Are western politicians and diplomats warranted in their outrage at Julian Assange for his revelations on Wikileaks?

administrator's picture
Submitted by administrator on Sun, 2010-12-12 23:06
Yes, he is a terrorist and should be assassinated.
4% (1 vote)
Yes, he should be arrested for treason.
13% (3 votes)
No, don't shoot the messenger.
58% (14 votes)
No, he's a hero.
17% (4 votes)
Other, please specify
8% (2 votes)
Total votes: 24

Damien...

Marcus's picture

...the US has not asked for him to be extradited. They have also laid no charges against him.

Why they do not just do so now while he is in the UK you have to ask Assange himself.

In his conspiracy theory world it is the Swedes who are "in bed" with the US.

Go figure!

a gentleman, Mr Davis...

Damien Grant's picture

does not blog about what he does in the bedroom, nor what others do not for that matter.

Your boasting about your conquests do not impress me much, to misquote Ms Twain.

On topic, if the US want to get their hands on Mr Wikileaks, why can they not seek him from the United Kingdom?

I do not see that there is any need to send him to Sweden. Am I missing something?

And you only bring it up now?

Marcus's picture

You should have fucked some sense into her Eye

Yes, good article

gregster's picture

Btw, I knew the NZ journalist who was recently arrested in Libya. Sharron Ward. At one stage she shared my bed. It turns out she's another comprachicoed university graduate. Her videos are online, ., she wouldn't give head - kept going on about patriarchal this and that, I tried to dispose her of that view. And she's now a champion for Assange, as are most anti-freedom liberals.

The standard-bearers of the Left are destroying themselves

Marcus's picture

In their worship of Julian Assange, the standard-bearers of the Left are destroying everything they once held dear.

"They just can’t help themselves. Today it’s John Pilger in the New Statesman: “The pursuit of Julian Assange is an assault on freedom and a mockery of journalism”.

One by one the cream of the intellectual left (and George Galloway) are lining up, in well-disciplined rows, to hurl themselves lemming-like onto the rocks of WikiLeaks.

Tony Benn: “the charges are that it was a non-consensual relationship. Well that's very different from rape”. Galloway: "Even taken at its worst, if the allegations made by these two women were true, 100 per cent true, and even if a camera in the room captured them, they don't constitute rape”. Pilger: “Swedish case documents, including the text messages of the women involved, demonstrated to any fair minded person the absurdity of the sex allegations”...

Remember, these are not Twitter warriors we’re talking about. It’s Members of Parliament; award-winning journalists; a former ambassador.

It is a staggering, sickening spectacle. I’m so transfixed with morbid curiosity I don’t know where to look. Do we point to the sheer hypocrisy of those who have spent years banging on about the need for "war criminals" like Tony Blair to be brought to book, but now so casually discard the validity of an international extradition warrant? Should we focus on the way this clique of supposed "internationalists" has become so tiny that they are now deaf even to the cries of the dwindling band of fellow travellers who are begging them to see the damage they are doing to the Great Cause? Or should we instead simply concentrate on the absence of basic humanity that prevents the Assange booster-club from even entertaining the possibility that two women could have been sexually violated, and that they at least deserve to have their claims investigated via due judicial process?

Maybe none of those things. Perhaps we should just stand back and reflect on the greatest irony of the Julian Assange and WikiLeaks affair. His supporters told us this was the moment a bright light would be shone into the darkest recesses of global power politics. When we would finally peer deep into the blackened souls of our global rulers.

But in fact it isn’t the Tony Blairs and George Bushes who have been exposed by this whole squalid business. It’s the Pilgers and the Murrays and the Galloways and the Milnes. It’s their values and character that are now on trial. And unlike their hero Assange, they have nowhere to run or hide."

Wikileaks: no proof that Julian Assange encouraged leak

Marcus's picture

Wikileaks: no proof that Julian Assange encouraged leak

Investigators in the United States are believed to have failed to find evidence to support a prosecution of Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, for encouraging the leak of secret government documents.

"Furious officials and congressmen have called for Mr Assange to be tried for "inducing" the disclosure of diplomatic cables by Bradley Manning, a US army private. Pte Manning, 23, is being held at a military base in Virginia on suspicion of leaking the official secrets, which have been reported by The Daily Telegraph.

Politicians including Mike Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor and prospective candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, have called for Mr Assange to be executed if convicted. Yet lawyers for the FBI and the US department of justice have not found evidence that Mr Assange told Pte Manning to hand WikiLeaks the files, according to reports.

They may be forced to try to prosecute the WikiLeaks chief for conspiracy, a case that would be harder to prove and at odds with their statements that Mr Assange took advantage of the young soldier.

It is thought the investigators found no evidence linking Mr Assange directly with Pte Manning. He has maintained that he had no communication with the soldier.

Mr Assange is in London fighting extradition to Sweden over unrelated allegations of sexual crimes, which he denies. "

Julian Assange 'would face bias in Sweden', retired judge says

Marcus's picture

Julian Assange 'would face bias in Sweden', retired judge says

"The prosecutor leading the rape and sexual assault case against Julian Assange is a "malicious" radical feminist who is "biased against men", a retired senior Swedish judge has told the hearing into Assange's extradition to Sweden.

In caustic evidence on the first day of the two-day hearing, Brita Sundberg-Weitman, a former appeal court judge, told Belmarsh magistrates court that Sweden's chief prosecutor, Marianne Ny, who is seeking the WikiLeaks founder's extradition, "has a rather biased view against men". "I can't understand her attitude here. It looks malicious," she said.

Geoffrey Robertson QC, acting for Assange, asked if it was her view that Ny wanted "to get [Assange] into her clutches and then arrest him no matter what?"

"Yes" said Sundberg-Weitman. "It might be her attitude to have the man arrested and maybe let him suffer for a few weeks to have him softer [for interrogation]."

Such was the hostility towards Assange in Sweden that "most people take it for granted that he's raped two women", she said. The country is seeking Assange's extradition in relation to allegations of rape, sexual assault and sexual molestation made by two women in August.

He denies all the allegations and has not been charged."

Sam

Rosie's picture

Would Recent Places be a little too optimistic?

As a last resort, if you really can't find it, and given your age, I guess you may need to try Devices with Removable Storage.

Eye

BTW She may not offer you her number because she is testing how keen you are AND your sleuthing abilities in one go and with the advantage of remaining modest and virtuous. I.e., not pushy. Three in one. If she is smart, and appreciates the distinction between transparency and honesty, and knows that you do also, she won't give you her number. Eye

Rosie,

Sam Pierson's picture

heh, ok I did like that. Am I that transparent? Smiling

Call me old-fashioned but I reckon if you email her and she doesn't offer you her number then tracking it down yourself over the interwebs and using it is called CREEPY STALKING!

But that's just me. And I know women see things different, bless 'em.

Sex drive? I know what C: drive is, and D: Should I look in 'My Computer' or 'My Network Places' ? Sticking out tongue

Rosie

Doug Bandler's picture

I agree with your general point. If a man is truly in love and the woman is virtuous, he should not feel embarrassed to express his heart. However, even then he should be wary of when and where and on what media he expresses himself.

However, if the man is a slut and he is attempting to seduce sluts, then he needs the JumboTron Test (you're right that its a Test more than a Rule) to prevent him from exactly what happened to Assange.

Sam

Rosie's picture

she was 19, he 33. They'd met once in person. To say "I want to explore your kisses further" should make any woman go WTF?

I don't know or care about the details of their affair but if she is giving him kisses after meeting once, I doubt that she wold say WTF to any note that he wants to explore them further!

Tracking down her license plate & phone number & then calling her, well... what a romantic!
Why is this odd? Any man wanting to see a woman but does not know how to get hold of her will employ his intelligence to get this information.

Maybe you don't have a very strong sex drive, Sam, that you can just wait about for that chance meeting that may or may not happen in the next year! Or maybe you are the New Age Man who says if it meant to be it will happen without any effort on my part! Heh. Knew you'd like that!!

