Smith to authorize Mrs Smith to watch with him. Still, for the sake of argument, we’ll grant you tresspass here.)
2. There was no second illegal action from Mrs Smith.
You claim that he telling Dance-Man the routine is illegal, since the contract doesn’t allow replication. You forget she never signed a contract.
You then claim she assumed full-ownership. No she didn’t. She communicated an idea in her brain. We are still free to communicate ideas in your world, are we not?
She’s free to comunicate ideas, but not this one, perhaps? Why not this one? Because she acquired it through “tresspass”? The idea is her own, irrespective as to the method of acquisition. The only “illegal act” still remains the original “tresspass”.
Has she aggravated the trespass to tort? That implies a second illegal action, which is missing.

Now, Dance-Man does his concert. Did he tresspass? No.
Did he financially injure the DVD company? Yes, insofar there is now competition as to where people go to learn dance-moves.
Did he aggravate Mrs Smith’s trespass to tort? She’s not responsible for his actions.

So how is Mrs Smith liable for anything other than the original “trespass”, which you have already said isn’t prosecuted by the company.

Dan Coleman March 7, 2007 at 2:11 pm

Thanks, Cosmin. Clear as a bell.

iceberg March 7, 2007 at 2:26 pm

Sascha,

She used MY DVD, without MY authorization. Unauthorized use of one’s property constitutes trespass.

But that’s not what I asked you, and certainly I don’t disagree that unauthorized usage is considered trespass.

My question is, and always was, how do you define the word “use”, and how it applies to Mrs. Smith’s actions, as I have a very difficult time to imagine that observation can be said to be an actionable “use” of property.

As a follow-up question; if you say that mere observation can be considered trespass, can the owner of a film sue unauthorized viewers of an outdoor movie screen, who have not trespassed onto the theater property?

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 3:13 pm

Iceberg,

Go back to definition of ownership provided by Ludwig von Mises. You own something if you can control the services that can be derived from some good. The “use” of a book or a DVD is consisted of watching its content. You cannot say that the only use of a DVD is “cold weaponry” (although it can also be used like that).

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 3:14 pm

Dan,

Cosmin is as clear as a mud. I never claimed that Dance-Man would be liable in your Mrs. Smith’s example – so the second of his post was completely irrelevant.

Now when it comes to the first part, he claims that “fair use” allows Mrs. Smith to use DVD Company’s property.

HOLD ON! Are you guys insane? Do you now claim that contract regarding terms of use between Mr. Smith and DVD Company can include a third party – outside of the contract? You guys used me accused me of such insane notion, and now you adopted it.

Again – If Mrs. Smith uses DVD without any restrictions, she assumed its full ownership. Even if you guys don’t see it – Dr. Kinsella admitted it:

Mrs. Smith’s unauthorized use (trespass) resulted in financial injury to a DVD company!
You still don’t understand this point: Mrs. Smith would be liable – just like someone who enters my property and spies on my trade secret would be liable… It’s not their act of “communicating” that constitutes the trespass – but their act of unauthorized use of my property, with all of its consequences (you cannot lawfully obtain something for free during a trespass – that would legally cost you large sums of money.

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 3:16 pm

Dr. Kinsella,

Although somewhat entertaining, your last posting did not have almost anything worthy of a response. Allow me to illustrate this conclusion…

YOU SAID:
Good. I am glad to see you have dropped your mystical nonsense about being able to use some bizarre tort-contract hybrid to ensnare third parties.

I DID NOT DROP ANYTHING. No matter how hard for you is to understand this simple point: if a trhird party uses MY property without MY authorization (including unauthorized copies of somebody else, that according to the contract with that person now belong to me) – this person is committing a TRESPASS and it may be liable for TORT if I sustain some financial injuries.

OR WHEN YOU SAID THIS:
“You are a complete idiot. Why would a record company want to license its rights to some random stranger?”

I am not going to describe your mental abilities – but you keep missing a simple point:
- If some random stranger already assumed those rights – he created an irreversible damage to the DVD company. If DVD company asked only for the amount of injuries they sustained up to the present moment – that would be totally idiotic, since they would not be able to estimate or recover any future injuries. The best thing they can do is to ask for the money for those expensive rights this stranger assumed, plus double the damages.

