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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/6398/beemer-must-be-next-bmw-trademarks-and-the-letter-m/

Beemer must be next… (BMW, Trademarks, and the letter “M”)

March 20, 2007 by

Thanks, Trade*ark law. Now, thanks to a recent court decision, auto *anufacturer B*W now owns the rights to the letter * (the one after L and before N–I’* afraid to use it since B*W now owns it). Even sillier than Apple’s claim to own “podcast” or even “pod”. Ah, *e. Thanks to To* Bernhardt)

{ 132 comments }

Dan Coleman March 21, 2007 at 10:42 am

I have a dumb question for Mr. Kinsella. What’s the code that you are using to put text in quote boxes? Using italics for quoted text is okay, but it’s easier to read your responses because of the visible separation.

Jean Paul March 21, 2007 at 10:46 am

If I am “saddened” to know that someone, somewhere, is making music, am I “using” that music? Am I therefore committing trespass?

Or is the music maker committing trespass on me, by causing me to be sad?

Person March 21, 2007 at 10:59 am

Dan_Coleman: It is interesting how Hoppe has no problem delegating aggression against those who violate his copyright. As for how to use quoteboxes, use the blockquote tag, but it’s pretty buggy. Don’t trust your preview screen :-/

Jean_Paul, you’re trying to be funny, but your comment highlights the problem with Kinsella’s derivation. He claims that 1) IP infringements are of non-scarce resources; and that 2) non-scarce resources are conflict-free. But obviously if people object to the infringement, there is conflict!

Sasha Radeta March 21, 2007 at 11:11 am

Funny Dan Coleman said:
“I assume when you say “sure” what you mean is that Sasha did not use Hoppe’s property. Therefore, he will not be held responsible for receiving and using the e-mail, although Dr. Kinsella might.”

Why do you have to “assume” – when my position is clear! In such scenario, I was not the one who did any trespass and I didn’t violate any contract.

HOWEVER, by copying Dr. Hoppe’s book, Dr. Kinsella violated his copyright contract with Dr. Hoppe — and he will be responsible for significant damages stipulated by that contract (the amount that publishers normally pay to replicate a book – which is what Dr. Kinsella did). Copyright holds.

Since my position was clear from the start – your entire posting was useless. Why do you waste the space and time.

——

Jean Paul,

According to Mises, ownership means full control of services (uses) that can be derived from a good. Is your knowing some information use of that music? Absolutely not. Is someone trespassing “on you” (using you without your permission) by causing your adverse reactions? Absolutely not.

Is your posting witty and funny? Absolutely not. Waste of space.

Dan Coleman March 21, 2007 at 11:23 am

“No matter how hard for you is to understand this simple point: if a third 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.”

So says Sasha in a different thread.

“Why do you have to “assume” – when my position is clear! In such scenario, I [DC: a third party] was not the one who did any trespass and I didn’t violate any contract.”

So says Sasha in this thread.

Does anyone else see a glaring contradiction here?

On the one hand, you want to affirm that 3rd parties have not trespassed. On the other hand, they did look at ‘unauthorized copies’ that apparently already belong to (in our scenario) Dr. Hoppe.

Which is it?

Sione March 21, 2007 at 3:04 pm

Sasha

As an aside. What do you think about the styling of some of the recent BMWs? Ugly or what?

Sione

Cosmin March 21, 2007 at 3:25 pm

Sasha is very confused. He’s not actually pro-copyrights. He keeps talking of copyrights, while advocating mere contractually-enforced copy restrictions.
That he keeps saying stuff like: ["ownership rights apply to copyright" and "ownership means full control of the services that can be derived from a good."] has no relevance and serves only to extend his confusion to everyone else.
Fact is, replication is not a service that derives from a good, unless that good has self-replicating capabilities. Otherwise, replicating necessitates extra material that the inventor has no control over, the labor of the one doing the replicating, that the inventor has no control over (outside of a slavery situation), and the idea of the invention, that the inventor has control over only before it gets into someone else’s brain.
To help clarify his position, I asked Sasha if the inventor could force a user to refrain from opening the device in question to study its inner workings (so that the inventor remains in control of the idea of the device). Here, Sasha told me that the inventor can in fact do so, but he later backtracked and now his position seems to be that the inventor only discourages use in a commercial venture of knowledge gained, by a clause in the contract.
The problem with his newest position is that one can back out of a contract (perhaps offering compensation), without erasing the idea from his brain. He is then free to use said idea in a commercial venture and is not subject to any contractually-enforced copy restriction.
Perhaps Sasha will counter that contracts are for life, that one can in fact not back out of a contract, or that it would be prohibitively expensive to do so. He might even say that the cost would be higher than all the money existing in the world, but really he’d just be advocating slavery.

Jesse March 21, 2007 at 4:39 pm

Dan: “What’s the code that you are using to put text in quote boxes?”

The code is <blockquote>…</blockquote>. Note that it doesn’t nest properly on this site (the inner blockquote isn’t highlighed or indented, and thus appears to be unquoted). That’s why I stopped using it myself. I seem to recall that it also displays differently in the preview than it does in the comments.

Sasha Radeta March 21, 2007 at 4:42 pm

Dan Coleman,

My position was never contradictory.

If a third 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.

BUT DR. KINSELLA’S EXAMPLE DOES NOT HAVE A “THIRD PARTY” ISSUE. In it, the side in contract is committing violation – not a third party. How hard it is to understand that this is an issue of contractual breach – and not tort

—-

Cosmin,

You are so confused.

I am advocating contractual copyright restrictions, as well as tort enforcement when it comes to third parties trespassers (who are not in contract)

As I explained to you – some sales (contractual exchanges) are final. You cannot unilaterally change the terms of your purchase (contract). When you purchase my book, you agree that your personal use will cost you $20 – while any replication of my book (the use of book during replication, photocopying, scanning) will cost you a lot more money.

