mellyrn on June 13, 2012, 08:15:37 am
So, not a dick move at all.

myrkul999, I think Andreas meant

and the lawyers sit perched in their aeries waiting to cease-and-desist the frack out of anyone trying any of *that* stuff...

That's the dick move. (emphasis added)


SandySandfort on June 13, 2012, 08:24:43 am
If I wrote a novel, and suddenly I see people dressing up as my characters, painting things based on my descriptions, or writing stories set in my world, or any of the various other activities fans get into, I'd be ecstatic...

You and me both, brother! My secret (until now) desire, is that the honorific, "Sv" and its address form, "Sov," move into general usage. Everywhere would be nice, but even if just libertarians, anarchists, et alia, pick it up, I would be in doggy heaven.

macsnafu on June 13, 2012, 08:59:03 am
So maybe copyright violation is, as suggested, a dick move, and a violation of the relationships between people, i.e. rude, impolite, and something that most people will just naturally look down upon, but not an actual crime?

In that case, what copyright law is doing is preventing the jerks in society from exposing themselves to the rest of us.  After all, in the example of Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings, who wouldn't think that Ace Books were jerks, just trying to make a quick buck, and that Ballantine was the more honorable publisher, since they sought Tolkien's permission to print the book, even though they legally didn't have to?
I love mankind.  It's PEOPLE I can't stand!  - Linus Van Pelt.

myrkul999 on June 13, 2012, 01:43:25 pm
So, not a dick move at all.
myrkul999, I think Andreas meant
and the lawyers sit perched in their aeries waiting to cease-and-desist the frack out of anyone trying any of *that* stuff...

That's the dick move. (emphasis added)

Oh, I know. I was saying that all of the stuff that was technical copyright violations only pisses off the lawyers, not the creators (well, maybe the fanfiction... especially the slash stuff, but it's still pretty cool) Thus the reference to the Shakespeare quote, which was "The first thing we do, is kill all the lawyers"
(sorry, sometimes, when I think I'm being clever, I'm actually being obtuse)

Andreas on June 13, 2012, 01:56:09 pm
I know that it only pisses off the Lawyers, but the sad state of affairs today is that many artists (the "lucky" ones who got signed) have no choice in the matter; they had to sign over the guardianship of their treasures to these vultures with their C&D writs.
Those vultures are the ones in real danger from sharing.

ContraryGuy on June 14, 2012, 03:50:37 pm

You could probably make them even smaller by using Americium as the fission source material instead.


Here's a chart. You seem to be able to reduce the mass needed if you use a good neutron reflector

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_mass_%28nuclear%29#Critical_mass_of_a_bare_sphere

I think there are issues using californium as a bomb. Any experimentation that has been done would probably be classified. It's probably really fsking expensive to amass a mass too.

Back in the eighties, I read an article about the possibilities of californium bullets, for commandos and such.

Apollo-Soyuz on June 14, 2012, 08:17:34 pm
Back in the eighties, I read an article about the possibilities of californium bullets, for commandos and such.

Well according to the chart, you would need 96.3 oz of californium-252. Even if you got that down to about half with a gee-whiz neutron reflector or other tricks, we're still talking a bullet the mass of a "super Big Gulp".  Totally illegal in Bloomberg's New York City.

That might fit on a Starship Trooper's battle suit, but probably not in a reasonable sized handgun or longarm. Also, the stuff is such a high neutron emitter that the shielding is probably a bitch to lug around.

Then again, californium is so expensive and so rare it's pretty unlikely anyone not depending on a paycheck from Uncle Sugar (or another superpower) have ever had enough of it around to study. So if the published critical mass was a lie, and the true numbers were classified, the secret is probably safe for a while.

mellyrn on June 15, 2012, 07:32:21 pm
Quote
He hasn't been harmed, so there is no crime.

Well, if someone rapes you -- gently, so there is no damage, no harm as such -- is that a crime?

Is physical harm the only measure?  If you threaten my friend Mike, who is a seriously badass martial-arts instructor, he's probably only going to keep rather more of an eye on you than otherwise, but you're really not going to bother him.  If you threaten my other friend Paul, who is of double-digit IQ and was abused for most of his childhood, he'll panic and have nightmares for weeks.  Law might not tax you with any "harm" done to Paul, but I'd really like to inflict real harm on you for messing with him, especially if you knew how he'd feel about it.