It will be like they found another publisher, who paid them double the amount! You just don’t get it.

BUT DR. KINSELLA HAS A RESPONSE PREPARED! HE SAYS:
“Yes, and every person who might use my DVD without my permission is a billionaire that I can get any conceivable amount of damages out of, eh? How convenient.”

What a strange statement from someone who just called me an “idiot”… I just hope that you are still joking. Homeless people cause physical and property injuries all the time – do you actually suggest that they should be excused for their liability???
By the way, we both know that the most serious trespassers would be millionaires who professionally create unauthorized replications. But anyway, your comment was absurd.

PS

BTW, you misunderstood Rothbard. He never claimed that a third party is bound by the contract – he claims that Brown took something that does not belong to him (trespass and tort again). He came to his conclusion probably from the definition of ownership that was laid down by Mises. If you own some good – you have a right to control the services that can be derived from it. In such a strict sense, replicating a good is one of those services that belong strictly to the owner. I have a more strict view of where the unauthorized use (trespass) starts when it comes to something like mousetrap – but my basic principles are identical to Rothbard’s and we would probably agree 100% when it comes to DVDs and books.

iceberg March 7, 2007 at 3:55 pm

Sascha,

Go back to definition of ownership provided by Ludwig von Mises. You own something if you can control the services that can be derived from some good. The “use” of a book or a DVD is consisted of watching its content. You cannot say that the only use of a DVD is “cold weaponry” (although it can also be used like that).

Once again, you have avoided my question. Now that’s two strikes.

I’ll give you one more shot before I dismiss you as a dishonest nuisance.

Stephan Kinsella March 7, 2007 at 3:58 pm

Sasha:

YOU SAID:
“Good. I am glad to see you have dropped your mystical nonsense about being able to use some bizarre tort-contract hybrid to ensnare third parties.

I DID NOT DROP ANYTHING. No matter how hard for you is to understand this simple point: if a trhird party uses MY property without MY authorization (including unauthorized copies of somebody else, that according to the contract with that person now belong to me) – this person is committing a TRESPASS and it may be liable for TORT if I sustain some financial injuries.

The question here is Dance-man. Is he a “third party” or a “fourth party” to you?

OR WHEN YOU SAID THIS:
“You are a complete idiot. Why would a record company want to license its rights to some random stranger?”

I am not going to describe your mental abilities – but you keep missing a simple point:
- If some random stranger already assumed those rights – he created an irreversible damage to the DVD company. If DVD company asked only for the amount of injuries they sustained up to the present moment – that would be totally idiotic,

Look: just because damages are based on harm to come, does not mean the plaintiff must become a co-owner with a defendant. What a moronic assumption. Stop playing lawyer, please. You are just embarrassing yourself, as you are talking out of your rear end.

It will be like they found another publisher, who paid them double the amount! You just don’t get it.

Wow, how great, that your average consumer-trespasser is sitting on millions of dollars, ready to make publisher-plaintiffs rich.

Homeless people cause physical and property injuries all the time – do you actually suggest that they should be excused for their liability???

No, but you don’t make the homeless person co-owner of your copyrights in exchange for a worthless claim against his assets.

BTW, you misunderstood Rothbard. He never claimed that a third party is bound by the contract – he claims that Brown took something that does not belong to him (trespass and tort again).

In the example R gave, he holds Black liable. Black IS THE THIRD PARTY. Black did not have a contract with anyone. Black did not commit trespass or any other kind of tort, as he didn’t use anyone’s property without their consent. Yet Rothard holds him responsible; and you have endorsed it. This is indeed holding the third party liable. Yet now you say you don’t believe in holding the third party liable. You are nothing but a confused mishmash of gibberish.

Notice here that Rothbard says Black, the third party here (analogous to Dance-Man) is liable here even though he never had a contract with Brown or Green, and even though he didn’t use the object.

If you own some good – you have a right to control the services that can be derived from it. In such a strict sense, replicating a good is one of those services that belong strictly to the owner.