Mr Redeye

Sam Pierson's picture

Mr Redeye has the problem that he can spot a weasel when he sees one and the problem that he's the best thing on cable TV. And that he suffers from terrible flatulence - ok, that is just rumour.

I think the JumbTron Rule (heh) is excellent. It focuses the mind and brings out only the best. Like the immortal words "see you at 9." Heh.

If there's a deeper point it's one about the notion of "transparency": in politics and personally. Transparency is now promoted as some kind of virtue (or a tactic?) within circles like those of Assange. Obama promised more of it. But guess what people? The inner workings of things are often, well, murky. And will always be that way until the machines take over. "Transparency" is a false ideal and also an undesireable one. It belongs to the idea that if we know their motives then that makes everything else ok. Transparency should not be confused with honesty.

Anyway Rosie, Mr Redeye's piece was really about asking how much transparency does Assange really believe in? And so too us.

(And the unintentional joke from the semicolon to the colon was hilarious, though you need know a bit about the show to really get in on it.)

Nope, just creepy

Sam Pierson's picture

To pour some cold water on this "poor, misunderstood Julian" theory:

1. The (bogus-to-date) rape charges against him come from two women whom he slept with within 7 days of each other. The first had let him use her home and thrown him a party, the second paid his return train tickets to the bonk-zone. All power to him, but this is no misunderstood sensitive chap looking for love.

2. He's drip feeding the leaks. That's attention seeking behaviour, taking full advantage of his moment of power in the sun. If he was a real man, he'd release the lot due to its importance, without regard for his own skin.

As to the emails, she was 19, he 33. They'd met once in person. Here's a normal guys first followup:-

"Hey X, was fun last Friday. How's you placed this Wed say round 7 at XYZ?"

To say "I want to explore your kisses further" should make any woman go WTF? And the poetic stuff, well that's fine, after you've perhaps had a relationship a little while and, I dunno, got to know the person? Tracking down her license plate & phone number & then calling her, well... what a romantic!

And Doug, I don't think he's a player. A player would go:-

"Gawd, you were pretty boring last Friday. I can't believe I let you give me your email. Still, I'm sure you can do better, maybe. Should I give you another chance?"

Smiling

Doug!

Rosie's picture

Wow. That is both terribly funny and terribly sad. (And the strange thing is that I was amending my post after deeper consideration at the same time you were writing - and posted - your's. So no offending from me in relation to you - or to be taken by you.)

But, Doug, if the JumboTron Rule (or Test as it should be called) is whether the act would cause embarrassment, and if you believe in freedom of expression, being true to yourself and honesty all-at-the-same-time, isn't the real test that the person using the JumboTron Rule (since he won't see it as a test) ought to ask himself :

If I should feel embarrassed by sending this woman these beautiful words of admiration and appreciation that I have composed for her should they be displayed before 50,000 others, what is wrong with me that I should feel embarrassed about this, given my commitment to the three values that made me write it in the first place?

I should have more self-confidence, trust that others will know these feelings, self-assurance about the importance to me of self-expression - and if I *should* have the misfortune that one of the 50,000 is a weak and small-minded person who is lower in intellectual and emotional development than me and therefore less appreciative of these things - like Mr RedEye - then I will simply acknowledge this as his reason for trying to create damage to me as a result of my beautiful mind, heart, spirit and self-expression in these words and not let it bother me in the slightest. I certainly will not be embarrassed. It is Mr Red Eye who should feel embarrassed (had he half a decent impulse) . Thankfully he is not sufficiently evolved to recognise this yet and is spared this public embarrassment for his limitations for the moment- but there is a good chance that this will be his lesson to learn and grow as much as mine (in terms of what I must learn about the betrayal/breach of trust by the informers ) ; there are different lessons for everyone who becomes involved.

JumboTron Rule cold have helped Assange

Doug Bandler's picture

The e-mails weren't creepy. They were actually poetic. He's a player. But he should know better than to leave a paper-trail with women. In the post-Tiger-Woods-Sex-texting age you simply can not send a women any digital (or written) messages of affection or lust. Especially if you are famous.

The 'Game' rule is called the JumbTron rule. Before you send a woman any written communication ask yourself "if this were displayed on a JumbTron in front of 50,000 people, could this in any way embarrass me?" If the answer is yes, don't send it. Basically, all your left with is "see you at 8" or "call you at 9" and that's about it.

Better safe than sorry.

Can't see anything creepy in his emails

Rosie's picture

He seems very poetic. What is more, his capacity to make himself vulnerable in this way simply proves a lack of cynicism and/or a high level of integrity on his part since it is only either the scum, who are forever on the lookout in fear of some advantage being had over them, or the embittered and cynical, who lose or live without this precious sense of trust in others, where one can say what one feels without fear of misunderstanding or distrust or mockery. Mr Assange could clearly not conceive that the laws of love and intimacy would be violated in this shameless way. This is yet another eternal truth contained in paradox.

He is much too nice for her and the idiot from RedEye - as proven by her (and his) behaviour.

One thing is for certain though. The vivid, and presumably pleasant, memory of her breast will have been superceded by a new understanding of what it means to be an infopreneur.

And this is another truth contained in paradox. With wikileaks he must have believed that what he was doing was lifting veils of secrecy, distrust, lies so that we could live "in truth". What he may not have appreciated then (but certainly will now) is that the employers or friends of the "informers" had levels of loyalty and trust in the informer; trust equivalent, but in a professional sense, to those of love and personal relationship which, as with him and the woman, were also broken.

I wonder if he will distinguish the two different types of loyalty (professional and personal). If he doesn't, (I certainly don't), then that will be the end of his association with Wikileaks if I am correct about his self perception and level of integrity.

Heh

Sam Pierson's picture

Heh, in the name of total transparency, some chick has leaked some of Assange's emails to her.

FOX Redeye's, Greg Gutfeld, of whom I can't speak lowly enough, reads them out:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Aaron

Kasper's picture

"but your specific example shows a degree of tolerance that is frightening!

Hahahaha. Dizzy me! My unstated context was a flat-mate, friend or family member taking my car.

If someone unknown or an acquaintance took it, I'd throw more shit at the fan Smiling

Pilger

Richard Goode's picture

Assuming you have an actual argument here

Here's a valid syllogism (AEE-2).

(1) All acts of theft deprive the owner [of the thing stolen] of possession of his property.
(2) No acts of copying deprive the owner [of the thing copied] of possession of his property.
(3) No acts of copying are acts of theft. [Copying is not theft.]

Here's another syllogism (AEE-4).

(1) All cases of deprivation of control of property are cases where the owner has control of said property. [Theft deprives a property owner of control of the stolen property.]
(2) No cases where the owner has control of said property are cases of unauthorised copying. [If Mark had control of his intellectual property, I would not have been able to make an unauthorised copy.]
(3) No cases of unauthorised copying are cases of deprivation of control of property. [Making an unauthorised copy of Mark's ebook isn't theft!]

And another (AEE-2).

(1) All cases of deprivation of control of property are cases where the owner has control of said property. [Theft deprives a property owner of control of the stolen property.]
(2) No cases of unauthorised copying are cases where the owner has control of said property. [The very fact that I was able to make an unauthorised copy shows that Mark did not have control of his intellectual property.]
(3) No cases of unauthorised copying are cases of deprivation of control of property. [Since Mark did not have control of his intellectual property, I have not deprived him of it.]

I'm not convinced you're not just playing devil's advocate and wasting time

In a contest of ideas, someone has to play the devil's advocate.

all property claims are invalid. Is this truly what you believe?

No, it's not. Didn't you read my disclaimer?

Goode- Assuming you have an

Aaron's picture

Goode-
Assuming you have an actual argument here - and I'm not convinced you're not just playing devil's advocate and wasting time - it appears to be that the ability to steal demonstrates an owner did not have 100% control to begin with, thus all property claims are invalid. Is this truly what you believe?

Kasper- "If you take my car

Aaron's picture

Kasper-
"If you take my car without asking, I'll yell a lecture at you and threaten you with consequences."

I agree with your general argument - but your specific example shows a degree of tolerance that is frightening!

