Can an individual claim an exclusive monopoly to a word, phrase or idea, which then denotes the right to seek damages from those who happen to utter sounds in a particular order?
What about a corporation? Can an entity that comes into existence when a group of people put some words on paper all of a sudden have rights? How can a legal fiction be wronged? How exactly would something that exists only on paper be made whole?
Individuals employed at LENCO, the MA-based manufacturer of the BEARCAT – an $300,000, 8-ton armored vehicle being peddled to police departments in large and small towns alike thanks to Dept. of Homeland Security grants and mindless scare tactic rhetoric – a few weeks ago pulled their promo video of the vehicle after pushback from many Keene, NH, population 23,000, who were rightly concerned about their local police acquiring such hardware. (watch video in full below)
The video in question shows the BEARCAT engaged in SWAT/paramalitary exercises set to AC/DC. Badass, right?! The video is the epitome of the post-9/11 world according to those in government* who grow their claimed authority thanks to real or claimed emergencies.
By pulling their promo vid the LENCO peeps censored themselves. That alone is very telling. But their attempted damage control didn’t work. Someone had ripped the video before it was yanked, which myself and a number of others reposted.
But, as first touched-on a couple of days ago by fellow FreeKeene.com blogger Ian Freeman, LENCO is leaning on YouTube to pull mirrored videos and YouTube is helping to facilitate such requests.
In fact, YouTube not only pulled the video from my account but I’m now prevented from using my account or even using YouTube when logged-in until I answer a four-question survey about copyrights**.
Just like Google (YouTube’s parent company) has done elsewhere around the globe, rather that doing what’s right YouTube’s people strive to comply with government agents. That’s not ideal for many reasons. In this case specifically, it might help facilitate the proliferation military hardware to other towns and cities since attempts are being made to censor relevant information.
For more on the IP-related debate, check out this overview from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, this video from Stephan Kinsella, and the video A Fair(y) Use Tale by the Media Education Foundation.
*Rather than be led by their conscience or own reasoning abilities some place blind faith in government (which is just an association of people). Yet government has no magical powers to “create jobs” or “eliminate poverty,” “stop war,” or in this case, keep us safe from all possible harms. In fact, all those issues are made worse when governmental actors are involved due to the lack of market signals.
**I don’t believe I have a “right” to use YouTube. Instead, I’m merely trying to point-out that those associated with YouTube are allowing the mandates of others, which I view as being without merit, negatively impact their own actions. Yes, I can vote with my feet and utilize another video hosting site and might just do that rather than provide the answers sought since they go against my beliefs.