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dragonlife
14th Nov 2003, 12:48 PM
what are the genders for dragons? Most people believe a dragon is male or female when there is only one male to 3 billion females you destory the male you destory the whole popualtion of them. Right???? Wrong you just made a big mistake a dragon can change its sex but how it this possible is it a homo gone the other way or is it just another male? please help me out in this.

tool
14th Nov 2003, 12:50 PM
Its mutli-sexual or just magical, im more for the magical bit, since the dragons you are thinking of dont actually exist, they are just fantasy creatures.

I can tell that TWD senses a thread about dragons, at this very moment he is finishing up lighting fire to a small helpless village, and is flying to his computer to write up a huge reply about dragons. ;)

phil
14th Nov 2003, 12:51 PM
wtf? :con:

_Zd_3s_
14th Nov 2003, 12:59 PM
Does this dragon look like a homo gone the other way!? I think not. Of course it's just another male, dragonlife! :con:

http://www.heptune.com/komodo10.jpg

Maj1013
14th Nov 2003, 01:02 PM
Short answer: dragons don't exist, ergo, your answer is question.

Longer answer: certain species of frog can change their sex when in a group that heavily favors one sex. (In other words, if it's all female, it can become male.) Certain fish can do it, too.

_Zd_3s_
14th Nov 2003, 01:21 PM
Short answer: dragons don't exist, ergo, your answer is question.

Longer answer: certain species of frog can change their sex when in a group that heavily favors one sex. (In other words, if it's all female, it can become male.) Certain fish can do it, too.
But the question "are they homos gone the other way or is it just another male?" still stands... :hmm:

spineblaZe
14th Nov 2003, 02:08 PM
Its mutli-sexual or just magical, im more for the magical bit, since the dragons you are thinking of dont actually exist, they are just fantasy creatures.

I can tell that TWD senses a thread about dragons, at this very moment he is finishing up lighting fire to a small helpless village, and is flying to his computer to write up a huge reply about dragons. ;)

:lol:

*imagines TWD sitting at a computer, breathing fire and typing book about multi-sexual dragons...*

;) :D

Cap'n Beeb
14th Nov 2003, 02:13 PM
Nah, TWD's response would be:

"Sex? What's that?"

Synastren
14th Nov 2003, 02:49 PM
Trogdor! (http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail58.html)

DeeperShade
14th Nov 2003, 03:03 PM
Im with Phil on this one...

I'll take phils 'wtf?' and raise it to 'Dragonlife, drinking toilet cleaner is not ok, understood? oh, and WTF?!'

:)

DeDpoet|BuF
14th Nov 2003, 03:11 PM
...burninating all the people in their thatched roof cottages!!!!


(trogdor is the end all be all of dragons)

Synastren
14th Nov 2003, 03:23 PM
It's that beefy arm, man. :o

TWD
14th Nov 2003, 04:39 PM
what are the genders for dragons? Most people believe a dragon is male or female when there is only one male to 3 billion females you destory the male you destory the whole popualtion of them. Right???? Wrong you just made a big mistake a dragon can change its sex but how it this possible is it a homo gone the other way or is it just another male? please help me out in this.

errr you need to stop watching rein of fire dude...

but to seriously answer the question. Most dragons are either male or female. Although I have cuddled a hermaphordite or two. Maybe 5-20% of them are herms tho I guess I'd have to conduct a survey. One of my best friends is a hermaphordite, but sie only likes males which makes me wonder if that makes hir like a gay herm or something. I mean what's the point in being a herm if you only choose one or the other?

TossMonkey
14th Nov 2003, 04:43 PM
Wow, if these are the quality of the posts that are here to entertain me, because frankly I am the centre of the universe, then you might as well all leave. Right now. And never come back.

DeeperShade
14th Nov 2003, 04:43 PM
errr you need to stop watching rein of fire dude...

but to seriously answer the question. Most dragons are either male or female. Although I have cuddled a hermaphordite or two. Maybe 5-20% of them are herms tho I guess I'd have to conduct a survey. One of my best friends is a hermaphordite, but sie only likes males which makes me wonder if that makes hir like a gay herm or something. I mean what's the point in being a herm if you only choose one or the other?

You know that line between the real world and the fantasy-madeup world (the one that shrinks lock people up for staying in too long)?

Well, Dude, you passed that line 14 years ago, time to back-track...

.

edhe
14th Nov 2003, 04:45 PM
:stupid: :stick:

_Zd_3s_
14th Nov 2003, 04:46 PM
Come on, guys, seriously. Are they homos gone the other way or are they just males?

DeeperShade
14th Nov 2003, 04:53 PM
Ok, edhe, you hold him, i'll get the cattle prod >D ;)

<*)_><
14th Nov 2003, 04:53 PM
I'll just add some random images to decorate the walls here

Zarkazm
14th Nov 2003, 04:59 PM
I am entertained!

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 05:01 PM
dragonlife...stop....please just...stop....your looking like an idiot...which....that's my job to look like the idiot around here :| These people probably don't know and probably don't care about dragons so please just....find something to relate to them about?

DeeperShade
14th Nov 2003, 05:04 PM
Stop warning him Atropos.. Its more fun watching them beat themselves to death with their own posts :p

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 05:05 PM
hehehe...ok DS......just let me know if I need to have a "talk" with him :p ya'll have fun ;)

TWD
14th Nov 2003, 05:08 PM
You know that line between the real world and the fantasy-madeup world (the one that shrinks lock people up for staying in too long)?

Well, Dude, you passed that line 14 years ago, time to back-track...

.

Strong words comming from a used to be furry :p

_Zd_3s_
14th Nov 2003, 05:10 PM
Once a furry, always a furry I say. Even when they are homos gone the other way. Or just ordinary males.

phatcat
14th Nov 2003, 05:12 PM
Do not air out your likes and dislikes unless you want them judged....

however before judging someone you should make sure that others don't know about your personal likes and dislikes, I mean we could bring up some weird past intrests from some people here *looks at Deeper* :D

phil
14th Nov 2003, 05:18 PM
ugh...twd....seriously dude.....ugh I dunno WHAT to say to what you posted its just :con:.

Cap'n Beeb
14th Nov 2003, 05:22 PM
TWD, I'm sure of two things in this world.

A) Panties, be them normal, lacy, latex, or mormon, have elastic pull-tab thingies sometimes.

B) They were not meant to be pulled tightly around one's head, crushing all hopes of the brain getting adequate blood and oxygen, which inturn decreases the ability for the person under the reign of panties to form logical thought processes.

So take those mormon panties off your head and start talking sense.

_Zd_3s_
14th Nov 2003, 05:24 PM
TWD, I'm sure of two things in this world.

A) Panties, be them normal, lacy, latex, or mormon, have elastic pull-tab thingies sometimes.

B) They were not meant to be pulled tightly around one's head, crushing all hopes of the brain getting adequate blood and oxygen, which inturn decreases the ability for the person under the reign of panties to form logical thought processes.

So take those mormon panties off your head and start talking sense.
Are you saying you have no homosexual hermaphrodite dragon she-friends?

DeeperShade
14th Nov 2003, 05:29 PM
Do not air out your likes and dislikes unless you want them judged....

however before judging someone you should make sure that others don't know about your personal likes and dislikes, I mean we could bring up some weird past intrests from some people here *looks at Deeper* :D

Feel free..

HEY EVERYONE!! I USED TO BE FURRY!!!!

Can we get over this one now Phat? You seem to fire it at me every time you post. Do you actually HAVE anything better to do? :)

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 05:39 PM
furry is cute....but Deepershade is cuter now :)

PsychoMoggieBagpuss
14th Nov 2003, 05:49 PM
Who cares about Deepsys furry obsession.









Now the leather skirt and dayglo crotch is the worrying thing.........

DeeperShade
14th Nov 2003, 05:51 PM
........which got sold, and the money went towards a parteh!!

Yeah :p

iolair
14th Nov 2003, 05:58 PM
I've no idea what this thread is about ... BUT

There are several species of fish (groupers are one example) that live in colonies where they are all females except that the oldest fish is male. This fish impregnates the eggs of the others to make little groupers. But when the male dies, the next oldest/largest female undergoes a physical and hormonal change (a bit like another version of puberty I guess) and becomes male instead.... Is this the kind of thing you're talking about?

phatcat
14th Nov 2003, 06:08 PM
Feel free..

HEY EVERYONE!! I USED TO BE FURRY!!!!

Can we get over this one now Phat? You seem to fire it at me every time you post. Do you actually HAVE anything better to do? :)


would I be posting here if I did? :D

he he he...
I'm just josh'n with ya, for be'n alittle hypocrical twards... umm... intresting fasinations ;)

_Zd_3s_
14th Nov 2003, 06:09 PM
He's tipsy!

:stupid:

DeeperShade
14th Nov 2003, 06:14 PM
Hypocritical?
Your knocking me for laughing at this thread?
For laughing at other people?

Damn, and werent you the one that flamed me urgo doing similar thing not so long back?

Who's hypocritical now? :D

phatcat
14th Nov 2003, 06:19 PM
well, making fun of you is all I really have anymore http://phatcat.animedominion.com/emoticon/bawling.gif

DeeperShade
14th Nov 2003, 06:21 PM
*takes away the fun*

Sorry, if you require more 'fun', please phone the number that DragonLife provided :)

phil
14th Nov 2003, 06:21 PM
http://members.shaw.ca/omoshiroi/avatar/dramaolde.jpg

alien8
14th Nov 2003, 06:27 PM
http://members.shaw.ca/ehushagen/images/wtfoxtrot.jpg

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 06:35 PM
Rofl

phatcat
14th Nov 2003, 06:40 PM
furry is cute....but Deepershade is cuter now :)

Noo.. SOME furry stuff is cute, and SOME furry stuff is good... ALOT of it is just F**ked up. :lol:

As for Deeper, he has a unfair advantage over the oposite sex since he secretly is an elf. No lie, he had that new ear cosmetic surgery done to make him appear human, no lie. :D
do not let his secret elvish charm draw you in to his abode Atropos!!

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 06:43 PM
ROFL....but I have an elf ear! I should take a picture of it and prove it :p

phatcat
14th Nov 2003, 06:49 PM
wait.. you have like... one?
dont' ears typicaly come in pairs?

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 06:53 PM
my other ear is normal

DeeperShade
14th Nov 2003, 06:57 PM
Before anyone comments. It's actually quite common to have mismatched ears. Most people have one ear lower than the other but there are cases of differences in shape or size.

phatcat
14th Nov 2003, 06:58 PM
ok... does that make you a 1/2 elf? :con:

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 07:04 PM
my dad thinks so :p

ok cap_015 is my left ear (or the first one) that ear is the normal ear

the second picture cap_016 is my elf ear :P

phatcat
14th Nov 2003, 07:09 PM
kawaii http://phatcat.animedominion.com/emoticon/kawaii.gif
I'm a sucker for cute ears :D

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 07:12 PM
~giggles~

phatcat
14th Nov 2003, 07:19 PM
one of the reason I like elfs and catgirls... its the ears http://phatcat.animedominion.com/emoticon/=3.gif

:eek:
I better shut up before I get into the same boat as TWD

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 07:21 PM
ROFL ~huggles phatcat~

phatcat
14th Nov 2003, 07:28 PM
http://phatcat.animedominion.com/emoticon/kawaiismile.gif

yes thats right folks for a limited time you too gan huggles phatcat with you own phatcat plush doll!
http://phatcat.animedominion.com/sigs/chibiphat.gif
only 99.99!!!

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 07:30 PM
but...I dunno wanna pay 99.99 for a phatcat plush doll...I would rather huggle the real one :P

DeeperShade
14th Nov 2003, 07:37 PM
I wouldnt.. His stitching has come away and his insides had to be replaced with wet pasta....

Icky :p ;)

phatcat
14th Nov 2003, 07:40 PM
quiet, glow-crotch boy! :p

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 07:40 PM
Rofl

Cap'n Beeb
14th Nov 2003, 07:43 PM
Hey, that's why I love Deeps. You can shag him in the dark.

DeeperShade
14th Nov 2003, 07:43 PM
*punts PhatCat through a window and into a passing garbage truck*

So, who's for pizza? :)

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 07:44 PM
what kinda pizza we ordering? and who's paying for it

phatcat
14th Nov 2003, 07:44 PM
here goes phatcat blasting off again X_x *bling*

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 07:46 PM
~tackles phatcat and huggles him again then huggles DeeperShade~

DeeperShade
14th Nov 2003, 07:47 PM
:shrug:
Whatever ya want I guess, I nabbed Phat's wallet before he flew away, so pizza's are on him!!

Mines a deep pan margerita :D

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 07:49 PM
W00T! ~orders a medium pepperoni, mushroom and extra cheese pizza~ mmmmmm mushrooms

phatcat
14th Nov 2003, 07:55 PM
awww. DS, you bitch!
...
oh well since I'm paying I want a olive and extracheese :3
mmmm... olives...

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 08:06 PM
Oooo I forgot all about olives!

phatcat
14th Nov 2003, 08:07 PM
And stuffed crust :3

ugh...
*palms face*
now you know why I'm called phatcat...
Damn my american self control!!!

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 08:18 PM
ROFL that's ok phatcat we all still wuv you ;)

phatcat
14th Nov 2003, 08:26 PM
...
how did a thread about Dragons migrate to being about favorite pizza toppings... :con:

oh well... :D

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 08:42 PM
I'm not complaing are you? :p

hyrulian
14th Nov 2003, 08:48 PM
...
how did a thread about Dragons migrate to being about favorite pizza toppings... :con:

oh well... :D
Dragons eat pizza, don't they? There you are :D

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 08:53 PM
heheheh good point

phatcat
14th Nov 2003, 08:58 PM
can we go back to making fun of DS, or Atropos's kawaii ears :3

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 09:00 PM
your gonna make fun of me the elf?? :P

phatcat
14th Nov 2003, 09:12 PM
only if the mistress allows it.

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 09:13 PM
who is the "mistress"?

phatcat
14th Nov 2003, 09:16 PM
that would be you dark mistress of the night ^_^

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 09:17 PM
;) I don't mind you picking on my ears ;)

ZenPirate
14th Nov 2003, 09:21 PM
Get a room...

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 09:24 PM
O_o we're not doing anything bad zen :p

phatcat
14th Nov 2003, 09:27 PM
LOL :lol:
yeah, I just commented on her fine ears, thats all!
he must be jelous, he must have sub-par ears! :D

ZenPirate
14th Nov 2003, 09:28 PM
Call it a pre-emptive strike... :p

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 09:28 PM
hehehehe

phatcat
14th Nov 2003, 09:30 PM
OMFG I got Mod-diss'ed-terated :eek:
/me coolness drops 100x points ;)

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 09:42 PM
but honestly Zen we weren't going to do anything!!! :p

phatcat
14th Nov 2003, 09:59 PM
no kidding, Atropos would beat me up :eek:

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 10:01 PM
I would not!!! ~licks phatcat~ your too cute to beat up

Synastren
14th Nov 2003, 10:01 PM
Call it a pre-emptive strike... :p
OMG U R TEH BUSH!!!111OLOLOLOL!1

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 10:53 PM
phatcat do you know how to minimize a .gif?

phatcat
14th Nov 2003, 11:02 PM
you mean resize, yes I do. :)

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 11:15 PM
http://forums.dmatech.org:2080/images/avatars/gallery/all/aoi_neko.gif


can you please? :(

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 11:16 PM
oh yea...btw..I added you to my buddy list phatcat..so if you get a sleepydevilcat on icq...that's just me :p

FaT CaM
14th Nov 2003, 11:30 PM
Wow, if these are the quality of the posts that are here to entertain me, because frankly I am the centre of the universe, then you might as well all leave. Right now. And never come back.

:stupid:

Atropos Megarea
14th Nov 2003, 11:53 PM
Lol

Erika
15th Nov 2003, 12:16 AM
DeeperShade was cooler when he was furry...

And WTF is up with everyone... dragons are hermaphrodites and can change sex, so what.

EDIT: Wow, this topic has 4 pages... didn't noticed...

Atropos Megarea
15th Nov 2003, 12:59 AM
yea but a good portion of the pages have nothing to do with dragons :2thumb:

hyrulian
15th Nov 2003, 01:11 AM
[ This is a test to see if my next post will come out right. Yes, it will have something to do with dragons. ]

There should be 5 spaces between the first 2 words.

Atropos Megarea
15th Nov 2003, 01:13 AM
ROFL nice

hyrulian
15th Nov 2003, 01:23 AM
Ok, now here it is...Dragons in ASCII Art!
(I didn't make any of these, these are my favorites from a file full of them I found online)

___
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Atropos Megarea
15th Nov 2003, 01:39 AM
nice

Kaligraphic
15th Nov 2003, 02:51 AM
And once again, BuF shows its power, as this thread reaches a hundred posts in under thirteen hours.

BTW, Deeper, two things: First, you better have only sold the skirt, because that glowing crotch bit was teh sehksi. At the least, you could have given it to me. ;) Second, if phatcat has any money left, I'll have a pepperoni and sausage pizza.

Atropos Megarea
15th Nov 2003, 03:10 AM
Lol

Zarkazm
15th Nov 2003, 04:24 AM
D'oh, you keep making the funniest posts late at night. Too late for me even. :con:

Atropos Megarea
15th Nov 2003, 05:18 AM
well stay up later

boo-shem-ee
15th Nov 2003, 06:16 AM
:10bux: this thread ends up in one of SomethingAwful's Weekend Web articles :o

Nurulwai
15th Nov 2003, 06:47 AM
Point it out to them.

I'm sure they'd love you for it :)

phatcat
15th Nov 2003, 09:03 AM
:10bux: this thread ends up in one of SomethingAwful's Weekend Web articles :o

aswsome :D

Latent Image
15th Nov 2003, 10:29 AM
Dragon anatomy 101 : Muscles

Synastren
15th Nov 2003, 12:37 PM
[ragon ASCII art]
Mortal Kombat! (do do do dododo, do do do...)
\o/

Zarkazm
15th Nov 2003, 12:58 PM
well stay up later
I did. But it's hard to compete with the people on the other f*cking side of the planet. :rant: :o

phatcat
15th Nov 2003, 02:44 PM
Mortal Kombat! (do do do dododo, do do do...)
\o/

choose your destiny.... doooo doo doo doo do dud du de deee doo...
FIGHT!!

Erika
15th Nov 2003, 03:11 PM
Finish Him!!!

*uber Kuhl Battle Fatality Animation Here*

Erika Wins!
Fatality!
Flawless Victory!

Atropos Megarea
15th Nov 2003, 06:00 PM
~chooses Frost and kicks all their punk asses~ YAY! I win! NEXT!

dragonlife
17th Nov 2003, 02:43 PM
ok i pose this question then. Where is the largest dragon if you say there is no dragons out there? dragons exsist only if you know where to look. dragon can be humans too by looking a the chinese zodiac. I still wonder how can you tell the sex of a dragon?

TWD
17th Nov 2003, 05:18 PM
Ok well first off it's important to note that I don't really think dragons exist not in a physical sense. If they existed on earth right now we would know about it. The dragons I speak of exist only is the mind of myself and others like me. http://draconic.com for a bit more info on different connections people have with dragons.

I have met a dragon that claimed to be 2km long, but many dragons can shapeshift and change sizes. Many dragons tend to pick me up and hold me.

AFAIK you can't tell the sex of a dragon by looking quite so easily. The differences between the male and female are very subtle and only a dragon or someone that interacts with dragons on a daily basis could really tell the difference.

