Less Government

Join with Less Government

Let’s Not Pass the ‘CREATES Lawsuits-Undermines Patents’ Act

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

George Carlin: No Longer With Us – But Still Correct

We’ve written extensively about the bipartisan, awful, awfully mis-named Innovation and PATENT Acts. Bills which would undermine the ability of patent holders to protect their property from thieves. By making it exponentially more difficult for them to do the one thing they can to stop the thieves – sue them.

Which is awful for patent holders, property rights defenders – and people who still like the Constitution (see: the Copyright Clause). But it’s outstanding news for trial lawyers.

Suing to protect property isn’t a litigiousness problem. Making those lawsuits more complicated and more expensive – and thus needlessly, exponentially increasing billable hours – is a litigiousness problem.

Yet bills with Republican backing – are undermining property rights and enhancing and enriching trial lawyers. I can’t imagine why a Donald Trump exists.

But wait – there’s more. Quite similar Republican-co-sponsored legislative inanity is also under Congressional consideration – that will undermine property rights, while pumping up the lawyerly wallets of the world’s John Edwards’.

And it too has an Orwellian name – the CREATES Act. “CREATES” is an acronym for “Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples Act of 2016.” The bill actually does…something else entirely. More

Add Intellectual Property Protection to the List of Rights the Government is Eviscerating

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

It is ALL
Constitutionally Protected

The Constitution is an extraordinary document. Life for most humans for most of human history has been poor, nasty, brutish and short. The Constitution acknowledged this past (and present) – and transformed our future.

One of the many, many amazing things the document did was properly define the role between man (master) and government (servant). In part by codifying man’s natural rights. These rights are inherently ours – and government can not infringe upon them.

As we’ve oft reminded, Ben Franklin was asked as he departed the Constitutional Convention “Well, Doctor, what have we got – a Republic or a Monarchy?” To which Franklin responded “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

We haven’t kept it. Because government keeps serially, ever-more-blatantly exceeding its limits – and in the process eviscerating our rights. And the officials We the People elect either do nothing to stop it – or are complicit in it.

Our representatives have yet another opportunity to step up and stop yet another government encroachment. Under prospective assault this time – the Constitution’s Copyright Clause:

“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.” More

Thanks, FBI: We Real Worlders Find Elite World Inordinately Annoying. Again

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Silence, Peasants

How about that FBI no-indictment announcement yesterday? Makes perfect sense to you, I bet.

Ok – I don’t bet that. At all.

What does make sense to us Real Worlders – is seeing yet another Elite get yet another Get-Out-of-Reality-Free card. It is all growing quite tiresome.

We Real Worlders are tired of the Elites’ limitless condescension – combined with incessant wrong-ness.

We’re tired of Elites who are clearly in possession of far less common sense (but many, many more degrees) – mandating ever more portions of our lives.

We’re tired of Elites committing multiple felonies and skating away un-indicted – while we get a ticket nigh every single time we park five minutes longer than the meter for which we paid allows. More

There’s Already a Process for Bad Patents, So Let’s Not Destroy All Patents

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Let’s Not…

There are some people who simply, bizarrely do not like intellectual property.

Some are full-blown Leftists – who do not like private property at all. (But don’t you dare try to take for the Collective the smart phone on which they’re Tweeting their disdain for private property.)

Others are to varying degrees small “L” libertarian. Who somehow bizarrely delineate between physical property (which they’ll protect) and intellectual property (which they won’t). Who would have arrested a thief leaving Tower Records with an armful of CDs – but who is even as I type downloading-without-paying that exact same music.

We are in the 21st Century surrounded by and immersed in the wonderments of a (dwindling-ly, less-and-less) free market economy – largely made possible by the protection of intellectual property. Without it – we would be literally nowhere.

Were Steve Jobs unable to legally safeguard his magic iPhone, not only would there not currently be Iteration 6S – there would never have been an Iteration 1. Because Jobs wasn’t an idiot. More

Peter Thiel Should Learn a Broader Litigation Lesson from his Gawker Lawsuit

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Lawsuit Lesson Learned?

