Posts Tagged law

Author sues the US Government for copyright infringement!

J. Neil Schulman actor's headshot
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An author and film-maker, J. Neil Schulman, wrote a novel in 1979 about the collapse of the American economy due to massive government overspending and pumping massive amounts of unbacked money and credit into the the system. Schulman claims the US government has stolen his plot!

How long before the Randians follow suit? I wonder. I’m only surprised they have not already filed suit.

Mouse-tip to Jeffrey Tucker at the Mises Institute blog (Kinsella, by the way, is a lawyer who is strongly opposed to copyright law in its present form).

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The urge to save humanity

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule. – H.L. Mencken

The same point was made by Ayn Rand in both her fiction and non-fiction, but I found it hard to accept. Where is the evidence, I wanted to know.

Well, today, I found it, on Austrian economist Bob Murphy’s blog Free Advice: The Road to Serfdom: CA City Bans Smoking.

The Belmont City Council voted unanimously last night to pursue a strict law that will prohibit smoking anywhere in the city except for single-family detached residences. Smoking on the street, in a park and even in one’s car will become illegal and police would have the option of handing out tickets if they catch someone.

The actual language of the law still needs to be drafted and will likely come back to the council either in December or early next year.

“We have a tremendous opportunity here. We need to pass as stringent a law as we can, I would like to make it illegal,” said Councilman Dave Warden. “What if every city did this, image how many lives would be saved? If we can do one little thing here at this level it will matter.”

A “tremendous opportunity”…. to save humanity, or to rule ever more intrusively?


I recommend the following digital products: WP GDPR Fix, a WordPress plugin that quickly and easily helps you make your WP blog GDPR compliant. Brett Kelly's "Evernote Essentials", Dan Gold's $5 guides to Getting Everything Done with Evernote and Springpad, and DocumentSnap Solutions' Paperless Document Organization Guides. Be sure to try DocumentSnap's free email course on going paperless first before buying his products. Sign up for it on his homepage.
Disclosure of Material Connection: My recommendations above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission. Your cost will be the same as if you order directly. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Monty Python turns tables on the YouTube pirates

Monty Python’s Smart Choice is a short blog entry by Jeffrey Tucker, and forms the latest in a series he’s been writing about copyright.  Gizmodo, where Tucker found the original news about the Monty Python YouTube channel, adds,

A controlled release of free material keeps people from resorting to piracy and keeps them in your controlled ecosphere, which can include, yes, ways for fans to give you money. But when you’re a bunch of pricks, people go to The Pirate Bay and think of you as the enemy, and then you don’t get any money. Take notes, you idiots.

Personally, tho, I don’t get it. While I’m glad to be able to indulge my nostalgia watching old Monty Python shows, how does putting one’s creative work online for free encourage creativity and entrepreneurship? Surely, this is entrepreneurship capitulating to an anti-business mentality? Certainly, it seems that the public’s sympathy is with the teenage downloaders rather than the “greedy” music labels. Chad Rushing’s “translation” in the comments to Tucker’s blog post seems to me correct.

Update: Melancholy Elephants, a story by Spider Robins has helped me understand what some of the issues might be: the argument in a nutshell is that artists do not actually create, they discover. And while the number of possible combinations for musical notation (to take musical art as an example) might seem to be infinite… it’s not. The West Side Story, a brilliant re-telling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, was only possible because Shakespeare’s play was in the public domain, not covered by copyright. Without copyright, and without technology for recording the form of the art, the human collective memory gets washed clean of its memories of created art every few generations or so. With recording technology and copryight, the memory never gets erased: the number of new musical notation combinations that can be created (i.e. discovered) becomes ever smaller, until…


I recommend the following digital products: WP GDPR Fix, a WordPress plugin that quickly and easily helps you make your WP blog GDPR compliant. Brett Kelly's "Evernote Essentials", Dan Gold's $5 guides to Getting Everything Done with Evernote and Springpad, and DocumentSnap Solutions' Paperless Document Organization Guides. Be sure to try DocumentSnap's free email course on going paperless first before buying his products. Sign up for it on his homepage.
Disclosure of Material Connection: My recommendations above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission. Your cost will be the same as if you order directly. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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