The law locks up the man or woman,
Who steals the goose from off the common.
But leaves the greater villain loose,
Who steals the common from off the goose.

The law demands that we atone
When we take things we do not own.
But leaves the lords and ladies fine
Who take things that are yours and mine.

The poor and wretched don’t escape
If they conspire the law to break.
This must be so but they endure
Those who conspire to make the law.

gooseThe law locks up the man or woman,
Who steals the goose from off the common.
And geese will still a common lack
Till they go and steal it back.

This English protest chant, circa 1600, to object against the British Monarchy's habit of building fences around and on land previously public, common land.

This, they would then grant to peers and incense the general public who suddenly found themselves locked out of their previous living, farming or hunting areas.

It has become a battle cry for modern day protesters against the aggressive enforcement of intellectual property law.

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