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12/11/2003 Archived Entry: "Jim Bovard, Intellectual Property"

JIM BOVARD SPOKE AT A CATO FORUM yesterday, which you can view or listen to here. Jim's latest book, Terrorism and Tyranny is a must-read. Statistics from the book turned up in Jim's speech -- stats on murder by "private" terrorism vs murder by government during the same recent period. Guess which is worse, by orders of magnitude? Hm. Kinda makes you wonder why we're not all conducting a War on Government, rather than all these other wars.

Jim also sent a nice note:

Your blog is superb. ...

I vigorously second your views on intellectual property. Most of the people who oppose intellectual property rights are the kind of writers who don't need to worry about a copyright to protect their own work -- there is no risk of them ever being plagiarized. (Or they are part of the think tank crowd that relies on salaries from foundations, not from hacking out a living by finding individuals who would actually pay for their work).

Jim promises a healthy rant about think-tankers in general at some later date. Oh, goodie. :-)

Despite any author's defense of IP, it's pretty damn horrifying (yet somehow not surprising) to learn that the director of the ATF, Bradley Buckles, is about to take a job as the RIAA's copyright-enforcement honcho. The Recording Industry Association of America already represents everything that's wrong with copyright law and IP enforcement. Adding ATF ninja tactics isn't going to help the cause.

What corporations and governments have been doing with copyright law is outrageous. I don't support them for one minute. My position is that, if we value the work of the human mind, we ensure disaster if we throw the precious baby (intellectual property rights) out with the dirty bathwater (the egregious Digital Millennium Copyright Act, twisted concepts of digital-rights management, and copyrights extended into damn-near perpetuity).

But the corporations and industry associations playing IP games? They're dirty water, indeed -- and with the hiring of Buckles, it looks as if they're about to get worse.

Posted by Claire @ 09:41 AM CST

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