Thursday, April 12, 2007

Intellectual Wrongs

I don't know about you but I've about had it with all of this intellectual rights nonsense. What is it exactly that all the heavy handed threats are about?
A news article from the Associated Press that I wanted to put on my website had this at the bottom: This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Well gee whiz, are we allowed to talk about it? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the purpose of the news to inform people? "Spread the news". Ever heard that saying? News is supposed to be spread. The news can't inform people if it doesn't get out there.
But don't even think about spreading it. Not any more.
God help anyone who wants to put one of the AP's news articles on their website, they'll be breaking some logic defying law. The law of acting like a selfish greedy panty wipe and having bleeding eyeballs over your NEWS ARTICLES getting out in the public domain complete with all the credit and self glorifying garbage you need to smear all over every little thing you do. It's an outrage.
It also serves to suppress information the public needs. What about that?
The news is just somebody writing a description of something that happened somewhere. It's not like the news industry owns the event. They don't. They can't say jack about it. They can't claim that the information they wrote about belongs to them. It doesn't. It's NEWS. It belongs to the public.
What about all those offices out there with clients that come and go all day and pick up the same newspaper? It gets read 50 times. Are you going to crack down on all those hair salons and doctors offices too? What's the difference?
It's self evident when it comes down to protecting some fat cat's profitability, or protecting common sense and the people's right to know, that the people and common sense can F.O.
Profits take it every time.
With whatever respect is due, the rip-off rich corporations aren't going hungry these days. More importantly, where do these people get off?
They can't have it both ways. Your news articles used to be sold to people in hard print. You had a good thing for a long time. You never came unglued over people trotting articles to the copier at work and passing them around. Why all of a sudden does the idea of people spreading important news articles amongst each other once YOU PUBLISH THEM seem like some kind of crime to you? How so? What's different?
Has anyone else seen the big name newspaper that thinks it gets to charge $4 just to read one of it's articles? Four dollars? For one article? Pick a butt cheek pal, and pucker up. That's just not going to happen. I've never paid $4 for a whole newspaper, I'm sure as heck not going to lay down and let you plunder me. What is wrong with these people's minds?
Once the news is published, it's out there. Something happens and it's something well known in the news industry. As soon as something's out there, it's open season. Every other paper in town can grab onto it and print it in their own papers too. Just change a word here and there and boom, it's not even plagiarism. It's business as usual. Moms and Dads clip articles and mail them to family members in Idaho. It spreads all over the place. It's supposed to.
You've gotten paid for your work. But now you feel compelled to assert some right to toss a fat juicy chicken into a fox hole, and then piss and moan when the foxes come up to eat it. That's just stupid.
Once you publish the news, it's out there. It's public domain. Copyrights prevent people from putting their name on your exact printed version, but it starts spreading. You've published it, it's out there. It's over. Let go. There's no claiming you've got strings attached. It's like the folks who used to tie a string to a quarter and put it into the candy machine, then get their candy and pull the quarter back out. You want to have your cake and eat it too. It doesn't work that way.
Give me one good reason why I can't put your articles on my website. I make absolutely no profit on it. What is it exactly you're losing out on? There's no money involved anywhere. If your article sits idly on a server somewhere or if it's on my website, what flaming difference does it make, really? What is your problem?
It's obvious to me that this is about more than rabid greed. It's about being an asshole. And that's something any giant corporation can do better than anything else. It's the war of the assholes, and we're the targets. And they buy the legal right to be assholes from our dear, trustworthy law makers who slime us with lies, take corporate money and grant them anything they want, no matter how outrageous.
Well, I've got a little birdie for the lot of you crooks. And by the way, Bite Me. I'm redistributing whatever I find out there, it's finder's keepers. If you don't want your precious stuff touched then put it somewhere safe. Don't throw it into the middle of the public square and then shout foul when people pick it up and use it. That's the law of nature.
News corporations need to choose. Do they want to profit by selling the news to the public, which means we get to keep it? (SELL remember? Money for NEWS. An exchange. A trade. It's ours now.) OR do you want to write all those stories and lock them away where no one can see them? Because you can't have it both ways. It's out here or it's in your safe deposit box, but don't tell me what I find in my own living room doesn't belong to me. I guaran-damn-tee you it does.

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