Keesa wrote:I probably misread you, Lex (in fact, I hope I did!) but are you saying that you don't believe that intellectual property has no value?
Hmmm... I wish there was a "chagrined" emoticon. You've posed a loaded question, since you use the phrase "intellectual property", which I believe is a nonsense phrase. So, I'll rephrase. I believe that some information
has value, of course, otherwise I wouldn't bother to make copies of it.
Keesa wrote:That copying it and redistributing it do no harm to the original author?
That depends on what "harm" means. If Walmart opens up a store right across the street from Mom and Pop Finnigan's General Store, does that harm them? Yes, quite possibly it would put them out of business. Does that violate their rights? No, I don't believe it does. Walmart has no obligation to honor Mom and Pop Finnigan's desires to obtain an income from all the work they put into their general store by not locating a Walmart branch across the street from them.
The same applies to web sites and copying site content.
Keesa wrote:Quite frankly, this attitude (if it is your attitude; again, I hope I misread!) terrifies and disgusts me. My entire life is built around this worthless intellectual property. Granted, I work in words, and Jeff works in-well, in whatever computer people work in to bring us sites like Textkit and Perseus. But the idea is the same. Are you saying that it's okay for you to take the stories, articles and books that I write and copy them, even redistribute them, to anyone you want, without my permission and without compensation?
I'm saying it would not violate your rights to copy and redistribute your words, without compensating you, because you don't have property rights in the patterns of information (words) that you have generated. The fact that this harms you by reducing your income is, quite frankly, irrelevant to the question of whether doing so would be a violation of your rights.
Keesa wrote:If you copy my story, let's say, and give it to someone, then someone has a copy who otherwise would have had to buy a copy, which would ultimately have benefitted me as the author. ... I call that stealing.
I call it a poor business plan on your part.
Keesa wrote:Is plagiarizing my work not stealing?
No, it's lying, which I personally consider dishonorable. Whether it actually violates your rights, I'm not sure. I'd have to give it more thought. My initial thought was "No, it does not violate rights".
Keesa wrote:I still have my original copy, after all. It's not as though you've taken anything physical from me. But regardless of whether or not these things are physical or not, they are mine. I agree that these rights have been blown way out of proportion by large corporations, like the music industry, who are trying to line their pockets, but that doesn't make your stealing (yes, I call it stealing!) right, nor does it justify it in any way.
Well, I certainly understand your point of view, even though I don't agree with it. And vice versa, I am sure. All I can say is, as a person who makes a living by generating patterns of information, you need to be aware that there are other out there, like me, who disagree with you, and whether they are ultimately right or wrong, they have some philosophical basis for their position. So you might want to consider how you can change your business plan so that you can obtain income from these people as well, without using legal retribution against them (which tends to turn away repeat business).
Keesa wrote:Again, I am so sorry if I've offended anyone. I just feel very strongly on this. Intellectual property is property. Some of us live off of it.
I'm not offended. As you already know, I actually enjoy weird philosophical debates like this. I'm a strange man.
I, Lex Llama, super genius, will one day rule this planet! And then you'll rue the day you messed with me, you damned dirty apes!