Julian Assange furore deepens as new details emerge of sex crime

Marcus's picture

Julian Assange furore deepens as new details emerge of sex crime allegations

Bitter divisions open up between supporters and critics of WikiLeaks leader in wake of fresh claims by Swedish women

"As fresh snow erases the traces of Friday's scrum of camera crews from the elegant lawns of a Georgian mansion in East Anglia, inside Ellingham Hall Julian Assange is considering his next move.

Transformed from cyber celebrity into household name, Assange – the man who kicked a diplomatic hornet's nest across the globe – is carrying an extraordinary weight of controversy and opprobrium on his narrow shoulders.

Assange faces a whole new debate this weekend over his personal conduct, after the allegations made by two women in Sweden, who accuse him of sexual misconduct and rape, were published in their fullest form in the Guardian. An increasingly diverse cast of characters are forming unlikely coalitions over the case across ideological divides.

The accounts of the two women have led Stockholm authorities to request the extradition of Assange so that he can be questioned by a prosecutor. That request led to Assange spending nine days on remand in Wandsworth prison – a controversial decision by the courts, which was overturned on Tuesday when he was given £240,000 bail. He was released on Thursday after the high court dismissed an appeal from prosecutors against the bail decision.

A condition of his bail was that he reside at Ellingham Hall, the estate of former British Army officer and journalist Vaughan Smith, who offered bed and board as "an act of principle".

Dismissed by his supporters as a smear campaign, the case against Assange now threatens to move from a sideshow to overwhelm the main act – the work he has done in his public life as editor of WikiLeaks. In part, Assange, 39, who has become a figurehead for whistleblowers, can blame this on supporters who have pressed accolades on the man rather than the cause, and who range from left wing historians, feminists and human rights campaigners to misogynist right wing bloggers and a porn baron.

Today Larry Flynt, the founder of American sex magazine Hustler, announced that he would give $50,000 (£32,000) to the Assange defence fund, calling him a "hero" who deserved a "ticker-tape parade". Flynt's support was not for WikiLeaks itself, but because he thought the rape charges a nonsense.

Assange has been called "the new Jason Bourne" by Jemima Khan, the "Ned Kelly of the Cyber Age" by members of the press in his native Australia and a libertine 007 by those who note his fondness for martinis.

On the other side, Republican US senators have lined up behind the Democrat secretary of state Hillary Clinton to condemn him. Sarah Palin claims that he is "an anti-American operative with blood on his hands" that America should pursue "with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaida and Taliban leaders." George Packer of the New Yorker magazine, called Assange "megalomaniacal" and Vanity Fair's Christopher Hitchens called him "a middle man and peddler who resents the civilisation that nurtured him". There have been disturbing calls from both Republicans and Democrats for him to be assassinated."

Gregster

Rosie's picture

The theatre owner has overheads. And you call yourself a lawyer??

I am not a criminal lawyer but can you find me a lawyer (or a policeman) who believes that the deviant could be charged successfully with theft?

The theft charge would be dismissed in these circumstances under s.219(3) do you not agree? The person would simply defend such a charge that consent had to have been given by the cinema owner/or agent thereof - albeit by deception - or he could not have got in to the cinema.

Any personal experience of this, Greg? Eye

Section 219 Crimes Act

(3) In this section, taking does not include obtaining ownership or possession of, or control over, any property with the consent of the person from whom it is obtained, whether or not consent is obtained by deception.
(my emphasis)

Ms Purchas

gregster's picture

Sneaking into a theatre and watching a movie removes nothing, but it is still theft.

Why theft? A trick has been played, deceit practised, but is this theft? What has been stolen? even in abstract terms? This is fraud only. It is quite distinct from theft despite its relationship where, in some circumstances, it can be a means for theft.

The theatre owner has overheads. And you call yourself a lawyer??

Richard W

Rosie's picture

I was merely pointing out that the illicit copying of it is a taking.

I see. You were explaining/refining what you meant by your use of the word, "taking".

Getting back to first principles of land ownership then.....

Rosie's picture

I know this is straying off the point but it is interesting me for it own sake.....

Property doesn't exist prior to man. Land does, but it isn't property until someone has made it his property...Land becomes property by the fruits of ones labour.

If it is unowned land and someone makes it his own by turning it into something, then there is ownership,

This is the nub of the matter, historically speaking. In the example of our hunter gatherers, there had been a mutual understanding that the land was either "shared", "owned by all" or "unowned by a particular tribe". When one tribe then chose a new political philosophy in which to live (from hunter gatherer to farmer) and laid claim to a patch of land that had been part of the "rounds" of various h-g tribes, was it only because there was so much "unowned" land that this was able to happen peaceably? Was it a peaceable transformation from "unowned" land to "ownership" of land? Or was there a fight?

Do you know the answer to this from history/archaeology/anthropology? (In the meantime I will see if I can find *another* equally reliable answer to this question.. Eye.)

For this answer will surely indicate the true nature of man.....

Edit: It seems sedantism existed simultaneously with the hunter gatherer society for a long time. And although some tribes competed for the best, most fertile lands by fighting others co-operated with other nomadic h-g tribes and saw greater advantages and merit in joining to create a larger village. Conquering nature was seen as the greatest objective for man's survival for these tribes - probably the more intellectually mature tribes. In fact, the increased numbers in the village would form protection against the fighting h-g tribes looking to settle by domination of (rather than cooperation with) a successful economic village. (Weren't those fighting ignorant types Rand's stated enemies of capitalism and rationality no less! She gave them a name from myth/history which I can't quite recall off the top of my head. Was it Attila?)

So no absolute answer to the nature of man unless you can say that the ignorant only know to fight and the intellectually mature see the greatest value and benefit is found in cooperation (except where cooperation is impossible due to the unalterable ignorance in the nature of the fighting types and so they are obliged to fight in defence only). I sure would say this is the case with regard to this particular aspect of the nature of man (his attitude to, and relationships with, other people) - I.e., two distinct extremes with variants in between proportional to each man's measure of intellectual maturity.

The same principle probably is equally applicable with regard to other aspects of the nature of man. And, if so, taken to its logical conclusion will confirm Ayn Rand's assessment that the most intellectually mature and rational will be the most successful in their lives as they will keep the "higher" goals of the outcome in mind with an unswerving dedication to the achievement of the objective - for which cooperation between men of different talents is almost always required. They will therefore be the last to take offence or get distracted by trivia or setbacks that detract from the achievement of the successful outcome - this trait however is frequently observed in, and possessed by, the ignorant, the intellectually and emotionally immature and the failures in life. If behaviour is non-cooperative it inherently must invite failure since, with this type of behaviour, the one-eyed, dedication and direction to the successful outcome becomes lost - with focus instead given to the non-essential - the means to achieve the successful outcome becomes overlooked, in many cases the momentum achieved to that point is lost and, in this confused atmosphere of non-cooperation amongst the group, the project will often collapse and fail. With the intellectually mature, rational man at the helm, however, successful outcomes will be assured.

This rather interesting article gives an overview of how the intellectual innovations of man have overcome all threats to his existence since the hunter-gatherer societies.

These videos look at the very slow but fascinating development of the hunter-gatherer as he changes his way of thinking about himself - from his being simply a part of nature to the Conqueror of nature and "top of the rung" - and how this change in self-perception will affect his future.

Richard G

Richard Wiig's picture

Are we agreed on that? (We can disagree on whether or not such an infringement of property rights is a form of theft.)

Yes.

How, exactly, have I deprived him of control of his intellectual property?

By taking it outside of his terms. The copy that you took doesn't actually belong to you. It rightfully belongs to Mark until you have paid for the rights to it.

Rosie

Richard Wiig's picture

You said:

It is not the *taking* of the ebook that is at issue - it is whether the *copying* of it is theft.

I was merely pointing out that the illicit copying of it is a taking.

Property (in the sense of

Richard Wiig's picture

Property (in the sense of land) existed prior to man.

Property doesn't exist prior to man. Land does, but it isn't property until someone has made it his property.

Man did not create land and it did not come into being as the fruit of his labour!

Land becomes property by the fruits of ones labour.

