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Inquisitor

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  1. There is a key difference between addressing an issue and resolving it. Your arguments thus far have been inadequate; it is not enough that you make them. Moreover, none of my objections resemble anything else written on the thread. Perhaps you should read the text more carefully. Your initial complaint was erroneous. No one thinks that downloading music is justified because the format is digital. Hence your point that music on a CD is also digital remains irrelevant. Downloading music is justified because it involves a reproduction of digital information- whereas stealing a CD takes the original information out of the owner’s possession. Well, you’re in disagreement with several prominent anthropologists. In any case, whether or not cavemen could grasp rights is utterly inconsequential. My point was that if all inventions and ideas were actual property items of their owners- then inventions such as fire, when reproduced, entailed theft. If this confuses you think of another simple invention: such as log-houses. Did the first pilgrim to build a log-house have the right to deny other pilgrims from building similar houses out of wood because “the idea was his first”? It’s really unbecoming of you to respond so emotionally. But if you can’t help but make childish threats and insults in response to rational discourse, I’ll leave myself.
  2. Copying music does not deny musicians the right to their property, it denies musicians the right to reproductions of their ideas; reproductions that were never in their possession to begin with. Similarly, reproductions of inventions or ideas such as spears, fires, fishing hooks, etc. do not entail theft of any kind. Ideas cannot be stolen because they never leave the possession of their owners. A fire involves a specific reorganization of materials, just as all inventions do. If someone who invents a particle accelerator, under the statutes of intellectual property, has the right to prevent others from reproducing his invention- then the caveman should have the right to do the same with his creation. But this is, of course, ridiculous. You've already agreed with me in the above statement- by admitting that the caveman has a right to the fire he builds but not other fires. Similarly, an inventor has a right to his invention but not to reproductions of his invention, and the musician has a right to his music but not to reproductions of his music.
  3. There are a variety of anarchists- anarcho-libertarians, anarcho-capitalists, libertarian socialists, anarcho-socialists, etc. Most anarchists believe the existence of a government involves an intrinsic violation of rights- since a government cannot exist without expropriating property without the permission of its owners. Thus, according to anarchists, it’s impossible to exist under government jurisdiction without having your rights violated. Anarcho-libertarians and anarcho-capitalists would regard the term “capitalist-government” as being oxymoronic.
  4. Stealing CDs from a store and copying data files are not the same- given that you take nothing physical from the owner (not even the data, which you are copying) when you download music. The lack of actual items means that there is no qualified way to decide what is to be considered intellectual property and what isn’t. For instance: it would be laughable to suggest that the first caveman to sharpen a stick and make a spear had their property rights infringed, or that the first person to add salt to a stew had their belongings stolen several times thereafter. If all ideas were safeguarded as intellectual property is today, most of us would still be waiting for someone to sell us the right to make fire.