Atropos Megarea
17th Nov 2003, 08:28 PM
~notices she was unchallenged and grins happily~ score one for Tropi :D W00T!

dragonlife
18th Nov 2003, 11:27 AM
i am for pizza. and chinese food too but there is a song i like and one lyric is " there is a cat in the cradle at the old hong store"

Atropos Megarea
18th Nov 2003, 02:29 PM
.......there is not EATING of this kitty!!!! ~whaps dragonlife hard~

Kaligraphic
18th Nov 2003, 07:39 PM
Did you ever think, when you eat Chinese
It ain't pork or chicken but a fat siamese?
Yet the food tastes great, so you don't complain.
But that's not chicken in your chicken chow mein.
Seems to me I ordered sweet-and-sour pork
But Garfield's on my fork.
He's purrin' here on my fork.

There's a cat in the kettle at the Peking Moon
The place that I eat every day at noon.
They can feed you cat and you'll never know
Once they wrap it up in dough, boys;
They fry it real crisp in dough.

Chou Lin asked if I wanted more
As he was dialin' up his buddy at the old pet store.
I said "Not today. I lost my appetite.
"There's two cats in my belly and they want to fight."
I was suckin' on a Rolaid and a Tums or two
When I swear I heard it mew, boys;
And that is when I knew.

There's a cat in the kettle at the Peking Moon
I think I gotta stop eatin' there at noon.
They say that it's beef or fish or pork
But it's purrin' there on my fork.
There's a hairball on my fork.

Atropos Megarea
19th Nov 2003, 01:13 AM
ROFL!!!! that's funny and sick at the same time! :D

dragonlife
19th Nov 2003, 09:40 AM
I love chinese food!!!!!!!! Do you know what jello is made from????? I do and it is not instant either. Lets see if you can tell me if you know what jello really comes from. Tickles Atropos Megarea just for the hell of it and you started it this time and last time and the time before that.

Atropos Megarea
19th Nov 2003, 03:02 PM
~snickers and tickles him back~ your the one that slide into the closet and got your sister mad :p and jello was was suppose to be cough medicine....saw that one on Food TV one night when I was bored...btw....can I demand a shoulder massage from you? :) ~goes back to tickling him~

Nurulwai
19th Nov 2003, 03:27 PM
There is something called a "PM"...

Synastren
19th Nov 2003, 10:08 PM
Ok well first off it's important to note that I don't really think dragons exist not in a physical sense. If they existed on earth right now we would know about it.

We do. (http://www.heptune.com/komodo.html)
Thar be dragons! :eek:

Zarkazm
19th Nov 2003, 10:51 PM
Seems to me I ordered sweet-and-sour pork
But Garfield's on my fork.
He's purrin' here on my fork.
Weird Al owns!

So does Chinese food btw ;)

Atropos Megarea
20th Nov 2003, 02:55 AM
[-will-] I would if he knew what they were ;) ~grins~ besides it's fun to semi aggravate you :)

DeeperShade
20th Nov 2003, 04:59 AM
Well, I for one am completely fscked as to the purpose of this thread...

:o

Kaligraphic
20th Nov 2003, 03:56 PM
I think it's just here to take up space. Kind of like us posters in it. :)

Atropos Megarea
20th Nov 2003, 06:00 PM
exactly...I think :p

dragonlife
24th Nov 2003, 11:54 AM
Hey why should i give you a mussaged if there is no pleasure in it for me. And it was cough madcine but it was made from horse hoofs and that is still a little funny to be eating something that is more faster than humans. I want a dragon for a pet that way he can mealt the hearts of the ladys and warm the soul of thy owner.

Atropos Megarea
24th Nov 2003, 07:55 PM
well your not going to get the opportunity to give me a massage anyways :p I'm at my parents house for Thanksgiving.....and no dragon can melt my heart dragonlife....I have a heart of stone and ice :p

MetalMickey
24th Nov 2003, 08:27 PM
wtf

Ice
24th Nov 2003, 08:28 PM
Although I have cuddled a hermaphordite or two

This is undoubtably the high point of the thread. When thats a high point, we're damn screwed.

Synastren
24th Nov 2003, 11:32 PM
This is undoubtably the high point of the thread. When thats a high point, we're damn screwed.
Literally? :mwink:
"High point" indeed. ;)

dragonlife
26th Nov 2003, 10:48 AM
screwed in every way possible brings laughter and enjoyment to the people. If this my high point let it end with style. I still believe I am melt the hearts or cold and stone to break loose from my own.

TWD
26th Nov 2003, 11:19 AM
Hey man don't bash it till you've tried it.

Ice
26th Nov 2003, 11:23 AM
Its ok TWD. You can have all the hermaphotic dragons (IE: You masturbating to child porn on the internet) and I'll just hang out with my lowly female humans.

I'm sure I'm really missing out on something here.

*Edited for mistakes*

Cap'n Beeb
26th Nov 2003, 11:27 AM
TWD, a strap-on does not make a chick a herm.

Kaligraphic
26th Nov 2003, 04:13 PM
No, he means guys with plastic vaginas. :)

Cap'n Beeb
26th Nov 2003, 05:51 PM
Would TWD know what to do in such a situation?

Ice
26th Nov 2003, 07:36 PM
Call mom and consult the bible?

Kaligraphic
26th Nov 2003, 09:51 PM
Or the Book of Mormon.

[IsP]KaRnAgE
26th Nov 2003, 09:54 PM
Anyone catch South Park recently? :o

Cap'n Beeb
26th Nov 2003, 10:24 PM
:lol: Yes indeed. :)

Atropos Megarea
27th Nov 2003, 03:11 AM
what does south park have to do with it? O_o

phatcat
27th Nov 2003, 03:03 PM
what does south park have to do with it? O_o
it was about mormons.

dragonlife
27th Nov 2003, 10:19 PM
I like south park and kenny is the coolest he dies and comes back what is he undead??? I think I will die being myself but change in the future but who knows my future besides the god old mighty.

Synastren
27th Nov 2003, 10:27 PM
http://www.pennyarcadestore.com/php/files/media/images/product_zoom/period01_lg.gif
Meet Punctuation! (http://www.penny-arcade.com/view.php3?date=2003-07-07&res=l)
You really should say hello sometime, dragonlife. :)

phil
27th Nov 2003, 10:45 PM
omg.....

http://phillip.steele.home.comcast.net/godceasedesist.png

Erika
27th Nov 2003, 10:49 PM
It's a trick, must be the damned agents trying to get you to delete yourself from the matrix. :p

phil
27th Nov 2003, 10:52 PM
It's a trick, must be the damned agents trying to get you to delete yourself from the matrix. :p


You're really into the literary writing of the Ultimate Warrior arn't you?

Atropos Megarea
27th Nov 2003, 10:54 PM
~holds her head and groans then walks out~

Cap'n Beeb
27th Nov 2003, 10:55 PM
Careful phil, she might bust out some DESTRUCITY on ya. :o

dragonlife
29th Nov 2003, 06:27 PM
To hit and run is a coward at hand,
To hit and stand is a true man.

Thus you playfire on people without knowing your true self how is that possible?? You think that you know yourself better than anyone well look again your family will know you better than yourself because they have been around you since birth. Why should we judge people without the facsts that prove them guilty at charge?????

Atropos Megarea
29th Nov 2003, 07:27 PM
ok now you've even gotten me confused.....dragonlife WHAT are you talking about? Oh if you see this tell your sister I'll be up there on the 3rd...I'm going to go to Victoria to see my b/f for a couple of days :p

Ice
29th Nov 2003, 09:15 PM
This thread makes as much sense as Ronald Reagan Now-adays.

dragonlife
29th Nov 2003, 11:17 PM
This thread is to make you think not have you fall asleep unknowning the answer. It is like riddles if you are on the top is the the bottom of the top or to make it easier to understand for ever ending the is a beginning so if the is a beginning for every thing is there ever an ending???

Atropos Megarea
30th Nov 2003, 03:14 AM
HUH???? and did you tell her goof ball??

Kaligraphic
30th Nov 2003, 03:23 AM
This thread is to make you think not have you fall asleep unknowning the answer. It is like riddles if you are on the top is the the bottom of the top or to make it easier to understand for ever ending the is a beginning so if the is a beginning for every thing is there ever an ending???
uhhh... me sleep now. me not know answer to thread. me sleep anyway.

me oblivious to meaning of post.

me sleep now.

Synastren
30th Nov 2003, 09:10 PM
To hit and run is a coward at hand,
To hit and stand is a true man.

Woo. Glad to know that we're all true men. :con:

Thus you playfire on people without knowing your true self how is that possible?? You think that you know yourself better than anyone well look again your family will know you better than yourself because they have been around you since birth. Why should we judge people without the facsts that prove them guilty at charge?????

Well, usually when someone explicitly expresses their opinion, one can usually say that is what they think. Unless, of course, you're saying that your family is the only group of people who can state what you think, as not even you know. Which really makes it idiotic, seeing as each member of the family doesn't know themselves, thus making a quite bleak, confused mass of morons.

As for your second post, your attempt to sound intelligent backfired through lack of punctuation and lack of coherency.

hyrulian
30th Nov 2003, 11:07 PM
WTF is this thread about now? The subject seems to change every day...

dragonlife
1st Dec 2003, 11:34 AM
This thread changes every day to keep you on your toes and my sister wasnt awake when I went to tell her the joke is yourself because who can be a moron when you are always looking in the mirror in the morin. To keep people on there toes is the gae can you play the game or can you think to much to care???

Synastren
1st Dec 2003, 11:57 AM
WTF is this thread about now? The subject seems to change every day...
I don't know anymore. I give up on it. :B

Kaligraphic
1st Dec 2003, 02:45 PM
I've never looked at a mirror in the mormon. I didn't know TWD had one in him.

And the thread changes topic because it's completely irrelevant. Right? Of course right.

Synastren
1st Dec 2003, 02:49 PM
And the thread changes topic because it's completely irrelevant. Right? Of course right.

:goshen:
There. :)

Kaligraphic
1st Dec 2003, 10:20 PM
Next up, we will discuss the philosophical implications of time travel in relation to the md5 hash algorithm, and the effect these implications have on the philosophical nature of the Goshen head.

dragonlife
3rd Dec 2003, 03:00 PM
Why fisinsh things when oyu can begin life all over again?

Kaligraphic
3rd Dec 2003, 03:15 PM
If you want to begin all over again, click here (http://forums.beyondunreal.com/showthread.php?t=120378&page=1).

Synastren
3rd Dec 2003, 05:35 PM
OMG teh tiem mashene mock too!!1

dragonlife
4th Dec 2003, 11:50 AM
things come and go in life dont take them for granted

Myrmidion
4th Dec 2003, 12:23 PM
To hit and run is a coward at hand,
To hit and stand is a true man.

I'd just like to comment on this. In any situation that ends up with physical contact, you hit and then you run like buggery. Ideally, you should run before it even comes to blows, as you don't know how good your opponent is as fighting :).

It requires the bigger man to walk away, not to try and injure someone :)

Kaligraphic
4th Dec 2003, 09:59 PM
Actually, Myr, the bigger guy usually hits harder - unless it's fat. :)

Atropos Megarea
9th Dec 2003, 04:18 PM
I have a headache just trying to figure this thread out....~goes to get a tummy rub~

dragonlife
9th Dec 2003, 04:31 PM
where do i go from here life leads me in cricles but i want to go on living in a happy fairy tale life where everone is happy. Bull crap life sux i need a drink pass the bottle for life is not easy goin you know it and so do i. Why do we put up with this??

Kaligraphic
9th Dec 2003, 07:59 PM
Why do we put up with this??
I don't know.

BuFers, why do we put up with dragonlife?

Justin286
9th Dec 2003, 08:31 PM
Probably the same reason that people like watching buildings get torn down using implosions. It makes for good entertainment.

dragonlife
10th Dec 2003, 12:42 PM
life is a circle just like a story, It ends then a new one begins. to finishthings off will cut the whole world off.

Atropos Megarea
10th Dec 2003, 01:13 PM
:con:

Destro7000
10th Dec 2003, 01:21 PM
and my sister wasnt awake when I went to tell her the joke is yourself because who can be a moron when you are always looking in the mirror in the morin. To keep people on there toes is the gae can you play the game or can you think to much to care???

:)
You're just an accidental Comic Genius, aren't you?

=D7K=

Kaligraphic
10th Dec 2003, 03:23 PM
So we keep dragonlife as... a pet. Like a boy would keep a monkey or a snake.

Maj1013
10th Dec 2003, 04:04 PM
Methinks this kid's been feasting on paint chips...

tool
10th Dec 2003, 04:06 PM
Paint chips are good! :B

thewalkingman
10th Dec 2003, 04:23 PM
Rawr!!!
http://www.strangeco.com/Shop/picsDB/dorbel_green1.jpg

dragonlife
10th Dec 2003, 04:42 PM
i am not a pet i am for the girls to play with. girls can use me for their use pleasure. I am not a pet i am here for a luagh and for the enjoyment of friends.

phil
11th Dec 2003, 12:04 AM
i am not a pet i am for the girls to play with. girls can use me for their use pleasure. I am not a pet i am here for a luagh and for the enjoyment of friends.


I will just repeat what I said in IRC about this....

[23:55] : THIS PERSON MUST BE BANNED AND ANY PROOF HE EVER POSTED THERE MUST BE ERASED


This is for the good, and the reputation of our fine forum! I implore you to act speedily to rid our forums of the dragonlife menace!

Zur
11th Dec 2003, 12:12 AM
what are the genders for dragons? Most people believe a dragon is male or female when there is only one male to 3 billion females you destory the male you destory the whole popualtion of them. Right???? Wrong you just made a big mistake a dragon can change its sex but how it this possible is it a homo gone the other way or is it just another male? please help me out in this.

With some species of snake, the males will sometimes transform into alpha-females. I do not know what the changes are but it is probaly intended to lure males away from the real females in the mating season.

Kaligraphic
11th Dec 2003, 12:23 AM
With some species of snake, the males will sometimes transform into alpha-females. I do not know what the changes are but it is probaly intended to lure males away from the real females in the mating season.
So That's what dragonlife is! Now it all makes sense!
well, not really.

Zur
11th Dec 2003, 12:35 AM
It only takes a writers imagination to extend this fact so that dragons, who are somewhat reptilian in their appearance, are capable of changing their sexual orientation.

$When it comes to humans, the concept has degraded into what is commonly called a "Drag Queen" :D .

Kaligraphic
11th Dec 2003, 12:49 AM
So you say that snakes are more evolved in that respect? Humans are behind the times?

hyrulian
11th Dec 2003, 02:32 AM
I can't believe this thread is lasting this long.

Kaligraphic
11th Dec 2003, 02:42 AM
I can. Remember, it's not the important things that last. Important problems get solved, imported issues get resolved. It's the irrelevant and unimportant that survives.

Zur
11th Dec 2003, 03:23 PM
So you say that snakes are more evolved in that respect? Humans are behind the times?

Humans are mammals and bound to a mammal's ways :p .

dragonlife
11th Dec 2003, 04:18 PM
the only menice is the person who think he is not one. i asked a question you answered it why i am the menice when you are the ignorant one that cant find his own thread i posted this thread for the people to have fun and not be put down for a person put dwon is like you looking in the mirror because you are a shamed of yourself so think why you are better than others because you are not and for the rest of the poeple you know why we put up with it iss because they are more pains in the backside than those who care about others. i post this for all the poeple to see they are not alone out there because people like you and me dont deserved to be treated like nothing when it is yourself that deserves it because demoting others is demoting yourself.

Scumgrief
11th Dec 2003, 04:18 PM
http://www.subgenius.com/GIFmovies/Bobgoop120.gif

I AM TEH KEY TO YOUR MOTHER'S LIQUOR CABINET (http://www.spiraleyes.com/moving/htoyb.swf)

NO SALESPERSON
MAY LEAVE THE FLOOR
OR GO TO THE DOOR
WITHOUT THE AUTHORIZATION
OF A SUPERIOR.
THE MGT.

Love of country? Another lie; the truth is fear of cops and prisons. Love of art? Another lie; the truth is fear of the naked truth without ornaments and false faces on it. Love of truth itself? The biggest lie of all: fear of the unknown. People learn acceptance of all this and achieve wisdom? The surrender to superior force and call their cowardice maturity. It still comes down to one question: Are you kneeling at the altar, or are you on the altar watching the others kneel to you?"

fnord (http://www.rawilson.com/illuminatus.shtml)

dragonlife
11th Dec 2003, 04:21 PM
why pester others with lies? why should we put up with you people bing your self, i will tell you it is because we listen to other people's word hoping they dont say some thing stuipid like phil or scumgrief.

hyrulian
11th Dec 2003, 05:16 PM
I might as well contribute towards this thread reaching 200 posts. I still have no idea wtf is going on here, though. :con:

phatcat
11th Dec 2003, 05:21 PM
I belive dragon Sex0rz!!

it was 100x better when it was about Atropos' ears :hmm:

Atropos Megarea
11th Dec 2003, 06:20 PM
~licks and snuggles phatcat~ thank you hon

Scumgrief
11th Dec 2003, 07:33 PM
200!! I am teh win! \o/

of what... i have no clue... same thing re: this thread.

Kaligraphic
11th Dec 2003, 07:38 PM
Humans are mammals and bound to a mammal's ways :p .
As a guy, let me say that mammals have a distinct advantage. Only on mammamls do the females have mammaries. :mwink:

Cap'n Beeb
11th Dec 2003, 09:22 PM
the only menice is the person who think he is not one. i asked a question you answered it why i am the menice when you are the ignorant one that cant find his own thread i posted this thread for the people to have fun and not be put down for a person put dwon is like you looking in the mirror because you are a shamed of yourself so think why you are better than others because you are not and for the rest of the poeple you know why we put up with it iss because they are more pains in the backside than those who care about others. i post this for all the poeple to see they are not alone out there because people like you and me dont deserved to be treated like nothing when it is yourself that deserves it because demoting others is demoting yourself.

http://kibblesnbits.net/hosted/beerbaron/Macros/mathildadrama.jpg

Dude, next time you run down to Dragon-Mart, pick up an industrial sized vat of PUNCTUATION.

Atropos Megarea
11th Dec 2003, 11:34 PM
.........ok I'm going to bed....this is too messed up

Kaligraphic
12th Dec 2003, 12:32 AM
Dragonlife has given us a quite strange thread. This is most spammy - most spamworthy - most spammalicious. Downright spamminatorial.

/me spams.

phil
12th Dec 2003, 01:36 AM
I will now proceed to win at the internet vs dragonlife.....

My imitation of dragonlife, while reading his post to me. (and my reaction :D) (http://members.cox.net/tjmickey/dragonlife.mp3)

*Phil wins the match.

(btw that was 30 minutes of my life I will never get back....mostly laughing at your impossible to read post)

edit:
[01:40] (@SwarthyForeskin): phil, in your post you should quote the post that you read

"the only menice is the person who think he is not one. i asked a question you answered it why i am the menice when you are the ignorant one that cant find his own thread i posted this thread for the people to have fun and not be put down for a person put dwon is like you looking in the mirror because you are a shamed of yourself so think why you are better than others because you are not and for the rest of the poeple you know why we put up with it iss because they are more pains in the backside than those who care about others. i post this for all the poeple to see they are not alone out there because people like you and me dont deserved to be treated like nothing when it is yourself that deserves it because demoting others is demoting yourself."

BillyBadAss
12th Dec 2003, 01:40 AM
I will now proceed to win at the internet vs dragonlife.....

My imitation of dragonlife, while reading his post to me. (and my reaction :D) (http://members.cox.net/tjmickey/dragonlife.mp3)

*Phil wins the match.

