Your Obedient Serpent (athelind) wrote,
Your Obedient Serpent

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I was in a Heinlein mood after all this political debate, so I grabbed my musty old copy of The Past Through Tomorrow from my bookshelf to read, appropriately enough, while I gave blood.

I was multi-tasking as I waited, part of my brain reading "Life-Line", the first short story RAH ever wrote, while the other part of my brain was pondering Digital Rights Management, Copyright, and all of the issues that today make it seem like "the future is owned, the future is content". Naturally enough, I found myself wondering just what The Old Man would have said about all this.

And there it was, in the very story I was reading.

There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute nor common law. Neither individuals not corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back, for their private benefit.

--Robert Anson Heinlein, "Life-Line", 1939.

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