In a series of articles here at Falkvinge on Infopolicy, I’ll be giving examples of talking back to the most disturbingly false bullshit repeated by pro-copyright-monopoly pundits. The reason for this is that I see tons of this kind of bullshit in discussion threads, and it stands unchallenged, which is dangerous. As I describe in Swarmwise, it is of immense importance for our long-term liberties that false assertions are countered immediately and in numbers whenever they appear.
Today, we’re going to discuss the assertion that somebody is “taking without paying” when sharing knowledge and culture. Here are three examples how to counter it. Adapt to your own language and use.
Don’t be content with one person already having countered a false assertion, and count on people thinking logically. A false statement must be hammered with opposition for liberties to win; it’s not a logic game but a numbers game. It’s about looking like the winning team, as I describe in Swarmwise – that’s what shapes the reality and the future.
Today, we’ll deal with this “taking without paying” nonsense. There are many variations – “benefiting without paying”, etc. Don’t let it stand unchallenged at any time.
Here are three sample responses you can use. Copy, remix and adapt to your own language.
False statement: “You are taking something without paying.”
False statement: “What gives you the moral right to see a movie for free when I pay for it?”.
False statement: “You are obviously having a benefit without compensating, so what you are doing is wrong.”
There are many variations on the theme. (The sample responses below have a weak mapping to the three variations of the statement given above, so response 2 fits statement 2 the best, etc.)
Sample response 1: Nobody is taking anything. Somebody is manufacturing their own copy of whatever-it-is, possibly in violation of the first action of six in the copyright monopoly, but at no point has any property changed hands – the manufacturing is done entirely using their own property, from blueprints shared online. Since nobody is taking anything, they’re not taking anything without paying, either.
Sample response 2: The statement/question doesn’t make sense. If you are buying a chair, you are paying for it. If I see your chair and don’t want to buy one, but instead decide to borrow blueprints for such a chair from a friend, and manufacture the chair myself instead with my own property, who are you to blame me for not paying anybody for manufacturing my own chair? This is exactly what happens in the sharing of culture and knowledge online.
Sample response 3: It’s excellent that somebody is having a benefit without cost, or with less cost. That’s how capitalism works, when it works. It always strives to improve the benefit-to-cost ratio for humanity as a whole, it strives to get more output out of less input and effort. If somebody is achieving the same benefit at no cost at all, that’s a great leap ahead and anything that stands in the way of such a leap is anti-market and anti-progress.
Take these responses. Use them. More to come next Saturday for the foreseeable future.