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Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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The Super Bowl and Intellectual Property vs God

The NFL has a rule to limit TV screens to 55 inches at public viewings. The league makes an exception for venues like bars and restaurants that regularly broadcast sporting events. But churches that dare to let their parishioners watch the mayhem on the big screen are coming under fire. Presumably, the league is not protecting intellectual property, but want parishioners to go to bars instead of churches on Sunday.

Alter, Alexandra. 2008. "God vs. Gridiron: As Church Super Bowl Parties Are Busted by NFL." Wall Street Journal (2 February): p. W 1. link here


Comments

When discussing the issue of business practices deployed to "protect" so-called "intellectual property" we seem to be neglecting a couple of issues.

First, by what right does the NFL have the ability to issue a "regulation" that effectively restricts my right to use my TV in a manner that I choose. Of course the NFL will assert that they have this regulatory power courtesy of the current edition of the copyright law. This argument is spacious. The current law is an abomination. Laws usually have limits. For example, a policeman can't simply break into your house because he/she "feels" like it. While the NFL may not be proposing to break into your house,they feel that the possess the ersatz governmental authority to implement a regulation that deprives you of full use and enjoyment of your TV. If I don't have full use and enjoyment of my TV because of an NFL ersatz regulation then will the NFL pay me for my TV "lost" value? (I am playing here with the concept of eminent domain and takings as used in real property.)

Second, the NFL is proposing an action that violates my right to due process. Basically corporations today seem to believe that the consumer has no rights and that they can take whatever action they believe is appropriate to "protect" their so-called intellectual property.

The epiphany. It seems to me that we may be seeing an emergence of corporations assuming ersatz governmental police powers.


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