Archive for April 2010

On Intellectual Property Part 2: How Can It Be Fixed?

2010/04/10

In the decade before the American Civil War, the South worked furiously to strengthen the position of slavery in the law. They forced several compromises that required a new slave state be added to the country with every new free state. They passed, and several times strengthened, the Fugitive Slave Act, that made it illegal for anyone to assist slaves in escaping. They considered slaves to be ‘their property,’ and they inserted this into the law of the land. They clung to this, even though mechanization and other advances were making their labor-intensive style of agricultural uneconomical anyways. Their position was plainly wrong, and slavery was abolished after our civil war.

In the last decade, the music and similar industries have worked furiously to strengthen the position of intellectual property in the law. They have forced many changes to the copyright law (especially the Copyright Acts of 1976, and 1998) to prevent anyone from stealing ‘their property’. While the Music Industry isn’t treating the music artists and consumers, quite nearly as badly as slaves, bold action is needed to restore justice in the land.

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Today’s Scandal – 4/08/2010: Police Prevent Citizens from Video-recording Police Misconduct

2010/04/09

This article in The Christian Science Monitor raises a great question: ‘Reality shows routinely tail US police officers, filming them tangling with miscreants. Cops regularly film themselves from cameras mounted on cruiser dashboards – and now special hats. But if the state uses cameras for its own purposes and defense, why are so many citizens getting in trouble for pointing their cameras at the police?’  It then presents some examples of police treating photographers badly, confiscating pictures, equipment, etc.

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