PROPERTY RIGHTS AND LEFT WING ARTISTS | 2000-08-12
Hollywood is very worried about computer sites that give away music without paying for the copyrights. Right now it's music, but as technology advances, it will be easier and easier to reproduce and send
everything on the net that Hollywood puts out. So the same Hollywood money machine that pours out money against everybody else's property rights now has its own rights threatened by technology.
Sometimes there IS poetic justice. I am very much a free market type, but that is my academic and economic side. But I am also a thoroughly political creature, and when liberals get torn up by the leftist institutions they built and they promote, I go from being a reserved intellectual ex-professor to a happy, vengeful Pontiac, South Carolina redneck.
(For proof, see the May 7, 2000 article - MICROSOFT CASE: A LIBERAL GETS MUGGED).
To show that other serious political beings think exactly the same way that I do, I point to a recent congressional action on our trade treaty with China. Suddenly, LIBERAL senators and congressmen were loudly demanding that AMERICAN RIGHTS be protected and AMERICAN SOVEREIGNTY be respected. I checked to see if there were any hallucinogens in my food.
I read on, and the explanation of this unliberal behavior became clear. All this sovereignty and defense of property rights had to do with COPYRIGHTS! China was selling videotapes and CDs of HOLLYWOOD output. Suddenly, property rights were sacred to the liberals. Unlike respectable conservatives, liberals are deadly serious about their politics. When THEIR side's property rights are threatened, they turn on a dime.
If only this had happened in the 1960s, even the respectable conservatives would have been FORCED to talk about liberal hypocrisy! That was when all the folk-singing lefties made millions on their albums as they spoke of how unimportant wealth was to True Idealists like themselves.
One 60s leftist hero, Abbie Hoffman, wrote a book called "Steal This Book!" Naturally, his leftist fans bought the book, and he never turned down a dime's worth of royalties. As a result of this and other profitable activism, Hoffman never had to do a day's work. Exactly like Marx and Engels, exactly like Lenin and Trotsky, he got to praise the virtues of the working class and thereby avoid doing any work himself.
Back in the 1960s, this kind of sudden threat from technology to the property rights of the lefties would have been really hilarious. After all that idealistic talk, we could have watched them out there suing for their money the way leftist "artists" are doing now.
The leftist Time-Warner crowd is in on today's lawsuits. Meanwhile, they say they are for minorities and foreigners against other people's property rights. But no respectable conservative will ever bring this up.
I can guarantee you that every politician who cashes Barbra Streisand's political contribution checks is going to battle for her royalty rights harder than any Texas congressman ever did for the oil business. Can you imagine a liberal allowing government regulations to hold down the price of Hollywood movie tickets the way the Federal government held down the price of Southern oil for decades (July 8, OIL AND HATING SOUTHERNERS)?
So while all the respectable conservatives are crying for poor, persecuted little Bill Gates and the property rights of Hollywood, I am having a good, loud, knee-slapping laugh.