Saturday, February 26, 2005

extreme views

In the preface to the Vintage Edition of “The Future of Ideas”, Lawrence Lessig refers to his radio talk show experience that then RIAA president Hilary Rosen phoned into and "argued" -
It's ironic that [Lessig] is on promoting a book when, if he actually went to his overall philosophy, he should essentially be giving it away on the Internet instead of selling it in a bookstore.
More recently, our favorite billionaire/philanthropist Bill Gates said -
"I'd say that of the world's economies, there's more that believe in intellectual property today than ever. There are fewer communists in the world today than there were. There are some new modern-day sort of communists who want to get rid of the incentive for musicians and moviemakers and software makers under various guises. They don't think that those incentives should exist.”
An aspect of computing I appreciate is that at its core, it's discreet and predictable. That is, it's either on or off – 0s and 1s. Life however, is rarely this simple. Right and wrong is often difficult to decipher and we are left with our intuition, reason, and willingness to explore issues in order to reach conclusions upon which to base our actions. However, The Rosens and Gates of this world would love nothing more than to convince us that copyright, trademark, and patent laws can be meaningfully corralled under the “Intellectual Property” umbrella. You either “believe in intellectual property” as Gates says, or you don't. You're either with us or you're a “modern-day sort of communist”.

Will you join the Church of "Intellectual Property"? Will you "believe" that free software and free culture advocates are "communists"?

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home