Comment: I've never had to sign an NDA

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I've never had to sign an NDA

I've never had to sign an NDA to listen to a song on the radio or go to a concert or purchase a recording. So I am naturally able to reproduce those experiences (or that recording) to the best of my abilities. Nature does not tie a cosmic string to those memories or copies of the recording that gives the originator some kind of mystic power to keep me from singing a song I heard or duplicating a CD I bought. So "copyright" is clearly not a natural right for artists, as there is no nature-provided mechanism by which artists can enforce it. The only right that nature affords the originator of an idea is initial secrecy. Once that secrecy is surrendered by sharing the idea with others, nature gives everyone who has heard the idea, equal right to the idea.

I read you as trying to argue that because of the current copyright regime, when I purchase a recording I'm beholden to some kind of "implicit contract" (if you'll excuse the oxymoron) to not copy the recording. I agree that this is currently more or less the case, but the current situation is an immoral government intrusion on my natural rights and trampling of the free market, as I've been arguing.

I agree that if we're going to have to have a government, then it's a duty of government to enforce contracts and protect our rights. And that's my point, they're not protecting my natural right to use the copies of ideas that are in my mind. Instead they're making up an artificial legal privilege for one class of people and letting that privileged class leverage government coercive power to abridge my rights.

You say, "So it's not out of step to want them to protect the [artists'] music." But again your phrasing indicates question-begging, because the question we're arguing about is whether or not a piece of music should be considered property of the originator. So by using the possessive "artists' music", it shows you're already thinking of it as property of the original artist.

I'm not taking away any natural right that the artist has to prosper from the music he originated. He can still perform it and record it and sell it all he wants. I'm just trying to protect my natural right to my rightfully-obtained copy of the music he originated, which includes my ability to compete with him in the free market, even using the music he originated. To protect this natural right of mine means taking away the immoral government-handout monopoly legal privilege that the government gave the artist.

As for Jefferson, read it again, more carefully. He makes clear that there is no natural right for the originators to have exclusive control over copies of their ideas, but that some societies (or kings) have chosen to artificially create a legal privilege and give it to the originators, in hopes this will cause a flourishing of the arts.