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Against Monopoly

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Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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First (free speech) amendment trumps copyright

Mike Masnick takes up the question of the conflict between copyright and freedom of expression link here. I have to admit it came as a revelation to me. Is there any way to argue that copyright doesn't limit one's freedom of expression? If you think it does as I now do, then your argument conflicts with the First Amendment of the Constitution which says "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech...."

This provision clearly conflicts with Article 1 Section 8 which gives Congress the power "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;...."

I am no lawyer, but since the first amendment was passed on March 4, 1789 after the Constitution was ratified on September 25, 1789, it would logically override that part giving Congress such power (for dates link here). Of course, there is never any certainty about how the Supreme Court may decide an issue.

Mike recommends a book which I haven't read yet, but his statement is pretty strong. He says David Lange and Jefferson Powell, the authors of No Law, "spend the first half making the compelling and detailed (if densely written) case that copyright law absolutely violates the First Amendment." They apparently backslide in the second half.

I do take personal exception to Mike's comments on the State Department officials toadying to the IP interests. As a middle aged and fairly senior diplomat, I had to try to enforce our IP agreements with the Korean government. I had no option to express an opinion, but instead was told to enforce what I was told was the law.


Comments

John, as you'll see in the comments to that article, I argue that there is no conflict whatsoever between the 1st amendment and the clause empowering the securing of an author's exclusive right to their writings.

The problem is between the unconstitutional legislation of copyright (re-enacting the Statute of Anne in 1790) and the individual's natural freedom of speech and cultural liberty - from which the natural right to copy was derogated (to grant the privilege of copyright).

Natural rights do not conflict with natural rights. You can have no freedom to speak that which you do not know, nor liberty to make copies of that which you do not have. If an author can naturally exclude you from their writings then they can naturally exclude you from copying them. Such are the natural rights that a government is empowered to secure.

Copyright is nothing to do with such a natural right, it is not even the securing of such. Copyright is the holder's privilege to prohibit people who have been GIVEN writings, from making copies of what is in their own, legitimate possession - a diminution of their private property comparable to a burglar's vandalism and so a form of theft.

Copyright is theft.

Cultural liberty is copyright infringement.

The doublethink to the contrary (copyright encourages speech, infringement is theft) is so Orwellian purchasers didn't even blink when copies of his books in 'electronic' form were 'unpublished' from their private possession due to a copyright licensing issue.

Copyright indoctrination is now so ingrained it constitutes hypnotism or brain damage. And as with subjects of hypnosis, inherent conflicts in what one 'knows' to be incontrovertible are impossible to resolve - until the hypnosis is undone, until the indoctrination is deprogrammed.

But for people to confront the possibility that copyright is as much an ethical offence against human rights as slavery* is so terrifying, that "No, copyright must be good. Copyright is good!" snaps people back to the comfort of their programming.

* Instead of suspending all the liberties of a few, copyright suspends a few liberties from all.

The problems with copyright (so-called intellectual property in general) go beyond the First Amendment. There are serious issues concerning due process. Those who seek to "protect" their content do not seem to have much regard for the rights of others. They seem to believe that they can figuratively break into your house and search it for whatever whimsical reason that they can come-up with. If anything is "found" that they can unilaterally declare you guilty and impose whatever penalty they deem appropriate.
There is no guarantee for "freedom of expression." There is freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Copyright law specifically exempts "criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research." However, the first amendment does not mean that you can wholesale take the works of others. That is not "freedom of speech," that is just plain old copying. There is a four factor test, often misapplied, that determines whether a use falls within the freedom of speech exemption.

There are millions of copyrighted works used daily under the freedom of speech limitations on copyright law. Rarely is that fact reported, because when someone gets overzealous in trying to control their copyrights those cases get tons of press.

Well, Anonymous, despite your 'classic' copyright education, at least you're good enough to admit that copyright restricts all those cultural engagements - you don't pussy foot about pretending otherwise via the moronic idea/expression 'dichotomy'.
Crosbie:

Any system, or even a lack of system, will be abused by opportunists.

Regardless of whether you believe there is a societal benefit to copyright, there cannot possibly be a benefit to copyrights that last for decades. Further, there cannot be benefit to extremity even in the enforcement of copyright.

The concept of justice in the legal system generally matches the situation. If you harm someone, financial punishment is generally commensurate with a identified harm. In other words, if the harm can be established as $10,000, the compensation is $10,000. But, the courts require evidence; receipts, pictures, testimony of experts, etc. In copyright cases, how is harm established? The harm is often imaginary. Because one person copied this "fill in the blank," we "lost" a sale. We calculated harm based on the number of illegal downloads, or other "estimations" that are fantasy.

I believe there is a benefit to copyright, but that benefit is limited as copyright should be limited. I have long thought that the one real benefit copyright brings is to limit commercialization to the creator for a limited period of time; i.e., if someone copies a CD and gives it away, that should not be illegal. Courts should not support any sort of imaginary compensation that penalizes a person for doing so.

On the other hand, if someone copies a new CD and begins selling the CD on ebay or Amazon, they should be prevented from doing so for as long as copyright as in force, perhaps 3 to 5 years. The limited period of time provides the incentive to create and share and yet the work is quickly and unequivocally a part of the public domain within a reasonably short period of time. No confusion as to when the work is freely available to be built upon or commercialized in other ways.

The current system of copyright that lasts decades is only beneficial to copyright holders and provides no societal benefit. Even taking the length of copyright back to the original 14 year term would be a vast improvement.

Anonymous, you're still indoctrinated.

You can't run a monopoly in parallel with its absence (a hippy, non-commercial free-for-all). In other words, people can only sell copies at extortionate prices because there is a monopoly. If you end the monopoly there's no fricking point forbidding anyone from selling copies.

Just abolish copyright.

Think about the market in its absence. For a long time.

Think about it some more.

And a bit more.

Double-check those thoughts.

Think again.

Then, may be then, you can come back here and say "After copyright's abolished, we would need to grant reproduction monopolies in order that artists can sell copies that cost nothing to make. Failing that, we'd need to tax everyone in order to compensate artists for producing copies that cost nothing to make, that no-one wanted to buy".

Crosbie:

I think live performances will be very popular and recorded music will either become rare or common and of poor quality.

I already see indications that quality recorded music is becoming more difficult to find as the few artists who record music now are those with popular television shows that appeal to a narrow demographic. One sign of this is that radio stations that once played "pop" music are switching to classic rock. Why? Because currently available music has become homogenized and commercialized, appealing only to a specific audience. People who grew up in the 1960s through the 1980s remember when music was creative and accessible.

There are those who say that more music than ever is available on the internet. That may be true. Likely is true. But the audience for these new artists is so segmented that there is never financial incentive for these people to do more than put music on Youtube, or as MP3s on their web site. Their fans typically number in the dozens or hundreds. Vast portions of the population that once purchased music is unable to find this new music because they do not routinely intersect with it, nor are they likely to. That was the real purpose of radio. It was convenient and offered exposure to newly recorded music.

The internet has affected music profoundly, but in ways that few people comprehend, even those who claim to understand. Since we are still barely into the transition period from previous business models into ones that have yet to be developed, it may be another 10 or 20 years before we know whether music will no longer be a money-making profession or whether it will.

For now, I lament the apparent lack of original new music in comparison to what was available in the 30 years before creation of the internet. While I do not blame the internet for the loss of creativity and breadth, neither has it seemed to foster it.

Note that not once in my comments is a single word about copyright. My comments are directed to a dearth of creative new music. Period. Now, if someone can figure out why, in spite of the fact that we have copyright, that artists seem to be unable to generate music that appeals to a large enough cross section of the population to support creation of an album like "Dark Side of the Moon," "In the Court of the Crimson King," "Days of Future Passed," "Hotel California," or any of the hundreds of other incredible albums released in the first 30 years of rock, albums that outsell most of the few newer albums being recorded, I would love to hear the explanation.

Did the last copyright extension spell the doom of great music for reasons I do not understand is there some other explanation? Are modern rock artists just too lazy to create beautiful new music?

An anonymous user writes:

I think live performances will be very popular and recorded music will either become rare or common and of poor quality.

Why? Quality recorded music is the perfect advertisement to drive demand for the live performances.

I already see indications that quality recorded music is becoming more difficult to find as the few artists who record music now are those with popular television shows that appeal to a narrow demographic. One sign of this is that radio stations that once played "pop" music are switching to classic rock. Why? Because currently available music has become homogenized and commercialized, appealing only to a specific audience.

Actually, you can thank money-minded record labels for that, using their enormous clout as gatekeepers (waning, but still huge) to let through whatever will maximize their revenue, which means pandering to the lowest common denominator.

And those record labels got all their clout from one single thing: copyright law.

There are those who say that more music than ever is available on the internet. That may be true. Likely is true. But the audience for these new artists is so segmented that there is never financial incentive for these people to do more than put music on Youtube, or as MP3s on their web site.

So? The CD format is going obsolete. Big deal.

Vast portions of the population that once purchased music is unable to find this new music because they do not routinely intersect with it, nor are they likely to.

No matter. All the old fuddy-duddies that don't know how to use Google will die off eventually. And before that, their tech-savvy kids and grandkids can always find stuff they might like and burn mix discs for them.

That was the real purpose of radio.

And why wouldn't it continue to be? The current trend towards talk radio is due to two things: ludicrous politics and ludicrous and expensive copyright hurdles one must jump to publicly perform music.

Since we are still barely into the transition period from previous business models into ones that have yet to be developed, it may be another 10 or 20 years before we know whether music will no longer be a money-making profession or whether it will.

And yet you've already made up your own mind that the internet is evil?