You cannot unilaterally void such terms of exchange — because that would be like lowering the exchange price without seller’s agreement. Only with seller’s consent you can change or void your contract. That is not a slavery, as you absurdly state. You agreed that property title over some specific damages will belong to the author, under certain condition – and that’s the price you pay for use of that product.

You also said something incorrect: I never “backtracked” in any discussion with you. You asked “if the inventor could force a user to refrain from opening the device in question to study its inner workings (so that the inventor remains in control of the idea of the device).”

MY ANSWER WAS:
>>”How can someone prove that you did open a product that is in your personal use and “understood its inner workings?”

“…anyone can also dissect and observe chemical composition of medications – but if you decide to make replications of such product, you must pay the price that was specified in your contract (stipulated damages). There is no such thing as “unalienable right to use [any] knowledge” in order to commit a breach of contract or tort. If you received someone’s good under condition that you will pay certain amount of damages if you replicate it – that’s the price you voluntarily paid.”<<

My answer was clear: people don’t have to refrain from use that was not contractually prohibited – and they can keep their ideas in their minds. But if they act contrary to the letter of their contract, they will pay the price (which they voluntarily accepted).
Same goes for people outside of contracts: you can read a borrowed book without author’s permission (unintentional trespass) – but you cannot use this trespass to make a lot of money by reproducing it and republishing it. Such use costs a lot of money — and you committed a tort of financial injury (by not legally obtaining those rights, compensating the owner).

Sasha Radeta March 21, 2007 at 4:50 pm

Sione,

I don’t like their “new direction.” They lost their old charm.

Fred Mann March 21, 2007 at 8:03 pm

Sasha: “The fact that you don’t recognize some invention (like piece of machinery) as an ownable good, only illustrates your left extremism.”

So are you saying that the “invention” is the specific physical piece of machinery, or is it the IDEA which acted as the non-physical/non-scarce template for the creation of the physical item?
You say there are many definitions of “invention”. But since you claim that we can not own ideas, even though Mises’ definition clearly allows for that (since ideas are products of our brains, which we own), then I must assume that you are using “invention” to refer to the physical piece of machinery. Of course, if we plug in this definition, your statement makes no sense. When one is “using” a physical thing, another person can not be using this same physical thing in an entirely different way in an entirely different physical location at the same time (as one might be doing when “copying” your invention). Physical things have the property of having a specific location. So, as usual, you are really talking about owning ideas, even though you won’t admit it.
Again, Mises’ definition of property is incomplete. You can not own transmissions, reflections, abstract forms/symbols, or ideas, even though these might be considered “services” “derived” from a physical thing. They are non-scarce. You *CAN*, however, attempt to limit access to these things (i.e. by charging admission to view them). You can also attempt to inhibit re-transmissions of the information via contract. But once the transmission, image, etc. is viewed by a THIRD party, you can not accuse them of trespass (intentional or otherwise). One can not be accused of “unauthorized use” of something which is unowned and unownable.

Sasha Radeta March 21, 2007 at 9:26 pm

Fred,

First of all, I explained what I mean by “invention.” Whether it is a mechanical device, or a piece of paper – it is a ownable physical good. When it comes to ownership, I don’t care for ideas or “inventions” that are not materialized – because they cannot be owned.

So although you know my position on this well, you waste a good portion of your posting on a complete nonsense. ( even warned Dr. Kinsella not to ever assume that I refer to abstract ideas when I use term “property.”

But then, misinterpretations of my statements are not enough. You now feel that you can misinterpret Mises – right here on Mises.org (o tempora, o mores). You say:
“Again, Mises’ definition of property is incomplete. You can not own transmissions, reflections, abstract forms/symbols, or ideas, even though these might be considered “services” “derived” from a physical thing. They are non-scarce.”

First of all, shame on you. Mises never said that you can “own” services. He said that ownership means that you control services that can be derived from a good. And that is indeed the case. if we didn’t have that right – we would never be able to contractually and legally sell our labor services, rent our real estate, rent DVDs, charge transmissions, electrical power, etc.

Yes, if someone hooks up an illegal electrical output, if someone reads your book or views your DVD without your permission – those are all trespasses by the very definition. Any kind of unauthorized use (derived service) of your property is a trespass – and that has nothing to do with “service ownership” nonsense.

As far as scarcity goes, you even got this wrong: services are economically scarce, because there is an ongoing imbalance between wants and needs for those services and willingness to supply them (positive price… if we impose a price ceiling, there would be a chronic shortage for these services). Scarcity is not the only prerequisite of ownership – because there must be a physical good to mix our labor with. Not everything economically scarce is ownable.

Mike D. March 21, 2007 at 9:35 pm

If I was not a libertarian and bound by the non-aggression directive, I would like to appear in court with an M16 and inquire whether BMW claimed to “own” that particular trademark!

Sasha Radeta March 21, 2007 at 9:47 pm

After disarming you, people would laugh at you – not with you. BMW never claimed trademark issues for something other than cars. You don’t understand the legal purpose of trademarks, nor this court’s decision (no matter how wrong, based on my humble opinion).