If someone breaks into your home but doesn't disturb anything -- for a prank, say -- is that a crime?

I'm talking in RL with someone who would feel trespassed against by someone using her idea without permission.  Myself, I am rather bemused by that feeling.  I'd be mildly annoyed, very mildly.

Here's a question:  would you expect me to be a) happy; b) sad; c) angry or d) indifferent, if you sold my book without my permission?

If you think it even might be b) or c), and you do it anyway, I don't think that's "just" a "dick move".   (I think it's a dick move if you do it without bothering to wonder how the other person would respond.)

We have an expectation that others will refrain from deliberately doing things that can pretty well be predicted to cause unhappiness.  That's pretty vague and sloppy, to be sure; I for one would like to offend someone who is offended by human nudity, but I guess that's because I see that offense as sort of optional (not to mention inordinately pointless).  I might have "views" about whether you "should" be upset if I break into your home without disturbing anything, but I would in fact be (extremely!) surprised if you were not upset.

I'd be very surprised if you were not upset at being forced into even the gentlest of sex acts.

I'd be surprised if you were not upset at my selling your book without checking in with you (even though, as I said, I myself wouldn't be very upset).

Being human, I think we have a pretty good idea of what will and will not please our fellow humans.  To deliberately do something that we know will not please -- ?  Is that not a crime against what keeps us in society with one another, that mutual trust?  Dante placed counterfeiters in one of the very lowest circles of Hell precisely because they transgressed against the trust that made currency possible.

I don't know if the author of the book has "standing" to call for arbitration; I think, though, that other members of the community might call the unauthorized seller up for arbitration, and restitution to the community.

Thoughts?

myrkul999 on June 15, 2012, 10:20:13 pm
Bear with me, your excellent points deserve in-depth answers. I will do my best to do them justice.

Quote
He hasn't been harmed, so there is no crime.

Well, if someone rapes you -- gently, so there is no damage, no harm as such -- is that a crime?

There is no "gentle" rape... even if the actual act is done with the utmost care, there is still the threat of force, the intimidation, the power, that the crime is actually about.

Is physical harm the only measure?  If you threaten my friend Mike, who is a seriously badass martial-arts instructor, he's probably only going to keep rather more of an eye on you than otherwise, but you're really not going to bother him.  If you threaten my other friend Paul, who is of double-digit IQ and was abused for most of his childhood, he'll panic and have nightmares for weeks.  Law might not tax you with any "harm" done to Paul, but I'd really like to inflict real harm on you for messing with him, especially if you knew how he'd feel about it.

Again, the crime here is the threat, not the physical harm. I'd be guilty either way, because I threatened to harm them. The current system of law defines this as "assault", and the libertarian/anarchist system of law would define this under the broad category "aggression", and probably keep the specific "assault".

If someone breaks into your home but doesn't disturb anything -- for a prank, say -- is that a crime?

Trespass... entry of someone's property without their permission or against their express wishes. Since that's a property violation, it is a crime under even anarchist standards.

I'm talking in RL with someone who would feel trespassed against by someone using her idea without permission.  Myself, I am rather bemused by that feeling.  I'd be mildly annoyed, very mildly.

Here's a question:  would you expect me to be a) happy; b) sad; c) angry or d) indifferent, if you sold my book without my permission?

If you think it even might be b) or c), and you do it anyway, I don't think that's "just" a "dick move".   (I think it's a dick move if you do it without bothering to wonder how the other person would respond.)

That depends on how I got the book. If I made a copy of the manuscript (which is what I assume you mean), I'd expect you to be pretty upset. If I purchased the book, it's not your book anymore, so I would expect you to be indifferent. Either way, though, you haven't lost anything. The most you could say I did was trespass, if I snuck (my spellcheck complains, but I'm sticking to it, dammit) into your office or computer to get that copy.

We have an expectation that others will refrain from deliberately doing things that can pretty well be predicted to cause unhappiness.  That's pretty vague and sloppy, to be sure; I for one would like to offend someone who is offended by human nudity, but I guess that's because I see that offense as sort of optional (not to mention inordinately pointless).