Here we have a good example of the danger of sloppy language and equivocation. The user does not have the exclusive right to “replicate” his property if the replication can be done by a third party without physical possession and use of the object. In many cases all that is needed is awareness or information. For example the first pre-human to move out of the caves and build a log cabin–other cavemen nearby are of course aware of this. Why can’t they “replicate” what they see–i.e., build their own log cabins?

Of course, they can; they did not “use” the first log cabin by seeing it and being aware of it.

I have a more strict view of where the unauthorized use (trespass) starts when it comes to something like mousetrap – but my basic principles are identical to Rothbard’s and we would probably agree 100% when it comes to DVDs and books.

I knew you would pull this slippery cr*p. Now you are trying to endorse the idea once again that third parties *are* liable even if they didn’t trespass, even if they have no contract–in the very same thread where you indignantly denied you held this view. Your turns and twists and spins are truly breathtaking–are you an ice-skater, Sasha?

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 5:00 pm

Iceberg,

First you asked me:

“Please describe to me in plain, and simple words exactly the actions performed by Mrs. Smith when she made the unauthorized “use” of the DVD which constitutes trespass in your opinion.”

I answered to this quite clearly: I said that her unauthorized viewing of DVD’s content constitutes trespass.

—-

Then you completely changed your mind about what you want to ask me. Now you wanted to know what the word “use” means!?! You asked me:

My question is, and always was, how do you define the word “use”, and how it applies to Mrs. Smith’s actions

So you completely change the question to even more idiotic one. But I assumed that you knew that the word “use” means: “to put into service.”
- That’s why I explained: You own something if you can control the services that can be derived from some good. The “use” of a book or a DVD is consisted of watching its content. You cannot say that the only use of a DVD is “cold weaponry” (although it can also be used like that).

Quite honestly, I don’t care if you call me a “nuisance”. I already dismissed you as a seriously disturbed individual who doesn’t even know what he just asked.

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 5:04 pm

Dr Kinsella,

I already answered you question regarding a Dance-Man. If Mrs. Smith is the person who committed a trespass – Dance-Man is NOT A PARTY in the whole controversy. Come on! You can understand this.

DR KINSELLA SAYS:
Just because damages are based on harm to come, does not mean the plaintiff must become a co-owner with a defendant. What a moronic assumption.”

I TOTALLY AGREE! What a moronic assumption – and someone who created this false assumption is a total moron. Unfortunately for you – I never said that plaintiff “must” become a legal co-owner with the defendant. They don’t have to even sue anyone – no one is forcing them!
All I said is that the defendant de facto assumed co-ownership and that his actions are irreversible. In order to get maximum amount of damages – the plaintiff should demand the payment for such expensive use of their property – plus to seek the punitive damages.
If the company only sued for financial injury based on speculated market damages, they would perhaps get much less – and they would not be able to estimate any future damages… Now that would be moronic on their part.

DR KINSELLA SAID:
No, but you don’t make the homeless person co-owner of your copyrights in exchange for a worthless claim against his assets.”

What a ridiculous attempt of making baseless analogy! If a homeless person steals my horse, kills it, and then eats it – he will owe me for that horse – plus punitive damages (in the same amount, according to Rothbardian principles). To excuse his actions just because he’s poor would be completely idiotic. Mrs. Smith’s actions would not be excused, regardless of her assets.

DR. KINSELLA SAID:
In the example R gave, he holds Black liable. Black IS THE THIRD PARTY. Black did not have a contract with anyone. Black did not commit trespass or any other kind of tort, as he didn’t use anyone’s property without their consent. Yet Rothard holds him responsible;

Again, according to Rothbard – Black is responsible for using something that was not his right of use (we call this trespass). Rothbard never called him a contract-breaker! His view is that Black committed a trespass. According to Rothbard, Brown is the owner of a mousetrap. According to the definition of ownership provided by Mises – ownership rights allow you a full control of services (or we can say uses) that can be derived from that object. According to Rothbard – the acts of observing and replicating some object are services that can be derived from that object – and Black allowed those services to himself, without owner‘s authorization.

Anyone could figure out that I didn’t follow Rothbard’s notion of “use” in this particular example, but otherwise we hold exactly the same principles which prove that copyright would exist even in a perfectly free market (which you were unable to disprove, while finally admitting that DVD company would have a tort case against a third-party trespasser like Mrs. Smith – or against someone who breaks their contractual terms of use). Also, I would agree with Rothbard 100% when it comes to DVDs and books, because in those cases “observing” is the normal method of “use” of those goods. Unauthorized (‘third party”) viewers are trespassers.

