Author Topic: L. Neil Smith has Important Shire Business  (Read 66713 times)

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Offline CurtHowland

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Re: L. Neil Smith has Important Shire Business
« Reply #285 on: July 18, 2010, 06:35:15 PM »
My family and I visited the Henry Ford Museum yesterday, where I saw this.



How coincidental.


Ah, if only time could bent, and Jefferson were asked his opinion of inserting the word Smith inserted into the Declaration for his _Divergence_:

"...unanimous consent of the governed..."


Offline Bill St. Clair

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Re: L. Neil Smith has Important Shire Business
« Reply #286 on: July 18, 2010, 08:05:22 PM »
I was looking forward to reading Neil's and Myrkul999's articles about IP in today's edition of The Libertarian Enterprise (TLE), but it's not up yet. Life must have gotten in the way for Ken Holder (TLE's editor). Soon, I hope.
"The state can only survive as long as a majority is programmed to believe that theft isn't wrong if it's called taxation or asset forfeiture or eminent domain, that assault and kidnapping isn't wrong if it's called arrest, that mass murder isn't wrong if it's called war." -- Bill St. Clair

"Separation of Earth and state!" -- Bill St. Clair

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Re: L. Neil Smith has Important Shire Business
« Reply #287 on: July 18, 2010, 11:29:00 PM »
Would most courts agree with Ian or L Neil Smith?

It has been interesting reading all the thoughts about copyrights, etc., but the bottom line is What will the courts say?

Cj


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Re: L. Neil Smith has Important Shire Business
« Reply #288 on: July 18, 2010, 11:39:28 PM »
    "Zero Aggression Principle":

    A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being for any reason whatever; nor will a libertarian advocate the initiation of force, or delegate it to anyone else.

    Those who act consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim.
    — L. Neil Smith

It seems to me that L Neil Smith has implied that he may initiate the use of force against Ian/Shire Society via his lawyer and the Court System.

 If he does file a case, is that breaking the first sentence of ZAP? If it does break the Zero Aggression Principle, then LNS is not a libertarian, by his own definition. Right? That is, "regardless of what he may claim."

Cj





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Re: L. Neil Smith has Important Shire Business
« Reply #289 on: July 19, 2010, 01:12:59 AM »
    "Zero Aggression Principle":

    A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being for any reason whatever; nor will a libertarian advocate the initiation of force, or delegate it to anyone else.

    Those who act consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim.
    — L. Neil Smith

It seems to me that L Neil Smith has implied that he may initiate the use of force against Ian/Shire Society via his lawyer and the Court System.

 If he does file a case, is that breaking the first sentence of ZAP? If it does break the Zero Aggression Principle, then LNS is not a libertarian, by his own definition. Right? That is, "regardless of what he may claim."

Cj



Presumably, he believes force was initiated by people using his ideas without his permission. It sounds silly, but no doubt that's his position.

He's a libertarian, definitely, I just think he's wrong on this issue. This trend of calling people non-libertarians because they disagree on one issue seems silly to me.

Offline Jeremy (Jitgos)

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Re: L. Neil Smith has Important Shire Business
« Reply #290 on: July 19, 2010, 04:30:42 AM »
Well, it's online and it's a doozie http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2010/tle579-20100718-02.html

It's a rant and I'm not sure there's one relevant or rational point in the whole article.

"The very next thing I knew, I was being defamed, by the leader of these scavengers and parasites, to all sixteen of the listeners to his Internet radio show, and all over the Internet."

"Even more, it's like a rapist saying afterward, "Hey, if you were a virgin, at least that's taken care of now. And if you weren't, then you haven't really lost anything, have you? True, I have benefited from your sexuality, but you still have it, don't you? And if you didn't want to get raped, you had no business going out in public and spraying pheromones all over. In fact, I think I'm the real victim, here.""

"They informed me, loftily, that just because I think of an idea, that doesn't mean it belongs to me. That if I don't want something I created stolen, then I shouldn't communicate it to the world. Fine—and if everybody followed this "advice", these creeps wouldn't have any opposition to their thievery, and no stories or books would ever be published, no songs would ever be written, no music would ever be composed."
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 04:32:55 AM by Jeremy (Jitgos) »

Offline PaulOtt

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Re: L. Neil Smith has Important Shire Business
« Reply #291 on: July 19, 2010, 05:18:47 AM »
That man is a comedic genius. Are his books that hilarious too? Maybe I should buy one.

