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Dear Marc Andreessen

"Hi, Marc... You seem to think everyone's worried about robots. But what everyone's worried about is you, Marc. Not just you, but people like you. Robots aren't at the levers of financial and political influence today, but folks like you sure are. People are scared of so much wealth and control being in so few hands... Unless we collectively choose to pay for a safety net, technology alone isn't going to make it happen." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 18, 2014 - 50 comments

The Library as an Economic Model in the Second Machine Age

Congress takes a casual look at the peer-to-peer economy - “Finding new ways to monetise used or existing assets has the obvious and immediate effects of raising their value and the wealth of their owners, while simultaneously reducing the value of comparable stuff owned by incumbent companies — for whom monetisation already wasn’t a problem, and who find themselves burdened by the newly competitive environment. The innovations also provide a surplus to those consumers who previously would have paid more to an incumbent. And all without any new stuff actually having to be made.” [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 23, 2014 - 23 comments

Where would be the fun in watching a driverless Formula 1 race?

Brad DeLong, recently installed at Equitablog, lays out a future (wonkish) where the returns to capital keep increasing relative to labor: "What do we people do to add value? Eight things... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 9, 2013 - 29 comments

KIMOTA!

Who owns Marvelman? Part I and part II - the concluding chapters of Padraig O Mealoid's epic 16 part history of one of comic's most disputed characters. meanwhile another hole in comics history is about to be filled in as Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell's Zenith finally gets collected in full.
posted by Artw on Jun 2, 2013 - 15 comments

Ownership of your digital works is no longer automatic in the UK

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act changes UK copyright law so that only a "diligent search" for ownership is required before a work is considered "orphaned", and put into extended collective licensing. This is one part of a larger act that is supposed to "modernise the UK’s copyright regime to promote innovation in the design industry, encouraging investment in new products while strengthening copyright protections. " Pundits are comparing this to Instagram's assertion of ownership over its users' works last year.
posted by boo_radley on Apr 29, 2013 - 24 comments

Incommensurable values

Economists and the theory of politics - "why unions were often well worth any deadweight cost" [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 25, 2013 - 27 comments

Clown car counts noses

The Global Middle Class Is Bigger Than We Thought A new way of measuring prosperity has enormous implications for geopolitics and economics.[...] the number of passenger cars in circulation serves as the most reliable gauge we have about the size of a country's middle class.
posted by infini on Jun 2, 2012 - 26 comments

Excelsior!

How Marvel Comics screwed Jack Kirby out of millions
posted by Artw on Feb 7, 2012 - 92 comments

Christiania goes Wall Street

Copenhagen's Christiania squatters, famed for their anti-free market ways, are selling shares in their community so they can buy it from the government. What do you get for your investment: "a symbolic sense of ownership in Christiania and the promise of an invitation to a planned annual shareholder party." As one squatter calls it, "ownership in an abstract form." According to the Copenhagen Post, after striking a deal with the state this summer, Christiania residents now need to raise 76.2 million kroner (almost $13 million) to buy the majority of the area’s properties and an additional six million kroner to rent adjoining green spaces. The first 43 million kroner (or approximately $8 million) is due on 15 April 2012. Several prominent people have purchased Christiania Shares, including Margrethe Vestager, minister of the economy and interior, and Mogens Lykketoft, president of parliament. The shares are available for purchase online (Text source)
posted by infini on Jan 17, 2012 - 22 comments

speculative, but instructive, economics

In a pinch, upgrade the humans or redistribute the robots - "[S]uppose [as a factory owner] I replace all my workers with machines... This squeeze has many implications, one of them being that here is an important sector of the economy in which more or less all the gains accrue to the owners of capital and more or less none to the working class..." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 1, 2011 - 98 comments

Who owns Kafka?

An ongoing trial in Tel Aviv is set to determine who will have stewardship of several boxes of Kafka’s original writings, including primary drafts of his published works, currently stored in Zurich and Tel Aviv.
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 23, 2011 - 41 comments

Tragedy of the anti-commons

Tragedy of the anti-commons is the opposite of tragedy of the commons - it's when too many owners create grid-lock, nothing can get accomplished. It exists everywhere from copyright law, tech patents, music industry, airport runway expansion, medicine, etc.. it is pervasive across all aspects of modern capitalist societies. The concept was coined by Professor Michael Heller who published a book in 2008 called The Gridlock Economy: How Too Much Ownership Wrecks Markets, Stops Innovation, and Costs Lives. In an excellent Authors@Google video, Michael Heller explains what it is and how it undermines capitalism, in particular over the past 30 years with increased privatization.
posted by stbalbach on Feb 10, 2009 - 55 comments

Who owns your ink?

Can you copyright a tattoo? Yes, you can. But there's more to it. The idea raises a lot of questions and concerns—for the artists, the inked-skin owners, and certain parties seeking to represent or showcase the work. Shortly after Marisa Kakoulas wrote The Tattoo Copyright Controversy guest article, featured at BMEZINE.com, she encountered a small legal battle of her own. [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Jul 28, 2008 - 32 comments

Cash rules everything around me

CASH is the Coalition of Artists & Stake Holders, a project conceived and initiated by musician Kristin Hersh. CASH is "read-write" — more than consumption; a collaborative online effort — helping make music ownership more of an interactive affair facilitated through Creative Commons licensing.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 5, 2008 - 9 comments

Big FCC rollback vote this Tuesday.

Big FCC rollback vote this Tuesday. I know a lot of mefites are passionate about this issue and it looks like Senators Byron Dorgan (D–ND) and Trent Lott (R-MS) are doing something about it. More info, free faxes, etc at the ACLU. Read S.J. res 17 here.
posted by skallas on Sep 15, 2003 - 13 comments

So the FCC might let me be...

So the FCC might let me be... On June 2, FCC commissioners will vote on proposed changes to U.S. media ownership rules. Proponents of eliminating a ban on "cross ownership" argue that mergers between local newspapers and radio and TV stations in large and medium-sized markets will boost the quality and quantity of local news reportage. The nonprofit Consumers Union calls the ban "critical to the independence and diversity of our nation's media". Let the FCC know where you stand (third item on list).
posted by Bixby23 on May 14, 2003 - 15 comments

The Inescapable US Drive to Own Stuff

The US Consitution really isn't that concerned with Freedom, nor Democracy (doesn't even use the word) - it's all about Property. Owning stuff, owning more stuff, and making sure everybody else leaves your stuff alone. Implications for foreign policy? Anybody? You at the back?
posted by klaatu on Mar 26, 2003 - 35 comments

J.K. Galbraith shocked at scale of corporate failures.

J.K. Galbraith shocked at scale of corporate failures. "I can only say I hadn't expected to see this problem on anything like the magnitude of the last few months – the separation of ownership from management, the monopolisation of control by irresponsible personal money-makers." Myself and chrispy came to the same conclusion on the drive home from the resolutely un- (rather than anti-) corporate Glastonbury Festival today. Profit is valued and rewarded by the vast majority of corporations above all else. As a consquence, people with the same values dominate executive positions, to the exclusion of those with more 'humanitarian' or longer-term outlooks. Where is the balance? Should we make hippie non-exec directors compulsory? Or should I just go back to bed and let the drugs wear off???
posted by barnsoir on Jul 1, 2002 - 9 comments

Who owns the rights to your website if you write a book about it?

Who owns the rights to your website if you write a book about it?
Michael J. Hammel posed this question today on a mailing list that I am on.
posted by tamim on Nov 3, 2000 - 7 comments

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