Re: [OT] The record industry, RIAA and US law
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> You concede that we are freer WRT guns, but you argue that in a greater
> sense you're freer, since the victims stay alive. But by that sort of
> sophistry, you can call lots of things freedom; the 'McCarthyism' that
> Joe and Curt detest is actually 'freedom', since would-be victims of
> the would-be terrorists remain alive and free. The point is that we
> measure freedom by what a law-abiding citizen may legally do, and by
> that straightforward definition, we're freer than you WRT firearms.
Do you know any 'law-abiding citizen'? I'm quite sure, I don't. I try to
be law-abiding and also try to be correct, but sometimes I fail. Many
people fail to abide the law, when they encounter emotional or other
forms of stress. (Fortunately only few go as far as killing others, but
going slightly faster than the speed limit on an empty street is also a
form of breaking the law. )
While we are at it: speed limit is a good example of freedom. How fast
are you allowed to speed in the US?
>> Even the police and military have less 'freedom' to use guns in Germany
>> as compared to the US. Again that's a good thing.
> Even if we concede that it's a >
good thing, that doesn't equal freedom.
> It's just that sometimes a curtailment of freedom is good.
>>> Which country has
>>> stronger protections for freedom of speech?
>> Arguably, Germany. The only exception to this rule is that it is illegal
>> in Germany to tell lies about the Nazis. It is also illegal to tell
>> offending lies about other people. But this is actually protects the
>> freedom of others.
> Can I tell offending *truths* or expres offending opinions about
> Can I say "I hate Jews / Arabs / Asians / blacks / homosexuals
> and I think that they should be stripped of their civil rights and
Well you are allowed to express your opinion, but you are not allowed to
order that opinion on someone else. I'm not sure about the legality of
your example, but to get [...] "stripped of their civil rights and
incarcerated" is certainly incompatible with freedom.
Are you allowed to say: "Please do me a favor and kill that [...] for
me! I will offer to pay you a reward of $XXX! " in the US? Is this
freedom of speech or planned murder?
> Again, even if one believes that it's right to prohibit
> such things (and I don't concede the point) it's incorrect to call that
> How is selling Nazi memorabilia and expressing fondness for them
> telling lies about them? Fallaci had trouble for writing thing like
> "the sons of Allah breed like rats". Was she accused of falsehood, or
> of mere offensiveness?
Selling of memorabilia is probably illegal, I'm not sure and I don't
care. But the display/use of the swastica is illegal. IIRC, that is the
only symbol that it illegal in Germany. There was a legal dispute of
whether it is allowed to sell bumper stickers with a crossed swastica,
because the use of that symbol is illegal in Germany, and now we have a
Supreme court ruling that crossed swasticas are legal.
>> Also, no Western-German or unified German government after WWII has ever
>> carried people to offshore islands, denying any rights for legal counsel
>> or legal defence. As said above, government, police, military have less
>> powers in Germany to take freedom away from people.
>>> As I said, I don't know
>>> much about the Netherlands' legal climate, but I'm surprised to hear
>>> that it's a much freer country. I have heard that they're more tolerant
>>> WRT moral issues, such as euthanasia, drugs and prostitution. Is that
>>> what you mean? What about economic freedom? One way or another, I'm
>>> genuinely curious to see a comparison of the two countries' respective
>> What do you mean by economic freedom? If you are talking about the
>> ability of companies to sack people in order to save their salary, then
>> the US is indeed more liberal.
> Yes, the ability to hire and fire at will is called freedom of
> contract. Why should the government tell consenting adults what sorts
> of economic arrangements they can make among themselves :). And once
> again, even if you believe that government should regulate such things
> (and I do agree with some regulation of economic activity), it's still
> a curtailment of freedom.
>> If you are talking about the freedom to copy a CD you bought to a
>> cassette in order to play it on your 10 year old car's stereo that won't
>> play CDs, than Germany has more freedom. Many of the EULA clauses
>> limiting your rights are void in Germany. (Of course that implies that
>> companies have less freedom to hassle their customers).
>> If you are talking about the possibility of using 'one-click' buttons on
>> your web site without fear of patent infringement, then Europe has more
> You have completely failed to show that Germany is freer than the US.
> You have shown that some things are freer there, but many are freer
> here. You just insist on denying that any of our freedoms are really
No. I have an open attitude and it was me, who gave you the counter
examples. Someone who is arrested on grounds of suspicion and has no
right of defending himself in front of a neutral judge is not free. No
matter how many 'free people' carry guns with them.
To quote former US president Kennedy: "If one man is imprisoned, all are
All over Germany you have the freedom to carry a bottle of beer in
public (I assume you are old enough. You don't have the freedom of
drinking *and* driving).
All over Germany you have the freedom to enter any public area *and* it
is fairly save to do so (day and night). In the US everyone tells me
about areas that are best avoided. So even if legally you are allowed to
enter, you'd encounter a considerable risk of being robbed or killed.
I don't care too much about the freedom of carrying guns, as long as I
have a lower probability of getting killed/arrested without a cause/ etc.
For freedom, it's not only important what is legal or illegal. It is
more important that you can actually do this or that without danger.
* For the things I care about, there is more freedom in Europe legally.
* The police / government etc. have less rights to infringe your
* and at the same time it is a more secure place to live in, ie you have
more chance to enjoy your legal freedoms in real life not only on
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