Oh, and "to all sixteen of the listeners to his Internet radio show, and all over the Internet"? You mean FreeTalkLive.com, the site that reaches 700% more people than The Libertarian Enterprise website, according to Alexa.com? That's not even mentioning the 80 plain ole radio stations that carry the show.

L. Neil Smith might write good books, I don't know, but this article makes apparent what a petty little man he is.

If only he had spent more time addressing the intellectual ideas surrounding the issue instead of twisting facts ("politely informed them") and rambling about unrelated topics.  Although clearly a few people deeply respect his work and contributions to libertarian fiction, at the end of the day he isn't that important and doesn't carry that much influence. His The Probability Broach is ranked #1,200,753 (lower numbers are better) in books at Amazon.

I can see why he's clinging to his IP business model and I feel a little sorry for him.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 05:25:30 AM by PaulOtt »

Offline CurtHowland

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Re: L. Neil Smith has Important Shire Business
« Reply #292 on: July 19, 2010, 08:36:24 AM »
That man is a comedic genius. Are his books that hilarious too? Maybe I should buy one.


If the postings are any indication, it seems that I may have read more of them than most anyone here.

Yes, they are that good. Smith's wit and word skills are excellent, and on other subjects his logic has always been well grounded.

I recommend his "Tactical Reflections"

http://www.lneilsmith.org/tactical.html

as well as the entire novel _Ceres_.

http://www.bigheadpress.com/lneilsmith/?page_id=53

Offline sethcohn

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Re: L. Neil Smith has Important Shire Business
« Reply #293 on: July 19, 2010, 08:49:31 AM »
Lord knows, Ian and I don't usually agree, despite being on the same side of the fence on many issues...
So it's nice when I can clearly side with him on something.  L. Neil. Smith, despite all of his years, or perhaps because of all of his years, is plain wrong.

http://ncc-1776.org/tle2010/tle579-20100718-02.html

Ok, now that's linked to, let's rip it apart and see what straw horses he owns...

Quote
Lately, we have witnessed the rise of a movement—a thuggish crusade wrapped in the tattered robes of academic "respectability" against "Intellectual Property Rights"—dedicated to stripping creative individuals of whatever they create, to expropriate it for some imagined "greater good", and to attack the creators viciously and defame them if they should be so gauche as to object to being stolen from.


Except, despite his assertions, the long history of music, of literature, of science, all benefited from what LNS calls 'stealing', which everyone calls 'building on the past'  Lawrence Lessig documents this extensively, and makes the case far better than Ian or I could:
http://www.free-culture.cc/index.html  And he gives the entire damn book away for free... and let's people remix it, because he knows that's the best way to spread ideas and let the best ones grow, as well.

Quote
Their principal "argument" seems to be, now that almost everything is digitized and can be duplicated, manipulated, and transported by means of electronics, that this somehow removes the moral obligation of civilized beings to respect the rights of others and honor their propriety.


Wrong, and LNS clearly doesn't understand the core issues here.  He confuses the minor issues of now (the ease of copying), with the long term fundamental problem: "Is an idea a property?  Can one man claim to control the spread of an idea once he has shared it, and is it even possible to do that without force?"

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I am currently thinking these thoughts, and many more besides, because, when they thought I wasn't looking, a small handful of literary muggers and rapists have taken something that I am fairly famous for having written—my "Covenant of Unanimous Consent"—inflicted alterations on it which they falsely claim makes it a different document, and then fraudulently passed it off as their own work.


Others here on this forum raised an interesting issue: contract law itself is based on the ability to clone contracts, create boilerplate, modify the contract as needed (sometimes with a simple linethru and initials of all parties), etc.  LNS ignores that, and want to insist it's a creative work. Ok, without conceding the point (I do believe it's clearly a contract, and thus under the realm of contractual text), let's pretend it is...

"Covenant of Unanimous Consent" (hence CUC) is a expression of an idea.  Some felt that the idea expressed did NOT meet their full consent,  and felt the need to alter the expression of that idea to better suit them.

The question is them simply: did they have that right?  Are they allowed to 'build on the past', and change the expression to suit them better?

