parados
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Jul, 2010 08:41 pm
@Night Ripper,
Quote:
It is impossible for you to show me one piece of art that is limited where the media isn't.


That statement doesn't even make sense Night compared to what I stated.
The media IS limited for all art. I never said the media wasn't limited.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  2  
Reply Sat 17 Jul, 2010 08:43 pm
@parados,
parados wrote:

Do you agree that these are both true?

Art can't exist without the media which art is produced in.
The media in which art is produced is finite and is limited.



Can you answer my question or not? Are they both true?
Night Ripper
 
  0  
Reply Sun 18 Jul, 2010 08:53 am
@parados,
parados wrote:

parados wrote:

Do you agree that these are both true?

Art can't exist without the media which art is produced in.
The media in which art is produced is finite and is limited.



Can you answer my question or not? Are they both true?


Can you answer my question? Can you show me any art that is limited even if the media could be infinite? If not then the limit is on the media, not the art.
parados
 
  2  
Reply Sun 18 Jul, 2010 09:11 am
@Night Ripper,
Quote:
Can you show me any art that is limited even if the media could be infinite?

No and it would be impossible since a work of art requires a media that is limited otherwise the it couldn't be a finished work.

Quote:
If not then the limit is on the media, not the art.
No because in order for it to be a work of art it has to be completed. The limit is on the art since without a limit on the media the art would not exist.

That is an answer to 2 questions..
Now your turn to answer mine.
Night Ripper
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 18 Jul, 2010 09:20 am
@parados,
parados wrote:

Quote:
Can you show me any art that is limited even if the media could be infinite?

No and it would be impossible since a work of art requires a media that is limited otherwise the it couldn't be a finished work.


You didn't answer the question actually. First of all, let's assume that all media is unlimited, now, can you show me any art that is limited under that assumption of unlimited media?

If not, that shows that the limit is on the media not the art since if the media were infinite you can't point to limited art.

That's all that matters for my argument. If media were infinite so too could copies of art. The fact that media is limited means nothing for the limit of art.

I'm done talking to you until you say something new.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Jul, 2010 09:22 am
@Night Ripper,
I see you are avoiding answering my questions.. but..

Quote:
You didn't answer the question actually. First of all, let's assume that all media is unlimited, now, can you show me any art that is limited under that assumption of unlimited media?

The Mona Lisa is limited as it exists. Even if there was an unlimited amount of canvas and pigment the Mona Lisa would be no larger than it is.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Jul, 2010 09:30 am
@Night Ripper,
Quote:
That's all that matters for my argument. If media were infinite so too could copies of art. The fact that media is limited means nothing for the limit of art.
It does for a work of art. Now you are engaged in the equivocation fallacy in that you using 2 different meanings of the word "art" in the same argument.
But that raises the issue of "If humans had access to an infinite universe then they would have access to infinite air making air no longer scarce."
We are back to you arguing that the conclusion is true even if the original assumption is false.


Quote:

I'm done talking to you until you say something new.

Ah..so you won't answer this?


For the following "art" means a "work of art" .
Quote:
Do you agree that these are both true?

Art can't exist without the media which art is produced in.
The media in which art is produced is finite and is limited.

0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Sun 18 Jul, 2010 09:57 am
Let's take a step back and review. Considering how many times Night Ripper has moved the goal posts on his argument, it's worth recapitulating at this point:

He contends that works currently subject to intellectual property laws (I'll just refer to them all as "artworks" for convenience) are not subject to ownership because they're not "scarce." NR's argument, therefore, relies on a definition of "scarce." So what, exactly, is "scarce?"

Well, that's not quite clear. Air, it seems, is scarce. That's because there's a finite amount of air. NR contrasts that to ideas, which are infinitely reproduceable. Of course, ideas can't be copyrighted, but that doesn't seem to bother NR. Indeed, in order to be copyrighted, artworks must be fixed in some medium. Those media are, to be sure, as finite as air -- even more so -- but then that doesn't seem to bother NR either, because it's the ideas behind the artworks that are infinite. But then ideas can't be copyrighted -- and so on, round and round, ad infinitum ad absurdum. Of all of NR's going-nowhere arguments, that's the going-nowherest.

Not that NR is totally against the ownership of artworks. If there is a sole copy of an artwork, then that is subject to ownership (although NR is rather vague on whether it's the medium in which the artwork is fixed which is owned or the artwork itself). But he thinks that, if someone can go ahead and steal the artwork and make copies, then the copies somehow vitiate the ownership in the artwork -- and that means both the copies and the original, presumably, although it's not at all clear why something that is property is rendered non-property by the actions of a third-party (and a third-party thief at that).

