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Mike Judge and Beavis & Butt-Head

Old 09-10-04, 10:00 AM
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Mike Judge and Beavis & Butt-Head

I was very surprised to hear that Mike Judge, the creator of Beavis & Butt-Head, was buying a bootlegged copy of his series off E-Bay (article below). I would be under the impression that people like Judge would not condone bootlegs as it is a sort of robbery, and the fact that he bought it because he himself doesn't have the full catalog (with videos) is absurd! I know M-TV probably owns the rights, but still.

Highlight from the article:
Due to wrangles between Judge and MTV, the show's original underwriters, Beavis & Butthead has never been properly available on DVD, and the videos that made it to market only contained the pair's short misadventures - nobody ever figured out how to acquire copyright permissions for dozens of 30-second snatches of pop songs, over which two idiots were muttering and shrieking.

"I did see one pirate DVD on eBay which had every episode, including the videos," says Judge. "And I bought it, because I didn't have them myself. The most fun I ever had was putting on the rock videos that Beavis and Butthead were going to comment on, and shutting off the thinking part of the brain, and letting whatever dumb thought come out. When you do that, you get to the root of it, you get to the bottom of things."


http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=202405

Anyway, I'm no better than Mike Judge and I'm buying the bootlegs from E-bay, too. I can't wait for the corporate big-shots to finally decide to bestow us with more episodes, so hell.

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Old 09-10-04, 10:14 AM
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Old 09-10-04, 10:45 AM
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Originally posted by KillerQ
Hello,

They're his episodes, if he buys them, they are not really bootlegs, since it's ultimately up to him....
WRONG. He doesn't own the property, MTV has at least a partial interest in it, as do the original artists in the videos of their own performances. And they are bootlegs in every sense of the word.
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Old 09-10-04, 10:53 AM
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i know -- it just felt good to try and pass that argument

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Old 09-10-04, 12:34 PM
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Originally posted by DVD Josh
MTV has at least a partial interest in it
I thought MTV lost their interest when they violated their contract with Judge by releasing a collection with no input from him?
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Old 09-10-04, 12:53 PM
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Information is not property, despite the false moniker of "Intellectual Property" being promulgated by those with a vested interest in promoting that misunderstanding. There are plenty of examples that make this clear, for example:


Economist view: If informatiom is property, it should be subject to property taxes just like other forms of property.
Lawyer view: Cases against infringers are based on the idea that their actions interfere with a flow of money to the rights holder. This is entirely a tort view, not a property view.
Guy-on-the-street view: If I take your property, you don't have it any more, if I copy your information you still have your information.

Stanford law school research paper view: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.c...ract_id=582602
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Old 09-10-04, 01:00 PM
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The bottom line is that it's a sad day in America when Mike Judge has to buy DVDs off ebay just to get complete copies of a show he made.
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Old 09-10-04, 01:47 PM
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Originally posted by Jah-Wren Ryel
Information is not property, despite the false moniker of "Intellectual Property" being promulgated by those with a vested interest in promoting that misunderstanding. There are plenty of examples that make this clear, for example:

Guy-on-the-street view: If I take your property, you don't have it any more, if I copy your information you still have your information.
I don't get what this was in response to; what is the information which isn't the same as property? And, by the guy-on-the-street logic, why would this bootlegging be illegal? MTV still has their property, and the bootleg isn't interfering with them making money because they're not releasing it and, thus, not making money off of it.

I mean, I know why bootlegging is wrong, I more don't understand how that guy-on-the-street view is right.
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Old 09-10-04, 03:39 PM
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Originally posted by ThatGuamGuy
I don't get what this was in response to; what is the information which isn't the same as property? And, by the guy-on-the-street logic, why would this bootlegging be illegal? MTV still has their property, and the bootleg isn't interfering with them making money because they're not releasing it and, thus, not making money off of it.

I mean, I know why bootlegging is wrong, I more don't understand how that guy-on-the-street view is right.
It wasn't in response to anything. It was thesaurus day at Jah-Wren's house
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Old 09-10-04, 03:43 PM
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eh, I don't care, not a B&B fan

King of the Hill and Office Space on the other hand HILARIOUS
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Old 09-10-04, 04:24 PM
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Originally posted by dudleymanchild
eh, I don't care, not a B&B fan
You were probably sucking on your mom's nipples when they were on TV.
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Old 09-10-04, 04:41 PM
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Originally posted by bmello
You were probably sucking on your mom's nipples when they were on TV.
Please, use the term teet. Nipple sounds so dirty
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Old 09-10-04, 06:13 PM
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yeah, but my mom's got a nice rack, so what's the big deal?
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Old 09-10-04, 08:36 PM
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Originally posted by ThatGuamGuy
I don't get what this was in response to;
It was in response to the statement, "He doesn't own the property,"
I mean, I know why bootlegging is wrong,
Do you? Or do you just know the party line that, coincidentally happens to be most supportive and financially beneficial to the same 5 or so companies that currently control more than 90% of all movies, music, television and print, and happen to use that control to push their party line?