In contractual law, yes, clearly.
In copyright law, as practiced in 2010, with the absurdities the state now enforces, perhaps not.  Having even a few words or notes strung together, it's possible claim a copyright violation.  Sampling even a tiny bit of a song is considered infringement, subject to licensing and payment for the rights of use.  LNS clearly feels that fine with him.  But it's clearly not a valid libertarian position, because the only possible enforcement of such a thing requires a massive system of technology, state power, and/or mandatory contracts.  The society required to both create LNS's CUC and also to enforce his desire of copyright is untenable.  In fact, I issue a public challenge to him and anyone else who wishes to contend that it's compatible with freedom otherwise: prove it by modeling that society in a work of fiction with all details fleshed out, all criticisms raised answered.

Just as LNS in 'HOPE' pointed out to a RonPaulian figure that abortion prohibition requires a massive statist structure, as seen here:
http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2008/tle485-20080921-02.html
I challenge him that we (and I think the we is quite broad and includes some major names) can and have made the same claims about copyright.  If he'd like, I'll be glad to compile a pastiche of the above excerpt substituting 'copyright' for 'abortion', if he would like it so spelt out.

Quote
I've seem plagiarism before.


LNS confuses plagiarism with idea modification.  The Shire Society did use his CUC as a base, but they openly felt it did not express their desired intent in a variety of ways.  So the question becomes 'Do they have the right to modify the document in part, or use lines from it, or essentially use 1%-99% of it.  Plagiarism is using 100% of it, and signing your own name to it, and really is a case of misattribution.
But that isn't the case here.

Quote
so that, in the end, I was considered the villain of the piece, and called names, simply for having defended my own work from theft.


Ah, but was it theft, LNS?  You assume the verdict, and skip the trial.  You are so convinced a crime has occurred, you wish to jump to the sentencing.

I'm going to skip the entire issue of 'statist asshole', because of LNS's claim that involving his lawyer didn't constitute involving the state.  A very questionable claim, given that even private adjudication requires both parties to agree to there being a problem, and that is far from agreed to, so if he hoped to have some leverage to even get there, he'd have to invoke some form of state based threat.
 
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I have a small bet with myself that if I had informed these opponents of common, civilized behavior that I consider what they have done amounts to an act of initiated force against me—with all of the consequences that entails—intervention on their behalf by the State, most likely in the form of badged and uniformed policemen who could prevent me from dealing with them directly, myself, would suddenly, miraculously appear a whole lot more attractive and morally acceptable.


Actually, knowing the individuals involved (I am neither involved in the Shire Society nor am I signing of it or the CUC), I rather doubt that.  I think they'd be laughing their asses off at your claim of initiated force, and requiring you to prove it.  And watching you fail even worse.

Quote
At some point, I realized that the topic of intellectual property rights (about which I have never before been particularly interested)


Ding Ding Ding.  Herein lies the crux of the matter.  LNS, having not found it interesting, has never been forced to focus on it, and I expect if he takes the challenge above, will discover, that like Abortion Prohibition, Copyright is not compatible with the Freedom he desires.

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The very next thing I knew, I was being defamed, by the leader of these scavengers and parasites, to all sixteen of the listeners to his Internet radio show, and all over the Internet. But, of course, had I decided sue the guy for libel, slander, and defamation,


Both parties, having made insulting and inaccurate remarks about the other, the case is dismissed with prejudice.  Moving on....

Quote
The first tenet is that there is a distinction between physical property and what some—especially its creators—claim to be "intellectual property."


Indeed.  Do you wish to dispute this, LNS?  Do you wish to claim that physical property, which has weight, mass, and the singular property of being in one place at a time in the space time continuum, shares that 'property' (using the other sense of the word), with an idea (a story, a concept, a math equation, a melody, the list goes on)?  Please to inform the court the weight of a joke, the mass of 'E=MC^2", or the current location of 'Somewhere over the Rainbow'?

Quote
They informed me, loftily, that just because I think of an idea, that doesn't mean it belongs to me. That if I don't want something I created stolen, then I shouldn't communicate it to the world. Fine—and if everybody followed this "advice", these creeps wouldn't have any opposition to their thievery, and no stories or books would ever be published, no songs would ever be written, no music would ever be composed.


