Life-Line

While digging through the slag pile of Techdirt’s comments about how the RIAA spent $90 million lobbying the US government over the past decade, I uncovered this gem of a quotation, left by an anonymous commenter:

There has grown in the minds of certain groups in this country the idea that just because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with guaranteeing such a profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is supported by neither statute or common law. Neither corporations or individuals have the right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back.

The quote is taken from the 1939 short story “Life-Line” by Robert A. Heinlein, and to my mind is incredibly poignant today.