Anonymous, mass produced monopoly protected art tends to be poor because it is selected to be the most appealing (lowest common denominator). If you need to maximise the sale of copies, you don't focus on quality, but on mass appeal (to the many rather than the few).

When you sell art instead of copies, you sell direct to your fans. You also rely upon free copying for promotion. As your fans grow so does your revenue.

You should actually find that the art to your taste does exist, it just takes quite a bit of work to find. The facilities for discovering and commissioning the artists you like (to produce more work) are also a bit primitive these days, but they will get better.

Ultimately, artists selling art will out-perform copy manufacturers selling copies. Just look at the free software movement's ability to compete with and worry Microsoft. The record labels are doomed. Artists and their audiences aren't.

An anonymous user who calls himself "Nobody Nowhere" writes:

"An anonymous user writes:"

Pot calling kettle black, etc.

Nobody Nowhere:

Regarding your statement:

"No matter. All the old fuddy-duddies that don't know how to use Google will die off eventually. And before that, their tech-savvy kids and grandkids can always find stuff they might like and burn mix discs for them."

At first I thought your statement might well be true. I saw some signs that children were downloading songs in what seemed to be great quantities, but it seems like that trend has peaked or is waning. There are many things that compete with time, and music seems to be losing the competition.

I also noticed that for those children who download songs, they seem to gather a small collection and then listen to the same music over and over and over. I asked one young lady why she kept listening to the same music again and again. Her answer was that she like the three hours of music she had in her iPod and did not have time to go find more music.

"And why wouldn't it continue to be? The current trend towards talk radio is due to two things: ludicrous politics and ludicrous and expensive copyright hurdles one must jump to publicly perform music."

There is only one FM talk radio station in my area. However, we now have (woo hoo) FOUR classic rock stations. One station plays current pop crap...er, music. One plays hard rock.

Question: If there are expensive copyright hurdles that one must jump to publicly perform music, then why are rock stations, especially classic rock stations, proliferating? The number of stations playing rock declined throughout the late 90s into the early part of the millenium, but that trend has reversed and there are now more rock radio stations than there were in 1994. Amazing trend.

"And yet you've already made up your own mind that the internet is evil?"

I am curious as to how you derived that statement from my comments. I think the internet is great. I spend far too many hours on the internet, but it may be the single greatest invention of the last 20 or 30 years.

Crosbie:

Sadly, with few exceptions (for example, the Beatles), your statement:

"Ultimately, artists selling art will out-perform"

Has rarely been true. People tend to like and buy (or copy) a lot of ultimate music.

The bigger question is whether the great music is still out there and whether it will find the support it did from fans in the 60s and 70s. Though a few great groups made it really big, many more great groups did quite well with minimal record company support. They did have one thing that has only made a minimal impact on the internet, FM radio. In the early days of FM the radio stations played a lot of really awesome music that was rarely played anywhere else. Dozens of groups became famous because of that exposure.

Music groups need to figure out a better way of capitalizing on the internet to reach fans.

An anonymous user writes:

An anonymous user who calls himself "Nobody Nowhere" writes:

"An anonymous user writes:"

Pot calling kettle black, etc.

It would be, if I'd intended anything derogatory by "an anonymous user writes". I did not. It was merely a factual observation to identify (inasmuch as was possible) the source of the quote.

An anonymous user (possibly a different one) writes:

Nobody Nowhere:

Regarding your statement:

"No matter. All the old fuddy-duddies that don't know how to use Google will die off eventually. And before that, their tech-savvy kids and grandkids can always find stuff they might like and burn mix discs for them."

[insinuates that I might have been lying]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

There are many things that compete with time, and music seems to be losing the competition.

Doubtful that it will. Music is often used as a background accompaniment to other tasks -- i.e. it's a form of entertainment that's compatible with multitasking. It's also combined into other art forms, chiefly motion pictures.

I also noticed that for those children who download songs, they seem to gather a small collection and then listen to the same music over and over and over.

So, they have favorites.

The ones I know amass potentially enormous collections if they find stuff they like. Thousands of songs. Hundreds of hours of them. When it's very cheap to amass a big collection, because of cheap (or free!) downloads and cheap flash storage in the multi-gigabyte range, why not?

"And why wouldn't it continue to be? The current trend towards talk radio is due to two things: ludicrous politics and ludicrous and expensive copyright hurdles one must jump to publicly perform music."

There is only one FM talk radio station in my area. However, we now have (woo hoo) FOUR classic rock stations. One station plays current pop crap...er, music. One plays hard rock.

Well, there you go right there. If current pop wasn't crap maybe you'd have more stations playing current pop.

So we're right back to "why is the music being made now not up to the standards of, say, 1985"?

And I'll tell you why. The major label push towards making music as mass-produced-like as possible in the name of efficiency and profit. Which makes it all bland.

The forces that are destroying the labels act against that, far from being its cause.

Question: If there are expensive copyright hurdles that one must jump to publicly perform music, then why are rock stations, especially classic rock stations, proliferating? The number of stations playing rock declined throughout the late 90s into the early part of the millenium, but that trend has reversed and there are now more rock radio stations than there were in 1994. Amazing trend.

People getting sick of bland modern pop and talk radio? All it will take now is for some group to get itself going that can belt out lyrics and knows how to use an electric guitar properly and you'll have a new era of rock starting, if the demand for it is proven. The only thing maybe standing in the way being the RIAA.

"And yet you've already made up your own mind that the internet is evil?"

I am curious as to how you derived that statement from my comments.

Because you made several remarks implying a belief that the internet is destroying music; you said it will cause new music to become either rare or of poor quality and that it fragments the market for new groups to the point that they can't take off. I challenged those statements, of course, but I also challenged the implied criticism of the Internet itself as being some kind of demoniacal force that inherently desolates the music landscape.

I think the internet is great. I spend far too many hours on the internet, but it may be the single greatest invention of the last 20 or 30 years.

Yet you apparently think it's bad for music.

I suspect it will emerge as a key factor in a new musical renaissance, any year now.

Anonymous, [09/18/2010 06:14PM]

I mean that by artists selling art outperforming publishers selling/licensing copies/communications, the ARTIST will earn more and those who commission them will get far more for their money.

Why do you think traditional publishers are tending toward the ferocity of the Catholic Church and umpteen inquisitions in terms of preserving their hegemony over cultural exchange? (recently imprisoning someone for camcording a movie in a cinema)

They need to preserve their monopoly sourced profits.

Remember that a state granted monopoly is not productive, but an exploitation of the public's loss of liberty.

At the moment the equation goes like this: Public pays publisher $1,000,000 for copies of art which publisher has paid artist $10,000 for (well, at least promised them that much - eventually).

So, that's 99% profit, $990,000 obtained by suspending the public's liberty to make copies.

Tomorrow the artist's patrons pay the artist $100,000 directly, and have their liberty restored and the publisher gets nothing. (This is how the free software movement already operates.)

The thing is, the public's liberty is stolen from them and if restored would likely be worth $99,000,000 in terms of additional cultural productivity. So the public has been underpaid for their liberty and the artist underpaid for their art. The publishing corporation doesn't give a damn. It only exists to extract profit from 18th century privilege.

Why is mankind paying through the nose for psychopathic corporations to act as unproductive midwives in the process of cultural exchange? The artist gets 1% of revenue. The people lose their cultural liberty. And people say this is a social contract? Sounds like fraud to me. Almost makes the trillion dollar bailout/robbery look like a good bargain.

Nobody Nowhere is a psychopath.
An anonymous user wrote:

Nobody Nowhere is a [vicious insult deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

Nobody:

Your comment:

"Because you made several remarks implying a belief that the internet is destroying music; you said it will cause new music to become either rare or of poor quality and that it fragments the market for new groups to the point that they can't take off. I challenged those statements, of course, but I also challenged the implied criticism of the Internet itself as being some kind of demoniacal force that inherently desolates the music landscape."

I re-read my earlier remarks. No where did I imply or say the internet was destroying music. Nor did I intend to imply the internet was destroying music.

The internet, once it is available to everyone in high speed, should be a great enabler of business models. Perhaps because it is still new, few companies and people have figured out how to use this powerful tool well. The music business does a terrible job using the internet.

Crosbie:

"I mean that by artists selling art outperforming publishers selling/licensing copies/communications, the ARTIST will earn more and those who commission them will get far more for their money."

In theory, if you cut out the middle man the artist coule earn more. In general, that has yet to happen. What does seem to be happening is that sales of recorded music is dropping. Established bands are doing great on the live circuit. New bands are having a much harder time gaining recognition and thus earning a living playing music. The future direction of music is uncertain at this time.

"Why do you think traditional publishers are tending toward the ferocity of the Catholic Church and umpteen inquisitions in terms of preserving their hegemony over cultural exchange? (recently imprisoning someone for camcording a movie in a cinema)"

Copyright is not required for prevention of recording movies. When you go onto someone's property, they have a right to stipulate what you can and cannot do. Mall cops eject people all the time for reasons that have nothing to do with breaking any established laws. However, if you refuse to leave peacefully, they will call the police and have you arrested for disturbing the peace.

Remember that when you are in someone's house, they have a right to establish rules for your conduct and if you fail to follow those rules, they will eject you.

"Tomorrow the artist's patrons pay the artist $100,000 directly, and have their liberty restored and the publisher gets nothing. (This is how the free software movement already operates.)"

It may well work this way eventually. Right now, publishers are getting paid less and artists are not getting paid any more. Business models are in flux and it is unclear as to where they are going.

"The thing is, the public's liberty is stolen from them and if restored would likely be worth $99,000,000 in terms of additional cultural productivity."

