“Let My people go!” To the bathroom.

The company “Portland Loo” is suing the company “Romtec, Inc” for copyright infringement on their outdoor toilets.  “Portland Loo” claims that Romtec’s outdoor facilities look “Strikingly similar” to theirs.  “Portland Loo” even wants to go so far as to have Romtec stop selling their bathrooms and be rid of all the other ones that have already been made as well as giving “Portland Loo” the money Romtec has made off of their outdoor toilets.

I believe this to not be such a huge problem that should be disputed to the extent of Romtec giving all the money to Portland as well as being rid of all of their already put out public toilets.  One of the reasons that I find this not to be that big of a deal begins with the case itself; Portland was suing Romtec because they believed their toilets to be “Strikingly similar”, this is a lot to ask of another company in my opinion.  There are only so many ways in which you can design a toilet and the facility to house it in publicly in the first place.

I find the argument to relate to Kant’s piece about nonage the most when he says, “Thus it is very difficult for the individual to work himself out of the nonage which has become like second nature to him”.  This quote could argue on the side of the “Portland Loo” company and the idea that no one in today’s society is original because someone somewhere has already thought of the idea, which seems to be the driving force of this case being brought to light by the “Portland Loo” company.

Milton’s “Areopagitica” can be referenced when you try to think about how something like this could have slipped by the people who keep track of the copyright laws.  The quote I am talking about here is, “ And to what an author this violence hath bin lately done, and in what book of greatest consequence to be faithfully publisht, I could now instance, but shall forbear till a more convenient season”.  This quote is in the middle of the excerpt where Milton is talking about how a bad law allowing anyone to just pass things over at their will can result in a stunt in the growth and progress of people who have put hard work and wisdom into their business.  Which could have been (arguing for the side of the “Portland Loo” company) how this problem could have occurred.

I found this interesting about Lessig’s piece, the quote where he states,” Copyright law, law professor Jessica Litman has written, is filled withrules that ordinary people would respond to by saying, ‘There can’t really bea law that says that. That would be silly.’”.  This quote describes a situation where the Romtec could have just literally tossed aside any worry about there being some sort of copyright law, whether they were aware of it or not.  Like I stated earlier, I cannot come to understand why there is such a fuss about public toilets, they are both trying to make bathrooms convenient for the masses.

 

Links:

Google news article – http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/08/the_portland_loos_strikingly_s.html

“Find your Nonage” Kant –

https://engl382fall2013.wordpress.com/assignments/0829-find-your-nonage/

“Areopagitica” Milton-

https://engl382fall2013.wordpress.com/readings/areopagitica/

Lessig –

https://engl382fall2013.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/lessig_foi.pdf

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One thought on ““Let My people go!” To the bathroom.

  1. Tommy,

    Connecting Milton’s “Areopagitica” to a lawsuit about toilets is a difficult task, but I think you might have pulled it off. Good job.

    Grade: S

    M

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