24 November 2009

The Internet's Infinite Subversion

Another nicely clueful piece in the Guardian:

The emancipatory potential of the free dissemination of intellectual property through infinite replication is overwhelming. Unlike private property that is subject to scarcity, supply and demand laws and other rigid determinations, immaterial property poses an explosive threat to our deeply rooted notions of proprietorship.

It is not only because there can be potentially infinite owners of property that the internet redefines our notion of it. It is also that people who participate in the exchange of immaterial works do not treat them as property. When they exchange music, books or movies, they are not merely transferring ownership from themselves to others; they simply do not recognise themselves as owners in the first place.

Dangerous place, this Internet...no wonder they are trying to lock it down.

4 comments:

Sassinak said...

Let's not forget we live in a world that is trying to tax/sell us our own air, water, sun, earth, and genetic material. How is the Church reacting to this "free heaven": calling it Hell, I suppose. We got kicked out for eating the fruit of the tree of Knowledge, not for sex or even lying, but for wanting to access, and share, Knowledge.

Copying/sharing virtual, immaterial "stuff" in the cybersphere makes business people crazy because it can't be controled/contained; it certainely can't be rationned or stockpiled. Trade can just barely be sold/taxed thru ISPs or support media. You can't artificially create scarcety to blow up profits, and it's impossible to lower the prices to stimulate demand. The last guy who went around and started sharing wine and bread and fish like it came from a bottomless barrel made the local merchants very upset and was nailed to a cross.

It makes governements crazy because it democratizes knowledge. It also forces people, parents, and youngsters, to develop a critical mind or be overwhelmed by the "dreck" out there. Forces mere humans to learn to think for themselves. Shudder. Oh, lord, the sheep are planning a revolt!

What to do? The Man innundates the market with the worst possible shit it can image. Frightened sheep will flock to any banner that promises security and relief from having to decide for themselves. The rest of us, understanding freedom, with continue to live out in the wild, smarter but short-lived. How will it all balance out in the end?

The Men are starting to realise they will dissapear with the last sq. mile of wilderness. They need us!

glyn moody said...

@Sassinak: yup - truly frightening for them, truly exciting for us...

Sassinak said...

@glyn moody. Frightening for us too, I have children! But I just can't live in those green pastures ! (as in Winxp sheep edition)

glyn moody said...

@Sassinak: OK, frightening in a fun sort of way, then...