Posts Tagged ‘Law’

Freedom is not “feelings”

October 1, 2013

A quote: ” When you feel freedom, it’s because the laws that are present make you feel good”.

 

“True” freedom has nothing to do with feelings. And if you are bound by a law, how in the world can anybody think that makes anybody more free?!

Much of the “freedom” Americans “feel” so far this year has a LOT less to do with what laws are present, but a LOT MORE to do with what laws are NOT present, and what arbitrary dictates are not present.

But to the extent Americans “feel” free so far this year, much of that is illusion anyway. Unconstitutional executive orders multiply, grand theft inflation continues robbing value from the monopoly currency along with interest rate price-fixing, regulations multiply, and now we have this 1,500-page Godzilla eating the livelihood of everyday common Americans.

Another quote:  When you feel liberty, its because your fellow citizens permit you to be free.

A. Forget the “feel”, please. In reality, people “are” more “free”, by both your definition and mine, by the way, to the extent that citizens respect the principle of non-aggression. No citizen has ANY ethical or moral right, at least no “natural” right, to aggress and natural law demands that they respect it.

When they don’t, then the principle of self-defense kicks in with a role. Ted Cruz, for example, is absolutely doing the right thing. I don’t care how many people voted for Obama or how they forced this oppressive and freedom-killing law down our throats, it’s going to make Americans sicker than ever along with the EPA‘s rules and the FDA‘s and the FCC‘s rules.

In both cases, they are management processes. Some are societal, laws; others are individual or group management processes that respect the laws in place and in some case self-restraining processes.

And that, my friend, to be brutally honest, is a semantical tap dance to avoid the non-agression principle, and recognizing that central planning and collectivism and involuntary anything is an aggression against freedom, against the individual.

 

Lawmaker wants it legal to record conversations with feds | The Daily Caller

July 18, 2013

http://dailycaller.com/2013/07/17/lawmaker-wants-to-make-it-legal-to-record-conversations-with-the-feds/

 

Who Would Trust Them After This?

June 14, 2013
Andrew Napolitano

Andrew Napolitano (Photo credit: ronpaulrevolt2008)

Judge Andrew Napolitano says it well…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRHRc2Nd0Co&feature=youtube_gdata

Who Would Trust Them After This?… “Judge Andrew Napolitano called the situation “a fishing expedition on the grandest scale we’ve ever seen in American history.”  The government is looking for a select group of people, and instead of obeying the Constitution and simply getting a search warrant for their phones, the judge says, “They got a search warrant for a 113 million phones!”” | Tenth Amendment Center Blog

Oracle wants to own our Java APIs, but the Oracle owners never wrote any of them

June 2, 2013
Association for Computing Machinery

Association for Computing Machinery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Reacting to computer news from ACM (Association for Computing Machinery): “Computer Scientists Oppose Oracle’s Bid to Copyright Java APIs”…

 

Computer Scientists Oppose Oracle’s Bid to Copyright Java APIs IDG News Service (05/30/13) James Niccolai In a court brief, nearly three dozen computer scientists voiced concerns over Oracle’s plan to copyright its Java application programming interface (API), which they believe would hinder the computer industry and limit end users’ access to affordable technology. The group, which includes MS-DOS author Tim Paterson and ARPANET developer Larry Roberts, signed the amicus brief in support of Google in its copyright lawsuit with Oracle. Oracle accuses Google of infringing the copyright on its Java APIs in the development of Google’s Android operating system, and is seeking billions of dollars in damages. Google argues that software APIs are not eligible for copyright protection under U.S. law. Last year, a district court in California mostly agreed with Google and ruled against Oracle in the case, but Oracle appealed the decision. “The freedom to reimplement and extend existing APIs has been the key to competition and progress in the computer field–both hardware and software ,” the brief states. “It made possible the emergence and success of many robust industries we now take for granted–such as industries for mainframes, PCs, peripherals, workstations/servers, and so on–by ensuring that competitors could challenge established players and advance the state of the art.” http://www.pcworld.com/article/2040360/computer-scientists-oppose-oracles-bid-to-copyright-java-apis.html

 

It’s time to revisit the entire idea of copyright, patents, and even maybe trademarks. Technology has forced the relevant issues into the open, in my view, rather than changed them.