He may well have improved its ability to grow crops etc and decided to settle in one spot rather than wander on, as he once had done, and which gave him an interest in that patch of land. But is that interest sufficient to denote "ownership"

Most certainly. If it is unowned land and someone makes it his own by turning it into something, then there is ownership, and the corollary of that is a need for property law.

against, say, another tribe's claim to camp there (or settle there) on the basis they had camped there every year at this time since x date?

They may have camped there sporadically, but that isn't the same as taking ownership.

As I said, without an accepted/agreed upon "law" regarding ownership of land, competing claims could not be solved satisfactorily as there is no natural law that land is owned by any particular person/s.

There is a natural law, and that's that the fruits of ones labour belongs to he who produced it. It doesn't have to be agreed upon, but it is ideal if people do. Property rights provide security in ones property. Fascists of all stripes can take those rights away, but that doesn't mean that your property is not yours. It means that they are thieves.

Ownership itself (in particular to things like land) is simply an idea pertaining to a particular political and philosophical worldview.

It is an idea that derives from the nature of man himself.

Theft

Kasper's picture

Richard defines it as: Taking property off its owner depriving the owner of its posession.

Theft is when you take property off the owner without their consent. You don't have to deprive them of it, you merely have to do it without their consent.

If you take a copy of Mark's e-book without his consent then you've stolen it.

There are various degrees but that is the principle.

If you take my pen and use it. I'll turn a blind eye and not give a shit.

If you take my beer out of the fridge, I'll get pissed and tell you to ask first.

If you take my car without asking, I'll yell a lecture at you and threaten you with consequences.

If you rob my house, I'll call the cops and ask that you be arrested and detained.

Richard W Precision acknowledged

Rosie's picture

The copying of it is an illicit taking.

Yes. Qualifying the kind of taking as illicit gives a clear restatement of the issue! Was this supposed to add/explain something more than self-correction?

I.e., the issue now becomes, Is copying an illicit taking? rather than Is copying theft?!

Distinctions

Rosie's picture

Sneaking into a theatre and watching a movie removes nothing, but it is still theft.
Why theft? A trick has been played, deceit practised, but is this theft? What has been stolen? even in abstract terms? This is fraud only. It is quite distinct from theft despite its relationship where, in some circumstances, it can be a means for theft.

Illicitly copying an ebook removes nothing, but it is still theft.
It *does* remove something - copying removes the owner's right of exclusive control over the ebook - and for this reason it is theft .

I am interested to discover whether Richard G will agree or disagree with this.... Rich????

The copying of it is an

Richard Wiig's picture

The copying of it is an illicit taking.

Richard W

Rosie's picture

Property is the fruit of labour, that is why there's a need for law.

Property (in the sense of land) existed prior to man. Man did not create land and it did not come into being as the fruit of his labour! He may well have improved its ability to grow crops etc and decided to settle in one spot rather than wander on, as he once had done, and which gave him an interest in that patch of land. But is that interest sufficient to denote "ownership" against, say, another tribe's claim to camp there (or settle there) on the basis they had camped there every year at this time since x date? As I said, without an accepted/agreed upon "law" regarding ownership of land, competing claims could not be solved satisfactorily as there is no natural law that land is owned by any particular person/s. Ownership itself (in particular to things like land) is simply an idea pertaining to a particular political and philosophical worldview.

Richard W

Rosie's picture

Taking the ebook and distributing it is theft.

It is not the *taking* of the ebook that is at issue - it is whether the *copying* of it is theft.

Rosie

Richard Wiig's picture

There can be theft by fraud. Your example was simply fraud however.

Whether by fraud, elaborate or crude, or by the direct uplifting of a product, it is theft. Sneaking unpaid into a movie theatre is an unlawful taking, which constitutes theft, no matter what you call it.

These distinctions are not the result of any limitation - simply a clear appreciation of the subtleties and differences.

Those subtleties and differences all come under the mantle of theft. They are subcategories.

You may like to muddy the waters of clear argument with inaccuracies in the use of words and errant definitions.

If the essence of theft is not the unlawful taking of what belongs to someone else, then what is it?

Ownership comes before the law.
Yes and no.

It is a consistent yes. The law is created only because there is something to defend. It is a corollary of natural rights.

My point, however, was more to say that land per se is not naturally owned by anyone

I agree. There is no such thing as the divine right of Kings.

- it is not the creation of anyone, it is not the fruit of anyone's labour.

Property is the fruit of labour, that is why there's a need for law.

This is not an example of something that can be owned. It's a practice, not a product.

You contradict yourself then, Richard. You just said, at the beginning of your post, if theft can only be seen in terms of a physical product it is a limitation on my part! Do make up your mind, dear! This contrariness within the same post is a little sloppy even by SOLO's Objectivist standards of reasoning!

In terms of removing a physical product. Sneaking into a theatre and watching a movie removes nothing, but it is still theft. Illicitly copying an ebook removes nothing, but it is still theft. In regards to the farmer rotating his crops, it isn't a product, or even a method that can be patented. In picking up on his practices, whether it be in farming, or in hygiene, or in any area of human life, there is no theft. If he writes about his method, and you take his book, then there is theft.

You are wrong, anyway. Practices, teaching methods, systems can be all subjects of patents. e.g., Montessori Method

But that is a bit like not being able to call yourself McDonalds while calling yourself Burger King. Montessori is a packaged product, but they cannot stop anyone using Montessori's ideas. In terms of the ebook - the book is protected, and the pattern they're laid out in, but not the ideas themselves. Taking the ebook and distributing it is theft. Reading it and then writing your own version is not.

Applied Logic

Rosie's picture

whether or not unauthorised copying is a form of theft

Mark's ebook.

1. Is it property? Property is any physical or intangible entity that is owned by a person. His ebook is a physical entity so...

2. Does he own it? To acquire ownership in property one can purchase it with money, trade it for other property, receive it as a gift, find it, make it or homestead it. It is property he has made and so yes he owns it.

3. What does he own other than the property itself? Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive rights and control over property. Ownership is self-propagating in that the owner of any property will also own the economic benefits of that property. So ownership is not just of the property itself but of the intangibles associated with it: the control of and all the associated rights and benefits of that property.

4. If that property is copied without consent of the owner of the property, is ownership (in its wide sense) infringed in any way?

Yes. As a result of the copying, the owner, at the precise moment it was copied without consent, lost his exclusive rights and control over the property. He has also been deprived of the economic benefits of that property if a price was requested for the download. [Has he actually lost his ownership entirely?]

5. Is copying theft? Yes insofar as his exclusive rights and control over the property were stolen at the point of copying since it was without consent. And it is fraud insofar as he has been deprived of the economic benefits of that property. [And arguably has lost his ownership at this point?]

Do you have any distinctions to make in this application of logic, Rich?

Begging the question

Richard Goode's picture

All you're doing here is arguing about whether or not that form of theft fits the definition of stealing.

Well, it could be worse. I could be playing semantics in order to justify theft.

You're begging the question. Any form of theft fits the definition of stealing, because theft is (by definition) the act of stealing. What we're arguing about is whether or not unauthorised copying is a form of theft.

In some cases (such as making an unauthorised copy of Mark's ebook) unauthorised copying is an infringement of property rights. Are we agreed on that? (We can disagree on whether or not such an infringement of property rights is a form of theft.)

That you and Richard can only see theft in terms of a physical object removed is a limitation on the part of you and Richard.

Aaron suggested that theft deprives a property owner of possession [i.e., control] of the stolen item. And you said that he'd hit the nail on the head. I'm happy to explore the idea that when I make an unauthorised copy of Mark's ebook I have deprived him of control of his intellectual property (as opposed to depriving him of control of a particular physical instantiation of his intellectual property, viz., his ebook). But it's not easy to see how I've deprived Mark of control of his intellectual property by making such an unauthorised copy. How, exactly, have I deprived him of control of his intellectual property?

Richard

Rosie's picture

Fraud is a form of theft.

