Intellectual Property Rights: On the Internet, Nobody Can Hear You BitTorrent

How the Internet works.

How the Internet works.

Today we are going to discuss intellectual property rights on the Internet. Now, I do realize this is a difficult subject for many people. To begin with, the very phrase is problematic; it contains the words “intellectual” and “Internet” in the same sentence, which is very questionable in what it suggests about Internet content in general. Secondly, the phrase contains the words “property rights” and “Internet” in the same sentence, which suggests that people on the Internet have some kind of “right” to the YouTube videos they post of themselves and all their friends burping the alphabet song.

In all,the phrase “Intellectual property rights on the Internet” seems to suggest that there is some sort of “intellectual property” somebody has “rights” to, on the Internet. Thus, for many, discussing Internet property rights is a little like discussing a cow’s right to own a Ferrari convertible.

There are many men on the Internet that could pass for cows, often on the basis of weight alone, although in that regard some are a bit more similar to whales, if you get my drift. Their fans are also akin to cows; chewing on the dried out cud of old memes and new information about unimportant things that nobody cares about, they fill their four stomach compartments with information digested over time, in the hopes that they can produce the thick and juicy Milk Of Information for their fans, thus completing this cycle of Internet cowdom.

Unfortunately, sometimes Internet cows’ milk is not so good. Sometimes our Internet cows–referred to by those in the know as Intercows–produce blue milk that is indigestible, or produce milk that is thick but lumpy and of questionable nutrition. These sadly information-starved Internet cows typically stay on celebrity gossip websites and look like Serbian war refugees. But this is not important. No sirree. What is important is, no matter how retarded the content they add to the Internet, Youtube-posting, blogging, webcomic-drawing Intercows do in fact deserve some kind of intellectual property rights.

Bear with me, I have a point.

Consider a cow. Like, in a barn. Now, imagine that this cow decided one day to get off its fat lazy hoofs and begin composing great symphonies the likes of Mozart. Now, I’m sure you probably think, “Oh, this is just a cow, there’s no way it could make any kind of music aside from intestinal disturbances. Now make me a steak, woman.” But you are sorely mistaken. First off, I am not a woman. Second off, how do you know what a cow is capable of? You don’t live anywhere near a cow, and if you do you’re probably a redneck, so your opinion doesn’t count, because you voted for George W. Bush and are therefore responsible for [insert horrifically embarrassing international incident involving the word “nukyalar” here].

Just assume (ASSUME, DAMMIT!) that we found that a cow could make great music. The question is, of course, what would we pay cows to listen to their music? Would we take them to the Roxy and have them conduct an orchestra? Certainly not, as the udder gyrations would be nearly hypnotic and distracting to the musicians. We also could not have them play on streetcorners, as they are usually naked, and public nudity is a crime in most areas. The answer is, of course, Youtube. Youtube will allow you (we’ll call you “Billy Bob”) to upload videos of your cow (we’ll call her “Bessie”) to a Youtube account (“Cowtube”). At any time, in any stage of undress, you can upload videos to Cowtube of your prodigious cow. The only question now is where you make money.

Typical Internet advertisement.

Typical Internet advertisement.

The answer, of course, is advertisements. Advertisements are obnoxious things large corporations place on web pages to infuriate Internet users. The idea is very simple, really. If enough corporations place enough advertisements on enough webpages, everybody using the Internet will be so irritated from clicking the “X” button on various advertisements for rubbery unmentionable bananalike projectiles and feminine flotation devices that they’ll give up on using the Internet and go out to buy Mountain Dew and Cheetos. This may seem like a poorly-conceived way to make money, but it forms the foundation of the modern world economy as we know it.

To put it simply, Intercows do in fact make money off their work, via advertisements. In fact, the only person I know of who does not make money peddling his writing on the Internet is me. I do not make a single damn cent writing all this horse manure. The closest thing I get to actual money is in the form of intense satisfaction from reading angry half-finished rants from total strangers, most with three or four mistakes per word, telling me how horrible I am for comparing great writers like Maddox–who I might add, now makes money off his book, The Alphabet of Manliness–to a cow.

Technically, whether or not people get to make money off their Cowtube videos has nothing whatsoever to do with intellectual property rights, although it’s definitely something I would like to do, so I could stop being poor. Nevertheless, many take Internet intellectual property rights seriously. So let’s talk about that some more. There is a more important question than mancows’ right to money for their work anyway. That question is, of course, “Are you infringing on somebody’s intellectual property rights is you use BitTorrent to steal BloodySugar’s latest strip-jewels-game/comic extravanganza?” No. No, a thousand times over. Or at least I sure hope not. So then we have to ask: Does make good drawings of naked cartoon women? I have no idea. Do I need to change this site over to a place that lets me place advertisements all over the place for no apparent reason? Yes I do. I definitely need to get into putting advertisements on my little online e-diary here. And that’s the end of our discussion for today.

Clearly we have learned quite a bit. To recap:

-It is OK to steal from Internet people, especially mancows like Maddox and Jerry Holkins, because they are fat and they make money anyway and they should be used to feed starving children in third-world nations.

-It is also OK to steal from porno sites like Bloody Sugar, because they are disgusting filth and if you don’t steal their latest furry porn masterpiece they will fill your mind with garbage and make you want to have sex with a woman, which we all know isn’t going to happen for at least the next four centuries anyway, so why bother trying?

-Cowtube would be an excellent name for one of those websites where women of questionable morals place videos of themselves for no apparent reason. It might make some think twice before posting the videos, for fear that they would be called “cows”. Many might get jobs.

-I need to put ads all over the place for no apparent reason.

That’s it for today. I hope you feel as enlightened as I do. I feel like a black hole of enlightenment right now. How about you?