That all follows from NR's belief that the basis of property is scarcity. Now it's true that the institution of private property is premised on scarcity, but that's a far different thing than saying that the right to private property is premised on scarcity. NR has clearly confused a necessary condition for property and the substantive right itself.

This yields the rather absurd scenario where something can be owned until it becomes abundant, at which point ownership in the item disappears. NR uses the hypothetical of the infinite supply of gold watches, forgetting that, if I own one of an infinite series of gold watches, that doesn't mean I don't own the watch, it just means that the watch probably has no value -- which is just another instance of NR mistaking the value of a thing for the right to own a thing. NR's response to this flaw in his argument, so far, has been the equivalent of "oh yeah?"

Meanwhile, NR has had to make some startling concessions in order to defend his basic principle that only scarce things are subject to ownership. Thus, for instance, air is "scarce" because he knows that, in some instances, it is actually subject to ownership. Rather than saying that air is not subject to ownership, therefore, he has, in essence, been forced to redefine "scarce" to mean "not infinite."

That's a huge leap of logic, one that NR seems not to have recognized. By making "scarce" mean "non-infinite," he, in sum, now claims that all tangible things are subject to ownership, since all tangible things are presumably non-infinite -- even in an infinite universe. But then what's left? Well, the only thing left is artwork, since that is the only thing that, according to NR, is infinitely reproduceable. That means, however, that NR's argument that "artworks are not subject to ownership because they're not scarce" actually amounts to saying that "artworks are not subject to ownership because they're artworks." In other words, it boils down to nothing more than a "sez me." NR's response to that flaw in his argument has, so far, pretty much been "nuh uh, 'fraid not!"

Thus, it's time to put some pointed queries to NR. I'll number them so that he doesn't forget to answer them, as is his wont:

1. What is your definition of "scarce" as it relates to property?

2. What, besides artworks, are "scarce" and, thus, not subject to ownership?

3. Do you agree that someone can own a single, unique artwork that has not been reproduced, and that the property interest in that unique artwork is distinct from the medium in which it is fixed?

4. If your answer to question 3 is "yes" (or some characteristically evasive version of "yes"), would the unauthorized copying of that artwork vitiate the creator's property interest in that artwork? In other words, once the copies have been made, does the creator still retain an ownership interest in the original artwork (apart from the creator's ownership interest in the medium in which that artwork is fixed)?
parados
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Jul, 2010 10:26 am
@joefromchicago,
Quote:
But then what's left? Well, the only thing left is artwork, since that is the only thing that, according to NR, is infinitely reproduceable. That means, however, that NR's argument that "artworks are not subject to ownership because they're not scarce" actually amounts to saying that "artworks are not subject to ownership because they're artworks."

It also leaves us with the absurd argument that artworks aren't tangible in any way otherwise reproducing them would require scarce resources.
0 Replies
 
Night Ripper
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 18 Jul, 2010 02:29 pm
@joefromchicago,
There's quite a lot of rhetoric and hyperbole being slung around here but I'm confident in the soundness of my arguments and the intelligence of my audience. I don't need to draw false conclusions and attempt to force them on others. You would do well to leave the commentary out of this Joe. The only people you're going to convince are the people that already agree with you, not because you're right but because they've invested themselves in being right as well. Anyone that would rely on your biased summary is going to be in your camp anyways. Those of us that can think for ourselves will just read the discussion over and see the truth. Namely, that my position hasn't moved an inch.

Now, on to your questions...

joefromchicago wrote:
1. What is your definition of "scarce" as it relates to property?"


A scarce resource is a resource with a supply inadequate compared to the demand. Since human demands are infinite, any finite supply will be scarce. The reason why scarcity is relevant to property rights is because if I take a scarce resource from you then I am depriving you of that resource. The reason why art is not scarce is because if I copy some bit of art that you possess, I am not depriving you of that resource. It's the difference between taking X and copying X. Anything that can be taken from you is eligible for property rights. Anything that can only be copied from you, isn't. This last line in bold is the crux of my argument. Defeat that and I'll concede to you.

joefromchicago wrote:
2. What, besides artworks, aren't "scarce" and, thus, not subject to ownership?


Ideas, languages, dances, greetings, fashion, genetic codes, handwriting styles, accents and the list goes on and on...

joefromchicago wrote:
3. Do you agree that someone can own a single, unique artwork that has not been reproduced, and that the property interest in that unique artwork is distinct from the medium in which it is fixed?


No.
joefromchicago
 
  5  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 08:28 am
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper wrote:
Namely, that my position hasn't moved an inch.

I don't doubt it for a minute.

