Locke rightfully saw that property rights are the single most essential element in limiting the powers of government. In my opinion, judges who use different principles to rule on matters of private property, such as in Kelo vs New London, are the ones engaged in judicial activism. Likewise any judge who rules that Google can post whatever they please without first obtaining permission from the owners of the intellectual property will be engaging in judicial activism.
You are wrong, Foxfyre. John Locke believed that property ought to be used for the common good of all the people. Therefore, the political power of the state must be used to regulate property rights for the common good.
The problem, Foxfyre, is that you have taken your very limited, skewed, and incorrect knowledge of John Locke's views and transformed those views into something unrecognizable to justify your own self-serving views with respect to the "higher principles" of property ownership. Then you distort the concept of "judicial activism" to add insult to injury.
Nature, ungoverned by any social compact among the people, produces the "survival of the fittest," wherein the strong are able to reign terror over the weak. The strong have the ability through sheer force and violence to kill the weak, enslave the weak, and take whatever they want from the weak. In forming a social compact for the common good, the people agree that their condition in the state of nature (where the strong survive and the weak perish) is UNACCEPTABLE.
The weak and the strong have equal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but without entering a social compact for the common good, the weak are unable to secure their rights against the transgressions of the strong. There are no police, prosecutors or judges in the state of nature and an individual's ability to protect his own life, liberty, or property is dependent upon one's own strength.
Locke has never advocated absolute ownership of property. If, through your own labor, you pick more berries than you can possibly eat and the excess berries are wasted, you have committed a transgression against the common good. People enter into the social compact for the common good: LEGITIMATE civil government is instituted by the explicit consent of those governed. The people delegate powers to the government to regulate property rights for the common good and to secure their lives and liberty from those who would otherwise use strength, violence, and force to deprive them of their lives and liberty.
In Locke's Second Treatise of Government, Locke defines the role of legitimate political power of the state over the people:
Political power, then, I take to be a right of making laws with penalties of death, and consequently all less penalties, for the regulating and preserving of property, and of employing the force of the community, in the execution of such laws, and in the defence of the common-wealth from foreign injury; and all this only for the public good. . . .
OUR social compact (wherein civil government was instituted by the explicit consent of those governed) is announced in the Declaration of Independence and is embodied in the Constitution for the United States of America.
The people DELEGATED political power to the federal government to regulate intellectual property for the common good:
Article I vests all legislative (LAW-MAKING) power for the United States in CONGRESS.
Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 vests Congress with the lawmaking power "To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries."
Congress exercised its Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, powers to enact copyright laws.
Our existing copyright laws are found in Title 17 of the United States Code.
17 U.S.C. Section 106 grants copyright owners a bundle of rights (reproduction, adaptation, publication, performance, and display) subject to
various limitations, qualifications, or exemptions set forth in sections 107 through 118.
The JUDICIAL branch of government is responsible for settling disputes--cases and controversies arising under the Constitution and laws of the United States.
Accordingly, an author (a plaintiff) who alleges that he is the owner of a copyright protected by law under Title 17 U.S.C. Section 106 and who alleges an unlawful infringement of that copyright may prosecute a lawsuit against the alleged infringer (the defendant) in federal court for damages.
The defendant may defend the allegation of copyright infringement by answering the complaint and alleging that his use of the copyright materials is permitted by law. (Title 17 U.S.C. Sections 107 through 118.)
If the parties do not settle the lawsuit out of court, then it is the court's duty to decide the case or controvery arising under the laws of the United States. Both parties will have a fair and meaningful opportunity to present admissible evidence and argue the application of the law to the facts. Depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, the court might rule in favor of the copyright owner or the court might rule in favor of the alleged infringer.
The law, if you actually care to read the law, does not grant the copyright owner the absolute right to control every possible use of his/her copyright material.
The law, if you actually care to read the law, does not grant the alleged copyright infringer the right to use copyright material any way the alleged infringer pleases.
You have completely ignored copyright law as it exists (with protections to copyright owners and exceptions to those protections); you have ignored the TRUE historical basis for the regulation of property rights in general and copyrights in particular; and you have wildly implied (given the basis of your rant) that there can be only two possible outcomes of a copyright infringement case with respect to posting materials on the internet: 1) Absolute protection of the copyright owner or 2) no protection at all where the copyright infringer can post whatever they please online.
Contrary to your wild assertion, a ruling in favor of an alleged copyright infringer does NOT mean that the court ruled that the alleged infringer may use the material any way he/she/it pleases. You have completely distorted the law. If a court finds in favor of an alleged copyright infringer and allows an alleged copyright infringer to use a copyright owner's work in accordance with a statutory exception to the copyright owner's exclusivity, the court is NOT engaging in judicial activism--the court is following the law.
