03 December 2006

Towards a Post-Copyright World

One of the heartening things about fighting the inequities of the current system of intellectual monopolies is that there are a growing number of like-minded people and sites doing it. One, for example, is Moving to Freedom, and from here I learned about another, called Questioncopyright.org.

I can particularly recommend the essay there entitled "The promise of a post-copyright world". As well as a thorough, and unusually illuminating history of copyright (yes, it's all the fault of us Brits again), it closes with this important insight:

As the stream of freely available material gets bigger, its stigma will slowly vanish. It used to be that the difference between a published author and an unpublished one was that you could obtain the former's books, but not the latter's. Being published meant something. It had an aura of respectability; it implied that someone had judged your work and given it an institutional stamp of approval. But now the difference between published and unpublished is narrowing. Soon, being published will mean nothing more than that an editor somewhere found your work worthy of a large-scale print run, and possibly a marketing campaign.


Scott Carpenter said...

Hi, Glyn. Thanks for the link. It just so happens that I'm working on a post with some pointers to your GPLv3 articles.

I'm glad you found and enjoyed Fogel's essay. I really like what he has to say about the free stream and how it will naturally replace the proprietary stream over time if we let it. That's a pretty scary thought to the monopolies, of course, and they're working hard to prevent this.

glyn moody said...

Not at all - as I wrote, I find it genuinely heartening to find others fighting the good fight: it can get quite lonely taking on the combined might of the publishing, record and film industries, can't it?