Siva Vaidhyanathan's book The Anarchist in the Library
identifies a theory implicit in much of the copyright wars called, "If value, then right." It holds that if something has some value, then the person who made it has a right to be compensated for using that value.
For example, your DVDs have value as discs you put in a player, which you pay for when you buy them at a store. But when you rip the disc and put it on a portable player, then you realize some new value. According to "if value, then right," the studio that made the DVD has the right to be compensated for that new value. Otherwise, you're stealing.
Exploring this idea, David "Everything is Miscellaneous" Weinberger has compiled a list of "20 things I’ve stolen" according to the "If value, then right" theory.
I took an extra napkin from a Taco Bell for unspecified use “later.”
20 things I’ve stolen
I sat on a bench on a hot day, enjoying the breeze as the man next to me fanned himself.
I read the headlines of a newspaper that was for sale in a kiosk box.
I divided a single-serving DingDong in two, and had it for dessert on two consecutive days.
I listened all the way through to a Metallica song emanating from my neighbor’s radio, but closed my window when the commercial came on.
I remembered the movie times in my newspaper from the day before so I wouldn’t have to buy a copy of the paper today.
When a friend’s cat chose my lap to sit in, I petted it, precisely to discourage it from moving to the lap of its rightful owner.
I said “What a long, strange trip it’s been” without air quotes.
On the Amtrak “quiet car,” I listened to a man in the seat ahead of me explaining to the bored woman next to him how he gets such a great shine on his shoes. I have since used his technique, successfully.
I have stared carefully at reproductions of great paintings.
A new report from the US Copyright Office on Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act — a controversial law that bans breaking DRM, even for legitimate purposes — calls for sweeping, welcome changes to the DMCA.
Did you buy a useless $400 “smart” juicer and now feel the need to accessorize it with more extrusions from the Internet of Shit timeline? Then The Leaf from Teaforia is just the thing: it’s a tea-maker that uses DRM-locked tea-pods to brew tea in your kitchen so you don’t have to endure the hassle […]
Last October, the Dr Seuss estate used legal threats to halt a wildly successful crowdfunded Seuss/Star Trek mashup called “Oh, The Places You’ll Boldly Go,” whose contributors included comics legend Ty Templeton and Tribbles creator David Gerrold.
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]