Purely speculative. However, regardless of whether productivity would be enhance by some ill-supported dollar value, having a simpler copyright system with a substantially shorter term would have cheaper for society.

"Why is mankind paying through the nose for psychopathic corporations to act as unproductive midwives in the process of cultural exchange? The artist gets 1% of revenue. The people lose their cultural liberty. And people say this is a social contract? Sounds like fraud to me. Almost makes the trillion dollar bailout/robbery look like a good bargain."

Here I disagree with you. You claim that middle men have no value. I disagree. While SOME middle men may have no value, certainly others do.

As an example, agents are middle men who claim a percentage of a singer or writer or performer's earnings. Are these people psycopaths? Are they causing an artist to lose their cultural liberty? Is this fraud? None of the above. Many artists who began their career without agents realize that the agent performs services for them that take time that would be better applied toward their art.

In a broader sense, many companies use middle men for an array of things. Part of the reason that Wal-Mart succeeded as well as they did was that they cut out the middle man, replacing the middle man with themselves. Fortunately for middle men, there are reasons for most companies to have them, or they would no longer exist. It is inevitable that middle men add costs, but they would be there whether done within the company or outside the company.

I suspect there remains some value for corporations in the music business, but that value is changing. Regardless of what actions these corporations are taking, they will evolve because business models are changing in profound ways that are forcing their evolution. The future of these businesses is unclear, but I suspect they will continue to exist in some form and will re-sell themselves with different and new services. Either that, or they will die. That is the way business works.

Anonymous, [09/20/2010 06:15am]

The fact remains that until the guest has been ejected by their host from their private premises they do not commit a crime by recording what they have seen with their own eyes, nor by communicating it to anyone else.

Moreover, if you have invited the public onto your premises you cannot then pick and choose who to eject. Either you admit and eject individuals with discretion, or you open and close to the public en masse.

Simply because you own the premises does not bestow upon you the power to operate your guests as puppets, nor to define undesired actions as crimes.

An anonymous user wrote:

Nobody:

Your comment:

"Because you made several remarks implying a belief that the internet is destroying music; you said it will cause new music to become either rare or of poor quality and that it fragments the market for new groups to the point that they can't take off. I challenged those statements, of course, but I also challenged the implied criticism of the Internet itself as being some kind of demoniacal force that inherently desolates the music landscape."

I re-read my earlier remarks. [calls me a liar]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

The internet, once it is available to everyone in high speed, should be a great enabler of business models. Perhaps because it is still new, few companies and people have figured out how to use this powerful tool well. The music business does a terrible job using the internet.

This sounds more reasonable than your earlier post.

An anonymous user (possibly a different one) wrote:

Crosbie:

"I mean that by artists selling art outperforming publishers selling/licensing copies/communications, the ARTIST will earn more and those who commission them will get far more for their money."

In theory, if you cut out the middle man the artist coule earn more. In general, that has yet to happen.

Actually, it HAS happened. Read Techdirt. Every week there seem to be a few more stories of musicians making large sums with Internet-enabled business models while bypassing, or after dropping, their label.

Nobody:

My comment:

"I re-read my earlier remarks. No where did I imply or say the internet was destroying music. Nor did I intend to imply the internet was destroying music."

Your response:

"[calls me a liar]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true."

No, I did not call you a liar. However, you have now called me one, without any measure of support and without purpose. Please stay on point.

My comment:

"In theory, if you cut out the middle man the artist could earn more. In general, that has yet to happen."

Your response:

"Actually, it HAS happened. Read Techdirt. Every week there seem to be a few more stories of musicians making large sums with Internet-enabled business models while bypassing, or after dropping, their label."

You said the operative word: few. Yes, a few groups seem to be making money with interesting business models on the internet. Fewer yet (perhaps a half dozen, if Techdirt stories encompass all the examples of significant success) make sufficient money where the artists in question could make a very comfortable living.

Until contradictory information contraverts my comment, my statement appears to be correct. In general, few groups have done very well on the internet. If I was to add all the stories of groups together, there may be 50 groups that have had some measure of success with an internet-focused business strategy (maybe). That is so few in terms of the number of professional groups in existence as to be negligible.

Nobody:

Your response:

"[calls me a liar]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true."

[calls me a liar]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

"Actually, it HAS happened. Read Techdirt. Every week there seem to be a few more stories of musicians making large sums with Internet-enabled business models while bypassing, or after dropping, their label."

You said the operative word: few.

I said A FEW MORE EVERY WEEK.

I don't know why you feel the need to attack me, but you will stop it immediately. Or else.

Until contradictory information contraverts my comment, [calls me a liar].

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

That contradictory information already has done so. Your refusal to accept the factual evidence is not my problem and I shall not allow you to make it my problem by publicly smearing me!

Go away, and leave me alone.

Nobody:

You said:

"I don't know why you feel the need to attack me, but you will stop it immediately. Or else."

Amazing. I thought we were having a rational discussion. Your response shows you are no longer interested in rational conversation and would rather devolve to paranoia, accusations, diversions, misinformation and threats.

So be it. It was an interesting discussion while it was one.

Nobody:

"I don't know why you feel the need to attack me, but you will stop it immediately. Or else."

Amazing. [vicious insults deleted]

No. None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I am perfectly willing to have a rational discussion about copyright. I am less willing to entertain personal attacks and public discussion about me -- I am not a public figure.

If you are too emotionally attached to copyright to debate it without feeling an irresistible need to insinuate (or outright state) derogatory opinions about others involved in the debate, then you are better off remaining silent.

And no, simply calling your opponent a liar whenever he proves something you disagree with is not rational debate, not by a long shot.

Nobody:

"And no, simply calling your opponent a liar whenever he proves something you disagree with is not rational debate, not by a long shot."

You are claiming you have proven something when you have proven nothing, except that you are quick to attack someone when they reasonably point out factual information or provide a reasonably well defined opinion. You are also claiming that someone has called you a liar when they have not. You seem to make a lot of unsubstantiated claims.

I would appreciate you ceasing your personal attacks on me. Further, I would appreciate you cease faking personal attacks on you. The former is the sign of a psychopath. The latter is the sign of someone with paranoia. The combination is a sign of paranoid schizophrenia.

You have failed to hold my interest and you have failed to respond in a reasonable manner.

You are no longer worth any further responses. Of course, if you respond with reason, I would be pleased to re-engage with you.

An anonymous user wrote:

Nobody:

"And no, simply calling your opponent a liar whenever he proves something you disagree with is not rational debate, not by a long shot."

[calls me a liar repeatedly]

No! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

I would appreciate you ceasing your personal attacks on me.

You have some goddamn nerve!

You started this, by calling me a liar several times.

You then falsely accused me of doing the very things you were doing.

Stop it at once!

Further, I would appreciate you cease [false accusation deleted]. The former is the sign of [vicious insult deleted]. The latter is the sign of someone with [vicious insult deleted]. The combination is a sign of [vicious insult deleted].

No, no, a thousand times no! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

You have failed to hold my interest

I am not TRYING to hold your interest, so I can hardly be called a failure for not having done so. Indeed, at this point I would dearly love it if you would quit paying any attention to me whatsoever.

and you [false accusation deleted].

No, no, a thousand times no! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

You are [insult deleted]. Of course, [implied insult deleted].

No, no, a thousand times no! None of the nasty things that you have said or implied about me are at all true.

You are the one who has failed to respond with reason to my perfectly civil points regarding the changing music industry. You kept responding to them by insinuating, or just outright asserting, falsely, that I was a liar. When I cut out the insulting parts of your posts and responded fairly and civilly to whatever was left over after redacting the worthless ad hominem parts, you responded by cutting out the on-point parts and responding only with insults. Why have you done so? Why can't you simply discuss the music industry without making any statements or insinuations about the other people involved in the debate? Is there something actually wrong with you or do you just behave in such a trollish fashion for kicks?

That's not a rhetorical question, by the way. I'd actually like to know your reasons.

I have tried and tried and tried to be civil and to steer the debate back on point but you have resisted at every turn. I'm sorry, but it is you who has failed here.

Crosbie:

Your statement:

"The fact remains that until the guest has been ejected by their host from their private premises they do not commit a crime by recording what they have seen with their own eyes, nor by communicating it to anyone else."

Is that a statement of fact or personal opinion?

"Moreover, if you have invited the public onto your premises you cannot then pick and choose who to eject."

Crosbie, you know already that your comment is erroneous. Theme parks eject people all the time for a variety of reasons. No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service. There are any number of reasons to prevent someone from entering your premises.

"Either you admit and eject individuals with discretion, or you open and close to the public en masse."

Most places admit and eject individuals with discretion.

"Simply because you own the premises does not bestow upon you the power to operate your guests as puppets, nor to define undesired actions as crimes."

Well, duh. However, a stipulation of access to your property can include exclusion of recording devices. Most manufacturing companies have that stipulation. Why not a theater or a concert venue?

Anonymous, [09/21/2010 11:21 PM]

Theme parks admit members of the public with discretion, they do not throw their gates open to the public like a nature reserve or shopping precinct.

I've already effectively agreed that, unfair discrimination notwithstanding, you can eject guests if you notice they have a camera or are using one, or have a book or are reading one, but that doesn't turn breaking the conditions of your hospitality into crimes nor forfeit ownership of items you would proscribe nor warrant search of your guests for such.

Crosbie:

At the last concert I went to we were searched prior to entering the venue. I did not see anyone turned away, but handbags were searched.

I also note that management of the venue reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone, and also reserves the right to remove anyone not following their rules.

