Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Was Napster Right?

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.

Copyright Notice: We don't think much of copyright, so you can do what you want with the content on this blog. Of course we are hungry for publicity, so we would be pleased if you avoided plagiarism and gave us credit for what we have written. We encourage you not to impose copyright restrictions on your "derivative" works, but we won't try to stop you. For the legally or statist minded, you can consider yourself subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License.


The Problem With Liberals

The blinders we put on when we look to government to solve all problems is frightening. As witness Kevin Drum. He's the kind of a middle-of-the-road liberal with whom I often agree. He is also literate about computers and the internet. But he's basically willing to let the government kill the goose that laid the golden egg on spec that there really is a problem with piracy and the government might really be able to do something about it. A decade of evidence is dismissed as "digital IP enforcement ... going through ... growing pains."

Let me reiterate the central point about DRM. The fight is over controlling the content on our computers. Even with complete physical control and administrative authority we are unable to prevent unwanted material (spam, viruses) from appearing on our computers. What are the chances that a third party (the RIAA, the MPAA) can successfully keep material that we want but they don't (pirated music and movies) off of our computers?

Or let me put it this way. I don't run virus checkers on any of my computers because they never find real viruses, but they make the computer unusable. They pop up constant annoying false alarms, they are always demanding to be upgraded, and if you are foolish enough to agree, they download a bunch of garbage then crash the computer. If you do have a virus they pretend to remove it then leave your system unbootable. So: what effect do you think "pirated content checkers" will have on the internet? Find real pirated content? Or render the internet unusable?


I read your post and I can empathize with your laments. Based on your experience with viruses, it sounds like you're running Windows. I abandoned Windows almost 5 years ago (Egads! That long?) and I never looked back.

One day in the summer of 2007, I backed up my stuff and wiped the drive to run Ubuntu. Since then, I have learned more about how computers really work than I ever have with Windows. Every day I learn something new and treasure every little tool or utility that I learn to use.

You seem like a good candidate for Ubuntu Linux. You might want to give it a spin. Even Linux Mint is a good alternative to Windows, and it's excellent for the newbie. Just think of it. NO antivirus. No registry to clean. You won't have to re-install it nearly as often as Windows (but a re-install is good for a full upgrade).

Just a suggestion...

Copyleft instead of copyright.

I've used Linux for over a decade, first Red Hat, then Fedora, and now Ubuntu. Unfortunately not all my family members do.
I have been running Norton Antivirus for several years and have never experienced a problem. It does not download junk and has never messed with operation of my machine. It is the first virus program that has performed exactly what it says to do without being a problem.

The only reason that some operating systems have few viruses is because of the number of users. If Ubuntu was used by tens of millions of people, there would be hackers creating viruses for Ubuntu. I recall not so long ago when Mac users bragged that they did not have to worry about viruses, until the first Mac virus showed up. All operating systems can be hacked and viruses created for them. The only difference between those that do and those that don't is the desire of someone to create the virus for it and whether that virus will reach a compatible computer.

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