There can be theft by fraud. Your example was simply fraud however. These distinctions are not the result of any limitation - simply a clear appreciation of the subtleties and differences. You may like to muddy the waters of clear argument with inaccuracies in the use of words and errant definitions. I don't. Words have been given particular meanings with particular distinctions for particular purposes. Unless adhered to, argument is inaccurate and fallible. I know what you are meaning and I don't entirely disagree with the broad idea behind what you are saying but it isn't quite right as expressed. Not yet anyway. I am looking for a way to make it right as much as you...but my reasoning must lead me to truth not the other way round. I.e. trying to defend a position regardless of faulty, inaccurate argument.

Ownership comes before the law.
Yes and no. You will know from history that prior to the Torrens system, ownership of property was disputed so often that it was people's bread and butter to sort it out. (Hence the reluctance to accept the Torrens system which would deny these people a job!) My point, however, was more to say that land per se is not naturally owned by anyone - it is not the creation of anyone, it is not the fruit of anyone's labour. When property "ownership" began it began with a presumption that all land in a particular region was owned by that land's conqueror's King and any individual received his ownership as a gift/reward for services from the Crown. This was easy enough to trace for a few generations but then as the same land was lost simultaneously in practices such as gambling/mortgages/ selling - and to several different persons at the same time etc it all became rather out of control and difficult to know who owned what! My point however is that without a manmade system ownership of land would be a dispute whose resolve would be impossible to prove because it is not a concept that exists in any real sense outside that manmade system. Without a manmade system, any challenge to land ownership is impossible without the use of force. Likewise noone really owns ideas and any challenge is impossible without a manmade system. e.g., Farmer Jo's neighbour coming up with the same idea on his own by way of accidental planting.

This is not an example of something that can be owned. It's a practice, not a product.

You contradict yourself then, Richard. You just said, at the beginning of your post, if theft can only be seen in terms of a physical product it is a limitation on my part! Do make up your mind, dear! This contrariness within the same post is a little sloppy even by SOLO's Objectivist standards of reasoning! Eye

You are wrong, anyway. Practices, teaching methods, systems can be all subjects of patents. e.g., Montessori Method

That is one reason why the example is a good one. It is purely an idea which on application is made manifest but without a single product to steal. I.e., It eliminates that aspect (the product - which you say is not necessary for theft) and thus makes us focus on whether an idea alone can be the subject of ownership and therefore theft. I say it can't. Hence it needs the IP System to register it to allow or enable it to be the subject of ownership.

Rosie

Richard Wiig's picture

Fraud is a form of theft. It is about unlawfully taking (stealing) what is rightfully someone elses. That you and Richard can only see theft in terms of a physical object removed is a limitation on the part of you and Richard.

First, look at land. This only became "property" that people could own by invention and application of the Torrens system - man applies a system to land to provide a right of ownership not naturally there.

Ownership comes before the law. If there was no ownership, then there'd be no need for institutionalised law to defend it.

If Farmer Jo discovers that to plant different crops in his fields each year produces consistently good results (as opposed to the crops becoming worse in quality) he can choose to:

This is not an example of something that can be owned. It's a practice, not a product.

Mr Wiig

Rosie's picture

It's the same when someone sneaks unpaid into a movie theatre. It is an illicit taking, and therefore theft, even though the owner of the movie isn't deprived of his movie.

Strictly speaking , this is fraud - not theft.

I think we need to analyse this issue by using an example to illustrate the answer (which I think I have discovered - but haven't patented!).

First, look at land. This only became "property" that people could own by invention and application of the Torrens system - man applies a system to land to provide a right of ownership not naturally there.

Now lets look at "intellectual property" and an example which I think illustrates that it is the same principle at work here.

If Farmer Jo discovers that to plant different crops in his fields each year produces consistently good results (as opposed to the crops becoming worse in quality) he can choose to:
(a) not share the information with his fellow farmers - Farmer Jo gets very rich, other farmers get envious
(b) share his information with all his fellow farmers - over supply of good quality food, price drops - some farmers may go out of business
(c) share his information with a select few fellow farmers - the select few get rich, the others may go out of business

All of the above seem legitimate choices for Farmer Jo to make. None of them appear to be breaching any natural law? (I might have slight discomfort in not sharing the information but not sufficient to shout that this is wrong.)

So what is the position if Farmer Jo chooses (a) and one of his neighbours notices Farmer Jo's system and copies him?

Is this theft? Is it wrong even?

No. It only becomes wrong if Farmer Jo has registered his idea with the Copyright/Patents/Trademarks Office.

And what if one of Farmer Jo's neighbours comes up with the same idea all by himself by way of an accidental planting?

If Farmer Jo had registered his idea, there may be a legal challenge.

Thus my opinion is that there is no natural law against copying, no rights are broken and there is no theft of an idea, UNLESS, as with land, a man-made system makes it so with the payment for registration of the idea's application with the IP Office so that only on payment does the idea become property with a series of attached rights owned by the originator for x years. It is artificial. It is part and parcel of a particular philosphical and political worldview only.

And so the next question has to be, is it right to have such a system? Is it necessary? What is the purpose? Pros and Cons?

The Essence

Richard Wiig's picture

Theft is to illicitly take another persons property. That's exactly what is done when you make an illicit copy. That copy is not yours, it is the rightful owners. All you're doing here is arguing about whether or not that form of theft fits the definition of stealing. The essence of stealing is 'unlawful taking', something that is at the heart of illicit copying. It's the same when someone sneaks unpaid into a movie theatre. It is an illicit taking, and therefore theft, even though the owner of the movie isn't deprived of his movie.

Reductio ad absurdum

Richard Goode's picture

I steal your car

A counterexample.

Very good.

But a counterexample shows only *that* there's something wrong with the argument. It doesn't show *what* is wrong with it.

Isn't what's wrong with the argument, in fact, your premise? Viz.,

Theft deprives a property owner of possession [control] of the stolen item.

That's got to be the

Aaron's picture

That's got to be the stupidest argument against IP that I've ever seen.

I steal your car - so the fact that I could do so proves it was never really your property in the first place.

For instructional purposes only

Richard Goode's picture

Theft deprives a property owner of possession [control] of the stolen item.

So making an unauthorised copy of Mark's ebook isn't theft! If Mark had possession [control] of his intellectual property, I would not have been able to make an unauthorised copy. The very fact that I was able to make an unauthorised copy shows that Mark did not have possession [control] of his intellectual property. Since Mark did not have possession [control] of his intellectual property, I have not deprived him of it.

@Bilger

Richard Goode's picture

I don't see that you made a syllogism at all.

Well, damn it. You're right. I didn't make a syllogism. But I did make a rock solid argument, here.

False. 'Possession' implies control, even by non-philosophical, dictionary definitions.

You're right, again. Possession does, indeed, consist in controlling the use of property. What else could it consist in?

Sure, you will not be charged

Richard Wiig's picture

Sure, you will not be charged with theft, as Rosie points out, it has a different name. However, you have taken something for nothing. No matter how much you try to obscure it, it is theft.

Mark,

Rick Giles's picture

"He also has no regard whatsoever for the physical safety of the men and women who are fighting the war on terror ... which makes him both dangerous and evil."

Can't we also charge the politicians who send them to war with the same verdict then?

@Goode- I don't see that you

Aaron's picture

@Goode-
I don't see that you made a syllogism at all.

"you're now defending the claim that copying is theft by redefining the word 'possession'"

False. 'Possession' implies control, even by non-philosophical, dictionary definitions.

Assange granted bail

Marcus's picture

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange granted bail

"I am going to grant conditional bail," judge Duncan Ouseley told the 39-year-old Australian.

The judge threw out the appeal against a lower court's decision earlier this week to release Assange on bail pending moves to extradite him to Sweden for questioning over allegations of sexual assault.

He said he did not believe there was a risk that Assange would try to flee the country.

"The court does not approach this case on the basis that this is a fugitive from justice who seeks to avoid interrogation and prosecution," the judge said.

Assange will now be required to stay at the 600-acre (240-hectare) country estate of supporter Vaughan Smith, a former soldier who founded the Frontline Club, a media club in London where WikiLeaks has based part of its operation.

His supporters have helped to put up bail totalling 240,000 pounds (283,000-euro, 374,000-dollar). Assange will also have to wear a security tag...