Silicon Valley entrepreneur Peter Thiel is a pretty smart guy. As partial evidence, I give you his self-made net worth of $2.7 billion. He co-founded online payment mega-company PayPal – which was in 2002 sold to eBay for $1.5 billion. Anyone who saw the very good flick “The Social Network” knows Thiel was one of the first outside investors in Facebook. He still owns a chunk, and is on their Board. He invested in LinkedIn. He’s…done well.

Thiel obviously has a knack for knowing what is worth his money, time and effort. So it was noteworthy when he officially acknowledged that he helped fund professional wrestler Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against the online publication Gawker (Gawker had amongst other things posted a Hogan sex tape.) Hogan was awarded $140 million for Gawker’s invasion of his privacy.

Why did Thiel fund Hogan? Because nine years ago, Gawker invaded Thiel’s privacy – with a story headlined “Peter Thiel is Totally Gay, People.” Thiel said Gawker followed up with similarly invasionary stories on several of his friends (and others) – which Thiel said “ruined people’s lives for no reason.”

So Thiel “funded a team of lawyers to find and help ‘victims’ of the company’s coverage mount cases against Gawker.” Which begat Hogan.  Thiel assessed why he stepped up: “I can defend myself. Most of the people they attack are not people in my category. They usually attack less prominent, far less wealthy people that simply can’t defend themselves…It’s less about revenge and more about specific deterrence.” More

Donald Trump, China, Trade – and Intellectual Property Theft

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Perhaps a Little More
Umph is Required

We are in the midst of a presidential race that is fundamentally changing how many view – and thought they knew – politics. Donald Trump especially is radically altering that map. What many thought were permanent lines – turned out to be drawn on an Etch-a-Sketch. That the presumptive Republican nominee has spent the last year shaking into oblivion.

Much of what Trump has altered – desperately needed to be altered. Change can be a very good thing – especially when terrible ideas and actions have been ensconced and accepted as “the norm” and “that’s how it’s always been done.

That’s certainly the case in many instances with intellectual property (IP). Intellectual property has come to be seen as somehow less than physical property – and thus less worthy of protection from theft. In an ever increasingly digital economy – that’s even less good.

One of the first major purveyors of IP theft was Napster. Launched on June 1, 1999, Napster was a website designed to allow its users to steal digital copies of music. Millions of people downloaded songs – for which they did not pay. These same people – who would never have walked into a brick-and-mortar Tower Records store and stolen the same music on CDs – had no compunction doing the exact same thing digitally. In this way did Napster help begin to artificially, dangerously lessen the perceived value of IP.

But just because you aren’t stealing anything tangible – doesn’t mean you aren’t stealing. By illegally replicating a song (or movie, or book, or….) – you are lessening the value of the legal copies thereof. It is the exact same reason you aren’t allowed to print fake money – because it devalues real money. (Someone please tell the United States Treasury.)

Flash forward nearly two decades – and we have China. Which is Napster on uber-steroids – ensconced as government policy. On May 15 on Fox News Sunday, in defense of Trump’s call for a reanalysis of how we cut trade deals, Republican former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said “When you hear, for example, that the Chinese last year probably stole $360 billion in intellectual property from the United States, I think being tough about that’s a good thing. I think conservatives can be for very tough-minded trade.” More

Government Spontaneously, Dramatically Changing the Rules is Terrible for Business

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Welcome to Government

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “Certainty” as: “The quality or state of being certain especially on the basis of evidence.” As we know, evidence abounds that the world is inherently a very un-certain place.

Given all the naturally-occurring uncertainty that exists, the last thing we need is unnecessary, artificial uncertainty thrown on to the pile. Unfortunately, that is what our government incessantly insists on doing.

Which is a violation of its mission statement. Ensuring certainty is one of the main reasons our Founding Fathers set up our government the way they did. Laws are written by the Legislative Branch – by representatives elected by and directly accountable to us. And are, by design, systemically difficult to pass (the Senate as “cooling saucer”).

