Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Let's stick to our guns

Maybe for years there has been lots of crime, and in trying to stop it governments and businesses have slowly but radically changed the fundamental legal basis for many of our frequent actions without our noticing.

And it didn't work: there's still plenty of crime.

Well, to be fair, the changes weren't all made to stop crime. Some of them were plain-old corporate power-grabs.

Here are a few things that are entirely ridiculous (though I'm certainly open to arguments that they aren't):
  • First sales being whatsoever different from subsequent sales.

  • People needing patent licenses to use consumer products (usually computer software and hardware)

  • Contracts that are basically up for sale (usage licenses for software, tickets to events, stuff like that) being non-transferable even though they were originally offered to anyone that would pay for them.

  • Contracts you have to agree to with no ability to negotiate the terms (almost any type of usage license for a consumer product falls under this category)

  • Corporations having the rights of people, including that of free speech (corporations fundamentally cannot be held accountable for their speech and actions as people can, so they should have an accordingly different set of rights that holds them to higher standards, keeping in mind that corporations are supposed to be established for the public good)

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