For one thing, there is clearly a demand for an unchopped version of B&B, the bootleggers are just meeting that demand because the people who should be meeting it refuse to do so. That is neither "wrong" nor "right" it just is a simple matter of economics.

Copyright, as defined in the US constitution is supposed to "promote the progress of science and useful arts." This situation is just another example among millions where copyright is being used in direct contradiction of its stated goals.

Dealer hit the nail squarely on the head when he said, "The bottom line is that it's a sad day in America when Mike Judge has to buy DVDs off ebay just to get complete copies of a show he made."

If you have further questions about how copyright no longer serves its original purpose in America, go read that paper I linked to in my first post. You can download the entire paper in Adobe Acrobat form from the abstract page.
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Old 09-10-04, 09:06 PM
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Originally posted by dealer
The bottom line is that it's a sad day in America when Mike Judge has to buy DVDs off ebay just to get complete copies of a show he made.
I agree.

Art is dead. There is nothing left but "product".
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Old 09-11-04, 09:13 AM
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Originally posted by dudleymanchild
yeah, but my mom's got a nice rack, so what's the big deal?


Pics?


Wasn't there a release with the music videos that was immediately (within hours) recalled?

I wonder if they were the original versions of the eps with "Fire!, Fire!, heh, heh."
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Old 09-11-04, 10:22 AM
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Originally posted by IDrinkMolson


Pics?


Wasn't there a release with the music videos that was immediately (within hours) recalled?

I wonder if they were the original versions of the eps with "Fire!, Fire!, heh, heh."
No that was the History Of Beavis and Butthead which Judge himself had recalled.There is another Home Video release here titled Hard Cash with a few videos.Also there is a lot more home video releases in the UK than here some even unedited.
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Old 09-11-04, 02:48 PM
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ive boot some fancy beavis and butthead bootlegs off ebay very very good.
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Old 09-11-04, 03:33 PM
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Originally posted by Jah-Wren Ryel
Information is not property, despite the false moniker of "Intellectual Property" being promulgated by those with a vested interest in promoting that misunderstanding.
It would seem to me that the misunderstanding being promoted at the moment is the idea that the US Copyright Act protects pure information. It doesn't. It may protect creative expressions of information, but pure information is itself explicitly excluded from copyright protection.

For the remainder of your post, I'll take your incorrect use of "information" to mean "copyrighted material."

Economist view: If informatiom is property, it should be subject to property taxes just like other forms of property.
And so it is. Copyrighted material is subject to taxation just like other forms of personal property. The sale of copyrighted material can incur, for example, income tax and sales tax.

Lawyer view: Cases against infringers are based on the idea that their actions interfere with a flow of money to the rights holder. This is entirely a tort view, not a property view.
That would be a fairly confused lawyer. In reality, infringement actions are based upon the violation of one of more of specific parts of a bundle of rights. This is the basis of property theory. Interference with the flow of money may be present, but isn't necessary; economic harm is not a necessary element of copyright infringement actions.

Guy-on-the-street view: If I take your property, you don't have it any more, if I copy your information you still have your information.
And you've also got a confused guy on the street. Why must it be the case that property be rivalrous? Why can't non-rivalrous goods also be the subject of property rights? Property is based upon the bundle of rights granted by it; that something might be non-rivalrous does not exclude it from being the subject of rights-granting. Indeed, property rights can be and are granted over non-rivalrous (or practically so) goods (e.g., access to a toll bridge, access to view an event that can fit all desired viewers without the decreasing of anyone's enjoyment, etc.). I probably wouldn't take the views of such guys on streets very seriously in this regard when they don't grasp basic property theory.

DJ

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Old 09-11-04, 05:04 PM
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I have never purchased any of the DVDs of B&B that are out because of the lack of videos. But a few months ago, I realized that MTV2 has been showing B&B. They repeat the same ones quite often, but I have been recording them onto my DVD hard drive and burning my own copies. I figure that is the only way that I will be able to have them on DVD, barring trying to find a bootleg copy.
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Old 09-11-04, 08:39 PM
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B&B sux without the "making fun of the videos" part. That's what made them funny to begin with, and it even broke a lot of bands into the limelight (White Zombie, for instance).
I never liked it in the later episodes when they reduced the number of videos to like 1-2 and focused more on them F-ing around. Lame.
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Old 09-11-04, 09:40 PM
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In his interview with the Onion's AV Club, Judge explained more about the Beavis and Butt-Head DVD flap:

O: Is that project [another Beavis and Butt-Head movie] still a possibility?