The Executive and Judicial Branches are only to execute and adjudicate laws written by the Legislative – they are not themselves to create law. Because Executive Branch bureaucrats are elected by – and thus accountable to – no one. And judges receive lifetime appointments – and are thus accountable only to the Grim Reaper. If bureaucrats or judges start writing law – it is unilateral tyranny, antithetical to our Constitutional system. More

The Koch Brothers Don’t Want Government Cronyism – Google Does

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Endless Applications for Government Cronyism

It is an incessant refrain – from Leftists and the media (please pardon the redundancy). This annoying gaggle whines and moans that the quintessential, awful faces of corporate influence over government are those of Charles and David Koch.

Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid said of them on the Senate floor “These two brothers are about as un-American as anyone that I can imagine.” Uber-Leftist “green” billionaire (and MUCH larger political donor than both Kochs combined) Tom Steyer said of David Koch: “Just a famously evil person.”

Not at all over-the-top or vitriolic. Thanks for the substantive critique of these men and their political perspectives.

It is true – when the private-sector-uber-successful libertarian duo isn’t donating massive coin to people and things like criminal defense lawyers, hospitals, the arts and black colleges, they do contribute to people and political entities seeking to deliver us less government than the massive amounts with which we are currently afflicted. More

Let’s Not Emulate How Much of the World Treats Intellectual Property

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

Less Theft, More Heft

April 26 is World Intellectual Property (IP) Day: “We celebrate World Intellectual Property Day to learn about the role that intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright) play in encouraging innovation and creativity.”

It’s sad that so many of us still need to learn “the role that intellectual property rights…play in encouraging innovation and creativity.” It’s sad that the inherently obvious isn’t inherently obvious: that IP and its protection is a fundamental building block to any successful economy.

What we have is so many countries the world over abusing IP. Sometimes because they fail to grasp the concept (the learning curve is indeed steep):

India Must Build Intellectual Property: “For most Indians, intellectual property is a combination of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Robin Hood. The French anarchist famously declared property to be theft. Indians, few of whom put in the hard slog required to create intellectual property, readily agree, and are eager to do to the owners of intellectual property what Robin Hood did to the rich. Karl Marx, no fan of property himself, pronounced Proudhon to be confused: you can steal something only if it already belongs to someone, meaning property must precede theft and so cannot be theft. Indians are equally wrong to disrespect intellectual property.”

Let’s first correct this mis-characterization of Robin Hood. He didn’t steal from the rich – he stole government’s onerous taxes from the collectors, to return the coin to the people. Robin Hood, if anything, was a pro-capitalism, pro-private property figure. More

Intellectual Property Protection is a Fundamental Free Market Tenet – Not a Tax

Seton Motley | Less Government | LessGovernment.org

None of Which is a Tax

There was on Monday a quintessential example of the horrendously bad thinking of those opposed to all things intellectual property. An op-ed totally disconnected from Reality – and chock full of thought-free, pathetic anti-property platitudes.

It is sad that so many remain steadfastly impervious to facts. But they do, so we will address this latest bit of inanity – so that the many who remain receptive to Reality may be properly informed.

We speak now of Truthout’s Dean Baker extrusion Think Trump’s 45 Percent Tariffs Are Bad? Try Obama’s 10,000 Percent Tariffs. Which mangles much of the English language – in service of much muddled thinking. Baker begins:

“Lately the media have been going wild mocking Donald Trump’s plans to put 45 percent tariffs on imports from China. They are partly right. It’s not clever to indiscriminately impose large tariffs on major trading partners in violation of existing trade agreements….

“But what is even more striking is the selective concern over tariffs. While Trump wants to put large tariffs on imports from some of our major trading partners, President Obama is actively pushing to have far larger tariffs imposed on a wide range of goods in his trade deals, most importantly the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Measures in the TPP pushed by US negotiators will raise the price of many items by several thousand percent above the free market price.”

Tariffs are, of course, taxes. We conservatives don’t like taxes – so this may be an attempted appeal to our sensibilities. A 10,000% tariff? That would be awful. Except to what Baker refers – isn’t any sort of tax at all. More