Out of his head

Hi, I'm James. Call me.

Say hello to a guy who calls himself indrax. A colleague recently pointed me towards an article about Bill Gates watching pirated videos, and the comments of indrax caught my eye:
Copying isn't stealing, copyright law is itself immoral. We have a basic human right to copy information. Published information can not be owned.

I can fully defend these points and more. It is not a rationalization, it is a very solid philosophical argument.
Ordinarily, I let stuff like this slide. But once in a while I enjoy mixing it up with a particularly loudmouthed PETA member or homeopath, or in this case a crank who doesn’t believe in intellectual property rights.

This bozo indrax takes the cake. He makes all sorts of wild-ass statements, like (all typos and grammatical errors are his):
Copying isn't stealing, copyright law is itself immoral. We have a basic human right to copy information. Published information can not be owned.
Copying harms no one, there is nothing immoral about it.

Artists should be paid for their work, for making art, not for makng copies. Copyright encourages artists to become publishers instead of artists.

When you make a copy, you are producing something of value, a copy, you are performing the work of publishing. Nothing is taken from anyone, and there is no reason you should not derive benefit.

I oppose copyright law as unjust because there is no true right to control information
And then he goes on to issue challenges:
I argue about copyright a lot…every time I disprove one of their arguments they switch to another one, desperately trying to find something that will back up their opinion.

…I have a single clear argument based on human rights and economics.

I can fully defend these points and more. It is not a rationalization, it is a very solid philosophical argument.
He even eggs on somebody who dares to disagree with him:
Come on, at least try to back up your view.
You can almost see him rubbing his hands together, gleefully saying, “I will bring you to your knees with the awesome power of my intellect!”

Indrax threw down the gauntlet. I picked it up.

So on indrax’s blog, I challenged his points, starting with the claim that copying is a basic human right and integral to free speech. His response was that it’s human nature to copy, and therefore a basic right. Get that? Copying is a right because we can, and we can because copying is a right.

Listen to some of this nonsense of indrax’s:
First, we have a basic human right to copy information. Repitition is simply what we do. Further, because we have real property rights, we are free to do as we wish with the property we own, such as computers and CD's.

Second, the ability to be copied is inherent in the nature of information. This is very important. You want to sell me an apple without selling me the seeds, telling me I can't plant my own tree. With information, the apple IS the seeds. This leaves you in the position of selling seeds which may not be planted. What are you selling?

Any model which treats information as property will lead to absurdities, because the concept of property was never designed to work with copiable things, let alone the retention of 'ownership' after sale.

In short it is not property because my recieving it takes nothing from you. I could copy your words a trillion times and it would do you no harm at all. Real property must be protected because this is not the case for it. If a million people cut accross my lawn, then I no longer have a lawn. The damage by any one individual is small, but real. The damage from copying is zero.
Indrax has a lot more to say about apples. I don’t know what his problem is with fruit:
Let me explain the apples: You are selling information, information is inherently copiable, in the same way that seeds are inherently plantable. You can use almost any apple to produce more apples. Apples are property, and when you buy an apple, you can do what you want this it.
Then he seems to get frustrated with apples, even though he was the one who brought them up:
The grown apples in my analogy do not represent derivative works, they are near perfect copies of the original apple. I notice you focus on the apples, but ignore the point about information, It is inherently copiable. what you are selling is something by by its very nature, can be used to produce copies of itself. Trying to deny that nature is like selling an apple, but prohiting use of the seeds.
I would wear out my typing fingers (okay, wear out the mouse button from cut-and-pasting) to share all the supremely stupid things indrax comes up with:
The first ammendment says nothing of 'creative expression' it talks about freedom of speech, and of the press, which sounds to me like a photocopier.
Get that? Using a photocopier is creative expression. That means that functionally, operationally, there is no fundamental difference between Stevie Wonder’s work and what indrax does by burning a disc.
As I see it, I could copy your work a hundred billion trillion times, and have no impact on you at all.
Copyright is not required to have a financial incentive for writing, creating art is a service, the market will find a way to pay artists, because the market wants art created.

The issue IS about what's in my head, freedom is not freedom to merely hum a song, freedom is the freedom to create and publish derivative works.
Ha ha ha. His freedom includes taking stuff that belongs to other people. What a maroon.
If I have some information that you created, my copying and distributing it in no way affects your ability to use it.

