Aug 23 2009

Catch 22

Category: government,societyharmonicminer @ 9:32 am

You may be familiar with the notion of a CATCH 22. It has recently appeared in regard to the marketing of a device to make a copy of commercially copy-protected DVDs, which resulted in lawsuits by the film industry to suppress the manufacture and sale of the device.

“The court appreciates Real’s argument that a consumer has a right to make a backup copy of a DVD for their own personal use,” Patel wrote, but noted that “a federal law has nonetheless made it illegal to manufacture or traffic in a device or tool that permits a consumer to make such copies.”

Got that? You have the right to make the copy, but not the right to make or sell a device that allows the copy to be made… which means you don’t have the right to make the copy.  The film industry insists on distributing their products in a form that makes it essentially impossible for citizens to access their right to make a backup copy.  It would be far more honest for the law to simply say that you have no right to make a backup copy, good luck, better take care of the DVD and don’t play frisbee with it.

The law giveth and the law taketh away….  blessed by the name of the law.

In many places, you have the right to self-defense, but not the right to have a weapon with you, which makes the right to self-defense of marginal usefulness, unless you happen to be a martial arts master, as well as young, strong and healthy….  which those accosting you are likely to be.  It would be far more honest for the law to say that the right to self-defense is limited to pleading for your life in the face of force majeure…  which seems to be the case in Britain these days.

Another excellent example is the case of nationalized health care, which may be imposed on people based on the notion that “health care is a right,” and which always and everywhere results in the denial of health care for certain people, in certain situations, with certain diseases, at certain stages of life.  It would be far more honest to say, “You have the right to as much healthcare as some people who never met you think you might deserve, and if they turn you down, you don’t have the right to get it anywhere else, either.”  Of course, “unavoidable delays” are the same thing as denial of care, even though they aren’t called that directly.  You can easily die waiting for care that is your “right” to have.

Lady Justice is indeed blind.  But she is watching you very closely.