As for "crime," I address not crime but the right of someone on a physical property which has been established by the state as the property of that someone to decide the activities that are permissible on that property.

If someone acquired information they should have not acquired, as an example, a photograph of something that I specifically told them they were not permitted to photograph, I would confiscate the photograph or verify it was deleted prior to returning the camera to the photographer. Furthermore, if the conditions of entry to my property included possible confiscation of a camera and that was understood by the photographer prior to entry, then I have a contractual basis for confiscation.

Anonymous, [09/22/2010 06:18 AM]

You can make $1,000 or a pirouette a condition of admission if you want. However being able to require payment or the performance of acts in advance of and as a condition of entry is not the same as being able to define criminal acts, or presume the existence of agreement that certain (otherwise legal) acts after admission have consequences other than ejection.

Saying that people can't record how many trees you have does not give you the power to seize their record, nor any photographic record they make of your trees. All you can do is refuse to admit them, or eject them if you do.

Just because an individual is on your property they are not your slave, nor are their possessions liable to your confiscation - even if you erect a notice saying entry constitutes agreement to surrender ownership of all possessions on demand.

Why do you want such power over people?

Corrupt judges, copyright and related laws may grant you some of the power you appear to covet, but such power is not natural.

Crosbie:

"You can make $1,000 or a pirouette a condition of admission if you want. However being able to require payment or the performance of acts in advance of and as a condition of entry is not the same as being able to define criminal acts, or presume the existence of agreement that certain (otherwise legal) acts after admission have consequences other than ejection.

Saying that people can't record how many trees you have does not give you the power to seize their record, nor any photographic record they make of your trees. All you can do is refuse to admit them, or eject them if you do."

I am not sure what all this means. If you advise people in advance of entry to your property that certain devices are not permitted, and you grant permission via your agreement to a contract that grants permission to those premises that seizure of certain items is permitted, then the owner of the property in fact has a contractual right to seize those items.

Such has been held time after time after time after time after time.

"Just because an individual is on your property they are not your slave, nor are their possessions liable to your confiscation - even if you erect a notice saying entry constitutes agreement to surrender ownership of all possessions on demand."

Not true. Now, it is true that they cannot keep whatever they confiscate. That would be illegal (unless the confiscated item is illegal to own). However, they can confiscate items and return them to you at the gate, unless they eject you for being a bonehead. Of course, they will remove any recording media (film, etc.) or delete any images you have recorded, first, which is quite legal.

It appears that such ejections occur more often than I originally thought. People have had the following items CONFISCATED either at the entrance or during concerts and visits to various properties that are privately owned: knives, guns, explosives, video cameras, cameras, tape recorders, digital recorders, drugs (there have even been legal drugs confiscated - though later returned), nunchucks, throwing stars, mace, candy, cookies, hamburgers, water, beer, hard alcohol, cigarettes (geez, you do not pay attention to the "NO SMOKING" signs?), fireworks, and solvent, and this list is hardly comprehensive. It is amazing what idiots bring into a place with a lot of people even when big signs are posted.

"Why do you want such power over people?"

I would rather not have such power, even though it is legal and natural. However, if I take no action I get sued. If I list prohibited items and take no action to prevent their entry I get sued. So, the anwer is that I will post a list of prohibited items at the front gate (like they do at Six Flags) and warn you that if you bring them in they will be CONFISCATED, TAKEN, REMOVED, or whatever term you choose. If you act like a jerk about it, we will boot your butt out. Furthermore, the police may be notified of your possession of certain items, like explosives.

"Corrupt judges, copyright and related laws may grant you some of the power you appear to covet, but such power is not natural."

If I tell you that you may come onto my property, but you are not permitted to take any pictures of my property or anything on my property, I expect as a natural right of my ownership of that property that you would respect my wishes while on my property. If I tell you that I will confiscate a camera if I see one until you have departed my property, I expect you to abide by that. Why would you want to subvert the natural rights of a property owner when visiting the property? What next? Are you going to claim you have a right to pee on my bushes?

Corrupt visitors, law enforcement officials without warrants, and other people with challenged ethics may attempt to take away the power that an owner is naturally imbued, but such power is natural and when challenged in court, has been upheld.

Courts do sometimes get things right.

"What next? Are you going to claim you have a right to pee on my bushes?"

That's different. Peeing on your bushes alters your bushes. Taking their picture does not.

Anonymous, [09/22/2010 10:53 AM]

You are continuing to overestimate the power of contract as a microlegislature, an ability to infer agreement in place of actually obtaining it, and moreover the ability for contract to alienate more than the individual's property from them, e.g. their right to privacy (against search/seizure).

That terms & conditions of entry can enable an individual to grant the property owner such powers over them is more a con trick than a matter of ethical law.

Crosbie:

Your argument, while interesting from a purely academic point of view, does not change the fact that items are confiscated from visitors on private property. For reasons previously stated, I believe that such confiscation, when done for ethical or moral reasons, is completely natural and justified.

Zachary:

Does peeing on my bushes alter the bushes? If so, in what way? If I did not spot you peeing on my bushes how would I know you did?

You could test the nitrogen level of the soil around them.
Zachary:

You would not know whether that level was:

(a) Normal for that location. (b) Caused by another animal. (c) The result of your recent fertilization.

I don't get it. Are you trying to argue that I *should* be able to pee on your bushes?

But suppose a baseline measurement had previously been taken. Say, because you were paranoid about people peeing on your bushes. And when you found elevated levels you tested for bladder cells containing human DNA. And then had that DNA looked up in CODIS or some such database.

Zachary:

Of course you do not have a right to pee on my bushes, even though peeing on them does not affect them in any way that is noticeable or measurable, except with sophisticated equipment. A modest amount of pee is likely even beneficial to them. That is irrelevant. The point is that you do not have permission to pee on my bushes, so knock it off. In fact, stay out of my yard.

Well, I see that the anonymous poster here is hopelessly irrational, believing that a consequence-free action can somehow magically be wrong anyway.

Sadly, I surmise that there can be no hope of productive, reasoned debate with him. His response to every point is an attack, to every reasoned objection a simple restatement of his beliefs rather than a reasoned defense of same; he can't even keep on point (the original point was that photographing the bushes has no effect upon them whatsoever, unlike the however-minuscule effect of peeing on them -- indeed, seeing the bushes and remembering them is, information-theoretically, exactly the same act as photographing them, yet it would be absurd to forbid that unless by covering the "private" bushes up with an opaque curtain or something -- so we see that Anonymous's position is not merely unsupported by any reasoned argument here; it is outright incoherent and thereforecannot be so supported).

Zachary:

Nothing like spinning a tautology and calling it logic - which, though reasoned, is still a tautology.

You fail to gain my point. My property belongs to me. I have a natural right to limit the scope of activities on my property. Included in that scope would be any activity that does not have an "effect" on my property.

For example, you could bring a trash barrel on my property, support it out of contact from the ground, and then proceed to burn all your trash. Once completed, you could then remove the trash barrel. You have had NO effect on my property whatsoever (not even negligible), and yet I guarantee you that I would never permit you to do such a thing.

There are a whole list of things that are ethically within my control while you are an invited guest on my property, as is the natural right of a property owner.

Yes, once you have seen my bush you may recall my bush, but you will not have a permanent record of my bush if I do not wish you to have a permanent record of my bush. Further, your recollection is at best a vague representation to others of my bush, meaning that without a photograph you would be unable to share the experience of seeing my bush.

Why is it not logical that I am able to prevent you from making a permanent record of things on my property while you are on my property? Yes, there are limits to what a property owner can control while on his/her property, but documenting items on that property, unless mandated by the state, is not limited and neither should it be.

If you are so control-oriented and obsessive that you refuse to accede to a relatively minor request, or other limitations that have no effect on my property (e.g., do not use that bathroom, do not open that door, do not sit on that chair, remove your shoes on entering my house, etc.), then you will not be permitted on my property. And if you agree to my minor requests and then unethically fail to comply with your agreement, then you are obviously immoral and are not someone I wish to have as an acquaintance anyway.

I see that the anonymous poster has now dumped an enormous, poorly-organized rant into the site, one liberally laced with personal attacks aimed at me ("you fail to X", "you are control-oriented", "you are obsessive", etc.)

It seems that Anonymous is literally incapable of reasoned debate; emotions and a desire for conflict have overridden his sobriety.

What little there is of reason in his post falls flat very quickly; for instance the elevated trash barrel. Besides emitting polluting smoke into the air of his property such would exert some kind of (indirect) pressure on the ground or on structures there; the law of action and reaction. You can't hold something up without its weight pressing down on the ground somewhere. So he's wrong to claim it would have no effects whatsoever.

And then there's this: "once you have seen my bush you may recall my bush, but you will not have a permanent record of my bush if I do not wish you to have a permanent record of my bush."

What the hell is a memory in my brain, but "a permanent record" of what I've seen? I don't suppose Anonymous is now proposing he has the right to forcibly subject departing visitors to hypnosis or worse in an effort to erase their memories?

And of course his list of other things "that have no effect on" his property is completely laughable -- every one of them does have an effect, albeit often a minor one. One of them, "remove shoes when entering", is a commonplace rule that is used precisely to avoid undesired effects on one's property (such as dirtied floors and carpets).

Last but not least, though, I must ask: supposing that a particular action did, in fact, literally have absolutely no effect on his property -- a) what would give him the right, even in theory, to forbid it? and b) what would give him any motive to forbid it? By hypothesis he has no skin in the game.

I see that Zachary continues his confused understanding of property rights. However, I am pleased to try to set him straight.

"Besides emitting polluting smoke into the air of his property such would exert some kind of (indirect) pressure on the ground or on structures there; the law of action and reaction."

