Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

Anti-Vaccine Legislator Trying to Raise the Cost of Vaccines


Representative Andrea Boland is trying to make it harder to vaccinate children.


She appears to be just another scientifically illiterate person who thinks that chemical names are scary, even though there is no medical justification for her alarmist bill.

Vaccines are probably the safest and most effective medicines we have.


Image credit.

The measure, LD 754, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Andrea Boland, ran into stiff opposition from doctors, who said that requiring ingredients be disclosed specifically for vaccines — while not imposing similar requirements for antibiotics and prescription drugs — would signal that vaccines are disproportionately dangerous.[1]


Is anyone trying to hide the ingredients of vaccines?

Absolutely not.

The ingredients for every vaccine are available, but before you start making the mistake of assuming that scary sounding names are dangerous, take less than 4 minutes to watch the video below.


Why only the ingredients of vaccines?

To make them seem scary.

In case you think that Rep. Boland is trustworthy, here is what she says about vaccine safety.


“When you read some of [the ingredients], it does sound kind of scary. The provider is there to counsel their patients, and they can assure them that they will not have any serious side effects and it’s the best thing to do.”[1]


It’s the best thing to do.

If vaccination is the best thing to do, why create obstacles to vaccination?

Is Rep. Bolton trying to push some sort of hidden agenda?

Here is the information provided on her government web page.


Occupation: Self-Employed Title Examiner; Independent Nutraceutical Distributor[2]


Rep. Bolton appears to be letting her personal nutraceutical business interests get between her and what is best for the children she is supposed to represent.

If you have a bit more time than the less than 4 minutes it took to watch the video, then listen to a 33 1/2 minute podcast, where Dr. Mark Crislip explains what is wrong with a silly claim by a naturopath.[2] “9 Questions That Stump Every Pro-Vaccine Advocate and Their Claims.” by David Mihalovic, ND. Really?

If you believe that vaccines are dangerous, then you need to listen to this podcast.


[1] Sanford lawmaker wants doctors to disclose vaccine ingredients
By Matthew Stone, BDN Staff
Posted April 29, 2013, at 3:27 p.m.
Bangor Daily News

[2] QuackCast 44. Nine questions.
Dr. Mark Crislip
Nine questions, none answers. An ND suggests there are 9 questions that pro-vaccine proponents can’t answer. Ha. My 12 year old can find the answers.
Podcast in mp3 format – click to play or right click and save to download.

QuackCast 44. Nine questions, none answers. An ND suggests there are 9 questions that pro-vaccine proponents can’t answer. Ha. My 12 year old can find the answers.


The print version, with links to the referenced research, is at the link below.

Nine Questions, Nine Answers.
Published by Mark Crislip
May 07, 2010
Science-Based Medicine


Is it OK to kill children in the name of God?


Don’t bother using alternative medicine to make a limb to grow back. Take alternative medicine for things that occasionally resolve without any real medicine.

Then claim “Alternative” medicine did it!

Is it OK to kill children in the name of alternative medicine?

Change that just a little bit and it should be obvious that these people are dangerous.

Don’t bother praying to make a limb to grow back. Pray for things that occasionally resolve without any medicine.

Then claim God did it!

Is it OK to kill children in the name of God?


A Philadelphia couple violated probation after their second child died as a result of them turning to prayer instead of seeking a doctor when the child was ill.[1]


Would these children have lived if they had been treated with real medicine?

Only a fraud will tell you that they are certain about the outcome if something had been done differently, but there is evidence that real medicine works. There is no evidence that alternative medicine works. There is no evidence that prayer works.

Is it in any way acceptable to have children sacrificed to these religions of homeopathy, Reiki, anti-vaccinationism, prayer, chiropractic, or other placebo treatments?

How were they sacrificed?

Any reasonable person would seek medical care for a child if the child is sick.

Two children, so sick that they died, were not provided with any visit to a doctor.

Herbert and Catherine Schaible are already on probation for the involuntary manslaughter of the first child they neglected to death.

Only 2 years into a 10 year sentence of probation and they miraculously have another dead child with no sign of any reasonable attempt to protect their 8-month-old son, Brandon Schaible.

When a judge sentenced Herbert and Catherine Schaible to probation in 2011 for praying over their gravely ill toddler son instead of taking him to a doctor, Herbert Schaible offered a few brief words of remorse and grief, then entrusted his family’s fate to a higher power.

“With God’s help, this will never happen again,” Schaible told the court.[2]


They fell off the wagon pretty quickly.

