Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Stop SOPA and PIPA

after-thought (19 Thursday Jan.)
Professor Leiter has a sober commentary on this, with a helpful link.

Leiter refers to an extreme group of libertarians, who want absolutely no restrictions on the web.

I confess that I tend to fear another group--the defenders of copyright. That is because I don't believe that copyrights, in general, are used to benefit writers, artists, or creative people.
Moreover, the defense of copyright is part of the USA system of economic imperialism, hence always suspect.

On the other hand, I cringe when I hear people talk about "innovation" and the web, let alone job creation. Sorry, I do not buy any of that. Neither the web nor the so-called computer revolution have made a very big difference in my life. I've been either unemployed or under-employed since 1996. And I don't think my life has gotten better on account of the web or the computer revolution. I don't have more leisure time. I don't have more time to read. I do not have richer relationships with other human beings. None of those good things have increased because of computers or the internet.

(As for protecting copyrights.....I could use myself as an example of who it really benefits. I once published an article in a journal published by a prestigious UK university. I was paid nothing for the article, and receive no royalties. If you want to read the article, and you do not have university affiliation, you will have to pay 25 or 30 dollars. That's just one example of a much more general phenomenon.)

I am not necessarily disagreeing with Leiter, but as I posted the bolded words above yesterday, it seems appropriate to make some further comment.

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