April 27, 2006

I’ve been thinking a lot lately on how the common user can survive an assault from a major corporation’s lawyers. In particular, I’m referring to cases like the RIAA mass lawsuits (like the ones where they sue grandmothers, minors, and their families) or ones like this poor sap, who’s getting sued for producing a piece of software similar to what a company has before that company even filed a patent on it.

So what can be done about this? A century ago, collective action would have been the answer. But in those instances, people could be organized more easily because they shared commonalities – interest, location, working conditions, etc. These are wildly disparate people, unified only by their persecution by the conglomerates. They, of course, wouldn’t pursue this avenue of legal recourse if it wasn’t lucrative. How can it be made unlucrative without getting the government involved?

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