Posted tagged ‘consumer’

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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On Intellectual Property – Part 1: What Needs to be Fixed?

2010/01/21

Lately a lot of attention has been placed on the issues of infringement, of music and software pirates, or competing companies infringing on patents, and the actual people who do the creating don’t get paid much. The artists want to make a fair living (or better) off of their labor, and have the satisfaction of knowing their work is valued by their fans. Consumers contend that they want control over how they consume the work, want to not overpay (or pay at all if they are pirates), and furthermore some may have further concerns around online payment and Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies. Both sides raise some fair and good points.  Both sides also have some major weaknesses in their positions. (more…)

On The Price of Oil and Gasoline: Why Is It So Much and How Can It Be Reduced?

2009/12/01

President George W. Bush was a terrible president – arguably the worst ever.  That said, he did one thing that I really liked: he greatly increased the American production of natural gas – which is why its price has fallen by one third to one half of late.  Why then have the price of oil and gasoline stayed so ridiculously high when the cost of natural gas has fallen?
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On The Contract Law: Why is Your Bank so Evil and What Can You Do About It?

2009/11/03

800px-United_States_one_dollar_bill,_reverse Most of us will agree that businesses exist to make a profit. Most of us will also agree that businesses exist because they provide something that a consumer wants to pay for. This model works great for a consumer going to a store to buy an item he can pay cash for 1 time – such as a drill. There are many stores that sell drills, many brands of drills, and many consumers. No particular group can take advantage of any other, and market forces work very well to provide value to the consumer and profit to the businesses.

What happens when a service is purchased for some period of time, such as a bank account, or a cellular phone subscription? Here, the market is more limited in 2 ways.

  1. the number of sellers are very limited in number and in difference in product offering.
  2. the businesses have vast and mighty contracts that give them a level of advantage over the little people not seen since the days of Landlords and Serfs in Europe. (more…)