Re: Duff: Quit Whining About SOPA and PIPA
So I think perhaps my example of cars is better. Say we invent the replicator now. So you can all download the specs for a Toyota, or someone's Ferrari...but what would happen to car development...why buy new model when you can just download it after someone else does?
Eventually not enough people are buying. Then you'll tell me a story about how the car makers are assholes and had it comming right?
First off, bread indeed isn't the most creative type of food, but some dishes definitely are. I would dare to say creativity is an important part of the art of making food. It's one of the main reasons people go to expensive restaurants instead of eating good ol' fashioned home cookin' every day (one of, not necessarily the only reason). So although cheaper alternatives are available, people still pay a hefty sum of money to eat at "Les Pantalons Fancie" for something that basically fullfils the same need as a Big Mac. People are willing to spend money for certain things although they can get cheaper alternatives.
Furthermore, if you say that it's okay to duplicate bread, would it be okay to duplicate "Eli's Most Famous Cheesecake"? Or, only ordinary non-branded cheesecake? What about truffles, there's no creativity in truffles as such, but they are hell-a expensive because they're so difficult to find. So if we could duplicate those at no cost, would you be against it? Lot's of truffle searchers would be out of a job, but maybe that's just the natural course of events...
Did you know that it is not illegal to make a copy of a car that looks exactly like a Ferrari? There are companies that sell kits that help you convert a Mazda Miata into a Mustang or Aston Martin look-alike. And of course, it's also perfectly legal to cast your own transmission boxes based on the design of a Ferrari transmission, so it's not just about looks either. Basically, in all instances, law says: if you can make a copy for your own use, feel free to do so. As long as you don't claim it's the real thing, and as long as you don't profit from the brands and patents of others. Why does music need to be different again?
Yes, this discussion is very specific to non-tangible goods (digital is a technical detail, but in reality if you can make super-high quality analog copies of something you'd have the same situation), but that's exactly what the exercise about the replicator is all about: try to imagine this in the realm of actual tangible goods.