 

Copyright law began to get fat after the invention of the printing press when Popes and kings began to try to control the proliferation of ideas with the technology that spread the ideas of dissidents and opponents. Next came lists of unauthorized books, banned books.

 

ARBITRARY COPYRIGHT SPECIFICS ARE PART OF ITS (LEGAL) DEFINITIONS

 

One clue, in my opinion, to a basic problem with trying to apply copyright law in the real world, is the fact that so much of it is arbitrary. Pick a number out of a hat, almost. What is right in practice might vary from case to case.

 

#1. How long is “limited”?

 

From the moment of inception of a work, or its publishing, how long should copyright protection cover it? The United States Constitution says a “limited” period. To me, in 2013, 70 years seems to be unreasonable. I read one author once who said he thought copyright should be inherited and passed on to infinite generations.

 

#2. What is the perfect “percentage”?

 

If printed (or electronically copied) work “A” takes an excerpt from previous work “B” and adds context, how much is “fair” to quote? How many words, paragraphs, alphabetical characters, or computer storage bytes? One or two Bible versions I’ve looked at state that you can quote verses and short passages, but to use an entire chapter you have to get permission (and presumably, possibly pay up). With other works, it gets more iffy.

 

#3. What about paraphrases?

 

This is one I have not seen much discussion about. I list it here because it’s another example of how there is no “natural” threshold that emerges for this as to how close a paraphrase has to be to violate any “natural” law that may apply.

 

#5. Translations

 

For example, again with Bible “versions”, aka “translations”, each newly copyrighted “translation” must differ a certain percentage from ALL other previous copyrighted versions to qualify for a new “unique” status. Of course the copyright owners of a previous “translations” has the right, presumably to “create” as many “derived” works they like.

 

In my opinion, this is why the major “translations” get revisions every 20 or 25 years. That way they can expand their “territory” of possibly covered works. The more important one might be to extend copyright coverage out further into the future. But maybe most important is that the “latest version” is expected to supplant the earlier one. These are moral hazards at best. At worst, it also introduces temptation for owners, publishers, editors, and translators for all the above, and it makes for multiplied opportunities to introduce tainted doctrines and bad interpretations.

 

#6. Open Source

 

The razon d’être of copyright in the U.S. Constitution is said to be to promote science and art. From Article 1, Section 8:

 

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

 

But there are indications that the “promotion” of science and the “useful Arts” may be much better served by opening it up.

 

The roaring success of many open source projects shows that such goals can be enhanced by opening it up. We do not look upon other government industry monopoly grants with much sympathy. Maybe the lock-down on science is holding us back, rather than helping progress.

 

The benefits of producing Open Source have been expounded in many places already. The same intellectual fervor that creates good products like Firefox and Linux and the fact that enterprises that are more efficient and can run with it, and that there have been plenty of bad ones fallen aside, shows that may be a better model in the long run anyway.

 

In other words, continuing to produce value –rather than a monopoly license grant– may help promote truly useful science and arts.

 

The courts in the U.S. have certainly recognized the utter futility of attempting to apply copyright protections to mere mathematical algorithms. It’s impractical, it’s inefficient, and would stop progress. Enforcement would have to get a massive bureaucracy of desk clerks squinting at the tiniest little details, and how could you even track it all?

 

PATENTS

 

Most of the above arguments apply here, especially concerning algorithms,as applied to patent law.

 

There’s also publicly funded projects that finance discoveries that have resulted in privately acquired patents that provided the economic base for new companies.

 

WHO INVENTED WHAT? WHO WROTE WHAT?

 

There is one other factor. Most of the copyrights and patents granted or recognized today worldwide are NOT granted to the original authors, but to the very big corporations that “own” that work based on employment or contract.

