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Monday, August 21, 2017

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An Intellectual Property Victory


As a Conservative, I am usually on the opposite side of the table from most movie stars and music acts.  After all, they seem to a great degree to be liberals.  However, I stand with those people and uniformly cheer the shutdown of Grokster.  Grokster was a networked file sharing service, used by many to illegally trade in digital files containing the songs and movies that pay these liberalsí way through life.  Grokster settled the lawsuit against it and its principals by permanently shutting down.

As an author myself, I realize that intellectual property is real, and those who work in these realms deserve to be compensated for their work.  The "something for nothing" mentality that drove Grokster and similar services was no less than an effort to deprive those who work hard for their money of money.  The file swappersí rationale is that many of these musicians and actors are supremely rich, and also that the rich record and movie companies can afford to spare a few sales.  What a crock.


"When a movie is involved, there are royalties, called residuals, paid on video sales and rentals.  These residuals go not only to the big-name stars, but to everyone on down to the extras.  Every bootlegged movie takes money out of the pocket of the people who worked hard for little money."


When a movie is involved, there are royalties, called residuals, paid on video sales and rentals.  These residuals go not only to the big-name stars, but to everyone on down to the extras.  Every bootlegged movie takes money out of the pocket of the people who worked hard for little money.  The same is true for music, where backup singers and musicians get paid these residuals.  Itís profit sharing for those whose creativity makes the profits possible.  Every bootleg song or video screws over the little guy, far more than it screws over the big guy.

Now, some of my Conservative brethren may decry the use of unions in order to achieve these residuals.  In fact, my greatest American Hero, Ronald Reagan, resigned as president of the Screen Actorsí Guild in 1960 over a residuals-related strike.  But that is as irrelevant to the issue as is the liberalism of many performers.  These people worked for their property and deserve it.  I am sure that those of us who are published and / or produce videos or radio / TV shows feel likewise.


"OK.  I have come down clearly in support of the movie and record industries to cheer Groksterís demise.  Now, my liberal friends who are performers, you need to read closely and understand why liberals are to blame for the Grokster mentality."


OK.  I have come down clearly in support of the movie and record industries to cheer Groksterís demise.  Now, my liberal friends who are performers, you need to read closely and understand why liberals are to blame for the Grokster mentality.  Why is someone willing to break the law and screw you out of a few cents in order to scam a free song that is on iTunes for only 99 cents?  Why is someone willing to steal a movie online that he or she could rent for a measly $3.50 at Blockbuster?  Itís because liberals teach people to be irresponsible.

Liberalism teaches us that rich people donít actually work for their money, rather, they are the "winners of Lifeís Lottery."  That deceptive maxim implies that wealthy people donít deserve their wealth.  But, weíre not talking about people who inherited some dynastic fortune, like a Vanderbilt, DuPont or Kennedy, or Howard Dean (an heir of the Dean Witter Reynolds fortune).  Nobody can argue that Madonna or Sheryl Crow or Martina McBride work hard for their earnings.  Aside from that, they all pay the livelihoods of others from their money.  We may disagree with the politics of Jennifer Aniston or Uma Thurman, but that doesnít mean that they donít work hard for their money.  The problem is that liberalism, with its class-warfare undertones, teaches people that itís good to "stick it to the man."  So stealing a few songs (or a few thousand songs) is no big deal in the liberal universe; some rich person is simply experiencing some sort of Robin Hood justice.


"Take the profit out of business, and you take the value out of your retirement nest egg.  Also, if you think that profit is evil, you will think that "depriving the fat cat corporations of some windfall profits" is a good thing.  That is simply a justification to steal."


And donít get me started on the liberal take on big business.  The oil industryís profit percentage is virtually identical to a year ago, but because people actually had to pay more for something that was in short supply (there was some sort of natural law about that, something about supply and demand), their profits were decried as obscene.  Congresspeople started to talk about taxes to strip the profit out of oil.  This teaches that profit is evil.  Well, what if you are a normal person whose 401(k) is invested in stock-based mutual funds?  Take the profit out of business, and you take the value out of your retirement nest egg.  Also, if you think that profit is evil, you will think that "depriving the fat cat corporations of some windfall profits" is a good thing.  That is simply a justification to steal.

Liberalism also teaches people to be irresponsible.  "Hey!  I donít have to pay for my doctor visits.  Why should I pay for something like a song?"  We give people a free education (I do not say a quality free education).  We had liberal congresspeople demanding that we give child tax refunds to those people with children that paid no taxes.  Thatís free money, folks!  We teach people that only the government is qualified to manage oneís retirement nest-egg.  When you teach people that others must pay your way, you become unwilling to pay your own way.

Now, Grokster is shut down.  To quote the home page: "There are legal services for downloading music and movies.
This service is not one of them."  People may learn that everyone deserves to be paid for their hard work.