First, the effects of heat and wind would quickly carry any polluting smoke off the property, thus leaving no effect, either immediate or long term. Morever, the air is not part of the property itself. The supposed pressure on the ground does not cause any measurable effect on the ground. I specifically pointed out elevated to remove the possiblity of damage to any item on the ground due to heat. Under your logic, since there is no effect on the property, no change, no deprivation, then the property owner has no cause for complaint from the invited guest.

"You can't hold something up without its weight pressing down on the ground somewhere. So he's wrong to claim it would have no effects whatsoever."

And just what effect would that be? How would the homeowner measure the effect? I contend that if you invited me on your property, there are numerous things I could do on your property that would leave no measurable indication and yet you would not be pleased. I contend that you would have prohibited me from taking those actions had you known I was going to perform those actions.

"And then there's this: "once you have seen my bush you may recall my bush, but you will not have a permanent record of my bush if I do not wish you to have a permanent record of my bush."

What the hell is a memory in my brain, but "a permanent record" of what I've seen? I don't suppose Anonymous is now proposing he has the right to forcibly subject departing visitors to hypnosis or worse in an effort to erase their memories?"

lol...You are pretty good at hyperbole. So, you brain contains a "permanent record" of bush? You can reproduce with accuracy the various colors that you saw? You have an accurate of leaf details and shapes? You recall clearly the principal and secondary branch structure? I think not. You recall a bush. You might even recall a species and a general shape. However, you will not be able to recall the same nuances that a photograph or video recording has.

I must grant you your ability to recall what you have seen on my property as a consequence of being human and having a memory. I do not have to grant you an inventory of my property and photographs.

"And of course his list of other things "that have no effect on" his property is completely laughable -- every one of them does have an effect, albeit often a minor one. One of them, "remove shoes when entering", is a commonplace rule that is used precisely to avoid undesired effects on one's property (such as dirtied floors and carpets)."

Opening or closing a door does not affect a property. The door is still there. It has not been removed or changed. It has performed its function.

But, if you wish to talk "minor" effects, then less talk minor effects. I hope you do not have a flash on your camera. It is well known and understood that the light from flash cameras degrades paint. It is also understood that the use of electricity creates electromagnetic waves that can have an effect on plants and animals in a home. Thus, your camera is changing the property as much as walking on a floor in socked feet or opening or closing a door.

"Last but not least, though, I must ask: supposing that a particular action did, in fact, literally have absolutely no effect on his property -- a) what would give him the right, even in theory, to forbid it? and b) what would give him any motive to forbid it? By hypothesis he has no skin in the game."

So, you do not believe in ownership of property as a natural right. I apologize, I thought you were a libertarian. As noted by John Locke, from the right to privacy is an extension of property ownership. Thus, while a property owner may share his privacy with you for a period of time, a property owner may maintain his privacy after you leave, but only if that privacy was maintained by preventing you from photographing every square inch of the property and making a detailed inventory of everything you see.

By hypothesis, the property owner has much "skin in the game," as you phrase it, if you believe in John Locke's definition of natural rights with respect to the ownership of property.

I see that Anonymous continues his rantings and ravings and vicious personal attacks. He also still lacks the capacity for rational argument (hence his frequent resort to argumentum ad hominem) and is ignorant of a great many things (notably, the existence of people with eidetic memories).

Is there any comment moderation here whatsoever? It's high time someone stepped in and forced Anonymous to be more civil in his responses (or to stop posting more responses that just keep repeating the same crap over and over again!); I notice a similarly heated exchange previously between an anonymous user (perhaps the same one) and someone calling himself "nobody nowhere" apparently after the default email here.

Anonymous seems to be confused about a few things here.

For starters, opening and closing a door does not affect it? Really? In what parallel universe?

And his notion of an absolute right to privacy makes me squirm. At bare minimum it would give him broad rights to censor free speech against anyone who has ever visited his property, if not rights to actually modify other people's brains.

Those aren't rights I think someone should be able to contract away. Certainly not the right not to have one's mind literally, forcibly changed; that allows for signing oneself into slavery if permitted. And I have serious qualms about the enforceability of existing non-disclosure agreements, noncompetes, and similarly, let alone the much broader powers over future speech, not even requiring an explicit signing-away of rights, that Anonymous would demand of visitors to his home with its holy and mysterious bushes of top-secretness.

Nautilus:

Yes, opening and closing a door does not affect the door. It has the same mass. It remains attached to the wall. It functions as it was intended to function. If the door has changed in some fashion, I presume you will illuminate us as to how it has changed.

As for contracts, there are no qualms about the enforceability of non-disclosure agreements. They are contracts between two entities to not reveal information unknown to anyone else. Why would you have a qualm about such an agreement?

Non-compete agreements in general are applied very narrowly. You cannot stop someone from applying their skills to earn a living.

As for "signing away" of rights, I require no signature of anything. All I require is that you take no photographs while on my property. Why is that request unreasonable? Why would you be so rude as to ignore or reject such a reasonable request?

Zachary:

I am amazed. You managed to avoid addressing even one of my comments. In fact, all you did was make ad hominem remarks and move the topic off the main issue.

Would you care to address any of my comments rather than insult me?

"I am amazed. You managed to avoid addressing even one of my comments. In fact, all you did was make ad hominem remarks and move the topic off the main issue.

Would you care to address any of my comments rather than insult me?"

You first.

I'm just doing what you're doing. When you return to discussing the actual topic, so will I. And if you shut up, so will I. But if you keep insulting me, I'll keep insulting you.

I do notice in your response to "Nautilus" that you don't seem to fully grasp the sanctity of the right to free speech and freedom of thought -- to believe what you will and to speak your mind on any topic.

Zachary:

Freedom of thought is absolute. You are free to believe anything you wish. There remain people who believe the Holocaust never happened, that the moon landing was a fake, that there was a second shooter on the hill, that the government has aliens in a lab, and that the earth is flat. To the extent there is evidence, the evidence supports the opposite viewpoint, but they believe all the same.

As for speaking your mind on any topic, it has long been established that the right to free speech is not an unlimited right. If you accept the access to secret information, then you also accept the restriction that you may not provide that information to anyone else. If you fail to keep those secrets, you may be executed if the secrets are military in nature and they provide valuable information to an enemy, you may go to prison, you may be liable for civil penalties, and not only could you lose your job, but you could find it difficult to get another job.

You cannot yell fire in a crowded theater. You cannot talk about bombs in an airport or on a plane. You cannot libel someone.

Freedom to "speak your mind on any topic" is not an unlimited right, and never has been and never will be.

Okay Zachary, let's return to the conversation and the points:

My argument was that a property owner should have a right to prevent someone from taking pictures of his property while on his property. Your claim was that the photograph does not alter the property, therefore taking pictures is something the visitor should be allowed to do.

I countered with other things that do not alter the property. In my example, though rather contrived, I used the burning trash barrel. Rolling of wheels on the driveway does not alter the driveway. There may be pressure on the ground, but only while the trash barrel is on the driveway. Once the burning is complete and once the barrel has been removed, the property is exactly as it was before.

Perhaps not so in the case of the camera. If a flash was used, the light emitted from the flash causes degradation of paint and paper, thus permanently altering the property. Furthermore, the electromagnetic fields emitted by the camera alter the property during actuation of the camera, and there may be permanent effects by exposure of items in the home to the weak electromagnetic field. Certainly the effects of using the camera would be at least as great on the property as rolling a burn barrel onto and off of the property, especially on a driveway or sidewalk.

I also argue that your memory is not a permanent record, but a photograph or a video is. You countered that I would not be able to remove the image of an item from the property from your brain. I grant those statements are partially true. People eventually forget, and they ultimately die, so how "permanent" is the image of any item from a property? The image in your brain can only be crudely shared, through a drawing, painting or description. A photograph, on the other hand, can be saved digitally and can theoretically be saved forever, and duplicated an unlimited number of times on the internet to the distress of the property owner. In any case, I accept your limited ability to remember things in my home as a condition of allowing a guest into my home. That does not grant the guest any rights or privileges with respect to any items on my property unless I permit those rights or privileges.

Lastly, you asked what would give a property owner the right or motive to prevent photography on his property. My response is that a person has a natural right, according to John Locke, to privacy on his property as an aspect of the natural right of ownership in a property. If you are busily photographing everything you see, how can I have any hope of privacy? The moment those photographs go off my property, then my property, its arrangement, any artwork I may have, the condition of my property, etc., is now in the public domain. I contend that as a right of property and privacy that I have a right to restrict information about my property acquired while on my property from the rest of the world.

I struggle with any sort of position or belief that violates the sanctity of privacy and private property, especially when that violation occurs because of a guest.

You have failed to actually JUSTIFY these restrictions on free speech. The only one of them that I can see as being remotely justifiable is the restriction on spreading military secrets; and then only in time of war and only for as long as the information would aid the enemy. Tuesday's battle plans should be declassified right after the battle.

If you believe otherwise, you must provide a justification if you are to have any hope of convincing me. Merely saying you disagree, or even that present laws disagree, does not suffice.

As for your latest batch of anti-photography arguments, they are as specious as the last batch.

Electromagnetic fields as weak as modern electronics produce won't affect the property as much as releasing a large volume of smoke on it. Nor will the light from the flash, if such is even used. The electromagnetic fields from a visitor's muscles and brain, not to mention cell phone, will probably have greater effect, seeing as they'd be on the whole time.

Memory is not a "permanent" record because people forget or die? Photographs can be lost or deleted and cameras eventually reach the ends of their useful spans and get junked. The same is true of any other record or recording device. You've failed to find any important respect in which they're non-analogous. The differences, in accuracy, potential lifespan, &c., are only quantitative, not qualitative.