There was some confusion over whether Britain or Sweden was behind the bid to deny him bail. A spokeswoman for Sweden's prosecution authority said the case was in British hands.

Britain's Director of Public Prosecutions told BBC radio they had been acting as the agents for the Swedish government but declined to comment on the specifics of the case.

A full extradition hearing is expected in early February.

Mr Assange and his lawyers have voiced fears that U.S. prosecutors might be preparing to indict him for espionage over WikiLeaks' publication of the documents."

Using correct terminology OR Checking your premises

Rosie's picture

Or.....Take care of the senses and the sounds will take care of themselves. Smiling

"Copyright is literally, the right to copy, though in legal terms "the right to control copying" is more accurate. Copyright are exclusive statutory rights to exercise control over copying and other exploitation of the works for a specific period of time. The copyright owner is given two sets of rights: an exclusive, positive right to copy and exploit the copyrighted work, or license others to do so, and a negative right to prevent anyone else from doing so without consent, with the possibility of legal remedies if they do."

Richard: I won't be charged with theft.

Quite right.

By using the correct terminology, the problem and the solution is revealed.

Not theft. Breach of copyright.
A statutory right with a statutory remedy. Not property that has been stolen (theft) under the Crimes Act.

Note there are Exceptions
Circumstances that come within "Fair use" or "Fair trading" are exceptions to the laws of copyright. This is consistent with the fair trade philosophy to disallow monopolies and to comply with competition law/anti-trust law. In Canada, private copying for personal use has been expressly permitted by statute since 1999.

"Copyright law is typically designed to protect the fixed expression or manifestation of an idea rather than the fundamental idea itself. Copyright does not protect ideas, only their expression."

BTW , Lindsay, this reminds me: You need to obtain copyright of your documented Anti-Quacking Lessons asap. This should be the no. 1 priority in your Timetable and Business Plan. Once that is done, the marketing can follow without the risk of others copying it and will vest the right to issue licenses to other teachers in you ... for a fee (said Shylock).

Still no cigar

Richard Goode's picture

Yep, they'll find a copy of his ebook, and you'll be fined or prosecuted for what you owe Mark.

I won't be charged with theft.

You stole that copy, taking it for nothing when you had no right to take it.

I haven't taken anything.

Copying is not theft
If I copy yours you have it too
One for me and one for you
That's what copies can do

Yep, they'll find a copy of

Richard Wiig's picture

Yep, they'll find a copy of his ebook, and you'll be fined or prosecuted for what you owe Mark. You stole that copy, taking it for nothing when you had no right to take it. It is Mark's property until you pay for it on his terms.

Not so bad yourself

Doug Bandler's picture

Doug, you're so good (when you're on form and off women).

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Heh.

My ebook was an example,

Mark Hubbard's picture

My ebook was an example, Richard, not an actuality Smiling (I have written a novel, and five minutes after finishing it, it was the best novel ever written, then three months later, utter shite. Who'd a known: that censor is a damnable thing. Will try again soon, and am playing around with my own blog in the meantime.)

Doug, you're so good (when you're on form and off women Smiling ).

Mark

Richard Goode's picture

What's your ebook about, anyway?

Where can I download it? Eye

More anarchist crap

Doug Bandler's picture

The literature and moral arguments on market anarchism have grown so extensive that this minarchist/constitutionalist nonsense is no longer excusable, it indicates either deliberate ignorance (in which case you have no business taking any position on the subject) or cognitive dissonance and evasion.

Garbage. The "literature and moral arguments" for anarchy haven't changed at all. They're as invalid now as they were when they were first conceived. You have no answer for the final arbiter problem and you never will. You might as well try to square a circle.

Anarchy destroys objectivity in law. And if you want to rely on historical precedent, you should know that the supposed Icelandic experience with anarchy has been proven to be non-existent. Iceland had a final authority. So you don't even have an historic example to fall back on.

Arrogant anarchists are almost as bad as self-righteous Goblians.

Here is a nice blog post by an extremely bright young Objectivist on the problems with the anarchist position. It gets to the epistemological problems with anarchy. Also the comments are both informative and illustrative.

http://labeit.economicpolicyjo...

No cigar

Richard Goode's picture

You've stolen his control over his property.

If the police come to my house to investigate the alleged theft, they won't find Mark's control over his property. All they'll find is a copy of his ebook. So, no, I haven't stolen his control over his property.

Aaron has already hit the

Richard Wiig's picture

Aaron has already hit the nail on the head. You've stolen his control over his property.

My answer

Richard Goode's picture

And when you make an illegal copy, what is it that you have taken from its creator?

I haven't taken anything.

Copying is not theft.

Your answer

Richard Goode's picture

And when you make an illegal copy, what is it that you have taken from its creator?

I already asked you this. I asked

If I've stolen from him, but I haven't stolen his ebook, then what have I stolen?

You tell me. You said

If you take an ebook, and then distribute it widely and freely, in effect destroying Mark's business, then you have stolen from him, plain and fucking simple.

Reality is the arbiter of

Richard Wiig's picture

Reality is the arbiter of truth and falsehood.

Yes, reality is the standard for the definition, and definitions change as reality becomes better understood. You seem to think that tradition is the beginning and the end, and reality can go to hell.

characteristic of theft is

Richard Wiig's picture

characteristic of theft is that it deprives the owner of possession of the thing taken

And when you make an illegal copy, what is it that you have taken from its creator? If the answer is nothing, then of course there is no injustice and the law would be an ass.

Reality is the arbiter of truth and falsehood

Richard Goode's picture

Reality is the arbiter, not the definition.

Reality is the arbiter of truth and falsehood.

@Bilger

Richard Goode's picture

It's not as if you made some rock solid syllogism; you just tossed out some ill-clarified propositions.

My syllogism is rock solid. A syllogism is valid in virtue of its logical form, not its content.

'Copying is theft' is an ill-clarified proposition? Yes, it is! That's exactly the point I made in my first comment on this thread.

Copying may or may not be theft, depending on context... Copying of a creative work ... not authorized by the originator or their assignee is theft.

That's the context I was assuming. My claim is that unauthorised copying of a creative work is not theft.

Theft deprives a property owner of possession of the stolen item. Possession does not consist merely in holding tangible property in hand or drawing boundaries around in, but in controlling the use of property.

My original point was that the only way to defend the claim that copying is theft is to redefine the word 'theft'. Given that the defining characteristic of theft is that it deprives the owner of possession of the thing taken, you're now defending the claim that copying is theft by redefining the word 'possession'. Nice try, but no cigar.

'Theft' is not a catch-all term to describe any and all violations of someone's property rights. If I climb over your fence and wander around in your yard, I haven't committed an act of theft, I've committed an act of trespass. If I copy your creative work without your authorisation, I haven't committed an act of theft, I've committed an act of... unauthorised copying.

@Goode- It's not as if you

Aaron's picture

@Goode-

It's not as if you made some rock solid syllogism; you just tossed out some ill-clarified propositions. To add clarity your statements lacked-

Copying may or may not be theft, depending on context. Just as someone may willingly lend, give away, etc. tangible property, they may willingly allow a copy of their creative work, or even release it to public domain. Copying of a creative work (novel pattern of words, notes, bits, etc. created by the human mind) not authorized by the originator or their assignee is theft.

Theft deprives a property owner of possession of the stolen item. Possession does not consist merely in holding tangible property in hand or drawing boundaries around in, but in controlling the use of property.

Whether or not unauthorized copying denies someone control over one specific physical representation of a creative work (e.g. the words written down on these particular pages in this particular book) is an irrelevant distraction. Unauthorized copying of a creative work (again, the created pattern, not a particular physical representation of it) does deprive the owner of possession by denying them control over use of that property.

Is 2 the reality of it or

Richard Wiig's picture

Is 2 the reality of it or not? It doesn't seem to be the reality of it to me. Reality is the arbiter, not the definition.

Aaron

Richard Goode's picture

The issue with the 1-2-3 example is mistakenly considering only a single physical representation of a copyrighted pattern, while the pattern itself is the property in question.