MJ: It was for a while. I had renewed interest in it a couple of years ago, and then MTV released a DVD that was completely unauthorized, that they didn't tell me about, and basically broke a contract with me by releasing it, so I said no Beavis And Butt-Head movie. We're just starting to work it out now.

O: Did you not want that material out there, or was the problem just that they didn't consult you before doing it?

MJ: There are a couple things. There's a DVD they put out called The History Of Beavis And Butt-Head, and it was all the episodes that I didn't pick for the home-video series. So it was basically all the worst episodes, with some exceptions. With that title, it appeared to be a definitive collection. And I'm thinking about my kids and their friends, if they ever ask, "What did your dad do?" I had absolute approval rights, and they just blatantly did this without telling me. I still don't understand why it happened. It wasn't like somebody had been fired and somebody new was there: These were the people I'd been working with since '93. But I got them to recall a lot of them.

O: What has your relationship with Fox been like? Have you been happy with the King Of The Hill DVD sets?

MJ: Yeah. I mean, I still cringe at a lot of those episodes, but it's been pretty good, I think. With these, I know which episodes they're putting on there, but with Beavis And Butt-Head—you know, they cut the videos, and they cut the word "fire" out of all of them. They cut stuff I didn't even know was in there. So I'm looking at this episode that makes no sense, that's like 90 seconds long, and it says "Written by Mike Judge." It drives me crazy.
I believe Judge has said elsewhere that he'd like to do a proper DVD release of B&B. I suspect that his cool relations with MTV, combined with the expense/difficulty of releasing the music videos, may have put that project on the back-burner.
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Old 09-11-04, 11:45 PM
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It would seem to me that the misunderstanding being promoted at the moment is the idea that the US Copyright Act protects pure information. It doesn't. It may protect creative expressions of information, but pure information is itself explicitly excluded from copyright protection.

You err in mistaking facts for information. Facts can not currently be copyrighted -- although certain corporations are constantly lobbying for that protection to be stricken down.

Information refers to just about anything that is not inherently physical. For example, in Denmark the term they use for their equivalent of the USA's "intellectual property" is "immateriel ejendom" - literally immaterial work.


Copyrighted material is subject to taxation just like other forms of personal property. The sale of copyrighted material can incur, for example, income tax and sales tax.

This is also incorrect. The taxation is on the sale for the right to copy, aka the copyright or the subservient license to use. The actual information itself is never taxed -- for example, Studio A pays Studio B for the complete and entire ownership of all copyrights on film Z and pays the tax on that rights transfer. Now studio A makes 100 copies of film Z -- Studio A does not owe 100x the original tax. So, no rights transfer no taxation. Unlike if it were treated like real property, say for example a house where you pay tax on the sale of the house and then you regularly pay property tax on the house -- if you make 100 identical houses your property tax bill will increase one hundred fold.

Yet, should Peter the Pirate make 100 copies of film Z, he is potentially liable for 100 times the penalty of making a single copy. So no matter how many copies of the information is made -- no rights transfer no taxation for the "owner" but the infringer is subject to the same penalty for every copy he makes, whether he sells it or not. That's clearly inequitable.


In reality, infringement actions are based upon the violation of one of more of specific parts of a bundle of rights. This is the basis of property theory.

In reality, criminal human rights prosecutions are based upon the violation of one or more of specific parts of a bundle of rights. This is the basis of property theory.

Wait, that doesn't make sense. See, you can't just wave your hands and say that "all bundles of rights are the same thing." Else, I would go and patent torture today and save the world a lot of grief for the next 18 years, or sell out to Dr. Evil and make a BUNDLE!


Interference with the flow of money may be present, but isn't necessary; economic harm is not a necessary element of copyright infringement actions.

Perhaps you could provide a reasonably verifiable citation, preferably prior to the NET Act (which was when things really started to go off course), where economic harm was not a fundamental element of the case and where penalties were more than "a slap on the wrist."


Why must it be the case that property be rivalrous? Why can't non-rivalrous goods also be the subject of property rights?

The real question to be asked is why should non-rivalrous resources be treated as property?

The USA and most of modern western civilization has the belief that rivalrous resources are most efficiently managed as private property because such management tends to be the best way to minimize waste, such as the well-known phenomena of the tragedy of the commons.