Why didn’t they seek real medical attention for their sick child on the first day, or the second day, or at any other time before they brough him to the funeral home?

“Because we believe God wants us to ask him for healing,” Lerner quoted from the statements. “Our religion tells us not to call a doctor.”[2]


Third time is the charm, right?

The couple has seven more children that were removed from the Schaibles’ home by the Department of Human Services.[1]


The government is not known for doing a great job of raising children, but this is clearly a case where being raised by wolves might be better for the children.

Consider some other ways that prayer might be used and whether any of us would be foolish enough to rely on these –

I won’t work, I’ll just pray for money to be put in my bank account.

I won’t cook, I’ll just pray for food to be prepared for me.

I won’t clean, I’ll just pray for everything to be cleaned for me.

Real medicine can reattach limbs and attach artificial limbs.

Amputees are still waiting for the first amputee is cured by prayer.


[1] Second Child Of Philadelphia Couple Dies After They Choose Prayer Instead Of Seeing A Doctor
By Charles Poladian
April 23 2013 10:05 AM
International Business Times

[2] A second child of doctor-shunning couple dies
By Mike Newall, Inquirer Staff Writer
Posted: April 23, 2013


An important new blog opposing fraud in medicine – EdzardErnst.com

We have too much fraud and irresponsibility in medicine. Not all of what is criticized is fraud, because the people pushing these treatments may just be ignorantly promoting treatments that have no good evidence to support them.

The people claiming that a treatments works because there is no proof that the treatment is harmful are abusing their responsibility to their patients.

Is there an important distinction between this irresponsible abuse of patients and fraud?

One is intentionally misleading others, while the other is first misleading himself, so that he can honestly present nonsense as something he believes in.


Dr. Edzard Ernst is an alternative medicine doctor who wanted to know what really worked in alternative medicine, but could not find any good evidence. He designed some research to find out what really works.

As a good scientist, when the results of the research did not provide the answers he wanted, he changed his mind and he published the negative results.

In a nutshell, I am not someone who judges alternative medicine from the outside; I come from within the field. Arguably, I am the only researcher in this area who is willing [or capable?] to state publicly what is wrong with alternative medicine. This is perhaps one of the advantages of being an emeritus professor![1]


But is Dr. Ernst completely dismissive of alternative medicine?

People who criticise alternative medicine tend to claim that all of it is unscientific rubbish which we should discard. However, I am not convinced that this opinion is correct. I aim to adhere to the principles of evidence-based medicine and know that they can be applied to alternative medicine as much as to any other area of healthcare. This means that I will not dismiss everything that comes under the umbrella of alternative medicine. Our research has shown some treatments to work for some conditions, and where this is the case, I will always say so.[1]


I use a more inclusive definition of alternative medicine. I include the nonsense that is claimed to be part of real medicine, but is not supported by good medicine.

Look at ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support).

ACLS is primarily about resuscitation from cardiac arrest, which is much more than just temporarily getting a pulse back.

ACLS is primarily about survival to go home with a brain that still works.

ACLS treatments that are included in the resuscitation guidelines are –

Chest compressions – Good evidence of improved survival from cardiac arrest.

Defibrillation – Good evidence of improved survival from cardiac arrest.

Unfortunately, ACLS does not stop with treatments that work. The following are also included –

Ventilations – No evidence of improved survival from cardiac arrest.

Epinephrine – No evidence of improved survival from cardiac arrest.

Vasopressin – No evidence of improved survival from cardiac arrest.

Phenylephrine – No evidence of improved survival from cardiac arrest.

Norepinephrine – No evidence of improved survival from cardiac arrest.

Amiodarone – No evidence of improved survival from cardiac arrest.

Lidocaine – No evidence of improved survival from cardiac arrest.

Magnesium – No evidence of improved survival from cardiac arrest.

Atropine – No evidence of improved survival from cardiac arrest. Removed in 2010 due to a lack of evidence, even though the rest of the treatments remain, for now.

I don’t criticize alternative medicine because it is an easy target, but because of the similarities with the dangerous parts of real medicine.

If we don’t learn from our mistakes, our patients pay for our arrogance.

What follows is, I think, quite simple: this blog will differ from other blogs on the subject. It will provide critical evaluation because, in my view, this is what is needed. But it will not engage in wholesale alternative medicine-bashing. Most importantly, it will provide comments and perspectives that are based on many years of conducting and publishing research in this area.[1]


While I do engage in wholesale bashing of alternative medicine, I do ask for people to produce valid evidence that the treatments they are pushing are safe and efficacious. Without evidence, the treatment is nonsense.

