Posts Tagged ‘evolution’

My evolutionary biology response to a copyright commentary…

March 1, 2012

I was reading a blog post titled “How You’re Breaking the Law Every Day (and What You Can Do About It)” and decided to post a comment. My comment hasn’t shown up over there yet. However, here’s what I ended up writing (with a couple of edits to correct spelling and grammar and better clarify points):

It’s so awesome to see so many commenters posting who have no skill to understand or even make the distinctions in the above article. And worse, the simpleminded auto-response zealots that incorrectly keep repeating the mantra “copyright infringement is theft”.

There’s are specific legal reasons the proper term is copyright “infringement” and not copyright “theft”. It’s because infringement doesn’t actually “harm” the owner by depriving him of the specific property. IT CANNOT as he still has his original as I walk away with a copy. Theft is defined to be when I take a physical thing from an owner and walk away with it. The owner no longer has the thing. Physical things are by nature scarce. Digital things are by nature abundant.

Or, try this on for size. We are rapidly getting close to the point where we will have matter replicators. We already have 3D printers (which is getting damn close). There will be a day where I can make a copy of your bike and then ride off on my copy. And you won’t be any the wiser as you will still have your original when you return to the bike stand to ride off on your copy. Now that’s physical goods abundance.

Or take one step further back. All of nature that is organic is based on profuse perfect copying with very slight modification over time (i.e. evolution). IT’S THE NATURE OF ALL ORGANISMS, OF ALL LIFE! It’s copy all the way down. So, big surprise that the emergent phenomena of the DNA replicators’ (that would be us humans) thoughts, i.e. memes, are entirely based upon profuse copying with very slight modification.

Attempting to stop humans from copying and modifying is to defy their basic biological and psychological nature. Doing so by government force violates a basic personal and psychological boundary of an individual. It also violates the basic boundary of a culture of such individuals. It’s what’s breaking the culture of the USA, TODAY!

And THAT is why, at the most fundamental level, the government enforced monopolies of copyright and patent are ultimately undermined and will never be successfully fully regulated. It requires all the participants to willing deny their basic “copyism” nature, something they cannot and will not do.

It’s hard to put more simply than this. I AM COPY! WE ARE COPY!