Quote Originally Posted by TheBlackCat View Post
You do realize that most countries do not follow the common law system, right? Pretty much only countries conqu*ahem*colonized by Britain follow common law. Statutory law the system is the legal system for well over a majority of the world.
English common law is but one type of dozens of customary legal systems. For example Ijma is the name give to the customary portion of sharia law. The law merchant, the direct predecessor and template of the uniform commercial code. There are no legal systems anywhere that cannot show customary roots. There is good reason for this. If we go be the words alone statutory systems have as many meaning as there are different meanings and combination of meanings for the words involved. To know what the law is, you have to also know what the law ought to be. Custom in indispensable in this process.

Quote Originally Posted by TheBlackCat View Post
You are confusing publishing license, which was government control over publishing anything, from copyright, which is author control over publishing of their own work. They are two entirely different things, for two entirely different purposes, and existing in parallel for a while. The government gains nothing from copyright, since it gives authors, rather than the government itself, ownership of the work.
Entirely different? Really?

Entirely means in all parts. You just pointed out that they both involve control of publishing. So let me rephrase. The first laws to restrict copying were aimed at censorship.

Remember "The government" doesn't not exist as a discrete rational and acting entity. It's an abstraction and obscures that is really going on. A good number of people with strong influences on those who act officially and unofficially as "the government" do have a great deal to gain from copyright. Or do you claim it is simply a coincidence that copyright terms always increase to include mickey mouse? Those with influence in the status quo love gather whatever sort of mini-monopolies they can to assure their continued influence.

Quote Originally Posted by TheBlackCat View Post
The same could be said of any ownership rights. Customary law has provided people with ownership of their own works for thousands of years. Common law actually did provide people with control over first publication of their works, although not later publications. However, I wouldn't consider that to be a big jump.
Physical goods are scarce and rivalrous as use tends to consume them. Clear claims of control prevent conflict and are preconditions to peace between man and man. No such thing can be said about creative expressions.

Common-law provided control over the physical manuscript. If I then let you read it upon your representation that you won't publish it without my permission, then you are estopped from publishing without permission. Moving control from my copy to all copies owned by anyone is a large jump. People have controlled their own stuff for thousands of years, but not the expressions that may be fixed therein.

Quote Originally Posted by TheBlackCat View Post
Examples, please.
Printed matter


Quote Originally Posted by TheBlackCat View Post
You need to justify this. Communism as normally practiced is government ownership of the means of production. In theory it would involve people freely giving others what they need. Neither is remotely similar to copyrights, which is still private ownership
I did. I described the category in the next sentence. There are six statement entailed in placed both in that category. 1. Communism is a (A) rejection of prior custom with (B) an alledged benifit, that is (C) unproven. 2. Same as one A through C, but for copyright.

I didn't say they are they same in all or even most essential qualities. I just said that there are some number of qualities sufficient to define a category containing both concepts, but still excluding of the great majority of concepts. If you want to reject my statement, you should poke at one of the six implied premises of it.