With ACLS, I take a similar approach.

There is a lot of nonsense in ACLS, but not all of ACLS is nonsense, and ACLS seems to be improving. These abuses from ACLS are only some examples of the failure of real medicine to grow up and eliminate wishful thinking from medicine.

If we care about our patients, we should not abuse them with nonsense.

If we care about our patients, we need to know that the treatments we give are more likely to provide benefit than harm.

Without evidence, we are ignorant of benefit (if any) and harm (how much harm).

Everything can cause harm, but not everything can cause benefit.

Too many of us mistakenly assume that it is appropriate to demand evidence of harm, but inappropriate to demand evidence of benefit. This is just treatment by logical fallacy.[2]

Our patients deserve more intelligent and more ethical treatment than that.

Go read what Dr. Ernst writes.


[1] A New Blog on Alternative Medicine. Why?
Published Sunday 14 October 2012

[2] Argument from ignorance

Argument from ignorance, also known as argumentum ad ignorantiam or “appeal to ignorance” (where “ignorance” stands for: “lack of evidence to the contrary”), is a fallacy in informal logic. It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false, it is “generally accepted” (or vice versa).



This Friday the 13th Don’t Let Homeopathy Cross Your Mind

It is Homeopathy Awareness Week.


Homeopathy Week!

This is a whole week devoted to nothing.

Not just nothing, but nothing diluted to be less than nothing! With some magical tapping thrown in as part of the sales pitch.

Homeopathy is a magical belief system that is just as valid as anything children make up when they are playing with imaginary friends – and just as unencumbered by evidence.

And following the advice of homeopaths can kill you if you have a real illness, rather than a cold, or some anxiety, or gullibility.

One Example Of Why Treatments Without Evidence Are Dangerous.


From the desk of the Grand Wizard of the American Coven of Homeopaths.

CC: Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Jay Gordon, Jenny McCarthy, Deepak Choprah, Sylvia Browne, John Edwards, Dr. (for as long as it lasts) Andrew Wakefield, Dr. et cetera.

Top secret.

Not for distribution.

We will put a hex on you.

A real bad hex, not a weenie homeopathic hex.

For Homeopathy Awareness Week we do have to make you aware of some things:

Due to the recent developments with Zicam[1] and the problems with the British Chioropractic Association and their inability to keep their minions in line,[2] we need to warn you about some problems. Nothing that can’t be fixed with smoke, mirrors, misdirection, and the usual stupid arguments that still seem to confuse otherwise intelligent dupes.

Sometimes the medication we sell to the public is safe to take, but only as long as our victims patients do not avoid conventional medical treatment. As you know, this is because there is nothing active in the homeopathic medication.

Other times we just pretend to sell the public that holy water, but we put real medication in there so that there is some effect other than the placebo effect. We use this loop hole so that we do not have to meet the FDA requirements for real medication, while we pretend to be selling distilled water.

Since both of these approaches are completely dishonest, we will never tell our victims patients whether they are getting violated treated with an active fraud or an inactive fraud.

Most important we must convince people that the reason the fake homeopathy Zicam causes them to lose their sense of smell is not because real homeopathy stinks. I don’t know where they would get that idea.

Be very careful discussing this with anyone who might have a shred of integrity. We believe that we have diluted integrity to a 1 google C level in our organization, but integrity is so foreign to us that we may not recognize integrity when confronted with the genuine article.

Honesty is the enemy. All truth is a lie. We only hurt people because it is the quickest way to their money we love them.

This is big business. The real drug companies only wish they could make up whatever BS they want, but real drug companies have real oversight. We just answer to Satan.


Our victims patients need to be lied to.

Our victims patients do not get to choose the lie they receive.

That’s just tough love, homeopathy style.

It’s good to be the Grand Wizard, baby!

Dictated by Baal, Grand Wizard of the American Coven of Homeopaths, for distribution to all active minions and executives of commercial partners.


mp3 Download of QuackCast 3.
Homeopathic Theory. Of all the kinds of alt.med available, Homeopathy has to be the most absurd. And thats saying something. Listen and see why. 5/7/06 By winner of many podcasting awards – Dr. Mark Crislip.


