Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The United States is wasting its political capital on defending Imaginary Property rights

"Intellectual Property" is a buzzword these days.  It tends to be accepted without question by Americans.  That's why I like to call it Imaginary Property, just to help keep it in perspective.

I mean, all property is imaginary, don't get me wrong.  There are no laws of physics describing property.  It is entirely a human construct, and on the whole I am in favor of it.

For example, it is obviously immoral for someone to break into your house.  This is an example of where our human construct is good and useful.

In the realm of abstract things, I think most people feel it would be wrong for a used car salesman, a bank, or a grocery chain to use a song you wrote in its advertisements without consent or compensation.

However, the mere possession of a copy of your song should not be grounds for anything.

For that matter, these days, a patent for rounded rectangles does not deserve to be enforced, morally, either.

It's a pity today that the New Zealand judge in the Kim Dotcom Megaupload case has recused himself from the case after making comments to the effect that the United States is the enemy, when it comes to copyright, and intellectual property in general.  It's a pity because for once it's been pleasurable to see some justice done in this arena (albeit belatedly and incompletely).

This is a case where my country has gone after a foreign national in a foreign country for breaking laws that don't exist there.  We are using our extensive political capital for world peace, curing poverty, eliminating hunger, enforcing unjust imaginary property laws.   Because that is what will make us secure.

I suppose I should be grateful we're not invading anybody else at the moment.

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