R. Quenett qcal at
Wed Feb 26 11:55:01 PST 2003

mutilated misquotes 
from Jochen Schroeder's 26 Feb 2003 classic prose
may follow:

" There is a huge difference, between stealing material property and
" "intellectual" property, if there is such a thing. Your argument is

Agreed.  It's rather thorny to resolve the general case, too, but one 
either _must_ resolve it or apply a sieve such as 'might makes right' 
or 'I can gore your ox; don't you dare touch mine' or, the favorite 
catch-all of the great unwashed masses, 'that's different' in order 
to resolve each specific situation as it arises.  

Rejecting 'intellectual property' as a concept probably torpedoes not 
only copyright but also patents as well as a bunch of other things 
such as, for example, software licensing.  

" lacking, if I steal a fridge it is gone, if I copy music it is not gone,

Whatever commercial value there might be in the transaction to the 
owner is gone in both cases.  If this were not significant there 
would not have been either Napster (etc.) or the various copyright 
laws (also etc.:).  

" so it would actually be like cloning your fridge not like taking it, you
" wouldn't even notice if nobody told you. Also I would not necessarily

Agreed, but at some point the owner would suffer some sort of 
commercial loss.  There are, as you suggest, statistics on all sides 
of the argument and everyone tries to use them to bolster their 

" bought one if I had to copy for it. I used to tape music from the radio

Ummm...  Not wanting something badly enough to pay the owner his 
asking price for it doesn't, by itself, give one the moral right just 
to take it without paying for it, does it?

" when I was little, was I stealing? I copy music from time to time, if I

Some, including, perhaps, the law, might say yes, you were stealing.  
Myself, I'd say it would depend on the terms of whatever voluntary 
contractual chain existed from artist to listener.  It can get 
complicated. :-)  Consider, for a moment, the broadcasts (and their 
reuse and rebroadcast in real time:) of the major sports events.

" like it I buy the album, if I just like one song, I just keep the song.
" There's several statistics, saying that people who copy music or movies

There also are statistics on the other side of the argument, not 
infrequently the very same statistics, osistm.<g>

"  actually buy more CDs, and go to the cinema more often. The reason why
"  the music industry is doing so bad is not because of people copying,
"  but because they just make more and more trash.  

You make valid points and I certainly do agree with your last 
line.  But whether the music industry is doing badly or not doesn't 
affect the fact of whether or not they are being stolen from and 
whether or not such theft is proper, tho it may affect their 
pocketbook and thus their ability to fight back.


"Fix reason firmly in her seat and call to her tribunal every fact,
every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God;
because, if there is one, he must more approve of the homage of 
reason, than that of blindfolded fear."  --Thomas Jefferson
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