defending the right to innovate
Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.
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I doubt this has much to do with puritanical values, but rather with preserving a lucrative monopoly - one held for the most part by state lotteries.
[Comment at 12/21/2007 07:43 PM by David K. Levine]
Preserving lucrative monopolies is no doubt at the heart of these laws, but they are lobbyied for by a diverse coaltion which includes religious conservatives--evangelical Christians and others, such as Ralph Reed of the Christian Coalition. Pastor Tom Grey and the evangelical Anita Bedell lobbyied for anti-gambling legislation in Illinois. The latter figure represented a group of churhes.
I would note that values other than Puritanical ones are at work in this field. The Nation magazine and Mother Jones have both written disparagingly of the gambling industry, although I don't know what they think of online gambling. The Nation once characterized the "New American Economy" as "casinos plus part-time jobs," as if working part-time is the secular equivalent of a sin. Of course, they are against capitalism, and casinos are owned by capitalists.
So the religous right focuses on free choice, whereas the secular left focuses on social class.
I suspect that both groups want to restrict online gambling in order to keep it physically restricted to licensed casinos on Indian reservations and other places. After all, the son of a pastor or magazine publisher might be able to login to his favorite gambling site when he should be reading his Bible or doing his homework. It's more difficult for the kid to go to Las Vegas or Atlantic City, expecially if he's under age.
But the effect is to prop up state-granted monopolies and their rent-seeking (hi Donald!) beneficiaries.
[Comment at 12/22/2007 10:31 AM by Bill Stepp]
What struck me about this case was the bite in the penalty. This is going to drive the MPAA and RIAA and a bunch of others bananas. All Antigua need do is invite Pirate Bay in for awhile.
And who is going to determine when the $21 million penalty limit has been reached (and how)? Schadenfreude will reign briefly amongst us in the anti IP monopoly crowd. Too good to last.
[Comment at 12/22/2007 05:50 PM by John Bennett]
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