But, non-rivalrous resources are not subject to the same sets of inefficiences related to over-consumption, and for that matter under-consumption. That's why they are non-rivalrous.

In the past we have, for the most part, been able to get a reasonable approximation of the maximum optimal efficient use of information by treating it as rivalrous because the resources to contain and duplicate it were rivalrous and usually cost orders of magnitude more than the cost to create the information. With the digital age, that connection with physical, rivalrous resources can be completely severed.

With that tie broken, the potential optimal efficiency for the use of information is now orders of magnitude greater than it was when it was contstrained to physical objects. Information is also now physically non-excludable, i.e. without the artifical construct of law there is nothing to prevent anyone from appropriating it as much and as many times as they wish.

So, given that the basic assumptions about efficient resource allocation and consumption of rivalrous goods no longer apply to information, why would it make sense to try to squish information back into the constraints of private property?


Indeed, property rights can be and are granted over non-rivalrous (or practically so) goods (e.g., access to a toll bridge, access to view an event that can fit all desired viewers without the decreasing of anyone's enjoyment, etc.).

Your examples are poor ones because they disprove your point.

In the case of a toll-bridge, access is rivalrous - if too many cars are on the bridge more can not enter. But, because it is rivalrous if too many cars try to use the toll bridge, that's clear evidence of market demand for a second toll bridge which will either get funded and built with tolls or an alternative cheaper solution will be found. If you were to counter with the example of an under-utilized bridge being non-rivalrous, the answer is that it only appears non-rivalrous because it is inefficient, the owner over-paid for the construction of the bridge, or is charging too high of a toll. Of course in real life, both cases of bridges have externalities that contribute to inefficiency. But the basic point that bridge access is rivalrous and thus should be probably be treated as property stands.

Your second example can be approached two ways and I am gonna take on both of them:
A) The fee is for access to the facilities which is being inefficiently used if it is under-sold. Maximum efficiency would come at whatever price produces demand exactly equal to every seat in the house, any more demand the rivalous nature of the resource is adamantly manifested. Of course, just like the bridges analysis, that ignores externalities such as the cost of janitors to clean up afterwards, etc.
B) The fee is to pay for the performance of the event. I particularly like this one because it ties in well with something I will probably end up mentioning in a day or two. Paying for the performance of the event means that the audience is paying for the work done to produce the event, plus whatever intrinsic value the event itself has to each consumer. The performance of the event is rivalrous because the people doing the work can not be doing anything else - their time is the rivalrous resource. In theory, there is a point at which too low of an attendence will cause the event to be cancelled, any tickets refunded and the work of performing remains undone, of course the externalities of overhead and such may make it marginally more cost effective to put on the show as long as there is at least one paying customer.


I probably wouldn't take the views of such guys on streets very seriously in this regard when they don't grasp basic property theory.

On the contrary, given the immense popularity of copyright infringment on the internet and the almost uniform rejection of any arguments, to the contrary by a significant minority, if not an outright majority, of the population, ignoring the common sense of the man on the street is likely to be a fatal error for a lot of corporations.

They can either learn how to make money with the economics of plenty that the internet has enabled, or they can fight a long, destructive and ultimately losing battle to maintain the economics of scarcity for their now very non-scare products.

By the way, a lot of your points (and some you are probably thinking about making now) were already addressed in the Stanford law school paper, I don't suppose you read it?
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Old 09-12-04, 04:30 AM
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Originally posted by Jah-Wren Ryel
You err in mistaking facts for information. Facts can not currently be copyrighted -- although certain corporations are constantly lobbying for that protection to be stricken down.

Information refers to just about anything that is not inherently physical. For example, in Denmark the term they use for their equivalent of the USA's "intellectual property" is "immateriel ejendom" - literally immaterial work.
This ain't Denmark, and information isn't a synonym for intangible here. In this country, information refers to facts/data separable from particular expressions. If the word you want to use is intangible, use it.

This is also incorrect. The taxation is on the sale for the right to copy, aka the copyright or the subservient license to use. The actual information itself is never taxed -- for example, Studio A pays Studio B for the complete and entire ownership of all copyrights on film Z and pays the tax on that rights transfer. Now studio A makes 100 copies of film Z -- Studio A does not owe 100x the original tax. So, no rights transfer no taxation. Unlike if it were treated like real property, say for example a house where you pay tax on the sale of the house and then you regularly pay property tax on the house -- if you make 100 identical houses your property tax bill will increase one hundred fold.
Actually, if Studio A makes 100 copies of Film Z and sells them, they owe tax on the income for those sales. Comparisons to real estate tax are false. Realty is not the only form of property; there is also personalty. Copyrighted material is taxed in the same way as personalty. If you were to make 100 chairs in your garage, you'd never be taxed on them until you sold them. The same is true of copies of copyrighted material; copyrighted material is taxed in the same manner as personal property.