“for the use of the letter M and the descriptor M6, as trademarks for automobiles, parts and accessories, …”

Fred Mann March 21, 2007 at 11:57 pm

Cutting to the chase …
In order for there to be tort, there must be trespass (or some other violation). Unless you OWN the transmission itself, a third party can not be accused of trespass (“unauthorized use”) simply by viewing the transmission (as you said of Mrs. Smith in “Copyrights and Dancing”). Viewing is not using.
Of course, you want to say that viewing a DVD *IS* using the DVD, since that is what the DVD is designed for. But if Mrs. Smith IS “using” the DVD when she views it, then we must employ another term to describe what Mr. Smith is doing. He is the one controling the DVD. He is the one who decides whether or not the information on the DVD is to be transmitted. He sets the time of the transmission and decides whether the transmission will go uninterupted, or if it will pause for him to grab a snack from the refrigerator. He decides the mode of transmission (TV, projector, online stream, etc. ). Clearly Mrs. Smith (or any REMOTE observer of the transmission) is not “using” the DVD in the same way as Mr. Smith. Someone viewing Mr. Smith’s online streaming of the DVD in Germany is clearly not “using” Mr. Smith’s DVD.
Your mistake is that you use the term “use” to describe these two clearly different classes of action. This is the same type of error I was trying to point out above with your use of the term “invention”. You use the physical and non-physical versions of “invention” interchangeably. Of course, you are either not aware of this, or you are unwilling to admit it.
On the subject of scarcity …
If we define “viewing of a DVD” as a “service” (as I think you would like to do), then your statement, “services are economically scarce,” is false. As I have already pointed out, the number of transmissions (even simultaneous transmissions) that can be produced by a single DVD are infinite. You are confusing ACCESS to the transmission with the transmission itself. When people buy a DVD, or pay to see an online streaming of a movie, they are not buying the information per se, they are buying ACCESS to it.
As a side note, I also want to remind you that we are talking about free-markets here. That includes free-market law. Common law is not necessarily the same thing as free-market law. Common law did not evolve under free-market conditions.

P.S. I did accidentally use “property” instead of “ownership” when discussing Mises’ position above. But the key point is that “control” of “services derived” is plenty vague. Bottom line – you have no right to “control” what a third party does with non-scarce “services” like transmissions, since you don’t own them (assuming they are legally attained).

Sasha Radeta March 22, 2007 at 12:24 am

Fred,

You are misinterpreting my statements again. It does not matter that you use “property” instead “ownership”… what matters is that lied that Mises ever claimed that you can “own” services. And his definition ownership does not contain any “vague” terms. Again, if we did not have full and exclusive control of services that can be derived from our owned goods – than someone else might “borrow” our cars and rent them for money legally. And you are incorrect: we have a right to control how people will use services that can be derived from our own goods. If that wasn’t the case, some people might borrow anything they want from us, use it, and then claim they didn’t do any damage…

You even offer more insanity above your post scriptum, but I’ll try to keep it short:

- I never claimed that you “own” a transmission. You can own a DVD – and then you can control who and under which conditions may use it. And yes, putting a DVD into a player and watching its content is a normal use (service controlled by the owner).

- 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).

- Scarcity of diamonds could be much smaller to almost non-existent, if its producers wanted to exploit much more, open their reserves to flood the market and destroy their prestige, and stop advertising (so much that demand only comes from industrial use). On the other hand, if producers were not able to control supply and influence demand (play with scarcity) many producers would not have profit incentive to serve us with many wonderful inventions and other goods. That’s what communists don’t get.

Free DVD streaming would do the same thing and if owners of DVDs don’t want to do that – you can’t force them to do it. Viewing of DVDs will be scarce if they choose to make money like that.

Oh, by the way… I don’t think that someone like you Fred, who doesn’t even understand the first lesion in economics (scarcity of goods and services), is competent to criticize Ludwig von Mises. Excuse my honesty.

Cosmin March 22, 2007 at 12:43 am

“I am advocating contractual copyright restrictions, as well as tort enforcement when it comes to third parties trespassers (who are not in contract)”

Your phrase should read: “contractual copy restriction” instead of “contractual copyright restriction”. After all, you want to restrict the ability to copy, not the ability to hold copyrights, right?
That being so, we can observe that one needs no contract to breathe, since that is a real right, as opposed to the “right” to copy.

You then said: “As I explained to you – some sales (contractual exchanges) are final. You cannot unilaterally change the terms of your purchase (contract).”

I understand that the terms of the purchasing contract can not be changed, as long as the contract holds. But what I’m asking is: is the contract perpetually valid, or can one back out of this contract (the same way he can back out of any contract, really, perhaps paying compensation for doing so). The use of books in this example is awkward, since it doesn’t allow us to really investigate all the possibilities.
Let’s say I “buy” or rent a device. The contract states that I can not replicate said device. Fine. I don’t. A few years later, I don’t want the device anymore. I propose to return it and terminate my contract. Now, even after I’ve returned the object, I still have the idea of it in my head. Seeing as how I’m no longer bound by a contract, I use the idea from my head to build a similar device and sell it. Are you saying I’m infringing on anything?
We can also use medication as an example. I buy some pills that are supposed to make me feel better in some way. I analyse their chemical make-up. I use some of the pills, but perhaps they don’t work for me. I send the rest back. However, other people seem to be helped by those pills. Knowing their chemistry, I make some myself and sell it to them. Are you saying that I’m still and forever entrapped in the original contract? And if so, how is that not slavery?

As for your backtrack, perhaps you’re right. Maybe I just perceived it to be so. Maybe your answer at the time hadn’t been as exhaustive as I would’ve liked and I inferred more from it than I should have, which is why it could have appeared to me as a change in position when you later merely clarified your stance. I apologise.

Sasha Radeta March 22, 2007 at 12:46 am

Oh, by the way,

not all people have internet access, let alone a quality internet access that would allow them to rip the torrents in a moment, let alone enjoy the streaming on a big-screen TV… Plus many people choose to buy DVD use, because they like better features of the originals and they hate DVD burning…

So DVDs would be still in demand and their services scarce – even in your absurd scenario in which the owners want to destroy their business by letting internet folks access it for free.

Anyway, like I said, you can’t force the owners to increase their supply to levels that you desire (although, that’s what socialists always find difficult to understand… and they always want someone to force businesses to produce to their “full capacity”)… What they don’t get is that profit incentive will always attract the supply and the demand will guide it to the truly optimal level (one in which the producers will not punish themselves, like in Fred’s imaginary streaming example).

Without freedom to determine your own supply of goods and services – many wonderful services would disappear from the markets. Fred did not have to use DVDs and transmission nonsense as an example. Any good can become non-scarce if you increase your output to exceed some limited demand (and you have surplus to give away for free). But why would you do something silly like that?

