Fetz (quoted), is one of Kinsella’s favorite arguments, necessitating my responses (interspersed).
“Own” [a song] is begging the question. Sure, we can prove who owns a truck by regressing through property titles and transactions of that scarce resource. However, if I have a recording of a song, one that I found on the internet and downloaded, what criteria proves ownership?Ownership of a song is proven by regressing through property titles and transactions of that scarce resource, just like a truck.
It would seem to me that ownership derives from first appropriation.Absolutely correct. Rightful ownership accrues according to the homestead principle. Hence the URL of my thesis “Homestead IP”.
That you’re a musician, you necessarily use notes (especially those of diatonic music), so you’re creating a double-standard here. You want to lay claim to a certain combination of notes and back it up with the use of aggression towards others who use that same combination, yet you don’t want to be held liable to those who actually created the diatonic system of notes. This seems very hypocritical and should be your first instruction that *creation* and ability to sell (or influence) is not the criteria of ownership.The diatonic scale is a series of sound wave frequencies, like 440 cycles per second. Nobody invented frequencies. Waves are a naturally occurring phenomenon, like aluminum sitting dormant in the hillside. There is an infinite supply of “notes” (particular frequencies) that anyone may use in building a musical composition, if one is willing and able to do the hard work necessary. Similarly, there is an infinite supply of aluminum in the hillside that anyone may use in building a bicycle, if one is willing and able to do the hard work necessary.
“Musical notes” pre-exist man, are non-scarce, thus non-ownable. A new song is created by an individual, from previously un-owned raw material, and transformed into a useful and unique new object.
“Aluminum” is not own-able. A bicycle made of aluminum is own-able. Why? It was homesteaded.
“The English Language” is not own-able. A unique original story made of English words is own-able. Why? It was homesteaded.
“The Diatonic Scale” is not own-able. A unique song made of diatonic notes is own-able. Why? It was homesteaded.
To take [Alexander Baker's pro-copyright] stance, you most assuredly owe many royalties to the descendants of Pythagorus, or at least if we were to follow your reasoning, you should not use diatonic music at all without his descendant’s permission. Have you secured that permission?A pattern of information is own-able, the supply of raw material from which the pattern is constructed is not own-able. Please stop conflating the two. It’s a strawman argument.