[1] FDA Advises Consumers Not To Use Certain Zicam Cold Remedies
Intranasal Zinc Product Linked to Loss of Sense of Smell

June 16, 2009
Press Release

[2] McTimoney Chiropractors told to take down their web sites
The Quackometer
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Top Secret Warning

This is not part of the silliness. This is a real warning sent out by real quacks.


One Example Of Why Treatments Without Evidence Are Dangerous

Homeopathy is just a fancy way of selling placebos.

Pure deception.

Dilution to remove the possibility of any medical benefit.

That just makes it harmless, right?


Magical thinking is not harmless.

Magical thinking kills.

Wishful thinking kills.

It was further contended that the homeopath had assured the deceased that she could cure rectal cancer using homeopathic methods alone and that the deceased would not require surgery, chemotherapy or radiation treatment.[1]

That fraud homeopath is Francine Scrayen.

Further it was contented that the homeopath had encouraged the deceased not to take appropriate pain relief on the basis that relevant medications would interfere with her monitoring of the disease and the effectiveness of the homeopathic treatment.[1]

As much as I would like to be able to say that real doctors would not do this, I know that there are a lot of doctors who are horrible at pain management.

It was claimed that it was only as a result of a graphic description of the circumstances in which the deceased would die within hours given by the registrar at the hospital which caused the deceased to finally agree to surgery in spite of the advice of the homeopath. Unfortunately the cancer by that time spread to her liver, lungs and bones and treatment from time onwards was effectively palliative.[1]

By delaying the patient from accepting real treatment, Francine Scrayen essentially killed Penelope Dingle. All while billing the patient for medical care.

There were repeated cases of bloody stools from October 2001 right up until the diagnosis of cancer. Had she been seen by some medical professional in that time, she might have been diagnosed at a much earlier stage of her cancer. Homeopathy does not work that way.

Quoted in the inquest from a letter intended to be sent to the homeopath by the patient.

You waited about 12 months, trying to treat, before you suggested I have my internal bleeding diagnosed.

I have since learned that any sort of internal bleeding must be investigated immediately, as it can be a sign that something is seriously wrong. As an alternative health practitioner you should have known this and acted accordingly.[1]

Oops 😳

In other words, it was the contention of the siblings of the deceased that the deceased made a number of unfortunate decisions based on misleading and erroneous information and advice provided to her by a homeopath and those decisions ultimately resulted in her premature death.[1]

Yes, she did make some bad decisions, but the coercion involved was extreme.

Each time Mrs Hearne questioned her sister she was told that Mrs Scrayen claimed that she was at the turning point of her illness and would now be getting better.[1]

Ignore reality.

You really are getting better. Just ignore the obvious signs that you are progressively getting worse.

This is the medical advice of the fraud homeopath Francine Scrayen, according to the inquest, she appears to be a modern Rasputin.

While Mrs Chappell stayed at the home of the deceased and Dr Dingle, every night the deceased was screaming in pain12. [1]

On that occasion she questioned Mrs Scrayen about the deceased’s level of pain and Mrs Scrayen replied to the effect that “…most of Penelope’s pain was in her head and she exaggerated her pain and that she was quite dramatic about it”16. [1]

That cancer pain is just in your head. Stop whining, because the lack of positive thinking is the real problem. The problem is not that homeopathy is a complete fraud.

The problem in this case was that Mrs Scrayen was not a competent health professional.[1]

That is exactly the point. Homeopaths are not competent health professionals. They are placebo pushers.

This homeopath has taken legal action against the author of one blog for reporting on this case.[2] It is all about the reputation, not about the patients. This is why I continually criticize those of us in EMS who pay more attention to appearances, than to our patients.


Demanding evidence of benefit is the best way to protect our patients from quackery.


The evidence makes it clear that Homeopathy is only a placebo – a fraud.


[1] Penelope Dingle Inquest
Western Australia
Inquest into the death of Penelope DINGLE
Ref No: 17/10
Perth Coroners Court on 9-24 June 2010
Record of inquest in PDF format

[2] Francine Scrayen sends me a Cease and Desist.
Thursday, April 5, 2012 at 4:47PM
Dan’s Journal of Skepticism


Getting Our Panties in a Bunch Over Being Called Ambulance Drivers

A lot of people are taking sides on the topic of just how disrespectful it is to be called an ambulance driver.

We demand respect, even though we don’t deserve respect.

Anyone who cares about respect does not deserve respect.

Any idiot can demand respect. A lot of idiots do.

Respect my politics. Respect my religion. Respect my job description. Respect my favorite TV show. Respect my hair style. . . . .