(btw that was 30 minutes of my life I will never get back....mostly laughing at your impossible to read post)

OMFG PWNED!!!!!!!

BillyBadAss
12th Dec 2003, 02:05 AM
the only menice is the person who think he is not one. i asked a question you answered it why i am the menice when you are the ignorant one that cant find his own thread i posted this thread for the people to have fun and not be put down for a person put dwon is like you looking in the mirror because you are a shamed of yourself so think why you are better than others because you are not and for the rest of the poeple you know why we put up with it iss because they are more pains in the backside than those who care about others. i post this for all the poeple to see they are not alone out there because people like you and me dont deserved to be treated like nothing when it is yourself that deserves it because demoting others is demoting yourself.


I ran this through spell\grammer check in 10 seconds. I know it didn't get everything, but I think this is what he is trying to say:

The only menace is the person who thinks he is not one. I asked a question you answered it why I am the menace when you are the ignorant one that cant find his own thread I posted this thread for the people to have fun and not be put down for a person put down is like you looking in the mirror because you are a shamed of yourself so think why you are better than others because you are not and for the rest of the people you know why we put up with it is because they are more pains in the backside than those who care about others. I post this for all the people to see they are not alone out there because people like you and I donít deserved to be treated like nothing when it is yourself that deserves it because demoting others is demoting you.

Kaligraphic
12th Dec 2003, 02:55 AM
How about this:

the only menice is the person who think he is not one. i asked a question you answered it why i am the menice when you are the ignorant one that cant find his own thread i posted this thread for the people to have fun and not be put down for a person put dwon is like you looking in the mirror because you are a shamed of yourself so think why you are better than others because you are not and for the rest of the poeple you know why we put up with it iss because they are more pains in the backside than those who care about others. i post this for all the poeple to see they are not alone out there because people like you and me dont deserved to be treated like nothing when it is yourself that deserves it because demoting others is demoting yourself.


He is only a menace who believes he is not a menace. I have asked a question, you have answered it. Why, then, do you claim that I am a menace? In fact, it is you who are the ignorant one who cannot find your own thread.

I posted this thread for people to enjoy - not to afford you the opportunity to put people down. When you put someone down, it is as though you were looking in a mirror, because you only shame yourself. Do not think that you are better than others - you are not. We put up with you because you are more annoying than those who actually care about other people.

I am posting this for everyone, so that they may see that they are not alone out there. People like you and me do not deserve to be treated like nothing. It is, in fact, only you who deserve it, because to demote another is to demote yourself.

dragonlife, I would suggest learning how to write.

hyrulian
12th Dec 2003, 12:26 PM
I will now proceed to win at the internet vs dragonlife.....

My imitation of dragonlife, while reading his post to me. (and my reaction :D) (http://members.cox.net/tjmickey/dragonlife.mp3)

*Phil wins the match.
:lol: Great one. The BGM was an extra nice touch. :tup:

dragonlife
12th Dec 2003, 01:32 PM
I dont care about what people think of me because I can only be me. For I am glade I am not you because by the end of the day I will know that I cant change you point of view because your eyes are glued shut.

BillyBadAss
12th Dec 2003, 02:14 PM
I dont care about what people think of me because I can only be me. For I am glade I am not you because by the end of the day I will know that I cant change you point of view because your eyes are glued shut.

Glued shut to what? I think people would leave you alone if you wouldn't spam, and took a little more time on your posts, so that you used correct grammar. If you have to, run your post throw some kind of spell\grammar checker first.

It's nice to have new people on the boards, but what we don't need is spaming drama queens.

Maj1013
12th Dec 2003, 02:35 PM
...for the rest of the poeple you know why we put up with it iss because they are more pains in the backside than those who care about others.

I work in a department with 13 other editors. We work on scientific standards all day, and a big part of our job is making sense of all manner of language that is like gibberish to us...about petroleum viscocity, relative reflectivity of sensors, bacterium growth in water...that sort of thing.

Collectively, we still can't figure out what the hell you're trying to say here.

Kaligraphic
12th Dec 2003, 04:50 PM
[quote=dragonlife] For I am glade...[/dragonlife]
Plug it in, plug it in.
Glade plug ins.

Synastren
12th Dec 2003, 11:35 PM
[quote=dragonlife] For I am glade...[/dragonlife]
Plug it in, plug it in.
Glade plug ins.
Does it freshen, and throw up a nightlight while not hogging up a plugin? :eek:
OMGreat!

Phil... R:lol:FL! Pwnij. :tup:

Kaligraphic
16th Dec 2003, 04:01 AM
215.

hyrulian
16th Dec 2003, 11:53 AM
Wow, this thread is still going strong!
But what I think it needs is a
http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~npena/redeemer.gif

NeoNite
16th Dec 2003, 11:58 AM
I don't know this song, but it fits the thread I guess :D

Just a little problem, out of hand
The consequence of supply and demand
Violate the laws of nature
End up with this awesome creature
Another mouth to feed that no one planned
Evil sire, breathing fire
Belching smoke and fumes
Behold the face of doom
We can't stop runnin'
The Dragon's comin'
Fools will still deny the threat is real
Though the jaws are snapping at our heals
We tamed the wilds and raped the forests
Mowed down everything before us
Dressed our dreams in cloaks of chrome and steel
Evil sire, breathing fire
Belching smoke and fumes
Behold the face of doom
We can't stop runnin'
The Dragon's comin'
Death defiant man-made giant
The sum of all we killed
A living toxic will
We can't stop runnin'
The Dragon's comin'
Maybe someday, we can't know when
Life will rise up again
And a new light will shine
On the dark ages we leave behind
Evil sire, breathing fire
Belching smoke and fumes
Behold the face of doom
We can't stop runnin'
The Dragon's comin'
Death defiant man-made giant
The sum of all we killed
A living toxic will

We can't stop runnin'
The Dragon's comin'
Can't stop runnin'
The Dragon's comin'
Can't stop runnin'
The Dragon's comin'
Can't stop runnin'
The Dragon's comin'
The Dragon's comin'

Zur
16th Dec 2003, 12:37 PM
:p

Kaligraphic
25th Dec 2003, 07:44 PM
and going, and going, and going...

Lenix
25th Dec 2003, 07:57 PM
And may I be the first to say that my intensive research has shown that yes, there really are dragons on the planet Earth. They however have the ability to change their outward appearance. Notable dragons in popular society are such figures as: Osama Bin Laden, Chris Rock, Jenna Jameson, Tony Blair, That Crazy Guy with the Chin...Jay Leno!, and many more.

It appears that Dragons are making very successful attempts at being human, thus bringing to point the question..."Which is the superior race if they're the ones acting like us?"

I think the answer is quite obvious. While yes, there are stories written about Dragons, there are 100 times more stories written about humans. I think we win on that basis alone!

DeeperShade
25th Dec 2003, 08:04 PM
Nah, dragons don't exist.
Which raises the question: If dragon's are such powerful, superior creatures.. why are they all dead?

phil
26th Dec 2003, 03:57 AM
The history of all hitherto existing society [2] is the history of class struggles.

Freeman and slave, patrician and plebian, lord and serf, guild-master [3] and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.

In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a manifold gradation of social rank. In ancient Rome we have patricians, knights, plebians, slaves; in the Middle Ages, feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, journeymen, apprentices, serfs; in almost all of these classes, again, subordinate gradations.

The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones.

Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, possesses, however, this distinct feature: it has simplified class antagonisms. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other -- bourgeoisie and proletariat.

From the serfs of the Middle Ages sprang the chartered burghers of the earliest towns. From these burgesses the first elements of the bourgeoisie were developed.

The discovery of America, the rounding of the Cape, opened up fresh ground for the rising bourgeoisie. The East-Indian and Chinese markets, the colonisation of America, trade with the colonies, the increase in the means of exchange and in commodities generally, gave to commerce, to navigation, to industry, an impulse never before known, and thereby, to the revolutionary element in the tottering feudal society, a rapid development.

The feudal system of industry, in which industrial production was monopolized by closed guilds, now no longer suffices for the growing wants of the new markets. The manufacturing system took its place. The guild-masters were pushed aside by the manufacturing middle class; division of labor between the different corporate guilds vanished in the face of division of labor in each single workshop.

Meantime, the markets kept ever growing, the demand ever rising. Even manufacturers no longer sufficed. Thereupon, steam and machinery revolutionized industrial production. The place of manufacture was taken by the giant, MODERN INDUSTRY; the place of the industrial middle class by industrial millionaires, the leaders of the whole industrial armies, the modern bourgeois.

Modern industry has established the world market, for which the discovery of America paved the way. This market has given an immense development to commerce, to navigation, to communication by land. This development has, in turn, reacted on the extension of industry; and in proportion as industry, commerce, navigation, railways extended, in the same proportion the bourgeoisie developed, increased its capital, and pushed into the background every class handed down from the Middle Ages.

We see, therefore, how the modern bourgeoisie is itself the product of a long course of development, of a series of revolutions in the modes of production and of exchange.

Each step in the development of the bourgeoisie was accompanied by a corresponding political advance in that class. An oppressed class under the sway of the feudal nobility, an armed and self-governing association of medieval commune [4]: here independent urban republic (as in Italy and Germany); there taxable "third estate" of the monarchy (as in France); afterward, in the period of manufacturing proper, serving either the semi-feudal or the absolute monarchy as a counterpoise against the nobility, and, in fact, cornerstone of the great monarchies in general -- the bourgeoisie has at last, since the establishment of Modern Industry and of the world market, conquered for itself, in the modern representative state, exclusive political sway. The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.

The bourgeoisie, historically, has played a most revolutionary part.

The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his "natural superiors", and has left no other nexus between people than naked self-interest, than callous "cash payment". It has drowned out the most heavenly ecstacies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom -- Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.

The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage laborers.

The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation into a mere money relation.

The bourgeoisie has disclosed how it came to pass that the brutal display of vigor in the Middle Ages, which reactionaries so much admire, found its fitting complement in the most slothful indolence. It has been the first to show what man's activity can bring about. It has accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals; it has conducted expeditions that put in the shade all former exoduses of nations and crusades.

The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real condition of life and his relations with his kind.

The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere.

The bourgeoisie has, through its exploitation of the world market, given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. To the great chagrin of reactionaries, it has drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. All old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilized nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones; industries whose products are consumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place of the old wants, satisfied by the production of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes. In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal inter-dependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible, and from the numerous national and local literatures, there arises a world literature.

The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilization. The cheap prices of commodities are the heavy artillery with which it forces the barbarians' intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilization into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image.

The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns, so it has made barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilized ones, nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois, the East on the West.

The bourgeoisie keeps more and more doing away with the scattered state of the population, of the means of production, and of property. It has agglomerated population, centralized the means of production, and has concentrated property in a few hands. The necessary consequence of this was political centralization. Independent, or but loosely connected provinces, with separate interests, laws, governments, and systems of taxation, became lumped together into one nation, with one government, one code of laws, one national class interest, one frontier, and one customs tariff.

The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Subjection of nature's forces to man, machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalization or rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground -- what earlier century had even a presentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap of social labor?

We see then: the means of production and of exchange, on whose foundation the bourgeoisie built itself up, were generated in feudal society. At a certain stage in the development of these means of production and of exchange, the conditions under which feudal society produced and exchanged, the feudal organization of agriculture and manufacturing industry, in one word, the feudal relations of property became no longer compatible with the already developed productive forces; they became so many fetters. They had to be burst asunder; they were burst asunder.

Into their place stepped free competition, accompanied by a social and political constitution adapted in it, and the economic and political sway of the bourgeois class.

A similar movement is going on before our own eyes. Modern bourgeois society, with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells. For many a decade past, the history of industry and commerce is but the history of the revolt of modern productive forces against modern conditions of production, against the property relations that are the conditions for the existence of the bourgeois and of its rule. It is enough to mention the commercial crises that, by their periodical return, put the existence of the entire bourgeois society on its trial, each time more threateningly. In these crises, a great part not only of the existing products, but also of the previously created productive forces, are periodically destroyed. In these crises, there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an absurdity -- the epidemic of over-production. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; it appears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation, had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed. And why? Because there is too much civilization, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce. The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of bourgeois property; on the contrary, they have become too powerful for these conditions, by which they are fettered, and so soon as they overcome these fetters, they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society, endanger the existence of bourgeois property. The conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them. And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises? One the one hand, by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces; on the other, by the conquest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. That is to say, by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented.

The weapons with which the bourgeoisie felled feudalism to the ground are now turned against the bourgeoisie itself.

But not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself; it has also called into existence the men who are to wield those weapons -- the modern working class -- the proletarians.

In proportion as the bourgeoisie, i.e., capital, is developed, in the same proportion is the proletariat, the modern working class, developed -- a class of laborers, who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labor increases capital. These laborers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market.

Owing to the extensive use of machinery, and to the division of labor, the work of the proletarians has lost all individual character, and, consequently, all charm for the workman. He becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple, most monotonous, and most easily acquired knack, that is required of him. Hence, the cost of production of a workman is restricted, almost entirely, to the means of subsistence that he requires for maintenance, and for the propagation of his race. But the price of a commodity, and therefore also of labor, is equal to its cost of production. In proportion, therefore, as the repulsiveness of the work increases, the wage decreases. What is more, in proportion as the use of machinery and division of labor increases, in the same proportion the burden of toil also increases, whether by prolongation of the working hours, by the increase of the work exacted in a given time, or by increased speed of machinery, etc.

Modern Industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master into the great factory of the industrial capitalist. Masses of laborers, crowded into the factory, are organized like soldiers. As privates of the industrial army, they are placed under the command of a perfect hierarchy of officers and sergeants. Not only are they slaves of the bourgeois class, and of the bourgeois state; they are daily and hourly enslaved by the machine, by the overlooker, and, above all, in the individual bourgeois manufacturer himself. The more openly this despotism proclaims gain to be its end and aim, the more petty, the more hateful and the more embittering it is.

The less the skill and exertion of strength implied in manual labor, in other words, the more modern industry becomes developed, the more is the labor of men superseded by that of women. Differences of age and sex have no longer any distinctive social validity for the working class. All are instruments of labor, more or less expensive to use, according to their age and sex.

No sooner is the exploitation of the laborer by the manufacturer, so far at an end, that he receives his wages in cash, than he is set upon by the other portion of the bourgeoisie, the landlord, the shopkeeper, the pawnbroker, etc.

The lower strata of the middle class -- the small tradespeople, shopkeepers, and retired tradesmen generally, the handicraftsmen and peasants -- all these sink gradually into the proletariat, partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on which Modern Industry is carried on, and is swamped in the competition with the large capitalists, partly because their specialized skill is rendered worthless by new methods of production. Thus, the proletariat is recruited from all classes of the population.

The proletariat goes through various stages of development. With its birth begins its struggle with the bourgeoisie. At first, the contest is carried on by individual laborers, then by the work of people of a factory, then by the operative of one trade, in one locality, against the individual bourgeois who directly exploits them. They direct their attacks not against the bourgeois condition of production, but against the instruments of production themselves; they destroy imported wares that compete with their labor, they smash to pieces machinery, they set factories ablaze, they seek to restore by force the vanished status of the workman of the Middle Ages.

At this stage, the laborers still form an incoherent mass scattered over the whole country, and broken up by their mutual competition. If anywhere they unite to form more compact bodies, this is not yet the consequence of their own active union, but of the union of the bourgeoisie, which class, in order to attain its own political ends, is compelled to set the whole proletariat in motion, and is moreover yet, for a time, able to do so. At this stage, therefore, the proletarians do not fight their enemies, but the enemies of their enemies, the remnants of absolute monarchy, the landowners, the non-industrial bourgeois, the petty bourgeois. Thus, the whole historical movement is concentrated in the hands of the bourgeoisie; every victory so obtained is a victory for the bourgeoisie.

But with the development of industry, the proletariat not only increases in number; it becomes concentrated in greater masses, its strength grows, and it feels that strength more. The various interests and conditions of life within the ranks of the proletariat are more and more equalized, in proportion as machinery obliterates all distinctions of labor, and nearly everywhere reduces wages to the same low level. The growing competition among the bourgeois, and the resulting commercial crises, make the wages of the workers ever more fluctuating. The increasing improvement of machinery, ever more rapidly developing, makes their livelihood more and more precarious; the collisions between individual workmen and individual bourgeois take more and more the character of collisions between two classes. Thereupon, the workers begin to form combinations (trade unions) against the bourgeois; they club together in order to keep up the rate of wages; they found permanent associations in order to make provision beforehand for these occasional revolts. Here and there, the contest breaks out into riots.

Now and then the workers are victorious, but only for a time. The real fruit of their battles lie not in the immediate result, but in the ever expanding union of the workers. This union is helped on by the improved means of communication that are created by Modern Industry, and that place the workers of different localities in contact with one another. It was just this contact that was needed to centralize the numerous local struggles, all of the same character, into one national struggle between classes. But every class struggle is a political struggle. And that union, to attain which the burghers of the Middle Ages, with their miserable highways, required centuries, the modern proletarian, thanks to railways, achieve in a few years.

This organization of the proletarians into a class, and, consequently, into a political party, is continually being upset again by the competition between the workers themselves. But it ever rises up again, stronger, firmer, mightier. It compels legislative recognition of particular interests of the workers, by taking advantage of the divisions among the bourgeoisie itself. Thus, the Ten-Hours Bill in England was carried.

Altogether, collisions between the classes of the old society further in many ways the course of development of the proletariat. The bourgeoisie finds itself involved in a constant battle. At first with the aristocracy; later on, with those portions of the bourgeoisie itself, whose interests have become antagonistic to the progress of industry; at all time with the bourgeoisie of foreign countries. In all these battles, it sees itself compelled to appeal to the proletariat, to ask for help, and thus to drag it into the political arena. The bourgeoisie itself, therefore, supplies the proletariat with its own elements of political and general education, in other words, it furnishes the proletariat with weapons for fighting the bourgeoisie.

Further, as we have already seen, entire sections of the ruling class are, by the advance of industry, precipitated into the proletariat, or are at least threatened in their conditions of existence. These also supply the proletariat with fresh elements of enlightenment and progress.

Finally, in times when the class struggle nears the decisive hour, the progress of dissolution going on within the ruling class, in fact within the whole range of old society, assumes such a violent, glaring character, that a small section of the ruling class cuts itself adrift, and joins the revolutionary class, the class that holds the future in its hands. Just as, therefore, at an earlier period, a section of the nobility went over to the bourgeoisie, so now a portion of the bourgeoisie goes over to the proletariat, and in particular, a portion of the bourgeois ideologists, who have raised themselves to the level of comprehending theoretically the historical movement as a whole.

Of all the classes that stand face to face with the bourgeoisie today, the proletariat alone is a genuinely revolutionary class. The other classes decay and finally disappear in the face of Modern Industry; the proletariat is its special and essential product.

The lower middle class, the small manufacturer, the shopkeeper, the artisan, the peasant, all these fight against the bourgeoisie, to save from extinction their existence as fractions of the middle class. They are therefore not revolutionary, but conservative. Nay, more, they are reactionary, for they try to roll back the wheel of history. If, by chance, they are revolutionary, they are only so in view of their impending transfer into the proletariat; they thus defend not their present, but their future interests; they desert their own standpoint to place themselves at that of the proletariat.

The "dangerous class", the social scum, that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of the old society, may, here and there, be swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution; its conditions of life, however, prepare it far more for the part of a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue.

In the condition of the proletariat, those of old society at large are already virtually swamped. The proletarian is without property; his relation to his wife and children has no longer anything in common with the bourgeois family relations; modern industry labor, modern subjection to capital, the same in England as in France, in America as in Germany, has stripped him of every trace of national character. Law, morality, religion, are to him so many bourgeois prejudices, behind which lurk in ambush just as many bourgeois interests.