Yet, should Peter the Pirate make 100 copies of film Z, he is potentially liable for 100 times the penalty of making a single copy. So no matter how many copies of the information is made -- no rights transfer no taxation for the "owner" but the infringer is subject to the same penalty for every copy he makes, whether he sells it or not. That's clearly inequitable.
First, I'm completely baffled by the idea that equity could come out of proportial equality between the taxation of legal transfers of goods and the penalties for illegal actions regarding those same goods. Why would taxation be such a baseline? And, second, the studio is taxed for every copy made and sold, so your proposed inequity doesn't exist, anyway.


In reality, criminal human rights prosecutions are based upon the violation of one or more of specific parts of a bundle of rights. This is the basis of property theory.

Wait, that doesn't make sense. See, you can't just wave your hands and say that "all bundles of rights are the same thing." Else, I would go and patent torture today and save the world a lot of grief for the next 18 years, or sell out to Dr. Evil and make a BUNDLE!
It is not the existence of the bundle that makes my comparison valid, but the content of the bundle. The bundle of rights regarding control is largely the same between personalty and intellectual property; these rights don't resemble in any way whatever bundle of rights we might come up with that constitute the umbrella of "human rights."

Perhaps you could provide a reasonably verifiable citation, preferably prior to the NET Act (which was when things really started to go off course), where economic harm was not a fundamental element of the case and where penalties were more than "a slap on the wrist."
Are you asking specifically for criminal examples? NETA applies only to criminal infringement actions. Civil infringement actions lack any of the sorts of economic and numerial bars that criminal actions have.

So, given that the basic assumptions about efficient resource allocation and consumption of rivalrous goods no longer apply to information, why would it make sense to try to squish information back into the constraints of private property?
I applaud your policy argument with a hearty golf-clap, but it's a mere prescriptive distraction from your guy on the street's descriptive error.

Your examples are poor ones because they disprove your point.


In the case of a toll-bridge, access is rivalrous - if too many cars are on the bridge more can not enter.
On a properly functioning bridge, more can always enter, as cars are always exiting on the other side.

The fee is for access to the facilities which is being inefficiently used if it is under-sold.
Really? What if the venue is bigger than any possible audience? And what does the efficiency of the use of the fee have to do with whether access is non-rivalrous?

The performance of the event is rivalrous because the people doing the work can not be doing anything else - their time is the rivalrous resource
Nonsense. The rivalry involved in this sense is always the ability of consumers to consume, not the ability of the provider to go off and do something else entirely. By your current proposition, copyrighted materials are also rivalrous, as content creators' time can be spent doing something else. Likewise, national defense would be thusly rivalrous, as the defenders' time can be spent doing something else. Everything becomes rivalrous under that analysis. This is all rejectable on its face, because it's a complete non sequitur. Are you sure you understand the concept of rivalry in economic theory?

Anyhow, you've done a wonderful job attempting to refute classic examples of non-rivalrous goods. I'm sure someone at even Stanford of all places has written a paper supporting those classic examples at some point. So, are you proposing, contra basic economic theory, that tangible non-rivalrous goods do not exist?

On the contrary, given the immense popularity of copyright infringment on the internet and the almost uniform rejection of any arguments, to the contrary by a significant minority, if not an outright majority, of the population, ignoring the common sense of the man on the street is likely to be a fatal error for a lot of corporations.
But I'm not a corporation, am I? How is any of that "on the contrary" to my assertion that your confused common man is of little value to me? Surely you type just so you can read it back to yourself later for a digital pat on the back, as it has no relation to anything I've said, despite your proclamation of contrariness.

By the way, a lot of your points (and some you are probably thinking about making now) were already addressed in the Stanford law school paper, I don't suppose you read it?
I have read it, and, to Mr. Lemly's credit, his paper doesn't address the false ideas that copyrighted materials are untaxed, that copyright infringement actions require economic harm, or that non-rivalrous goods cannot be tangible. He thus cannot have addressed my points therein. He, however, is sadly sloppy with his use of "information" as interchangable for "intangible but copyrightable;" still, I don't not see him addressing my response to that in his paper. Indeed, Mr. Lemly appears to disagree with you at some points; while you credit the tort law theory as being the "lawyer's view," Mr. Lemly categories it as a "relatively rare" "alternative" theory. Are you sure you've not only read it, but understood it?

DJ

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