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For some reason, I still have internet service. This is somewhat worrisome, as I was under the impression they were going to cut it off as of yesterday.

I found an interesting link, though it’s a bit frustrating for firefox users because the lack of a .htm or .html extension causes it not to be rendered. What makes this one interesting is not so much the content as the discussion underneath.

The assertion is raised that usage of goods provided for free in any manner not intended by the distributor is equivalent to theft. If you’re using EULA-ish ‘ownership’ of software and other IP, then this makes sense. However, there is no EULA for free boxes you can pick up at a Kinko’s; you can just get them for free. The question, therefore, is in which sense ownership should operate. Is the old model, in which ownership is complete and transferral of ownership leaves nothing to the creator, outdated? Or should the default for physical goods be that, like intellectual property, the consumer never fully owns the product; the creator (or someone who bought complete ownership directly from them) always has some rights with respect to the use of the product?

My personal opinion is that if you give something away, you can’t complain about whatever use someone puts your product to unless you made the recipient sign a contract outlining these restrictions in exchange for the product. In that case, you can’t call the product free; it may not cost money, but it costs in rights, which shouldn’t count as nothing. I’m interested in what you think, though.

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