Certainly, we are not demanding respect for our maturity, because all of this preening and posturing is not remotely mature. We are no more mature than toddlers misbehaving in order to get attention.

My. My. My. My. My.

Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine.

Not a big difference.

Image credit.

Respect is earned.

Respect that is demanded at the point of a tantrum is just condescension to the person demanding respect. In what way is that respect? In what way is that worthy of any respect? This is just demanding that people be condescending to us.


To convince me that you do NOT deserve respect – demand respect.


When we demand respect, we are demonstrating that our priorities are completely screwed up.

In EMS, we can earn respect by demonstrating excellence at what we do.

Or we can make a mockery of what we do by worrying about respect.

Other writing on this –

Rogue Medic
Fri, 26 Mar 2010

A Day In the Life of An Ambulance Driver
March 24, 2010

The Handover at Life Under the Lights
March 31, 2010

Why Johnny Ringo, I’ll Be Your Ambulance Driver
The Social Medic
February 22, 2012

There are no “Ambulance Drivers” in Emergent Medical Services
EMS Outside Agitator
February 22, 2012

Respect: Earned, Never Given.
Coma Toast
February 16, 2012

I am NOT an Ambulance Driver
Medic 51
February 22, 2012

Get over yourselves, drivers
Captain Chair Confessions
February 20, 2012

Irritating people is what I do best
Captain Chair Confessions
February 21, 201


Research We Bought, Congress Wants Us to Buy Again From Publishers

As if SOPA and PIPA were not misguided enough, some in Congress want us to have to pay twice to read research. We already pay for the research. The only requirement placed on the publishers is that they make the content available for free after one year. the publishers essentially receive the research for free, have volunteer peer reviewers examine the research, and then are able to charge for the research for a full year.

There is nothing about this that is endangering the business model of the publishers.

The publishers are not being forced to publish this research in their journals.

If the publishers do choose to publish this research, there is a contract that the publishers must honor.

THROUGH the National Institutes of Health, American taxpayers have long supported research directed at understanding and treating human disease. Since 2009, the results of that research have been available free of charge on the National Library of Medicine’s Web site, allowing the public (patients and physicians, students and teachers) to read about the discoveries their tax dollars paid for.

But a bill introduced in the House of Representatives last month threatens to cripple this site. The Research Works Act would forbid the N.I.H. to require, as it now does, that its grantees provide copies of the papers they publish in peer-reviewed journals to the library.[1]

Maybe that is just the attitude of the liberals at the New York Times.

What does Forbes say about this?

The world’s largest scientific journal today is the online, open-access, peer-review publication PLoS One, from a nonprofit organization called the Public Library of Science. It was created by a group of distinguished scientists, led by Nobel laureate and current National Cancer Institute Director Harold Varmus, who say results of research funded by taxpayer dollars should not be hidden behind traditional scientific publishers’ paywalls. As Varmus told me in 2010, “We work on the assumption that the reason we publish is to keep science moving forward. If everybody can see the work that we do, and new work is built on what’s come before, science moves faster.”[2]

It appears that this bi-partisan legislation also has bi-partisan opposition.

But while the journals manage that process, it is carried out almost entirely by researchers who volunteer their time. Scientists are expected to participate in peer review as part of their employment, and thus the publicly funded salaries most of them draw through universities or research organizations are yet another way in which taxpayers already subsidize the publishing process.[1]

Maybe the publishers should receive huge tax credits, too.

Maybe we should shut down PubMed Central and PLoS ONE.

Who is getting campaign contributions?

Organizations Supporting H.R.3699

Association of American Publishers
Ecological Society of America

Organizations Opposing H.R.3699

Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition
American Association of Law Libraries
The Alliance for Taxpayer Access
International Society for Computational Biology

OpenCongress.Org also list the amounts of money contributed to everyone by the interested parties.[4]

What is the claimed purpose of this bill?

To ensure the continued publication and integrity of peer-reviewed research works by the private sector.[5]

This discourages publication and has no effect on integrity of research, but the campaign contributions may have an effect on the integrity of the legislators.

This bill would not only reverse the current law, but would forbid any other Federal agency from instituting any similar rule. As with SOPA and PIPA, corporations that refuse to adapt to the changing business world are trying to protect their Luddite franchises with legislation.

In England, when the automobile (road locomotive) came along, the railroad industry had laws passed to require a speed limit of 2 MPH (Miles Per Hour) – yes TWO – and 4 MPH in the country. In case that was not discouraging enough to automobile owners, they also had to have someone carrying a red flag walk ahead of the car to warn people of the approaching danger.[6] This protectionism did not stop the progress of the automobile, but it probably did delay progress. Luddite legislation will not stop progress, but it may delay progress.

