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There Ought to Be a Law
There is a threat to wipe out bitcoin, and all cryptocurrencies, using a
strained legal excuse. The threat is to confiscate individual
bitcoins if those specific coins were used previously in some illegal
transaction, or passed through a broker that was later accused of any
sort of crime.
The article describes two alternative plans for choosing who to punish
in this way, but the effect would be the same: to punish ordinary
users of bitcoins effectively at random. Ostensibly it is not random,
but rather based on a criterion that ordinary users couldn't hope to
check, so it's effectively equivalent to punishment at random.
It is fundamentally unjust to subject people to punishment at random.
Constitutions ought to insist that no one can be punished, or legally
discriminated against, or have property seized, based on circumstances
not feasible for them to have recognized and avoided.
A global requirement to list the ultimate beneficial owner of
every company would put a big crimp in global corruption.
Even if many small countries do not adopt this requirement, large
countries could effectively make it compulsory by denying the tax
deduction as a business expense for payments to companies whose
ultimate beneficial owner is not registered.
We need a law requiring the immigration agency to publish all
about a particular person's interrogation or exclusion, if that person
publicly asks. We must not allow the agency to hide its refusal to
explain itself to the victim behind a facade of concern for the
victim's own privacy.
To treat a payment to a foreign company as a tax-deductable
business expense, that company should have to disclose its
true owners, and whatever other information is needed to
prevent tax dodging.
contractors for hiring ex-officials.
Businesses should be heavily fined if they use subcontracted
to do any given kind of work for more than 120 hours in each of 4
successive months. If a business steadily needs that much work of a
given kind, it should hire regular staff to do the work and give them
Since the Koch brothers bought Georgia-Pacific, it has a record of skimping
on workers' safety.
$340,000 is a substantial fine, but perhaps not enough to influence people
as rich as they are. Perhaps industrial fines should be increased based
on the company's total income, the way some places increase traffic fines
based on the driver's income.
No company should be allowed to require its customers or its
(whether labeled "employee" or "independent contractors") to use
instead of going to court.
A courrier company in the UK doesn't allow its workers (all
"independent contractors") a day off to see a doctor. The result:
of them died from diabetes after skipping medical appointments.
We have to put an end to this "independent contractor" bullshit.
A company that pays people to do more than 1000 hours per week of a
certain kind of work should be required to hire full-time employees to
do at least 80% of that work. If the work amounts to more than 10,000
hours per week, the company should have hire full-times to do 90% of
it. At more than 30,000 hours of work per week, there must be enough
full-timers to do 95% of it.
Work farmed out to contractor companies should count towards the total
just as if there were no middleman, and that slight differences in the
details of the work should not divide it legally into separate pools.
No sports team can receive a
subsidy from any US jurisdiction, and
that include's the team's stadium or other facilities.
Fixing too big to fail.
Companies that are among the ten largest in any market should not be
allowed to merge — period.
Any company that wants to use genetically modified organisms
other than in research should be required to get a license from the
state. One condition of the license should be a requirement to answer
(for publication) any and all questions posed by regulators about the
organisms, their planned use, and the experiments done on them. Thus,
any aim of the company to keep secrets about them will be
categorically rejected in advance.
If a company has changed its name within the past 5 years, or if a
substantial part of it was acquired from another company, it should be
legally required to include a statement with the old name in all its
publications, announcements, and paid publicity. This would foil
companies like Blackwater
and Philip Morris
that change their names to escape the odium of their past deeds.
Spotify is bad for musicians' income, and bad for listeners'
freedom. Let's put an end to it!
To listen to music and not be a jerk, you need to be in a position
to share copies with your friends. Normally this means listening
to your own nonoppressive local copy. A nonoppressive
copy is one that has no DRM or anything else that would interfere
Any system of listening to music that discourages people from
having nonoppressive local copies is encouraging people to be
jerks. Let's legislate against such systems.
Out, out, damned spotify!
Copyright (c) 2017 Richard Stallman
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