Except prior to the invention of 'copyright', all of these things existed and were created, so QED, your claim that 'copyright' is what empowers authors and composers (and all idea makers) is incorrect, because they existed first, they did create, and the claim that the world would stop creating without copyright is clearly only a supposition on your part.  In fact, as Lessig has documented, the _exact_ argument can be made in reverse: copyright is STOPPING the creation of new stories/books/music.  I call Spider Robinson to the stand:
http://www.spiderrobinson.com/melancholyelephants.html

(Please note Mr Robinson's testimony was written 25 years ago, but remains entirely valid today.)
(Please also note Mr Robinson has put his testimony in the form of a Hugo winning short story, which he's licensed (more recently) in an Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License meaning that he feels fine with folks passing it around, because he understands that ideas can be shared, but like you, LNS, he currently depends on the copyright for his bread and butter, and hates plagarism as well.)

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As an individualist, I'm not generally interested in Utilitarian arguments. However, it is worth noting that the past 300 years have seen the greatest progress in human history, and it's exactly the same era in which copyright has been respected and stringently enforced.


And we can name other 300 year old items... John Locke's writings, Calculus.  I would be just as valid claiming that the free spread of Locke's idea, or the development of Calculus lead to the greatest progress in human history.    Again, Lessig's work above makes the case that copyright's got benefits and disadvantages... and that a free culture can have those as well.

Besides which, claiming that the stringent enforcement of a law has lead to great progress, and so is justified?  Hmm... I smell a bit of fecal matter there, LNS, coming off you?

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In this connection it's worth asking, since there is no actual difference between intellectual property and physical property,


Which you haven't answered, just claimed.  The other side has made it's case quite clearly.  Stephan Kinsella writes a nice summary here: http://mises.org/daily/3682 "The Case Against IP: A Concise Guide"  Kinsella is a patent law attorney who as he says early in the piece, "I finally realized that IP is incompatible with genuine property rights."

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My first observation is that, in a moral context, there is no discernable difference between physical property and intellectual property...

Traditionally in civilized property theory, "mingling your labor with the land", the concepts of "sweat equity", and of "selling little bits of your life" in order to acquire whatever you need or want, abolishes any meaningful difference between physical and intellectual property.


Nobody here is arguing what 'tradition' says.  We don't care what 'tradition' says.  Tradition is anti-liberty, LNS, in this case.
Kinsella demolishes the claims that IP is pro-liberty.  If the choice, as you made in Hope, is between Abortion prohibition and Liberty, then the choice is clear: We pick the Liberty.

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Almost to a man (if that's not giving these poor creatures too much credit) I have noticed that none of these would-be looters seem to be female


Except I can produce dozens of women who will argue the cause... so let's pretend you didn't go there.

Quote
They seem a little unendowed in the imagination department, too. I have spent my entire adult life writing novels about how the mechanics of civilization can be reengineered to exclude the very concept of government.


Thus my challenge: because I am perfectly willing to be proven wrong, if you wish to flesh out a novel or even a short story, to show we're incorrect here.  I have provided scholarly works filled with facts about the dangers of copyright, a Hugo winning short story on the stifling effects of copyright, , and a prolific IP law aware pro-liberty lawyer who now says all IP is bad for liberty (his main treatise can be found here (for free) http://www.stephankinsella.com/publications/#againstip ).  You have only to answer them all, LNS, and be proven correct that your imagination is the better one.  Show us the society that is both proliberty and procopyright.
 
Quote
I hereby sentence them to read The Probability Broach, Pallas, and especially Forge of the Elders. Just because the state has protected intellectual property rights in the past, that doesn't mean intellectual property rights don't have to be protected. Just because it's difficult to imagine how, that doesn't relieve us of the moral burden.


Show me a society where Abortion Prohibition can coexist with Liberty.... wait a sec....
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 11:46:44 AM by sethcohn »

Offline AntonLee

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Re: L. Neil Smith has Important Shire Business
« Reply #294 on: July 19, 2010, 09:06:47 AM »
nice post Seth.
I am as desirous of being a good neighbor as I am of being a bad subject.

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Offline Jeremy (Jitgos)

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Re: L. Neil Smith has Important Shire Business
« Reply #295 on: July 19, 2010, 09:21:19 AM »
Really great job Seth. I'm not holding my breath for him to respond to your logical arguments.

When Ian emailed him about arbitration didn't he say not to worry about it because this article would help solve the problem or something? Like there would be some compromise or solution offered. This was a plain and simple meltdown from a guy who clearly is having a difficult time rectifying his deep-seated belief that he's a libertarian with his anti-liberty ip stance.

Like he admitted, he's never looked at this issue before so hopefully he's open-minded and humble enough to look at it rationally in the future.