I can say anything I want, including things you said before.
How’s that for audacity? His freedom of speech includes all of my speech too. And also the works of Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen Jay Gould, and the Beatles. Wow. Just wow.

Indrax also apparently has some kind of fixation on Superman, which seem to be part of a fetishistic fantasy:
I am not free to make and publish my own serious creative works featuring superman…Superman is a part of our culture, He has a deep psychological resonance in millions of people, but we are very limited in how we can express our selves about him

Moreover, copying information is about as basic as eating. It is integral to thought and communication. This is why the superman thing is important.
Indrax is like a child playing with action figures, telling each of them who they are and what they should be doing:
selling copies is not the work of a photographer.

Pay artists for creating art, and pay publishers for copies
Indrax for musicians to keep making new music, writers keep making new writing, photographers keep taking new pictures. What is his role in all of this?
I want to copy, and sell the copies.
That’s right, he wants to be a parasite who makes a buck off other people’s work.

Indrax has all the answers – what people’s jobs are, what their relationships with other people should be, how creative people should value their work, and even how much is proper for somebody to earn:
A film that costs 80 million dollars to make should be sold for oh, maybe 120 million
A word about indrax. He’s a 27-year-old doofus from Buffalo, NY (my hometown!) who may or may not live in his mother’s basement. He has a number of blogs, mostly on crappy writing and other half-baked ideas. One of indrax’s blogs is particularly amusing, in which he invites people to call him on the pbone:
We can talk about whatever you want, I can give you a mini-interview if you like.

I'll post my impressions about the conversation right on this blog….You'll be famous!
To date, it doesn’t appear that anybody wishes to call indrax. I wonder why.

I’m not a psychiatrist, and I don’t play one on television, but it is my opinion that indrax has a narcissist personality. A narcissist personality is enamored with the brilliance and infallibility of his own thinking. A narcissist will never, ever admit that he’s wrong. Even when confronted with misstatements, lies, and contradictions, he will bend facts and definitions, performing extraordinary feats of rationalizing contortion just to prove hat he is true and consistent.

In the fetid mind of the narcissist, he is always right and you are always wrong.

The narcissist thinks that rules don’t apply to them, or that they can operate with a different set of rules than everybody else. They say one thing and do another, happily oblivious to the hypocrisy.

Sigmund Freud traced much of personality to defecation and toilet training. Some babies don’t want to give up their shit and are “anal retentives” who grow up to be private, reserved control freaks. Then there are the “anal expressives” who are proud of their shit and want to share it with everybody. These people grow up to be expressive, creative people.

Some people are still struggling with toileting issues. They never matured past that point, personality-wise. You can imagine the effect if those infantile urges interfere with your daily life. This is one of the issues addressed by psychoanalysis.

Indrax likes to rub his shit all over his body. In a metaphorical sense, you know. Since I haven’t met him, I don’t know for a fact that he smells like shit.

But that’s just my opinion, and not even really my opinion anymore since according to indrax you can’t own published words and his speech includes all of my speech. So they’re really his words.

And here’s what happened: Somebody – certainly not me – duplicated indrax’s identity and has started posted comments in various online forums.

Brilliant! By indrax’s own reasoning, he hasn’t lost a thing! He still has his identity; the other is just a copy.

What does indrax do when his information is copied? He claims property ownership rights and censors the speech of another person. All that bullshit about published information not being owned, how information cannot be controlled, about the basic human right to free speech – right out the window.

This is MY blog. WAHHHHHHH!!

What a wanker.

In any event, for a hilarious textbook case of a narcissist fruitcake in action, check out this thread:

Some of you regulars may already know the password. I intend to test out indrax’s model and sell access to the thread. You tell me what it’s worth to you to read it, and you can have it. I don’t care if it’s twenty-five cents, a dollar, ten bucks or a hundred. But please, no less than a nickel. That just gets to be a pain in the ass. I think quarter is a reasonable minimum, but I’m not putting pressure on anybody. This is a free market.

It’s very, very important for this page to stay out of the hands of indrax. The whole point of this performance is to take control of the information away from him. He can’t even see it. It doesn’t belong to him anymore.

Oh, and some false statements may be modified or deleted by the powers vested in me by Blogger and/or its computers.

Have fun!