Here’s a thought. We should all lobby to create a new international law, called the Tough Shit Law. It would probably be the shortest law on record, as it’ll be composed of just two words. I’ll leave you to guess what they are.
The idea is that this law can be invoked at any time someone tries to put a court case through that’s demonstrably stupid and pointless. This would include all cases involving so-called “intellectual property rights”, claims against software piracy, music “theft” and other such total wastes of time, money and IQ points.
Here’s a couple of examples how this law could be applied:
- I had an idea a few years ago and patented it, but did nothing else. Now another company is making millions after having the same idea, and doing something with it. Tough Shit
- I bought a company just for it’s IP rights. I’ve sacked everyone and now I’m going to sue the ass off every company on the planet. Tough Shit
- I conned the patent office into letting me patent breathing air. Bwahahahahahah! I’m gonna be rich! Tough Shit
- We respesent companies that make billions a year who are so powerful they can dictate the laws of entire nations. This 13 year old girl has downloaded a Madonna CD without selling her soul to us. Tough Shit
- We sell our applications at an artificially high price, knowing full well that 90% of our user base hasn’t paid a penny for them. Instead of pricing them at $10 in response to global demand, we boast about the enormous user-base while at the same time keep the prices high and call our users pirates. Tough Shit
- Apple/Wizards/Microsoft/God stole my idea! You get the idea…..
The law should apply whenever damages are claimed, but there’s been no actual physical loss. It shouldn’t apply in the cases of folks claiming losses due to personal injury and the like, because those losses can be pretty accurately measured. A years lost salary due to a bad fall is a years lost salary by anyone’s money. Simple.
The RIAA is especially good at claiming that so-called music theft is just that, a theft – yet no CDs are missing, no data has gone and there’s no financial dip. In fact, since the good old days of copying LPs onto cassette tapes at home (remember that?), the music industry has gone from strength to strengh, most likely because of the very enabling technology they’ve tried to hard to ban or legislate against.
Folks download music and applications for a number of reasons, not only because of the excellent price (free!). Downloading is more convenient. MP3s are better than CDs, period. Despite what we were told, CDs do deteriorate over time whereas MP3s don’t, barring hard drive crashes and the like. Likewise, downloading software via torrents is more convenient that buying (and probably losing) a package, especially as it’s likely to contain a crack or keygen which means that all your private data still belongs to you, rather than being given up to some company who think that a $99 purchase grants them a right know everything about you. Tough shit, folks.
I vote that we push for this law, ASAP.
So next time the RIAA come knocking, you can tell them exactly what you think.