And here's the rub... I don't consider IP violations crimes, because information is not property. It cannot be. So my actions in that regard can reasonably be predicted to piss people who do consider information property off, just as your actions regarding human nudity can be reasonably predicted to piss prudes off.

I might have "views" about whether you "should" be upset if I break into your home without disturbing anything, but I would in fact be (extremely!) surprised if you were not upset.
No need to worry about being surprised here...
I'd be very surprised if you were not upset at being forced into even the gentlest of sex acts.
nor here...
I'd be surprised if you were not upset at my selling your book without checking in with you (even though, as I said, I myself wouldn't be very upset).
But here, prepare to be surprised. As I said above, Information is not Property. If I sold you a book, I'd be completely unsurprised if you sold it to someone else. If I gave you a copy of the manuscript and did not contractually oblige you to keep it to yourself, that's my damn fault. So long as you get the book without causing me harm, what you do with it after that is none of my business. (Note that hacking a computer password is functionally identical, IMO, to to B&E.)
Being human, I think we have a pretty good idea of what will and will not please our fellow humans.  To deliberately do something that we know will not please -- ?  Is that not a crime against what keeps us in society with one another, that mutual trust?  Dante placed counterfeiters in one of the very lowest circles of Hell precisely because they transgressed against the trust that made currency possible.

I don't know if the author of the book has "standing" to call for arbitration; I think, though, that other members of the community might call the unauthorized seller up for arbitration, and restitution to the community.

Thoughts?

Unless the author was trespassed against, or had something (physical) stolen, Nope, no standing to call for arbitration, nor do the other members of the community have any standing, provided there were no fraudulent claims.

Andreas on June 15, 2012, 11:59:17 pm
We also have to consider the sustainability of the law: Even today, with legislators deciding arbitrarily on what should be a crime or not, they do have to consider whether it can be sustained; whether it is possible to police a ban for instance.
Today we're at a threshold; the draconic measures planned by the IP-ghouls are such that it itself is proof of the non-sustainability of "IP". It's clear that they can't keep people from obtaining and sharing digital content. The "licensed copy sales" business model is falling over : instead companies are selling support for their products, or they're going for SaaS models, where the actual software is on their end of the pipe. SaaS models don't work for "inert content" like books or music and the like : if it is piped, it can be tapped.

Returning to the somewhat academic question of "selling copies of someone else's work without permission" (because selling copies of any work is highly iffy, be it original or copy) I think the future will have it like this: The only reason why people will "buy" a work, is to deliberately express support for its author. This means that illicit copies cannot be "sold" without engaging in dishonesty (claiming to be the author of the work), this, in turn, can be avoided through networks of trust. The public will not be amused at all if someone fakes authorship.

mellyrn on June 16, 2012, 03:36:15 pm
Quote
But here, prepare to be surprised. As I said above, Information is not Property. If I sold you a book, I'd be completely unsurprised if you sold it to someone else. If I gave you a copy of the manuscript and did not contractually oblige you to keep it to yourself, that's my damn fault. So long as you get the book without causing me harm, what you do with it after that is none of my business. (Note that hacking a computer password is functionally identical, IMO, to to B&E.)

Ah, there's what I overlooked:  how you got the copy.  If I gave you a copy to read and you ran off & sold it because I didn't say not to, that is quite different than B&E (virtual or otherwise; I agree with you about hacking) to get it.

I agree that information is not property; but then, I have funny ideas about property.

customdesigned on June 16, 2012, 04:42:56 pm
Quote
But here, prepare to be surprised. As I said above, Information is not Property. If I sold you a book, I'd be completely unsurprised if you sold it to someone else. If I gave you a copy of the manuscript and did not contractually oblige you to keep it to yourself, that's my damn fault. So long as you get the book without causing me harm, what you do with it after that is none of my business. (Note that hacking a computer password is functionally identical, IMO, to to B&E.)

Ah, there's what I overlooked:  how you got the copy.  If I gave you a copy to read and you ran off & sold it because I didn't say not to, that is quite different than B&E (virtual or otherwise; I agree with you about hacking) to get it.

I agree that information is not property; but then, I have funny ideas about property.

