Thinking out loud: I often do my 4-owners http://c11.ca/own presentation, discussing how there are 4 classes of owners implicated by bills like #C11.

Some copyright holding groups like to talk about about who the worst infringers (or enablers) are. Most of the time it is intermediaries like Access Copyright who seem to think the educational community is untrustworthy, or the recording industry who like to talk about ISOHunt or PirateBay. If you talk to music composers and performers they might talk about the recording industry as being the biggest infringer, with the major labels settling for $50M with a suit brought against them (Chet Baker vs Sony BMG, etc).

While I am an example of all 4 classes of owner, the rights that I feel are least understood and respected in these debates are the rights of technology owners. From this perspective, who are the worst infringers of our property rights?

Top of the list is likely Sony, which are openly hostile to owners of their brand of technology. The Playstation "OtherOS" case is only one among other, and Sony as a company actively lobbies governments to flip property rights on its head and legally protect Sony (the infringer) rather than the owner when Sony abuses technology to lock owners out of their property.

Sony is the worst, but other game console manufacturers like Microsoft with their XBox seem to have a similar, if not as nasty, disrespect for technology property rights.

The next obvious sector is the cell phone market. While ties to the provider are one type of lock which hearkens back to the 1950's when only Bell-owned equipment was allowed to be connected to the phone network, this is the lesser lock. The lock which disallows the owner from making their own software choices (and thus controlling the device) is worse. Here the most virulent infringer is Apple, who has so little respect for property rights as to deliberately "brick" devices, something that should be considered by courts as comparable to theft. I disagree that copyright infringement is analogous to theft (far closer to trespass), but believe bricking phones is.

We can go down the list of hardware vendors who actively circumvent the rights of technology owners, and who lobby governments to not only legalize but legally protect this infringement.

It is Apples-and-oranges to compare infringement of copyright with infringement of tangible technology property rights. That said, I find it hard to understand how anyone can believe what ISOHunt or PirateBay is doing is anywhere near as bad as what Sony and Apple are doing (including their associations like BSA/CAAST, ESA/ESAC on the policy front). I'm not apologizing for ISOHunt or PirateBay, and agree that their inducement of infringement is bad, but get so frustrated by how many people are willing to defend and apologize for the far worse rights infringement by Sony, Apple, etc.

Thoughts? Does this anger you as much as it does me?
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