All the preceding classes that got the upper hand sought to fortify their already acquired status by subjecting society at large to their conditions of appropriation. The proletarians cannot become masters of the productive forces of society, except by abolishing their own previous mode of appropriation, and thereby also every other previous mode of appropriation. They have nothing of their own to secure and to fortify; their mission is to destroy all previous securities for, and insurances of, individual property.

All previous historical movements were movements of minorities, or in the interest of minorities. The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority. The proletariat, the lowest stratum of our present society, cannot stir, cannot raise itself up, without the whole superincumbent strata of official society being sprung into the air.

Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie.

In depicting the most general phases of the development of the proletariat, we traced the more or less veiled civil war, raging within existing society, up to the point where that war breaks out into open revolution, and where the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie lays the foundation for the sway of the proletariat.

Hitherto, every form of society has been based, as we have already seen, on the antagonism of oppressing and oppressed classes. But in order to oppress a class, certain conditions must be assured to it under which it can, at least, continue its slavish existence. The serf, in the period of serfdom, raised himself to membership in the commune, just as the petty bourgeois, under the yoke of the feudal absolutism, managed to develop into a bourgeois. The modern laborer, on the contrary, instead of rising with the process of industry, sinks deeper and deeper below the conditions of existence of his own class. He becomes a pauper, and pauperism develops more rapidly than population and wealth. And here it becomes evident that the bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the ruling class in society, and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an overriding law. It is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery, because it cannot help letting him sink into such a state, that it has to feed him, instead of being fed by him. Society can no longer live under this bourgeoisie, in other words, its existence is no longer compatible with society.

The essential conditions for the existence and for the sway of the bourgeois class is the formation and augmentation of capital; the condition for capital is wage labor. Wage labor rests exclusively on competition between the laborers. The advance of industry, whose involuntary promoter is the bourgeoisie, replaces the isolation of the laborers, due to competition, by the revolutionary combination, due to association. The development of Modern Industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.

DeeperShade
26th Dec 2003, 10:33 AM
Dear god did you type that?
I would read it but my eyes have just gone on strike, setting up picket lines on my nose and demanding a pay rise :o

Zarkazm
26th Dec 2003, 02:49 PM
I just killed phil... in Fallout anyway

Kaligraphic
27th Dec 2003, 01:16 AM
Well, I think phil either copied that from someplace, or now has carpal tunnel syndrome, because that is one long post.

Sam_The_Man
27th Dec 2003, 06:31 PM
It's Marx, you fools. Which I don't know, but come on, the first line is one of the most famous quotes of all time :p

*edit* Sticking a random line into Google reveals that it's the Communist Manifesto.

phil
27th Dec 2003, 07:49 PM
You people are so uneducated. :(

Kaligraphic
28th Dec 2003, 12:08 AM
Or maybe we all did the same thing and skipped it. I know that I personally just saw the length and skipped the whole thing.

If you want to say something, say it efficiently. Don't waste our time and bandwidth by throwing ten screenfulls of text at us. Figure out what it is saying, and summarize. Preferably in a page or (even better) less.

*edit* Oh, and Sam - the first line is also quite commonly quoted, as I notice when I take the time to read it. */edit*

tool
28th Dec 2003, 12:18 AM
can we just lock this stupid thread already?

Kaligraphic
28th Dec 2003, 02:19 AM
No. If we locked things based on supidity... that would cover most of OT.

phil
28th Dec 2003, 06:05 AM
I. TWO TYPES OF CONTRADICTIONS
DIFFERING IN NATURE


Never before has our country been as united as it is today. The victories of the bourgeois-democratic revolution and of the socialist revolution and our achievements in socialist construction have rapidly changed the face of the old China. A still brighter future lies ahead for our motherland. The days of national disunity and chaos which the people detested are gone, never to return. Led by the working class and the Communist Party, our 600 million people, united as one, are engaged in the great task of building socialism. The unification of our country, the unity of our people and the unity of our various nationalities -- these are the basic guarantees for the sure triumph of our cause. However, this does not mean that contradictions no longer exist in our society. To imagine that none exist is a naive idea which is at variance with objective reality. We are confronted with two types of social contradictions -- those between ourselves and the enemy and those among the people. The two are totally different in nature.
* Speech at the Eleventh Session (Enlarged) of the Supreme State Conference Comrade Mao Tsetung went over the verbatim record and made certain additions before its publication in the People's Daily on June 19, 1957.

page 385

To understand these two different types of contradictions correctly, we must first be clear on what is meant by "the people" and what is meant by "the enemy". The concept of "the people" varies in content in different countries and in different periods of history in a given country. Take our own country for example. During the War of Resistance Against Japan, all those classes, strata and social groups opposing Japanese aggression came within the category of the people, while the Japanese imperialists, their Chinese collaborators and the pro-Japanese elements were all enemies of the people. During the War of Liberation, the U.S. imperialists and their running dogs -- the bureaucrat-capitalists, the landlords and the Kuomintang reactionaries who represented these two classes -- were the enemies of the people, while the other classes, strata and social groups, which opposed them, all came within the category of the people. At the present stage, the period of building socialism, the classes, strata and social groups which favour, support and work for the cause of socialist construction all come within the category of the people, while the social forces and groups which resist the socialist revolution and are hostile to or sabotage socialist construction are all enemies of the people.

The contradictions between ourselves and the enemy are antagonistic contradictions. Within the ranks of the people, the contradictions among the working people are non-antagonistic, while those between the exploited and the exploiting classes have a non-antagonistic as well as an antagonistic aspect. There have always been contradictions among the people, but they are different in content in each period of the revolution and in the period of building socialism. In the conditions prevailing in China today, the contradictions among the people comprise the contradictions within the working class, the contradictions within the peasantry, the contradictions within the intelligentsia, the contradictions between the working class and the peasantry, the contradictions between the workers and peasants on the one hand and the intellectuals on the other, the contradictions between the working class and other sections of the working people on the one hand and the national bourgeoisie on the other, the contradictions within the national bourgeoisie, and so on. Our People's Government is one that genuinely represents the people's interests, it is a government that serves the people. Nevertheless, there are still certain contradictions between this government and the people. These include the contradictions between the interests of the state and the interests of the collective on the one hand and the interests of the individual on the

page 386

other, between democracy and centralism, between the leadership and the led, and the contradictions arising from the bureaucratic style of work of some of the state personnel in their relations with the masses. All these are also contradictions among the people. Generally speaking, the fundamental identity of the people's interests underlies the contradictions among the people.

In our country, the contradiction between the working class and the national bourgeoisie comes under the category of contradictions among the people. By and large, the class struggle between the two is a class struggle within the ranks of the people, because the Chinese national bourgeoisie has a dual character. In the period of the bourgeois-democratic revolution, it had both a revolutionary and a conciliationist side to its character. In the period of the socialist revolution, exploitation of the working class for profit constitutes one side of the character of the national bourgeoisie, while its support of the Constitution and its willingness to accept socialist transformation constitute the other. The national bourgeoisie differs from the imperialists, the landlords and the bureaucrat-capitalists. The contradiction between the national bourgeoisie and the working class is one between exploiter and exploited, and is by nature antagonistic. But in the concrete conditions of China, this antagonistic contradiction between the two classes, if propetly handled, can be transformed into a non-antagonistic one and be resolved by peaceful methods. However, the contradiction between the working class and the national bourgeoisie will change into a contradiction between ourselves and the enemy if we do not handle it properly and do not follow the policy of uniting with, criticizing and educating the national bourgeoisie, or if the national bourgeoisie does not accept this policy of ours.

Since they are different in nature, the contradictions between ourselves and the enemy and the contradictions among the people must be resolved by different methods. To put it briefly, the former entail drawing a clear distinction between ourselves and the enemy, and the latter entail drawing a clear distinction between right and wrong. It is of course true that the distinction between ourselves and the enemy is also one of right and wrong. For example, the question of who is in the right, we or the domestic and foreign reactionaries, the imperialists, the feudalists and bureaucrat-capitalists, is also one of right and wrong, but it is in a different category from questions of right and wrong among the people.

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Our state is a people's democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the worker-peasant alliance. What is this dictatorship for? Its first function is internal, namely, to suppress the reactionary classes and elements and those exploiters who resist the socialist revolution, to suppress those who try to wreck our socialist construction, or in other words, to resolve the contradictions between ourselves and the internal enemy. For instance, to arrest, try and sentence certain counter-revolutionaries, and to deprive landlords and bureaucrat-capitalists of their right to vote and their freedom of speech for a certain period of time -- all this comes within the scope of our dictatorship. To maintain public order and safeguard the interests of the people, it is necessary to exercise dictatorship as well over thieves, swindlers, murderers, arsonists, criminal gangs and other scoundrels who seriously disrupt public order. The second function of this dictatorship is to protect our country from subversion and possible aggression by external enemies. In such contingencies, it is the task of this dictatorship to resolve the contradiction between ourselves and the external enemy. The aim of this dictatorship is to protect all our people so that they can devote themselves to peaceful labour and make China a socialist country with modern industry, modern agriculture, and modern science and culture. Who is to exercise this dictatorship? Naturally, the working class and the entire people under its leadership. Dictatorship does not apply within the ranks of the people. The people cannot exercise dictatorship over themselves, nor must one section of the people oppress another. Law-breakers among the people will be punished according to law, but this is different in principle from the exercise of dictatorship to suppress enemies of the people. What applies among the people is democratic centralism. Our Constitution lays it down that citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, the press, assembly, association, procession, demonstration, religious belief, and so on. Our Constitution also provides that the organs of state must practise democratic centralism, that they must rely on the masses and that their personnel must serve the people. Our socialist democracy is the broadest kind of democracy, such as is not to be found in any bourgeois state. Our dictatorship is the people's democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the worker-peasant alliance. That is to say, democracy operates within the ranks of the people, while the working class, uniting with all others enjoying civil rights, and in the first place with the peasantry,

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enforces dictatorship over the reactionary classes and elements and all those who resist socialist transformation and oppose socialist construction. By civil rights, we mean, politically, the rights of freedom and democracy.

But this freedom is freedom with leadership and this democracy is democracy under centralized guidance, not anarchy. Anarchy does not accord with the interests or wishes of the people.

Certain people in our country were delighted by the Hungarian incident. They hoped that something similar would happen in China, that thousands upon thousands of people would take to the streets to demonstrate against the People's Government. Their hopes ran counter to the interests of the masses and therefore could not possibly win their support. Deceived by domestic and foreign counter-revolutionaries, a section of the people in Hungary made the mistake of resorting to violence against the people's government, with the result that both the state and the people suffered. The damage done to the country's economy in a few weeks of rioting will take a long time to repair. In our country there were some others who wavered on the question of the Hungarian incident because they were ignorant of the real state of affairs in the world. They think that there is too little freedom under our people's democracy and that there is more freedom under Western parliamentary democracy. They ask for a two-party system as in the West, with one party in office and the other in opposition. But this so-called two-party system is nothing but a device for maintaining the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie; it can never guarantee freedoms to the working people. As a matter of fact, freedom and democracy exist not in the abstract, but only in the concrete. In a society where class struggle exists, if there is freedom for the exploiting classes to exploit the working people, there is no freedom for the working people not to be exploited. If there is democracy for the bourgeoisie, there is no democracy for the proletariat and other working people. The legal existence of the Communist Party is tolerated in some capitalist countries, but only to the extent that it does not endanger the fundamental interests of the bourgeoisie; it is not tolerated beyond that. Those who demand freedom and democracy in the abstract regard democracy as an end and not as a means. Democracy as such sometimes seems to be an end, but it is in fact only a means. Marxism teaches us that democracy is part of the superstructure and belongs to the realm of politics. That is to say, in the last analysis, it senes the economic base. The same is true

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of freedom. Both democracy and freedom are relative, not absolute, and they come into being and develop in specific historical conditions. Within the ranks of the people, democracy is correlative with centralism and freedom with discipline. They are the two opposites of a single entity, contradictory as well as united, and we should not one-sidedly emphasize one to the exclusion of the other. Within the ranks of the people, we cannot do without freedom, nor can we do without discipline; we cannot do without democracy, nor can we do without centralism. This unity of democracy and centralism, of freedom and discipline, constitutes our democratic centralism. Under this system, the people enjoy broad democracy and freedom, but at the same time they have to keep within the bounds of socialist discipline. All this is well understood by the masses.

In advocating freedom with leadership and democracy under centralized guidance, we in no way mean that coercive measures should be taken to settle ideological questions or questions involving the distinction between right and wrong among the people. All attempts to use administrative orders or coercive measures to settle ideological questions or questions of right and wrong are not only ineffective but harmful. We cannot abolish religion by administrative order or force people not to believe in it. We cannot compel people to give up idealism, any more than we can force them to embrace Marxism. The only way to settle questions of an ideological nature or controversial issues among the people is by the democratic method, the method of discussion, criticism, persuasion and education, and not by the method of coercion or repression. To be able to carry on their production and studies effectively and to lead their lives in peace and order, the people want their government and those in charge of production and of cultural and educational organizations to issue appropriate administrative regulations of an obligatory nature. It is common sense that without them the maintenance of public order would be impossible. Administrative regulations and the method of persuasion and education complement each other in resolving contradictions among the people. In fact, administrative regulations for the maintenance of public order must be accompanied by persuasion and education, for in many cases regulations alone will not work.

This democratic method of resolving contradictions among the people was epitomized in 1942 in the formula "unity -- criticism -- unity". To elaborate, that means starting from the desire for unity, resolving contradictions through criticism or struggle, and arriving at

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a new unity on a new basis. In our experience this is the correct method of resolving contradictions among the people. In 1942 we used it to resolve contradictions inside the Communist Party, namely, the contradictions between the dogmatists and the great majority of the membership, and between dogmatism and Marxism. The "Left" dogmatists had resorted to the method of "ruthless struggle and merciless blows" in inner-Party struggle. It was the wrong method. In criticizing "Left" dogmatism, we did not use this old method but adopted a new one, that is, one of starting from the desire for unity, distinguishing between right and wrong through criticism or struggle, and arriving at a new unity on a new basis. This was the method used in the rectification movement of 1942. Within a few years, by the time the Chinese Communist Party held its Seventh National Congress in 1945, unity was achieved throughout the Party as anticipated, and consequently the people's revolution triumphed. Here, the essential thing is to start from the desire for unity. For without this desire for unity, the struggle, once begun, is certain to throw things into confusion and get out of hand. Wouldn't this be the same as "ruthless struggle and merciless blows"? And what Party unity would there be left? It was precisely this experience that led us to the formula "unity -- criticism -- unity". Or, in other words, "learn from past mistakes to avoid future ones and cure the sickness to save the patient". We extended this method beyond our Party. We applied it with great success in the anti-Japanese base areas in dealing with the relations between the leadership and the masses, between the army and the people, between officers and men, between the different units of the army, and between the different groups of cadres. The use of this method can be traced back to still earlier times in our Party's history. Ever since 1927 when we built our revolutionary armed forces and base areas in the south, this method had been used to deal with the relations between the Party and the masses, between the army and the people, between officers and men, and with other relations among the people. The only difference was that during the anti-Japanese war we employed this method much more consciously. And since the liberation of the whole country, we have employed this same method of "unity -- criticism -- unity" in our relations with the democratic parties and with industrial and commercial circles. Our task now is to continue to extend and make still better use of this method throughout the ranks of the people; we want all our factories, co-operatives, shops,

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schools, offices and people's organizations, in a word, all our 600 million people, to use it in resolving contradictions among themselves.

In ordinary circumstances, contradictions among the people are not antagonistic. But if they are not handled properly, or if we relax our vigilance and lower our guard, antagonism may arise. In a socialist country, a development of this kind is usually only a localized and temporary phenomenon. The reason is that the system of exploitation of man by man has been abolished and the interests of the people are fundamentally identical. The antagonistic actions which took place on a fairly wide scale during the Hungarian incident were the result of the operations of both domestic and foreign counter-revolutionary elements. This was a particular as well as a temporary phenomenon. It was a case of the reactionaries inside a socialist country, in league with the imperialists, attempting to achieve their conspiratorial aims by taking advantage of contradictions among the people to foment dissension and stir up disorder. The lesson of the Hungarian incident merits attention.

Many people seem to think that the use of the democratic method to resolve contradictions among the people is something new. Actually it is not. Marxists have always held that the cause of the proletariat must depend on the masses of the people and that Communists must use the democratic method of persuasion and education when working among the labouring people and must on no account resort to commandism or coercion. The Chinese Communist Party faithfully adheres to this Marxist-Leninist principle. It has been our consistent view that under the people's democratic dictatorship two different methods, one dictatorial and the other democratic, should be used to resolve the two types of contradictions which differ in nature -- those between ourselves and the enemy and those among the people. This idea has been explained again and again in many Party documents and in speeches by many leading comrades of our Party. In my article "On the People's Democratic Dictatorship", written in 1949, I said, "The combination of these two aspects, democracy for the people and dictatorship over the reactionaries, is the people's democratic dictatorship." I also pointed out that in order to settle problems within the ranks of the people "the method we employ is democratic, the method of persuasion, not of compulsion". Again, in addressing the Second Session of the First National Committee of the Political Consultative Conference in June 1950, I said:

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The people's democratic dictatorship uses two methods. Towards the enemy, it uses the method of dictatorship, that is, for as long a period of time as is necessary it does not permit them to take part in political activity and compels them to obey the law of the People's Government, to engage in labour and, through such labour, be transformed into new men. Towards the people, on the contrary, it uses the method of democracy and not of compulsion, that is, it must necessarily let them take part in political activity and does not compel them to do this or that but uses the method of democracy to educate and persuade. Such education is self-education for the people, and its basic method is criticism and self-criticism.

Thus, on many occasions we have discussed the use of the democratic method for resolving contradictions among the people; furthermore, we have in the main applied it in our work, and many cadres and many other people are familiar with it in practice. Why then do some people now feel that it is a new issue? Because, in the past, the struggle between ourselves and the enemy, both internal and external, was most acute, and contradictions among the people therefore did not attract as much attention as they do today.

Quite a few people fail to make a clear distinction between these two different types of contradictions -- those between ourselves and the enemy and those among the people -- and are prone to confuse the two. It must be admitted that it is sometimes quite easy to do so. We have had instances of such confusion in our work in the past. In the course of cleaning out counter-revolutionaries good people were sometimes mistaken for bad, and such things still happen today. We are able to keep mistakes within bounds because it has been our policy to draw a sharp line between ourselves and the enemy and to rectify mistakes whenever discovered.

Marxist philosophy holds that the law of the unity of opposites is the fundamental law of the universe. This law operates universally, whether in the natural world, in human society, or in man's thinking. Between the opposites in a contradiction there is at once unity and struggle, and it is this that impels things to move and change. Contradictions exist everywhere, but their nature differs in accordance with the different nature of different things. In any given thing, the unity of opposites is conditional, temporary and transitory, and hence relative, whereas the struggle of opposites is absolute. Lenin gave a

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very clear exposition of this law. It has come to be understood by a growing number of people in our country. But for many people it is one thing to accept this law and quite another to apply it in examining and dealing with problems. Many dare not openly admit that contradictions still exist among the people of our country, while it is precisely these contradictions that are pushing our society forward. Many do not admit that contradictions still exist in socialist society, with the result that they become irresolute and passive when confronted with social contradictions; they do not understand that socialist society grows more united and consolidated through the ceaseless process of correctly handling and resolving contradictions. For this reason, we need to explain things to our people, and to our cadres in the first place, in order to help them understand the contradictions in socialist society and learn to use correct methods for handling them.