Night Ripper wrote:
A scarce resource is a resource with a supply inadequate compared to the demand. Since human demands are infinite, any finite supply will be scarce. The reason why scarcity is relevant to property rights is because if I take a scarce resource from you then I am depriving you of that resource. The reason why art is not scarce is because if I copy some bit of art that you possess, I am not depriving you of that resource. It's the difference between taking X and copying X. Anything that can be taken from you is eligible for property rights. Anything that can only be copied from you, isn't. This last line in bold is the crux of my argument. Defeat that and I'll concede to you.

You're mixing up two very different things here. On the one hand, you've argued that something can't be owned unless it is scarce. On the other hand, you now seem to be saying that something can't be owned if it can be copied without taking away from the original.

You may think that those are two ways of saying the same thing, but they're not. The former looks at scarcity from the point of view of the potential consumer, the latter looks at it from the point of view of the owner. The former focuses on the scarcity of the item, the latter focuses on the diminishment of the item.

Now, it makes sense for you to back away from your earlier argument that an item can't be owned unless it is scarce. As we've seen, that forces you into some increasingly untenable corners, like where you say that air is scarce. But by switching your focus to the diminishment of an item rather than its scarcity, you're just going from one indefensible position to another.

Private property, after all, isn't a thing, it's a collection of rights. That's true whether the property is tangible or intangible. If I own a piece of land, my property interest isn't the land itself, it's the rights that are associated with that land. One of those rights is the right to exclusive possession. Pursuant to that right, I can allow anyone to use that land as I see fit. Furthermore, I can prevent anyone else from using that land, even if that use doesn't do any damage to that land, and I can collect damages for violations of my right to exclusive possession. Indeed, you have already expressed your support for trespass laws as they apply to tangible property.

The same rights apply to intangible property. If, rather than owning a piece of land, I created a song or a novel or a painting, then I'm not sure why I shouldn't have a comparable set of rights to that artistic creation that I have with regard to my land. In particular, why shouldn't I have the right to exclusive possession of that song or novel or painting, and allow or prevent people from using that song or novel or painting just as I can allow or prevent people from using my land?

Presumably, you'd say that copying doesn't diminish the original -- which is true with regard to the thing, but not true with regard to the right. My right to exclusive possession is most certainly diminished if anyone can just make copies of my artistic creation, just as my right to exclusive possession is diminished if anyone can just walk all over my land -- and that's true even if the trespasser doesn't do any damage to the land itself. And when we're talking about private property, the proper focus is on the right, not on the thing.

Ironically, you can understand that distinction between the thing and the right when it comes to tangible property, but you seem utterly baffled by it when it comes to intangible property. The question, then, is why you support trespass laws with regard to tangible property but don't support comparable laws with regard to the unauthorized use of intangible property.
Night Ripper
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 11:44 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
You're mixing up two very different things here. On the one hand, you've argued that something can't be owned unless it is scarce. On the other hand, you now seem to be saying that something can't be owned if it can be copied without taking away from the original.


That's what scarcity implies. If X is scarce then my taking it away from you will deprive you of X. If X isn't scarce then it won't because X is unlimited and you can easily replace it.

joefromchicago wrote:
Now, it makes sense for you to back away from your earlier argument that an item can't be owned unless it is scarce.


But I haven't so this doesn't apply.

joefromchicago wrote:
Private property, after all, isn't a thing, it's a collection of rights. That's true whether the property is tangible or intangible. If I own a piece of land, my property interest isn't the land itself, it's the rights that are associated with that land.


This is utter nonsense. If you own X then you own a thing not some bundle of rights.

joefromchicago wrote:
Presumably, you'd say that copying doesn't diminish the original -- which is true with regard to the thing, but not true with regard to the right.


Since private property is ownership of a thing then this doesn't matter. You may have an interest in your business and if I compete with you I might cost you some of that interest but that's irrelevant. You don't get to protect your rights to X only the possession of X.
joefromchicago
 
  4  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 01:04 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper wrote:
That's what scarcity implies. If X is scarce then my taking it away from you will deprive you of X. If X isn't scarce then it won't because X is unlimited and you can easily replace it.

No, that's not what "scarcity" means. But even if you were correct, that only applies to the thing that is owned, not the right to that thing. You're still confusing the two.

Night Ripper wrote:
This is utter nonsense. If you own X then you own a thing not some bundle of rights.

On the contrary, private property is nothing but a collection of rights. It's a shame that you've devoted so much time and effort to a subject about which you evidently know so very little.

Night Ripper wrote:
Since private property is ownership of a thing then this doesn't matter. You may have an interest in your business and if I compete with you I might cost you some of that interest but that's irrelevant. You don't get to protect your rights to X only the possession of X.

Well, that missed the point by a mile.