PS

I am not doing any twisting like an ice-skater… It’s just your imagination, which I find rather troubling (and you should too).

Cosmin March 7, 2007 at 5:28 pm

Sasha, you said:
“Now when it comes to the first part, he claims that “fair use” allows Mrs. Smith to use DVD Company’s property.

HOLD ON! Are you guys insane? Do you now claim that contract regarding terms of use between Mr. Smith and DVD Company can include a third party – outside of the contract? You guys used me accused me of such insane notion, and now you adopted it.”

Fair use as I used it is exactly what is being applied right now (for what that’s worth). You’re dismissing fair use provisions of copyright as we have it, all the while speaking for copyrights. Weird.
Also, you would have to include some fair use provisions in your version of copyrights, whether you like it or not. Any clause that would force Mr. Smith to kick his wife out of the room when he decides to watch his DVD is invalid. More than that, Mrs Smith would be entitled to watch that DVD even when MR Smith is not home. She’s a free person in her own home and can use any object that is in her or her husband’s property.
How that happens is that one does not need a contract to state what action is allowed in one’s own home. Thus, she isn’t a third party included in the contract. A contract would be however necessary to restrict her use of the DVD, and she has not agreed to it.

Who’s insane now?

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 5:41 pm

Cosmin, you are.

You forget that I’m not talking about our current nationalized copyright system, which is not based on free-market contracts.
Mrs. Smith cannot be included in her husband’s contract. You cannot include a “third party” into a contract and call it a “fair use”.

What currently nationalized so-called “copyright” calls fair use – would be covered differently in pure free-market system. As I said before, the unintentional trespass (unauthorized use) by your wife (or Mrs. Smith in our example) would not be prosecuted. So Mr. Smith would not have to kick out his wife as you absurdly state.

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 5:44 pm

Only if Mrs. Smith uses her (unintentional) trespass to cause a financial injury to the owner of the DVD – this would constitute a tort.

Cosmin March 7, 2007 at 5:59 pm

I see that you only read half of a text before responding. ADD much?

To quote myself:
“How that happens is that one does not need a contract to state what action is allowed in one’s own home. Thus, she isn’t a third party included in the contract. A contract would be however necessary to restrict her use of the DVD, and she has not agreed to it.”

Also, you keep saying unintentional tresspass would not be prosecuted. Isn’t it absurd to create laws that are unprosecutable? Or is the tresspass prosecutable at the owner’s discretion? Creating a law that will be selectively enforced… That’s the way to freedom!

Stephan Kinsella March 7, 2007 at 7:14 pm

sasha:

I already answered you question regarding a Dance-Man. If Mrs. Smith is the person who committed a trespass – Dance-Man is NOT A PARTY in the whole controversy. Come on! You can understand this.

You say this; but later you endorse Rothbard’s comments about Black and the mousetrap, implying that the third party is liable.

Your error is in thinking that learning something is trespass, since it is a “use” of the object that embodies or displays the information or pattern learned.

By this insane theory, when I gaze at my neighbor’s beautiful rose garden across the street, or at the mural he paints on the front of his garage, I am “using” it–and if i don’t have permission, I’m a trespasser. And if I photograph that painting and reprint it and sell it then I am liable to him for damages.

Your theory is utterly bizarre, unlibertarian, incoherent, amateur, and confused.

All I said is that the defendant de facto assumed co-ownership and that his actions are irreversible. In order to get maximum amount of damages – the plaintiff should demand the payment for such expensive use of their property – plus to seek the punitive damages.

Maybe; but this does not imply granting this trespasser any kind of *right* to do this, much less becoming a partner with the plaintiff going forward.

If the company only sued for financial injury based on speculated market damages, they would perhaps get much less – and they would not be able to estimate any future damages… Now that would be moronic on their part.

Please don’t pretend like you have a clue as to what yo uare talking about. I know it’s tempting for cocksure college physics majors to think they can deduce all of what law should be, a la Descartes, but this is false.