Offline Myrkul999

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Re: L. Neil Smith has Important Shire Business
« Reply #296 on: July 19, 2010, 09:26:26 AM »
 My Response to L. Neil, including the Article I wrote, With apologies for the long post:
Quote
Well, I read your article, Or perhaps more accurately, Opinion piece. Nowhere in there were my "maunderings" addressed. Your sole logical argument was that because you spent a finite amount of time thinking about the document you wrote, you should be able to derive infinite income from it, and no other derivative works can ever be made.

Your emotional arguments included comparing a copyright violator to a rapist. I also noticed that you mentioned your and your Wife's grandmothers resorted to calling anyone who disagreed with them, Communists. You forgot to mention that that was one of the first things you called me, and based on the copies of your emails other have posted, I was not alone. I'll assume it was a simple mistake, and not an intentional omission.

A rape victim has had actual harm done to them, often with physical evidence. I ask you again: Show me the harm, and I will do my utmost to make reparations.

My contention has never been that you do not have property rights, or that you should not benefit from your work. My contention is, and always has been, that Ideas cannot and moreover, should not, be considered to be property. Data, knowledge, information, and inspiration all increase when shared, whereas conventional property does not. If I make 1000 copies of The Probability Broach, and hand them out to people, I have increased your presence in the world, not diminished it. If I give a parcel of land to 1000 people (Who must all share that parcel), each one will get a small piece indeed. Each person I give a copy of your book to, however, gets the same book, whole and entire. The ideas are there in each copy, exactly as they are in the original manuscript which you presumably have somewhere safe.

If the issue is one of not getting credit, Neil, your name is on the very first page of the thread where the final document was hashed out. This thread is the very first link on the page which www.ShireSociety.com currently links to. The intention was to put your name very prominently (most likely with a link back), on the eventual Shire Society homepage. You received (And Will receive), credit as prominently as was possible.

As TLE declined to publish my rebuttal piece, I will Include a copy of it here, as well as at the discussion thread linked in my previous emails.


Article Follows:
Quote
IP is Dead, Long Live Media!

The Internet is a wonderful thing. It has enabled communication in a way no other invention since the telephone has. It has also enabled the sharing and reproduction of all kinds of media, from print, to audio and video. The only comparable revolution was the Printing press. Before the printing press, a copy of a manuscript was only possible through long hours of manually copying each page. While this resulted in beautiful works of art which are still cherished today, it also drastically limited the audience for those books. With the advent of the Printing Press, a book could be completely reproduced in the time it once took to copy a few pages. Data became less scarce, only as scarce as the resources required to print a book.

Now, with the Internet, that same book can be reproduced in the time it once took to set the type for a single page, or even faster, if you don't need a hard copy. This is a nightmare for content producers, much as the Printing press was. Worse, since the reproduction of the book does not require the expenditure of physical resources. The Internet, as Cory Doctorow has said, is a gigantic copy machine. It is based on making copies.

As you read this article, you're not reading the original. The original is still on my computer. You're not even reading the copy I Emailed to editor@ncc-1776.org, since that copy is still in the inbox. You're not even reading the copy that was uploaded to the server. That copy is still there, for others to access. You're actually reading a copy stored locally in a temporary directory. By Conventional copyright law, You, the site, and gods know how many servers along the way, have already committed violations, by copying and storing my work.

Data on the Internet is no longer scarce at all, it is abundant. Just as no-one can own the air, because it is abundant, No-one can own Internet-resident Data. If you keep the data off the Internet and on a piece of paper, You can own the piece of paper that the Data is written on, and if you prevent the Data from being copied (Thus keeping it scarce), you can own that data, But the moment you make it accessible on the Internet, it becomes abundant, and out of your control.

What's worse, Modifying information has never been easier, either. Before the printing press, you were required to scrape the vellum and re-write what you wanted to change. After the printing press, you had to print another page, or, eventually, use white-out or another correction method. Now, modifying a book is easy as a few keystrokes. Images can be altered with a few mouse movements. Music can be remixed almost as easily. My work, this article, can be easily edited... Once it's out of my control. All of those copies out there are out of my control. Obviously, trying to control what is done with those copies is almost as absurd as trying to stop them from being created.