Contradictions in socialist society are fundamentally different from those in the old societies, such as capitalist society. In capitalist society contradictions find expression in acute antagonisms and conflicts, in sharp class struggle; they cannot be resolved by the capitalist system itself and can only be resolved by socialist revolution. The case is quite different with contradictions in socialist society; on the contrary, they are not antagonistic and can be ceaselessly resolved by the socialist system itself.

In socialist society the basic contradictions are still those between the relations of production and the productive forces and between the superstructure and the economic base. However, they are fundamentally different in character and have different features from the contradictions between the relations of production and the productive forces and between the superstructure and the economic base in the old societies. The present social system of our country is far superior to that of the old days. If it were not so, the old system would not have been overthrown and the new system could not have been established. In saying that the socialist relations of production correspond better to the character of the productive forces than did the old relations of production, we mean that they allow the productive forces to develop at a speed unattainable in the old society, so that production can expand steadily and increasingly meet the constantly growing needs of the people. Under the rule of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism, the productive forces of the old China grew very slowly. For more than fifty years before liberation, China produced only a few tens of thousands of tons of steel a year, not counting the

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output of the northeastern provinces. If these provinces are included the peak annual steel output only amounted to a little over 900,000 tons. In 1949, the national steel output was a little over 100,000 tons. Yet now, a mere seven years after the liberation of our country, steel output already exceeds 4,000,000 tons. In the old China, there was hardly any machine-building industry, to say nothing of the automobile and aircraft industries; now we have all three. When the people over threw the rule of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism, many were not clear as to which way China should head -- towards capitalism or towards socialism. Facts have now provided the answer: Only socialism can save China. The socialist system has promoted the rapid development of the productive forces of our country, a fact even our enemies abroad have had to acknowledge.

But our socialist system has only just been set up; it is not yet fully established or fully consolidated. In joint state-private industrial and commercial enterprises, capitalists still get a fixed rate of interest on their capital, that is to say, exploitation still exists. So far as ownership is concerned, these enterprises are not yet completely socialist in nature. A number of our agricultural and handicraft producers' co-operatives are still semi-socialist, while even in the fully socialist co-operatives certain specific problems of ownership remain to be solved. Relations between production and exchange in accordance with socialist principles are being gradually established within and between all branches of our economy, and more and more appropriate forms are being sought. The problem of the proper relation of accumulation to consumption within each of the two sectors of the socialist economy -- the one where the means of production are owned by the whole people and the other where the means of production are owned by the collective -- and the problem of the proper relation of accumulation to consumption between the two sectors themselves are complicated problems for which it is not easy to work out a perfectly rational solution all at once. To sum up, socialist relations of production have been established and are in correspondence with the growth of the productive forces, but these relations are still far from perfect, and this imperfection stands in contradiction to the growth of the productive forces. Apart from correspondence as well as contradiction between the relations of production and the growth of the productive forces, there is correspondence as well as contradiction between the superstructure and the economic base. The superstructure, comprising the state system and laws of the people's

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democratic dictatorship and the socialist ideology guided by Marxism-Leninism, plays a positive role in facilitating the victory of socialist transformation and the socialist way of organizing labour; it is in correspondence with the socialist economic base, that is, with socialist relations of production. But the existence of bourgeois ideology, a certain bureaucratic style of work in our state organs and defects in some of the links in our state institutions are in contradiction with the socialist economic base. We must continue to resolve all such contradictions in the light of our specific conditions. Of course, new problems will emerge as these contradictions are resolved. And further efforts will be required to resolve the new contradictions. For instance, a constant process of readjustment through state planning is needed to deal with the contradiction between production and the needs of society, which will long remain an objective reality. Every year our country draws up an economic plan in order to establish a proper ratio between accumulation and consumption and achieve an equilibrium between production and needs. Equilibrium is nothing but a temporary, relative, unity of opposites. By the end of each year, this equilibrium, taken as a whole, is upset by the struggle of opposites; the unity undergoes a change, equilibrium becomes disequilibrium, unity becomes disunity, and once again it is necessary to work out an equilibrium and unity for the next year. Herein lies the superiority of our planned economy. As a matter of fact, this equilibrium, this unity, is partially upset every month or every quarter, and partial readjustments are called for. Sometimes, contradictions arise and the equilibrium is upset because our subjective arrangements do not conform to objective reality; this is what we call making a mistake. The ceaseless emergence and ceaseless resolution of contradictions constitute the dialectical law of the development of things.

Today, matters stand as follows. The large-scale, turbulent class struggles of the masses characteristic of times of revolution have in the main come to an end, but class struggle is by no means entirely over. While welcoming the new system, the masses are not yet quite accustomed to it. Government personnel are not sufficiently experienced and have to undertake further study and investigation of specific policies. In other words, time is needed for our socialist system to become established and consolidated, for the masses to become accustomed to the new system, and for government personnel to learn and acquire experience. It is therefore imperative for us at this juncture to raise the question of distinguishing contradictions among the people

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from those between ourselves and the enemy, as well as the question of the correct handling of contradictions among the people, in order to unite the people of all nationalities in our country for the new battle, the battle against nature, develop our economy and culture, help the whole nation to traverse this period of transition relatively smoothly, consolidate our new system and build up our new state.

tool
28th Dec 2003, 12:56 PM
Phil reads a lot of worthless crap

GeneticFreak
28th Dec 2003, 02:09 PM
please stop judging other people's philosophy as crap...

tool
28th Dec 2003, 02:37 PM
It isnt phil's crappy philosophy, it is someone elses that he just copy and pasted from another website.

phil
28th Dec 2003, 05:39 PM
It isnt phil's crappy philosophy, it is someone elses that he just copy and pasted from another website.


YOU FLAMESED ME!!11 IM CALLING THE FORUM POLICE BECAUSE YUO R VERIE BAD MAN! YUO GOTEN BAN NOW!11!!!!ONE!!!!

Kaligraphic
28th Dec 2003, 07:28 PM
"Copyright C.P.U." by Harry Hillman Chartrand
http://www.culturaleconomics.atfreeweb.com/cpu.htm

Introduction

The Age of Myth lives! Today?s episode, however, is not about George Lucas, Steven King, Area 51, Harry Potter or the delayed Second Coming. It is about a great legal myth (or ?fiction? as members of the Bar prefer to call it). It is the Myth of the Creator summed up in Zechariah Chaffe?s words repeated in the prestigious Great American Law Reviews (Berring 1984):

? intellectual property is, after all, the only absolute possession in the world... The man who brings out of nothingness some child of his thought has rights therein which cannot belong to any other sort of property? (Chaffe 1945).

In this article I will explode this myth. I will expose its roots. I will follow up its trunk to the poison fruit hanging from its branches. I will argue that we should no longer eat of this fruit. Rather, we should move deeper into the garden to pluck the fruit from another tree - far from the whispering serpent that corrupted us from the very beginnings of copyright in the English-speaking world.

The Adam of our tale is played by the artist/author/Creator who brings something out of nothingness; our Eve stars the User - public and private, individual and institutional - of copyrighted works; the serpent is the Copyright Proprietor ? printer/publisher/producer/multimedia conglomerate ? who scammed the first fruit from Adam?s hands and persuaded innocent Eve to eat of a now poisoned fruit.

In keeping with myth, fairy tale and legal fiction, Time plays a critical role in the drama. The Past is always present; the Future is but the realization of our present hopes, fears and dreaming. During our tale we will relive revolutions, witness the rise and fall of kings and queens, and rejoice in the final triumph of democracy. We will encounter real life pirates as well as ?privateers? doing digital battle with global media barons for the entertainment and software dollar of citizen consumers while in temples of enlightenment ? libraries, schools, universities and colleges ? a haggard priesthood struggles to preserve the last flickering flame of ?fair use?. We will consult with seers, witches and wizards about alternative future worlds dominated by:

global media empires where ?all-rights? or blanket licenses extinguish creators? rights enslaving mind and matter; or,

creativity havens where new Adams and Eves regain Paradise to eat again but this time from the Tree of Life.

The story begins:



The Past

Eight benchmarks will guide our tour of copyright history:

(i) The Abbot?s Psalter, 567


(ii) The Printing Press, 1456


(iii) The English Revolution, 1642-1660


(iv) The Glorious Revolution, 1689


(v) The Statute of Queen Anne, 1710


(vi) The Aftermath, 1769 & 1774


(vii) The American Revolution, 1776


(viii) The French Revolution, 1789



(i) The Abbot?s Psalter, 567

The first reported case of copyright infringement in the English-speaking world occurred in 567 of the Common Era. An Irish monk (later to become ?Saint? Columba of Iona) visited a neighboring monastery. Therein he copied - without permission - the Abbott's Psalter. When the Abbot found out he demanded the offending copy be turned over to him; Columba refused. The Abbott appealed to the King who ordered the infringing copy be delivered to its ?proprietor?; Columba complied (Beck 1998).

A mysterious medieval saying continues to haunt the imagination of Western Civilization: The Axiom of Maria Prophetesta or ?Maria the Copt? - One becomes two, two becomes three, and out of the Third comes the One as the Fourth (Jung, 1963: 249). Among other things, this saying was used to explain the mystery of the Christian Trinity: 3 Gods in 1. For purposes of our story, it will guide our exploration of the Myth of the Creator in the case of the Abbot?s Psalter.

In the beginning there is a Creator of an original work - thoughts, images, sounds - fixed in material form, e.g. the Abbot?s Psalter. The one becomes two when the work reaches an owner or Proprietor distinct from its Creator, such as the Abbot. The Creator may be long since dead or far distant but an intimate mental connection is made and ?knowledge? transmitted without the need for face-to-face contact between the two. This is the ?extra-somatic? or out-of-body transmission of knowledge that Carl Sagan characterized as a distinguishing feature of the human race (Sagan 1977).

Two becomes three when the proprietor allows access to the work by a third party ? a User, or in our case, a visiting monk. As long as a ?copy? must be laboriously made by a hand then access can easily be controlled by a Proprietor and the ?right to copy? is not a problem. Thus in the case of the Abbot?s Psalter, the real question is thus how Columba?s efforts escaped notice until the work was completed

The three becomes the Third, however, in the guise of the ?public? at large. In the case of the Abbot?s Psalter, this public included all potential users of Columba?s copy over whom the Abbot would have had no control if the copy was not delivered up to him.

And out of the Third comes the One as the Fourth ? the State, or the King, in the case of the Abbot?s Psalter. The State is the One in that it is responsible - by royal birth, force of arms or election - for the well being of all citizens including Creators, Proprietors and Users. One ancient responsibility of the State is censorship of subversive or heretical creeds, ideas and the works that transmits such mental contagion to the public.

Censorship, of course, arose long before copyright. Thus the Golden Calf led to the Mosaic injunction in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: ?Thou shalt not bow down to graven images!? Plato?s Republic banned poets from doing anything save singing the praise of the Gods and Great Men in fear that pleasure and pain, not reason and law, would become rulers of the State (Plato, Book X, 1952: 433-434). And, there is the first Emperor of China?s Great Book Burning of 213 B.C.E. (Wilhelm, 1950: xlvii) and his alleged assertion: Before Me, No History! Copying was not a significant problem for ancient or medieval monarchs and dictators who could, and regularly did, reduce a limited number of hand-made copies of proscribed works and/or their Creators to ashes.



(ii) The Printing Press, 1456

As Europe prospered in the later Middle Ages, an increasingly literate population created a market opportunity for a new type of Proprietor to enter the picture ? the printer entrepreneur. With Gutenberg?s invention of the ?moveable type? printing press in 1456 C.E., once a work was ?fixed? in type, copies became cheaper and cheaper as the costs - of acquiring a work from a Creator and typesetting it - were spread over a larger and larger print run ? the secret of mass production. Furthermore, unlike hand copying, once a work was fixed in type each copy was identical; transcription errors could not slip in between production of one copy and the next. In fact, invention of the printing press marked the true beginnings of the Industrial Revolution ? mass production of standardized commodities.

As owner of a capital intensive and technically demanding piece of equipment, the printer quickly became the Proprietor of a Creator?s work. With few printers and many Creators, Proprietors dictated the terms of sale for a Creator?s work. Usually this involved a single upfront payment extinguishing all future economic and/or moral claims of the Creator to the fruit of his or her efforts. Capital and technical expertise rather than creativity ruled (and still rule) the terms of trade.

Beyond altering the balance between Creator and Proprietor, the printing press also threatened to make copies so readily available that censorship would not be possible. It quickly became apparent to the Tudor monarchs of England (as well as those of continental Europe) that it was much easier and more effective to control a limited number of presses than a large number of subversive or heretical Creators. A hand written manuscript could, after all, only be read by a relatively few; typeset copies, on the other hand, could be read by and corrupt many.

Under Common Law many rights initially derive from inscribing or copying one?s name and explaining one?s ?title? to property on a register. Thus in medieval England to obtain the right to farm a particular piece of land, one?s name had to be inscribed or written, by oneself or a scribe of Church or State, on a register of tenants. This was, and is, called ?copyhold? to the land (Mead 1999).

Accordingly, the first copyright law of 1476, the year William Caxton introduced the printing press in England, was a licensing law requiring printers to inscribe their name, location and titles of works they wanted to print on a register. If approved for publication, the Crown granted a copye to the printer. The rights flowing from this copye constituted ?copyright? and were held by the printer Proprietor, not the Creator. The power of English printers was reinforced a half century later when Henry VIII in 1523, 1529, and 1534 imposed increasingly strict regulations on foreign craftsmen and finally prohibited the free importation of books (Encyclopedia Britannica, publishing, history of England).

The power of the printers was also fostered by other developments in English society. Since the time of King John and the Magna Carta in 1215, there had been a progressive erosion of the power of the English Crown. In effect, two things happened.

First, the powers of the Crown were progressively limited by ?rights? granted first to the barons at Runnymeade and then to other ?estates? of the kingdom.

The gild franchises of the merchants and manufacturers gave to them a "collective lordship" similar to the private lordship of the barons, for their gilds were erected into governments with their popular assemblies, their legislatures, their courts, their executives, and even with authority to enforce fines and imprisonment of violators of their rules. Their most important sovereign privilege granted by the King was that of binding all the members by a majority vote so that they could act as a unit. These merchants' and manufacturers' gilds, at the height of their power, were not only legalized "closed shops" but also legalized governments. (Commons 1939: 225).

These ?gild franchises? were the first ?monopolies? of the English-speaking world, the monopolies against which Adam Smith was to bitterly complain and Thomas Jefferson fear. The financial and physical capital and technical skills required of printers, together with their ?copyrights?, made them candidates to become, collectively, what is called even to this day, ?the Fourth Estate? ? the Press.

Henry VIII and his successors issued more and more proclamations against heretical or seditious books. The most important was issued in 1538 against "naughty printed books," which made it necessary to secure a license from the Privy Council or ?the Star Chamber? of the King before printing or distributing any book.

In this attempt at control, an increasingly prominent part came to be played by the Stationers' Company. Since its formation in 1403 from the old fraternities of scriveners, limners, bookbinders, and stationers, it had sought to protect its members and regulate competition. Its first application for a royal charter in 1542 seems to have gone unheeded; but in 1557, an important date in the English book trade, the interests of the crown (then the Roman Catholic Mary Tudor), which wanted a ready instrument of control, coincided with those of the company (under a Roman Catholic first Master), and it was granted a charter that gave it a virtual monopoly. Thereafter, only those who were members of the company or who otherwise had special privileges or patents might print matter for sale in the kingdom. Under the system of royal privileges begun by Henry VIII, a printer was sometimes given the sole right to print and sell a particular book or class of books for a specified number of years, to enable him to recoup his outlay. This type of regulation now came into the hands of the Stationers' Company. After licensing by the authorities, all books had to be entered in the company's register, on payment of a small fee. The first stationer to enter a book acquired a right to the title or "copy" of it, which could then be transferred, as might any other property.

Encyclopedia Britannica, ?Publishing, history of - England?


Once the former guild was granted a charter of incorporation by Queen Mary, it re-organized itself into the Company of Stationers of London. With official recognition of the Company's monopoly, its bylaws and its ?copyrights?, the Company soon became an official institute. The quasi-right known as Stationers' Copyright was based on royal prerogative or letters patent covering the entire publishing industry as an estate. This monopoly was assigned to members as a virtual freehold interest. No consideration was given to the author's right

Second, as the regulatory powers of the Estates grew the taxing authority of the monarchy declined. As Parliament ? both the House of Commons and the Lords ? increasingly refused to approve new taxes, monarchs realized they could raise money (and political favors) by granting charters to new groups or ?companies?. The number of ?monopolies? soared, particularly during the early years of the reign of Elizabeth I. Near the end of her reign, however, these Crown grants of monopoly were increasingly:

?. adjudged against the "common right and public good," and "against the common law," because, being a monopoly, it was "against the liberty of the subject," and "against the commonwealth.? (Commons 1939: 226).

The process came to a head with the 1624 passage by Parliament of the Statute of Monopolies to abolish the power of the guilds. This was part of an evolutionary process whereby the Common Law courts progressively stripped the guilds, with one notable exception, of their monopoly powers and assumed responsibility for their regulation.

The next hundred years, until the Act of Settlement in 1700, was substantially the struggle of farmers and business men to become members of the Commonwealth, whereby they might have courts of law willing and able to convert their customary bargains into a common law of property and liberty. The court which abolished the power of the gilds began to take over the work of the gilds. Their private jurisdiction became a public jurisdiction. And the very customs which the gilds endeavored to enforce within their ranks became the customs which the courts enforced for the nation. The monopoly, the closed shop, and the private jurisdiction were gone, but the economics and ethics remained. Much later, in the modern commonwealth, other functions of the gilds, such as protection of the quality of the product and the qualifications of practitioners, have also been taken over by courts or legislatures (Commons 1939: 230).

The notable exception to the Statute of Monopolies of 1624 was the copyright monopoly granted to the Stationers? Company.



(iii) The English Revolution, 1642-1660

Funding the monarch through grants of monopolies was a contributing factor to the English Civil War (1642-1649) that culminated in the beheading of King Charles I to be followed by Cromwell?s ?puritanical? Commonwealth (1649-1660). During Cromwell?s Commonwealth, the copyright monopoly was in fact strengthened as a means of controlling the press.

The Long Parliament (1640-1660) continued the licensing statutes and strengthened censorship regulations with the threat of fines and imprisonment of authors, publishers, sellers, and buyers of scandalous or libelous materials or inaccurate accounts of Parliamentary sessions. All printed materials had to be licensed by Parliament and published by a member of the Stationer's Company. All presses outside of London, Oxford, and Cambridge were banned. Every item printed needed to have a title page giving the author, publisher, and place of publication.

The Act of the Long Parliament affirmed the rights of individual publishers to their copies and forbade other publishers to ?counterfeit? works of other publishers. This was necessary because Parliament had done away with the King?s Star Chamber, under whose provisions the copyright system had developed. It also during this period that John Milton protested censorship in his Areopagitica and made his call for a ?free press?.

(iv) The Glorious Revolution, 1689

With Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, however, the new King Charles II began once again to exercise the Royal Prerogative of granting monopolies including that to the Hudson Bay Company (1670). With respect to the copyright monopoly, the Restoration did not change the status quo. An act for preventing the frequent Abuses in printing seditious treasonable and unlicensed Bookes and Pamphlets and for regulating of Printing and Printing Presses was passed in 1662 in keeping with prior laws. This new Act was regularly renewed under Charles II, James II, and in the early years of William and Mary. The rights of the printer/publisher under his copy remained perpetual.