DR. KINSELLA SAID:
In the example R gave, he holds Black liable. Black IS THE THIRD PARTY. Black did not have a contract with anyone. Black did not commit trespass or any other kind of tort, as he didn’t use anyone’s property without their consent. Yet Rothard holds him responsible;

Again, according to Rothbard – Black is responsible for using something that was not his right of use (we call this trespass).

How did Black “use” it? All he did was *see* the mousetrap.

According to Rothbard, Brown is the owner of a mousetrap. According to the definition of ownership provided by Mises – ownership rights allow you a full control of services (or we can say uses) that can be derived from that object. According to Rothbard – the acts of observing and replicating some object are services that can be derived from that object – and Black allowed those services to himself, without owner‘s authorization.

So the act of “observing” a thing is now the right of its owner, exclusively, eh? I think you must not be aware of what such a draconian, ridiculous view would entail.

Anyone could figure out that I didn’t follow Rothbard’s notion of “use” in this particular example, but otherwise we hold exactly the same principles which prove that copyright would exist even in a perfectly free market (which you were unable to disprove, while finally admitting that DVD company would have a tort case against a third-party trespasser like Mrs. Smith – or against someone who breaks their contractual terms of use).

And you say that Dance-Man is not liable, since he did not use the DVD; yet you say that Black is liable, even though he did not use the mousetrap. Both are third parties, for our purposes. Yet you treat them differnetly. You are simply confused.

Also, I would agree with Rothbard 100% when it comes to DVDs and books, because in those cases “observing” is the normal method of “use” of those goods.

And a mousetrap? You are clearly inventing your thoery as you go along. In a fumbling sort of way.

Unauthorized (‘third party”) viewers are trespassers.

No. Only if they *need* authorization in the first place to be a viewer. Not all acts of observing something require any control of the object observed; any number of examples can be provided.

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 9:34 pm

Cosmin,

I usually don’t respond to statements that are so absurd like the one you quoted.

You obviously don’t know that valid contracts are not regulating behavior of sides outside of contract – even if their lives are “touched” by you on daily basis. Do you even comprehend how insane your statement was? Probably not.

There DOES NOT have to be a contract – that will state that some darn strangers are not allowed to use my property! And if they use it unintentionally – not to use their trespass to cause my injury.

Can please stop with such a low quality of postings.

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 10:07 pm

Dr. Kinsella

You must have confused me with Rothbard (thanks for the compliment). He claimed that Black in mousetrap example was liable. But don’t worry too much…. I expect even more confusion from you .
After admitting the enforceability of copyright contracts, you finally conceded that a third party can be liable for tort if there is an unauthorized use of one’s property – but it is more important to you to prove that Rothbard was wrong… I don’t understand such obsession.

I explained where differ from Rothbard’s view of unauthorized use in his mousetrap example – but I also explained why his conclusion comes straight from definition of ownership that was formulated by Mises. According to that definition, any service (use) that you can derive from a good belongs to the author. To Rothbard, this means that the entire replication process (one of the services) belongs to the author, regardless of where you observed the good. To me – an observation of mousetrap does not qualify as its “use” – even if you do it for the sake of replication – but I understand where Rothbard is coming from and I agree with all of his basic ideas, which proved that contractual copyright would exist in a free market (and even you had to confirm enforceability of these contracts, as well as tort applications when it comes to a third party unauthorized use)..

In spite of your repetition (which forced me to repeat my same old answers), you did not disprove anything I said – and more than likely that will not change. Regardless of mousetrap example, viewing of the DVD content is its normal use. Same goes for books or trade secrets. Unauthorized viewing (use of the derived service) of such goods by a “third party” constitutes a trespass – and that has nothing to do with contract law.

Sasha Radeta March 7, 2007 at 10:20 pm

Poor Cosmin wrote:
—–
“Also, you keep saying unintentional tresspass would not be prosecuted. Isn’t it absurd to create laws that are unprosecutable? Or is the tresspass prosecutable at the owner’s discretion? Creating a law that will be selectively enforced… That’s the way to freedom!”
——

Dude, we’re not talking about laws of the state. We’re talking about the common law. Of course that you can select whether or not you can press charges against someone – but if you want to win the tort case there has to be some injury.

