Tuesday 24 April 2012

Presenting: Vikens law of legal exploitations

I am not a politician, and I do not study law, but still I am going to present you with a law or observation.
This is not a law in a legal system, nor a scientific law, this is a observational pattern; I'll go as far as to call it a theorem. However what it does describe is a pattern in a legal system, and it goes like this:
If a law can be demonstrated to be exploitable for malicious intent; that exploit will, at some point, almost certainly be used for malicious intents.
Now let me explain this.

Here's the logic, and if anyone could help me formulate this as formal logic i would be very thankful.

a.1: Most publicly traded corporations have an obligation to their shareholders to make as much a profit as they possibly can.
a.2: A subset of all corporations will use any non-illegal means available to them to maximize their profits.
b.1: Equal competition makes for lower prices and lower profits and visa versa.
b.2: Fewer competitors means less equal competition.
b.3: Decreased equality in competition means higher prices and therefore profits.
c: Taking a share of a competitors profit margin is a practically free profit increase, and increases competition inequality.
d: A Judicial process is in itself a burden and may kill a weaker party before its completion.
e: Use of an unintended consequence of a law is not illegal.

'a' means that corporations are generally, but not always inherently greedy and a subset may use any non-illegal means to maximize it.
'b' Implies that lower competitive equality is beneficial with regards to 'a'
'c' Implies that a scenario beneficiary towards 'b.2', 'b.3' and 'a' can be achieved my using means commonly associated with intellectual property.
'd' States that if a strong party sue a small party, no matter what the ultimate legal outcome might be, the small party may go bankrupt before the process has been completed and may be beneficiary towards 'b.2'.
'e' States that a member of the subset described in 'a.2' may use a unintended consequence or ambiguity to maximize their profits in ways including but not limited to 'c' and 'd'

The reason I wrote this law down is to formalize why a lawmaker confronted with a scenario; in which a proposed law is exploited, with malicious intent beyond the scope of the original intent of the law; should not be able to get away with the answer "That's not the intention of the law, that is never going to happen". It is very likely to happen. So don't let anyone get away with it; if they actively avoid addressing the problem, it is a possibility that the law was written with this intent in mind, in order to exploit that exact ambiguity and/or loophole.

This is a work in progress so any comments are welcome.


lilafrost said...

I apologize for my poor English; I am quite tired today.

Actually, I think that what you wrote is how laws (have to) work. Laws are written in words and words leave room for interpretation. You can never define all possible cases into rules, because that would be a neverending book. You can only try to generalize and this is where room for interpretation comes into play. A great part of law subjects deals with interpretation. And whenever there is room for interpretation there will be someone to test the limits. Only when the exploitation gets inacceptable for society will the law be re-written, deleted or changed.

I hope this was understandable.


Unknown said...

I know that, the point is that when an obvious flaw has been shown before actual passing, the reply should not be "That is not what it was intended to do, so that is never going to happen", because, as I said, it is going to happen.

I specifically aim towards legislation like SOPA and PIPA that could be used to censor the Internet, because "copyright infringement" and current copyright law did not anticipate the internet and the fact that files are infinitely copyable.

I'm really only providing an argument that says "Yes it is a problem, we have identified it, and it need to be addressed, not just ignored."

lilafrost said...

Well, I see where you're headed, but the question is: Is this obvious flaw really *not* intended? I don't think so...

In my opinion the opposite is the case. Politicians always long for more power and control, whereas the internet is (yet) a place that - because of the international character - lies beyond the reach of national laws. What happens here is the will to rule and to control, put into words and forced upon people. As it always happens when people settle in a place that is considered to be free. Someone with the biggest cub or in this case military power claims to be the ruler and the mass of people accepts it because they are afraid and too busy going on with their daily life. Global recession, a common enemy in warfare - all hail "panem et circenses".

Welcome to 1984 ;)

Unknown said...

Yeah. but the point is that this "law" (as in Godwins or Murphys law) simply say that "But hat is not that the law is intended to do, nobody is going to do that." is not a valid counter argument. So that a politician opposed to the law (or just the apparent flaw) can actually say "yes! This is a problem, and you can't just ignore it"