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A neat sum up what we've been talking about lately, written better than anything I could put together.

click


Talks about copyrights, pornography, and drug legalization. Doesnt really touch traffic laws except in brief mention.
Sample
Lessig has a point. It is hard to see how anyone could endorse a system that declares many inoffensive activities illegal, with the tacit understanding that the law will usually not be enforced, leaving sanctions hanging overhead like copyright's own Sword of Damocles. The symbolic legal message is preposterous: "Remember, copyright is important, and you're breaking the law and you may face massive fines. But on the other hand, your site is totally great, so keep going!"

But there's a reason we do things this way: political failure. The failure in this case is one of the oldest stories in political economy. Big media is the kind of politically effective group that economist Mancur Olson recognized back in the 1960s: small, well-organized, and with much to gain from government. Meanwhile, all the people sitting around in basements creating fan sites and YouTube videos are, to Washington, political eunuchs—too diffuse and underfunded to exert much influence on the nation's laws. It all boils down to this: Harry Potter fanboys don't have K Street representation. Consequently, the political system spits out one kind of answer—an answer friendly to the "property interests" of powerful media companies but one that all but ignores the interests of the basement-dwellers. The formal result of that is what we have today: a copyright law that covers almost everything we do in the digital world.
 

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"Antidepressants and anxiety treatments aren't cheap: A fancy drug like Wellbutrin can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,400 a year. These drugs also require access to a sympathetic doctor who will issue a prescription. That's why, generally speaking, the new legalization program is for better-off Americans. As the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University reports, rich people tend to abuse prescription drugs, while poorer Americans tend to self-medicate with old-fashioned illegal drugs or just get drunk."

Yeah, I've noticed that.
That has always bothered me, and I think it's bs that it happens that way.

Good read.
not finished reading it yet though..
 

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I'd read a print-out of the author's pages and am just getting to this now.

First, its pretty tangential to my bitch about kids knowingly breaking the law and then bitching about being punished for it. And these articles still fail to really address that.

The reality is that music is a copyrighted product, at least under law, like it or not. So, this quote I pulled from another guy's post applies (and was directly related to the music downloading issue):
You pay the amount that both you and the seller agree to. If the seller is smart, he takes into consideration how much of the market is willing to pay what amount and maximizes his profits. If the buyer is smart, he considers how much the seller is selling it and how much it is worth it to him. The music industry in general might not be selling at maximum customers, or even maximum profit, but they've picked a price. If you don't like the price, don't buy it.
Obviously if you don't buy it you don't get it, at least legally. But its up to the suppliers of these products to decide what the sales price is and the consumer can *only* opt to purchase it or not.

I will retract an incorrectly used word I made before, which is "theft". I'm not sure that's the correct use of the term wrt copyrighted materials and I've seen some pretty lengthy arguments about the use of it. But the point is that if an artist of any kind wants to be paid for use of his work in any fashion, he has the legal right to require it or legally go after those who don't.

Incidentally, I thought this was a bit of a surprise statement on the music downloading issue.

EDIT: Oh, yeah, and these blogs look to me to be quite driven by criminal law, not civil. Very different and not very comparable. Companies do not have to please voters, only customers.
 
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