As for your "duplicated an unlimited number of times on the internet to the distress of the property owner", it sounds to me like maybe you have something on your property that embarrasses you. Perhaps whatever it is should be locked out of view of visitors? Or even gotten rid of? That seems eminently more sensible than letting people see it and spread rumors of it but banning photography even of the non-embarrassing things you have.

"In any case, I accept your ability to remember things in my home as a condition of allowing a guest into my home. That does not grant the guest any rights or privileges with respect to any items on my property unless I permit those rights or privileges."

Knowledge of what is there and the freedom to discuss it with others would seem to be among the rights and privileges in question. Taking photographs falls within their aegis, at least for nonintrusive, non-flash photography.

"Lastly, you asked what would give a property owner the right or motive to prevent photography on his property. My response is that a person has a natural right, according to John Locke, to privacy on his property as an aspect of the natural right of ownership in a property."

Presuming that I were to take one of the characters on LOST as a magically omniscient and unquestionably perfect authority* on such matters, for some crazy reason, that right to privacy is your right to hide things on your property from visitors, not to show them to visitors but forbid them from telling anyone in some or all ways that they could do so! You have no reasonable expectation of privacy in something you've shown to members of the general public.

* If there ever is such a thing, which I very much doubt.

"The moment those photographs go off my property, then my property, its arrangement, any artwork I may have, the condition of my property, etc., is now in the public domain."

The moment you invite members of the general public onto your property, then those parts of your property that you make accessible to visitors, their arrangement, any artwork there, the condition of those parts, etc., is now in the public domain.

If you want a particular aspect of your property to not be in the public domain, your sole effective recourse is to physically conceal that aspect from the view of visitors. That can mean refusing to admit the general public onto your property at all, or it can mean hiding it behind a locked door that says Authorized Personnel Only, or covering it with a tarp and putting it on the other side of the velvet ropes, or whatever, as appropriate.

Let any visitors see it, though, and it ceases to be actually private. Try to restrict how those visitors can report to others about what they've seen, and you'll be partly effective at best, as well as trampling on libertarian notions of free speech in particular.

But the basic point is this: you can't share a secret with random members of the general public, without it no longer being a secret. It's really that simple. Hence why there's no rational motive for your photography ban.

I'm going to assume, given how emotional you've gotten about this and how persistent you are in arguing it, that my arguments actually threaten you on an emotional level. The most likely reason why that would be is that you do have something on your property and you do allow visitors to see it, but wish somehow to keep it a secret from everyone who hasn't seen it.

Most likely you have some business model riding on it -- pay $5 to see Freaky Thing #61,779 or some nonsense like that -- and fear that photographs of it circulating publicly would undermine profits.

If so, we can immediately lump you in with the previous bunch of pro-copyright wackjobs to show up here and try to argue us out of our beliefs. Rather than find a more efficient business model you'd prefer to restrict freedom of speech among other things. How sad.

In fact, if the freaky thing is non-disappointing people will probably still pay in some numbers to see it in person -- photographs circulating may even increase those numbers by serving as free advertising. Only if the freaky thing is disappointing will that not be the case, and in that case, all I can say is shame on you for ripping people off and trying to keep the scam going for longer by restricting speech!

Zachary:

We have a fundamental difference of beliefs that no amount of discussion is going to overcome. I do not agree with your opinion and believe your arguments are specious, at best. Most absurd of all is the following:

"Presuming that I were to take one of the characters on LOST as a magically omniscient and unquestionably perfect authority* on such matters, for some crazy reason, that right to privacy is your right to hide things on your property from visitors, not to show them to visitors but forbid them from telling anyone in some or all ways that they could do so! You have no reasonable expectation of privacy in something you've shown to members of the general public.

* If there ever is such a thing, which I very much doubt."

This comment must be some sort of joke, which I am not getting. John Locke (1632-1794) is widely considered by many to be the Father of Liberalism. His philosophies were a very strong influence on both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

John Locke approached the concept of property and privacy from several different directions, but all of them revolved around a simple concept, "An Englishman's home is his castle." Locke warned of the dangers of surveillance and how such suppression is opposed to civil liberties. While Locke's warning was related to the government and police, we now see examples of where the police and the government are using social page posts and photographs as a basis for warrants and arrests.

What this means is that while your visit to private property is not public domain because you cannot share the visit itself, only your description, if you make recordings of your visit then individual privacy is lost and there is the potential for intrusion, both public and private, in the the lives of individuals, which is ultimately a loss of civil liberty.

"Let any visitors see it, though, and it ceases to be actually private. Try to restrict how those visitors can report to others about what they've seen, and you'll be partly effective at best, as well as trampling on libertarian notions of free speech in particular.

But the basic point is this: you can't share a secret with random members of the general public, without it no longer being a secret. It's really that simple. Hence why there's no rational motive for your photography ban."

False argument. Case in point.

A visitor to your property sees a bag of marijuana sitting on your kitchen counter. The visitor goes to the police and reports the bag of marijuana. Depending on the situation, the police may or may not consider the report to have sufficient validity to be immune from legal challenge.

On the other hand, if you have a photograph of a bag of marijuana on the counter, the photograph is absolute probable cause and would support a conviction in court.

Second case in point:

I have a detailed painting on my wall. I permit one person to come vist and they see the detailed painting. Have I lost my privacy? NO! You may be able to describe the general nature of the painting, but you will NEVER be able to describe the painting to a level of detail that would present a clear conception of the picture to someone who has never seen the painting.

Choose any well-known painting. For example, "The Scream." Describe it to someone who has never seen it, without having a copy in front of you. See what they imagine based on your description.

If I have a painting on my wall that no one but you has ever seen, I believe that even if you attempt to describe the painting that your description will be so wholly inadequate that my painting will be, as a practical matter, private. If you take a picture, on the other hand, then the privacy of my painting is gone.

"I'm going to assume, given how emotional you've gotten about this and how persistent you are in arguing it, that my arguments actually threaten you on an emotional level. The most likely reason why that would be is that you do have something on your property and you do allow visitors to see it, but wish somehow to keep it a secret from everyone who hasn't seen it."

The reason I am emotional is that it is people you like who want to take away my privacy and my freedoms. What next? Are you going to start peering in my windows, even if only from the street with an infrared scanner? Why do you feel that privacy is such a poorly defined right that you are so willing to toss it out the window?

"We have a fundamental difference of beliefs that no amount of discussion is going to overcome."

And so rather than agree to disagree you will publicly call me names and insult me? That's hardly a mature way to handle it, anonymouse.

"This comment must be some sort of joke, which I am not getting."

Not my problem.

"Locke warned of the dangers of surveillance and how such suppression is opposed to civil liberties."

STATE surveillance, not "sousveillance" by the general populace, which has the opposite effect -- it keeps everyone, particularly the rich and powerful, big business, and the state, honest.

"We now see examples of where the police and the government are using social page posts and photographs as a basis for warrants and arrests."

Remedies for that include:

1. Don't do/have anything illegal in view of visitors you admit from among the general public. If someone visits your property and sees, say, marijuana plants, they may very well blab even if they don't take pictures.

2. Oppose the state on matters where you disagree -- for example, argue to repeal copyright law and drug prohibition.

"while your visit to private property is not public domain because you cannot share the visit itself, only your description, if you make recordings of your visit then individual privacy is lost and there is the potential for intrusion, both public and private, in the the lives of individuals, which is ultimately a loss of civil liberty"

Don't be ridiculous. There is no more privacy lost from someone being able to record something than there is from that someone being able to see or hear it in the first place. As I've already explained.

The basic point is this: you can't share a secret with random members of the general public, without it no longer being a secret. It's really that simple. Hence why there's no rational motive for your photography ban.

"False argument."

No. No argument of mine is ever "false". Do stop insulting me and falsely accusing me.

"A visitor to your property sees a bag of marijuana sitting on your kitchen counter. The visitor goes to the police and reports the bag of marijuana. Depending on the situation, the police may or may not consider the report to have sufficient validity to be immune from legal challenge.

On the other hand, if you have a photograph of a bag of marijuana on the counter, the photograph is absolute probable cause and would support a conviction in court."

Fascinating. Your remedy is to keep your bags of marijuana out of sight of visitors. Or to actually obey the law, while working to have it changed if you don't agree with it.

"I have a detailed painting on my wall. I permit one person to come vist and they see the detailed painting. Have I lost my privacy? NO! You may be able to describe the general nature of the painting, but you will NEVER be able to describe the painting to a level of detail that would present a clear conception of the picture to someone who has never seen the painting."

1. Obviously you haven't considered the possibility of someone being both a talented drawer/painter and having a photographic memory.

2. I don't see what privacy you lose regardless. If you have a painting and you show it to visitors, it's not private. If you want to keep your possession of the painting secret (why? Is it stolen? Embarrassing?) don't let strangers see it!

There is nothing you have suggested here in the way of problems that a photography ban solves better, or even as well as, concealing the illicit/embarrassing/secret thing from public view altogether!

"The reason I am emotional is that it is people you like who want to take away my privacy and my freedoms."

People like you want to take away my camera and my free speech, yet I'm remaining calm and rational in this debate.

No, it is something else. From a few things you wrote, it's probably marijuana. You actually do have some. Maybe you even grow it.

HIDE IT!! A photography ban cannot possibly be as effective as proper concealment (and that cannot possibly be as effective as getting rid of it and working to change the law first).

"Why do you feel that privacy is such a poorly defined right that you are so willing to toss it out the window?"

