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Hive Mind Healthwatch "They're coming to take me away - ha haa!" - Napoleon XIV

The Patient

Robert Soave writing in The Michigan, the student paper at the University of Michigan.

Clinical Symptoms

"The idea that information can be owned is quite terrifying," trembles Soave.

Once something is digitally encoded, all rights vanish, according the patient.

"How can one possibly lay claim to information?" he asks.

Soave says that creator's rights are a philosophical impossibility. "Critics might argue that musicians should be able to own their music because they created it and you should own anything that you create by default.

"Only with the government's random mandates could anyone actually lay claim to something as abstract as information that is sent over the Internet."

Soave also displays paranoid fantasies common to the digital utopian.

"Today, the government defends companies that claim to own music. Tomorrow, it may defend people who claim to have invented new feelings and emotions."

"Such abstract claims of ownership may seem ridiculous, but the government has already stretched copyright laws past any definable form by criminalizing file sharing over the Internet."

Prognosis

Not good. ®

(Thanks to Dean Kay for the tip.)

Hive Mind Healthwatch is an occasional series charting the state of the collective unconscious. Send submissions of incipient nuttiness to The Doctor .

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