The final constitutional battle between the Monarchy and Parliament occurred with ?The Glorious Revolution of 1689? when the last of the Stuart monarchs, the catholic James II, was deposed by an Act of Parliament and replaced by his ?protestant? daughter Anne and her consort William of Orange.

Franchises were not taken from the personal control of the monarch until the victory of parliament in the civil wars and not completely until the Act of Settlement in 1700, which confirmed the Case of Monopolies of 1602 and the Statute of Monopolies of 1624. Taxes were not made certain until, after 1689, they could be levied only by consent of Parliament. By these measures business, based on predictable prices, was permitted to develop unhampered by arbitrary interference of the sovereign. (Commons 1929: 231).

Thus ended the first ?antitrust? campaign in the English-speaking world. The copyright monopoly, however, took another more convoluted path summed up in the words of Patterson:

[Queen] Mary incorporated the Stationers' Company "to set up a mode of regulating the English printing trade that would facilitate the efforts of the Romish clergy to stamp out the Protestant Reformation." But the motives of the stationers "were of a less exalted kind." Thus, Elizabeth, relying on the stationers' self-interest, confirmed the Charter to turn the stationers to support the English, rather than the Romish church, and the Stationers' Company became, in turn, the instrument of the Stuarts against the Puritans, in the early seventeenth century; the instrument of the Puritans, against their royalist enemies, when the Puritans came to power; the instrument of the royalists against the Puritans, after the Restoration; and, for a brief time, the instrument of the triumphant Whigs, after "the glorious Revolution," of 1688. But through all these vicissitudes, the stationers themselves steadfastly remained, what they had always been, eminently practical men; and they consistently protected their monopoly. (Patterson 1993)

Pressure was rising, however, in English society to recognize ?a free press?. Aside from Milton, John Locke proposed tolerance of different opinions ? religious and political. Since the introduction of the printing press in 1476, censorship of publications before printing was affected through a series of Licensing Acts. In 1695 the last of these Licensing Acts was allowed to lapse. Government control was henceforth limited to post-publication libel law. Suspension spurred development of ?a free press? that could publish without the prior consent of the authorities.

The Golden Age of the Stationer's Company thus ended with the demise of licensing or prior censorship laws and with it the legal basis of their copyright. The Stationer's Company was not, however, immediately affected. It remained a book cartel with its members respecting each other?s copyright. The monopoly was maintained because the name inscribed in the Stationers' ledger was not the name of the author but rather the name of the printer/bookseller/publisher. Author's continued to sell their works to printers, usually for a flat fee, giving up any rights to future royalties, even if the book became popular. Generally, once entered into the ledger, the "copy-right" was respected by the other members of the guild. Within the guild, the "copy-right" to books written by those dead hundreds of years were bought and sold. The printer who owned the copyright for such older manuscripts was the only one who could "legitimately" reproduce the book for sale.

The Company continued to control prices, determine what was published, and exclude outsiders. Working as a guild, the booksellers of London effectively excluded outsiders from competing in the London market. As a guild it required a mandatory seven-year apprenticeship and all members were required to follow guild rules. There was, however, a cloud on the horizon ? Scotland.

While England and Scotland had been under the same monarch since 1603 they remained separate countries with separate legislatures and separate laws. This meant that the Stationer?s Company?s copyright did not have force in Scotland. Furthermore, there was no Scottish copyright law. As long as the licensing laws were in place London booksellers could limit the competition. With their expiration, however, the competition began to grow, particularly when:

? On both sides of the border ? statesmen were beginning to realize that an incorporating union offered the only mutually acceptable solution to a problem that had suddenly become urgent: Scotland's need for economic security and material assistance and England's need for political safeguards against French attacks and a possible Jacobite restoration, for which Scotland might serve as a conveniently open back door. England's bargaining card was freedom of trade; Scotland's was acquiescence in the Hanoverian succession. Both points were quickly accepted by the commissioners appointed by Queen Anne to discuss union, and within three months they had agreed on a detailed treaty (April-July 1706).

Encyclopedia Britannica, ?Union, Act of?,

There were many attempts by the Stationer?s Company to restore the old licensing system in the late 1690's and early 1700's, but it was not until 1710 that a new copyright system was enacted. In fact between 1695 and 1710, Scottish and domestic ?pirates? made it increasingly difficult for London booksellers. Without the protection of a Licensing Act, any pirate could take a successful work, re-typeset it and then sell it at a lower price with no payments to the author, an editor or for promotion. Accordingly, few new works were published during this period.



(v) The Statute of Queen Anne, 1710

An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by Vesting the Copies of Printed Books in the Authors or Purchasers of such Copies, during the Times therein mentioned, more commonly called the Statute of Queen Anne, had three objectives. First, it was intended to prevent any future monopoly of the book trade. Second, it was intended to draw Scotland under a common copyright law to resolve the ?piracy? controversy. Third, it was intended to encourage production and distribution of new works. The vehicle chosen to achieve all three objectives was the Creator.

Until the Statute, the Creator had no economic and limited moral rights to a work after it was sold. Generally, a work was bought outright by a printer/bookseller/publisher for a flat one-time fee much like an ?all-rights? or blanket license today. No royalties flowed to the Creator from subsequent sales. Creators did enjoy certain ?moral rights? including the right not to have the text changed and the right of attribution. Such rights, however, were based on ?ethical? practices of the printers? guild, not the law.

The Statute of Queen Anne is considered the turning point in the history of copyright because it was the first law to formally recognize a Creator's rights and, more importantly, it ended prior censorship through pre-publication licensing of works. Recognition of a Creator?s rights by the Statute was, however, principally a device to attain its primary objective - abolition of the Stationer's monopoly (Feather 1988: 31-36). In effect, it was a trade regulation bill. This can be supported by the three factors:

First, a part deleted from the original draft of the 1710 statute clearly emphasized that authors were to be given priority over others with respect to copyright. Parliamentary records reveal that this particular part was removed under pressure from monopolistic booksellers?

Second, there is the similarity between the Statute of Monopoly of 1623 and the 1710 statute. The Statute of Monopoly was, needless to say, intended to abolish the monopolies so rampant during the Elizabethan age. It allowed 21-year monopolies for existing privileges granted without specific terms and 14-year monopolies for forthcoming inventions. The structure of the statute is similar to the first section of the 1710 statute?

Third, there are the claims made by intellectuals around 1710. The Licensing Act of 1662, which gave legal authority to the monopoly in the book trade, was repealed in 1695. John Locke contributed much towards its repeal, writing to peers in the House of Lords and strongly condemning the restrictions on science caused by the provisions of the Act and the monopolies of Stationers Company. (Shirata 1999)

In the end, the Statute of Queen Anne granted an extension of the existing copyright monopoly of the Stationer?s Company for 21 years and granted an exclusive right for new works for fourteen years with an option to renew for the same period. Furthermore, the Statute recognized the Creator as the initial copyright holder to encourage ?learned men to compose and write useful books?. However, it also explicitly recognized the financial interests of ?proprietors? who, by sale or assignment of the author's initial copyright, were almost invariably printers/booksellers/publishers. This compromise continues to haunt copyright reform in modern times:

? It is certainly true that the works of creators will not be the subject of mass production and distribution if entrepreneurs cannot be assured of realizing a reasonable return? The problem therefore lies in finding the proper equilibrium which allows a creator to pursue his rights, and to benefit from the use of his works, but which also assures the entrepreneur reasonable returns. This Paper is devoted to a consideration of how this balance may be achieved within the public interest (Keyes & Brunet 1977: 2).

(vi) The Aftermath, 1769 & 1774

The Statute solved the immediate problems of the British book trade. It provided: a legal basis for stopping piracy; encouraged publication of new works; brought Scottish printers under a copyright regime; and, secured for the Stationers? Company an extension of its monopoly over existing works for another twenty-one year. At the same time, it limited the duration of the copyright monopoly creating thereby, for the first time, a ?public domain? for works that fell out of copyright. All of this was achieved by granting the Creator an initial copyright in a work.

However,

Although the 1710 statute aimed to abolish monopolies, monopolistic booksellers attempted to forge a case which would nullify its scheme and provide eternal protection for their businesses. We can see that in the actions brought after 1731 when statutory copyright protection began to expire. They even colluded to accomplish their goal. A series of these actions [were] known as the ?Battle of the Booksellers'' (Shirata 1999).

The London booksellers told tragic tales of piracy ruining honest businessmen, their wives and children. Literary works were the inheritances of innocents and pirates were, in effect, stealing from the mouths of babies. These tales of piracy were adopted by those advocating authors? rights and used to illustrate the problems of lax copyright protection for authors.

A number of cases were brought to court by printers/ booksellers/publishers during the 1750's and 1760s to gain recognition of a common law copyright independent of the statutory rights established by the Statute of Queen Anne. Publishers argued that an author is entitled to enjoy the fruit of his labor, just like all other forms of property - in perpetuity. A publisher, being merely an assignee of the rights of the author, should therefore also enjoy such rights in perpetuity independent of statute. It was not, however, until 1769 that a definitive legal decision was rendered on the issue in Millar v. Taylor:

The court of King's Bench, the highest court of the common law, divided on the question, the majority supporting Lord Mansfield, who went to the furthest possible extreme in his identification of the right of exclusive copying and selling the copies of one's manuscript with the right of exclusive holding and selling physical things and their products? copyright ? like the ownership of physical objects, the perpetual property of the author, his heirs and assigns forever. This outcome Mansfield expressly contemplated, saying, "property of the copy thus narrowed (i.e. defined as a common-law right] may equally go down from generation to generation, and possibly continue forever." This conclusion was vigorously protested by Justice Yates, the only dissenting justice, saying, "This claim of a perpetual monopoly is by no means warranted by the general principles of property." (Commons 1924: 275)

Sir William Blackstone contributed to the plaintiffs' cause. Blackstone had previously published Commentaries on the Laws of England in 1767 in which he interpreted copyright for the first time as a legal concept (Blackstone 1771: 400-407). Using Lockean natural law theory (Locke 1690), he described copyright as a kind of personal property in common law on the ground that any kind of published work is based on the author's brainwork. This became known as ?the sweat of the brow? theory.

The plot of the booksellers was, however, ultimately defeated in 1774 by the decision of the House of Lords in Donaldson v. Beckett. It was this decision that established the basic concept of Anglo-American copyright. When an author fixed his creation on a tangible medium, he obtained a common law right that is eternal in nature. However, he lost this common law right with publication, or, ?dedication to the public?. In effect, the House of Lords accepted the dissenting opinion and reasoning of Justice Yates in Millar v. Taylor:

? Mr. Justice Yates had very clear and definite notions as to the limits of property, but a reference which he makes to the civil law throws a stronger light on his view of the whole subject than any of his direct reasoning. What the Institutes have to say relating to "wild animals," he observes, "is very applicable to this case." And he then proceeds to draw a comparison between these two singularly related subjects. Animals ferae naturae are yours "while they continue in your possession, but no longer. " So those wild and volatile objects which we call ideas are yours as long as they are properly kenneled in the mind. Once unchain or publish them, and they "become incapable of being any longer a subject of property; all mankind are equally entitled to read them; and every reader becomes as fully possessed of all the ideas as the author himself ever was." (Sedgwick 1879)

There are number of implications to this decision, implications that haunt copyright to this day. First,

At first sight this decision may seem very simple and natural. At common law perpetual copyright existed. The statute of Anne took it away. But it may be doubted whether another instance is to be found in which a right of property, admitted to have been in existence for hundreds of years, has been by means of this sort wiped out of existence. The report of the decision omits to give the reasons on which the judges rested their answers. There is no question that the statute was devised by its promoters for the better security of authors? but the singular thing concerning the matter is the high-handed manner in which we find an acknowledged right treated. If English legislation has one peculiarity more marked than another, it is its respect for vested rights of property; yet here we find an admitted right, said to have existed from time immemorial, swept away in the very act of protecting it. It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that literary property was, even by those who looked upon it with favor, regarded in 1774 as differing in many essential respects from other sorts of property. (Sedgwick 1879)

Second, not only common law property rights were eliminated. Traditional ?moral rights? of the Creator previously recognized by the guilds were also effectively eliminated from the Anglo-American copyright tradition. Once sold, a work could be used or abused as a Proprietor chose. The Creator, having received an initial payment, had no further rights over the disposition of a work.

Third, even though Millar was overturned, it successfully established in the public mind the Myth of the Creator reflected in Chafee?s comment:

? intellectual property is, after all, the only absolute possession in the world... The man who brings out of nothingness some child of his thought has rights therein which cannot belong to any other sort of property? (Chafee 1945)

The change, however, was less a boon to authors than to publishers, for it meant that copyright was to have another function. Rather than being simply the right of a publisher to be protected against piracy, copyright would henceforth be a concept embracing all the rights that an author might have in his published work. And since copyright was still available to the publisher, the change meant also that the publisher as copyright owner would have the same rights as the author. (Patterson 1968)

Thus the Myth of Creator provided Proprietors with a very effective, if spurious, argument for greater copyright protection that is used even today:

The idea that copyrightists use to demean the public interest in copyright law -- that the raison d'etre of copyright is to induce authors to create works--is a stale fiction that has been used for centuries by publishers in their lobbying efforts in legislative bodies and litigation efforts in courts. In 1643, for example, the booksellers of London petitioned Parliament for new censorship legislation that would protect their copyrights, arguing that without such laws, authors could not feed their families and "many pieces of great worth and excellence will be strangled in the womb." More recently, in American Geophysical Union v. Texaco, Inc., the court reasoned that if it did not grant the copyright holder the right to license others (for a fee) to copy an article for research purposes, authors would not be able to support their families.

Both arguments are suspect, the first because in 1643 the author in England was not entitled to copyright, which had been developed by, for, and limited to printers and publishers, the second because the subject of the litigation in Texaco was articles in learned journals, the authors of which, as is customary, received no compensation. One may reasonably ask: is an uncompensated author deprived of resources to support his or her family when the purchaser of a publication in which the writing appears makes a personal copy for research purposes? An affirmative answer comes very close to suggesting phantom reasoning, which is the natural companion of legal fictions in that its foundation is ideas generated by emotion rather than logic. (Patterson 1997)

Thus, what started out in 1710 as a statutory device to regulate the book trade, prohibit monopoly and end pre-publication censorship, was transformed, at least in the popular imagination, into a ?natural law? for the encouragement, protection and reward of Creators. In reality, however, Creator?s rights - economic and moral ? were effectively sacrificed to the pecuniary interests of Proprietors. Once a work was typeset and published the Creator?s Common Law rights vanished like a wild animal into the forest leaving behind a Proprietor enjoying the rights and privileges granted by an admittedly time limited monopoly.

Kaligraphic
28th Dec 2003, 07:29 PM
The most significant point about Donaldson is that it was a compromise, i.e., a political, decision. The Lords, by holding that the common law was the source of the author's copyright prior to publication, appeared to give the author a victory. But the common-law copyright, being only the right of first publication, was no copyright at all since it did not entail the exclusive right of continued publication. The common-law copyright concept, however, proved to be very useful to those claiming that the natural law was the source of the statutory copyright. Their argument was that the common-law copyright, clearly a product of natural law, was the source of the statutory copyright and therefore that the statutory copyright was merely the securing of a natural-law right. Thus, the harm of the Donaldson ruling was that it laid the groundwork for the future enhancement of the copyright monopoly on the basis of the natural-law-property theory. In a sense, the booksellers, while losing the battle, won the war for their successors. (Patterson 1993)

This was the state of English law in 1776 when the laws of England were rolled into the Common Law of a revolutionary United States of America.

(vii) The American Revolution

In 1672 Massachusetts introduced the first copyright law in what was to become the United States of America when it prohibited the making of reprints without the consent of the owner of the copy. As in England, copyright was granted to the printer, not the Creator. Thus the printer John Usher received the first copyright in America granting him the sole right and privilege of publishing the laws of Massachusetts.

Licensing laws were, however, in effect in Massachusetts from 1662 until the 1720s. As with the Monarch and Parliament in England, both the governor and legislature of the colony were quick to take offense at publications that they considered disagreeable, and there were sporadic prosecutions for seditious libel, beginning with William Bradford in 1692 and continuing until the Revolution (Duniway 1906).

While there were Licensing Acts in most of the other colonies, before the 1780s only Massachusetts had a formal copyright statute. There are three reasons:

First, despite the fact that works of American authors were published in America, the number of works was limited and a large proportion of the American market was dominated by British authors. Second, authors in the colonies were also editors and publishers. There was a sentiment or trade rule called ?courtesy copyright?' or ?mutual obligation?' among publishers, which effectively suppressed piracy. Third, there was little or no conflict of market share among publishers on account of the extensive and growing American market. The market was also strictly segmented. Each publisher often supported a specific political group confronting the others. (Shirata 1999)

A year before the House of Lords made its decision on Donaldson v. Beckett, the Boston Tea Party marked the beginning of the American Revolution. Between 1773 and 1783 the United States was at war with Great Britain and there was no trade between the two ? including in law books and legal decisions.

Accordingly, the last major copyright decision of the British courts current in legal circles of what was becoming the United States was Millar v. Taylor of 1769. The majority opinion penned by Justice Mansfield in the Millar case - that there was a ?natural? author?s copyright - held sway unqualified by the subsequent decision of the House of Lords in Donaldson v. Beckett.

As the revolutionary war played itself out the publishing industry in the colonies increasingly turned towards American authors. However, the trade courtesy that protected printer/publishers afforded no protection to Creators. Some authors began to lobby for ?copyright? protection confusing ?author?s rights? with the traditional copyright granted to publishers. In response to a petition from poet Joel Barlow, the Continental Congress:

Resolved, That it be recommended to the several states, to secure to the authors or publishers of any new books not hitherto printed, being citizens of the United States, and to their ... executors, and administrators and assigns, the copyright of such books for a certain time, not less than fourteen years from the first publication; and to secure to the said authors, if they shall survive the term first mentioned, and to their ... executors, administrators and assigns, the copyright of such books for another term of time not less than fourteen years, such copy or exclusive right of printing, publishing and vending the save to be secured to the original authors, or publishers, or ... their executors, administrators and assigns, by such laws and under restrictions as to the several states may seem proper. (Journal of the Continental Congress May 2, 1783).

The States responded (Shirata 1999: Table 1). What is surprising given the status of Millar v. Taylor, is that excepting three States, all adopted ?trade-regulating? copyright statutes similar to the Statute of Queen Anne. The likely reason being that the various States like:

The framers of the United States Constitution, suspicious of all monopolies to begin with, knew the history of the copyright as a tool of censorship and press control. They wanted to assure that copyright was not used as a means of oppression and censorship in the United States. (Loren 1999)

This consuming fear of monopoly and censorship is captured in the words of Thomas Jefferson:

"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

Letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush ,September 23, 1800.
(Thomas Jefferson Online Resources, ME 10:173)

And, with respect to the copyright monopoly and the 1774 reasoning of Chief Justice Mansfield in Millar v. Taylor,

Thomas Jefferson, in 1788, exclaimed: ?I hold it essential in America to forbid that any English decision which has happened since the accession of Lord Mansfield to the bench, should ever be cited in a court; because, though there have come many good ones from him, yet there is so much sly poison instilled into a great part of them, that it is better to proscribe the whole.? (Commons 1924: 276)

Four years after the Continental Congress called on the States to introduce copyright the US Constitution was adopted in 1787 and was ratified a year later in 1788. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution is now known as the ?Intellectual Property or Copyright Clause? and states:

The Congress shall have Power . . . 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;

The importance of the clause is evidenced by the fact that the power to promote ?progress? was one of very few powers to regulate commerce initially granted to Congress. Two years after ratification of the US Constitution, Congress passed the first Copyright Act of 1790: An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the Copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies, during the Times therein mentioned.

