In short: when legalized, you – as a private entrepreneur – could rob any enemy ship and deliver their people to court. If you did not have this Letter, you were an illegal pirate and could be hung by the neck to death.
I totally forgot about this. Such a construct was used in Dutch warfare as well. Some of our naval heroes from the 80 years war with Spain were basically legalized pirates and bringing a lot of harm to the Spanish fleets.
Set of stories
Since 2009 I am working on a set of stories based in Europe and Africa set somewhere in late 2050’s. The progress has been arrested for almost 2 years now by other priorities, including work, private projects revolving around modifying consumer electronics, writing blog posts and having a private life.
Key elements in that set of stories are: Intellectual property and copyright, patents, piracy of software and patents and the invisible war of money and law to gain possession and ground.
There are two basic assumptions in that story:
- Europe has sold itself out on IP and (C) – Whatever is produced and invented better be under the umbrella of the US or some other power. Anyone doing something that might infringe some patent or copyright very likely is and will have his/her ass sued off. Whatever was there regarding home ground innovation and music, story and film production in Europe, has been completely killed off as a result.
- Some parts of Africa have gone the opposite way – And using any and every invention possible without restraints, warped through the black hole into a new “post human” universe, disrupting everything and holding a lot of major companies worldwide by the balls by holding majority shares or owning some other sort of leverage.
It is interesting to see what this will add to the building stones of that world.