Van Helsing and the Public Domain

Rob Myers robmyers at
Thu May 13 04:54:52 EDT 2004

On Thursday, May 13, 2004, at 05:54AM, Mark Carter <mark at> wrote:

>I think the best illustration that copyright is a natural right is 
>simply that if I write some awe-inspiring enlightening book, it's 
>entirely up to me whether I will then disseminate that book to the 
>masses, or smile with satisfaction and, in the spirit of impermanence, 
>throw it in the fireplace.

No, that's an illustration of the right to own physical property. Confusing "real" physical property with "intangible" IP is bogus.

>Any idea that I have any less right to that level of control over the 
>work is simply a result of the unrelenting onslaught of technology.  

No, any idea that you should have more control is simply a result of the unrelenting onslaught of technology and unbalanced legislation.

If you want to destroy the only copy you've got of your (electronic) manuscript you can always burn your computer. In fact a computer makes it even easier to control your "property" in the terminology you use as you can delete the file and overwrite it with random data. Less recoverable than burning, which may not consume the entire manuscript.

Owning the only copy of your work is very different from having a monopoly on publishing it.

>few hundred years ago, if I were to "publish" the aforementioned book, I 
>would very likely be able to personally keep track of each and every 
>person who owned a copy.  Copying was by no means trivial.  Today, it 
>is.  My natural rights have been circumvented by technology.

No, without the technology you could not "publish" the aforementioned book. Therefore without technology you could not have this "right". Therefore it is not natural.

- Rob.

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