You want to analogize copyright to competition, but that's a very poor analogy. If I have a business, it's true that I don't have a property interest in maintaining my business free of competition, but then I'm not sure why that's relevant here. You seem to think that an unauthorized copier of an artwork is like a business competitor, but then that assumes that there's no property interest in the artwork itself, which is merely begging the question.
Night Ripper
 
  -3  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 01:26 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
No, that's not what "scarcity" means. But even if you were correct, that only applies to the thing that is owned, not the right to that thing. You're still confusing the two.


I'm not confusing anything. If you own X then it's yours and you can do whatever you want to it. That's why you have rights to X because you own X. You don't own the rights. That doesn't even make sense.

joefromchicago wrote:
On the contrary, private property is nothing but a collection of rights. It's a shame that you've devoted so much time and effort to a subject about which you evidently know so very little.


No, it's not but it's nice to see you are still hurling such immature insults even though it adds nothing to your argument.
joefromchicago
 
  5  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 02:41 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper wrote:
I'm not confusing anything. If you own X then it's yours and you can do whatever you want to it. That's why you have rights to X because you own X. You don't own the rights. That doesn't even make sense.

You're correct: "owning rights" doesn't make any sense. That's why I never said it. I'm not sure why you did, but that's your business.

Night Ripper wrote:
No, it's not but it's nice to see you are still hurling such immature insults even though it adds nothing to your argument.

It's not an insult to point out that you don't know what you're talking about. After all, it's true.
Night Ripper
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 03:04 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
You're correct: "owning rights" doesn't make any sense. That's why I never said it.


Oh really?

joefromchicago wrote:
private property is nothing but a collection of rights


Since, private property is something that one owns and you claim that private property is "nothing but a collection of rights" then transitively it seems you are saying that you can own a collection of rights. I claim that's nonsense and you seem to agree.

If I'm mistaken, why don't you clarify or elaborate instead of just making a denial and leaving the conversation dead in the water?

joefromchicago wrote:
It's not an insult to point out that you don't know what you're talking about. After all, it's true.


I'm intrigued by your theory that the truth is never an insult. Do you go up to overweight people and call them fat expecting it not to be an insult? That is a rhetorical question since I'm not really interested in debating manners with you. Either way, let's just address the arguments instead of attacking each other personally. Nothing you say against me personally is going to make your argument any less wrong.
DrewDad
 
  5  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 03:12 pm
@Night Ripper,
Clearly, Joe is saying that "ownership of private property" is "a collection of rights to the property".

You are either being willfully dense, or simply dense.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  4  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 03:13 pm
@Night Ripper,
Whining that someone hurt your feelings doesn't make your argument right, either.
0 Replies
 
Night Ripper
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 03:34 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
joefromchicago wrote:
Night Ripper wrote:
This is utter nonsense. If you own X then you own a thing not some bundle of rights.

On the contrary, private property is nothing but a collection of rights.

You're correct: "owning rights" doesn't make any sense. That's why I never said it.


See how you said "on the contrary" that means that you're disagreeing that one owns a thing and not some bundle of rights. So why do you now claim that you didn't say anything about "owning rights"? What is it that you think one owns then if not the thing nor the rights? Could you pick a stance and stick to it?
joefromchicago
 
  4  
Reply Mon 19 Jul, 2010 05:55 pm
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper wrote:
joefromchicago wrote:
private property is nothing but a collection of rights


Since, private property is something that one owns and you claim that private property is "nothing but a collection of rights" then transitively it seems you are saying that you can own a collection of rights. I claim that's nonsense and you seem to agree.

If I'm mistaken, why don't you clarify or elaborate instead of just making a denial and leaving the conversation dead in the water?

"Ownership" is merely a convenient way to describe the package of rights that entail ownership. If I say "I own this piece of land," it means that I have a bundle of rights as to that land, just as saying "that land is my property" is simply a shorthand way of saying that land is subject to those rights.

To suggest, as you do, that ownership and the rights of ownership are distinct is to miss the point entirely, and confirms the fact that you don't know what you're talking about.

Night Ripper wrote:
I'm intrigued by your theory that the truth is never an insult. Do you go up to overweight people and call them fat expecting it not to be an insult? That is a rhetorical question since I'm not really interested in debating manners with you. Either way, let's just address the arguments instead of attacking each other personally. Nothing you say against me personally is going to make your argument any less wrong.

If someone were to say to me "you don't know anything about 18th-century Chinese ceramics," I can't imagine why I would take offense. After all, I don't know anything about 18th-century Chinese ceramics. Of course, if I went ahead, despite that complete lack of knowledge, and tried to speak authoritatively about 18th-century Chinese ceramics, I might not want anyone to discover that I didn't know what I was talking about, but then I think I'd be more embarrassed than offended if someone pointed out my lack of knowledge. No doubt you feel the same way.
 

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