That's OK, though... Because I have no claim on those copies. They're not mine. I made the article available on the Internet, and thus abundant. The copy on your hard drive is your property now, since the data which comprises it resides on your property (Your hard drive). Were I to lay claim on them, I would be laying claim to part of your property, claiming that I can tell you how to use your property (Your hard drive). I don't think any reader of The Libertarian Enterprise would appreciate that. Since it's your property, you can do whatever you want with that copy of the article. You can save it, delete it, print it, even edit it. Though, if you do edit it, I would appreciate if you would not attempt to pass off the resultant work as being wholly mine, or wholly yours. You can, of course, if you want... But I can always prove you wrong by producing the original.

But... How to make a buck when my work can so easily be copied, or even altered? There are many ways to profit from a good you cannot control the access to. By far, the easiest is to simply *ask*. The donation model has a long history of working very well. Ad-supported works well, too... It's the model the Internet was built on. Many content producers do well by using the Internet as a method to promote their traditional media works. Giving away your content is a great way to get an audience.

On podiobooks.com, you will find several authors whose for-pay works have gotten their start by giving it away. The Solar Clipper series, by Nathan Lowell, is currently ranked on Amazon with the likes of R. A. Heinlein. Scott Sigler parlayed his free audiobook into a contract with Crown books (A division of Random House) J. C. Hutchins' wildly successful audio-book podcast was recently optioned by Warner Brothers. In addition, he's also got a deal with Discovery to help promote the second season of The Colony, as well as a book published by St. Martin's Press. Cory Doctorow, who gives away all his books online for free, does a booming business on his dead-tree format books. Jonathan Coulton calls the Internet his "Money pooping cow", which he feeds music, and out comes money.

Maybe you've never heard of any of those people. Maybe some more mainstream Examples would help? Radiohead released their 2007 album "In Rainbows" on the web only, and asked only that downloaders pay "whatever they want". Nine inch Nails Released "Ghosts I-IV" online, offering the first 9 tracks for free, in DRM-free MP3s. They sold out of their $300 limited edition package. Not "mainstream", but certainly more likely to be known in these circles, J, Neil Schulman's "Alongside Night" outsells all his other works on Amazon... And he gives that one away free online.

Content producers have found ways to still do what they love, and make a living doing it, even considering the Internet's destruction of the notion that you can control what other people do with their copies of your works. Whether or not you think IP is a viable concept for a Libertarian society, you have to acknowledge that it's an unenforceable and unnecessary one in the Internet age.
"I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do."
- Robert A. Heinlein
When there are many laws, There is much crime. 
- Lao Tze
"He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me."
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Offline Myrkul999

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Re: L. Neil Smith has Important Shire Business
« Reply #297 on: July 19, 2010, 09:28:31 AM »
Also, Great post, Seth.
"I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do."
- Robert A. Heinlein
When there are many laws, There is much crime. 
- Lao Tze
"He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me."
-Thomas Jefferson

Offline sethcohn

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Re: L. Neil Smith has Important Shire Business
« Reply #298 on: July 19, 2010, 11:22:48 AM »
and I expect if he takes the challenge above, will discover, that like Abortion, Copyright is not compatible with the Freedom he desires.

Correction (and obvious from the context, but for clarity):

that should read Abortion _Prohibition_

Offline sethcohn

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Re: L. Neil Smith has Important Shire Business
« Reply #299 on: July 19, 2010, 11:45:24 AM »
you can't own the idea of a voluntary society.  Someone, somewhere down the line might decide that a new Shire Society document is needed?  Are they going to need the permission from the first preparers of the Shire Society document?  Do they need to ask Russell Kanning for permission to use the word "Shire"?


Just a quick comment here:  In mid (06-16) 2004,  Christine and I published on the FSP website:
http://freestateproject.org/community/guestbook/shire.php  entitled "Our visit to the Shire"
At that time, I don't believe the term was in current usage, and was 'original' to us.
This has come up a few times over the years, and I've corrected folks who thought Russell invented the usage.

Russell and others (including myself) began using it, to both describe New Hampshire at first, as well as (I do believe he was first to use it in this way) Russell's concept of a (not so)'virtual' community that spanned past the formal boundaries of towns in NH, to encompass whereever freestaters resided.

So the word Shire, above and beyond any Tolkien-ish influences, whom we must all clearly credit, was in common usage to describe NH and the area, at least as early as mid-2004, and nobody 'owns' it... Russell's concept, taken to the ends of a 'Shire Society', doesn't give him any more ownership of a word than Tolkien would have in claiming that only hobbits can join the Shire Society, since only hobbits lived in the Shire.