"[EMAIL PROTECTED]" wrote:

> 
> In a message dated 7/23/00 13:15:58, [EMAIL PROTECTED] writes:
> 
> << IP is indeed property, owned by the creator.  I could 
> 
> get into it here, but I am afraid we are veering sharply off-topic  >>
> 
> I'm listening. :o)

So, at your request, I will now dive into a wretched morass of 
conflicting ethical principles and white-hot rhetoric.

Definition of Property (two parts):  
1. Something that some sentient entity (individual or collective) 
has complete rights over (to sell, modify, destroy, throw up in the 
air or sleep with).
2. Something to which nobody has any rights of action a priori.  By 
right of action, I mean that if photons bounce off the object and 
enter your eye, you are not acting unethically; however, you cannot 
in any way manipulate the object by volition, unless its diposition 
is violating your rights (e.g., a gun at your head).

Definition of Intellectual Property:  Property that is not concrete, 
i.e. without tangible form.  A CD would be property, the data on the 
CD would be intellectual property.

Ethical Justification of Property:  That which itself does not have 
rights, can be property.  At its creation, a piece of something 
becomes a piece of property.  Traditionally, this started with land. 
 Land in theretofore undiscovered territories were claimed by a 
person or group, often under the aegis of a country.  Once claimed, 
the land and non-sentient objects on it (ore, trees, dumb animals) 
could be commoditized, and then all valued-added derivatives as 
well.  Most people agree with concrete objects as property.

The conflict over IP comes down to ethical principles.  Two 
principles which have the same real-world result for concrete 
entities are:

* Usufruct of Labors --  I bought it, or added value to it, so it's 
mine.
* Sub-ideal Sharing -- If someone else has, I can't have it, so it's 
mine.

There are probably more, but I cannot think of any.

Obviously, holders of the latter cannot support IP, since data can 
be reproduced very well, and discrete (digital) data can be 
replicated flawlessly.  My task is to show that persons subscribing 
to Principle #1 should support IP:

1. I postulate abstract entities (non-concrete entities), i.e. that 
they can be well-defined (mathematically, ethically, legally, all 
that).
2. I assert as an axiom that all sentient, i.e volitional, beings 
have complete right and responsibility to their own life, and the 
actions therewith.  The "right to life" is complete freedom of 
action (mental and physical), provided that actions do not interfere 
with the preemptive actions of others; this restriction constitutes 
responsibility.
3. IP is abstract, and is indeed created *materially* out of thin 
air.  However, some sentient entity had to generate this object, 
lest it not be well-defined.  In other words, IP is in it's totality 
value-added.
4. Since a sentient entity created an object, it can claim it as 
property by right, as the value-added product is a direct result of 
their own actions, and none others.

Hence, IP, like regular ol' property, is a derivative of the 
fundamental right to life.

A preemptive assault on the most common counter-argument:

Q: If someone claims IP, is that not infringing on my right to 
thought?

A: Say you hear a (copyrighted) song on the radio -- the tune is now 
somewhat in your mind.  The mp3 for this track was encoded by some 
guy, and you say you have a write to download it using Napster and 
store it on your hard disk, because you claim rights to the tune.

But, this is just a licensing.  A band could release its music with 
the license that it also claims the tune in your head upon hearing 
the CD track, and you are not permitted to strum it, hum it, or even 
think it.  I argue that this is their prerogative, because they 
created the abstract entity, the song, and hence it is theirs; you 
are free to ignore bands that proffer such ridiculous terms.  
Howver, most bands and recording companies only restrict 
redistribution of the data on the CD.  The person who encoded the 
mp3 violated the license, and you would be remiss in downloading 
something that was created by unethical means, like buying a gun or 
car you know is stolen.

There are other counter-arguments, but all that I've seen are lame 
and do not withstand a minute's scrutiny.

To Mr. Francois-Rene Rideau:

I'm sure you will disagree vehemently to my line of reasoning, but I 
believe I am correct given my fundamental axioms.  A critique of my 
argumentation that accepts my ethical principle is welcome.  If you 
wish to argue about axioms, you may also want to check out a similar 
dogfight I had previously:

http://www.technocrat.net/944262508/944338271/944345191/944358944/944
372178/944374844/index_html

Sincerely,

Sourav Mandal

PS:  If this exigesis was waste of your time, please send flames to 
"[EMAIL PROTECTED]" (I'm sorry sir, I do not know your real name!). 
-- SKM


------------------------------------------------------------
Sourav K. Mandal

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Department of Physics
http://web.mit.edu/smandal/www/

"In enforcing a truth we need severity rather than
efflorescence of language. We must be simple, 
precise, terse."

                      -- Edgar Allan Poe, 
                        "The Poetic Principle"



------------------------------------------------------------
Sourav K. Mandal

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Department of Physics
http://web.mit.edu/smandal/www/

"In enforcing a truth we need severity rather than
efflorescence of language. We must be simple, 
precise, terse."

                      -- Edgar Allan Poe, 
                         "The Poetic Principle"

        




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