In case of unintentional trespass when someone uses his friend’s or household member’s DVD (without using this trespass for material gains of you or someone else), there is no real injury that will create a judicial controversy. Furthermore, unintentional trespass cannot yield any punitive sanctions. Therefore, unintentional trespasses happen all the time – but they will not be prosecuted if they don’t result in tort.

Cosmin March 8, 2007 at 1:12 am

“There DOES NOT have to be a contract – that will state that some darn strangers are not allowed to use my property!”
So it’s your property, then, is it? The DVD is the original company’s property, you mean?
If so, Mrs Smith will call the company to come lift it everytime she wants to dust the DVD shelf. Failing that, she will lift the DVD herself, but bill the company for the service. (You know her rate will be in the 1000000$/hour.) Also, she can charge rent for the storage space provided. After all, you can’t leave your property on someone else’s property. You can’t park your car in your neighbour’s garage (even if you let him look at it). You can’t leave your winter coat in his closet.
Perhaps you mean that the content of the DVD is the company’s property. That they licensed only Mr Smith to see it, so Mrs Smith’s viewing would be trespass. That, however, implies ownership of an idea and you’re straying from common law there.

Cosmin March 8, 2007 at 1:42 am

I said this:
“You can’t park your car in your neighbour’s garage”

What am I talking about? The car isn’t even yours. You’ve only gotten the license to use it. You can’t pop the hood to observe the engine or suspensions, to understand its inner workings.
Damn it!
On the plus side, it’s the car company’s responsibility to have the car working, in order to satisfy the use your contract entitles you to. Hurray!
However, make sure you don’t give a ride to anyone working for a rival car company. Anyone else’s trespass would be tolerated, but theirs causes financial injuries.
Dammit!
Still, don’t worry about all these unpleasantries. Pop in a CD and go for a drive. Make sure to tell your significant other that she can’t listen to the music, though. If she keeps trespassing all the time, she may be viewed as a multiple offender. Granted, one offense might not warrant prosecution, but habitual criminal behaviour must be curbed. Especially if she starts humming in public.

iceberg March 8, 2007 at 8:42 am

Sascha,

My first question asked you to spell out what actions constitute the “use” of the DVD. Your irrelevant reply was that “Mrs. Smith used the DVD without authorization”

Strike one.

The second time I asked you to clearly explain what you mean by “use” and once again, your irrelevant reply was a boilerplate quote of Mises of what defines ownership, and not what it means to use something that constitutes trespass, because not every imagined use for an object qualifies as trespass, in converse to every trespass being considered an unauthorized use.

Strike two.

Your last song and dance still has not answered how observation can be considered a use that constitutes trespass (in the case where one has is under no contractual duty to refrain from observation, i.e., Mrs. Smith).

Strike three; you’re out. This conversation can no longer serve any purpose– goodbye.

Sasha Radeta March 8, 2007 at 8:56 am

Cosmin,

Your last two messages are even more absurd and stupid (I didn’t think you would manage to accomplish something like that).

DVD dusting by Mrs. Smith does not create any injury to DVD Company. On the other hand, taking their DVD and making a million unauthorized copies would create such injury.

You can’t park your car in you neighbor’s garrage – if you don’t have his permission – because that would be a trespass! That was my whole point that you missed when you mentioned your stupid example with car.

If you purchased personal use of someone else’s vehicle, you can drive it, pop the hood and dissect it, wreck it – do whatever your contract permits you to do (everything you are allowed to do now)! Your contract, however, will not allow you to freely reproduce that same vehicle (if you own a car company). For majority of sane people – this is not a problem whatsoever. When we purchase limited use of a vehicle, most of us don’t do it in order to start our own manufacturing of that same vehicle.

When it comes to your neighbor, whatever goes for other car companies – goes for your neighbor as well. He can observe your vehicle as much as he wants, but he cannot lawfully use it without authorization – and turn that trespass into a financial injury. I don’t know if you live in a mental institution, but most of my neighbors can live with the fact that they can’t make money by reproducing someone else’s vehicle or helping some rival company to that.

