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Reader Comments on Aardvark Daily 10 July 2001

Note: the comments below are the unabridged submissions of readers and do
not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher.


From: Brian Harmer
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Intellectual oxymoron

Hamish McEwan's position on intellectual property is
astonishing. Given that people who write code (or books)
have to get paid for their labours, where does he suggest
that money should come from if not from the very real
rights to benefit from their own work?

But then later on he produces his carefully selected
analogy with ditch digging.

How about a different analogy: with a car, for example.
Does a rental car company lose the right to earn money from
the car once it hass been rented once? Or even once the
car's cost has been met?

The ditch digger has usually entered into a different kind
of transaction. He or she has agreed to provide a quantum
of labour for an agreed price. It is a simple sale. The new
owner has the ditch and can thereafter continue to benefit
from it. If the ditch digger digs a ditch on his or her own
behalf however, they too can benefit in perpetuity from the

The book author could likewise do as the ditch digger does,
and sell the rights to his or her labour as a one off
transaction and then Steven Speeilberg or whoever can make
a movoe from it and profit evermore. The book is no less
the tangible product of someone's labour than the ditch.
The ditch digger is a straw man.

From: Nigel McNaughton
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Bad Analogy

"The elitist snobbery that suggests a "creator" of mind
products deserves payment for ever, where a ditchdigger is
paid once for his time and not for each use of the ditch,
nor is allowed to control what may flow through the ditch,
is a repugnant discrimination that should be eliminated,
not extended."

I hire someone to dig a ditch on my property a job which I
pay him for.  Why should he then get to say what may flow
through the ditch?  I design a better shovel on my time
with my resources then shouldn't I be granted some chance
to make some money off that?

Now Have Your Say

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