[free-sklyarov] Stealing is Stealing

Mark K. Bilbo mark at blorch.org
Sat Aug 18 07:34:45 PDT 2001

Indeed, stealing IS stealing. And "content providers" must be stopped.

The intent of our Founders in creating copyright and patent is clear when one 
reads what they actually wrote on the matter. None other than Thomas 
Jefferson himself (heard of him?) rejected the concept of "property" in 
regards to copyright and patents. Indeed, these things were properly viewed 
as monopolies. Dangerous ones at that. Jefferson had misgivings about the 
provision for monopolies for years after the ratification of our Constitution 
and proposed to Madison an amendment be included in what we now know as the 
Bill of Rights that would strictly limit copyright and patents to a specific, 
non-renewable term.

The Founders had seen how these monopolies had been used in censorship and 
oppression. They felt that empowering Congress to grant monopolies for a 
limited time would be useful to society by encouraging "the useful arts and 
sciences" but they certainly did not intend to create a "property right." The 
provision granting the power to temporarily create intellectual monopoly is 
in the same section of the Constitution that grants the power to create the 
Post Office.

That is, it is merely a socially useful function. Not a "right." Nor are we, 
the public, obligated to expend our tax money and police powers to "protect" 
this nonexistent, newly fabricated "right."

Intellectual monopoly is a limited grant by we, the people, to creative 
individuals for mutual benefit. And to the extent that the social contract is 
being breached by greedy corporations, we--the people--are under no 
obligation to subvert our legal system into a collection agency.

Nor are we, the people, obligated to continue to grant intellectual monopoly 
if the "content providers" are hell bent on stealing our rights and 
oppressing us. If the "content providers" have decided to fabricate "rights" 
which do not exist and subvert our Constitution, we can--should we 
choose--withdraw the protections of copyright and patent. 

The corporate aristocracy needs to get it through their heads that we GRANT 
these monopolies. We can WITHDRAW them if corporations abuse the process out 
of short sighted greed.

And speaking of greed, you comment "...I can guarantee that book publishers 
are not hell-bent on getting multiple fees from buyers of e-books who may 
choose to legitimately use them on more than one device."

That's actually rather funny. Do you think us fools that we cannot see what 
is going on? Book publishers are "hell-bent" on the pay-per-view model. They 
would be quite happy if every time we, the public, read a single page, we'd 
have to cough up another dollar.

It is interesting that the above lead in takes you to the comment that 
"...the costs of intellectual property theft are simply factored into the 
price legitimate customers pay. I'd be happier to pay for the use I need, and 
not for the dishonesty of others."

Yes, the cost certainly is being "factored in." The cost of enforcing a 
fictional "right" which is a creation of corporate greed. The cost is a man 
threatened with being taken from his children because he reverse engineered a 
software program.

I, myself, will not pay that price. Subverting the intent of the Founders and 
damaging our reputation as a nation of freedom is much too high a price to 
pay. And far, far too high a price for a product NOBODY WANTS.

I'm sure you've seen the survey in which some 75% of the public has rejected 
electronic books in all forms. We just don't want your product. So apparently 
corporations are fighting to protect a market that doesn't even exist.

But the corporate aristocracy has become fearful as rampant greed is prone to 
instill in one. Here, even you provide an example with "And I think we all 
know that the majority of people downloading and using the program Mr. 
Sklyarov designed are expecting to get something for nothing."

How arrogant and hostile to view the public as "theives." The very same 
public that grants these intellectual monopolies is being cast as grubby 
peasants that will steal any chance they get. How dare you? And given that 
you think such things of us, why should we continue to grant you and your 
friends these monopolies? In fact, why shouldn't we simply public domain 
everything and start over?

We can you know. Copyright and patent are NOT RIGHTS. They are mere services 
like the Post Office. And when such services become injurous to our actual 
rights, we can alter or abolish them (to paraphase Mr. Jefferson).

"Our entire industry is built on the idea that intellectual property has 
value. "

If this is so, sir, I say we let your "industry" die. If this so called 
"industry" requires subversion of the Founders' intent, then it should not be 
allowed to exist.

If the cost of your profits is our oppression, then you are the true theives 
who must be stopped.

"We're never going to build walls high enough or obstacles secure enough to 
protect everything from cowards who choose to take what isn't rightfully 

Then if you are honorable people, you'll stop trying to scale those walls 
with this fabricated grappling hook called "intellectual property."

The true cowards trying to take what isn't rightfully theirs are the 
corporations hiding behind legalistic obfuscation as they make greedy power 

Stop the theives. Restore the Founders' intent. Let Dmitry go home.

Mark K. Bilbo

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