Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Case For Copyright Reform...

Either that, or unlimited hunting tags for lawyers.  I don't normally have much positive to say about Gary North, but here is a very funny column about copyright and lawyers:
I want to write an article on an article that Bill Gross wrote. 

Mr. Gross runs the world's largest bond investing fund. He is famous in the investment community. Recently, he wrote a very important article. It had a catchy title. I would like to share it with you. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to. At the end of the article, in bold face type, we read this:
No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission. Pacific Investment Management Company LLC, 840 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660, 800-387-4626. ©2013, PIMCO.
I would provide a link to this important article, but I have not cleared this with Mr. Gross.

I find it fascinating that Mr. Gross takes time every month out of his busy schedule, which involves managing several billion dollars' worth of clients' money. He does this in order to be read. Then he places a major restriction on anyone actually telling others about what he has written.

I picked up the phone and called an old friend of mine. I would tell you his name, but he is a lawyer specializing in copyright. He will not allow me to mention his name unless I get written permission. He refuses to give it. I therefore will give only his initials: CF. That stands for Copyright Fairy.

This is not a verbatim transcript. I am not allowed to quote him verbatim. This is my version of what he said.
Go ahead: read it in full.  It's pretty funny, and painfully truthful.


ThatWouldBeTelling said...

I'm not a Christian, so I have even more mixed feelings about him, but I find the moral dimension he brings to his writings invaluable; I cannot recommend highly enough many of the essays in Successful Investing in an Age of Envy (or try this entry). The essay on how the kids of the rich end up Leftists is absolutely priceless (not just their schooling but the examples their parents provide that reinforces it). Was also my first exposure to the ever more famous "how we burned in the camps" quote from the Gulag Arpeggio.

He can also turn a phrase, e.g. on taxes, "If 10% is good enough for God, it should be good enough for the government".

And lots of good insights, e.g. he said that after election the Clintons, we would never again respect the office of the President, which I think it largely true.

On the other hand, his desire to see the destruction of the welfare state apparently blinded him to any dissenting or informed views on Y2K; I gave up after he claimed the 386 had a built in, unfixable date bug (it doesn't even have a concept of dates or one of time as humans measure it).

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

Can't believe I forgot this most important of insights; now more generally available, but back in the bad old days ('80s) was the first I heard it; from memory with further elaborations by me:

One of the greatest evils of the welfare state is how it sunders family bonds. Children, who heavily pay into the system when it's the most painful (FICA in their early work years) feel they've done enough for their parents. Parents believe the government will take care of them, so their ties to their children change in nature, they don't feel like they need them as they used to in the bad old days.

Note the latter is an all in bet on things like depending on the government to leave your retirement savings alone (e.g. no Argentine style seizure, low enough inflation they're worth something). Probably also suppresses birth rates.

But if you know enough history, when you get old, who's the best bet for your retirement, your children or the government?

I and my younger siblings got an extremely expensive education in the parent side part of the above concept when we went to college....

Jonathan Rowe said...

Gary North would have me stoned to death in his first best world (along with a long of other folks). His religion is utterly anathema to me.

But I'm shocked at how profoundly good some of his articles and insights are.