Sasha Radeta March 8, 2007 at 9:03 am

Iceberg,

I explained what Mrs. Smith’s “use” constituted a trespass on many occasions. I repeated the same point dozens of time. If you didn’t have a mental capacity to notice them or understand them – that’s not my problem. DVD viewing is its normal USE (service that can be derived from it) – and according to Mises all these services belong to the rightful owner (definition of ownership).

By the way, you were not even capable to remember what you asked (you changed the question after my first answer, which everyone can see from my quotes). I already dismissed you as a seriously disturbed individual who doesn’t even know what he just asked, so there is no need to repeat good-byes.

Fred Mann March 12, 2007 at 10:52 am

For the record, observing a signal transmitted from a DVD can not in any way be considered a trespass or “unauthorized use” (unless, perhaps it was viewed after trespassing on physical private property). The DVD broadcast/transmission is not scarce. It can be viewed simultaneously by every person on earth on a billion TV screens until the end of time. Only the physical DVD is scarce. Transmissions in general are not ownable. The fact that a DVD was designed to transmit a fixed signal is irrelevant. Just because something is designed to transmit, doen’t mean you own the transmission itself, because again, it is not scarce. If you own a radio transmitter, you do not own the signal that it transmits — whether or not Mises seems to say so. You just own the transmitter. Owning the physical transmitter (or DVD) means you control when and how it is put into service. In the case of a DVD, you control the “play”, “stop”, “fast forward”, etc. functions. This is the extent of the use of the PHYSICAL property. You CAN attempt to limit access to the transmission, but once the transmission has been lawfully viewed by a third party, there can be no stipulation as to how the information gleaned can be used. Again, the transmission is not the property of anyone, so the observation of a transmission by a third party can not be considered “unintentional trespass” or “unauthorized use” (or “authorized” for that matter). No trespass = no tort = no free-market copyright scheme.

Sasha Radeta March 12, 2007 at 1:01 pm

Fred,

You are still confused about some basic economics terms.

If viewing of DVD was not scarce, people would not pay money to get it (demand is not restricted to the ownership of a physical good). Again, you don’t understand that services are scarce and that’s why we would have shortages for these services if we imposed a price ceiling at zero.

Go back to Mises’s definition of ownership:
- Ownership implies the control over services that can be derived from a good – and those services are scarce. If you own a DVD, you get to control who will participate in its use (services).

Even if you still deny that definition of ownership – free market copyright could still exist on different basis (purchasers would have more restrictions and responsibility and it would be them who would have a tort case against third party if they cause them breach of contract) – but that’s an unnecessary hypothesis. Your notion of scarcity and ownership is wrong.

Regards.

Francisco Torres March 12, 2007 at 3:30 pm

If viewing of DVD was not scarce, people would not pay money to get it (demand is not restricted to the ownership of a physical good).

People do not pay for the DVD because the view is scarce. They buy it because their TIME is scarce, and the DVD is a convenient format to view that which could be viewed at another time, either broadcasted, exhibited, performed, read, or even whistled but at inconvienient hours, from the standpoint of the viewer/listener.

Consider for example that, today, people prefer to buy a DVD with a movie, than physically going to a movie theather to see the same movie. The reason is NOT because the viewing of the DVD itself is scarce but because people value their time MORE than the moviegoing experience – you can view the DVD as many times as you want. It is the TIME that becomes the thing valued here, Sasha, and not the actual 1s and 0s burned on the DVD.

greg March 12, 2007 at 6:33 pm

NSK> Your [Sasha's] theory is utterly bizarre, unlibertarian, incoherent, amateur, and confused.

You had him at bizarre.

Sasha Radeta March 12, 2007 at 7:01 pm

Greg,

Of course that communists thing that private property rights are “bizarre.”

——

Francisco,

You already proved that you are unfamiliar with the very definition of scarcity, so there is no need to show your complete ignorance.

Available services derivable from DVD are scarce – because demand would exceed supply when there is no price to ration who will actually get to view it (rationing role of price is one of the first lesions in economics).

You are also confusing the determinants of demand, such as the price of substitutes (the total price, including opportunity cost of time) – with the issue of scarcity which is actually caused by that demand (at some supply level).

Please, take at least the introduction to microeconomics at college, before you even dare to talk about these elementary topics.

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