[eDebate] In Defense of IPR

Brad Hall hallbc2
Tue Apr 11 21:39:53 CDT 2006

I haven't yet read all of the topic papers, so I'm not ready to comment on the
majority of this post, but let me comment on a couple of things:

Quoting Chris Thiele <chris.thiele at gmail.com>:

> One - Say No to Agent CPs or Scary Normal Means PICs ? (think grounds
> specification or 5-4/9-0 or delay). If you think the aff will win these
> debates on theory, think how far many teams got away with unquestionable
> counterplans even this year when they were given engagement. And, look at
> high school topic for at least a rough starting point where many teams will
> pull from. These issues are less likely to come up under IPR because the US
> Patent Trademark Office is on balance pretty good, and counterplans to
> redelegate authority to Congress or some other department, or have the
> states do it, are likely to lose on substance (Commerce Clause anyone?).

1. I'm not sure why a delay cplan is not viable on your topic, or why the aff
can't beat this cplan on theory. Other than George Washington's "Have China get
rid of one china" or Thiele's own "study cplan", there were not as many shady
cplans this year as I thought there would be (relatively few consultation
cplans were run, other than against new affs).

2. These normal means PICs are not that bad for debate. 5-4 vs 9-0 is kinda
lame, but there is at least literature actually comparing the two approaches.
As far as ground specification goes, there is a rich debate about the grounds
on which certain decisions should be made and the effect that has on solvency,
modeling, politics, the precedent set for other decisions, etc.

> Three ? Napster ? who wants to know if they are really breaking the law late
> at night with their p2p schemes?

Chances are, a lot of P2P schemes breaking the intent, if not the letter, of
most copyright laws. But who cares? How does this avoid any of the complaints
in #4 (namely that free speech is not an impact)? It's proven incredibly
difficult to regulate, so the aff advantages are limited, but seriously, who
wants to see the type of stuff Thiele will post to e-debate if he can't
download free porn?

> Four ? Midterms/or Other Politics DA How many of us want to lose aff debates
> on "nuke war with Iran outweighs your "free speech" advantage or your
> "abortion advantage"? I think both those who fear the bastardization of
> arguments to debate (clearly not me) and those who just hate not having a
> good aff advantage impact (how does abortion get to free trade or north
> korea?) would agree IPR might be an easy way out.

Although I can't back this up with any empirical evidence of my own (see a
fateful night two weeks ago, about this time), there is a giant debate about
how to weigh rights and consequences, most of which the debate community has
not gone that in depth on. Sure, we all have the same util cards, but there are
many moral philosophies that go far beyond the traditional "if we aren't
responsible for our actions, we'll act irresponsibly" arguments. The success of
Northwestern BC, Emory GP and West Georgia LM among others demonstrates that
people can and do win debates on "free speech outweighs your politics DA".
Berkeley was extremely successful K-ing up the politics DA a couple years ago.

Yes, the impact areas are different for a domestic topic than they are for a
foreign policy topic. There will be less debates about North Korea, etc but the
aff is always free to get ready to impact turn politics, critique it, or find
new and innovative impacts. Simply put: I am confident that the advantages on a
courts topic will be more invigorating than "just as in the case of nuclear
war, no wants to be the one to say 'I told you the separation of powers would
be violated'"...

Brad Hall
Wake Forest

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