If there were no copyright laws, I could still sell you a book under a contract that says "you may use this copy for your own use for any purpose, but may not give copies or modified copies to any other person".  Copyright laws simply make that kind of contract the default in any sale of physical copies of information.   Today, you can include an open source or creative commons license with your book to reinstate freedoms removed by the default copyright law.   Conversely, copyright law also declares default "rights" for those buying copies of information, including the right to make backups, and to copy to other media for personal use.  Hence, proprietary products often include a license that attempts to take away some of the rights granted by default.

One of the legal innovations that came out of the open source movement was a "menu" of licenses.  It is frustrating to buy an information product, and find it comes with a 50 page contract in fine print written in language that makes your eyes  glaze over.  Your eyes close involuntarily at page 19, and you say "screw it" and click the "I Agree" button.  Too bad you missed that provision on page 49 concerning your first born.   (Or in real life, a Vista Home license, for instance, forbids you to run it in a "virtual" machine - never mind that every commercial processor sold today presents a virtual ISA and is therefore a "virtual" machine.)  Every proprietary software product comes with a different 50 page license.  Open source products select from a handful of licenses, that it is possible for non-lawyers to actually become familiar with.  So once you've studied those licenses, you can know at a glance whether you are willing to accept the terms of the license. 

It is possible for proprietary products to also use a "menu" of licenses.  Borland used to have their "no nonsense license", which was popular partly because they used the same one on every product.   By repealing copyright law, this would force all proprietary vendors to revise their product licenses to include copyright provisions.  It would also make buyers and sellers take licenses more seriously - licenses that you can't even read until you purchase and open the product are today generally not considered enforceable.  In order for consumers to be able to decide at a glance whether they accept the terms of a license before purchasing, proprietary vendors would be forced to adopt a handful of well-known proprietary licenses.

myrkul999 on June 16, 2012, 05:25:18 pm
Ah, there's what I overlooked:  how you got the copy.  If I gave you a copy to read and you ran off & sold it because I didn't say not to, that is quite different than B&E (virtual or otherwise; I agree with you about hacking) to get it.

I agree that information is not property; but then, I have funny ideas about property.

And you can be held accountable for how you get the information, and maybe what you did with it after that, but anyone who got it from you is free and clear. The only requirement for someone who has received stolen property is to make the party who was stolen from whole again, and since the person still has their information, there's nothing to "make whole".

Brugle on June 16, 2012, 05:26:16 pm
If there were no copyright laws, I could still sell you a book under a contract that says "you may use this copy for your own use for any purpose, but may not give copies or modified copies to any other person".  Copyright laws simply make that kind of contract the default in any sale of physical copies of information.
The first sentence is correct but the second is not.  Modern copyright laws bind third parties who have not agreed to any contract (explicit or implicit).

Let's say that Amy sells a book to Bob under such a contract, Bob makes a copy and gives it to Cindy, and Cindy makes and sells a lot of copies.  In a free society (as I understand it) Amy would be able to sue Bob but not Cindy.  Under copyright law, Amy would also be able to sue Cindy.

[Oops, myrkul999 posted while I was proofreading essentially the same thing.]
« Last Edit: June 16, 2012, 05:28:11 pm by Brugle »

customdesigned on June 16, 2012, 09:30:12 pm

Let's say that Amy sells a book to Bob under such a contract, Bob makes a copy and gives it to Cindy, and Cindy makes and sells a lot of copies.  In a free society (as I understand it) Amy would be able to sue Bob but not Cindy.  Under copyright law, Amy would also be able to sue Cindy.

[Oops, myrkul999 posted while I was proofreading essentially the same thing.]
Only if Bob sells to Cindy under the default arrangement.  If Bob sells to Cindy under, say, a (fraudulent, of course) Creative Commons license, then Cindy is innocent (assuming she bought in good faith, yada, yada) - it was Bob that committed the fraud.  This is why proprietary vendors hate CC/FOSS licenses - they *like* being able to sue Cindy as well as Bob.  And the only reason it is easy for a Judge to assume Cindy acted in good faith is because CC/FOOS licenses are now common.

  • Of course any (rich) jerk can sue you for no reason just to make your life difficult.


 

anything