Re: Prick (v.)

Robert S. Thau (
Fri, 20 Aug 1999 11:59:50 -0400 (EDT)

Kragen Sitaker writes:
> The AP writes, on a news release containing a list of relief agencies:
> > Copyright 1999 The Associated Press. The information contained in
> > the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or
> > otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The
> > Associated Press.
> That has to be the most morally contemptible copyright message I've
> ever seen. Not only does it assert a legally indefensible claim to
> "the information contained", it forbids you from telling other people
> where they can send their money to help earthquake victimes.

Look on the bright side; this particular bogus copyright notice isn't
anywhere that UCITA might legitimate it. But ...

> Intellectual property is going to take its place alongside genocide,
> oppressive pseudo-religion, feudalism, totalitarianism, and terrorism
> as the latest of the greatest crime against humanity.

... this strikes me as over the top. The Associated Press isn't
pointing guns at anybody.

And while there are corporations who can be legitimately criticized
for killing people off with IP policies in the name of greed --- the
pharmaceutical industry comes to mind, with agribusiness in a strong
second place --- I've haven't heard of a "crime" along these lines
*yet* which compares to, say, the hiring of private armies and
overthrow of legimitate governments, a la Shell Oil in Nigeria or
United Fruit in Guatemala, or even, say, the conditions in your
typical Nike-funded sweatshop. Furthermore, the IP abuses may be
easier to remediate than some of these other things; IIRC, the South
African government has threatened to use its statutory immunity from
its own patent laws to produce anti-AIDS drugs itself if it can't get
them from the patentholders at a reasonable price.