Nationalizing the Internet

No good deed goes unpunished, they say:

Richard, a former reserve deputy in the sheriff’s marine division, more than three years ago offered to provide the Web site at no cost to the county as an in-kind contribution. Hackel, who enthusiastically supported it, said Richard agreed to operate it in exchange for publicity for his company.

The Web site, www.macombsheriff.com, debuted in March 2001 to praise by officials. Richard said it attracted 3.5 million hits per month from throughout the world.

The site provided comprehensive information about the department, a way for the public to communicate with police and archives of newspaper articles.

A year or so ago, Richard started talking with Hackel’s staff about earning income from the site. An attempt was made to secure advertisements for the site with profits going to Richard, but Hackel said that generated only a small response.

Richard then demanded $300,000 of taxpayer dollars from the county. Richard said the money would offset the huge expense of running the Web site for the 33 months.

“That was by no means the end of negotiations,” said Simmons, Richard’s attorney. “He shut it down because he didn’t want to lose any more money.”

But Hackel said that exorbitant demand amounts to extortion.

“He built up the site so that we would rely on it so much and would pay him,” Hackel said. “(But) that content belongs to all of us.”

I hope he puts some serious, personal financial hurt on these closet socialists. It isn’t your fucking site, and it isn’t your fucking content. You were all for him keeping the site when it was free, but when he decides to stop giving you a free lunch, you throw him in jail? Stalin would be proud, Comrades! You didn’t do a damned thing to get that site running, or keep it going, but you sure as hell scream when the free ride ends!

Of course, why should the cops care about property rights? It isn’t as if we haven’t been teaching them to violate property rights on a daily basis. We tell them it is okay to steal property if you suspect that the guy is a bad person and use it for yourself. We teach them that they have to fund their department by taking from the population; why should they stop where they are?

Hackel said his mistake was placing too much trust in Richard and agreeing to have Richard pay the nominal domain fee. Richard retains authority of the domain name.

Oh, my, I thought I could have my cake and eat it too! You didn’t even pay $70 for the damned domain name, and now you want to piss and moan about the free service you’ve been getting for years? This is a gross civil rights violation, and again I hope that the county gets rogered good in court.

It was his site. He created it. I wonder if any of the other officers can conceive of what it means to create something. Part of his life is tied up in that site. His money and his sweat are tied up inextricably in it, and now they want to take it by force, and punish him for defying them by thinking that he had control over his own property, the fruit of his own labor.

This makes me physically ill.

(Via Catallarchy)

One Comment

  1. Lillian Reardon says:

    Come on Hank. We must be sensible about things, mustn’t we? You think just because you created Reardon steal that it belongs to you? It belongs to all of us. It’s for the common good. You can see that, can’t you?