Accordingly, your announcement that "any judge who rules that Google can post whatever they please without first obtaining permission from the owners of the intellectual property will be engaging in judicial activism" is an emotional argument without any merit. No judge would ever rule that Google can post whatever it pleases. Google's postings must comply with the law.
Using the ABOVE as the foundation, I will again respond to your comments in a manner that you will hopefully understand this time:
One of the reasons we need the most serious, competent, and Constitutional rights-minded justices on the Supreme Court is graphically illustrated in the Kelo vs New London case that allows the government to forcibly transfer private property to other private entities 'for the public good'
Your statement is based on the faulty conclusion that the COURT allows government to take private property. That's not true. It's the laws of your state that allow your state government to take private property. The only issue presented to the court was whether the state statute that allowed the City to take private property for economic development was constitutional or unconstitutional on its face or as applied.
In the Kelo case, the STATE legislature--the democratically elected branch of the state government--had previously passed a STATE law that defined economic development as a public use and permitted the City of New London to take private property for economic development. The United States Supreme Court ruled that economic development was a permissible public purpose under the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment applicable to the States via the Fourteenth Amendment. Therefore, the state law that allowed takings for economic development was CONSTITUTIONAL. The state law embodied a permissible choice within the political power of the STATE.
The Supreme Court does not have the power to set aside constitutional
state laws merely because the Court might consider the choices within the political power of the state to be unwise. Perhaps individual members of Court, if they were lawmakers instead of judicial officers, would disagree with the wisdom of taking private property for economic development. However, it is not within the limited role of judges to substitute their judgment for the judgment of elected representatives acting within the scope of their legitimate police powers.
The political branches of government are accountable to the people. If the people do not want private property taken for economic development, they have the absolute right to petition their elected representatives in the LAW-MAKING branch to change the law. Your elected representatives are accountable to the people in the voting booth. If your elected representatives do not change the law, you have the right to elect new representatives who will. It is a POLICY choice whether or not economic development constitutes a public use that would justify taking private property and paying just compensation to the property owner.
Contrary to your assertion, it is NOT the Court that allows your state government to take private property for economic development--it's the PEOPLE of your state who allow this to happen and it's within the power of the PEOPLE of your state to forbid it by changing their state laws or by amending their state constitution. If your state laws allow the taking of private property for economic development, the state is exercising its legitimate powers with the CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED.
Do you think Google should be able to link you to anything out there? Do you think it should be legal for somebody to post your own creative works that you had no intention of posting on the Internet?
Google may use the works of copyright owners in accordance with the copyright laws enacted by Congress. Even if I create original work protected by copyright laws and have no intention of posting my work on the internet, I cannot forbid the lawful uses of my work whether I like it or not.
Again, it is largely a political question with respect to what laws are necessary and proper to promote the arts and sciences and to what extent that I should have exclusive rights to my work enforceable by law. Again, if I am unhappy with Congress's policy choices reflected in our current laws, I may resort to the democratic political processes to change those policies through the enactment of new laws.
I think copyright law is based on the principle of the owners' right to control their property. It is (or should be) illegal to take other's property for one's own benefit. This is the principle I see at play here. If the Copyright Act covers it, then fine. Let's hope the judge(s) see that. If it does not, then the judge can still rule on the higher principle of rights of owners to their own property.
You are announcing you are "fine" with federal copyright laws if those laws protect the copyright owner in the manner you desire.
You are announcing, if federal copyright laws do NOT protect the copyright owner in the manner you desire, then you want judge to ignore the law, substitute his own judgment for that of the legislature's judgment, and rule upon "higher principles." You are encouraging "judicial activism," which is the very evil you that you allegedly abhor.
Even though copyright laws may affect your interest in your own creative work, so long as copyright laws are rationally related to a legitimate government interest (promoting the arts and sciences), copyright laws are constitutional. So long as the copyright laws are constitutional, our courts do not have the power to ignore the law and substitute the (unelected) judgment of judges for the (elected) judgment of Congress.
The above may or may not make sense to you, but it depends on your willingness to learn if learned discourse is important to you. If you continue on your rant against the courts in its current form, then I will continue to believe that you throw around the phrase "judicial activism" as a result of willful ignorance or as a useful ploy (given the deragory connotations associated with the phrase when appealing to the emotions of useful idiots) in your campaign to smear the courts whenever you disagree with court rulings.