The state copyright statutes, most of which were enacted in response to the Continental Congress Resolution, were modeled on the Statute of Anne and thus presaged the inevitable. The federal copyright was to be a direct descendant of its English counterpart. The language in the United States Copyright Clause was almost surely taken from the title of the Statute of Anne of 1710; the American Copyright Act of 1790 is a copy of the English Act; and the United States Supreme Court in its first copyright case, Wheaton v. Peters, used Donaldson v. Beckett as guiding precedent in confirming copyright as the grant of a limited statutory monopoly. (Patterson 1993)

Inclusion of a ?monopoly-granting? power in the Constitution and the Copyright Act of 1790 involved great debate and deliberation particularly between Thomas Jefferson, who initially opposed all monopolies including copyright, and James Madison who proposed its benefits and inclusion.

In this debate Madison played both sides of the fence, supporting natural or common law rights for Creators on the one hand, and promoting regulation and limitation of the publishing industry through statute on the other. His apparently contradictory opinions are expressed in his correspondence with Jefferson and in the Federalist papers.

These documents prove that Madison accepted traditional English ideas of copyright. That is, he understood copyright as a monopoly granted for only a limited term. Why did he explain copyright as a natural right in the Federalist when he clearly understood that copyright and patent were inevitable monopolies to promote science and literature? He seemed to believe it would be easier to persuade the people, amid the current mood of antipathy toward monopolies and England, to accept copyright and patent as natural rights than as trade regulation laws which were monopolistic in nature. It is well known that the Americans adopted the common law after screening aristocratic or prerogative elements out. The Founding Fathers understood the nature of copyright as a monopoly that was granted for administrative purposes to promote the sciences and they adopted copyright law after modifying its doctrine to suit American taste. That was America's first copyright statute, the Copyright Act of 1790. (Shirata 1999)

The result was a bifocal vision of copyright in the United States. On the one hand, the Constitution and Copyright Act adopted the traditional English idea of copyright as trade regulation to limit the monopoly and censorship powers of the publishing industry and its duration thereby creating a ?public domain?. On the other hand, lawyers and academics advocated a common law copyright derived from ?natural law? arguing that the Constitution and Copyright Act merely gave it written form.

The issue came to a head in the first major American copyright case - Wheaton v. Peters in 1834. As in the earlier British case of Donaldson vs. Beckett of 1774, the waters had been thoroughly clouded. While there had never been a Common Law author?s copyright, only a printer?s copyright, both cases turned on the issue of an assumed common law rights of authors in works prior to the Copyright Act of 1710 and 1790, respectively. The questions facing the court became, in effect: was the Act intended to give additional rights to the author or to replace common law rights, and if there was a common law perpetual copyright, did it continue in Britain after the Statute of Queen Anne and in the United States after Revolution?

Loosed from its historic moorings, copyright took on a life of its own for the vague purpose of stopping illegal copying, and ultimately, came to be viewed as part of the law protecting "intellectual property." (Mead 1999)

The Federal Supreme Court concluded there was no common law copyright and that statutory protection could only be obtained by adhering to the 1790 Act. It also confirmed that copyright was a privilege, not a right. In its opinion, the case was about protection against monopoly and accepted the English precedent for the United States. In the process, however, the Court also rejected what later became known as the ?moral? rights of authors.

Beyond the ?natural? vs. ?positive? law, the first US Copyright Act also involved at least five significant expansions of the copyright concept. First, protection was extended to maps and charts as well as books. The Statute of Queen Anne only protected books. While related, the cost structure of the two industries are arguable quite different. Initial extension of copyright protection was followed in 1802 to include ?engravings, etchings and prints?, in 1831 ?music and cuts? and, by 1870, works eligible for copyright protection included:

Any citizen of the United States, or resident therein, who shall be the author, inventor, designer, or proprietor of any book, map, chart, dramatic or musical composition, engraving, cut, print, or photograph or negative thereof, or of a painting, drawing, chromo, statue, statuary, and of models or designs intended to be perfected as works of the fine arts, shall ... have the sole liberty of printing, reprinting, publishing, completing, copying, executing, finishing, and vending the same; and in the case of a dramatic composition, of publicly performing or representing it, or causing it to be performed or represented by others; and authors may reserve the right to dramatize or to translate their own works. (41st Cong. Sess. 2 Ch.230 Sec. 86,1870)

Subsequent copyright acts extended protection to broadcasts, motion pictures and software programs. In this way the Copyright Act of 1790:

? stands as the point of divorce between the perceived purposes (which became the protection of authors and publishers) and the methodology of the law (which remained to protect a movable-type based printing industry). The understood goal of the law was set adrift from the actual workings of the law. (Mead 1999)

Second, the language of the 1790 Act represented an apparent if not actual change in philosophy, if not practice:

Whereas, the Copyright Statute of 1709 clearly recognized that the protection was for the benefit of the publishers, with what we would now call a "trickle down effect" to the authors; the U.S. acts uniformly talk about the protection as being primarily for the benefit of the author and only benefiting the publisher as an assignee. But, again, this occurs without any change in how the law worked to benefit the publisher rather than the author. (Mead 1999)

Proprietors, due to the Anglo-American legal fiction that corporate entities (?legal persons)? have the same rights as individual human beings (?natural persons?), could, however, continue to claim copyright in their own right. Furthermore, another peculiarity of the Anglo-American copyright tradition is that copyright to a work created by an employee or under commission belongs to the employer and neither economic nor moral rights attach to the actual author employee.

Third, while language and philosophy may have changed, the financial position of printers and publishers was in fact enhanced. Copyright protection was initially available only to US citizens or residents.

The first national copyright law, passed in 1790, provided for a 14-year copyright ... but only for authors who were citizens or residents of the US. The US extended the copyright term to 28 years in 1831, but again restricted copyright protection only to citizens and residents.

This policy was unique among developed nations. Denmark, Prussia, England, France, and Belgium all had laws respecting the rights of foreign authors. By 1850, only the US, Russia and the Ottoman Empire refused to recognize international copyright.

The advantages of this policy to the US were quite significant: they had a public hungry for books, and a publishing industry happy to publish them. And a ready supply was available from England. Publishing in the US was virtually a no-risk enterprise: whatever sold well in England was likely to do well in the US.

American publishers paid agents in England to acquire popular works, which were then rushed to the US and set in type. Competition was intense, and the first to publish had an advantage of only days before they themselves were subject to copying. Intense competition leads to low prices. In 1843 Dickens's Christmas Carol sold for six cents in the US and $2.50 in England. (Varian 1998)

It was not until passage of the International Copyright Act (known as the Chace Act) in 1891 that the United States accorded foreign authors equal treatment if the author's country of citizenship accorded reciprocal protections to the works of American authors. However, special benefits continued to flow to American printers because of the longest-lived U.S. non-tariff trade barrier in history ? the "manufacturing clause" of U.S. copyright law (Boyd 1991).

The Chace Act restricted the import of foreign-printed books by denying U.S. copyright protection to, at first, works by all English-language authors, and then to American authors unless their work was printed in the US. It was through this provision, for example, that the works of Henry Miller including the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn were kept out of the United States because only a French printer could be found to publish them. This restriction on granting copyright to works by American authors printed abroad was not removed until 1984.

Fourth, another hotly debated issue during the drafting stage of both the Copyright Clause of the Constitution and Copyright Act of 1790 was the duration of copyright. Initially duration was to be based on the average life span of authors. Thus under the Copyright Act of 1790, the duration of copyright was set at 14 years with the possibility of renewal for another 14 years if the author was still alive. Thomas Jefferson based a proposed term for copyright on the principle that "the earth belongs in usufruct to the living", and computed it by means of actuarial tables:

Generations, changing daily by daily deaths and births, have one constant term, beginning at the date of their contract, and ending when a majority of those of full age at that date shall be dead. The length of that term may be estimated from tables of mortality [and is found to be] 18 years 8 months, or say 19 years as the nearest integral number... The principle, that the earth belongs to the living, and not to the dead, is of very extensive application... Turn this subject in your mind, my dear Sir... and develop it with that perspicuity and cogent logic so peculiarly yours... Establish the principle... in the new law to be passed for protecting copyrights and new inventions, by securing the exclusive right for 19 instead of 14 years. (Jefferson, Letter to James Madison, September 6, 1789)

(vii) The American Revolution (cont'd)

However, the term was extended in 1831 to 28 years with the possibility of renewal for another 14 years. In 1909, it was extended again to 28 years with the possibility of renewal for another 28 years. In 1976 duration became the author?s life plus 50 years. With accession by the United States to the Berne Convention in 1986, the duration of American copyright is now the author?s life plus 75 years. Put another way, assuming 20 years per generation, American copyright now extends over four generations ? a long distance from Jefferson?s limited monopoly based on the principle "the earth belongs in usufruct to the living". Some observers argue that the term of copyright now, in effect, approaches the ?perpetual copyright? enjoyed by the Stationers? Company before 1710.

The extension of the renewal term of copyright ? is unconstitutional because (1) it is motivated by a desire to establish perpetual copyright; (2) it provides nothing to authors (most of the authors being dead); (3) it does nothing to encourage the arts ? ; (4) its effect will be to discourage the arts by preventing the timely entrance of works into the public domain; and (5) it exceeds any reasonable interpretation of the constitutional requirement of "limited times." The Constitution's framers, though suspicious of monopoly, considered copyright to be a bearable monopoly only because the term was to be limited; the expiration of copyright was considered indispensable for copyright's proper functioning. The U.S. Supreme Court for the most part has adhered to the framers' view. The extension of the term of copyright to 95 years, however, overthrows the constitutional foundations of copyright law. (Phillips 1998)

Fifth, and finally, three words sum up the US rationale for granting copyright: progress, learning & knowledge. All three relate to the public domain and thereby to the third party in the copyright equation: the User.

With respect to ?progress?, Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to ?? promote the Progress of ? useful arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors ? the exclusive Right to their respective Writings? ?. Such time limited rights are explicitly made available only to ?authors?. The purpose of such rights is to promote the progress of the arts. This requires works be accessible to the public, that is, to Users. Thus such works are to become freely available to Users after the ?limited? time has passed, that is, they should enter the public domain.

With respect to ?learning?, the Copyright Act of 1790 is entitled: An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the Copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies, during the Times therein mentioned. Derived from the title to the Statute of Queen Anne, the US Copyright Act justifies ?securing the Copies? as an encouragement for learning among the people, that is, Users.

The importance of ?learning? lead to the ?Fair Use? clause of the Copyright Act limiting the copyright monopoly even during its limited duration. In the simplest terms, this means: nonprofit copying is fair use. This provision allows public libraries, educational institutions and individuals to copy works without paying royalties to Proprietors and still avoid the charge of ?copyright infringement?.

By contrast in Canada (following the British tradition), the corresponding provision is ?fair dealing?. In the simplest terms, this means copying a work, without payment of royalties to its Proprietor, constitutes an infringement except under extremely tightly defined conditions. For example, under current provisions of the Canadian Copyright Act, a public or educational library is required to assure itself that a patron is engaged in bona fide 'research and private study' before making photocopies available to him or her and to thereby obtain a 'fair dealing' exception to copyright infringement. Similarly, under the Canadian Act the only way a teacher can copy a work for classroom use without infringing copyright is to hand copy on an erasable surface. With passage of the Millennium Digital Copyright Act by the US Congress, however, it appears that the 'fair dealing' concept is beginning to slip into American copyright law.

Furthermore, unlike the title to the Statute of Queen Anne and Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution, the American Copyright Act of 1790 explicitly recognizes that copyright may be held by ?Proprietors?, not just ?Authors?. It is by this device that ?moral rights? of a Creator have been effectively extinguished by the American courts. It is also by this device that the media empires of the 20th and 21st centuries, worthy successors to the Stationer?s Company, have arisen.

With respect to ?knowledge?, President George Washington said in his message to Congress leading to enactment of the 1790 Copyright Act: "Knowledge is, in every country, the surest basis of public happiness." (Washington 1790). Thus long before the concept of a ?knowledge-based economy?, knowledge was recognized by the Founding Fathers of the American Republic as intrinsically valuable to the public good. The Copyright Act was a device intended to minimize monopoly, foster learning and increase the knowledge of the people and thereby raise the level of happiness in America. Such public happiness, however, is reduced to the extent that copyright usurps the public domain beyond its constitutional limits (Patterson 1993).

This was the state of copyright law in the United States when the French Revolution was but a year old.



(viii) The French Revolution, 1789

The English Revolution resulted in the eventual restoration of the monarchy and constitutional accommodation between the Crown, the aristocracy and the people. The American Revolution resulted in the end of the monarchy and removal of aristocratic privilege but also in constitutional accommodation with the Common Law, that is with the rule of precedent and traditional practice. Development of the Common Law was a process whereby the courts of law converted customary bargains and business practices into a common law of property and liberty (Commons 1924: 229). Copyright was one such business practice accommodated by the American Revolution, e.g. adoption of the wording and ?market? spirit of the Statute of Queen Anne and maintenance of ?printer?s copyright?.

The French Revolution was different. Essentially everything was swept away especially the law. Before the Revolution, Roman law governed in the south of France. In the northern provinces, including Paris, customary law based on feudal Frankish and Germanic institutions held sway. Marriage and family life were controlled by the Roman Catholic Church and governed by canon law. Furthermore, beginning in the 16th century, many issues were governed by royal decrees and ordinances and by a case law developed by the parlements..

The ?rationalizing? tendencies of the French Revolution went much further than that of the American. This was reinforced by Napoleon. An example of his continuing ?rationalizing? influence on the daily life of each and every American is driving on the right-hand side of the road:

Perhaps most extraordinary of all was his insistence in the interest of speed that everybody keep to the right-hand side of the road in order to expedite and simplify traffic problems. Where his armies went, right-hand driving has remained, even in Russia. He never got to Sweden, and the Swedes didn?t switch until 1967. He never got to England, and they still drive on the left-hand side (McLuhan, Fiore 1968: 106).

After the [French] Revolution, codification [of the law] became not only possible but ? necessary. Powerful control groups such as the manors and the guilds had been destroyed; the secular power of the church had been suppressed; and the provinces had been transformed into subdivisions of the new national state. The Napoleonic Code [1804], therefore, was founded on the premise that, for the first time in history, a purely rational law should be created, free from all past prejudices and deriving its content from "sublimated common sense"; its moral justification was to be found not in ancient custom or monarchical paternalism but in its conformity to the dictates of reason (Encyclopedia Britannica June 2000).

The Napoleonic or ?Civil? Code remains, in one form or another, the dominant legal system in the non-English-speaking world including Latin America, France, Germany, Japan and most of Asia. The rationalizing tendencies of the French Revolution also succeeded in resolving the schizophrenic character of copyright in the Anglo-American tradition ? market regulation or Creator?s rights - by splitting rights into two distinct classes:

... The European edifice of author's rights rests on two pillars: the author's economic rights and moral rights. Economic rights allow the author to assign or license to others the right to use the work... and are the principle means by which an author reaps profit from the work. Moral rights grant the author continuing control over the work despite its exploitation... In this scheme of things, the author is front and centre stage; later exploiters and users of the work are secondary players and stand in the wings.

Anglo-American law takes a more pragmatic approach to copyright. Copyright is essentially a vehicle to propel works into the market: it is more an instrument of commerce than of culture. It is geared more to the media entrepreneur than the author. It is ready to grant copyrights not just to authors but to secondary users who add value to the work: record companies, broadcasters, movie studios, and even printers... Unfair competition rather than authors' rights seems to be the guiding force behind copyright. Whether rights should be extended to a work is more a question of political pragmatism depending on the strength of a particular interest group ... In such a scheme, economic rights are emphasized: moral rights are unheard of, save insofar as particular complaints can be slotted into some common law theory or statute designed to prevent unfair competition. Unless an author has retained some moral rights by contract, the assignment or licensing of the work pro tanto terminates his or her involvement with it (Vaver 1987: 82-83).

The Civil Code recognizes rights broad enough to make Creators master of their self-expression, no matter how this expression may be subsequently used, for example, translation into another language, adaptation to the screen, etc. It empowers the Creator by recognizing inalienable ?moral rights? in terms broad enough to survive any contractual transfer, i.e. they cannot be extinguished. Furthermore moral rights are available only to flesh-and-blood creators, they alone being capable of self-expression. While ?legal persons?, i.e. corporations, can enjoy economic rights, moral rights as ?inalienable? are ?attached? to the very ?person? of the author. Thus ?author?s rights? only protect works if they bear some ?imprint of personality? (Geller 1994). The agreement of the Andean Pact expresses the nature of ?moral rights? available under the Civil Code tradition:

CHAPTER IV: MORAL RIGHTS

Article 11: Inalienable, Unattachable, Impresciptible and Unrenounceable

The author shall have the inalienable, unattachable, imprescriptible and unrenounceable right:

(a) to keep the work unpublished or to disclose it;

(b) to claim authorship of the work at any time;

(c) to object to any distortion, mutilation or alteration of the work that is prejudicial to the integrity thereof or to the reputation of the author.

On the author's death, the exercise of moral rights shall pass to his successors in title for the period referred to in Chapter VI of this Decision. Once the economic rights have lapsed, the State or designated agencies shall assume the defense of the authorship and integrity of the work (Andean Community 1993).

By contrast, copyright in the Anglo-American tradition recognizes only those rights necessary for inducing the making and marketing of works. It avoids burdening the contractual transfer of economic rights either by denying moral rights (in the US) or by codifying them in terms that permit authors to contractually waive them (in Canada). Copyright is available to anyone ? legal or natural persons - capable of having works created or putting them on the market including business enterprises that employ creators and direct their work. To qualify for copyright protection works must, in the British legal tradition, display an investment of ?skill and labor? or, under American law ?some minimum level of creativity?, but without requiring any ?imprint of personality? (Geller 1994).

This is the state of the law as we enter the Present. In summary, in the English-speaking world we have copyright that is considered by the public and the creative community as a ?natural right? of the Creator. In law, however, it is a trade regulation statute with monopoly power typically exercised by large, increasingly global, media Proprietors. All Creator rights are subject to transfer by contract; no rights are considered inherent and inalienable to the individual Creator in spite of Chaffe?s eloquent incantation:

? intellectual property is, after all, the only absolute possession in the world... The man who brings out of nothingness some child of his thought has rights therein which cannot belong to any other sort of property? (Chaffe 1945)

This is the Myth of the Creator with which we live today. And the clash between Civil Code?s author?s rights and Anglo-American copyright fuel an ongoing controversy between the United States and France (as well as much of continental Europe). The United States wants the Europeans to extend all authors? rights to American media corporations selling entertainment products in the European Union. The Europeans refuse arguing many of these rights are available only to ?natural persons?, not corporate entities.