Nice straw man. But that isn't what I said. I said you had a right to conceal, or attempt to conceal, things from visitors, but not to try to muzzle their speech after they see it anyway. There's a huge difference.

Thank you Zachary. It's nice to have someone else take the trouble to paint this Forth bridge - even if the trolls beneath are sponsored in their efforts to corrode it.
Zachary:

I feel we are talking a different language...

"Why do you feel that privacy is such a poorly defined right that you are so willing to toss it out the window?"

Nice straw man. But that isn't what I said. I said you had a right to conceal, or attempt to conceal, things from visitors, but not to try to muzzle their speech after they see it anyway. There's a huge difference.

I am fine with you talking about what you saw. Talk all you want. Talk is cheap, but a picture is worth a thousand words, and morally and legally I have a right to prevent you from taking a picture while you are on my private property.

"I am fine with you talking about what you saw. Talk all you want. Talk is cheap, but a picture is worth a thousand words, and morally and legally I have a right to prevent you from taking a picture while you are on my private property."

Legally, maybe; morally, no, as I have just demonstrated with an ironclad proof.

Zachary:

I disagree with your arguments that it is moral. There is nothing ironclad about your opinion.

I state again, I consider it immoral for someone to take photographs on private property when the owner of the property has requested no photographs be taken. As you probably know, if the photographer refuses to cease taking photographs, then we go from one crime to another, that of trespassing, which merely compounds the immorality of the first act.

Sorry, Anonymous, you lost the argument as soon as you resorted to namecalling. It's also the case that a victimless act cannot logically be immoral at all.
Zachary:

Point out where I resorted to name calling.

Loss of privacy is not a victimless crime. In fact, it is now illegal in most states of the union. For example, you can take a picture of someone's property as long as you are not on their property, but you cannot take a picture of someone in their bedroom with a telephoto lens.

Of course, while you are on someone's property they have a right to delineate how they control their privacy, including taking of pictures. If you fail to accede to that request, then rather than being a victim of the photographer's indiscretion, they can boot the miscreant off their property.

Zachary:

Point out where I resorted to name calling.

Loss of privacy is not a victimless crime. In fact, it is now illegal in most states of the union. For example, you can take a picture of someone's property as long as you are not on their property, but you cannot take a picture of someone in their bedroom with a telephoto lens.

Of course, while you are on someone's property they have a right to delineate how they control their privacy, including taking of pictures. If you fail to accede to that request, then rather than being a victim of the photographer's indiscretion, they can boot the miscreant off their property.

Every time you imply that I told a lie, "Anonymous", you are in effect resorting to name calling.

"Loss of privacy is not a victimless crime."

Someone photographing something that you granted them permission to see, on the other hand, is. If you grant members of the general public permission to see something, then that something is no longer private!

"you cannot take a picture of someone in their bedroom with a telephoto lens."

Eh? Nothing immoral about that. If they don't want such pictures taken, there are several nifty inventions called "curtains", "drapes", "shutters", and "blinds" that they can employ to prevent it.

The rest of your nonsense is predicated upon your fallacies already debunked, so you'll pardon me if I don't address any more of it in detail.

Don't bother to post to this blog again until you have grasped the fact that if you grant members of the general public permission to see something, then that something is not private.

Zachary:

Seeing something and taking pictures of something are two different things. Furthermore, granting permission to look at something is not a grant to take pictures.

You have debunked nothing. On the other hand, you have proven that you have a bizarre sense of morality that is quite alien to reasonable morality.

As for implying that you told a lie, point to the first example of that. Question: Do you understand the difference betwen inference and implication?

"Seeing something and taking pictures of something are two different things."

No, they are not, and until you grasp this fact of elementary physics you cannot discuss this subject rationally.

You don't seem to be getting the message here, which is, to put it bluntly, "shut up". Unless you start showing a much greater capacity for learning and growth than you have thus far demonstrated.

Zachary:

I said:

"Seeing something and taking pictures of something are two different things."

You said:

No, they are not, and until you grasp this fact of elementary physics you cannot discuss this subject rationally.

My response:

You clearly do not understand physics or you would not be making this statement. The two are different for multiple reasons, but perhaps physics is the most basic of the two. Until you understand the physics and transitory nature of the human eye and memory versus the recording nature of a CCD based camera couple with non-volatile memory, then there is nothing more for us to talk about.

Your attempt to use force to stifle free speech:

You don't seem to be getting the message here, which is, to put it bluntly, "shut up". Unless you start showing a much greater capacity for learning and growth than you have thus far demonstrated."

My response:

You have a failure to understand logic. You fail to understand physics. You are rude. You are arrogant. You are obnoxious.

Other issues:

I asked you to point out the first time I supposedly called you a name. You even failed at that.

Until you can grow to understand that there are different viewpoints from yours, and that you have much to learn about the physics of the human eye, the human brain, and modern electronics, I would not suggest you should shut up, as you so arrogantly and obnoxiously have, but I would suggest that you take this opportunity to expand your mind and your consciousness.

Anonymous said said:

"Seeing something and taking pictures of something are two different things."

I said:

No, they are not, and until you grasp this fact of elementary physics you cannot discuss this subject rationally.

Anonymous's incorrect response:

You clearly do not understand physics

WRONG! I obviously understand physics far better than he does.

Furthermore, the mere EXISTENCE of his response, after he was told not to post again until he was better educated, is WRONG!

Then he accuses me of attempting to use force to stifle free speech. I have of course done nothing of the sort -- it's IMPOSSIBLE for me to use force here. Obviously, "Anonymous"'s deep ignorance about physics is far worse than I previously suspected.

If anyone here is trying to stifle speech it is "Anonymous", with his implied threat to respond to any post he disagrees with by flaming its author, so anyone who wants to keep his reputation intact had better either shut up or toe the line -- HIS line.

Well, the problem with THAT is that it is easily answered with a threat of mutual assured destruction. Every time "Anonymous" makes a post that contains factual errors I will correct them and every time "Anonymous" makes a post that denigrates me I will denigrate him. For any damage he does to my reputation, an equal amount of damage shall be visited upon his, and meanwhile the truth will out.

"You have a failure to understand logic." (And so on for several more ad homs)

You are a worthless prat. You know less physics than my four-year-old daughter. Your morals are twisted. Your understanding of natural rights is flawed. You're a jerk.

"I asked you to point out the first time I supposedly called you a name. You even failed at that."

WRONG!

"Zachary:

Nothing like spinning a tautology and calling it logic - which, though reasoned, is still a tautology.

You fail to gain my point."

You called me a failure. I am not a failure.

You called me names in "[Comment at 09/23/2010 05:35 AM by Anonymous]". Unless you're now going to claim that you're not the same anonymous user, even though it's pretty clear that you are.

You are beaten. Are you going to shut up now?

Zachary:

You claimed that I started the ad hominem comments first by pointing to my comment:

"Zachary:

Nothing like spinning a tautology and calling it logic - which, though reasoned, is still a tautology.

You fail to gain my point."

Your claims is as follows:

You called me a failure. I am not a failure.

Let us recall the post you made just prior to the post to which you refer:

Zachary quote:

Well, I see that the anonymous poster here is hopelessly irrational [portion deleted].

Clearly an ad hominem attack directly on me.

Zachary quote:

[Portion deleted] he can't even keep on point [portion deleted]

Clearly an ad hominem attach directly on me, and a false accusation as well.

Since you claimed I started the ad hominem attacks, and yet you had ad hominem attacks in the post prior to the first post of mine that you acknowledged contained an ad hominem attack, then you are a liar.

Since you are now beaten with your own words, you may slink away.

As a secondary issue, I find it humorous that English common law was quite adamant regarding the inherency of privacy associated with common law. Libertarian philosophers opined that privacy is a natural outcome of the ownership of property. Most state courts and the Supreme Court have generally held that owners of private property have a right to limit access to information on their private property. Most states and courts have held that if someone acquires a photograph of private areas of a property that are not visible from a public area, and the owner of the property would have forbid or specifically did forbid taking of the photograph, then the photographer is in violation of one or more laws, and may also be liable for civil action.

In summary, history going back 500 years supports the ability of a property owner to essentially control the property within the limits of the law. Libertarian philosophers appear to support property owner rights within any area of the property that is not readily visible from a public area. U.S. law has multiple protections specifically covering photography on private property, particularly in areas that are either not visible from public areas or are expected to be private.

My question: Other than your, what do you provide as support for your position that a homeowner has no right to prevent photography by a visitor in his living room?

Lastly, you have indeed attempted to stifle my free speech via force. You have told me to shut up. That is an attempted act of force. You use of multiple, overlapping ad hominems is an attempt to force me from this site (as you have attempted to force Bill Stepp, Steve R., Lonnie Holder, Anonymous27, and several other named and anonymous posters).

I strongly believe in free speech. However, the primary purpose in your comments appears to be to insult, to drive people from this site, and other nefarious purposes that are antagonistic to the purpose of this site. There have been several calls for you to be banned from this site. I generally do not support such actions, but since your posts are generally inflammatory and fail to advance particular discussions, and worse, appear to drive people away from this site, I must join with those calling for your banning.

Moderators: are you going to shut "Anonymous" up anytime soon? His repeated vile insults and nonsense are getting on my nerves, and cleaning up after him every time he makes a mess in these comments is becoming tiresome.

Alternatively, will people volunteer to take turns cleaning up after him, correcting the things he says that are erroneous and so on? He can't be allowed to have the last word, not when that last word is undoubtedly going to be wrong, yet it also doesn't look like he'll ever shut up, so I guess cleaning up after him is going to be a never-ending treadmill of a job for us.

Now on to address the most egregious errors.