Sasha Radeta March 22, 2007 at 1:02 am

Cosmin,

Etymology is not important, but I’ll indulge you. Just like Rothbard, I use the term “contractual copyright,” because the owner has a right to control the use of his good, including using it in reproductive processes – and he can contractually allow someone to obtain that right.

As far as you examples with returned device goes, you assume again that you will be able to return this item “few years later” and that owner will simply void that contract, without actually making another one — in which he would factually purchase that device back from you in exchange for your conditional transfer of damages in case that you do a replication of his item. If you find seller this stupid – more power for you.

The same goes for your pills example. Even now when you return something, sellers often run a receipt with their return policy on the back… Don’t expect returns on medications though – because that could be dangerous and pharmacies aren’t messing with that.

Cosmin March 22, 2007 at 1:05 am

“and they always want someone to force businesses to produce to their “full capacity”"

We call that someone the free market. If a company doesn’t produce to their “full capacity”, in a free market, the competition puts that company out of business. What you’re advocating is restriction of the free market, to favor the profits of the established companies.

Sasha Radeta March 22, 2007 at 1:09 am

To cut the long story short — if both sides void copyright contract — there is none to break. However, don’t expect someone to accept your return of merchandise, without new return/exchange contract, in which you would transfer the ownership of specified damages to the seller in case you make any replications. I know, a bummer. But no one is forcing you to make that return (intead of simply stop using the darn thing), just like no one forced you to buy the use of that product… No slavery there.

Cosmin March 22, 2007 at 1:15 am

“you assume again that you will be able to return this item “few years later” and that owner will simply void that contract, without actually making another one — in which he would factually purchase that device back from you in exchange for your conditional transfer of damages in case that you do a replication of his item.”

I will not agree to any contract when returning an item. I merely want to void the previous one. If you claim that I can’t in any way back out of a contract, just say it explicitly, so that everyone knows what a champion of freedom you are.

“The same goes for your pills example. Even now when you return something, sellers often run a receipt with their return policy on the back… Don’t expect returns on medications though – because that could be dangerous and pharmacies aren’t messing with that.”

I don’t care if they want the pills back or not. I just want to no longer be bound by the original contract. I’m prepared to renounce my end of the contract (use of pills) and even perhaps pay some compensation to make that happen. Are you saying I’ll be forever indentured to the company that made the pills?

Sasha Radeta March 22, 2007 at 1:18 am

Cosmin said:
“We call that someone the free market. If a company doesn’t produce to their “full capacity”, in a free market, the competition puts that company out of business. What you’re advocating is restriction of the free market, to favor the profits of the established companies.
:)

You made me laugh!

Soviets had the same logic, so that’s why they often had tons of unsold items in supermarkets, while they also had shortages of many goods.

In a free market producers don’t supply everything they theoretically can. You supply whatever you think market will bear, in order to avoid surplus and giving out your merchandise for free.

I am only advocating proprietary restrictions (you can’t use someone’s property like a “common good”) – and no, there’s nothing wrong with profits, if they are possible (charging money for your DVDs still doesn’t guarantee you any profit).

Good night man. Rest, and let economics be.

Cosmin March 22, 2007 at 1:26 am

“In a free market producers don’t supply everything they theoretically can.”

But they do, unless they have a monopoly or collusion with the other producers (which wouldn’t be possible in a truly free market anyway).

Sasha Radeta March 22, 2007 at 1:27 am

Cosmin,

You say:
“I will not agree to any contract when returning an item. I merely want to void the previous one. If you claim that I can’t in any way back out of a contract, just say it explicitly, so that everyone knows what a champion of freedom you are.”

Man, don’t be so impatient and such a bore! I already explained how to completely void any contract: it can be only done by the mutual consensus of both sides in contract.

You then say:
don’t care if they want the pills back or not. I just want to no longer be bound by the original contract.

WELL THEY CARE! You didn’t sign a contract with yourself and the other sides has a say whether the two-sided contract will cease to exist. And if the seller does not want to allow you the return (if sale is final), you can’t void this contract unilaterally.

There is nothing unlibertarian about “all sales are final” notices… We don’t believe in unilateral violations of contracts, and people here know what kind of champion of freedom I am :)

Sasha Radeta March 22, 2007 at 1:30 am

But they do, unless they have a monopoly or collusion with the other producers (which wouldn’t be possible in a truly free market anyway).

You are clueless. When the price falls below average variable cost of many firms – that producers simply settle at some level of production. They never go to the point in which they produce everything they theoretically can and price goes to zero.

Cosmin March 22, 2007 at 1:49 am

“They never go to the point in which they produce everything they theoretically can and price goes to zero.”

In a free market, more producers enter the business, untill the price goes close to cost, and profit close to zero. That you didn’t observe this in the real world only shows the dearth of free markets in the real world.

Anyway, this is off-topic. Returning to contracts, it’s not like a submarine where both people have to turn the key. One party can in fact unilaterally back out of a contract, provided he pays appropriate compensation for damages incurred by the other party. (And I don’t mean potential future damages, only real ones.)

Sasha Radeta March 22, 2007 at 1:58 am

Cosmin,

you just confused the notion that profits go to zero in a hypothetical pure competition – with an insane notion that supply should go to its theoretical maximum even if prices go to zero!

That’s not off-topic. It just shows your economic ignorance.

Once again…

The level of production (even in a hypothetical pure competition) will never go into a theoretical maximum that can be produced. Every producer must make his output decision, and cannot simply afford to produce everything he theoretically can – to the last penny of his savings.

Purely competitive sellers, just like monopolies, will simply look at the projected demand – and set their output so that it does not go to the point at which marginal revenue (the demand curve of purely competitive firm) is smaller than marginal cost. That does not guarantee the profit.