No, that's not the issue. The issue is that Objectivists are so frightened of elementary logic that they blank out immediately they catch a glimpse of explicitly labelled statements in the form of a syllogism or inconsistent triad.

Am I right that you'd reject (2)?

The issue with the 1-2-3

Aaron's picture

The issue with the 1-2-3 example is mistakenly considering only a single physical representation of a copyrighted pattern, while the pattern itself is the property in question.

"It's physical property, anything else is mystical hogwash." dismisses not only IP, but anything intangible such as homesteading EM spectrum and having property in broadcasting rights.

Chu-hua-
Welcome to SOLO. Objectivist, anarchist, Scientologist is a very... unusual.. combination. My exposure to Scientology was primarily via an ex who was involved for a year til being declared a PTS type H. I don't any positive impression of it, save for a twisted kind of respect for anyone who can sell a $10 multimeter for $3000.

Thanks for the references to Tannehills and some of the other reading. I've read tons from anarchists and minarchists before, but only encountered 'Market for Liberty' a couple months ago. They didn't convince me (I think competing legal enforcement agencies would tend to coalesce to a de-facto government), but I liked especially that they approached it from an underlying basis more Objectivist than Rothbard or others, so it's now the best single book I'd recommend to any Objectivist considering an-cap reading.

Poor Shakespeare

Richard Goode's picture

If they had IP in those days Shakespeare would have had the rights to his own work and authorship and quality would have been clear.

I did not think to shed a tear.

Plain and simple

Richard Goode's picture

I don't believe I said you have stolen his ebook, but you have certainly illicitly used it and taken something, otherwise there would be no injustice.

What you said was

If you take an ebook, and then distribute it widely and freely, in effect destroying Mark's business, then you have stolen from him, plain and fucking simple.

If I've stolen from him, but I haven't stolen his ebook, then what have I stolen?

then I have done Mark an

Richard Wiig's picture

then I have done Mark an injustice, but I haven't stolen his ebook.

I don't believe I said you have stolen his ebook, but you have certainly illicitly used it and taken something, otherwise there would be no injustice.

This is so easy, as you have

Mark Hubbard's picture

This is so easy, as you have demonstrated Commander: but you'll never convince an anarchist out of their theft justification - they all seem to have some sort of investment in it. The laughable thing, outside they are thieving swine, is they think a free market could work without IP in the 21st century. And they also don't seem to understand that in doing away with the notion of 'product of one's mine', then the first entity that got killed was the individual, and freedom had no meaning from that point. Anarchy and the IP socialists are the ultimate collectivist black hole of humanity - well, that and Lindsay Lohan.

Competition would be if you

Richard Wiig's picture

Competition would be if you wrote your own book on the same subject and then competed in marketplace against Mark. Taking Mark's book and distributing it against his will isn't what you can call competition. Parasitism defintely, but not competition.

Richard

Richard Goode's picture

If you take an ebook, and then distribute it widely and freely, in effect destroying Mark's business, then you have stolen from him, plain and fucking simple.

It's plain that it is you who is a bit fucking simple.

If I make a copy of Mark's ebook, and then distribute it widely and freely, in effect destroying Mark's business, then I have done Mark an injustice, but I haven't stolen his book.

"Intellectual property theft" is an anti-concept. An anti-concept is an unnecessary and rationally unusable term designed to replace and obliterate some legitimate concept. In this case, the legitimate concept is "copying an original work without the author's permission".

Observe the technique involved here. It consists of creating an artificial, unnecessary, and (rationally) unusable term, designed to replace and obliterate some legitimate concept(s)—a term which sounds like a concept, but stands for a "package-deal" of disparate, incongruous, contradictory elements taken out of any logical conceptual order or context, a "package-deal" whose (approximately) defining characteristic is always a non-essential. This last is the essence of the trick.

The use of anti-concepts gives the listeners a sense of approximate understanding. But in the realm of cognition, nothing is as bad as the approximate. Let me remind you that the purpose of a definition is to distinguish the things subsumed under a single concept from all other things in existence; and, therefore, their defining characteristic must always be that essential characteristic which distinguishes them from everything else.

The defining characteristic of theft is that it deprives the owner of possession of the thing taken.

Copying is not theft.

WikiLeaks boss is STILL trying to raise £240,000 in cash

Marcus's picture

*Julian Assange still in jail after Swedish authorities fight bail grant

*Bid to keep bail address secret on PRIVACY grounds rejected

*Appeal will be heard by senior High Court judge tomorrow

*His lawyer Mark Stephens says: 'The begging bowl is out'

*Michael Moore, Bianca Jagger and Jemima Khan among supporters

"WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is today still battling to raise £240,000 bail despite a series of millionaire and celebrity backers.

Around half of the sum, which includes £200,000 in cash and two sureties of £20,000 each, has been found from the list of luvvies, lefties and 'internationally renowned' backers.

They include an unnamed Government minister, a Nobel Prize winner, human rights campaigner Bianca Jagger and film-maker Michael Moore.

Assange, 39, should be released once the figure is reached - but the Swedish authorities are appealing against the decision to give him bail.

The Australian will appear at the High Court tomorrow, where a senior judge will consider the appeal and decide if he can be freed.

He was initially granted his freedom yesterday after his supporters agreed to pay £200,000 in cash but the decision was overridden two hours later when Swedish prosecutors lodged a challenge.

The whistleblower had to be returned to Wandsworth prison in south west London, where he was being held in solitary confinement.

During yesterday's hearing, he astonishingly attempted to keep his bail address - his ten-bedroom stately home - secret on grounds of privacy.

But District Judge Howard Riddle threw out the bid, ruling not to reveal the address - Captain Vaughan Smith's mansion Ellingham Hall - would conflict with Assange's commitment to open justice.

The WikiLeaks boss is wanted in Sweden over claims he sexually assaulted two women during a visit to Stockholm last August.

But his supporters claim the criminal inquiry and extradition request is unfair and politically motivated.

The former computer hacker is behind the release of hundreds of United States diplomatic cables that have caused global uproar...


Chaos: International media mingle with police and protesters outside court

His mother Christine said afterwards: ‘I am very happy with the judge’s decision and I thank you all so much for supporting Julian.’

Bianca Jagger, who said she had not contributed to the bail fund, said: 'I am very concerned that this case is becoming politicised. If there are valid accusations against him then let them be heard.

'I don't agree with everything he has done but the most important thing in law is justice, due process and freedom of expression.'

Film director Ken Loach said: 'If the Swedish government oppose bail it will show there is some vindictive element beyond this case.'

The scene outside the court was controlled bedlam as hordes of protesters - some brandishing copies of Time with Assange on the cover - and police mixed with international media.

Some demonstrators wore masks representing comic book hero V, from V for Vendetta, and others used scarves to conceal their identity.

Many carried placards mocking the British and Swedish authorities as well as black and white images of Assange.

One read: 'Sweden, puppets of the U.S.', another said 'There is something rotten in the state of Sweden' and many said 'Exposing war crimes is not a crime'.

Others gave out leaflets campaigning for an end to the 'unfair' European Arrest Warrant and outlining support for the free flow of information...


Photographers try to photograph WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as he is believed to arrive in a prison van at the Magistrates Court in Central London this morning

He gave a written statement to his mother, Christine, when she visited him in London where he is in custody fighting extradition to Sweden for alleged sex offences.

Internet activists launched 'Operation Payback' to avenge WikiLeaks against those perceived to have obstructed its operations by refusing to process payments to the website.

The campaign temporarily brought down the websites of credit card firms Visa and MasterCard, as well as that of PayPal and the Swedish government, last week.

Assange's statement said: 'We now know that Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and others are instruments of U.S. foreign policy.

'It's not something we knew before. I am calling for the world to protect my work and my people from these illegal and immoral attacks.'

The statement was a response to a request from an Australian TV network who asked Christine Assange to put one question to her son during her visit; 'Was it worth it?'

'My convictions are unfaltering,' Assange's statement continued. 'I remain true to the ideals I have expressed. This circumstance shall not shake them. If anything this process has increased my determination that they are true and correct.'