First, "Anonymous" makes several vicious personal attacks aimed at me, as usual. None of them contain the slightest grain of truth. I am a great guy. People like me. I am not wrong about anything.

Second, "Anonymous" mutters a whole lot about English common law (hardly relevant for the majority of us that aren't in that jurisdiction) and privacy laws involving private things "not visible from a publicly accessible area".

I never disputed a property owner's right to hide something from the general public, e.g. by putting it behind an "Authorized Personnel Only" door and locking that door.

"Anonymous" is attacking an implied straw position there, suggesting that I said visitors should be allowed to poke their noses into places they're not welcome once invited onto a property. I did not. I just believe they should have a right to record anything they have been permitted to see; and furthermore, that trying to prevent people from recording what they see is going to be increasingly infeasible as time goes on and cameras become ubiquitous and very small. Consider a future blind man who has an artificial eye hooked into his optic nerve. That's a camera. Will you rob him of his sight as a condition of his visiting you? Then he probably won't visit you. If you don't, the camera might record things and you would have no way of knowing, let alone preventing it.

"Lastly, you have indeed attempted to stifle my free speech via force. You have told me to shut up."

If you consider being told to shut up to be "force", you must be the world's most unbelievably wimpy wimp.

After that, "Anonymous" rants and raves about me supposedly trying to ban various people from the site, most of whom I've never heard of, and alludes to a supposed campaign to ban ME from the site. As far as I am aware there is no such campaign. "Anonymous", at best, has me confused with somebody else; more likely, he's gone completely off the deep end.

FYI - Surreptitious recording is already illegal in any place where there is an expectation of privacy, e.g., a home. There is a sort of exemption for recording when there is a "newsworthy" purpose (which is poorly defined) and some other purposes that relate to freedom of the press and freedom of speech (exposing illegal conditions in factories comes to mind), but never where an individual would have an expectation of privacy - even if the person doing the recording was invited.

There are lots of laws relating to recording on private property. Someone recording on private property against the wishes of the property owner is subject to both criminal and civil penalties. There has been a lot of litigation over surreptitious recording and the only time courts are sympathetic is when the photographs relate to the aforementioned "newsworthy" events. The Supreme Court has already dealt with this issue and weighed in on the side of the property owner.

I am personally concerned if granting someone the right to visit my property would automatically grant them the right to photograph whatever portions of my property they are permitted to visit. It is one thing for someone to see, for example, my library, but another thing for them to photograph my library and to thus have an inventory of every book I own. There is no possible way for someone looking at my library to memorize the thousands of titles I own. Here I agree with anonymous that looking at the titles to, say, 5,000 books in the course of 5 minutes is substantially different from photographing the titles of 5,000 books in the same 5 minutes. You may remember a few titles you see, but a camera of sufficient resolution remembers them all.

I would dislike not inviting anyone to my home because that means I have to subject my home to unwanted photography. No more parties at my house!

I also have to wonder how often you visit someone's home with a camera. Your phone may have a camera, but would you whip it out and take a picture of someone in their home without asking permission? That seems terribly rude to me. Perhaps that is just a sign of the rudeness that seems to be slowly permeating our society today.

I would like to see others weigh in on this subject from either a personal or Libertarian viewpoint.

*sigh* And here we go again for another round.

Disclaimer: Any and all negative statements or implications anyone has made about me are factually wrong.

"There is a sort of exemption for recording when there is a "newsworthy" purpose (which is poorly defined) and some other purposes that relate to freedom of the press and freedom of speech"

Vague "exemptions" like fair use and the above are indications of where the law is fundamentally broken. The need to create such exemptions is a strong indicator, tantamount to outright proof, that the law for which the exemptions are created is an unjust law.

(Long litany of examples of laws follows)

That does not prove your MORAL case. Morality leads and laws follow, often sluggishly. We still have laws on the books in some places against consensual sex acts between consenting adults, no thanks to this phenomenon of "legal inertia". Using the law as your guide to morality would result in your morality becoming permanently stuck in a non-progress state. If someone had had your attitude back in 1850, for example, they would have died never having accepted that slavery was wrong, and never having fought against it.

"It is one thing for someone to see, for example, my library, but another thing for them to photograph my library and to thus have an inventory of every book I own."

If there are books you don't want anyone to know you own, don't put them in plain sight of visitors. Duh.

There is no principled difference between seeing and recording. You keep failing to grasp this essential point. How do you know if someone who visits you has an eidetic memory? In ten years, how will you know if someone who visits you has a camera for one eye, made to look like a realistic human eyeball for the obvious looking-normal reasons, that is recording everything he sees, because it's a simple enough feature to include in future prosthetic eye replacements and he lost one eye in an accident years ago?

As a matter of sheer practicality, you simply cannot let visitors see something and still expect it to be private in any way, shape, or form. Not anymore. Regardless of the law or even your position on morality.

And then the laws and your morality begin to look pointlessly outmoded; as stupid as outlawing and railing against file sharing.

"There is no possible way for someone looking at my library to memorize the thousands of titles I own."

http://www.slate.com/id/2114925/

"In the random words event, he managed 150 words in five minutes"

Think how many book titles one of these memory championship winners could record in an hour.

And of course your threat model isn't really that someone will know everything you read. It's that someone will know some specific things you read. A visitor only memorizing salacious-looking titles will get the stuff you fear becoming public without having to be a particularly potent memory-whiz. Mere average skill might even suffice. "Hey everyone, I was just over at foobar's house and he had hundreds of old Playboys, Joy of Sex, two different translations of the Kama Sutra, and a dozen other erotic books along with two thousand other books I don't particularly remember" is enough for the "damage" to be done.

"I would dislike not inviting anyone to my home because that means I have to subject my home to unwanted photography. No more parties at my house!"

Fortunately, there is a simpler fix: Keep all embarrassing and/or incriminating things under wraps when there are visitors in the place!

Well of course, Zachary, you can only naturally exclude people from that from which you can naturally exclude them - and so only have a natural right to this natural power.

A bear can exclude photographers from the interior of its den - so the bear has a natural right to prevent photography of the prehistoric cave paintings on its den walls. Trouble is, the bear hasn't empowered a government to secure this right, hence the term 'fair game'.

A troglodyte on the other hand, should be able to prosecute their natural right to privacy against anyone they hadn't invited in for tea - including confiscating their camera and destroying any record (at a minimum).

The question is, what can guests do that you've invited in for tea?

If you include people to become privy to that which they were previously, naturally excluded by you, then obviously, you cannot exclude them from the experience, knowledge, and record they are at liberty to obtain as a consequence. Guests do not lose the right to their liberty, nor to the private space about their person, nor to their life, just because you admit them into your private demesne. The only power you have over them is to eject them. You have no superior right to that which they remained at liberty to observe and record.

It would be a contradiction in terms, to include someone, but require they take none of their experience with them when they leave, or to exclude them from certain actions relating to it.

If you include someone in your confidence, to a secret, you have no natural right to exclude them from their liberty to communicate that secret further - even if they agree to it. NDAs are a con trick. Your employer may have grounds for dismissal, but you can't be thrown in jail for failing to uphold the alienation of your right to free speech - by anything less than a corrupt judge or unjust law.

For such supernatural powers (or power approximating the power you desire) you need the power of the state. So you ask your Queen nicely and make an offer she fancies, and she might just grant for your benefit a privilege that suspended the equivalent natural right in the population to reserve it to the respective holder, e.g. suspending the right to copy to create a privilege of copyright.

Crosbie:

I was thinking about what Zachary said and my conclusion is reasonably identical to what you state. A property owner cannot grant rights, but neither do they need to permit you to exercise your rights on their property.

As an example, we have freedom of speech. So if a homeowner who is a devout Obama supporter has a guest who begins to rant against Obama, the homeowner is unable to prevent the guest from talking about Obama, but the guest may no longer be a guest and may be asked to leave; i.e., the guest has transitioned from guest to trespasser.

So it holds with the other rights in the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights does not guarantee that someone can practice their rights on the property of another, and if a person attempts to do so against the wishes of the property owner, the owner has the ability to exclude that person from their premises.

As for sharing of experiences, you cannot remove from a person what they remember. That is neither feasible nor reasonable. Thus, you may share your memories with others. Of course, if your memories are of something that is in an individual's private residence and that individual asked the guest not to share and the guest does so anyway, then the guest may no longer be welcome at that residence and other property owners may not want that guest on their property because of their inability to keep their mouths shut.

This proviso holds for employees as well. Regardless of whether NDAs are, in your words, a con trick, if you agree to keep your employer's information secret and you fail to do so, you are subject to dismissal. You may find it difficult to get another job because you have a problem keeping secrets.

The last two companies I worked for asked specifically whether I had ever divulged secrets of a former employer and whether I had any problem keeping company information confidential. The reason was that my position exposed me to significant business information that my employers did not want revealed and if I was unable to keep that information to myself they did not want me in that position.

Thank you for your intelligent comments.

Nice attempt to distort what I and Crosbie have been saying and then pass it off as ours instead of yours.

Won't work though.

You do seem to feel a strong need to keep secrets though. I wonder why? And you seem to want, paradoxically, to show people things and still have them kept secret at the same time. Why?? That's just nuts!

I also note an implied insult against me in the form of your going out of your way to praise Crosbie, and only Crosbie, for his intelligent comments when in fact both of us have posted intelligent comments (and I've posted a lot more of them).

Of course, the unpleasant thing you implied is not the least bit true.

John:

The Supreme Court has indeed taken up the issue of copyright versus the first amendment, in detail.

http://www.freedomforum.org/templates/document.asp?documentID=17466


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