The fallacy of ideas as property is the core problem. As long as people cling to that, there will be conflict.
I think that this is a case of no one going to the middle. You have one side that thinks that ideas cannot and should not have ownership, and others that think that they have to hold onto it with both hands. IMO, neither is correct. When we say that you cannot own an idea, then the characters that we have grown up with become meaningless. That's when despite the wishes of Bill Watterson, when he decides not to make any more Calvin and Hobbes cartoons, someone else makes cheap rip-offs for the money... or even worse, they do it while he's publishing his.
I understand the concept of what you're saying (probably) isn't advocating this, but isn't this the same thing that a lot of our protests against PIPA and SOPA are about? The abilities that these laws give rather than in many case the truths of what would come about even if passed?
Well, it's tough ground.
Half the problem is that very few people are actually equipped with the right concepts to even talk about the topic. So, at the end of the day, you have people spouting opinions that are about as intelligent as anything I have to say on what it feels like to menstruate.
If we take the basic empirical approach, then there is no debate whatsoever -- ideas cannot be property. Period. You can only have exclusive access to an idea if you never share/reveal it. But even then, someone else might think of the same idea... History is full of these kinds of things, e.g. Calculus with Liebniz and Descartes, even though it was known elsewhere centuries before.
Fundamentally, even to consider that an idea can be property requires an entirely different metaphysics. (To be honest, I think that it's going to be a very difficult thing to allow for ideas to be property under any set of metaphysics. My get tells me that they are all going to be inherently contradictory in untenable ways and will require violence and conflict to be primary values.)
That is, without a common set of metaphysics to form the base for the conversation, virtually all debate is destined to result in nothing but red herrings.
So... given that there can be no agreement on the topic, we are basically left to "faking" it. That is, we can "pretend" that ideas can be owned. The advantage there is that whether or not it's true, we can act as though it is.
But even then, depending on what side of the sphere you're on (because there are oh so, so, so many sides...), there may be no advantage at all to pretending, so why bother? If there is no upside, why play the game?
I find that more and more I'm being drawn towards complete abolishment of ownership for ideas. However, most of my motivations there are entirely unrelated to copyright/patent/IP, and more geared towards "control". i.e. Copyright/patent/IP are simply tools of control, but I'm more interested in the root of power/control.
Still... I can't get past "if there's no upside, why should I play?"
That is, the so-called "rights owners" are asking us all to blindly cooperate with them and hand over our money/wealth. Does anyone see just how utterly insane it is?
Let me put this as a couple kids talking on the playground about the rules for a game...
A: Ok, we're going to play a game.
A: Here's how it goes... I get to increase my score whenever I want. Then I win. And you have to give me your dessert from lunch.
A: 100 points! I win! Isn't this fun? Now where's my dessert?
Why would anyone ever agree to those rules? There are lots of other kids out there, and lots of other games to play.
Well, I for one am voting with my wallet. I simply won't buy anything anymore if I don't have to. Sure, there will be times when I need to, but they're going to be a lot fewer now than in the past.
No more games. (Never was much into them anyways.)
No more books. I can get lots for free.
No more movies. Why? I can get tonnes of great stuff for free on YouTube or Vimeo. (I'm going to have to cave on this from time to time for the wife.)
No more software if I can avoid it. I'm agreeing with Richard Stallman more and more all the time. These threads are really only driving me more and more into the FSF/GPL/"whatever you want to call it" camp. (Again, I'll have to cave in here sometimes.)
Flat out -- they just don't have anything that I need. Nothing.
The more the control freaks scream and fuss, the further away I'll run. I'm just getting tired of it. i.e. I think my attitude now is pretty well summed up like this:
Fine. Take your fucking ball and just go the fuck home already. I'm sick of your goddamn fucking whining you little fucking bitch.
Fine. Take your ball and just go home already. I'm sick of your whining you little (please see above).
But, I change my mind all the time. If I find a better way or better logic, then I'll run down that path. So, tomorrow may be different... Though somehow I doubt it...
The media lobby got ACTA signed into law while we were sitting around congratulating ourselves on how well "we showed 'em."
Now SOPA and PIPA are looking more and more like a diversionary tactic. The classic red herring. The disposable infantry units that got sent out to draw fire and distract attention away from what the real game was - getting ACTA signed as quickly, and in as many countries, as possible.
Glad you brought that up.
My guess is that this was all quite deliberate and planned. I do not believe that this was a coincidence.