=====

Returning to contracts,

They are not your Alladdin’s wonderful lamp. They are terms of market exchange, upon which to sides voluntarily agree. If you decide to violate your contract (unilateral decision, without other side’s agreement) – you will pay damages that are specified by that contract. By the way, you are clueless what kind of injuries (not damages) you can produce when you violate your contact. And I don’t mean “potential, future” injuries – but the consequences of acts that are contrary to the word of your contract.

Cosmin March 22, 2007 at 2:08 am

“you just confused the notion that profits go to zero in a hypothetical pure competition – with an insane notion that supply should go to its theoretical maximum even if prices go to zero!”

Where have I ever said anything about prices? And especially about prices going to zero?

“If you decide to violate your contract (unilateral decision, without other side’s agreement) – you will pay damages that are specified by that contract.”

I’m not talking about violating a contract. I’m talking about backing out of a contract. Stop going off on tangents and answer the damn question for once in your life.

“…but the consequences of acts that are contrary to the word of your contract.”

There are no acts contrary to the word of the contract if the contract doesn’t exist anymore.

Sasha Radeta March 22, 2007 at 2:23 am

Cosmin,

Don’t act like a fool. You said that producers always produce to their theoretical maximum (even if supply exceeds demand).
- First of all, that situation would lead to zero prices.
- Secondly, that is nonsense, since all sellers pick their output based on projected demand curve and in the relation to their marginal cost!

So please accept my correction and take some basic economics at a community college.

======

Things are not any better when it comes to your knowledge of basic law:

You can’t unilaterally void your contractual obligations, after you use someone’s side of the barging. Exchange took place, you enjoyed someone’s service – and other side is entitled to whatever conditions you agreed upon.

You can’t reverse your use and you can’t just force a seller to accept the annulment of exchange (and its terms). Some sales are final – and you can’t dictate the return policy (another contract) based on your wishes.

If we followed that logic, I could contractually promise you that you’ll get $50 do moan my lawn, and in case you clear my lawn from crabgrass (weed) pay you $500 — BUT once you satisfy both conditions — to simply “change my mind” and declare contract void, depriving you of your earned money. Now that’s fraudulent, just like it would be fraudulent to keep property (specified damages) that belongs to someone else after I used that person’s good (and we both agreed to this exchange prior to that use).

PS
Most of the stuff in this posting was copied from our previous copyright discussion. Cosmin is just too stubborn to read and think.

Cosmin March 22, 2007 at 2:57 am

“Don’t act like a fool. You said that producers always produce to their theoretical maximum (even if supply exceeds demand).
- First of all, that situation would lead to zero prices.
- Secondly, that is nonsense, since all sellers pick their output based on projected demand curve and in the relation to their marginal cost!”

Individual producers do always produce to their theoretical maximum in a free market. They don’t have the luxury to produce less and lose marketshare. You, however, seem to be talking about producers in a certain market as a whole. In that case, supply is definitely adjusted, but not by individual producers holding back, but rather by some of them being forced out of the market or into bankruptcy.
Your argument also applies to producers in a market monopoly, but that isn’t something really compatible with the free market.

In any case, let’s get back to the contract situation.
You said: “If we followed that logic, I could contractually promise you that you’ll get $50 do moan my lawn, and in case you clear my lawn from crabgrass (weed) pay you $500 — BUT once you satisfy both conditions — to simply “change my mind” and declare contract void, depriving you of your earned money.”
You can absolutely change your mind and declare the contract void. Mind you, you’ll have to pay damages for breach of contract.
Google contract breach, or anticipatory breach, or contract damages, or use wikipedia, or whatever, to find out what they entail, but please, don’t remain an ignoramus much longer!

Sasha Radeta March 22, 2007 at 2:57 am

Let me try from a different perspective:

Enforceable contracts are terms of exchange, or the total price paid for a good or service. You cannot change this price unilaterally. One side cannot use the other side’s service, and then decide to void his end of a bargain.

If you accept that the use of someone’s book comes with a condition that you don’t make its replicas, lawfully you cannot first use it – and then declare that your end of the bargain does not exist, because you now declare that your contract is void. That would be ridiculous!

Sasha Radeta March 22, 2007 at 3:05 am

Cosmin, You are completely ignorant!

Every seller picks his output level, based on projections of demand and their known marginal cost curve. Producing theoretical maximum (regardless of demand) would in many cases lead to surplus and zero prices. That would be simply insane.

Back to ECO 101 classes! It’s good you are hiding behind a pseudonym, after so much nonsense.

====

When it comes to contracts – you are at least using google and that’s a first step in a positive direction.

You will pay damages for actions that are contrary to terms of your contract (like the amount that publishers’ for replication rights) — but if your contract specifies damages, you will have to pay them to the exact amount. You cannot void enforceable contract unilaterally. You can violate it, of course, but that’s why you pay damages.

Sasha Radeta March 22, 2007 at 3:30 am

I refuse to have any further dialogue with someone who is completely ignorant. I can only keep repeating things that are known to any college freshman:

1.

Every firm faces the output decision, based on its known cost curves and projected demand. It would be a firm’s suicide to produce whatever you can (to the last invested penny), regardless of your demand (and not caring about a surplus and zero prices)

2.
Only so called voidable contracts could be subject to being unmade at the election of one party. Examples of voidable contracts are:
• A contract entered into by a minor (under the age of 18) for non essentials.
• A contract signed by a person under the influence of substances such as illegal drugs, alcohol or medicines.
• A contract involving fraud in the inducement or material misrepresentation.
• A contract entered into by a person with limited mental capacity.

I hope that Cosmin’s position (that he can unilaterally void any contract) is not coming from this last condition. Enforceable contracts can only cease to exist when both parties fulfill it or revoke it.

Cosmin March 22, 2007 at 6:42 am

So you’re saying if I sign a contract to work for a company, I can not break that contract if another offer comes along, or if I win the lotto, or whatever…
Also, the company can’t break that contract, even if their business takes a downturn and despite their willingness to pay compensation for breaking said contract?
Well, I assumed such situations were in fact possible. Thank you for enlightening me, Sasha.