Christine Assange defended her son and said both were heartened by international support for him.

'I told him how people from all over the world, all sorts of countries were standing up with placards and screaming out for his freedom and justice and he was very heartened by that,' she said. 'As a mother I am asking the world to stand up for my brave son.'

The former hacker has provoked fury among international governments with his disclosure of 250,000 secret U.S. cables obtained by WikiLeaks.

Assange was accused this year of sexual misconduct by two female Swedish WikiLeaks volunteers during a stay in Sweden and turned himself in to Scotland Yard detectives last week.

He denies the allegations, which include rape and molestation in one case and molestation and unlawful coercion in a second, which he has said stem from a dispute over 'consensual but unprotected sex'.

His legal team has claimed Swedish prosecutors have been put under political pressure to restart their inquiry to help silence and discredit Assange.

They have voiced fears that U.S. prosecutors may be preparing to indict him for espionage after the WikiLeaks website published the secret U.S. documents.

A ComRes poll for CNN found more than four out of 10 British people (44 per cent) believe the charges are an excuse to get Assange into custody so the Americans can prosecute him for releasing secret diplomatic papers.

The same percentage said they believed he should be sent to Sweden to face questioning when ComRes interviewed 2010 adults online between December 10 and 13."

He has an army of liberal millionaire supporters but WikiLeaks boss is STILL trying to raise £240,000 in cash for his bail

The Times reports that...

Marcus's picture

"The US Air Force has blocked access on their own computer system to the New York Times and the Guardian for hosting classified Wikileaks documents. They have blocked 25 websites in total."

That's weird. Was it taking up too much of their office time or what? It's not as if their workers can't read them at home.

Ridiculous

ChuhuaZhu's picture

"If you take an ebook, and then distribute it widely and freely, in effect destroying Mark's business, then you have stolen from him, plain and fucking simple."
So, if you invent the wheel and have a de facto monopoly on carts, and I start cutting wheels to produce carts thereby destroying your business I've stolen from you?

You need to learn to differentiate competition from theft.

Theft does not involve taking 'the products of the mind' or any such nonsense. It's physical property, anything else is mystical hogwash.

We're getting a little off the point though...

Marcus's picture

Assange did not steal anyone's creative work.

He published private communications that were stolen by another party (or was he involved, that's the part I'm not clear on).

Normally, journalists may do this legitimately when in the public interest.

For example, if a journalist got hold of an authentic communiqué from Obama saying that he wasn't really a US citizen, what should he do?

Say, no thanks, that's been stolen. I wont publish that?

Or should he publish, saying, the public should know this.

The latter, of course.

2) If you steal property

Richard Wiig's picture

2) If you steal property belonging to another person you deprive the owner of its possession.

Or of his potential gain from the possession that he still has. If you take an ebook, and then distribute it widely and freely, in effect destroying Mark's business, then you have stolen from him, plain and fucking simple. You accuse Mark of semantics, but it is you who are playing semantics in order to justify theft.

Shakespeare...

Marcus's picture

...didn't become as wealthy as he should have, although he was incredibly popular in his own time.

Most of his plays were published without his permission, which is why we have so many different versions around of various qualities.

It makes the authorship of much of his work now a matter of debate too. It's hard to know who wrote what exactly, even his Sonnets.

If they had IP in those days Shakespeare would have had the rights to his own work and authorship and quality would have been clear.

What Shakespeare and many of his contemporaries were forced to do as a result was to have their work performed for one wealthy individual, usually someone of royalty or aristocracy, rather than giving it away for free to copycats.

You had to have a patron. That's the reason his acting company was known as the Queen's men under Elizabeth I and then the King's men under James I. They got to see the new plays first.

As soon as he performed a new play in public though, which he did, his IP was gone. That's what happens under anarchy.

Don't be shy

Richard Goode's picture

Mark, don't be shy.

Which of the following propositions

(1) Copying is theft.

(2) If you steal property belonging to another person you deprive the owner of its possession.

(3) If you copy property belonging to another person you do not deprive the owner of its possession.

do you deny?

Typical Perigo misunderstanding ...

Richard Goode's picture

... Linz has volunteered that he denies (2). No, Linz has not.

Linz, you said, "Theft may involve your being physically deprived of your property, but it needn't necessarily." From which it follows that, if you steal property belonging to another person, you needn't necessarily deprive the owner of its possession. Which is the denial of (2). Thanks for volunteering.

Linz

Richard Goode's picture

That thing is trying to be a clever-dick smart-ass again in the service of evil, as is its wont. It's playing the pomowanker's game of begging the question with you ... defining "theft" in such a way that leads by syllogism to the conclusion it already knows it wants to reach.

Which, of course, is exactly what Rand was doing when she redefined 'altruism' in the (dis)service of her bogus philosophy. As was her wont.

It's its definition of "theft" that's wrong. Theft may involve your being physically deprived of your property, but it needn't necessarily. The essence of theft is the taking of your property without your consent, which is precisely what the thing is defending.

My definition of theft is perfectly fine. It's you who is redefining 'theft'. Woe to you, and to your intellectual heirs.

That's precisely the other

Mark Hubbard's picture

You cannot "own" the products of your mind.

That's precisely the other hate I have against IP socialists Richard. This 'words are simply an abstract pattern bullshit', and so can't be the property of an individual. What you are in effect denying is the ability for individual thought itself, and from that for art. You deny original expression, full stop; that my words may be different to those penned by Mark Twain.

Where do you get to after you have denied the possibility of the individual human? Why are you even bothering to align yourself to a freedom movement such as Libertarianz: you believe we are all a Borg hive mind, incapable of originality. That's also at the bottom of the IP socialist argument. If there is no possibility of the individual, then that individual's freedom means nothing. In fact nothing means anything ...

I just know this is all connected to death metal ...

Typical Baade dishonesty ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

(2) If you steal property belonging to another person you deprive the owner of its possession.

... Linz has volunteered that he denies (2).

No, Linz has not. Read what Linz actually said. "Theft may involve your being physically deprived of your property, but it needn't necessarily." Linz has volunteered that depriving the owner of his possession is sufficient but not necessary to qualify an act as theft.

Mark

Richard Goode's picture

Which of the following propositions

(1) Copying is theft.

(2) If you steal property belonging to another person you deprive the owner of its possession.

(3) If you copy property belonging to another person you do not deprive the owner of its possession.

do you deny?

I deny (1). Linz has volunteered that he denies (2).

I'm not an anarchist. But I don't believe in "intellectual property" if that's what you're getting at. You cannot "own" the products of your mind.

If I cannot own the products of my own mind, and profit from them, then what does 'my freedom' mean Richard?

Political freedom is the absence of interference with the sovereignty of an individual by the use of coercion or aggression. Freedom is commonly known as the quality or state of being free from government oppression. This is a definition of freedom which coincides with negative liberty and freedom can also be defined in the positive sense of the term which involves having the power and resources to fulfill one's own potential.

I didn't steal the foregoing paragraph from Wikipedia.

Theft may involve your being

Mark Hubbard's picture

Theft may involve your being physically deprived of your property, but it needn't necessarily. The essence of theft is the taking of your property without your consent, which is precisely what the thing is defending.

You do get to the guts of a thing very well. Copying that to my diary.

Mark ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

That thing is trying to be a clever-dick smart-ass again in the service of evil, as is its wont. It's playing the pomowanker's game of begging the question with you ... defining "theft" in such a way that leads by syllogism to the conclusion it already knows it wants to reach. It's its definition of "theft" that's wrong. Theft may involve your being physically deprived of your property, but it needn't necessarily. The essence of theft is the taking of your property without your consent, which is precisely what the thing is defending.

If I cannot own the products

Mark Hubbard's picture

If I cannot own the products of my own mind, and profit from them, then what does 'my freedom' mean Richard? (It would appear to wipe out the very notion of freedom, because it wipes out the notion of the individual, and creative thought, period.)

You're either for IP, or you're an IP socialist; aren't you?

Using your words, why would you have 'done me an injustice', but for the fact you have stolen my ebook?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.