Image credit.

We need to stop the Luddites.

Should we have laws passed to protect Pokemon from its loss of popularity?

What about Kodak?

Do we really want the government deciding which businesses, with failed business models, should be saved from their own management?

Here’s a list of AAP members who have publicly disavowed the AAP position on RWA (chronological by announcement date):

MIT Press. See the January 11, 2012, announcement by Ellen Faran, Director of MIT Press.

ITHAKA. See the January 12, 2012, announcement.

Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). See the January 12, 2012, announcement.

Penn State University Press. See the January 12, 2012, announcement by Patrick Alexander, Director of the Penn State University Press.

Rockefeller University Press. See the January 13, 2012, announcement by Mike Rossner, Executive Director of Rockefeller University Press.

University of California Press. See the January 13, 2012, announcement by Alison Mudditt, Director of the University of California Press.

Nature Publishing Group and Digital Science. See the January 18, 2012, joint announcement by Steven Inchcoombe, Managing Director for NPG, and Timo Hannay, Managing Director for Digital Science. (Digital Science is a sister company of NPG.)

Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). See the January 18, 2012,announcement by Ginger Pinholster, Director of the AAAS Office of Public Programs, and Alan Leshner, AAAS Chief Executive Officer.[7]

There is not even a lot of agreement among those who are members of the main organization that supports the bill.

Those in opposition are not small or insignificant.

Very late to keep up with this. Added 6/06/2012 @ 12:50 –

On February 29, 2012, the sponsors of the bill have stated that they will not pursue this.[8]


[1] Research Bought, Then Paid For
By Michael B. Eisen
Published: January 10, 2012
Berkeley, Calif.
NY Times
Opinion Pages

Michael B. Eisen, an associate professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, is a founder of the Public Library of Science, an organization devoted to making research freely available.

[2] Democrat Maloney and Republican Issa Ally to Hurt Science and Help Companies
Adrienne Burke, Contributor
1/17/2012 @ 2:19PM

[3] H.R.3699 – Research Works Act
Web page

[4] The Money Trail
H.R.3699 – Research Works Act
Web page

[5] H.R.3699 – Research Works Act
Text of the bill

[6] Locomotive acts

[7] Notes on the Research Works Act
Harvard Open Access Project (HOAP)
Web page

[8] Anti-Open Access Bill Dies – Legislators have dropped the Research Works Act, which would have nixed policies that require federally funded research findings to be deposited in public databases.
By Bob Grant
February 29, 2012
The Scientist


SOPA Will Protect Monopolies From US

For American Censorship Day, in response to the proposed SOPA and PIPA legislation, this site will go dark tomorrow from 8 AM to 8 PM (Eastern Time – New York’s time zone).

SOPA and PIPA are about more than just privacy or copyright or due process, but I decided to address copyright.

Section. 8.

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;[1]

How does that work for current copyrights and patents?

Works created in or after 1978 are extended copyright protection for a term defined in 17 U.S.C. § 302. With the passage of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, these works are granted copyright protection for a term ending 70 years after the death of the author. If the work was a work for hire (e.g., those created by a corporation) then copyright persists for 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication, whichever is shorter.[2]

95 to 120 years for copyright.

Under current US law, the term of patent is 20 years from the earliest claimed filing date.[3]

20 years for a patent, which includes the time during which approval is being sought from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration to sell the product.

I guess big pharma is not able to manipulate Congress as effectively as Disney.

The purpose of copyrights and patents is to provide exclusive government protection for the people who create things that are important without depriving everyone of the use of these things. Why would an author/artist/composer/et cetera need protection for something for 70 years after death?

How does this encourage creativity?

nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;[4]

How does eliminating due process, in this area, protect Americans?


The Constitution of the United States
Article I, Section 8
Full transcription

Section. 8.

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;–And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Highlighting of the Copyright Clause is mine.

Wikipedia will not be available on Wednesday in protest of SOPA and PIPA.

More information is available here.

[2] Copyright law of the United States

Wikipedia will not be available on Wednesday in protest of SOPA and PIPA.

More information is available here.

[3] United States patent law

Wikipedia will not be available on Wednesday in protest of SOPA and PIPA.

More information is available here.

[4] United States Bill of Rights
Fifth Amendment

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

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