“Every firm faces the output decision, based on its known cost curves and projected demand. It would be a firm’s suicide to produce whatever you can (to the last invested penny), regardless of your demand (and not caring about a surplus and zero prices)”
Firms just looove to have employees around doing nothing. Is that what you’re saying? ‘Cause that’s what it means to not produce to their theoretical maximum. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but as long-term strategy? Only your firm perhaps… Others will let go some employees, thereby lowering their theoretical maximum (but still attaining it, or trying to) to correspond to the demand of their product in the market.

Anyway, you used the diamond business as an example of free market. There’s nothing more idiotic than that and yet you call me ignorant. I think I’ve wasted enough time with you.

Dan Coleman March 22, 2007 at 8:11 am

Don’t evade, Sasha. You write:

If a third 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.

It seems like you are committed to this view, so I have no problem here (well, I have problems, but you aren’t contradicting yourself at any rate). In the previous DVD example, Mrs. Smith watches the DVD with her husband, and according to you she is committing a(n unintentional) trespass.

BUT DR. KINSELLA’S EXAMPLE DOES NOT HAVE A “THIRD PARTY” ISSUE. In it, the side in contract is committing violation – not a third party. How hard it is to understand that this is an issue of contractual breach – and not tort

Actually, the third party issue still exists. According to your copyright scheme, as soon as Dr. Kinsella makes the .PDF, that ‘unauthorized copy’ belongs to Dr. Hoppe, and is his property according to contractual agreement. Any e-mail forward by Kinsella is passing on Dr. Hoppe’s property, not his own.

Thus, whether or not Sasha is aware that the e-mail is an unauthorized copy, the .PDF does in fact already belong to Dr. Hoppe, meaning that Sasha has committed an unintentional trespass simply by viewing it. Therefore, according to you, if he makes and sells 100,000 copies, he will be liable for financial damages caused to Dr. Hoppe.

Again, it seems to me that you are trying to hold two contradictory positions. Either Sasha commits some form of trespass or he doesn’t. You can’t claim that Mrs. Smith in her situation trespassed and hold that Sasha did not trespass, because both hold the same relationship to the product-owner. They are both third parties, not under contract, who use the producer’s property without purchasing the ability to do so.

(Thanks, gentlemen, for showing me the ‘blockquote’. I hope it works, but if not, then I suppose italics will be good enough for me).

Sasha Radeta March 22, 2007 at 10:50 am

Cosmin,

so it is the last condition! Dude, ONLY “VOIDABLE CONTRACTS” can be revoked by other side. When it comes to enforceable contracts, you can violate them — but you will pay damages which they specify. Even a child knows this.

And of course I used the diamond business to illustrate the issue of scarcity and how it could disappear (it’s a favorite example of libertarians). You didn’t get my point at all, poor guy.

Every firm, including a purely competitive one, faces the output decision. Producing everything you theoretically can and not considering demand curve would be idiotic! Firm always looks at the demand curve (which is eqal to marginal revenue in pure competition) – when it makes its output decision. It will set the output so that it never produces an item, which cost is higher than the revenue it yields.

Go back to school dude, and stop embarrassing yourself!

========================

Dan said:

Actually, the third party issue still exists. According to your copyright scheme, as soon as Dr. Kinsella makes the .PDF, that ‘unauthorized copy’ belongs to Dr. Hoppe, and is his property according to contractual agreement. Any e-mail forward by Kinsella is passing on Dr. Hoppe’s property, not his own.

You misunderstood. In our scenario, Dr. Hoppe’s and Dr. Kinsella’s copyright contract only states that in case the purchaser replicates the item, he will be responsible for the damages in the amount that regular publishers pay – plus some punitive damages. Therefore, only Dr. Kinsella is liable when he copies that book – and there is no third party issue.

However, if a copyright contract states that “all unauthorized copies will belong to the author” — then this pdf file belongs to dr. Hoppe. Receiving this file on my part is like accepting some stolen merchandise, bona fide. In that case, I would indeed commit an unintentional trespass – and if my actions cause a tort of financial injury to the author – then I would indeed be responsible.

Either way, copyright holds. And I didn’t contradict myself — we just assumed a different kind of contract, in order to avoid another discussion on bona fide, unintentional trespass, and the responsibility for injuries in those cases.

iceberg March 22, 2007 at 11:44 am

Receiving this file on my part is like accepting some stolen merchandise, bona fide.

Semantics, semantics.

You don’t “receive” a file when you are emailed a PDF; what actually occurs is that scattered molecules across a few spinning metal platters have the orientation of their magnetic polarity arranged to a manner bearing meaningful information to a computer.user.

Sasha Radeta March 22, 2007 at 12:10 pm

Whatever dude, whatever.

I explained why that is irrelevant. Even if I received a physical photocopy – Dr. Hoppe would not have a case against me, based on our scenario. It was Dr. Kinsella who violated his contract, and he is responsible for the damages.

Sione Vatu March 22, 2007 at 1:28 pm

Sasha

Yes. That’s what I think has occurred with them as well. The 7-series in particular has suffered. The story I heard is that the chief designer had some sort of family tragedy and resigned to attend to it. Then Chris bangle showed up and boasted he’d take the company in a new direection. He sure did that. Now the story is that he’s been moved sideways and a Dutch guy has been goven control. He did the new 5 and 6 series. He’s constrained to operate within the corporate design themes set by Bangle.

The really bad news is how Mercedes has responded by blinging up the new S-class.

This sort of thing is bad news for good taste I reckon.

What to do. What to do. Any ideas? I have a suggestion if you’re interested.

