A lost game

A move many debaters try to pull off is setting up a lost game. It works like this:

“Punishing those who download books is unfair. They just take what was lying in the open. That’s a basic human right.”
“Yes they can reshare. You can’t punish for that either. They haven’t signed a contract promising not to do so. They are free to do as they wish.”
“Eh, okay. But surely, as a writer, I’ll just pen a contract by which anyone who buys and then shares is to be held responsible for all the millions of dollars of damages?”
“No, we cannot do this because that’s immoral. That’s basically enslaving him.”
“But then how do we protect the writers?”
“I don’t know? You want copyright, you think of something.”

Or like this:

“The government has no right to ban Freedom Hosting! They didn’t host CP, they hosted everything, that was just their business model: no restrictions.”
“Providers cannot be ordered to ban sites. That’s censorship!”
“People must be allowed to remain anonymous on the internet.”
“So you want to fight CP? We cannot ban the site, cannot ban the hoster and cannot find out who the owner is. I guess you have to sit and wait until the owner reveals itself, FBI! Know that I rooted for you.”

Negotiations don’t work like this. Either you don’t support the idea at all, or you see a point in it and then by the rules of discussion you must protect its interests to the extent you see it as important. In other words, if you agree you agree. No one is ever convinced by “I’d love to clean the room mom, but there’s a reason I can’t”.

That’s not how you should do it. There are several sides to the story and it’s okay to take one as long as you’re honest.
“I want there be a certain amount of uncontrollable freedom in the internet because total control is unhealthy for any society”. Absolutely.

See how the reaction changed? That’s because that was the truth. That was the idea that moved you, not the layers of justifications built around to make it “consistent”. And what moved one person may move another. You wouldn’t want to be held responsible for simply providing a hosting? Neither would I. It just feels wrong that one can go to jail for typing on the keyboard? Does so to me. You don’t want to be made to buy books, you want to buy books you liked? I can relate to that.

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