Kaligraphic
28th Dec 2003, 07:31 PM
The Present

The French have a saying: The more things change, the more they remain the same! In the case of copyright, this is too true. Just like the printing press of 550 years ago, a new means of storing, displaying and distributing knowledge (or organized information) ? words, images and sounds ? has emerged: digitization. Proprietors of older ?analog? media ? broadcasting, printing, sound and video recording are threatened. The borders of Nation States are eroding before the information and e-commerce onslaught of the Internet ? the primary distribution channel for this new media. Heretical works ? now kiddie-porn and hate propaganda ? are subject to investigation, prosecution and censorship for the sake of children and gullible victims of bigotry and racism. Charges of ?piracy? abound. Cybersquatting disputes are now being adjudicated by World Intellectual Property Organization arbitrators. Privateers sail the newly discovered seas seeking new lands and riches planting ?software patents? (Amazon.com) and building ever swifter and better ships to capture merchant ships on the high seas of the World-Wide Web (MP3.com and soon MP4). The plight of Creators (Metallica) is hoisted up the flagpole by Proprietors (the Recording Industry Association of America) in a new ?Battle of the Booksellers? with its call to stamp out pirate havens on the Internet (Napster). New Stationers? Companies arise (AOL/Time-Warner, Microsoft, News Corp., Disney, et al) fighting for ?perpetual copyright? for ?their? works through a Digital Millennium Copyright Act that may, or may not, prove as short-lived as Millar vs. Taylor before another Donaldson vs. Beckett lets Mickey Mouse play free in the public domain. Extension of copyright protection to computer programs and software has led to widespread ?hacking? over the World Wide Web that constitutes copyright infringement in the form of accessing and copying protected works and damaging such works. Copyright has also been used as the principal argument of Microsoft in its defense against the U.S. Department of Justice anti-trust case to break its near-monopoly of personal computer operating systems software. And wave after wave of new law is being introduced and adopted striving to put the new wine of digital technology back into the old bottle of printer?s copyright (Table 1).

Table 1

Bills Introduced and Public Laws Passed by Congress

(a) 106th Congress
(17 bills introduced/ 3 Public Laws passed)

#

Title

Introduced

H.R. 89

Satellite Access to Local Stations Act

1/6/99

H.R. 354

Collections of Information Antipiracy Act

1/19/99

S. 95

Trading Information Act

1/19/99

S. 247

Satellite Home Viewers Improvements Act

1/19/99

S. 303

Satellite Television Act

1/25/99

H.R. 768

Copyright Compulsory License Improvement Act

2/23/99

H.R. 851

Save Our Satellites Act of 1999

2/25/99

H.R. 1027

Satellite Television Improvement Act

3/8/99

H.R. 1189

Technical Corrections

3/18/99

H.R. 1554

Satellite Copyright, Competition, and Consumer Protection Act of 1999

4/26/99

H.R. 1761

Copyright Damages Improvement Act

5/11/99

H.R. 1858

Consumer and Investor Access to Information Act

5/19/99

S. 1257

Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act

6/22/99

P.L. 106-44

Technical Corrections in Title 17

6/22/99

S. 1835

Intellectual Property Protection Restoration Act

10/29/99

P.L. 106-113

Intellectual Property and Communications Omnibus Reform Act of 1999

11/17/99

11/17/99

Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 1999

11/18/99

(b) 105th Congress
(23 bills introduced/ 4 Public Laws passed)

H.R. 72

Computer Maintenance Competition Assurance Act

1/7/97

H.R. 401

Intellectual Property Antitrust Protection Act

1/9/97

S. 28

Fairness in Musical Licensing Act

1/21/97

H.R. 604

Copyright Term Extension Act

2/5/97

P.L.105-801

Copyright Technical Amendments

2/11/97

H.R. 789

Fairness in Musical Licensing Act

2/13/97

P.L.105-298

Copyright Term Extension Act

3/20/97

S. 506

Copyright Clarifications Act

3/20/97

H.R. 1621

Copyright Term Extension Act

5/15/97

P.L. 105-80

To amend title 17, United States Code, to provide that the distribution before January 1, 1978, of a phonorecord shall not for any purpose constitute a publication of the musical work embodied therein

6/19/97

H.R. 2180

On-Line Copyright Liability Limitation Act

7/17/97

7/17/97

Criminal Copyright Improvement Act

7/21/97

P.L.105-304

Digital Millennium Copyright Act formerly named WIPO Copyright Treaties Implementation Act

7/29/97

S. 1121

WIPO Copyright and Performances and Phonograms Treaty Implementation Act

7/31/97

S. 1146

Digital Copyright Clarification and Technology Education Act

9/3/97

H.R. 2589

Copyright Term Extension Act

10/1/97

H.R. 2652

Collections of Information Antipiracy Act

10/9/97

H.R. 2696

Vessel Hull Design Protection Act

10/22/97

H.R. 3048

Digital Era Copyright Enhancement Act

11/13/97

H.R. 3209

On-Line Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act

2/12/98

H.R. 3210

Copyright Compulsory License Improvement Act

2/12/98

S. 1720

Copyright Compulsory License Improvement Act

3/5/98

S. 2037

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

5/8/98

Source: US Copyright Office

Why is this happening and where is the public interest in this tidal wave of legislation?

Our current copyright law is based on a model devised for print media, and expanded with some difficulty to embrace a world that includes live, filmed and taped performances, broadcast media, and, most recently, digital media. That much is uncontroversial. The suitability of that model for new media is much more controversial. As one might expect, to the extent that current legal rules make some parties "haves" and others "have-nots," the haves are fans of the current model, while today's have-nots suggest that some other model might be more appropriate for the future. Meanwhile, copyright lawyers, who, after all, make their livings interpreting and applying this long and complex body of counterintuitive, bewildering rules, insist that the current model is very close to the platonic ideal, and should under no circumstances be jettisoned in favor of some untried and untrue replacement (Litman 1996).

In the ?digital age? it is not just ?corporate pirates? against whom Proprietors raged. It is also private citizens with access to the Internet and the ability ?to copy? including some 335,000 Napster users identified by the Recording Industry Association of America and since stricken from the Napster?s rolls and who remain potentially liable for copyright infringement. New ?digital copyright? and other devices and techniques are being proposed by Proprietors to stop individuals infringing ?their? copyright. And where is the public domain in whose interest the copyright monopoly was granted by the Constitution?

The most compelling advantage of encouraging copyright industries to work out the details of the copyright law among themselves, before passing the finished product on to a compliant Congress for enactment, has been that it produced copyright laws that the relevant players could live with, because they wrote them. If we intend the law to apply to individual end users? everyday interaction with copyrighted material, however, we will need to take a different approach. Direct negotiation among industry representatives and a few hundred million end-users would be unwieldy (even by copyright legislation standards). Imposing the choices of the current stakeholders on a few hundred million individuals is unlikely to result in rules that the new majority of relevant players find workable. They will not, after all, have written them. There are, moreover, few signs that the entities proposing statutory revision have taken the public?s interests very seriously. Instead, they seem determined to see their proposals enacted before they can be the subject of serious public debate (Litman 1996).

And what of Creators? How have they fared in the tidal wave of new copyright laws introduced since 1989 and US accession to the Berne Convention? In order to accede to the Berne Convention, Congress had to make some token movements towards ?moral rights?. Thus the Visual Artists Protection Act of 1990 became Section 106A of the Copyright Act. However, rights of paternity and integrity of one?s work is available only to artists of ?recognized? reputation. Recognized by whom? Recognized by the Courts. Similarly, the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act, Pub. L. 101-650 was passed in 1990. Its provisions, however, are so weak with respect to the ?moral rights? of architects that it has not been incorporated into the Copyright Act.

Then there is the case of Tasini et al. v. The New York Times et al. In the initial 1997 case, a federal district court in New York was asked to determine whether publishers were entitled to place the contents of their periodicals into electronic data bases and onto CD-ROMs without first securing the permission of freelance writers whose contributions were included in those periodicals. A federal district court in 1997 decided in favor of the Proprietors. The freelance writers appealed. On September 24, 1999, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the lower court?s decision. The Proprietors then approached the US Court of Appeals for a full trial hearing. In April 2000, the Court refused to order a trial before the full court.

In spite of this apparent victory, freelance writers are generally subjected to a ?blanket? or ?all rights? licensing agreement with Proprietors. This means that having made an initial and one-time payment to a Creator, all rights are assumed by the Proprietor including those for media yet to be invented. Take an extreme case. An author writes a short story that is published in a magazine or journal. Someone in Hollywood likes the story and decides to make a movie. The Creator, however, has no residual rights and the Proprietor makes a deal netting millions of dollars. The Creator gets not a penny. The mistake made by the New York Times et al in Tasini was failing to get authors to surrender all rights in the initial contract. It is unlikely that they will make the same mistake in future.

That is how the law stands today. Almost 300 years ago the Myth of the Creator was born with a Statute intended to break the perpetual copyright monopoly of the Stationers? Company and bring Scotland under a common law of copyright ending piracy in a new ?Great Britain?. The legal fiction was planted that all rights originated with the creator but that any ?natural? or moral rights of that Creator are extinguished on publication. Furthermore, the economic rights of the Creator are compromised in the financial interest of Proprietors or ?copyright owners?. Thus economic rights of the Creator can, and usually are, transferred to Proprietors in return for a one-time payout by the stroke of a pen on an ?all rights license?. The Myth survived the American Revolution and has now led, full circle, back to a virtual perpetual copyright extending onto four generations and covering all existing and any as yet to be invented means of fixing the work of a Creator in material form. In effect, copyright has become the legal foundation for the industrial organization of the arts/entertainment/media industry.

The Future

So what of the future? Whether it is UFOs, the X-Files, Star Wars or Star Trek, science fiction has emerged as the main source of the new myths and fairy tales of our post-modern world. ?Sci-fi? literature can be classified as forecasting either ?utopian? or ?anti-utopian? futures. Using these two classes, two alternative futures for copyright and intellectual property in general can be cast.

Perhaps the most powerful and chilling anti-utopian future to emerge since George Orwell?s 1984 was penned by William Gibson in a series of novels beginning, ironically, in 1984 with Neuromancer. It was in this first novel that the terms ?cyberspace? and ?virtual reality? were coined (Gibson 1984) almost a decade before the Internet and the World-Wide Web became a popular reality. Followed by Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive and Virtual Light, Gibson created a whole new genre of science fiction alternatively called ?cybergothic? or ?cyberpunk?.

In Gibson's vision of the future, the mind's eye fills with swirling multimedia, merging and mutating into a consensual hallucination called cyberspace. This ?virtual reality? rushes forward to Users fueled by techno-greed for bits and bytes. Hackers and ?console cowboys? fight with global corporations for the high ground in a continuous war for encrypted information. And in this war individuality and privacy erode before the ceaseless search for power and profit by a techno-corporate elite who knows which buttons to push while the rest of humanity cannot even program a VCR.

Copyright protection in cyberspace, that today includes encryption technology, evolves into what Gibson calls ?ICE?, i.e. intrusion counter-measures electronic. This, he projects, will include ?black ice? using electronic feedback that may prove fatal to hackers. Protection of intellectual property in Gibson?s future also includes ?cerebral bombs? implanted in the brains of corporate executives and timed to go off if an executive ?defects? to another corporation.

Gibson?s world of the near future is one in which copyright, copyright protection and intellectual property rights in general runs wild. The corporate sector uses both increasingly restrictive laws as well as technological means to tightly control access to the expression of ideas fixed in material form.

While admittedly extreme, Gibson?s vision of the future is a logical extension of trends in copyright law and technology current in the Present. Extension of the term, the scope and the coverage of Anglo-American copyright are fueled by corporate Proprietors pursuit of profit. Little consideration has been given to the rights of Creators and Users.

By contrast, a ?utopian? alternative future for copyright can be cast using the ancient myth of ?the Trojan horse?. When the United States acceded to the Berne Copyright Convention in 1989 it did so mainly to benefit its corporate copyright Proprietors by extending the term of copyright protection for existing works to the life of the author plus 75 years. Thus Disney can protect Mickey Mouse for an additional 25 years. This extension may, in the long run, parallel the short run gains of the Stationers? Company through the extension granted by the Statute of Queen Anne in 1710. The Berne Convention has entered the gates of the American copyright citadel and may prove to be a Trojan horse for Creators.

The Berne Convention contains the full range of Creator?s economic and moral rights allowed under the Civil Code. As noted above, certain token moves had to be made by the U.S. for its accession to be accepted by the Berne Union, e.g. the Visual Artist Protection Act. As the American creative community becomes more familiar with the Berne Convention it is possible that pressure will build for adoption of more of the Civil Code rights recognized by the Convention. First and for most these include generic rights of paternity and integrity. Second, the Berne Convention recognizes ?rights of following sales? or ?droit de suite? in French. At the state level, the right of following sales has already been granted to visual artists who are resident in California. A young artist sells low but as his or her career matures earlier works increase in value. While collectors benefit from the re-sale of these early works, the artist gets nothing. The right of following sale insures a percentage of all subsequent sales go back to the artist.

Another right recognized by the Berne Convention is the ?public lending right? currently recognized by more than 19 countries around the world including Canada. Canadian public lending rights (PLRs) are granted for books written by Canadian authors and held in Canadian libraries. PLRs assume the public benefits from libraries but authors suffer lost sales. Therefore, market failure exists justifying a public policy response. PLRs compensate authors from a special federal fund. Payment is capped so no one author receives too much. Payment is restricted to Canadians and goes directly to the creator and cannot be transferred to Proprietors.

Assuming the Trojan horse that is the Berne Convention does alter the landscape of American copyright the next step towards enhancing the financial viability of the creative life would be adoption of the current policy of the Republic of Ireland (Eire) that exempts copyright income earned by resident creators from income tax. The exemption applies only to individuals, not to corporations. The result has been an influx of creative talent who pay sales and other taxes offsetting the tax expenditure to the public treasury. In addition, such talent enriches the cultural as well as economic life of the country.

If the Berne Convention proves to be a true Trojan horse, then American creators will finally be able to enter the Garden again but this time eat of the fruit of a tree that fulfills the promise of the Myth of the Creator:

? intellectual property is, after all, the only absolute possession in the world... The man who brings out of nothingness some child of his thought has rights therein which cannot belong to any other sort of property? (Chaffe 1945).



References

Andean Community, Decision 351: Common Provisions on Copyright and Neighboring Rights, December 17, 1993, http://www.sice.oas.org/trade/junac/decisiones/DEC351e.asp

Beck, S.F., Copyright - L SC 311 Information Literacy, New Mexico State University Library, Las Cruces, NM, http://lib.nmsu.edu/instruction/lsc311/beck/26notes.html.

Berrings, R.C. (ed), Great American Law Reviews, Legal Classics Library, Birmingham, 1984.

Blackstone, W., Commentaries on the Laws of England, 4th ed., 1771. 400-407.

Boyd, J.H., ?Deregulating Book Imports?, Regulation, Volume 14, Number 1, Cato Institute, Winter 1991.

Chaffe, Z., Jr., 'Reflections on the Law of Copyright: I & II', Columbia Law Review, Vol. 45, Nos. 4 & 5, July and September 1945 in Berrings, R.C. (ed), Great American Law Reviews, Legal Classics Library, Birmingham, 1984.

Commons, J.R., Legal Foundations of Capitalism, MacMillan, NYC 1939 © 1924, p. 224.

Duniway, C.A., The Development of Freedom of the Press in Massachusetts, New York, 1906.

Encyclopedia Britannica, ?Union, Act of?, http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/0/0,5716,76210+1+74263,00.html

Encyclopedia Britannica, ?Napoleonic Code?, June 2000, http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/0/0,5716,56200+1+54824,00.html

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http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/8/0,5716,117358+20+109461,00.html

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Gibson, W., Neuromancer, New York, Ace, 1984; Count Zero, New York, Arbor House, 1986, Mona Lisa Overdrive, New York, Bantam, 1988; Virtual Light, New York, Bantam, 1993.

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Posted for Phil

tool
28th Dec 2003, 09:35 PM
:lol:

spm1138
28th Dec 2003, 11:28 PM
Well on the bright side all the long, long posts would probably be more than Lowtax could cope with reading (f ck knows it more than I can cope with reading) so we probably won't make weekend web.

If you keep this up I am going to start quoting Gravities Rainbow. Then you'll be sorry.

Synastren
28th Dec 2003, 11:35 PM
What phil and Kaligraphic said. Times two.
Ha!

Kaligraphic
29th Dec 2003, 07:02 PM
int i;
for (i=1;;;) {
printf("[QUOTE");
printf("]what Synastren said[/");
priftf("QUOTE]");
}

ph34r m4h qu0t3s!

*edit* why, why, does vbulletin parse vbcode inside of a code block? Please, make the stupidity stop. */edit*

*edit2* just so you know, it would be parsed as valid vbcode because there's no intervening newline or anything */edit*

Sam_The_Man
30th Dec 2003, 07:10 PM
NATURE'S HARMONIC*

SIMULTANEOUS 4-DAY

TIME CUBE

*





Creation of 4 simultaneous
24 hour days, within a single rotation of Earth, empowers
me above all 1-day gods and
educated stupid scientists. I
will wager $10,000.00 on it.
****************************************************
My wisdom so antiquates known knowledge, that
a psychiatrist examining my behavior, eccentric
by his academic single corner knowledge, knows
no course other than to judge me schizoprenic. In
today's society of greed, men of word illusion are
elected to lead and wise men are condemned. You
must establish a Chair of Wisdom to empower
Wise Men over the stupid intelligentsia, or perish.
*************************************************
All knowledge of the human
word animal, is insignificant,
when his fictitious word world
is compared to Nature's own
Dynamic & Harmonic Time
Cube's* Creation* Principle.
*******************************************************
"The New Tom Green Show" equates
to evil, for due to pressure they rescinded
their guest invitation to me. You might
say that they support evil against youth.
**************************************************
God created only a single 24 hour day
rotation of Earth, while I have created
4 simultaneous 24 hour days within a
single rotation of Earth - therefore, I
am wiser than the word god, and all
word worshipers. All words are fictitious.
I will wager $10,000.00 that
Cubic Creation is almighty.
**********************************************
All creation on Earth exists between the 2 opposite
poles, and if unified, would cancel and cease to exist.
Humans exist only as opposites - with a
zero value, for if unified, male and female
would counter each other & cease to exist.
****************************************
Evil educators suppress
student free speech right
to debate Cubic Creation.
Evil students don't object.
*****************************************
I have been informed that the academic
pedant hirelings are conspiring to defame
my character, as a means to discredit the
Time/Life/Truth Cube Creation Principle.
**********************************************
Hey stupid - are you too
dumb to know there are
4 different simultaneous
24 hour days within a
single rotation of Earth?
Greenwich 1 day is a lie.
4 quadrants = 4 corners,
and 4 different directions.
Each Earth corner rotates
own separate 24 hour day.
Infinite days is stupidity.
***********************************
Wisdom=Cubic testing of knowledge.
Demand right to debate Time Cube,
or you are unworthy of life on Earth.
I can't believe that stupid ass students
allow suppression of the Time Cube.
************************************
Evil educators refuse to recognize
the wisest of humans to ever exist.
My magnificent creation of 4
simultaneous 24 hour days within
a single rotation of Earth, debunks
the puny 1-day rotation of a fake
word god and stupid educators.
Nature has no choice but to bring
forth a hell upon evil cubelessness.
Know it to be of your own making.
******************************************
If I tell a human that his 4-corner
head (nose, 2 ears and back corner)
has only a 1-corner face, the dumb-
ass will say to me - "prove it". He
knows not that his face is a corner.
*************************************

dragonlife
31st Dec 2003, 12:38 PM
What is with the long story it should have ended by now but like I said in a poem I wrote life is a story when one ends a new one begins.

Kaligraphic
31st Dec 2003, 04:01 PM
This is the forever thread. Idiots like Phil and Kaligraphic are simply trying to fill up all of the forum server's diskspace with really long quotes.

BTW, hey, you're back! I was afraid we'd lost you from this thread!

Kaligraphic
2nd Jan 2004, 04:18 PM
Hey, dragonlife, where did you go?

tool
2nd Jan 2004, 05:12 PM
kill this thread
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Yellow5
2nd Jan 2004, 11:20 PM
http://yellow5.beyondunreal.com/stfu.jpg