Sione

Sasha Radeta March 22, 2007 at 1:41 pm

Sione,

Adrian van Hooydonk participated in, and he will continue along, Chris Bangle’s “revolution.” Bangle actually moved up (you can say it’s a sideways move, when they make you supervise rather then design), but Hooydonk’s selection suggests they must have been really happy with his designs – and as you mentioned Mercedes seems to be infected too :) So much for the European taste…

What suggestion you refer to?

Cosmin March 22, 2007 at 2:16 pm

“so it is the last condition! Dude, ONLY “VOIDABLE CONTRACTS” can be revoked by other side. When it comes to enforceable contracts, you can violate them — but you will pay damages which they specify.”

I don’t get what you’re trying to express. Are you saying that the specific examples of contract that I’ve brought up belong to one of the four categories that you outlined as being breakable?
If one person (with full mental capacity) signs a contract to work for a company, can he break that contract or not?
Similarly, if one person (with full mental capacity signs a contract to work for a company, can the company unilaterally break the contract?
Countless examples from the real world would indicate that both situations are entirely possible.

In fact, forget breaking contracts, if you’re uncomfortable with it. Let’s say I rent a device. When the time I’ve rented it for runs out, I return the device. My association with the company and the product is now terminated. Are you saying there’s a clause in the contract that is still ongoing?
Going back to the medication example, let’s say I do use all the pills. They’re gone. I throw out the empty bottle. Are you saying I’m still and forever indentured to the pharmaceutical company that made those pills?
How do you reconcile these perpetual clauses with the notion of freedom?

rtr March 22, 2007 at 3:19 pm

Why is Sasha still making arguments that were wholly defeated in past discussions?

Action cannot be compelled, even with contract. All you need is one example to prove the claim wrong, although the examples proving the claim wrong are infinite. Pomising sex in advance does not entitle another to rape if the party changes their mind at any time. The example clearly shows that would be rape, violent offensive action. And likewise any other example of compulsion, even if contracted, is also violent offensive action. That *obviously* also means any contracted “damages” being forced is just as violent as compelling sex. Sex is material. Money is material. Forcing either is violent rape or violent theft.

Contract is not trade, but the promise to trade. Trade is final, an exchange of one thing for another.

There are no material damages whatsoever from copying anything which another claims copyright or patent on, whether one makes a contractual agreement to not copy, or one does not make a contractual agreement to not copy. One cannot declare in advance, before divulging their further words, their further ideas, that what they say or think cannot be said or thought by another, no matter if they shout it in a public square, write it in a book sold by a bookstore, or inscribe it on any product they sell whatsoever. No matter if someone voluntary agrees to not copy at first and then changes their mind at a later time. Their only option is silence in the first place.

It would be absurd, and a clear violation of First Amendment Free Speech, to prevent a newspaper from quoting what a politician said, either in whole or in part, no matter if the politician prefaced his remarks with a claim of copyright. All patent and copyright grants are clear violations of free speech. If someone sees your unique logo flag flying across the street, there’s nothing you can to to prevent them from flying the exact same *looking* (for it is clearly seperate material property) logo flag on their own property. Plus, there’s an infinite number of examples of absuridity which discredit all patent and copyright claims, such as prohibitions against others building doors and windows into their homes or computers, or phohibitions against others wearing any clothing whatsoever. All the examples of patent and copyright are on that continuum of absurdity.

The original actually existing material property is just as whole as it always was and still possessed by the owner, or returned to the owner, if there is a dispute to be resolved. That’s all that can ever be in dispute: things which are real, which actually exist, which were actually involved in a trade, not limitless material posessions which were never originally involved in any actual final transactions or temproary rented transactions. Words and ideas cannot be violently transferred out of someone’s head. Any attempt to silence another, is a violent violation of Amendment #1, no matter if contracted or not contracted. The inventor is wholly dependent upon *continuuing* voluntary agreement from others to not copy, and that voluntary agreement can be broken at any time with no material damages whatsoever.

Sasha Radeta March 22, 2007 at 6:26 pm

Cosmin,

Of course that you don’t understand theory of voidable contracts, because you’re totally ignorant.

Only “voidable contracts” can be revoked by unilateral (one-sided) decisions. I outlined several examples of such contracts. Enforceable contracts CANNOT be terminated by one-sided decisions. It would be like changing your price, without asking your seller. Ask Dr. Kinsella about characteristics and definition of voidable contracts, if you don’t believe me.

When it comes to rent – same thing applies. You used someone’s good under the condition that you will not replicate it. That’s the price you paid and you can change it by violating that agreement.

—-

rtr,

you are clueless. As Rothbard stated:

“…validly enforceable contracts only exist where title to property has already been transferred, and therefore where the failure to abide by the contract means that the other party’s property is retained by the delinquent party, without the consent of the former (implicit theft). Hence, this proper libertarian theory of enforceable contracts has been termed the “title-transfer” theory of contracts”

Enforceable contracts ARE exchanges of real property transfers – not just mere promises. It is illegal to promise someone $100 to moan your lawn — but after the job is completed to say that you don’t own anything, because you change your mind and you don’t need that service.

Just like you (legally) can’t obtain the use someone’s good in exchange for some damages if you replicate that item – but then to say you change your mind once you use it – and say you don’t anything.

Everything else you wrote is too incoherent and I can’t punish myself by reading it.

Regards.

Fred Mann March 22, 2007 at 9:30 pm

Just to be clear …
If Mr. Smith connects his DVD player to the internet, are you saying that everyone who tunes in to the stream on their computers around the world is actually “using” the DVD?

Sasha Radeta March 22, 2007 at 10:34 pm

Fred Mann,

They are all enjoying the service derived from that DVD – and according to Mises (and facts of life, proven by rent and labor contracts), the ownership means full control of those services. However — all these people can be observed as unintentional trespassers, but they will not be responsible for any tort just by that trespass alone. As long as these individual (unauthorized) users don’t initiate further financial injury to the owner, they will be legally fine.

As far as Mr. Smith goes, if he has a copyright contract with the DVD’s owner, his internet broadcast is a violation of that contract. He will be responsible to pay expensive rights he assumed, plus punitive damages.

