Biscuit the Democat, by Eric Hart. Posted with permission.

It may with propriety be remarked, that in all countries where literature is protected, and it never can flourish where it is not, the works of an author are his legal property; and to treat letters in any other light than this, is to banish them from the country, or strangle them in the birth.

Thomas Paine, 1792.

4 Comments

  1. Happy 4th!

  2. The works of an author are his NATURAL property, and the law should recognise this as much as the works of a weaver or potter. It is not the case that what is natural property is determined by law, but that property law is determined by what is natural.

    Naturally, once an author sells his his writing, his property, to another, it becomes the property of another, whether an original manuscript or a copy thereof. Without such volition, a work of writing, whether original manuscript or copy, obtained through burglary is theft.

    The 1709 Statute of Anne annulled from her subjects the right to make copies of literary works, to leave this right, by exclusion in the hands of the copyright holder. In 1790 Madison adopted her statute for US legislation.

    Per Thomas Paine “It is a perversion of terms to say that a charter gives rights. It operates by a contrary effect — that of taking rights away. Rights are inherently in all the inhabitants; but charters, by annulling those rights, in the majority, leave the right, by exclusion, in the hands of a few. … They…consequently are instruments of injustice. “

    • That’s why a US Registered Copyright owned by the author first is essential before any sale and/or theft. Creative Commons, Google’s Eric Schmidt NYC Condo, and WikiPedia’s Jimmy Wales sweaty plastic seat at an M.I.T. yearly educational review (while looking at the hands of a clock to scatter out of there) are not law. Thanks.

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