 

Stan Lee fought for Spiderman. Courtney Love belted out a very big speech raking the music industry tycoons over the rails for how they treat the authors of their art. Famous singers often get little for their trouble over the height of their fame. Motown stars often ended in poverty later on. I have heard from someone I trust on this that the classic movie mega-hit Cimarron was plagiarized after a rejection letter was sent to the true author. How often has Hollywood been sued for piracy?

 

 

Revolution PAC Demands Court Convene Special Grand Jury & Commonwealth Attorney Bring Prosecutions In Raub Case | Revolution PAC

December 30, 2012

Revolution PAC Demands Court Convene Special Grand Jury & Commonwealth Attorney Bring Prosecutions In Raub Case | Revolution PAC:
http://revolutionpac.com/articles/revolution-pac-demands-court-convene-special-grand-jury-commonwealth-attorney-bring-prosecutions-in-raub-case

They sent letters to a Virginia Circuit Court Judge and Commonwealth Attorney demanding that they convene a special Grand Jury to investigate the kidnapping and false arrest of Brandon J. Raub. They held him in a psychiatric facility without charges and the next morning a judge ordered him released and rebuked the criminal offenders.

Good on Revolution PAC. Somebody doing something. Maybe they’ll even force the monsters into the open…

The Federal Reserve, a Privately Owned Banking Cartel, Has Been Given Police Powers, with Glock 22s and Patrol Cars | Alternet

September 22, 2012

http://www.alternet.org/economy/federal-reserve-privately-owned-banking-cartel-has-been-given-police-powers-glock-22s-and?paging=off

Okay, now a private banking cartel, not part of any government department, is apparently now a fourth branch of federal government. Hidden in the Patriot Act is an unconstitutional establishment of a police force that answers to the Federal Reserve. They have police powers, they can arrest anybody without a warrant, coast to coast, and that “law” says they have access to whatever information they need for enforcing the “law” (general).

Man, how fast is this thing going, and will they eventually just give up trying to put all these things into “the law” and just go straight to arbitrary rule by whim?

Pre-emptive law enforcement is as bad as ex post facto, and laws requiring businesses to collect data on customers is violation of rights

January 21, 2012

Pre-emptive law enforcement that punished the violator before the crime is committed is a tool for tyrants, not for proper enforcement of “law and order”.

enforcement that punishes people who are not doing the real crime itself, for example, violating copyright, are also themselves crimes.

If someone commits a crime by telephone or remote access, it is the criminal who is guilty, not the phone company.

If someone murders another, it is not Smith & Wesson that is guilty but the killer, and Smith & Wesson should not be held accountable.

If a million people are committing copyright violations, then prosecute a million people, not the people who provide a file storage or sharing service.

If somebody opens a bank account and uses it to launder money, nobody should expect the bank to do background checking or psychological profiling —or ask questions– to investigate whether they are a drug dealer. That is a law on the books. If you deposit more than x amount at a non-home branch, they’ll ask you a few questions. Send several thousand cash dollars to Honduras for a down payment on a house, Western Union is required by law to ask you a bunch of questions. That’s outrageous!

Laws like that are unpaid mandates –equivalent to a warrantless taking, really– they are a requirement that private parties become arms of law enforcement and gather surveillance for the purpose of building up a fishing pool.

All of these are examples of the creeping crawling police state subtly reasonable at each step until you don’t notice you accepted the premise.

This applies to illegal immigration too by the way. Laws that require businesses to do this or that background check are also takings. The market finds a way around such things anyway, like you see with the multiplication of illegal aliens that work with false social security numbers and meet all those paperwork requirements.

Hayek, Rand Paul: Interference in Bankruptcy Court Disrupts The Rule of Law and Investment

November 10, 2011

Rand Paul on The Road to SerfdomYouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=fvwp&NR=1&v=SCucWFRDtgQ

Without the constant of a stable rule of law, such as bankruptcy court provides for the appropriate situations, investors have no way to measure risk, so of course they are leery of investing.