Cosmin March 23, 2007 at 1:14 am

rtr, he’ll never agree, even with the most sensible arguments, which is why I’m granting him his lame premises only for the sake of discussion, and follow them logically to their absurd end.

Sasha, you keep saying everyone is ignorant and clueless. I contend that only idiots use personal attacks as a debate tactic. Continue on your path and you’ll have proven your worth.

“Only “voidable contracts” can be revoked by unilateral (one-sided) decisions. I outlined several examples of such contracts. Enforceable contracts CANNOT be terminated by one-sided decisions.”

Do you have trouble reading? I never said anything about revoking, voiding or terminating contracts unilaterally.
What I did was ask if purchase contracts have clauses that are perpetual, ongoing after the use of the product involved in the exchange is expired. Seems like a pretty forward question. You didn’t answer. Another common debate tactic of yours.
I also advocated breaking out of contracts (yes, unilaterally). Something like an anticipatory breach. The difference with the voiding of contracts that you’re falsely imputing to me is that I fully expect the party breaking the contract to have to pay compensation for the damages incurred by the other party.
And yes, despite what you might think, people do break contracts. I gave a couple of examples:
“If one person (with full mental capacity) signs a contract to work for a company, can he break that contract or not?
Similarly, if one person (with full mental capacity signs a contract to work for a company, can the company unilaterally break the contract?”
Both of these happen an immeasurable number of times. Yes, the party breaking the contract pays damages to the aggrieved party. I’m not against that. Just know that the compensation is calculated by real damages incurred, not speculated future earnings.
Specifically, the person let go from his contract by the company must make a good faith effort to find similar employment, and the company will pay the difference of salary between their broken contract and the guy’s new contract. Or, if the person breaks his contract with the company, the damages he is liable for are the costs in time and effort that the company undertakes to find his replacement.
In our current predicament, then, a person breaking a rent contract halfway through its duration, for whatever reason, is liable for the loss of income suffered by the company because of his breach. Meaning, the other half of the contract, or untill the company rents the device to someone else.
And no, your perpetually binding “slavery” clauses don’t survive this break of contract.

Fred Mann March 23, 2007 at 1:26 am

“… all these people can be observed as unintentional trespassers, but they will not be responsible for any tort just by that trespass alone. As long as these individual (unauthorized) users don’t initiate further financial injury to the owner, they will be legally fine.”

So they are unauthorized users. But what are they using — the DVD or the service derived from it? They are not the same thing, as you acknowledged above.

Sasha Radeta March 23, 2007 at 2:08 am

Cosmin,

After you created some of the most ignorant postings on this blog, there is no place to that kind of tone from you.

It is not my fault you talk about things that you are completely clueless about. I know that you are mad at the fact that I had to teach you some basic economics (and explain why your excursion into economics was completely idiotic) but — now you go into lying about your babble about contracts.

——-

After I tried to explain that enforceable contract cannot be void (annulled, revoked) by the decision of one party, poor Cosmin insisted that contract stops to exist when he decides to get out of it.

These are your words::
I will not agree to any contract when returning an item. I merely want to void the previous one. If you claim that I can’t in any way back out of a contract, just say it explicitly, so that everyone knows what a champion of freedom you are.

When I repeated that one side cannot void contracts unilaterally — that this side can only make a breach of contract, poor Cosmin insisted:
“There are no acts contrary to the word of the contract if the contract doesn’t exist anymore.”

But now… he changed his mind. poor guy “googled” about contracts and saw something about breaches of contracts. He now says that he never argued that the could unilaterally void the contract:
“Do you have trouble reading? I never said anything about revoking, voiding or terminating contracts unilaterally.”

Poor guy… I don’t pitty his lack of abilities… I pitty his absence of any shame. He even hallucinates that I didn’t want to answer his silly questions. As if I would read even a half of his nonsense. Plus, in his nervous breakdown, he seems to be trying to convince me of something I always claimed: that a person can breach his contract — but not break it unilaterally. And if his contract specifies damages he must pay for such breach (like in labor contracts with actors, athletes)- they will pay those exact damages based on that contract. That’s where all this stuff relates to copyright — but that’s too much for Cosmin.

Sasha Radeta March 23, 2007 at 2:13 am

Cosmin,

After you created some of the most ignorant postings on this blog, there is no place to that kind of tone from you.

It is not my fault you talk about things that you are completely clueless about. I know that you are mad at the fact that I had to teach you some basic economics (and explain why your excursion into economics was completely idiotic) but — now you go into lying about your babble about contracts.

——-

After I tried to explain that enforceable contract cannot be void (annulled, revoked) by the decision of one party, poor Cosmin insisted that contract stops to exist when he decides to get out of it.

These are your words::

I will not agree to any contract when returning an item. I merely want to void the previous one. If you claim that I can’t in any way back out of a contract, just say it explicitly, so that everyone knows what a champion of freedom you are

When I repeated that one side cannot void contracts unilaterally — that this side can only make a breach of contract, poor Cosmin insisted:
“There are no acts contrary to the word of the contract if the contract doesn’t exist anymore.”

But now… he changed his mind. poor guy “googled” about contracts and saw something about breaches of contracts. He now says that he never argued that the could unilaterally void the contract:
“Do you have trouble reading? I never said anything about revoking, voiding or terminating contracts unilaterally.”

Poor guy… I don’t pitty his lack of abilities… I pitty his absence of any shame. He even hallucinates that I didn’t want to answer his silly questions. As if I would read even a half of his nonsense. Plus, in his nervous breakdown, he seems to be trying to convince me of something I always claimed: that a person can breach his contract — but not break it unilaterally. And if his contract specifies damages he must pay for such breach (like in labor contracts with actors, athletes)- they will pay those exact damages based on that contract. That’s where all this stuff relates to copyright — but that’s too much for Cosmin.

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