Vote with your dollars…

and buy with your conscience. Quit complaining about the actions of megacorpations, because it’s really easy to do something about it.

(note: this article was originally written in June. I had basically finished it with the second draft in July, but I never got around to fixing up the links. So, now it’s all set!)

Many Americans feel powerless next to the enormity of the government. It’s important to remember that the government is simply a bunch of people that we chose to represent our interests when making policy. Recent history has shown us how much difference an individual can make: a Senator from a small state single handedly changed the balance of power in the Senate. The Presidential election was as close to a tie as it can get, making it the kind of election in which the votes of each person add up to a significant difference.
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Why I Agree With Tasini

In New York Times v. Tasini, freelance writer Jonathan Tasini sued because the NY Times published an article of his online without his permission. I agree with the Supreme Court and with Anupam Chander’s article on the issue, in which Chander states that the case may have an impact for Napster.

In all of the talk about Napster, it has seemed like musicians are pretty powerless in the music industry. That is true, because musicians sign away their copyrights when they sign up with a major label. However, writers are a different story. They often retain their copyrights and just give a license to a publisher for a specific use.
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Do Writers Believe In Shorter Copyright Terms?

I’ve seen quite a bit of discussion about how copyright terms are just too long. The original copyright term length was 14 years. Currently, the term length is up to the author’s life plus 90 years! Change begins with the actions of a few, and writers are possibly in the best position to do something about it.

The idea with the original copyright law is that creators of intellectual works should be given exclusive rights “for a limited time” so that they can earn some money on their creations. This is a very logical, and noble goal. But, the “limited time” part of the Constitution was left up to Congress. Technically, the current term length of life+90 is a limited time. But, there’s really no reason to believe that it won’t be extended again in another 10 years.
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